Chapter 12: Packing up the old life (Or now you see him, now you don’t)
Over the next few days, there was not too much to report for me, as I was secured to my bed, except for being taken to the shower room and showered once, so the days started running together. However, other plans were being laid for me by my girlfriend and my doctor at Amanda’s home.
“I have been giving a lot of thought to us taking care of all of Brian’s affairs. I really think we should try and make sure not to leave a paper trail to follow if someone wants to find Brian in the next year. We don’t want them to come knocking on the institution's door, do we?” said Amanda.
“I never really thought about that, but you're right. His disappearance could make someone feel he didn’t just take a job out of the state and become inquisitive about his true whereabouts,” said Kelly.
“So I think we should do as much as possible over the internet using Brian’s computer so we will not leave a trail back to us,” said Kelly.
The two women came up with a new plan to tie up my loose ends in the outside world, so it would not look like they did it, but that I simply moved out and closed up my affairs.
That night the girls drove to my town very late. They pulled the car into the attached garage and then walked into my rental condo and closed all the curtains. They looked around the small two-bedroom condo.
“Well, this is going to be easier than I thought it would be,” said Amanda.
“Brian does live a Spartan life, and he likes things very neat and organized. It's the computer geek in him,” Kelly said with a laugh.
“OK, let’s get going,” Amanda said.
The girls started by going to my computer and logging in, and then typing emails to have the cable TV, power, phone, and water shut off. Next, an email was sent to notify the condo rental company that I would be moving out, and the only forwarding address was an email address.
A cleaning company was contacted over the internet to clean up the condo after everything had been moved out. A local charity was sent an email to come and collect the entirety of the household belongings, lock, stock, and barrel. Only my most personal belongings would be packed up in trunks and stored at Amanda’s parent’s ranch up north, in the barn.
They sent an email to a used car dealer who advertised buying cars, telling the car dealer that “I” needed to sell my car ASAP. They then boxed up my pictures, paperwork, and my personal belongings, like my grandfather's gold watch. All of this took most of the night. Finally finished, they left and went back to Amanda’s house to catch some sleep.
That evening the girls drove back to my place in two cars (my car and Amanda’s) to finish tying up my loose ends. The emails were checked, and all had positive responses. The local charity was thrilled and would be over the next day. Kelly sent them an email saying the key to the condo would be under the front door mat and to please remove everything. The cleaning company said that they need to know the day and time to come over to give the condo a proper cleaning. Kelly sent back an email to come the day after next. The user car lot made a lowball offer on my car. Not wanting to wait, Kelly responded to the email saying the car would be dropped off in their lot and the keys and the pink slip would be placed in the night drop. Kelly (as me) asked for the money to be wired into my bank savings account.
The condo was rechecked to make sure all the things that needed to be packed away were. Then Kelly wrote herself a “Dear John” letter from me. Telling her that I was breaking up with her because of my new job and moving out of state. It said I wanted a fresh start, and Kelly had a sad look in her eyes as she pushed the send button on the email. A form email was sent to my friends, and fortunately for the girls, I have no family. They ghosted my desktop computer to a laptop and then removed the hard drive from the desktop computer. The two trunks were placed in Amanda’s car to be moved to the barn when Amanda and Kelly got to her folk's house.
The two girls looked around the condo.
Kelly said, “Well, it’s like Brian is gone, all right.”
Amanda said, “yes, his disappearance is almost complete, we need to drop off his car at the user car lot tonight, and it’s done. Brian will be missing without a trace, just like he dropped off the face of the earth, pretty wild, isn’t it?”
Kelly agreed and then said, “only seven people on earth know of his whereabouts, and we, of course, will not be telling anyone!”
They both smiled at each other.
Amanda said, “This is working out better than I hoped.”
Kelly said, “I told you that once we got him into the hospital for the weekend, he would want to stay longer.”
Amanda, with a grin, said, “you were right, he’s very trusting and happy to stay with us, for now.”
On the way to Amanda’s home, Kelly dropped off my car at the used car lot and got in with Amanda for the rest of the drive. They drove back to Amanda’s house for the night.
The next morning Amanda and Kelly took off for Amanda's family's ranch. After many hours of driving north and crossing over to the next state, the girls arrived at the ranch. After a nice meal Amanda asked her folk’s if she could store two trunks that had some college work that Amanda wanted to keep, but didn’t have room at her place to keep it. Amanda's parents were happy to let Amanda store her trunks as long as she needed to. Later Amanda and Kelly carried the trunks into the barn and up into the loft. Amanda found a dark corner and pulled out a few boxes and slid the trunks with the big padlocks on them back against the wall, and pushed the other boxes back in front of them.
