Hospital 2, Janus 10
Midnight April 30
When I woke up all the lights were off on ward. Shadowy shapes all around me. When I open my eyes, they disappear. But somebody more substantial was moving around very stealthily. I could feel him behind my bed, and before long I saw him taking things out of the chest of drawers and putting it with his own things. He was stealing. I knew it was a hospital I was in, so it had to be drugs. I had to let the others know, but I was scared of him. I couldn’t confront him or he might kill me. I was so frightened. Finally he started walking towards me, and I knew that I had to speak loudly and clearly to warn the others.
“Jean, sorry but I need to take some blood.”
“You can’t have my blood,” I shouted. “You can’t have any more. You had some before.”
He looked startled and upset and hurt, and went away.
I felt that I hadn’t made my full impact on the situation yet, so I started crying and saying, “I am so worried. The doctor told me something else was wrong,” and I found myself shaking from head to foot.
I must have fallen asleep again, and when I was next conscious, I thought that I was in a different place - a place of judgement. The man, who was of course my normal nurse, Wilm, was writing a report on me, accusing me of racial hatred. I knew that I had been in the wrong, and I had been somehow compelled by something outside of myself to do and say the things I had said. But how could I communicate that? Who would believe me? After awhile a doctor came to my bedside and asked if I was OK. She said nobody blamed me for what had happened, and that it was perfectly normal. I didn’t believe her. But she went away and I went back to sleep.
When Wilm came at 4 a.m. to get blood, he said he was sorry but he had to take it. I gave him my arm, but didn’t say anything. Then again I went back to sleep.
But later on, when he was going off after the shift and he came to say good bye, I told him I was very sorry that I had been rude to him. And he said it was Okay. He understood.
During the next day I felt fine and bit by bit my various tubes and drugs were taken off since not being needed anymore. It was a pleasant day, and mostly things went well. But as he was coming into work, the charge nurse said to Wilm, “You don’t have to work on this ward tonight if you would rather not,” But he said that he wanted to. One of the other nurses said, “Barbara (my first name) Day is dead to me.” And she never was asked to do anything for me for the rest of my stay.
The next night I had another nurse in charge of me. I had oxygen being given, and had a monitor of the amount in my blood on my finger, all night long. I kept removing it, and the nurse would have to go and put it back. But in my mind she and I were playing a game - we were chasing each other around the ward, and I was taking my finger thing off and she was putting it on, and we had such fun. Suddenly she came to me again and laughing, I said, “Gotch ya”. She put the thing back on my finger and said. “Do you know where you are?”
“You are in the high dependency ward at the hospital. So where are you?” and I parroted after her, “I am in the high dependency ward at the hospital.” She told me I had been taking off the my monitor off all night, and please could I now leave it on.
I told her sometime during the night about my experience with Wilm, but she didn’t comment on it except to say she expected I was hallucinating, due to an overdose of pain killers. Now it all made sense to me. I had overdosed on the blue button plus being given IV pain killers. So this is the sort of things people with mental problems and drug problems have to deal with. It was so real. I really was frightened. And Wilm encouraged me to keep pressing the blue button, and actually refilled it when I ran out of the drug.