The Painful Wait Continues

Thursday, April 26, 2018

7:00 pm

A nurse comes out to them and tells them they now have a room ready. Nicole’s mind continues to spin as she sees her captivity is only steps away. She looks one last time at the sliding doors before she follows the nurse back to a room in the ER.

“I should have escaped while I could. I’ll never have any chance of getting out now.”

The nurse shows them the room, and both Nicole and Taylor enter. Nicole sets her stuff down on the chairs while Taylor goes back out to talk to the nurses at the nurses station. She sits down on the chair as she isn’t sure what she is supposed to do. She examines the room and sees that it is almost completely empty. Having to be in a place where there is nothing she can use to hurt herself has prompted thoughts of ways she could possibly hurt herself with the few available items. She tries to push these thoughts away, but all she wants to do is feel some sort of calm or safety. Pain gives her this state of mind, and she desperately wants to inflict some sort of physical hurt upon herself.

A minute or two later, her thoughts are minorly interrupted by Taylor coming back into the room. A nurse follows behind a minute or so later. The nurse has come to collect her things and to have her change into paper scrubs. They take her backpack and her phone charger, but since her phone is dying, she asks if she could keep the charger to charge her phone. They tell her she can’t keep it due to safety reasons, but they can take it up to the desk and charge her phone there for her. The nurse asks Taylor to step out of the room, so she can change into the scrubs, and Nicole feels a whole other level of discomfort. Thankfully, the marks she made on her arm earlier have disappeared, and there is no evidence that she did anything to harm herself. She wishes she could keep her own clothes as that’s the only comfort she has left. Everything else has been taken from her, and now, all that’s left is just her own body. She sits on the hospital bed and stares down at the ground while she dissociates.

Taylor is comes back in the room and sits in the chair next to the bed. After the nurse leaves, he pushes the door so that it is almost closed. He can see that the people passing by are causing Nicole even more unnecessary anxiety. After twenty minutes or so, her legs fall asleep, and soon after become numb. For the next five hours, she sits there on the bed in the same position because she is too anxious and afraid to move.

Some time later, another nurse or two come into the room to take Nicole’s vitals. They take her temperature and her pulse while taking her blood pressure. This process was the first of many of this week for her. It would soon become a trigger that she would have to learn to live with. The nurse then asks her about her self harm, but since she is unable to answer her questions or even speak at all, Taylor speaks up and explains for her. The nurse asks to see her wrist, and while she is examining it, she comments on how she heals nicely.

Then the nurse asks her if she would be able to give them a sample for their test. Nicole says she will try, but she knows she won’t be able to. They lead her back to a restroom and give her a cup. She hates this so much and would rather be dead than be in this situation yet again. In this restroom, the door doesn’t lock which only causes more anxiety. The nurse also knocks and opens the door multiple times which just causes more suicidal, self-injurious, and anxious thoughts. Nicole cannot function at all, so she leaves and goes back to the room.

When she gets back and sits down on the bed, Taylor comments and asks, “Nothing in the tank?” This comment only furthers her anxiety because she hates talking about these kinds of things. She nods and continues to dissociate while staring at the bed she is sitting on. A nurse comes back to ask her if she needs water, but she shakes her head indicating she doesn’t. Her voice continues to refuse to speak. The nurse leaves to bring her some water anyway.

When Nicole finally gets the water, she just holds it because there is no possible way she can drink anything with all this stress of having Taylor in the room, and all the nurses and people passing by the door. At this point, it is about 9 pm. At some point, Taylor tells her that she needs to drink something because the nurses need that sample. Nicole begins to feel worse about her inability to function. Some time later, Taylor took out his book and tore off a small corner of paper. Nicole’s first thought was how could he be possibly ripping paper out of a book; it was completely inhumane and cruel to do that to that book. He then wrote down his name and number so that Nicole would have his number in case she needed it to contact someone so that she could get back to campus if she needed to after he left. He handed the little piece of paper to her.

“Here is my number in case you need to contact me. ” He paused for a moment as Nicole took the paper and set it down on the bed. “Is there anything you need?”

“Um yeah, could you find out where the nurses put my phone?”

“Yeah, I didn’t think they would have taken it away just yet.”

“It needed to charge, but I couldn’t have the charger, so they said they would charge it for me.”

