Taking The Pain


In the anaesthetic area outside the operating theatre, I chat with the nurse and anaesthetist for a few minutes until he prepares the drugs and begins to load me up. This is a much gentler anaesthetic than before and I look up at the clock above the door to the operating theatre. It’s coming up to 11 a.m. as the drugs hit the back of my throat. I cough and drift away.

I open my eyes and come round in agony. An intense pain resonates from inside my head. I am on a bed parallel with some large, bright windows on my left. A doctor and a few nurses are close to hand. The doctor asks what the pain is on a scale of one to ten and I say “Ten, more than ten, just give me morphine.” She injects a small amount of morphine through the cannula and it has no effect whatsoever. I watch the clock on the far wall of the empty recovery room and wait for the morphine to kick in. It is a little after 12:35 p.m. I notice the size of the recovery room, it is more like a recovery hall as it could have fitted at least fifty patients. And I am the only patient in here. The minutes tick slowly by and the unbearable pain does not slacken. The doctor keeps checking on me and slowly injects a little more morphine to no effect. By 1 p.m., I am writhing in agony so the doctor and nurses stay by my side.

“Can you give me some more?”

“You’ve had the maximum amount of morphine. Any more will stop your heart,” the doctor replies.

There is a metallic smell and I shudder.

“Give me a fucking stick to bite on then!!”

The hospital staff just look at one another. I clench my teeth and take the pain until the morphine does its stuff and my heart rate goes down. I glance at the clock. It’s about 1:45 p.m. I am exhausted.

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