He was riddled with pain such as he had never felt before as his mother carried his limp burning body through the double doors after the nurse. He was white as the sheet his mother carried him in. His body was on fire, his stomach was being twisted in knots. He was breathing, but it was shallow and noisy. Sweat beaded from his forehead, drenching him so his pyjamas stuck to his body. He felt himself being placed roughly onto a firm surface, he could smell fresh sheets and disinfectant. An unknown man asked, “How long?” Another more familiar one said a few days, but in the last two hours, oh my god. He just passed out and started shaking.” He couldn’t understand. Another voice, female, spouted a string of what sounded like gibberish, science jargon as he felt something being wrapped around his left arm and his clothes being cut away. "Oh no, not my pjs, mums going to kill you.” He thought to himself. His chest bear, a cold object was pressed against it in different places in turn. His head was violently jerked backward and his jaw pushed forward. It hurt. He tried to lift his arms to push the them away but there was no hope. His mouth fell open as he was dragged upwards. A soft object was shoved under his back so that his head lulled backward. A metal object was thrust into his mouth and a tube passed over it into his airways. He so badly wanted to gag on it. “What the hell are they doing? I can’t breathe!” he thought of saying but for some reason he no longer had the ability to speak.
The pain had reached a peak and his body tensed up. Against all his will, he arched his back and his limbs became numb and stiff. He herd the voices around him go from measured and calm to panicked. His mother’s voice faded away. A sharp object pierced his other arm and something cold pushed through it. Stickers were being placed on his chest and a fast beeping sound came. His lungs were being inflated rhythmically. “Odd since I thought I stopped breathing?” His body relaxed and the pain had lessened slightly.
“Hello Daniel! Can you open your eyes for us Daniel?” someone asked, or rather shouted at him. A fist rubbed against his chest, hard. It hurt but he could not bat it away. He gowned and started to gag. His stomach heaved “Daniel, you’re in hospital its ok.” I know I’m in hospital, I remember mum telling me she was taking me before I passed out” he tried to make his mouth say. The tube in his throat was taken out and his mouth open began to cough. Then it happened, he was so embarrassed. Willing those around to realize what was about to happen and tern away he heaved. His head ached. He coughed and suddenly was rolled quickly over to one side as he vomited. He couldn’t understand why he felt so bad. Everything he had ever consumed, it seemed was coming out. Someone was rubbing his back and soothing words were coming from behind him.
He lay there for a while, but soon began wake up. He opened his eyes and they were stabbed by the bright lights of the ER. His mouth was suctioned and a nurse was gently shaking his shoulder. He looked up at her. “There you are little man!” she said.
And then the pain. Like a hulking black dog ripping his body to shreds returned as suddenly as it had gone. A mask was strapped to his face as he grimaced in his agony. Someone was pushing and feeling his stomach and for once he had the energy to recoil away from his cold hands. He screamed rolled over and heaved again. A nurse asked him to rate the pain for her. He still couldn’t speak, so he shook his head and as tears rolled down his already wet cheeks he managed to mouth the word ten. Someone shoved something into his ear and it beeped. “wow!” someone said. “Let’s get some ice, I want to lower his temperature fast. 40 degrees is just too dam high” the same voice said. The nurse asked the boy if he was allergic to anything. A faint voice from beyond the curtain surrounding his bed said “No!” he shook his head. “I would also strongly recommend that we decrease his pain level, he told me it was ten out of ten, he’s showing signs of shock.” The nurse in his line of sight said to someone behind his back. “Agreed, lets also get morphine IV push five mg to start and a liter of normal saline at a fast drip. I’m betting his little body will be wanting some fluids.” Another person took the tubing sticking out of his arm and attached it to another longer tube and started a drip. A few minutes later ice bags were applied to his bare neck, armpits and groin, damp cloths were wrapped around his ankles and wrists. He felt that if the pain was not going to stop then it would kill him and that would be the greatest relief. Another person walked into the cubical and handed something to another nurse, the nurse who had rubbed her fist on my chest. She took hold of his arm and after swabbing the tubes port she injected into it what he could only assume was the morphine. Almost instantly his body felt cool, he relaxed, the pain fell away like as his clothes had done. A blissful velvety feeling spread over him. Relief, sweet marvellous relief. It was as though the pain had never occurred. His arms fell away from his abdomen and he let his head fall to his shoulder. He tried to keep his eyes open but that didn’t work. They fell shut. He was falling deeper into the soft plush mattress and the bed sheets were hugging his body as a high sharp ringing sounded, drowning out the din around his bed. It was bliss.
He had had lost track of time. His body was numb, he was not even aware of his own breathing. Was he being absorbed by his bed or bring dragged deeper into a dark hole? The air was getting thinner but he was not light headed. It was getting darker and darker. The morphine was dragging him to the bottom of the hole, where it was cool and dark and quiet. His body fell heavily against the hard bottom. He was being shaken, dragged in every direction, he was being poked, prodded, an eye was pulled back and then the other but no light came in. His head was forced back. Someone was being yelled at. Is it me? What did I do? Figures were hurrying around him but he could not see who or what they were. "Are they taking me to hell?” he thought. Fear was creeping up around his heart. The voices were nonsensical and slowed, like a record played on the wrong setting. "Am I high?" he asked himself. His breathing had slowed and he was getting light headed. He was fading. “How long have I been down hear? How did I get down here?” These were questions with no answers. He lay, unable to feel his body. Not moving. Not breathing. He was sure he was dead now. His chest rose and fell but no air went in or out. He tried to open his eyes but there was nothing to see. “Is this purgatory?”
He caught site of a pinprick sized spot high above him. Be focused on it. It was slowly getting larger, brighter. He could hear voices coming from it. Jumbled, they were panicked and fast. A faint high ringing was competing with the voices. He wished whatever it was would shut up. One of the voices was the nurse had met once but it seemed so long ago. He wanted to climb up there to better hear what she was saying but he couldn't move his arms or legs. He felt a sharp stick and a burning sensation at his right arm. It was rising up his arm. It got to his armpit and spread across his chest. It was like fire He tried to writhe and thrash around but be couldn't do that either. The bright light was huge and blinding now. He was about to fall into it. He was breathing hard, but this time, air was reaching his brain making that velvety high fade. He fell into the pool of white light. The ringing stopped.
He hurt all over, he was nauseated, he was drenched once again. Nurses and doctors were standing around him, their faces obscured by a halo of light. A nurse to his right was brushing hair away from his face speaking to him. "Danial! Look at me Daniel! Open your eyes! Daniel!"
“How much morphine did you give him?” One nurse asked another? There was a silence.
“It was either Five mg or five ml. Given the concentration we have is only five to a millerite, I’m going to have a guess and say you gave the latter and went thinking” another said. She didn’t sound angry but the person she was speaking to burst into tears. A male voice said “Well there’s no way for us to know since it wasn’t written down but I'd say you’re right. Bloody hell thank Christ for naloxone” He finally was able to focus on the faces of those around his bed. It was then that Daniel realized that he had almost died and the pain and the fever was not the problem. He then hoped to never take morphine again.
Author Notes: This story is across between a Pink Floyd fan fiction and a cautionary tale about a near fatal medical error.