Pain was both his best friend and his worst enemy, one because it made him feel alive, made him realise that he hadn't died from the infarction and the other because it made him half a person, someone who had to depend on pills to live which is why he'd been so adamant about the ketamine, so hopeful that it would work, so desperate even, emotions that people would not usually ascribe to the great Dr. House.
He could pinpoint the second he'd known it wasn't going to work. After coming home from the hospital, with slight improvment and only dependant on the Vicodin, it became a monster slowly creeping out from under the bed, attacking him and eating away at his mobility piece by piece. He knew it wouldn't be long until someone noticed and he was sure that someone would probably be Wilson who would be full of great ideas of what to try because he just didn't understand that there was nothing else to try, he had tried it all and the Ketamine had been the last resort, a glimmering light at the end of the darkened tunnel which someone had turned off with an evil giggle.
It was a Friday night, he'd been home recovering for a week and was due back to work on the following Monday. Wilson had made plans with some old college buddy who was in town for the weekend and had made it clear to House that he'd cancel if House needed some company. He'd told Wilson to go because he knew that it was going to happen this weekend and he didn't want his friend to be there to see it happen, he wanted to be alone, to battle against his own monsters without an audience. He sat and watched The L Word on mute before heading to bed to get some rest. He dry swallowed a Vicodin and stood and took tenative steps towards his bedroom, leaning heavily on his cane. It was then that the monster took the final swipe from under him and he fell to the floor. Pain radiated through his leg and he cried out as he gripped it, desperate for something to work to stop it hurting. He felt tears of pain that he had not shed since the day of the infarction roll down his cheeks as he tried to find a comfortable postion on the floor that would alliveate his agony. There was no such position, just pain, lots and lots of pain. He grappled through his pyjama bottoms and found his Vicodin bottle, snapped the top off and swallowed another tablet dry and then he let his head drop so that he was sprawled on the floor, telling himself that once the medication kicked in he'd be able to move to his bed where he'd be more comfortable.
He waited and waited for the rush of the Vicodin, but when it came it was like a small flat wave when he'd been expected a massive one he could surf on for a few hours. Something was very wrong and he knew that no matter how much he wanted to deny it, there was no way he could get through this alone, he would have to call Wilson.
Except he couldn't move, he tried to shift himself across the floor, beads of sweat breaking out across his forehead, towards to phone to page Wilson, but any movement just jarred his leg and made him cry out. He was stuck between a rock and a hard place literally. He couldn't just lie there until Monday morning when Wilson would pick him up for work and he couldn't move to do anything about it, he forced himself to shuffle out of his dressing gown – a move that caused more tears of agony and blood to fall from his lip where he was biting it so hard to stop himself crying out again. Once it was off, he waited to catch his breath and positioned it under his right leg, hoping it would at least stop it from seizing up for the time he was on the floor. Deep down he knew that it would probably make no difference, it would be a long time before he could put weight on his leg again, but it was a small comfort as he lay on his hard wooded floor. He took his watch off and lay it in his eye line by his head and closed his eyes, maybe if he could relax enough he could sleep and then the time would pass quicker, maybe after some sleep his leg would be more co-operative. Maybe...
He shivered in his daze jolting his leg again, and his eyes shot open as the pain revered through him. His watch told him only twelve hours had passed and he had a new problem, he needed to pee, he needed to pee really bad. He tried shifting towards the phone again and managed to move an inch before he had to stop, crying out in pain and rubbing his thigh to try to relive the pain throbbing through it. He dry swallowed two more Vicodin and laid his head back down, trying not to think about the pain in his leg or the pain in his bladder, desperate for him to relive the pressure of its fullness.
He lay there for another hour before he lost control of his bladder and wet himself. The warm urine dripped onto the floor below him and he felt disgusted with himself, he was a grown man peeing on the floor because he couldn't make it to the bathroom. He was pathetic. Fuelled by anger and disgust, he shifted himself another few centimetres closer to the phone, the Vicodin he had taken early had not even touched the pain and he knew then for sure that he really was in trouble. He was sweating profusely and he was sure that he was running a temperature from the stress his body was under. Screw Wilson, right now he would have kissed a burglar breaking in so long as it got someone who would get him off the floor and out of his urine sodden clothes and closer to the morphine he kept hidden away.
The phone was in reality about another 10 inches across the room from him, but it looked like miles and now that the Vicodin wasn't helping at all any movement was like crushing glass into an open wound. He tried to force himself to move, but failed to go any further when his leg spasmed, causing him to curl into the foetal position and cry out in agony.
He must have passed out from the pain because when he came to, it was late afternoon and he figured he must have been on the floor for a good eighteen hours and sometime while he'd been out, he'd relieved himself again because he pyjamas were wet again. He cursed his body for betraying him again and dry swallowed some more Vicodin, he refused to believe that it wasn't doing something. His heart was racing and he was wet from sweat and urine and he smelt awful. Whoever found him would probably think he was dead and had started to decompose. He looked at the telephone and taking a deep breath, pulled himself another inch closer. He struggled to catch his breath and deal with the agonising pain at the same time. "I'm going to die here," he thought to himself.
Another twelve hours passed as House drifted in and out of consciousness, he wasn't getting enough oxygen because the pain was so bad and was shivering even though he was covered in sweat and urine. His body was beginning to shut down from the pain, he wasn't drinking and his body was allowing the precious fluids it did have to come out in urine and sweat. He stomached twisted and he knew that he was going to be sick, he rolled over in time, but because he was in a haze he was unable to miss himself. "Great," he mumbled. "Now I'm covered in two of the three most disgusting bodily fluids." He had given up taking the Vicodin and as the time passed, his body started to go into withdrawal. He moved when he could and during the past twelve hours had managed to move another 5 inches, but he was exhausted and slowly losing his battle against the pain. It was driving him crazy and taking his life piece by piece with it.
He vomited again as his stomach spasmed, a reaction to not having any Vicodin in his system, he knew what was coming before it happened but he cried out and willed his body to not betray him one final time. The pain monster was in control now, not him, and the worst happened as he soiled himself. Another wave of pain hit him and he rolled onto his back sobbing, hoping someone would hear him and come rescue him. Where are you, Wilson?
At 6am, House threw up again, and managed to hit the phone with his cane, stretching out as far as he could.
At 6:05am, House crawled to the handset.
At 6:06am, he dialled Wilson's pager number.
At 6:08am, Wilson called back
At 6:09am, House found the breath to say "Save me" before passing out in his own pool of vomit and dropping the phone.