I am left abandoned now in this huge room. It is the first time I had a moment to inspect everything around me. My bed is much bigger than a regular hospital bed, two of me could fit on here and I don’t know if it is my new found loss of control or sensation of my body, but I can tell this isn’t a regular mattress. The material is hard to describe, like an air mattress with hundreds of squishy bubbles, I feel like I’m floating on top of it.
There are two oak night stands on either side of the bed, a leather recliner sits in the corner of the room, and a big screen TV on the wall facing my bed. The walls are light grey, the floors are wood and two fat wood beams intersect the ceiling, it reminds me of my flat in England.
I have a private bathroom, but cannot make out what it looks like, who knows if I will ever use it. Thankfully, I can lift my head and move it around freely. I can get my right hand to slide left and right over the sheets and my elbow to bend slightly. I do not know if I can handle even attempting to move my legs or other arm right now, just thinking of myself lying here paralyzed is causing my body to tense then release, followed by an internal shakiness. This is what it must feel like to panic. It is an uncontrollable, heart pounding, limbs shaking, can’t catch my breath kind of feeling. Isn’t it enough that I am paralyzed? Panic attacks are not what I want added to my misery.
Just as I was about to lose my mind, I hear a knock at my door and Charlotte walks in. She is pushing a tray on wheels and what looks like a plate of food on top.
“Hi”, her voice soft and sweet. “I thought you might be hungry”.
I do feel famished, but how am I supposed to eat, is she going to feed it to me like an infant. I do not know if I can handle that, I have not been able to handle anything else today so far, and for some reason, having Charlotte feed me makes it more futile.
“Is Nate coming in to feed me?” I ask her, hoping she will say yes.
“You are stuck with me”, she cheerfully replies.
“Great”, I sarcastically grunt without meaning for her to hear that.
I feel my brows squeeze together as I glare at her, even though I know I am being rude, and she does not deserve it.
“And I am not going to feed you, I am going to help you feed yourself, plus you don’t look like the kind of guy who wants to be fed”, she smirks, trying to lighten my mood.
Somehow it is working, just her being in the room is putting me at ease, I do not want to be alone right now. She pulls up a chair next to me and adjusts my bed, so I am sitting up more.
“I should have asked you what you wanted first, I am sorry, I hope a soup and sandwich is ok?, if not , I will have the kitchen make you something else”, she says.
“No, it’s fine”, I assure her. I would eat anything right about now if I could.
She moves her chair so that she is sitting closer to my bed, but so that we are both facing the same way. Then she slides her forearm and hand underneath mine and guides my hand to the plate in front of me. I silently watch her as she helps me reach for the sandwich. This is strangely comforting and I find myself continuing to stare at what she is doing to me, this is not what I expected. I feel her place her hand on top of mine and wraps my fingers around the sandwich while using her other hand to bring my hand up to my mouth. I take a few bites and swallow my food down.
“Thank you”, I say to her.
“The soup might be a little tricky, but we’ll try not to make a mess”, she chuckles.
I am so thankful for her positive mood; I need things to lighten up a bit after listening to my mum cry all day.
Charlotte picks up my arm and hand again and this time helps me reach an odd-looking spoon. It has a fat handle, and the actual metal spoon part is bent inwards. Once she grasps my hand around the handle, I realize why this spoon is shaped this way, making it easier to grasp and bring it to my mouth without spilling the soup all over me.
This whole eating process was not as terrible as I expected it to be. I felt ashamed at first, having this remarkable girl feed me, but Charlotte occupied my mind by talking about the different things they have here, like the exercise room and therapy pool and spa. She asked me questions about where I am from and if I had any other family other than who she met today. Our conversation was a nice and a much-needed distraction.
“I’m going to send Nate in now to help you get ready for the night, I will see you in the morning for breakfast, I hope you can get some sleep tonight”, she smiles.
I thank her again as she walks out of the room. An uncommon sense of loneliness creeps in as I watch her leave. I have a feeling now that loneliness is going to become a common unwanted friend of mine.
A minute later Nate walks in with the two machines and sets them down on the bed.
“We have got to start the toileting schedule”, he reminds me, and brings a urinal to my dick so I can piss in it.
At least it wasn’t all over the sheets this time. He then brings the machines over to each of my legs. He places my leg on top of the padding on the machine and straps it in, then does the same to my other leg.
“These machines will give your legs a slow constant movement, bending and flexing your knee, this helps stimulate your muscles, I will leave them on for an hour then come and take them off so you can get some sleep”, Nate implies.
“Ok”, Is all I muster to say. I am so tired at this point nothing new is going to phase me.
“This whole room is wired into Alexa, so you can just tell her to turn on the TV, and what channel you want to watch. You can tell her to turn off the lights and can also ask her to call one of us if you need anything”, Nates tells me.
“Thanks Mate” I say back. He tells me he will return in an hour then leaves the room.
The hour went by quickly as I spent the time trying to figure out the TV, maybe Alexa doesn’t understand my British accent because she seemed to ignore the channels I requested. Nate came back and removed the leg machines, made sure I was comfortable and then left me be. I am so tired that even with the annoying ache in my back, I am sure I will be able to sleep.