I wake up, startled and confused. Where am I? A quick look at my veins confirms the pumping I hear from the IV next to me. I'm back in the hospital.
The clock reads ten to 3, and the quiet tells me it's the middle of the night. Which night, I'm not sure.
I look at my phone. It's early Friday morning. I woke my mom, crying hysterically, at 3 am the night before. I came in for the swollen jaw I've been complaining about for weeks, but just last like last time, I was admitted for something else.
A term I'd only heard before on ER but a quick conversation tells me it's actually quite serious. But we caught it in time before it poisoned my blood and killed me.
I remember the shots of prednisone and insulin injected into my arm. My sugar was 515 before bed and I forced myself to sleep.
But now it's 3 am and I am starving.
Last month's trip to this very hospital taught me a few things; always stay in the new building, where the room is pimped out Cribs style, and raid the nutrition closet when the nurses aren't looking.
I unplug my IV and almost immediately scale it to shut the beeping up. I slam my fingers into the pause button until it quiets itself. It's just a short mission, old friend. We can do this.
I'm halfway down the hall before the sound of sneakers shuffling on rich, donated carpet alert me. I hop into a patient's room, a patient who did not expect company.
"Lady," he croaks. "What the hell are you doing?" He's so loud. I whisper back "The mental ward was full." He nods, and is about to call for the nurse when I hop back out.
The nutrition pantry is steps away, filled with cereal and cranberry juice and joy. I'd cut a bitch for some Rice Krispies right now.
With the coast clear, I grab onto my pole like I'm stripping for cash and shuffle toward the door.
I'm here! I made it! I go to to turn it!
And it's locked.
I'm here. And boy, am I stuck.