T/W: paralysis, depression, suicide
Trapped From The Inside
I remember the day so vividly. I was a youngster playing around with my toy
soldiers and watching TV. It was Sunday, my sweet day off. No working, just
playing and fooling around all day long.
“Samuel it’s time for breakfast!” My mother yelled across the house.
I got up slowly and reluctantly. I put my toys in a pile at the corner of the room
and turned off the TV. I started heading toward the kitchen. I was just a
few steps away from the kitchen and I could already smell the food, but I would
never have the chance to taste it.
As I entered the kitchen I suddenly felt a sharp jab in my chest. My knees
began to buckle. My hands started violently shaking. I felt nauseous as my
stomach growled and I screamed in anguish. I fell to my knees as my
mother rushed to my aid.
She was repeating “Are you ok? Are you ok?”
I wasn’t. I was panicking and tried to scream again, but I couldn’t even
muster the energy required to whisper. My eyes were now red and watering. My
head felt like it was about to explode violently just like a massive firecracker.
Then I fell to the ground with a loud thud and I slowly blacked out.
I regained my consciousness in an ambulance surrounded by men and women
dressed in yellow and white with the word “PARAMEDICS” written on their shirts.
When they saw me awake they each yelped with joy but not a moment later I
closed my eyes and drifted out of consciousness once again. The next thing I knew
was that I was lying down in bed. My mother and father by my side.
“Mom, Dad I’m ok.” I tried to cry out with delight. But my mouth didn’t move. I
tried moving my legs and arms but I couldn’t. The door swung open and a doctor entered the room with a clipboard in her hand.
“Your son Samuel Houser has entered in what we call a vegetative state. He is
alive but has no connection to the outside world”, she announced concisely
with no remorse or emotion in her voice. My mother broke out in tears, as my father tried to comfort her, but to no avail.
“No, this can’t be happening.” I thought, trying to reject the whole idea.
I couldn’t sleep that night. I could only think of what I had become. Everyone
thought I was dead inside, but I wasn’t. I was just a nine year old
boy and I was trapped in my body.
After a long session of relentless pondering, I was eventually able to fall asleep.
A few hours later I was awakened by a doctor entering my room, pushing a
wheelchair. He smiled painfully, and lifted me into the rickety wheelchair. He
didn’t even look at me. It seemed I was just an object to him. He then began
pushing me around the hospital. The hospital walls were a blinding white and
the entire hospital was just full of depressed, solemn and bitter people.
After at least a dozen minutes of wandering through the hospital we arrived at the
respective compound that I would be transferred to. I could read the words
“Everbrook Day Care Facility” above the door written in dark red. The doctor
entered the facility and gave possession of me to a 50 year old lady. She had black
long hair and wrinkles that covered her face.
The lady picked up my limp body and dropped it on a couch. She then left and came
back a few minutes later with a machine having a tube attached to it. She inserted a large capsule full of dark brown liquid into the mechanism. She started the machine after sliding the plastic tube carelessly and painfully into my paralyzed, dry mouth. The machine started to ventilate and a second later the brown liquid quickly rushed down my throat. I was gagging as the disgusting liquid choked its way into my body.
This forceful feeding happened once every 6 hours. Most of the time I was woken
up in the middle of the night to ingest the vile liquid. During the day I would sit on
a couch and wait till it was time for bed. I was helpless and I hated it. The worst
part was when a group of people would pass by me they’d often laugh and call me “corpse”, and “vegetable”.
The more time that passed by in the institution the more my mental health
declined. It started to slowly strike like a cold palm to the face that I might never
recover from whatever illness I had. I might never be able to hear
my own voice again or even walk again. Could I ever eat again, or even drink?
One day my parents came to visit. I exploded with joy when I saw them but I still
showed no emotion. I saw them talk with a doctor and sign multiple sheets of
paper. After they finished they rushed toward me and gave me a hug. It felt
amazing to be finally recognized as a human for once and not as an item.
They stayed with me for at least half a day. They fed me homemade soup which
tasted astoundingly good compared to the regular slop I was regularly force-fed.
They even talked to me even though I could not speak. Everything was going well
till my mother rushed out of the room in tears. My father then followed suit after
“I can’t look at my son like this! He would have been better off dead!” She sobbed.
“How could you say something like that?” My father shot back.
These words my mother said struck me hard. I started to feel nauseous. My own
mother thinks it would have been better if I had died? A thousand feelings and
thoughts came rushing through my head. I felt like the world was swirling around.
What was the point of living if I didn’t have the ability to do anything? The doctors
thought I would never recover and even my own mother gave up on her first born.
The Everbrook facility had done nothing to help me and seemed to have no
intention of doing so. For me all hope was lost. I started to believe more and more
that I would never recover from whatever illness haunted me. I had lost
all faith in everyone and everything. I truly was alone.
Depression started to swoop over me. I could not stand to live this rancid life any
more. I had to end it. I decided to hold my breath. I intended never to breathe
again. I was blinded by the fog of depression and I stopped thinking straight.
A minute had passed and my body was trying desperately to force me to take a
breath, but I stubbornly pushed forward. I started to feel weary and weak. My
eyes and head felt like they were about to implode. I slowly felt my body shutting
off, but suddenly, I was gasping for air. The immediate rush of oxygen exhilarated
me. My brain started to function properly once again.
My muscles felt tender and relaxed after the massive contraction they endured.
My failed suicide attempt left me weak and tired, and a few minutes later
I drifted off to sleep.
The next morning I woke up with a rested mind and body. I was still full of pain and
sorrow, but I wasn’t going to end my life. At least not today.
TO BE CONTINUED...