Amanda said,” I don't think anyone will find the trunks here.”
Two days later, the girls were on their way back to the mental hospital. The job was complete, my life as a sane person had vanished into the night. Now what remained of my old life were just two trunks in the attic of an old barn, and soon to be forgotten. Now I only have my new life, a mental patient committed to a state mental institution.
The old saying comes to mind “be careful what you ask for, you might just get it.”
Chapter 13: Becoming Institutionalized (or “Getting lost in the system”)
I was still enjoying myself at the hospital. Last week, when I was thinking about my upcoming adventure, I thought, what would it be like to spend some time (maybe a long time) in a mental institution, shut away from a society that wanted to distance itself from people it considered insane? Now I am finding out first hand.
The nurses were constantly checking on me. They would remove my gag and ask me how I was doing. I was having fun. I would say the craziest things to them, and they would just say, “that’s nice, Mr. Murphy,” and then replace my gag and shake their heads. I would tell them the voices would talk to me every night, and I look forward to it. I was really playing up my illness. I thought to myself. I am not suffering from insanity, I am enjoying every minute of it.
Kathy came into my room, I think it was Thursday or Friday and removed the gag. She then gave me my shots for my voice. She then started removing my helmet and told me that I would not have to wear it if I was a good patient. I told her I would be and grinned. She told me I was really entertaining the other nurses who were checking on me. “They are telling each other what new crazy things you have said.”
Kathy looked at me and said, “your file is starting to fill up with new entries showing how really insane you are, and you are becoming the nurse's favorite crazy patient,” she smiled.
I said, “I'm just trying to play my part.”
Kathy said, “Well Mr. Murphy you are doing a great job.”
Kathy told me she had to go back on her rounds and would be checking in on me later. Then she left the room and closed and locked the massive door behind her. My world was silent and peaceful again.
I don’t know how much later (I find it’s harder each day for me to judge time) that my door was pushed open and two police and two nurses came rushing in my room. I did not know any of the people, there were both men and women and none of them on Kelly’s team. One of the nurses pushed in a special needs wheelchair and I could see the police had restraints in their hands. I guessed that I was going somewhere but why.
“Mr. Murphy,” the large older nurse said,.“we have found head lice in your helmet and will be doing a delousing protocol to remove them.”
I was sure that I did not have lice, it sounded like a Kelly and Amanda trick to me, but why?
They released me from my bed and stripped off my suicide watch gown and through it into a bag marked biohazard. I was dressed in a new suicide watch gown and they started to place me into restraints. The cuffs running through the belt and leg irons with the chain running to the cuffs were all placed and locked onto me with great speed. One the police said to be careful of me that I had bit a nurse earlier this week. I was moved to the Wheelchair and buckled in and locked.
I asked in my retarded voice, “where are you taking me?
One of the officers told me to shut up. The older nurse told the office not to talk to me that way. She then told me I was going to a wet room to be deloused and it would not hurt. Then we were off, me and my group, rolling down the halls to a shower room.
I watched the other staff and patients walking around the hospital, going about their business and lives. I was enjoying the show. Some patients stared into space, some talked to unseen friends. I thought to myself how interesting my book was going to be that I would write when I got out of the institution.
We rolled into a wet room like the one I was taken to the first night I was brought into the hospital. They stopped in front of a steel chair that was bolted to the flood. My suicide watch gown was removed and place in another bag marked biohazard. I was naked with a catheter tube hanging out of me and a catheter bag strapped to my leg. I was moved to the steel chair very quickly and re-secured. The older nurse told me because of the lice she was going to shave my head and not to fight her.
I said, “okay dokay.”
The nurse smiled and took a pair of electric clippers and started removing what little hair I had left. Once she had cut my hair as close as the clippers would cut it, she took a can of shaving cream and started covering my head. But she did not stop with the top part of my head, she covered my neck both in front and back, and my face, all but my eyes and nose.
She used a razor to shave my whole head including my eyebrows. I thought to myself I was going to look very odd now. They released me from the steel chair and moved me to the shower room. I was strapped, spread-eagle, to the frame work in the middle of the shower room. They then started covering my entire body with shaving cream. The two nurses took their razors and started shaving my body. I must say it was feeling pretty good, legs, back, chest, and arms being shaved, but when they started shaving between my legs I started getting nervous.
I started shaking a little.
The older nurse said, “Mr. Murphy you better not move or I may cut something off by accident that will not grow back. So please be still.”
In my best retarded voice I said, “Yes Ma'am.”
