Through a patient's eye

Amidst the swirling looms of my hazy memory, I struggle to hold on to those evasive threads of consciousness. As I painstakingly open my weighed down eyelids, I peer into the antiseptic stillness of my surroundings. Where was I? Why couldn’t I move? I tried to sit up, but my body didn’t respond. Confused, I collapsed back into the contorted dimensions of my exhaustion.

Entangled in my questions, I was lost in the maze of paranoia. The distant mechanical beep in harmony with the timed ‘whoosh’ of air seemed reassuring for awhile.

A jab on my arm brought me back to my bleary environment. When I tried to nudge the pain away, a soft moan escaped my lips. The nagging pain continued. I turned to see a large syringe slowly filling up with blood... my blood. All that blood…! Didn’t I need it more than that glass container did? A strong hand pinned my arm down, resisting my feeble efforts to pull away from that ‘blood-sucking contraption’.

My entire body throbbed as though I had been run over by a truck. The skin on my chest burned each time I breathed. I wanted to stop, but I couldn’t control the rhythmic rise and fall off my chest with every ‘whoosh’. The dark tentacles of pain clouded my vision as I sank back into the shadows of my murky consciousness.

I was trapped. Imprisoned in my own body... with someone else in control. I didn’t like that. I was used to being in control, taking charge of my life. Now, I was bound by the shackles of my own body. What kind of a twisted trick was fate playing on me? I felt so helpless! My anguished moans drowning my despair.

“Should I call this a mid-day nap, doctor?”, a loud, clear baritone voice jolted me back into reality. Stunned, I looked around. The smirking faces of students, nurses,
post-graduates, consultants and my fellow interns crammed my view. Each one trying to stifle a smile as the towering persona of my HoD dominated the scene.

I had fallen asleep and flown away on the wings of a dream, right there at the counter in the ward! The previous night’s duty at the ICU must have taken a toll on my fatigued brain and given an impetus to my wild imagination.

The mystical realms of the human mind, was this a reflection of my inner being or my desperate attempt to break free. I’ll never know. But with more and more busy night shifts and long duty hours, there’s definitely more to come!

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