Sunday, November 27, 2005

The Mad Doctor - a true story not for the weak of stomach. (Part 1 of 4)

` It's pretty graphic, but I spontaneously felt like spilling my guts about a personality-shattering event that happened in 2003. It's rather long, so I'm probably going to write about it in several serial parts. Also, as writing this first part has caused me to block out a lot of the feeling in my body, I'm not going to bother editing it.
` Without further chickens or duckies:


` One of my wisdom teeth was bothering me once again and I figured I needed to see someone to have them pulled, despite the fact that I didn't have dental insurance. Frankly, I enjoy having teeth pulled, that's why I have so few of them. I actually don't mind dental surgery as long as I can watch - being 'knocked out' is a great phobia of mine, because of the thought of being forced to be at a stranger's mercy. I went to the office of Benninger and Evanco in the doctor's office buildings next to the Medina County Hospital.
` This joker, Benninger, basically neglected to talk to me about any of what he found, though he insisted that it needed to be done in two weeks. He asked me to sign a consent form, and I looked at it and asked him exactly what he was going to do.
` He said, simply; "Oh, I'm going to put you to sleep, pull out those teeth, and then you'll wake up and they'll be gone."
` Not only did he insist on calling utter loss of consciousness 'going to sleep', but that was all the information I could get out of him. I tried to tell him that I knew those drugs didn't work on me, and, since I don't even lose consciousness while asleep (a common enough symptom of PTSD), it was fruitless to try anyway. I figured those facts would serve as a good enough excuse for my total unwillingness to have this guy do whatever he wanted to me while I just lay there, unable to move.
` He only said; "Have you ever been to sleep before?"
` I didn't really answer, but he continued anyway:
` "Well, this'll be the first time!"
` I just about collapsed inside. Even so, I noted that I had anesthesia options on the consent form, so I just circled 'local anethetic', which was the weakest nerve-dulling option. After I'd signed it, he actually came up behind me, ripped it out of my hands and circled something else.
` I just about felt raped. I cried and cried, barely able to stand because my legs seemed to have been glued together. I blubbered on to some receptionist who scheduled my appointment for about an hour. I tried to tell her my situation over and over, but she kept saying; "No, it's okay. You just go to sleep and a second later, you wake back up."
` 'Go to sleep?' why was everyone here treating me like some child?
` I didn't realize it, but since I'd been scared silly, one of my defense mechanisms kicked in and I'd forgotten that the piece of paper he'd changed was a consent form. I instead called it 'the piece of paper' and thought of it as 'the game plan'. In my mind, it wasn't carved in stone what he could now legally-but-not-legally do to me.
` Eventually, I gained enough composure hobble down to the parking lot as if my legs had been tied together, stumbling every few steps and sobbing uncontrollably. It took about ten minutes before I could drive.
` Phil and his mother were expecting me for dinner at the Lafayette Greenhouse, and I was quite late. I barely managed to get through the door before I keeled over on the desk in the green room. I explained everything to them in a state of near-panic. Phil calmed me down and reminded me that a doctor could not do anything to me that I did not want. We agreed that he'd come with me to my appointment for moral support.

