I hate needles. Biggest fear without a doubt. So I imagined what it would be like waking up with them stuck in my arms. Add in a polyfidelitous relationship, then write about it. This is the product of my weird daydreams.
When I woke, everything was blurry. My eyes were foggy and my limbs felt numb and absolutely everything hurt, from my innermost organs to the outer layers of my skin. I felt a creeping feeling, like a bunch of centipedes crawling up my arms. With a quick glance around through my still blurry eyes I realized where I was, and an even quicker flash of thought towards my arms, I realized I should be screaming. So, I did just that, I screamed.
“Shhhh babe, relax, relax. Please, just calm down,” I felt arms pushing down on each of mine, pinning me in place, trying to keep my hands still so I would not rip the needles from my arms.
“I’ll go get someone, a nurse or something, oh god, just hold her.”
“I got it, just go,” the voices sounded familiar but in my foggy brain I could not put faces to them. Words were floating through my brain, words like ‘love’ and ‘boyfriends’ and ‘happy’ and I know there was a little bit of ‘mine’ mixed in there too.
I was still screaming when a voice that I identified as a nurse came in, hushing me right along with the two disconnected male voices. Slowly, my consciousness faded, as did my screaming and then I was back asleep.
Whatever was in the IV gave me dreams. Bad dreams, bad like your whole world crumbled beneath your feet, bad like losing everyone you love and not being able to shed a single tear, bad like watching your heart get torn to bits in front of you. It also gave me good dreams, good like forests made of candy so dense you breathed sugar, and infants with rosy cheeks laughing and giggling, and warm blankets in a Christmas snow.
When I woke back up again, my arms were strapped to the bed with what looked like brown leather belts padded by white fabric, my wrists held flat against the plastic bars of my hospital bed. My blurred gaze trailed up my arms, from the straps back to the IV needles.
“Matt. Matt. Matt, she’s waking up.”
“What? Huh? Oh! Hey, babe. How’d you sleep?”
“Should we get a nurse?”
I grumbled loudly, shaking my head slightly. I did not want a nurse, I wanted to go back to sleep so I could ignore the needles in my arms, and more than that, I wanted the needles out of my arms.
“Okay, got it, no nurse.” He laughed, and suddenly their faces came into view.
I looked around, slightly panicked, trying to ignore the sensation in my arms coming from the needles and restraints. My vision was clear only for a second as tears started to prick at my eyes. I squirmed in my restraints, trying to wriggle out of them and crawl away, away from the needles, away from the hospital, away from everything. My shoulders thrashed wildly, and I kicked my feet, and tears started streaming down my face. Someone, probably one of the guys still hovering over me, leaned down and pressed my legs back into the bed, holding them still as I continued to jerk around. I could hear myself whimpering, feel my face contorting in distress, then it all went…fuzzy. My body was numb and I could hear nothing but static. My mind felt hazy and my body felt weak. I could barely feel myself go limp just as my eyes slid closed and I blacked out.
This time I did not dream. There was just darkness for what felt like hours. Like someone had turned off the lights and I was just staring into the darkness of the night, no stars, no streetlights, just me and the void.
When I woke up again I could feel more restraints on my legs, but I could not see my body; I was covered in a white hospital sheet from the neck down, my legs, my arms, the needles all hidden from view. I knew they were still there, I could feel them—the slight pinching sensation, the pressure in my arms, the uncomfortable itchy feeling I got whenever I was around needles, all clear signs that they were still there.
I looked up to see I was surrounded by doctors and nurses, all leaning over to stare down at me.
“Well,” one of the doctors sighed, patting my shoulder gently through the sheet and smiling down at me, starting to move away, “You gave us quite a scare for a minute there.”
I did not respond, simply watched as all but one of the people in scrubs filed out through the door, and the one who stayed behind began whispering to the two guys from before. They were all standing in the corner of the room, but the second the last doctor left, the other two rushed over, one on either side of me. They each leaned over, one pressing a kiss to my forehead, the other to my cheek.
“Hey sweetie,” the one I recognized as Jay said, pulling up a chair next to me and sitting down, “How are you feeling? You passed out and scared the shit out of us.”
I mumbled a little, hoping the noise I was making sounded positive. I did feel a lot better. The queasy feeling in my stomach was gone and the cold sweats were stopping. The splitting headache was fading. Every issue I still felt was a symptom of the needles and my immeasurable fear of them.
I felt a hand sneak up under the sheet on either side of me, two hands coming up to interlace with my own, and two more crossing over top of me to lock with each other. I held on tight and imagined the needles were somewhere far away.
I felt warm and content for the first time since waking up. The needles still itched and I still felt weak, but at least I was not screaming. I started to drift off again, hearing whispers about letting me get my rest.
I floated in and out of consciousness, half awake, half asleep, mostly just weary from my earlier thrashing. That’s when the real nightmare started. I felt my bed moving and the warmth—radiating from somewhere, from everywhere—heard the screaming, smelled the smoke, felt my throat closing. It all happened so fast but my eyes would just not stay open. My eyelids opened and closed in slow, languid blinks. My brain felt hazy, from smoke or maybe just dreaming, who knew.
Then I felt the burning and I was sure it was the worst of the nightmares, the searing pain ripping through my body, the licks, like kittens from the flames, curling and bouncing around me.
Then there I was again, alone, just me and the void.
Sorry I have not written in so long, I have felt terrible about it, both for your sake and mine. Anyway, I hope this helped make up for it a little.