Monday, November 28, 2005

The Mad Doctor - a true story not for the weak of stomach. (Part 2 of 4)

` So, where did I leave off last time? Ah, yes. Phil had somehow gotten me out of the sugeon's office, though instead of dragging me right over to the ER, he sped away to where he lived in Lafayette, in a record time of ten minutes.

` I was still bleeding profusely down my chest and neck, unable to open my jaws no matter how much I tried to relax them. I was in a great deal of pain, but Phil needed to go to work. Luckily, Rhonda, his mother, was home to offer moral support.
` Still not able to completely support myself on my own, they helped me clean myself up and sat me down on the couch with paper towels and a wastebasket to hang my head over. I still couldn't spit or swallow, due to the piercing sensation in my uvula, but I was still able to move my lips and tongue enough to slurringly tell them all that had occurred.
` After much blubbering on through the bright red drool pouring from my mouth, my mom came over and seemed rather miffed that I hadn't been dumped off at home by myself. She helped me to the car and drove us to the pharmacy to pick up the codeine I'd been prescribed for the pain.
` Meanwhile, Phil's mom called Benninger and tried to tell him off. All he kept saying was; "Oh, she's not in any pain. She's just a drama queen."
` "How do you know?" Rhonda demanded. "How can you tell she's not in pain? She was over here, bleeding all over the place, crying, and she looked like she was in agony. It was pretty clear to me she was suffering!"
` "I can assure you, I she wasn't in any pain when she left my office."
` "You can't know that!" Rhonda said, exasperatedly. "What, are you saying you're psychic? You can't know what's going on in someone's head!"
` It went on and on, Benninger denying everything Rhonda could throw at him, until it was clear how fruitless of an endeavor it was.

` Now, it is true that I sometimes like being the center of attention - not that Benninger would even know that about me, as I was quite frightened of him - but in times of torture, there is no room for such foolishness much less any possibility of exaggerating one's reactions to it.
` My mother, on the other hand, has almost always acted as if this were the case. Fractured foot? "Oh, quit crying like a baby! You just hit your foot! Get up!" Unable to get out of bed due to deathly illness? She only complained about the smell coming from my room after three days - and once, she was brought to tears and said I put her under a lot of 'duress' because I 'just wouldn't' get up!
` Oh yeah, blame me for everything that happens to me! God forbid I ever get a scrap of sympathy! Well, this was no different. She gave me a codeine pill - which took a long enough for me to get up the nerve to swallow - and left me in the living room by myself.
` Keeled over on the couch with my legs together, I slowly became more and more anxious about the situation. After bawling about the whole thing for three quarters of an hour, I slowly realized that the codeine just wasn't going to help - the pain in my mouth, ears, nose and neck still seemed to be stabbing just as much as it had been.
` And then, part of me was suddenly back in Benninger's office, being cut up by the damned butcher, and the pain was once again nearly lethal. I became so panicked from this flashback that I started convulsing uncontrollably, arms and legs smacking into furniture, though I wasn't at all aware of that part until my mom told me I'd broken the phone receiver later on.
` However, I did notice that my mother briefly flitted by the doorway while this was happening, rolling her eyes, and sauntered downstairs. I saw her boyfriend follow, glancing at me with a kind of too-scared-to-do-anything expression on his face.

` When I finally began to gain my faculties back, I picked up my video camera and began to clumsily recite what had happened to me while strands of bloody drool steadily ran into the wastebasket. If she wouldn't listen, then at least I'd have some kind of proof of what went on here and all would be well for me.
` After that, I shakingly stumbled to the top of the steps and clung to the banister. I'd decided that I'd been neglected for the last time and I would be damned if I didn't get any type of painkiller or some kind of help from this mess.
` "Mom!" I yelled, after figuring out that descending the staircase on my own would probably be suicide. "Get up here, now!" Honestly, I'd never used that tone of voice with my mother, much less demanded anything from her, but I think I had an excuse.
` Eventually, she approached the bottom of the stairs and asked what was the problem.
` "I need to go to the emergency room! Now! I cannot stand this pain any longer!"
` "Well, just wait for the codeine to kick in," she said.
` "It's not kicking in, and I suggest you make some effort to fucking help me! I need painkillers! NOW!"
` She actually came up the stairs to try arguing with me, but I wasn't going to take it. After all the times I'd been completely ignored when it was quite possible and very appropriate to get me medical help, or at least pay me some attention, I refused to even argue.
` I hit her.
` Not hard, or so I thought, but I slammed her on the shoulder and kept yelling, halfway crazy from the pain, which seemed to be shooting through my nose, ears and jaw. She stared up at me in shock, and said; "Ow! That hurts!"
` And I said something like; "Excuse me! Miss Bruised-Arm! I've just been tortured and I'm bleeding all over myself! How the hell do you think I feel?" ...Yes, like that, but with more spraying of blood.
` Suddenly her demeanor transformed into one of someone who had just been frightened into doing something, and she said; "Alright, alright. Let's get you to the car."
` "THANK YOU!" I bellowed, and gratefully took her arm down the steps.

