The Sickness of Healing

by thatswhoiam


Painful Closure

Operating tables are very cold, even when covered with that thin tissue paper. Of course, that is not a surprise, since the layer is only meant to protect the table from bodily bacteria. Why is the table made to be more comfortable than the patient? How unfair it seems. No matter, I am but a lifeless machine to their hooves and a paycheck to their minds. I keep telling myself I never should have jumped. I would not be here had I learned to solve my issues instead of running from them. I stopped listening to myself ages ago and, instead, began to listen to those around me. They spoke of my eyes. They called me ugly things: retard, fool, disgrace. Never did they inquire of who I was inside, whether their accusations were true did not matter. They just needed somepony to hate to make themselves feel less horrible about their own mistakes and insecurities. Once you let the voices in, it is impossible to shut them out. Their hatred fueled my next decision: my decision to nose dive out of a hotel window. My streamlined body and sleek wings gave quite a boost to the short fall, but my aim was off (clumsy me, just as they all said) and I was not headed for the pavement I had previously targeted. A wagon loaded with strawberries prevented my death, causing me to enter an even worse fate: a coma. Trapped in this limbo, I could do nothing. Well, almost nothing. The doctors were unaware that I was still semi-conscious and could still hear and feel everything. Ponykind does not know fear like I now do.

An ambulance arrived probably ten minutes after my leap. The owner of the wagon called in the incident more concerned about his wagon than the bloody body on top of it. The last few words I heard before being rushed to the hospital were, "I hope my insurance covers this." I would have laughed at the matter if I had been awake, since the same voice had called me a freak upon my entrance to the establishment. Hopefully the insurance did not cover suicidal pegasi damage. My ride was over soon, and my chauffeurs brought me in to be examined. After an eternity of jargon, I finally understood a few words. They wanted to take me in for surgery. I was not exactly thrilled by the idea of being diced without my consent being given, but what could I do? I was nearly a cadaver. The cart began to move and the chatter stopped. Silence is much more unsettling when you realize you do not have the power to break it. It could relate to being a dog locked in a cage. You can bark all you want, but since you cannot speak in an intelligible tongue, nopony knows that your insides are on fire. Before long, the ulcer takes your life and nopony bats an eye. It's just nature, right? Unable to communicate my awareness to the surgeons, I was just a runaway train. Nothing would stop them from digging a blade into my flesh to find out what ailed me. I have never hated strawberries so much in my life.

As I was being carted around this hospital, I tried to distract myself by counting the bumps of the wheels against the unprofessionally laid tiles. After about thirty, I lost count. I could not focus. There was no activity in the hallways, which I deemed unusual for a hospital, and the new silence overcame my senses. The ringing in my ears was louder than the cart, and could very well have blown out my ear drums if it felt such a thing was necessary. The cart came to an abrupt stop and I could hear machines being powered on. Shortly after, a pair of rubber gloves began to tape wires to my legs. A large clip was fastened to my ankle, which resulted in the sound of a heart monitor beeping with rhythmic splendor. Relief washed over me. This was my gateway for communication. Soon, the knife would hit my skin and my palpitations would let them know that I was mentally in the room along with my body. At least that is what good fortune would have blessed me with.

The rubber gloves began to move up my body to attach more wires, but the pulse clip slipped off of my ankle and onto the floor. The gloves moved from me to the clatter of the plastic, and the doctor then revealed a sick truth that drowned the tides of relief with a tsunami of horror.

"Oh, man! The spring broke off. Could somepony get another pulse reader?"

"If the hospital finds out you broke it, the money comes out of your pocket. Just forget it. If you do not say anything, they will never know," one of the surgeons explained.

Today was about to get much worse...

My heart was ready to explode. I felt it beating so intensely that, if I had muscular control, I would have begun writhing in my discomfort. The surgeons were ready for the operation. I was not. My focus switched to my blood pumping through my body, then to the warmth in my ears. None of me was relaxed, yet my muscles stayed as soft as cake (or muffins for my interest). I tried to shout, swing my tail, kick my legs, and open my eyes, but nothing moved. Everything was stone. The room was quiet, and I heard the clinking of metal as the surgeons rearranged their trays of instruments. At this point, I gathered that there were only two surgeons, and the doctor who had accompanied them into the room had left shortly after breaking the pulse reader. He may not have broken it on purpose, but I was still angry. It was not my fault, I was unable to move. He should have done a better job. When I got out of this, I would make sure he was fired. I would tell the whole story and get all of them kicked onto the streets.

