It was a first for me, waking up unaware of my surroundings. The stiff mattress and paper thin sheets meant I was definitely not in my bed. The cold, stale air further confirmed I was not in my apartment. As I slowly opened my eyes, I could feel a pain throughout my body I had never experienced before. It had never hurt to simply open my eyes. Another first for me.
It took a moment, but once my eyes adjusted to the glaring white light, I was able to make out my surroundings. I was in a hospital room. With the pain I was in, I was relieved to find I was apparently being cared for. Still, I wasn't sure why I was there. The room was a basic hospital room. White walls, a wall mounted television and a reclining chair for visitors. I had no visitors, which didn't help clue me in on when and how I ended up in this dreadful place.
It didn't take long to realize what had most likely woken me from my sleep. An incessant beeping noise quickly drew my attention away from the pain. Like a Chinese torture technique, the constant beeping was maddening. After a moment of surveying the room, I found the beeps source. My injuries, whatever they were, required an IV. And that IV was empty, causing the machine to alert the hospital staff. This was good and bad. Bad that I was obviously injured and required IV treatment. Good that it was empty and I would hopefully see a nurse soon. It was clear I needed a new fluid bag, but more importantly I needed answers.
After what felt like an eternity of tormenting beeps, a middle-aged, portly nurse finally entered the room. To my surprise, with the door left cracked open, I could see a police officer guarding my room. What the hell had happened to me that would require an on guard police officer? Without any introduction, and with little expression, the nurse said, "I'll go ahead and change your IV, but you have visitors that would like to speak with you now that you're awake."
She obviously had changed many an IV bag in her day as she finished much quicker than I expected. I hadn't even said a word before she started for the door. I was met with excruciating pain as I attempted to sit up. "Wait!," I grumbled in agony before she exited the room. "How did I get here?" I asked. "Your questions will be answered soon enough", she rattled off with little emotion. Perplexed at her lack of empathy for my painful situation, I attempted one last question before she made her way. "Why on earth would I need police protection?", I asked. As she slowly opened the door, as if to carefully think before answering, she turned and muttered, "they're not here to protect you, they're here to arrest you."
Yes, I was in for a lot of firsts today. Whatever day it is.