After my full body shave they gave me a shower while I was still strapped to the frame. I must say it was not as much fun as it is when Kelly washes me.
Once I was dried off my catheter was checked, they put a disposable diaper on me and to my surprise they put me in a straitjacket and my red scrub pants.
The old nurse told the younger nurse that my room was not finished being cleaned up and to take me to the day room so I could get a little sunshine. I was loading in a wheelchair and off to the day room we went.
I sat in my wheelchair and I looked out the grand window at the green fields and tree lined hills, it was beautiful and very peaceful. I was just starting to wonder where Kelly was and what she was up to when a voice said, “Well Good day Mr. Murphy.”
It was Kate, the psychiatric therapist. “How are you doing today?” Kate said in a happy voice.
I said, “I am not crazy. They shaved off all my hair. Make the voices stop. Why am I being held here?”
Kate smiled and said, “I know you’re not crazy, you're just not feeling as well as you could. We will help you stop the voices in your head and that’s why you’re here, so we can help you get better so one day you can go home. About your hair, you had lice and that was the only way to get rid of them. I must say I had a little trouble finding you, without hair your looks have changed a lot, but don’t worry it will grow back fast.”
I know she is right about my looks. I saw my reflection in a glass window on my way to the Day room and I did not recognize myself. At first I was shocked, but then told myself it was OK, this way I will bend in better with the other poor souls committed to the institution. I then realized I was starting to look Institutionalized. The thought made me smile.
Kate continued to question me about how I felt, what I was thinking, did I know how I got here, and a hundred other questions. I just kept giving answers that made no sense, and said whatever came to my mind. Acting crazy was getting easier for me, I thought to myself. After an hour of talking to Kate and more time just sitting in my wheelchair and watching the other patients and staff running around the day room (I love people watching), I was taken back to my room I-13.
My room had the smell of bleach and disinfectant. It smelled more like a hospital room than before and I liked it. I was bedded down and secured in six-point restraints. The nurse who tightened the straps on my restraints made them a little tighter than the other nurses had before, but it was nice. I laughed to myself. I was really becoming very twisted. The rest of the evening was peaceful. I was fed and checked on by the nurse Patti, and later I fell into a deep sleep.
I woke up to the door opening and Kelly and Amanda walked in. “Hello Mr Murphy,” they both said.
I smiled and said “Hi!” I found my voice was back to normal. I asked, “did you get my affairs settled in the outside world?”
Kelly said, “yes everything is taken care of, and you have disappeared without a trace!”
It was strange to think, no one knows where I have gone, except Kelly and her teammates. So there is no escape without them. It’s a little chilling, but I do feel safe in my new little world, I thought to myself.
Amanda told me that Kathy and Patti were concerned about your mouth and tongue getting infected with all the shot marks in my mouth.
“So we have come up with an alternative treatment for your normal voice syndrome, with this new therapy we will only have to give you a shot once every four to six months,” Amanda said with a smile!
I asked what the drug was?
“Botox,” Amanda said with a big smile.
I said, “Really?”
Amanda said, “yes, we use it to treat a number of disorders characterized by overactive muscle movement, including post-stroke spasticity, post-spinal cord injury spasticity, spasms of the head and neck. It’s totally safe with very few side effects. We couldn't do this treatment when you were just going to be here for the weekend, but since you're going to be here with us for a year, it's the perfect choice! Also,” Amanda continued to say “your adorable girlfriend came up with this next idea, to give you shots around your face and jaw to make it hard to move your face or smile.”
“Why?” I asked.
Kelly said, “Well you always look so happy, this will give you more of an institutionalized patient look to match your diagnosis and disease.”
“I agree,” said Amanda with a smile.
“Well I am a little worried, what if it doesn't wear off and my face is stuck?”
They both laughed!
Dr Smith said, “Mr Murphy don’t be silly! We would never do anything that would be permanent, unless you wanted us too!
They both laughed.
I said, “So Kelly, how are you going to feel about me with my face being deformed?”
“Brian, I love you, I will love you no less if your face is a little deformed for a year! I really think you should take this next step on your journey into the world of mental illness,” Kelly said.
I thought about it for a bit and said, “OK I will do it!”
Amanda said, “OK let’s get you dressed and take you over to the procedure room.”
Before I knew it I was in my red scrubs and straitjacket. They set me down in a wheelchair and strapped me down.
