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This Place I Call Purgatory

I’m surrounded by 4 walls.

I’ve never been to jail. But I can imagine this feeling is the closest I could come to know one.

These walls have heard the echoes of my cries and screams for help. Some verbal, some silent.

These 4 walls have seen things

Things that can’t be unseen. This ceiling has 153 pokes per tile. There are at least 162 tiles in this room. I can’t count the number of holes in the tiles towards the back of the room. But I know they’re there.

Can the holes see my pain?

Can they see me vanishing into this thing they call a mattress day by day?

Do these holes judge me when I take my meds?

Do they judge me when I refuse to try and be level headed?

Do they notice me dozing off just as the nurse comes to wake me for my vitals?


This isn’t supposed to be “the hole” but it sure feels like a prison to me.

A prison of everyone else’s time. I hear “get some rest,” only to be woken a minute after it took me hours to fall quietly asleep. Why does this feel like prison?

3 IVs were infiltrated in the last hour. “Bring out the vein finder,” they say, as they roll in the machine to try and reason with my dehydrated arms.

Poke 1. Vein roll. Poke 2, 3, and 4 come not long after. “I don’t want to talk about ports”. They change my line, infuse me with more meds, I cry and eventually fall to sleep.

I’m woken by the next shift, which was about 30 minutes of sleep. as soon as she reports, checks vitals and rates my pain, she shuts the door. The alarm goes off for 15 minutes before she is able to attend to the malfunctioned line. She leaves & this happens once more in the first hour of her rounds. “Try to get some sleep,” she says.

I’m ready to scream inside

This room overlooks the helicopter pad, so there are a lot of city lights to watch flicker as I lay there unable to sleep. I’m lonely, but I don’t want visitors. I’m more vulnerable, and with every question asked, I cry.

“What would you do if your doctor didn’t seem to care how sick you’ve been for a year & gives you a tissue and walks out of the room,” I want to say to them. I roll over and whisper, “I just want to be fixed” as I finally get some sleep while meditating to the street lights flickering.

The next days are filled with massive amounts of volume I have to intake in short periods of time. I keep down the first gallon, but heave up the second. Time to start over. “Hold your breath in”, ok, “breathe” I hear over 50 times. “You have to stay on the table Kelly, it’s the only way we can get imaging.”

Too late. I’ve embarrassed myself in front of a room of people who didn’t listen to what my definition of NOW was. Too many tests to name, but I have learned to fear them all, no matter what sedative I’m given. No matter which nurse holds my hand, I try like hell not to cry, but I end up in recovery much longer because my heart is skipping and going way too fast. I spend the next few days in the fetal position, trying to pass radioactive material out of my body, only to feel twice as worse as I did before the scopes, tests, and procedures. Before the MRIs, MREs & CT scans. My distended stomach can hold no more. My brain, my body, and my heart can’t hold much more either.

I’m tired

I’m tired, God. Why do you challenge me with things I cannot do? Why are the people that are supposed to fix me & put me back together so often the ones who turn their backs on me and say “give it 4 more months”.

I’ve never been in the hole, or to prison, but I’m pretty sure where I’m at now is something very close to purgatory.

I hate this place.
I hate this place.
I hate this place.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.


  • thedancingcrohnie moderator
    11 months ago

    Thank you for writing this. This was really therapeutic to read. I have been there in purgatory with you. It’s hard and you often feel trapped and completely overwhelmed with anxiety and hopelessness. Keep fighting warrior, there is light on the other end.

    Always dancing,
    Elizabeth (team member)

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