I-V tubes threaded through my arms, their narrow canals transferring clear liquids, from large bladder-like bags, into my veins. The pungent smell of fresh sanitizer assaulted my nostrils so strongly that needles seemed to prick the inside of my nose with every breath. The soft scuffle of padded feet echoed in the distance, every step amplified by the empty hallways.
Turning my head I saw a white room; the steady beep of a computer monitor sounded beside me. To my left was a small table, its surface slightly above eye level; I could just barely make out the silhouettes of medical bottles, gauze, and what appeared to be a clipboard. Shifting my eyes away from the table, I directed them straight ahead, at a rectangular clock on the wall. The clock's digital numbers read “4:35P.M.” If that was true, I had been under anesthesia for seven hours.
Before I could grasp how long I had been asleep, the swish of a door smoothly opening caught my attention. Turning my head towards the noise, I stared at the cause of the disturbance. The culprit was a nurse in traditional scrub: light blue pants, and a short sleeved shirt; around her neck was a white lanyard attached to a name tag that read “Hello I'm Gladys.”
Gladys walked over to where I lay, dragging her feet, back slumped, her lips meeting in a tight line, glaring impatiently at the clock every few seconds. Coming to a stop to the left of my bed, she asked in a flat, almost monotone voice “Fr...
... middle of paper ...
...nse of numbness.
Suddenly numb, I lay still. Gladys, to my left, grabbed the clipboard that was lying on the small table and began to record data. Grateful to the clipboard for obscuring Gladys’s face, I smiled. Only to be disappointed again when she returned the item to its resting spot, but not before writing 'Spinal Fusion' in large letters on the back.
Without warning, Gladys began to walk towards the door from which she emerged. Her form different than before, back straight, arms making wide pendulum movements, each step covering the distance of two normal steps. Upon reaching the doorway, she extended her arm towards a light-switch that was positioned to the right of the door. Turning towards me, she produced the words “Good Night,” in the same monotone voice she initially used.
Eyes heavy, I tried to ask what she meant, but darkness met me.
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