5
min

When I Awoke

Image of Tiffany Rini

Tiffany Rini

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1

All I noticed was a loud beeping sound. My eyes were blinded by the white light above me. Each passing minute made it clearer as to where I was. My eyes were sore, and I just started feeling my fingers, then my arms but the lower half was taking too long. It was cold, but that’s true for most hospitals. Trying to remember how I got here hurt my head. I couldn’t even remember dreaming.

Closing my eyes was inevitable. Someone started making noise in the room. My eyes wouldn’t budge as I tried so desperately to open them. He or she would be able to give me some answers. Instead my eyes stayed shut and I heard someone else enter the room.

“How are her vitals today?” A man asked.

“Vitals are stable.” A woman answered. “Will she get to walk again?”

“It’s doubtful, considering the injury.”

“And her family?”

“I called the brother, but he said that her parents can’t travel and that he has responsibilities.”

“So, no one is coming?”

“It appears not, the man who was in the accident with her was released two months ago and hasn’t been back. He heard about her condition and left.”

“That’s awful.”

“News like that is hard to hear and it takes a really exceptional person to stay with someone knowing that they have a long recovery ahead of them.”

My eyes were heavy and uncooperative, so I fell asleep. This time I did dream.

I tried to stand but couldn’t, when I looked down, my legs were gone.

When I could hold my eyes open again, I started crying. My hands tore at the blankets as I tried so hard to look at my legs. The monitor started beeping loudly, but the blankets were too heavy for my weak arms.

A male nurse came into the room and tried to hold me down. “You need to calm down, Miss Carver.”

I was crying hysterically. Too much energy had been wasted and I was not strong enough yet.

So, I stopped and the nurse let go. “You have fight, but you have to let us help you. Let me get the doctor.”

I nodded with tears streaming down my face. My voice couldn’t be trusted yet. As minutes passed with me trying desperately to stay awake, I was getting more upset.

Then a doctor walked in with a fake smile. “Miss Carver, it’s nice to see you awake.”

He had a cup and a straw in his hand. “I thought you might be thirsty.”
I nodded, then he reached for the bed controls, sat me up and helped me drink. Feeling the cool water slide down my throat was soothing. But I wanted so badly for him to tell me I dreamed that conversation between him and the nurse.

So, I stopped drinking and tried to speak, “Wh...” But my throat was so dry, just an airy sound came out which was so frustrating.

The doctor had anticipated this. “I know that you are having trouble speaking but that will come back. You have been in a coma for about three months. There was an accident. Sometimes it’s your body’s natural response to put you in a coma to heal. You injured your spine and hit your head. I’m not sure if the feeling will come back in your legs, but you should have full motion in your arms. After a little physical therapy that is. Your left arm was broken but it healed nicely. We removed the cast, but the physical therapist has been by to help, so it continues to heal properly. Now that you are awake we can start the other half of your recovery.”

“Exce...” The doctor moved closer. “Except my legs.” I whispered because that was all that would come out.

“Well, we can try but the chances are low.”

I started to cry. “Is Eric ok?”

“A couple of minor broken bones, bruises and scrapes but he’s fine.”

“Where is he?”

The doctor hesitated so I answered for him.

“You told him, and he left, didn’t he?”

“That’s how it appears.”

There was no family to sit with me and there was no boyfriend. I knew my parents would be here if they could. The next morning when I opened my eyes, I realized that when I got into the accident it was summer but now we were into fall. Now the sunny days would now be few and far between.

Just for good measure, I lifted the blankets off my legs to find that they were still there. I had my moment of being upset already but the longer I stared the more irritated I got. My brain told them to move but they weren’t listening.

“Well Miss Carver, if you would like to take a break, I brought you breakfast.” A nurse said making me jump.

I cleared my raspy throat. “Please call me Luna.”

“Ok then, Luna. I’m just going to get you set up.”

Before I could respond, he busied himself with covering my legs with the blanket, and getting the tray set on the bed table. I ate my fill. Once I was done I took a good look at my arms and realized how much weight I lost.

As the next week passed I tried to keep it together. They came to help with physical therapy. The doctor checked once to see if feeling had come back in my legs. This morning they put me in a wheel chair that was then pushed into the bathroom and with some help I was able to wash up. They brought me a mirror and a brush. My hair was just below my shoulders, so the black hair tie that was in my purse matched my hair and would work just fine. I quickly tied my hair into a pony tail and closed my very tired blue eyes. How was I going to do this? I thought as I drifted off to sleep.

Another week had passed and still no feeling in my legs or feet. At this point I was able to have the physical therapist leave me weights to help strengthen my arms. I could stay awake for a good while before needing to rest. It wasn’t easy, but I was getting there.

Two more weeks and I was making friends. It was a constant rotation of nurses. The male nurse who caught me staring at my legs, was there mostly on the morning shift, his name is Greg. Then there’s Lucy, she brought me some nail polish, and other things that made me feel better. On night shift there was a sweet older woman named Gloria, who brought me flowers and a word search. Most of my time was spent trying to recover.

Another week and I was getting very discouraged. Every time I tried to feel something in my legs, I would cry. There was talk of me going home soon with the need of a caregiver. Determination was strong inside me, but my legs wouldn’t listen. I can’t leave this hospital without being able to walk again.

Days more and I woke up to the sound of an alarm going off in the hallway. It was for a room down the hall. Knowing that I would have a few minutes before a nurse came in, I tried to move my legs. Staring for what felt like an hour, just made me angry. So, I started to hit them. If I felt anything, maybe I would feel pain.

“Come on stupid legs! I need you to work!”

Greg came in, “Stop! What are you doing?”

He grabbed my hands and hugged me.

“Why won’t they work? I have tried so hard and kept hope!” I sobbed.

“Luna, please calm down. You will get through this.”

“How?”

“I don’t know but if anyone can, it’s you.” He pulled away and smiled.

“Thank you.”

That day was rough, I ate and slept. I wasted lots of energy getting upset. Plus, I was too depressed to exercise. Then night came bringing a horrible storm with lightening, thunder and rain pelting the window. I tried to sleep but suddenly I felt something in my foot.

Wait a minute, I felt my foot. It was like how your foot feels when it goes to sleep and then starts waking up again. I hit the call button on the remote for the bed. But the feeling went away. Another loud crack of thunder and then I woke up.

I was just dreaming! I never felt my foot. My eyes filled up with tears. There was no hope, I would just have to except that the most I can do is make the rest of my body strong. Gloria walked in and saw me crying.

“Luna are you ok?” She asked handing me a tissue.

“I just had a dream that I had feeling in my foot. Why have such a wonderful dream just for it to be a lie?” I asked as I pulled my knees up to my chest, wrapped my arms around my legs and cried.

“Luna?” Gloria said.

“What?”

“Luna! Look!”

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