“Oh, gotcha. Okay, I’ll go find it for you. Be right back.” Taylor leaves to find her phone at the nurses’ station, and he soon returns with both her phone and charger in hand. He gives her her phone and sets her charger down next to him on the chair. Nicole unlocks her phone to see she has several notifications, and she responds to several messages from her friends. She texts Marshall, Leigha, and Matt for a little while until it becomes too late for them to text any longer.

As the night progresses, Taylor continues to sit in the chair next to Nicole against the wall, switching his attention between his phone and his book. At multiple points, he puts both away, leans forward and covers his face with his hands. He seems exhausted and may have drifted off a couple times during the wait. After a little while, he asks Nicole if he could use her charger, and she of course indicates that he can.

Sometime during this prolonged wait, a nurse comes in and asks Nicole if she needs a blanket or anything, but she declines as she doesn’t feel cold, though it may just be because her entire body is numb from anxiety. The nurse leaves without pressing the issue, but she soon returns with a blanket and socks and leaves them at the foot of the bed. As Nicole sits there and stares at them, her nose begins to run, and she sniffs multiple times trying to get it to stop. After she does this for quite awhile, Taylor asks her if she needs tissues to which Nicole responds that she does. He then goes off somewhere and returns after a few minutes with a tiny box of tissues. Nicole is thankful for this as she knows she will need these later when Taylor leaves.

2:30 a.m.

After some time, the PET team finally gets there and assesses the situation. Nicole was expecting there to be multiple mental health professionals, but the team only consisted of one intimidating, elderly woman. Nicole still cannot speak, so Taylor explains the situation for her. The tiny, white-haired woman asks her a few questions, and Nicole does her best to answer. Once she has asked all her questions, she then leaves to make her decision.

At this point, Nicole knows the worst is about to come as Taylor needs to leave so that he can get some sleep before work and seeing clients tomorrow. As he leaves, Nicole finally breaks down as the last sliver of comfort and stability is leaving. She begins to fully cry, and a nurse comes in to cover her lower half with a preheated blanket and to put up the rails on the bed so that she could try to get some sleep while she waits (and probably so that it’s harder to escape). Though she tries to control herself, Nicole continues to weep, but here she is all alone in a hospital about to be imprisoned with other people suffering with similar issues, and to top all of it off, she has to pay for it too.

Nicole watches as Taylor leaves the room, walking towards the nurses’ station right outside the door. She continues watching as he talks to a nurse, assuming that they are probably talking about communication and about letting him know how she is doing and giving him updates the next day.

Streams of tears flow down her face, and she tries to contain her sobs as she watches Taylor walk out of sight. She lies back on the bed, sniffling and hiccuping, attempting to hold herself together. Sliding down in the bed, she covers herself a little more with the warm hospital blanket. Since Taylor is now gone and the nurse at the desk outside is no longer looking, Nicole is able to take a small sip of water. She realizes the only thing she has consumed all day was about eight ounces of chocolate milk that morning, and now, she is so thirsty and starving that her stomach feels as though it is caving in on itself. She wonders if this was why her stomach had been hurting all evening along with the anxiety of everything.

After about half an hour or so, a nurse or two come to the room with a wheel chair to take her to another room to wait and sleep. The room they take her to is another safe room, but this one has a camera so that they can watch her without being there with her. They tell her that she can lie down and sleep here while they wait for a room to open up upstairs. As she lies there and sleeps, she cries off and on until she is taken upstairs.

4:00 a.m.

A nurse returns with a wheelchair to the room and tells Nicole that they are ready to take her upstairs. Nicole is half awake and aware of her surroundings and is still shaken from the past twelve hours. Once they get upstairs to the psych unit, a woman named Diane takes charge of her care and gets her weight and other vitals while telling her everything she needs to know about her stay.

4:30 a.m.

Nicole finally makes it to her assigned room, room 5036. Her things are returned and she is allowed to change back into her own clothes. Before she is allowed to do this, the nurse inquires about any self-harm scars and asks Nicole to show her the ones on her thigh. Though hesitant, she obliges, then soon changes and waits on her bed for the nurse to come back with medication to help her sleep. Once she receives medication, she lies down and falls asleep with tears streaming down her face yet again.

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