“One more thing, we do not want you to talk on the way over there so I am going to tape your mouth shut and put a spit hood on you!” Kelly said with an evil grin. Kelly took a roll of medical tape and put 3 strips of tape over my mouth, “just to be sure” as Kelly put it. Next the hood was put on and secured. As we rolled down the halls they were buzzing with activity. I thought how funny, I was in leg shackles and a straitjacket but they had to hide the tape on my mouth, because that would be weird, I now live in a strange world.
We pulled into a procedure room and the door was locked behind us. I looked around the room. It looked like very old medical equipment, the chair in the center of the room looked like a dentist chair. I was released from the wheelchair and moved over and strapped down in the procedure chair.
Kelly removed my hood and smiled at me and said, “Mr Murphy let me take that tape off of your mouth!”She then jerked the tape off my face.
“That hurt!” I said.
“Oh I'm so sorry Mr Murphy!” Kelly said with a laugh!
“OK let’s get down to business,” said Amanda in her ‘doctor knows best’ voice.
Amanda tilted the chair back and shined the overhead light on my face.
“Mr Murphy, any last words with your normal voice before we change it to your retarded voice for the next year?” Amanda said.
“I guess not,” I said.
“OK open your mouth,” Amanda instructed me. I did, she looked around and said “OK let me get the hypo filled.” In a second Amanda gave me three shots in my tongue!
“OK let's let that take effect. OK don’t try to talk right now, I have got to step out for a few minutes, Kelly can watch you!” Amanda said as she walked out the room and locked the door behind her.
Kelly looked at me and rubbed my face and my shaved head. “I love that you are getting deeper into your role as our mental patient. This procedure, I feel will let you be more natural in your role, you not be acting like a patient as much as just being one! You will have no worries about your own voice coming back or trying to look sad or depressed, we will have taken care of that for you! You can just live in the moment!” Kelly said with a beautiful smile!
I started to open my mouth to say something, but Kelly put her finger to my mouth and said sweetly, “no talking till the doctor comes back!”
A few minutes later Amanda came back and was smiling. “I am so excited to hear your new voice Mr Murphy,” said Amanda.
Kelly said, “Brian tell me you love me!”
I started to say I love you, it came out like I,,,,I,,, I,, lo-b-e ,,yo,,,!
Amanda and Kelly looked at each other with delighted surprise and smiled!
“That's better than I had hoped!” said Amanda.
Kelly said, “this is great, the perfect voice for Mr Murphy!”
I said with my new voice the best I could “I am glad you two are so pleased!”
They both started busting up in laughter!
“OK let's do your face now,” said Amanda!
Amanda looked at some papers that gave information on the areas for the nerves in the face. Amanda took an ink pen and marked several places on my face. “Ok these are the injection sites,” said Amanda.
The doctor told me to make a sad or depressed face. She next filled the hypo with Botox and started injecting it into the marked areas of my face. It felt a little weird, not painful, just odd.
“OK that should be enough, we can always inject more if we need to. Let’s give it time to work,” said Amanda.
But in no time I could feel my face kind of tightening up! The girls could see the change happening.
Kelly said, “Wow! I didn’t think it would be this pronounced so quickly!”
Amanda said, “It's amazing that just a few shots can change someone's appearance. OK Brian try to smile.”
I tried but I couldn't. I asked, “could I see myself?”
Kelly went over and found a mirror. She held up the mirror and said, “Brian you're not going to see yourself, you're going to see Mr Murphy!”
I looked at myself and Kelly was right, I was not me. I tried to change the expression on my face, but it would only move a little and would go back to that sad and depressed look! I was a little shocked, but told myself it was only till I get out next year.
Kelly asked, “what do you think?”
I said, “To be honest I am shocked, I don't recognize myself. I don't sound like me, I don't look like me, but I guess for what I am doing and where I am at, this is the best disguise. But you're sure my face and voice will go back to normal in 4 to 6 months?”
“Well,” Amanda said, “it's more like 6 months, I gave you a good size dose of Botox. But yes, it will wear off and will be back to your old self.”
Kelly came over and kissed me and said, “Brian I know you're in there, but you're Mr Murphy on the outside now!”
Amanda said, “Mr Murphy I would like to give you another shot over your right eye to make the eyelid droopy, may l?”
I said, “why would I care, I'm just a committed mental patient, right?”
“Well that is true, OK here we go.” Amanda pulled my eyelid down a little and the shot was placed, Amanda released my eyelid but it stayed drooped down. OK, that's perfect. I will update your patient file that you are physically looking more depressed and you're withdrawn,” Amanda stated. “OK Mr Murphy, I think you're ready for your long term stay with us now. No more shots every day, you're free to just be the mental patient that you are! Any questions Mr Murphy?”