The surgeon to my left spoke to the other about shaving and cleaning the incision site. They were going to start with my chest to check my vital organs. A razor followed a line across the bottom of my ribs, then up through the center, followed by a rag doused in alcohol. I could not even shiver under the temperature. Thoughts of death swirled my mind. Right now, it seemed too good to be true. Could a pony die from excruciating pain? I hoped so. I did not want to be there any longer than necessary. Maybe they would cut something incorrectly and I would slowly fade away. What did they expect to do with me, anyway? It was not like they could just replace a fuse and I would stand up out of my coma. Coming to terms with this ordeal was not easy. Maybe it was not possible. The rag was lifted away and the metallic ring of a scalpel echoed throughout the deadness of the room. After the ringing died, one word broke my spirit into innumerable pieces: commence.

The scrubs of my assailant rustled with his steady movement. I heard his breath approach as he readied his weapon. The scalpel moved slowly across my abdomen in sharp torment, and I felt my blood escaping me. It had never occurred to me how much tears actually soothed pain until now. My muscles did not even quiver as the pain shot up through my heart with such force that my neck had begun to tingle. The brain begged to move, but the body refused, causing a war of havoc to unleash on my emotions. I had instantaneously gone mad, but could do nothing about it but boil in my fear and fury. The knife made its journey up toward my neck and stopped above my lungs, which were now burning with the sensation of drowning. As the first surgeon put his bloody blade away, the second pulled back my skin to look for any infection. A nuclear war had started in my nervous system.

"Despite the bruising on the surface, there is no further infection. In fact, the diaphragm is intact and only the top two ribs are fractured. The fall must not have been very high, but something had to take the impact. While you secure the ribs, I'll move up to the skull and check for further damage," suggested the second surgeon.

I was unable to comprehend the fact that I was not finished yet. I was finding solace in the fact that my skin had been released and the stretching had stopped. All of me had started to hurt, but when my outer layer reconnected with my insides, a cool, refreshing feeling ensued and was nearly the most blissful thing to ever cross my mind. The first surgeon was readjusting my bones, and he was being extra careful. I was both angered and pleased by this since they needed to be placed correctly, but it shocked me with each little movement. He had cut so slowly, and I hated him for it, and then he had taken his precious time with my broken bones. Sure, it was not his fault. He did not know that I felt each movement, but why did he have to move so slowly? The razor hit the back of my neck to prepare for the next incision, and I was able to focus on that until the ribs were placed and the stitches were initiated. My body was aching, but my mind was overjoyed that the intrusion had ceased. I felt a state of ecstasy surround me, oblivious to the saw that was quickly headed for the back of my head.

Before the first operation was even finished, the buzzing of a miniature circular saw rattled my attention. My heart stopped momentarily upon feeling the swirling steel strike the line of my mane, taking all of my innocence and stabbing my soul with fright. I felt my lip quiver in severe agony as I urged to scream and cry with tremendous effort. Chaos reigned inside me upon realizing that neither surgeon realized my movements. Both were so focused on the work at hand that my anguish and suffering were invisible. The saw dug deeper into the bone, crushing my will to survive and my desire to breathe. I had no time to relax before a tube was thrust into my cranial trench to reduce swelling. A migraine seemed like a spectacular thing now, and all of the discomfort I had ever felt seemed like a wondrous dream in comparison to this misery. I had tasted the waters of death, and its bitterness had never been so sweet.

The first surgeon, still finishing the stitches on my chest, had noticed my slowed breathing cycle. By then, I already knew it was too late. I wanted to die to begin with. That was my reason for the jump, and I would eventually reach my destination, despite the detour. At least my question was answered. One could die under the weight of torture. Maybe it was the stress on the mind, since my muscles took none of it. Maybe it was the demonic essence of insanity gripping my throat. Whatever the cause, I knew it was the work of the careless doctors who just wanted my money. The worst part of it all: they would get away with this.