I'm in the emergency department of the hospital where I work, barefoot, lying on a stretcher. Familiar nurses are doing an EKG, putting IVs into my arm, hanging saline. My husband, somewhere.
“What did she take?” Someone asks.
I wake up in the ICU. I'm in room 8. My shirt is gone. My bra is gone. I'm wearing a gown. I don't remember taking my clothes off. I try to sit up. It doesn't really work. It's like the force of gravity has doubled. I succumb to my hospital bed, fading in and out of sleep.
My nurse (also one of my coworkers), Claire, comes in. I like Claire. She lives in the country, has a little farm with her husband. “Hi E.,” she says. “We're just going to monitor you for a while, make sure you're doing okay.” I close my eyes.
“E.? E, it's Dr. Nolan. Can you tell me what happened?” Dr. Nolan is one of the intensivists. I used to assist him with procedures when I still worked days, inserting central lines, doing lumbar punctures. He must think I'm such an asshole. I wish this bed could engulf me.