I was being tied to the bed and placed in traction, when the ambulance driver who in his defense had been amazing and had never left me for a minute all this time, except of course when we picked up his kids from school, took them home and had to change ambulances on the N2 for some mysterious reason, asked to be paid in cash. He had somehow produced an invoice for R2000 and was insisting in being paid in cash before he could leave.
They were finally cutting the top part of my wetsuit off, shit it was brand new and was its first surf, and had tied 10 kg weights to my feet and with a strange harness type thing under my chin and around my head tied another 10 kgs to my head. Kind of like the good old medieval days of being stretched out on the rack and tortured to death.
Strangely it felt instantly better, thank goodness my mother was there she went and drew two grand out of the ATM, funny that is the maximum withdrawl amount a day and paid the ambulance driver.
Finally I felt I could at last relax. I truly dislike hospitals, way too many dark times have I spent there, but right at that moment, it felt good it felt safe.
I had been in a state of maximum tension for about 5 hours which even the morphine had not been able to suppress. The moment I was finally in bed and waiting for the orthopedic and neurosurgeons to arrive and the blankets had been pulled up, I at last let the tension slide away.
Within seconds I felt the nausea, the human body has an astounding ability for self- preservation, I knew what was coming next and asked the young nurse who was still hovering around the bed if he could do a log roll as I urgently needed to roll onto my side. I had vomited face up after surgery in 85 and had almost drowned in bed then, not today, not twice in one day. I needed to get onto my side and quick.
The second I was on my side I vomited a jet stream of seawater and mutton curry pie all over the helpless nurse who was still holding me. The force of it even surprised me as until that point I had felt no need at all to vomit. It flew across the room and hit the far wall like it was coming out of a fire hydrant.
Of course I had swallowed litres and litres of seawater trying to stay alive earlier, if I had vomited any time before being safe and in hospital the odds of me making it would have been so much smaller, the uncontrolled retching movement would have damaged the crushed vertebrae and it would more than likely have been so severe that they would not have been able to be saved.
Deep, deep down somewhere in my subconscious instinct to survive it had kept me from vomiting until it was safe to do so.
As the staff went about cleaning me up and remaking the bed and resetting the traction, out of the corner of my vision I saw a nurse approaching with a syringe in her hand. The healing process and new beginning was about to start.