The pain is unbearable! My body aches all over from the broken bones, bruised organs and torn ligaments – no dosage of painkillers seems to ease my pain. My parents had warned me that my job could lead to this; but I did not believe that it could happen to me. Maybe I had become complacent over the years and let my vigilance slide a little. It did not matter. All that mattered as I lay in this hospital bed, broken and aching, was that the pain would go away and leave my mind clear to think.
The medical staff entered: nurses, doctors and researchers. Through the haze of pain and drugs, I try to focus on what they are saying. Something about some type of treatment. I catch the phrases “side effects unknown”, “still in the experimental stages”, volunteers”. My mind latches onto the phrase “reduce, and maybe eliminate, the pain.” The rest of their words surround me, unheard and unacknowledged. I would do ANYTHING to escape this pain; even be a human guinea pig!
“Yes,” I say, unheard. I breathe in shallowly and repeat as loud as I can, “Yes, I will do it.”
“You do understand that there may be dangers? That this treatment is still experimental?”
I nod my head slowly and carefully. I do not care about consequences and side effects. All I want is to be pain-free.
Papers are brought out and signed. I struggle through the haze that surrounds me, focusing on the image of me before the accident. I see the nurse bring in a tray of needles filled with a bluish liquid.
“You may find that the pain will begin to disappear as soon as the serum enters your bloodstream.”
The doctor injects me directly into my arm. Within a few seconds, I feel a change in my body. Slowly the pain eases and I find I can begin to focus on my surroundings. With the haze of pain gone, I see the faces before me more clearly. I am also able to focus on their conversation.
“I hope the changes we made to the serum will allow us to bring this patient out of the induced coma. The last person we gave this to did not want to come back to living his life.”
“We have been told that this subject is determined and motivated. We are hoping that it will make a difference.”
I am free of pain; and my mind now thinks clearly. I realise that I was too hasty – this treatment is truly experimental! I begin to lose the grasp on my mind and thoughts. Not only am I to be pain-free, but I am also to be thought-free.
© Colline Kook-Chun, 2013