Waking Up in Durham General Hospital
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Early this year I noticed sometimes feeling chilly even when a heater was focused on me. A datum noted but given no special regard.
A few weeks later I started feeling poorly as we say down here. Actually I felt quite bad. But no pain. It was unpleasant but there was no “Ouch!” Worrisomely the discomfort seemed marrow-deep.
I had an appointment with my primary doctor and figured I could hold out until I saw her. But two days before that appointment I felt so overwhelmingly run down that I called Yance at the shop and got him to take me to Durham General’s Emergency Room. If only because of familiarity and quantity of technology Duke University Medical Center would’ve been my first choice. But you can get through General’s ER in minutes; DUMC is always at least a couple of hours.
The admitting nurse I can only barely recall. And that because she had done her best to fit the square pegs of my condition into the round holes of her training.
Then my conscious recollections go blank for a few weeks.
Finally consciousness started to persistently and continually return and I learned that I’d spend a long time mostly asleep in Duke General’s Intensive Care ward.
I’d had powerful and violent hallucinations. The kind of imagined happenings that seem as tangible and intelligible as everyday life.
I was convinced that the hospital was run by a cult that worshipped an alien beast. The nurses planned to induct me - why I never knew: I could imagine what value I could have.
Evidently I ranted and raved like the maniac I became. I even tore out my Foley catheter four or five times.
I managed to badger my doctor into releasing me and am back at home. But I’m so weak that I don’t know that I was at all wise.
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