I asked, “Can I go to the day room?”
“No, Mr Murphy, you need some rest and I want the nurses to watch you to make sure you don’t have any pesky side effects from the Botox,” Amanda said.
Kelly said “I think you made Mr Murphy sad, look at his face, oh that's right he always looks sad now!”
They both laughed.
“Very funny,” I said!
“So Kelly, please take Mr Murphy back to his isolation cell and bed him down for the night. I will be in to check on you myself this evening on my rounds. Also I have to set you up for some more tests, before your next wet pack, this time we are going to try for a week,” Amanda said with an evil grin!
I was a little shocked, but I said nothing as I was placed back in my wheelchair and rolled out of the room.
As I rolled in my wheelchair down the halls, headed for my isolation cell, Kelly was saying hi to other staff and acting as if I was not there, just a patient to be transported to a room. When we got to my cell Patti was there to open the door. When Patti saw my face I could see the surprise and shock in her eyes!
Patti as best she could, said “Ah, hey Mr Murphy”
Kelly said, “How do you like Mr Murphy’s new face?”
““Well he certainly looks like the rest of our patients now,” Patti said.
“That’s the look we were going for!” said Kelly.
Patti asked “how do you feel Mr Murphy?”
I looked at her said with my new improved retarded voice, “l am OK, I just look like hell.”
Kelly said “let's get Mr Murphy bedded down for the night.” As they pushed me into my room Kelly told Patti that they needed to watch me and make sure I had no side effects from the Botox. I got changed into my suicide gown and strapped down in the six-point restraints. As I lay there in my restraints Patti said she would be back and left the room and locked the door behind her.
Kelly sat down next to me and said, “Brian I am so proud of you, you're amazing, to be brave enough to go through all this to live out your fantasy!”
I said, “or crazy!”
“Well there is that,” Kelly laughed! “Well just know I love you!” Kelly said.
“I know, who else but someone who loved me would do this to me!” I said
Kelly laughed and said, “I guess you're right!”
Patti opened the door and came back in.
“Well Mr Murphy I must get back to work! Patti take care of Mr Murphy, he has had a ruff day,” Kelly said with a smile as she walked out the door.
Patti asked me if I was hungry?
I said I was.
She went out and brought back meal drinks and water. I sucked them down. “Thank you,” I said.
Patti asked, “So Mr Murphy, how are you feeling?”
“Good,” I said, as clearly as I could say it.
“Sorry that I looked so shocked when Kelly brought you back to your room, you changed so much,” Patty said.
“I know, don't worry, it's just part of trying to look the part!” I said.
Patti said, “you got that down, you now look just like some of our most disturbed mental patients.”
“Thanks, I think!” I said.
Patti smiled and said, “doctor’s orders I need to give you a shot so you can rest and sleep the rest of the day.”
Patti gave me the shot, then touched me on the cheek and told me sweet dreams, then left, closing and locking the heavy door behind her.
Chapter 14: Getting my head checked
The light went on in my room, I turned my head and saw Kathy entering my room then closing and locking the door behind her.
Kathy smiled and asked, “Well Mr. Murphy, how are we doing this morning.”
I said, “Great! What’s on the schedule for today?”
Kathy said, “Well it’s a surprise, but I know you’re going to have fun!”
Kathy gave my breakfast drink and changed my catheter bag.
I asked about the surprise, she would say no more about the surprise. I asked about Kelly and Amanda, and I was told again, “patients could not ask or be told the location of hospital employees.” She then smiled, told me goodbye and left the room.
Sometime later my door opened and two officers and a nurse walked in. The nurse told me they were here to get me ready for a little trip.
I asked, “Where?” with the sound of fear in my voice.
The nurse said, “Mr. Murphy please don’t get nervous, your doctor has orders for you to have a PET scan done. However we do not have a unit here so you're going to be taken to a nearby regional medical center. It's a big hospital and it does have a unit, to get your test done.”
I was unsure what to say, so I just grunted. Then I asked, “what town are you taking me to?”
The nurse said with a big smile on her face, “why to the town of Middleton of course.”
I froze in terror. I thought to myself, ‘oh my god, that’s the town I live in, I mean I used to live in. I can’t go there because people may recognize me.’ Then I realized that in my present condition no one was going to recognize me. I was still a little nervous that someone would see me and expose me as a fake and a weirdo. But I keep telling myself that my face was so different now that I would be safe.
The nurse said, “come on Mr. Murphy, the PET scan doesn’t hurt a bit. So stand up and let us get you ready to go.”