` Feeling somewhat humiliated, I had managed to stumble into the ER by myself and tell the check-in nurse what my problem was. By this time, my face felt as if it had been badly sunburned and I felt quite dehydrated.
` Then, someone got me a wheelchair and one of those little beige, kidney-shaped pans to catch the blood. One nurse took my temperature and saw that it was 98.6, which she said was normal.
` Normal for most people, yes, but my body temperature is usually around 96.5 so I corrected her, adding; "For me, that's a fever."
` She said; "Well, it's normal here."
` Evidently, she didn't understand the logic of people's personal body temperatures dictating whether or not they had fevers rather than the location they were in.
` She wheeled me into one of those little curtained-off areas and made me put on one of those little paper gowns. I still chose to keep my underwear on, even though it was still slightly damp. I sat there on the bed for quite a while, grumbling into my kidney-shaped dish, unable to put it down because the red string of drool didn't seem to want to break.
` By the time the dish was full of completely opaque, red blood-slobber, someone came in to draw blood in order to test for anemia. I asked when I could have a painkiller, and learned that one has to wait about four hours after taking codeine before you put another painkiller into your system.
` Or you die.
` Joy. So, about an hour of trying not to have more flashbacks - and failing - someone came and made me stand up in order to inject my hip with both a blood-clotting agent and then a sedative.
` After that, it all went hazy, save for memories of the surgeon cutting me up, and my constant screams of; "It hurts! It hurts!"

` In between panicked frenzies, I also recall that I just happened to see my general practitioner walking by. "Doctor Madrilejos!" I shouted, and stumbled across the room (he had to catch me) to tell him every grisly detail before he walked off to attend to whatever business he'd had.
` Well, I needed to talk to somebody.
` I was still in there by nightfall, and vaguely, in a fog that seemed to be made of pain, I remember asking why the Demerol I'd been injected with long ago still hadn't had any effect on me. Someone or another said that it wasn't working because my adrenaline was so high. That's why they had called an ambulance to take me somewhere that could do a better job - like a pain clinic, I was thinking.
` Though the ordeal had started that morning, it was almost midnight before the ambulance arrived. I signed a consent form to be taken off to this other hospital, put on my thoroughly bloodstained clothing, and got on the stretcher.
` The whole two hours I spent in the ambulance - from what I can barely remember - I was spewing through my gritted teeth both bloody saliva and gruesome details of my ordeal, but the EMT guy seemed very disinterested with the whole thing. He didn't even give me any painkillers.
` At last, I arrived through some glass doors and was unceremoniously dumped onto a plasticy-feeling bed in a dark room to the left and just left there. The whole night. I kept crying and demanding painkillers, but the things they injected my buttocks with only focused the pain.
` "This will make you feel better," they'd say - whoever 'they' were - though it only seemed to make it more intense because it shut everything else out. I couldn't think - I could only feel my head aching and stinging, which is just what I had demanded to be done away with.
` What was happening? My mind wasn't much able to put two and two together, and I stayed up the whole night attempting very unsuccessfully at trying to figure out what was going on.

` And then I saw it - in the light of morning. The sky was becoming bright enough to make out the windows in front of me. And the windows made my pounding heart skip a beat.
` Why?
` Because of the iron grate in front of them. Not only that, but there were Plexiglas sheets to prevent one from trying to get at the bars. The whole room was not at all friendly to people who needed medical help: It was small and barren with three metal cots, which apparently had thin, foam pads coated with plastic instead of mattresses. My sheet slid around under me as I struggled not to convulse.
` Eventually, I saw that there was another person lying on the bed across the wall from mine. I wondered why they hadn't complained about my night-long sobbing and screeching. Finally, I decided to try to talk to whoever it was.
` She was a somewhat stout woman, with a somewhat troubled and shining ebony face, wearing some kind of blue thing over her hair. I asked her what she was in here for. Her reply: "They killed my babies and they killed my husband. They ain't getting us if I can help it."
` The pounding sound from my chest suddenly seemed to turn up the volume.

` And that is part two of my horrifying and epic true tale. Tune in next time for part three of The Mad Doctor!

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