` Somehow - it's all a blur now - we went to my appointment, but the nurse wouldn't let Phil past the waiting area. She cheerily asked if I'd eaten or drank anything since midnight the past night, which I had, though I don't think I said anything. She also asked me if I'd taken the Valium I'd been prescribed, which I told her I hadn't even picked up at the pharmacy.
` Straight away, she insisted that I sit down before anything else. I tentatively sat on the edge of the chair and asked whether or not I'd be able to talk to the doctor.
` "Oh, sure," she said.
` A minute later, he came in the room and said; "Hello, ready for surgery?"
` "No," I said, and proceeded to ask him about 'the piece of paper', while he did his best to pretend I wasn't there. He washed his hands, got his gloves on, and did whatever else surgeons did while I shakily fired questions and complaints at him.
` While I was distracted doing that - shivering with my heart pounding in my ears - singularly focused on getting his attention, I didn't much notice the room filling with several other people. I looked over at someone when she put a big plastic clip on my finger, which was attached to a heart monitor.
` Now I everyone else could hear my pulse, I thought, daring not to believe what was going on. Were they just going to go through with it? My hands were trembling so much by now that I could barely take the clip off. At that time, I also noticed someone rolling up my other sweater sleeve.
` I kept saying; "I didn't say you could give me general anesthesia! I never said! What's the heart monitor for?" Nobody was answering at all. I began crying hysterically and saying; "I demand you answer me!"
` I tried to get up, but it was as if a crippling weakness had gripped my body and the only motion I could still perform was shaking uncontrollably. Whoever was around me easily managed to grab me and slide me back into the chair. Strangely, I was thinking that, through all the horrors and abuse in my life, I had never been so scared that I shook.
` Dimly, I knew something was very wrong, but unable to focus, I could not comprehend the danger I was in. Feeling cold, sweaty and weak, I broke down and plead desparately through chattering teeth, trying to bargain with the doctor.
` He wouldn't speak a word.
` Noticing that my left arm suddenly felt as if it wee filled with battery acid, I looked over to see that a man had not only rolled up my sweater sleeve but was now squeezing an IV bag into my arm. Yet another wave of panic washed through me. I was thinking; 'I'm probably gonna lose a lot of blood, aren't I?' and 'How could I not notice that?'
` I didn't get a chance to throw up, however, due to the gigantic lump in my throat and the fact that I couldn't stop catching my breath. I tried to reach over to the needle, but my strength was virtually nil due to my severe, Parkinson's-like tremors.
` This one lady put some kind of hairnet on me and a nose-mask, which I figured was the anesthesia. She said; "This is just oxygen" - the only thing I remember anyone saying to me the entire time - though I was too busy holding my breath and melting into a jiggling puddle of goo to really think about what that might mean.
` I tried to get the nose-mask off, crying; 'Please, give me some lidocain or something if you're going to do it this way!'
` But something about my perception was changing. I started to feel violently nauseous while at the same time the shaking in my body slowly became less violent. The tunnel vision I had been developing suddenly contracted and the only thing I could see was the ceiling, which I realized was moving because the chair was moving backward.
` I couldn't help but breathe like crazy, though I was hoping my nose would be too clogged for the stuff in the mask to be breathed in. I wanted to scream, wanted to vomit, but then a single thought gripped me - I didn't want to have been born.
` My whole life - I'd give it up if only I didn't have to face this moment.

` The next few moments were rather blurred, as if I'd been hit by a freight train. It seems as if someone had said something to me like; "Nighty night", my eyes were closed for me, and something was put over my face.
` My muscles felt like burning jelly, and they didn't seem capable of functioning. I strained my brain, but I couldn't move - I couldn't even breathe, much less scream. All I wanted to do now was thrash around and say something, everything, but my lungs were even paralyzed!
` For some reason, it seemed as if my heart were pounding in slow motion, though I could barely hear the beeping of the machine over the throbbing in my head. Over my desperate thoughts of escape, I was barely aware of them opening my mouth even wider than I could stand to have it open and putting in a suction tube and whatnot.
` What snapped my attention back was the excruciating pain of Benninger ripping up my gums and digging into my jawbone with some kind of motorized instrument. It was like being stung by a hundred angry wasps that had mistaken my mouth as a nest - I felt as if I could not possibly survive this level of pain, and I'd been through quite a lot in my life. It was somewhat like being stuck with your head in a furnace, suffocating and burning, and yet not being able to die fast enough.
` 'Why, oh whyyyyy can't they kill me fast enough?' I thought. 'They're not killing me fast enough!'
` White-hot, yet freezing jolts of pain wracked my head while my body grew cooler, feeling like it was buried firmly under miles of cold, hard earth. Every time a tooth was extracted, it seemed as if spikes of pain were being driven straight into my head. Springs of blood were spurting down my throat it seemed, as I tasted bitterness, iron, and smoke of some type.
` And they didn't know! They didn't know! I was being tortured and the only people on earth who could do about it didn't even know or care! I would die, drowning in pain and blood, not even able to cough up whatever was trickling down my throat, and nobody would know how much I'd suffered. Sure, he was going to pay for this, have the pants sued off of him, but no one would know!