I obediently complied with a great deal of fear in my soul. The group started getting me ready for my new road trip. The two officers released me from my bed and got me to my feet. They walked me to the middle of the room and stood behind me with their hands on my shoulders. The nurse pulled off my suicide watch gown and checked the adult disposable diaper on me. She then removed the catheter bag and replaced it with a new one.
Once again I found myself stepping into and being zipped into the yellow jumpsuit with the big black letters on it saying “STATE MENTAL HOSPITAL PATIENT”. The two offices started placing me in the heavy transport restraints. The cuffs running through the belt and leg irons with the chain running to the cuffs were all placed on me with great care. They pushed my hands into the security mitts and locked them in place.
I was glad when the nurse told them not to forget the transport hood. It made me feel safer and a little more anonymous while going into the outside world. One of the officers slid it down over my head and adjusted it so the thick white padding was up to the bottom of my eyes and I could still see through the mesh netting which went from my eyes to the top of my head. I was strapped into the waiting wheelchair and speedily moved towards the patient’s entrance so I could be processed for a day pass to go to the Medical Hospital for the PET scan test.
At the patient’s entrance the desk sergeant who was filling out the paperwork for my day pass was saying something to one of the officers about my file not being complete, but to take me to my appointment and she would fix it when I got back.
I thought to myself, ‘what did Kelly miss putting into my file?’ But it must not be a big deal because I was being rolled out to the van to go on my trip. I was rolled up to the door and moved quickly from the wheelchair to the “patient's” seat in the back of the transport van. I was strapped down and my head was strapped to the head rest on the chair.
I was ready once again to be transported as a mental patient, but this time the people who were taking me for the ride had no idea that I was not insane. The large door opened and the van rolled out of the hospital building, and we were off.
We turned and started heading out the back gate, because we were headed to the town of Middleton. It was a short cut. I got a good view for the first time of the hospital cemetery. It was very eerie looking.
Kelly told me on the way back from the courthouse, there were more than 800 people buried, mostly anonymously in the burial grounds of Ashland state hospital. Most plots are in poor condition, hundreds of little white crosses served as reminders of the hundreds of patients who spent most of their adult lives confined in the state mental institution. “The majority of people who are sent to Ashland State Hospital are deemed incurable and in need of lifelong institutionalization, like you Mr Murphy. So most of these patients live out their days at Ashland State Hospital and end up here in the graveyard. Creepy huh?” Kelly had told me. It was a chilling thought. But I reminded myself that I was only going to be here for a year.
As we drove out the back gate of the hospital I started thinking of what it was going to be like at the medical hospital for my PET scan. I thought it would be OK so long as I didn’t see anyone I knew.
The two officers spoke in low tones to each other as we made our way down the winding road. I was getting used to people acting as though I didn’t exist, it was fun to just listen, and it gave me plenty of time to think.
I knew this road well, as this was the road I would drive to see Kelly on the weekends, before I was committed. I chuckled to myself. After two hours I could see, looking through my cage in the back of the van, the town of Middleton. My town! We drove up to a side entrance of the County General hospital, once again to keep the insane away from the general public. One of the officers went to find a wheelchair for me and the other officer opened the van door, but refrained from opening my cage door. I guess he was not going to take any chances with a dangerous psychotic patient like me.
I laughed to myself, if he only knew.
The other officer returned with the wheelchair and I was transferred from the van to the wheelchair. One of the officers grabbed a leather belt with a lock from the van. He then used it to strap me to the wheelchair and lock me in. Then they started to push me into the hospital. I was thrilled and full of fear at the same time. It was a wild set of emotions going on in my head. As they rolled inside the hospital the officers took me right up to the elevator and then up to the fourth floor and down the hall to the imaging department. There waiting for me was Doctor Smith.
“Hello Mr Murphy, how are you doing today! “asked Amanda.
I said, “why am I here? You're trying to kill me!” I then hung my head down.
Another clinician walked up to Amanda. I looked and I saw that the person that walked up to Amanda was a woman I had dated a few times long ago. Her name was Nancy. I thought, what are the odds! Well this will be the test to see if anyone can recognize me. If she does, my time as a mental patient will be cut very short! I was wheeled up to Amanda and Nancy. The officers stopped in front of the two women and asked, “where would you like the patient?
Dr Smith said, “Nurse Nancy should we get started?”
Nancy said, “Yes, bring him into the PET scan room.”
They pushed me into a room with a large machine in the middle. It had a table that was at the opening of a tube just big enough for the table to side in. I was rolled to the table.
Nancy asked, “Is your patient violent?”
