Friday, April 28, 2006

My First Belgian Hospital Experience - Chatpter Quatre: Mama, She's Crazy

The doctor performed the standard neurological exam and sent me for a CAT scan. (I do feel compelled to point out that, in my opinion, it is categorically unfair for a doctor to give someone who has taken a blow to the head a hard time about not coming to the hospital sooner. There's a reason why we don't let the concussed operate heavy machinery!)

After the scan, I was escorted to a different waiting room, where I sat down next to one of the craziest people I've encountered to date in Belgium. (Mind you, I'm not judging. I can't, considering that, only a few short hours before, I went into a veterinarian’s office and asked to see a neurologist. I'm quite certain the lady with the little brown dog thought I was off my rocker.)

Anyway, back to Sybil. She was in her mid-twenties and probably suffering from several diseases (all of which can be found defined somewhere in the DSM-IV), not the least of which has "paranoia" attached somewhere in the diagnosis. Every 10-15 seconds, she would look all around her, like she was checking to see if someone was following her, and then open her lady-bug purse and frantically push buttons on her cell phone.

At first, I thought she was trying to make conversation with me, but then I realized she was talking to herself. She would whisper something, and then answer herself in a different voice. I'm talking seriously freaky. It would have been worth the price of admission to understand the conversation she was having with herselves. Even a concussed, non-French speaking, layperson like me could see that Sybil needed a thorazine/haldol cocktail with a lithium chaser. And maybe a pretty new white jacket to boot.

When I took out my telephone and took a picture of the old man strolling through the halls carrying his catheter bag, I thought it was going to push Syb right over the edge. (Note for future reference: when dealing with those suffering from paranoid delusions, it is not a good idea to bring out a camera phone that makes a simulated shutter sound.)

Two attendants came and took Sybil away. Hopefully, to a much happier place. I, on the other hand, was off to x-rays.

Stay tuned for Chapter Cinq: The Call.

© 2006 by Cindy Lane. All rights reserved.

2 Comments:

Anonymous V-Grrrl said...

Hmmm, wonder if they make strait jackets in white lambskin leather--silver buckles, a few decorative rivets. Tres chic! ; )

12:28 PM  
Blogger Cindy Lane said...

If they do, I'll take one of those!

10:09 PM  

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