` By the end of the ordeal, I felt as if I had just run a marathon headlong through tree branches and was hanging onto life and sanity by the tiny threads he had woven into my lower gums. The sharp needles had really aggravated the holes he'd hacked into my raw, swollen flesh, but by that point I was spaced out, exhausted, and resigned to submission.
` Someone then wiped all the blood, snot, saliva and sweat off my face, packed my mouth with this starch-flavored stuff that dried my mouth to the extreme, and everyone just packed up and left the room.
` Tears were streaming out of my eyes before I realized that my body was gently twitching from sobs. I kept thinking; 'Why did they have to do that to me? I'm not a dog that flinches every time you touch its mouth! I could have just held my mouth open of my own free will, in a dignified way!
` 'But they didn't even trust me to do that! They didn't have to paralyze me and just control me like that! I'm not a machine, and nobody has the right to try to turn me off!'
` I felt so... violated.
` The first thing I did was move my legs, which felt like they were made of sacks of potatoes: I drew them together as much as I could, which was surprisingly difficult. Then, I worked on breathing.
` Becoming more aware of my surroundings, I realized that the lights had been turned out and the door was nearly shut. I also felt that my entire head, especially my jaws, was burning in pain. I wanted nothing more but to drown myself in icewater and get it all over with, but I could barely even move my neck.
` With much concentration, I was able to heave my chest out enough to have an entire lungful of air, but when I tried to scream it back out, it was quite weak. No matter what, I couldn't hold my vocal cords together and breathe out at the same time. After a while, I managed to scream somewhat, which finally began to make myself feeling better, after not being able to do it after such a long time.
` Nearly choking on the blood-soaked gauze or whatever was in my mouth, I discovered that I couldn't open my jaws. I could pull my lips back, but my sore and burning mouth was stuck closed. It felt as if the flaring pain shooting through my wounds was trying to solder them back together.
` Strangely, my eyes also ached, my ear canals felt as if they were badly infected, and the floors of my sinuses felt as if something was attempting to dig down through them. Noticing this acutely for the first time, I began coughing and screeching, pressing against my eyes and ears and nose.
` It wasn't long before a blonde and a brunette nurse rushed into the room, each looking equally annoyed. I tried to tell them; "I felt everything you fucking people did to me!"
` But they kept saying; "Shh! Don't be so loud! You'll make the other patients nervous!"
` "That's the idea, bitch!" I kept screaming, teeth beginning to chatter as my jaws bristled with tension. I also kept trying to spit thick, bloody drool on them, but using those particular muscles felt very strongly like someone was yanking on my uvula and cutting it off with a dull pocket knife. So did using the muscles for swallowing, I discovered a few seconds later.
` As I choked on my own bloody drool, they grabbed me by the arms and said; "Here, let's get you out of here."
` Quite willingly, I put one leg solidly on the floor and applied the neccesary forces to stand. And immediately crumpled to the ground. It was like, I was doing the right thing, I just didn't have the strength to support myself.
` Smacking my head against the tile, I tried to get up onto all fours, until each of the fours buckled beneath me and I fell to one side, reduced to a tooth-chattering heap in a puddle of blood. I also noticed that, while staring at the ankles of these women, some lovely hot urine was running down my thigh and I sensed that I was probably on my way to becoming mired in another puddle.
` It was just pathetic. So I set a new resolve - somehow get to the waiting room and tell everyone there what had happened - and spent the next few minutes observing how strange it was to have excruciating uvula-pain when spitting or swallowing and yet none with screaming and cursing as loud as my muscles would allow.
` The two women grabbed my arms and tried to pull me up. I tried to get my feet beneath me, but they uselessly dragged a few inches and stopped.
` "I can't walk!" I said, loud enough for people in other rooms to hear.
` They heaved me upwards even further, but I still couldn't get my legs to move right. Right then, all I wanted was to eat some magical spinach and knock them through the ceiling or something crazy like that. Though the tops of my thighs were flat on the floor, I was actually using all of my strength to struggle away from them to alert everyone else of what was going on. Those nurses might as well have been boulders as they set my wet crotch onto a rather cold vinyl-padded cot. It was orange, I remember, because I quickly got a very close view of it when I toppled over.