“Well he can be sometimes, so we must always treated like he is violent,” Amanda said
“OK, please get him on his feet and move him over to the table,” Nancy said.
“OK, let's remove that spit hood,” Amanda said.
Nancy said, “Hi Mr Murphy, I am Nurse Nancy and I am going to help you with your PET scan today.”
As nurse Nancy looked at me in the face I knew she had no Idea who I was, I was very relieved! So it seemed like a good time for me to start up my act. “You're trying to kill me and I am not crazy!”
“Now Mr Murphy, you know we're just trying to help you!” Amanda said.
I stopped talking and dropped my head.
“OK we need to get him in a hospital gown and strapped down to the PET scan table,” Nancy said.
The officers removed the heavy transport cuffs and gear and pulled me out of my yellow jumpsuit. Next I was put in a hospital gown and strapped down to a PET scan table with six safe points.
Nancy pulled out a white canvas headgear and said, “Mr Murphy we need to put this on you to immobilize your head.”
I said, “no you're trying to kill me!”
Amanda grabbed my head and said, “don't fight with us Mr Murphy!”
At this point Nancy pulled the headgear over my head and started tightening down the straps to the PET scan table.
A few moments later Nancy said, “I think that's good.”
“No, a little tighter,'' said Amanda as she pulled the straps tighter and pinning my head against the pad on the table. I grunted! “See that's perfect!” Amanda said!
I thought if Amanda had not gotten into medicine, she would have probably been a pro-dom! I laughed to myself! As Nancy was connecting up an IV to my arm she started telling Amanda about a guy she went out with a few times, who was fascinated by their mental ward. He asked if he could stay there overnight!
Amanda said, “really, there are some odd ducks out there.”
Amanda smiled at me as she said it.
Nancy said, “he seemed OK, other than that request, but we just didn't hit it off. I had not thought of him till last weekend at a party when I ran into an acquaintance, she had worked at the same office with him. He just up and quit and left the state, supposedly for a better job!”
Amanda asked, “what was his name?”
Nancy said, “Brian Conrad do you know him?”
“No, never heard of him, I just want to see if he is one of the folks asking for a tour or an overnight stay in my hospital! I would think that someone trying to get into one hospital would try another,” Amanda said with a smile.
‘Well the Botox did it's job, I am unrecognizable! Amanda must be proud,’ I thought! Nancy continued to get me hooked up to the I.V. and ready for the PET scan. Nancy told Amanda that she would start the contrast agent in my I.V. After a few minutes Nancy started the PET scans up and the bed I was strapped to started into the tube. After what seemed like forever the table slid out of the scanning tube.
Amanda walked over to me and said, “see Mr Murphy, you’re not worse for wear!”
I answered, “You're trying to kill me!”
Both giggled and said, “no we are not,” with a smile!
Before Nancy started to unstrap me Amanda said, “Nancy I have been thinking, it’s getting kinda late. Would it be OK if we let Mr Murphy stay in your mental ward overnight? I feel that by the time we feed him and get him ready to go back to the state hospital it will be very late and it will put the guards in overtime.”
Nurse Nancy said, “let me check if we have a bed in the locked ward available.”
Nancy went to the computer screen and pulled up the information. “Yes, we do have a few open beds!
“Great, I will release the guards to go back to the state hospital. I will also arrange to have two guards drive up here tomorrow and pick up Mr Murphy,” said Amanda.
Nancy requested two mental ward staff to come down and get Mr Murphy. As Nancy was making the necessary phone calls Amanda walked over to me and put her hand on my head and whispered to me, “see Mr Murphy, I am making another of your wishes come true, you’re going to get to stay in the county hospital psych ward for the night!” Amanda smiled with her evil grin!
“Thank you Dr Smith,” I said.
Dr Smith filled out the paperwork for my overnight stay and the night instructions for my drugs and liquid diet.
“Well Nancy I think we are all set, and thank you for keeping Mr Murphy for the night,” Amanda said with a warm smile.
“Don’t worry Dr Smith, we will take good care of Mr Murphy!” Nancy said.
“Well Nancy, I know he is a mess, but I have a soft spot for him. Be nice Mr Murphy,” Amanda said and walked out the door!
Two men walked in the room and asked, “is this the patient to move up to the psych ward?”
“Yes,'' said Nancy.
The two men started unstrapping me without a word. Next I was placed in a wheelchair and rolled out of the room.
On the way out Nancy said, “bye bye Mr Murphy!”
