St. Agnes Hospital
“Ok, ma’am we’re here. Everything’s going to be alright now.”
I blink away the darkness. Drowsy, I mumble, “Thank you, appreciate all your help. Hope I wasn’t a bother . . .” Fade to grey.
Murmuring voices rouse me a few minutes later. A somber, doctorly voice is speaking to someone outside the curtain surrounding my bed. I rub the back of my head, then grope around trying to find a switch that has turned off my mind. No luck. Switch must be inside my head. Damn. I continue to digitally explore this stranger-than-strange head of mine, feeling every little bump n’ lump, wondering if I’m starting to sprout tumors. As I do so, the conversation Dr. SomberVoice is having outside my cubicle, becomes a little more intelligible. He seems to be saying the words “schizophrenia,” “voices,” and “hallucinations.” Hmm . . . must be talking about somebody next to me. How sad. Then I hear the words “dehydration,” “vomiting,” “diarrhea,” “extreme,” and “send sample to lab.” Well, that has to be me. Now I remember! I was sicker than a dog with Felix the Cat warts on his tail. Am I going to die? . . . Guess not. Feeling mucho better. Should be outta here quick.
Suddenly the Red Sea parts, and it appears that Dr. SomberVoice, aka Moses, is finally going to put in an appearance. He’s carrying a stone tablet, I mean clipboard. Short little fellow, looks like Wally Cleaver. He studies me briefly without so much as a hello, then gets right to the point. “Mrs. ET, have you ever been diagnosed with schizophrenia?”
Yeah, right, like I’m going to admit that to you, buddy. “No. Why?”
“Have you ever had auditory hallucinations, or delusions that you’re someone else.”
“According to the EMT’s report, you were speaking in different voices. Do you remember doing that?”
“Yes. Couldn’t stop it, though. Like a switch got flipped in my mind or something. Not a big deal. I'm fine now.”
He stares hard at me, jots something down, and plods on. “Do you hear voices inside your head?”
Duh, no doc. Sheesh, get off the crazy wagon. Steam begins to build. “I’m not a fruitcake, if that’s what you’re getting at. And anyway, everybody hears voices inside their head. It’s called, keeping a running dialogue of thoughts up here.” I point to my head. On the sly, I roll my eyes.
“Do you hear voices outside your head instructing you to do things you don’t want to do?”
What the hell, doc? Climb up another damn tree. I throw him my best razor-sharp glare. Oh, if only he were a ribbon! “Listen carefully, doc, I’m not a tin head receiving radio transmissions from Mars. The hospital supply of aluminum foil is safe from me.”
Extremely not amused, Dr. Moses glowers back at me before jotting the information down. Tersely he continues, “Mrs. ET, we’re going to admit you into the hospital for observation and run some tests. Physically, you’re extremely dehydrated. We need to find out what’s going on. The good news is that you’re responding to treatment already, and should start feeling better soon.”
Vastly relieved, I shift gears into humble drive. “Thank you, Doctor. I-I’m sorry if I was rude. Didn’t mean to be.” Closing my eyes, I’m desperate to fall into either a deep sleep, or a deep coma. I don’t care at this point. Unfortunately, that doesn’t happen without some last-minute editorial commentary from the Interior Department of Mental Health and Insanity.
“Well Lizzie, here’s another fine mess you’ve gotten us into.”
“Shut up, Ollie!” For the first time, I snap back at Psycho Voice.
Stupid me. Yelling at myself. How whack is that?