` I couldn't sit up. It was rather like being too dizzy to sit up, but I wasn't so much dizzy as weak or uncoordinated or something. They kept sitting me back up and I kept falling down, moaning and crying and trying to spit until the yanking sensation in my uvula stopped me.
` When Benninger came in, he demanded to know what was going on.
` Perfectly capable of feeling and moving my lips, I said through my permanently-gritted teeth; "It hurts! I felt that! I need painkillers!"
` "That's ridiculous!" he said. "I numbed you up."
` I just stared in disbelief before shouting; "I felt the whole damn thing, don't think you can fool me!"
` "I numbed you up!" he yelled at me.
` "Say what you want, Jackass!" I screamed through my chattering teeth. "It's clear that I can move my mouth JUST FINE! SEE? LOOK!" I could barely move my arms, but I managed to weakly point at my bloodsoaked jaws.
` "Just shut up!" Benninger shouted back at me. "I'm not buying this crying and falling down act!"
` I lost it. Suddenly, I started trying to get up and strangle the bastard, but it was like being tied up or something. I recall making my hands into claws in front of my face and staring, like; 'I wish he'd just come down here...'
` "You'd better stop acting like this, or I'm not going to let you see your boyfriend!"
` I then attempted to sound like a banshee and cried as loud as I could. Surely, I thought, Phil could hear me. I was hoping against all hope that he'd come and get me and we'd be out of there.
` Well, after several minutes of treating me like an overreactive child, Phil was allowed to see me, and his jaw dropped. I couldn't stand, I was peeing my pants, and my entire front side was drenched in blood.
` Somehow or another, Phil ordered the two nurses to drag me out front into his awaiting car, where I told him what had happened. Though we were now on a collision course with the ER's parking lot, Phil wouldn't stop there. Instead, he sped away in the other direction until I was safe at his house in record time.

` I thought at that at last, this would be the end of my long, exhausting and perilous journey: In fact, it only proved to be the first day of a two-week tour of the hell they call 'medical neglect'.


` So, if you're like one of those people who just love the types of horror stories published in Reader's Digest, don't miss the next installment of 'The Mad Doctor!' ;D

3 comments:

Galtron said...

Woah. I really had no idea about this. Now I think I understand you more, somehow.

By the way, if writing it made you block out feeling in your body, why did you make it a post entry?

Aaron said...

I like your post Spoony. It's definitely a better caliber of material than you find in Readers Digest.

S.E.E....I have to ask you. How do you find the time/energy to write such long and detailed posts?

S E E Quine said...

` Galtron, I honestly don't know what made me write that. I just figured that if I did, it would be forever in my past, since I would never become tempted to write about it ever again.
` I still feel as if I'm wearing rubber armor instead of skin, however, though this is what I had anticipated. However, I'm making an experiment out of this - how fast will the feeling return to me?

` And Aaron, I couldn't sleep last night because of my obsessive pottering and sketching, so I figured I'd put about two hours into grinding out this post.
` I frequently get these opportunities due to an abundance of spare time and the drive to write something - anything!
` And thanks, I'm glad you think my writing is better than some icky magazine which draws on the fears that come in old age as well as the fears of old age etc etc.

` Oppp... look it's already five in the morning! Once again, I could not sleep! I was too hungry and too used to staying up so late from my abberant sleep schedule.
` I'm fuller now though, but I'm going to be exhausted later, and I've got a busy day tomorrow! I may not make it to the library to scan my obsessive sketches! Blast my insomnia!