Surfacing from the depths, I’m jolted into awareness. There’s a mask on my face and I can’t breathe. There are bright lights and voices and everything hurts. Gasping and crying I thrash around.
“Keep still,” a voice says. “You’re in recovery.”
Crying, I look down at my front, feel my chest and there’s a cavity where my implant had been and I start crying harder. “Morphine,” I say. “It hurts.”
A nurse injects morphine into the port in the back of my hand but now I’m more awake and it hurts and I can’t stop crying because I realise where I am and what’s happened and there are unconscious people around me in the recovery room and it’s very bright and noisy and the girl across from me can’t breathe either and she’s breathing in and out of a blue plastic bottle and it looks horrible. Trying to sit up, wobbling, a nurse tells me to keep still.
“Water,” I say. “Morphine.”
“Does it still hurt?” the nurse says.
I nod, and more morphine is emptied into my hand and I look down at my chest and it looks terrible: gaping, empty.
Time passes. Eventually they wheel me back to my room.
In my room, I’m hooked up to various machines. My legs are strapped into pads which are pumped up to guard against clots. There’s a drain coming out of my wound on my chest. A nurse takes my blood pressure.
“I want my Mum,” I say. “Where’s my Mum?”
“She’s on her way,” the nurse says.
It’s hot in my anti-thrombosis stockings and I’m in pain and tears are running down my cheeks as I wait for Mum…