Much of my memory is blurry, so I will tell you what I remember. At first, the hospital said they wouldn’t admit me, or do any tests like x-rays or CT scans, unless we paid admittance fee first. Since I didn’t have medical insurance, they wanted cash up front. Two of my good friends paid the money for me. All the while, I was groaning and crying because I couldn’t bear the pain. I remember them pushing me to my cot. When we got to the x-ray room, they lifted me to the x-ray table. The help made me feel that I wasn’t alone. It was very comforting. After I was taken back to the emergency room, we had to wait until they had a room ready for me. For hours, I lay there. At some point, I started calling out for my mom.
There was a woman beside me crying in agony. I also kept pleading for someone to take the pain away. At that moment, a young female doctor came and checked my lower lip which was torn. She injected some anesthesia and started stitching it back together. I was confused as to what she was happening. Despite the anesthetic it was still painful I remember swearing at her using the f-word constantly. I must have said “I hate you”. I was struggling to breath, but still but nobody would come.
Eventually, a neurosurgeon came to examine me. After he was done, I was put on oxygen. That made the situation better. By this time it was morning, I became very thirsty and I asked for some water, but nobody came. I could barely speak now. I was so exhausted from the pain that I really felt like I was dying. My sight was blurry. Somehow, I saw one of my friends and called out to him. I whispered to him that I needed water. He quickly went out to buy some water and he brought back three bottles. He tried to give it to me, but I couldn’t lift my head. He called a nurse and gave her the water bottles. But all she did was to put them on a table across me saying she will attend to me soon. Being so thirsty and looking at the water bottles was excruciating for me. Finally, my dad showed up. He had got a call about what had happened. As soon as I saw him, I really wanted to cry, but he told me to be brave. I could see the pain in his eyes when I told him I was so thirsty and that nobody was doing anything about it. He called the nurse and asked if she could do something. She said that she will find a straw for me. When she brought it, all I can say is that “water is indeed life”.
I finally got a Pethidine shot and I went to sleep. I must have slept for hours. When I woke up at around 3pm, that’s when they told us that they had found a room for me. I was finally moved to the hospital ward. I feel that our health service is so bad that a person could literally die while waiting in line for help. But that is a story for another day.
The hardest part was when my family and friends had to leave. After they left, I couldn’t sleep. I thought that if I feel asleep, I was never going to wake up. Somehow, I had the belief that most people never make it out of the hospital alive.
To be continued.