“Meningitis,” The young black doctor said to my mom.
My eyes were still closed and face still cringing from the pain.
“Oh, my God, are you serious?” I wailed. I couldn’t believe it! my mind flipped upside down even more. I couldn’t bring to thought how I contracted meningitis. I thought at the time it was only sexually transmitted and having my mother there with that thought was very awkward and embarrassing. I thought what she’d think of me a some loose cannon. I felt like I failed. Still to my conscious it didn’t make since if that was the case. I was in a stabled relationship even though at the moment we called it quits (we always go through that.)
The doctor explained how it wasn’t sexually transmitted because it wasn’t in a viral form but in a bacteria form. My mother elaborated in my long history of ear infections.
At a very young age I had chronic ear infections. I was known through my childhood years for having these on going issues with my ear. Since I was little, my pediatrician didn’t think to deeply about the issue. We thought and he thought it was just a child thing I’m going through. Eventually I were to grow out of it. Which technically, I did…or so I thought. In summer 2010 just after my high school graduation I experience yet another ear infection. It was almost weird having to experience the pain all over again after a decade. I had undergo my first surgery which required a tube to drain liquid in my ear. That lead to another discovery that I had skin growing in the back of my hear. They call it Cholesteatoma. Few weeks later, I went under again so the doctor can clear out the mess. That lead to facial paralysis on my left side ( the chronic side). I was hard to eat, drink, talk, and blink. My whole left side was shut down like if I had a stroke. Going to work and school required human interaction which was no extremely difficult. formulating words…there was no such thing. I tried to isolate myself as much as I can from embarrassment. I recovered a three months later after I decided to go on a B-12 regime. I tried every alternative way I can to self medicate myself. I hate drug industries; they want you sick for money.
The nurse soon came with the morphine to calm down the pain. Finally, I was able to relax with a mild headache. My mother still with my had my vomit filled shoes and clothes as I switch in the gear that stole my identity. I took off my pants, slip into this light blue gown that exposed my backside. I lost the freedom to wear what I want. my right arm slip from beside and they clamped a white band around my arm. My identity changed into a barcode.The nurse held wires with a round sticker on the end that were placed all over my torso. I lost the freedom to walk. She took my temperature, that read 104 degrees, monitored my blood pressure and heart rate.
More doctors came in. I say about for of them, three males and one female. The all stood erect with white jackets and mask covering their mouths. They encourage my mother to get one immediately since what I have is contracted airborne. I’m registered unsafe to the public now. They ask for me name which no longer mattered.
“Hey dontae, I’m…” I forgot their names I’ve met to many doctors. “We are from the infectious disease department and we are here to tell you, you have meningitis which we believe could have been from you ear infections, can you tell us what happened?” And, so I did with grief. One doctor had a plastic shield covering his entire face. Like the ones police use to protect theirs…yeah! I couldn’t have felt so alienated from other as I had felt at that time. I was reduced to a new identity. A potentially harmful one. I hated it. Later, I was now being transported into another room. Solitary confinement.
It had to be already 3 hours into the early morning, I couldn’t tell because I had no phone for it died as soon I got home. my mother decided to leave because it was late. I wanted her to come back with my charger because I had not tell my friends or anybody that I am home. I couldn’t reach my dad; he’s another story, or my friends to tell them that I had made it home, but now unexpectedly in the hospital, or even tell my dear love “look I know we on bad terms right now however, I need you.”
As soon as my mother left me, the minute she closed the door behind here I was alone. The nurses didn’t help me as they should nor were they even attentive to me. The machine I was hooked up on produced a intensely loud ringing alarm indicating my rates were below average. In other words, I couldn’t tell whether it was saying my breathing was dying, heart racing, my life line is to low. I didn’t understand all I know was I needed help. They button to call the nurses over was broken. Now how can I reach someone when I’m locked in a room alone? I’m looking through a window seeing nurses after nurses moving about talking and not one of them see’s me waving? The noise grew even louder, my goodness It resembled an alarm clock that would not snooze! it felt like hours on end.
I never experienced the moment of now since until being that room. I had no time and I had lost the track of time since I got to the hospital. The loud alarm caused me to tear rapidly. I bawled out. My headache started to grew while I’m left strapped to a bed hooked with wires. I’m yelling help louder and louder but my voice is competing with a machine. I started waving aggressively at he small window at the door.
I managed to get three nurses and not one of them helped me. They all said, “I’ll get your nurses for you.” All I wanted was them to stop the noise and give an Advil or something for this headache. I was hungry too! That one nurse came in gleefully, I guess to brighten my spirits, explaining how someone else is really sick and much other redundant information. I could care any less! I could have caught a heart attack or something and no one would have noticed me. That how deserted I was. I am not exaggerating this either. . . .
Another doctor came in again asking the same dumb questions, “What happened?” “You have this…we’re going to do that.” He looked in the chronic ear and gave me a new discovery.
He said,”It looked like part of the brain fell behind your eardrum.”