Aslyum's are filled with those who need help, right? That IS what they want you to think.
| Ted Jacobs started his morning much like everyone else. He drank his coffee at the breakfast table, as he enjoyed his morning newspaper. After the pertinent news had been ingested, he liked to flip through the classified ads. One ad in particular really jumped out at him.
“Free mental disorder screenings for low income families with no insurance.”
Astonished by the ad, he remembered that his mother had been bi-polar. Her life had been cut short due to the illness. Ted knew he had a fifty-percent chance of having the same disease, which ultimately led to his mother committing suicide. Not wanting to suffer the way his mother had, he thought it might be a good idea to get tested. He re-read the ad thoroughly and marveled at the fact there was no telephone number, just the address of the hospital.
After several days of deep consideration, he decided it couldn’t possibly be a bad idea to just get it done. The next morning he sat and had his coffee as normal. He opted to not read the newspaper; instead he grabbed his keys and made his way to the Hospital. The morning traffic wasn't quite as bad as he anticipated.
The hospital looked like it belonged in one of those old psycho-thriller movies. Dark and dank on the facade, yet the landscaping was well maintained; shrubberies around the front wall of the building, the flower lined walk to the main door added little charm to the dreariness.
Ted Jacobs approached the main door, apprehensive, yet excited to know the results of his of well being. Inside the main door he encountered a second, this one all bullet proof glass, as was the rest of the partition. The door, locked, only a little box on the side wall with a single black button. Ted pushed the button; the box crackled to life and said, “How may I help you?”
“Hello, my name is Ted Jacobs. I am here for the free testing you offered in the newspaper ad.”
The door buzzed loudly, he heard the lock disengage, and swiftly grasped the cold steel door handle. Ted found himself at the nurse’s station window where he was promptly handed a stack of papers to fill out. Daunted by the stack, he sat in the main lobby and sighed before he started this task.
Several minutes later he returned to the nurse’s window with all forms completed. The day nurse looked over the paperwork briefly and said, “You can come back now Mr. Jacobs,” as she opened the door to his right.
Ted walked back with her, his nerves started to tingle with anticipation, and he found himself in a small bland room. The walls were white, so white that it hurt his eyes. The fluorescent lighting didn’t help ease the pain of the whiteness he encountered. He gazed around and noticed there were no pictures on the walls and the furniture in the room was black.
Ted’s anxiety was building and he became fidgety. His face felt flushed and clammy. He noticed his heart rate had increased and started to feel the “creepy crawly’s” all over his body.
Ted heard a knock as the door opened and a man said, “Hello Mr. Jacobs I am Dr. Wistrom, how are you today?”
“Hello, I am a bit nervous. I have never had any testing like this done before.”
“Well, unfortunately Mr. Jacobs, you are going to be here for quite a while as testing for mental disorders takes some time.”
“I see, well...” Ted hesitated, then said, “Is there any way you could give me something to calm me down a little? Sometimes I get anxiety attacks and I am feeling one right now.”
“Yes, that won’t be a problem. Let’s just go over some information and then I will send the nurse in to give you a mild sedative, and draw a few vials of blood to send to the lab, Okay?”
Ted nodded his head in silent agreement as the doctor left the room. He felt so overwhelmed and hated that he couldn’t control the feeling. A few minutes passed but, it felt like forever before the nurse arrived with his salvation.
“Hello Mr. Jacobs, I am Nurse Sinclair. I have something that will calm you down.”
“You are my hero! I don’t think I could have taken this feeling much longer. What are you giving me?”
“Norcuron. It will take the edge off,” She said as she rolled his sleeve and cleaned a small area with alcohol.
“Never heard of that one. Is it anything like ativan or klonopin?”
Nurse Sinclair inserted the needle into his vein, looked at him blankly for a moment, and injected the drug. Ted felt instantly woozy, like he was about to pass out. The room began to spin, his vision seemed to darken, and he sat down quickly in the chair. The last thing he saw was Nurse Sinclair and Dr. Wistrom walk toward him.
Ted awoke several hours later, strapped to a bed. Wrists and ankles bound, he could not move his appendages more than inch in any direction. Frantic, he began to kick wildly as his anxiety started to overtake him again. He screamed out in frustration, unable to move. Ted settled down a moment and realized that something seemed to squeeze his head. At first, he thought it was a headache, but now, he could feel coldness around the perimeter of his head.
“Ted, you’re awake!” Dr. Wistrom announced as he entered the room with a superficial smile.
“What the hell is going on? Why am I tied down,” Ted yelled as he thrashed about his bed.
“You don’t remember? You started acting out, unusually violent; we thought maybe you had a psychotic break, Ted.”
“What are you talking about?”
Ted couldn’t remember any of it. He felt normal. He glared at Dr. Wistrom and said, “The last thing I remember is being taken to the room, that unnervingly white room.”
“I am not surprised that you don’t remember anything past that point, Ted. We had to sedate you pretty heavily, you were really resisting us.”
Nurse Sinclair entered the room unannounced and almost invisible. Ted didn’t see her until she arrived at his side and had put a hypodermic needle in his I.V. port. Ted felt that familiar haze coming over him, threatening to take him back into the darkness from which had just woke.
Ted Jolted awake under no power of his own. His head throbbed and it felt as though his brain had caught fire. He took several minutes to orient himself, when he finally focused his eyes, he saw them. Dr. Wistrom and Nurse Sinclair; they stood across the room behind a desk with what looked like a ham radio receiver perched on top. On a tray approximately two-feet from the right side of his bed, he saw a dozen, or so, drug vials opened with syringes next to them.
“Hello again Ted,” Dr. Wistrom announced cheerfully.
“What is all this stuff,” Ted’s voice creaked.
“Oh this is just some old Electro-Shock Therapy equipment we had laying around. We tried it on you a couple times with no response, I guess this time we had enough voltage, because here you are,” the doctor exclaimed, clearly proud of his achievement.
“You can’t do this; I didn’t give you my consent.”
“My poor boy, you should read the papers we had you sign. You admitted yourself to our facility to receive treatment that we see fit for your condition. You clearly presented to us…schizophrenia with psychotic rage tendencies,” the Doctor said matter-of-factly.
Tears streamed from Ted’s eyes, the gravity of the situation, suddenly became very real. He sobbed for several moments and his rage took over, he screamed, “YOU ARE CRAZY!”
Dr. Wistrom somberly shook his head and replied, “No Ted, you are. That is why you’re here. I want you to look at the tray Ted. Those drugs are for you, every one of them. It is part of what we call the ‘Crazy Cocktail’, and we reserve it for our most disturbed patients.”
“You have to let me go! I only wanted to be tested for bi-polar disease,” Ted continued to thrash against his restraints.
The doctor moved to the bedside where he could look in his patient’s eyes. He marveled at how much life and fight Ted had still displayed, when others had simply just given up, he fought.
“Don’t worry Ted, you won’t always been in a drug induced fog. We plan to experiment with your frontal lobe, and pituitary gland, soon you will just simply forget.”
Ted closed his eyes in defeat and willed the darkness to take him away forever. He heard them chat in the distance, the last thing he heard before his brain threatened to explode was, “I love when people don’t read and just sign the papers. Nurse Sinclair, set up the Operating Room.
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