First Implant: the Pain

The pain in his head would not go away. It was sharp. It was direct. It was right in the middle of his brain.

“I know where the pain is. I can put my finger right on it. Why can’t I do anything about it?” he screamed. Some people looked up from their phones and shot a glance in his direction.

Washington DC Metro
Washington DC Metro

Stumbling out of the subway car and in to the station, he grabbed his head trying to massage his temples while his eyes clenched shut and tears formed in the corners.

“Why is this happening to me? What is this?” he grunted. People looked at him and walked by.

It must be the implant. That is the only thing he could think. He had had headaches before, but nothing as excruciating as this and not as frequent. These headaches had started after he volunteered for the trial. But not immediately. The implant occurred months ago.

He was supposed to document this pain. That was part of the job. And he was being paid substantially for this volunteer trial. The only meds he could take was a low dose of acetaminophen.

“You would think with the technology and placement of the implant that I shouldn’t have to document anything” he thought. “Why can’t it make a record of the pain itself.”

In the past week he had experienced this near debilitating pain twice. Before that, it was once every few weeks. This time it happened twice in a day. Now it was happening while he was coming home from work on the subway. The lights created more pain, the sounds of people and screeching of the trains caused even more pain. He wanted to get down on his knees and crawl into a corner in pain. But, somehow he managed to stay upright and fend his way through the crowd to the escalator leading out of the subway station.

When he got to the top of the escalator and into the night’s air he looked at the ground and saw a sewer grate that reminded him of a skeleton.

Skeleton Grate
Skeleton Grate

“Is that real? Or, is that in my mind?” he asked to no one around him. The pain was stronger and pulsing. It felt like his head was going to split open. He stumbled to a nearby bench, sat down, and pulled out his notepad.

7 pm – horrible stabbing pain in the center of brain was what he wrote on the notepad in barely decipherable scribble. Sensitive to lights and sounds. Possible hallucinationsskeleton. Am I…

He placed the notepad back in his pocket, he clenched his work bag with both hands to his chest, closed his eyes and rolled on to his side letting out a scream. His pen fell to the ground and rolled to the skeletal hand of the grate.

Then, silence. And people walked by.

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