Jesus Bled For Our Sins. But, Not Mine.
The sky scraper is made of glass and has no floors save the ground floor. The glass walls rise up as if to the bruise coloured sky that rumbles loud and deep. The clouds are big and fat and shift. I am standing inside the glass sky scraper. The glass sky scraper is on the beach. I am the only one there. Everyone else must have got away long ago. They ran quickly and swiftly to higher ground. I seem unable to move from the beach. The ocean is angry and I watch it as it grows in rage. The waves crash and get bigger with every try. One wave gathers size in slow motion it gets higher and high and I have to hurt my neck in order to look up that high.
I am going to drown.
This wave is going to crash on top of this glass skyscraper that I am inside. The water will smash the glass and I will be at the mercy of a deluge of angry water and broken glass. Yet, I still do not get away or try to run. How did I even get inside this glass sky scraper? There is no door. I can hear the roar of the wave as it towers over me. When I wake up I am on the beach and the sand goes on for ever. The waves are no longer angry but calm and lapping at the sand lazily. The sky is still dark but the sky scraper is gone and I am lying down looking up at the sky. I am hungry and need to find food. I sit up and then stand.
I open my eyes and feel hot. So hot. My face feels like its on fire. I kick of my blankets but then I am cold. I cannot get it right. I press my hands to my hot cheeks and for head. I am also itching like mad inside the bandage that is over the exit wound of my permacath. I have only had it in for a few days. I scratch around the edges of the bandage so as not to ruin the bandage dressing. The permacath exit wound only has two stiches. The tube with the two small tubes, has been used for plasma exchange. My antibodies were not being lazy and dozy enough. They were fighting to the end. Which means they would attack my Dad’s kidney as soon as they sensed it inside their habitat.
I lay there getting incredibly agitated by the heat of my body and the intense itchiness. I continued to use my finger nails to scratch around the exit wound. The relief only lasted as the scratching was being carried out. As soon as I stopped, it returned. I started to sweat and I got more and more agitated. I was sharing a two bed hospital room with an older gentlemen. He had the bed nearest the door. I had the bed nearest the window. I had placed my books on the window ledge to make it feel more homely.
I could not lay still in my bed. I was so uncomfortable. I kept jerking from lying on my left side to trying to lay on my right and realizing it was too uncomfortable with my permacath hanging there. I kept scratching around the bandage. My scratching was getting more and more aggressive. I scraped my nails down hard into my skin surrounding the bandage and a little bit over the very edges of the outer tape of the bandage. I buzz for a nurse and ask for a cold face washer. I get given a damp tea towel and place it on my for head. The damp coolness is a relief.
I close my eyes and manage to finally fall back asleep.
This time I am in a group of people who also survived the raging waves. The whole world looks like the beach now. A land of dirty wet sand. We walk together in search of food. We walk and walk and walk. We do not speak. I have a sandwich in my hand and nobody seems upset about this.
I wake up and feel very damp and clammy. I start feeling at my shirt. When I open my eyes again, I am looking up at a male nurse named Johnny. ‘’Hi.’’ He says.
I feel awful. I feel like I have not slept at all. My head hurts and I feel shaky. I reach up with my left hand and pat my t shirt. It feels wet through. ‘’I think I sweated in the night.’’ I say. Johnny does not say anything. He switches on the light that falls directly onto me. I sit up woozily and look down.
Everything is red with blood.
My blood. The sheets are wet through with it. My t shirt is wet through with it. The fitted sheet is red with it. I can feel blood dripping down my stomoch and pooling in my belly button. ‘’Oh my god. Oh my god.’’ I say nearly crying but too scared to even do that. Never seen so much of my insides on the outside. ‘’It looks worse than it actually is.’’ Johnny is telling me kindly. He has sun browned arms and hands. He has black framed glasses on his face. His expression is calm. ‘’Can you take your t shirt off?’’ He asks me. He draws the curtain around my bed and I carefully remove the beloved hot pink t shirt I got from Footscray Community Arts Centre, 3 years ago. It is now ruined. It is so wet with my blood that it needs to be squeezed out. The blood soaked t shirt is placed in a blue plastic bag and tied in a knot at the top. ‘’Do you want it thrown away? Or try and clean it?’’ Johnny asks. ‘try and clean it.’’ My mum loves a challenge.’’
Johnny gets a cloth and cotton balls to gently clean the blood off of my front. ‘’I think you popped your stich.’’ Johnny tells me. My breasts are dripping with blood and so my stomach. I try not to feel too embarrassed as Johnny wipes blood from my breasts and stomach. It is a very busy dawn of the day for Johnny, who it turns out is the ward manager for the day. He cleans me up. He puts a fresh and clean bandage on my permacath wound.
He gives me two hospital gown to put on. I put on the gowns and sit in the chair under the window, while Jonny changes my bedding. With clean bed and blood free body, I get back in bed and doze off. I wake up with a start and sit up. I look down and see the red has seeped through everything again. It looks even more gruesome to see the blood all over a white oversized hospital gown. The bedding is bloody and so is my chest. I start to tremble a little. My hand is shaking as I fumble for the buzzer to call a nurse. The blood has blood has soaked through the bandage and my gown and the blankets again. This time when Johnny sees me he stands for a moment and then leaves the room. When he returns he has a sand bag the size of four water bottles. The sand bag is wrapped in a hospital gown. He puts the sand bag down on my little table and he cleans up the blood and change the sheets again. ‘’Press this to your chest.’’ He tells me.
My bed is slightly upright so I lean back with the heavy sand bag and hug it to my chest, making sure the weight falls onto the exit sight of all the blood. ;;The pressure and weight should stop the bleeding.’’ Johnny tells me. He leaves the room and I lay there hugging this heavy sandbag awkwardly. The breakfast lad comes and places a tray on my table. She does not say anything to me but glances quickly at me. I smile and say, ‘’Good morning.’’ My roommate starts to fart in loud and long bursts. He lets out a sigh of relief before starting to pass wind again. I cannot begrudge him this. His doctors have been asking him about this. The fact he has started passing wind means he is further along in recovering from his kidney transplant. I lay there listening to him pass wind and hugging the sand bag, whilst my breakfast gets cold. As I lay there the thought occurs to me that Jesus may have bled for our sins, but, it was seeming less and less likely that that included me. Seems I am doing a brilliant job of bleeding for my own sins. Eventually two nurses who were not Johnny came and looked under the sandbag to see if the bleeding had stopped. It had. When the nephrologists did the rounds. They stood around my bed and looked at me. They had been told about my nighttime temperature spike and the bleeding. ‘’We are going to need some blood tests.’’ Peter Hughes told me. I sighed dramatically. ‘’Cant you just squeeze some of my blood from the blood soaked bedding? Or my t shirt?’’ They couldn’t of course and I got blood taken two more times. Hours later, around lunchtime, my stitch gets re stitched.
I am told that I will receive more plasma exchange. My friend Erin visits me after work. She takes my picture. I find myself wishing I had gotten a photograph of me waking up covered in my own blood.
That would have looked so cool.