I looked around as they rolled me down the hallway to the elevator. The two orderlies did not talk to me, but chatted about this weekend's football game! As they pushed me in the elevator I saw they had to put in a key to push the button to the psych ward floor. I thought, ‘that’s cool, no one can get in that room that doesn’t belong there like me,’ I chuckled to myself. The doors opened to a small foyer. They pushed me to the door. The orderly put his ID card on the sensor, and the door opened. They push me down a long hall, pass a nurses station, the orderlies said hi to a female nurse at the station. They stopped at a door that looked thick with a small wire reinforced glass window. They opened the door and rolled me in and closed the door. They made short work of getting me bedded down. After I was strapped down to the bed the orderlies left and locked the door. The rest of the night I was checked a few times by the night nurse. I tried to ask her why I was here, all she would say was “don’t worry, you’re going back to the State Hospital tomorrow.” I guess she felt no reason to get to know me because I was going to be gone in the morning.
Morning came, the lights went on and I was fed and my bag changed with cold efficiency by the hospital staff. A few hours passed and I was listening to the sounds in the hallway. The door opened and in walked a nurse, Kelly and Cathy.
The nurse said, “These two officers are here to collect you and take you back to the State Hospital.”
I said, “no, they want to kill me!”
“Mr Murphy, you know us and you know we don’t want to hurt you,” Officer Cathy said with a smile.
“Come on Mr Murphy, let’s get you ready so we can take you back home!” Kelly said with a smile.
Going home, that is so true, I thought to myself!
The girls had me in my yellow “STATE MENTAL HOSPITAL PATIENT” jumpsuit and locked down in a wheelchair with my transport chains, handcuffs, and shackles soon enough. “OK, looks like we are ready to go,” Kelly said.
The nurse walked us down the hallway to the locked door of the psych ward.
As we exited the psych ward the air felt different, it wasn’t as oppressive. It felt more alive, but a little scary with all the lights and people moving about. I was missing my isolation cell at the state hospital. I guess I really am starting to get institutionalized. We rolled down the hallway to the elevator. The door opened and we rolled in after the door shut.
Kelly asked, “Mr Murphy, how did you like your sleepover last night?”
I told her it was OK but I like our state hospital better!
The girls laughed!
“Well we need to go back to the imaging department and see your old girlfriend and pick up a portable hard drive with your brain scans on it,” Kelly said.
I said, “I only went out a few times with her!”
Kelly looked at me and mockingly said, “well, enough times for you to ask her to let you stay in the psych ward? And I thought I was special, how many others did you ask to incarcerate you?”
“No one!” I said.
“Well you better not be lying to me or it could go very bad for you, my little mental patient!” Kelly said in an evil voice.
The elevator doors opened and they pushed me down the hallway to the imaging department. Kelly asked to speak to nurse Nancy and waited until Nancy walked over to Kelly and handed over the portable hard drive.
Nancy said, “The brain scans had not been reviewed, because Dr Smith wanted them so fast.”
Kelly said “that’s fine, I'm sure the Dr will review them herself, this patient is her pet project!” Kelly said.
“Dr Smith said you told her about a guy you dated that asked you if he could spend the night in your psych ward, and you heard he left town a few weeks ago?” Kelly asked.
“Yes, why do you ask?”
Kelly went on to explain that she had been dating a guy who just left town a few weeks ago, and he had been bugging her for a year to sneak him to the state hospital for the weekend!
Nancy said, “really, what was his name?”
“Brian Conrad,” Kelly said.
“Oh my god!! That’s the guy, wow that is so weird!!” Nancy said, “I always thought he was OK, except for the weird request, but now this is crazy.”
Kelly said, “what kind of nut wants to be put in a mental institution for the criminally insane?”
Nancy said, “I think you’re lucky he left, who knows what he could be capable of!”
Kelly said, “I think you’re right! Unlike this poor man that needs to be in our hospital to get all the help he can get,” Kelly said as she put her hand on my shoulder.
The funny thing is this conversation was going on in front of me! This proved my disguise was unimpeachable! Someone who knew me and went out with me could not recognize me. I was totally safe, just a madman in a mental institution, no one to think twice about.
Kelly said, “well I am glad that man is out of our lives now! Nancy nice meeting you, we must get Mr Murphy back to his home and get him bedded down, he doesn’t do well with change.”
Nancy said, “have a safe trip and see you next time!”
The girls rolled me back in the hallway and out to the waiting transport van. Cathy got me strapped in the back of the van as Kelly returned the wheelchair to the hospital lobby. Cathy told me that I had passed the Ultimate test, to be seen by someone I knew in my old life and they did not have a clue it was me! “But remember Mr Murphy, you have changed so much since you came to stay with us,” Cathy said with a smile.