Jump to content
  • Join For Free and Get Notified of New Chapters!

    Are you enjoying a great story and want to get an alert or email when a new chapter is posted? Join now for free and follow your favorite stories and authors!  You can even choose to get daily or weekly digest emails instead of getting flooded with an email for each story you follow. 


  • Author
  • 3,127 Words

Flight of the Dodo - 6. Chapter 6

Sometimes trying to act normal doesn't quite work out the way you intended, as Ed finds out in this chapter.

By the seventh day, I was getting tired of being in the hospital. Unfortunately, my left eye was still covered and Dr. O’Brien ordered me to stay in bed to give the optic nerve a chance to properly heal. It was kind of hard getting around with only one eye. I had trouble eating because I had trouble reaching for things. I kept knocking things over. Dr. O’Brien said that was because I don’t have any depth perception from only seeing with one eye. Also, Dr. O’Brien said my right eye wasn’t my dominant eye, just like my right hand wasn’t my dominant hand. I did most things with my left hand, but I had to write with my right hand because writing with your left hand wasn’t proper. I didn’t write well with my right hand, but I couldn’t try to use my left hand or my teacher would yell at me for trying to go against convention.

Once I asked Syl why I had to write with my right hand. Syl said I had to because writing with my left hand was wrong. I asked if there was a law against writing with your left hand and she said it was conventional to write with one’s right hand. She said that to be unconventional would inhibit my future in America because everyone in America wrote with their right hands. She said only ignorant and stupid people wrote with their left hands. She said if I didn’t keep practicing using my right hand to write, I would never amount to anything other than a stupid dodo down on skid row.

“Good morning, Edvard, how goes it?” Dr. O’Brien said as he walked into my room.

I never actually knew what he meant by “how goes it?” It wasn’t logical to me to have to know how something I don’t know about going somewhere. I usually only shrugged my shoulders and he seemed to be okay with that.

“Let’s take a look at that eye of yours,” Dr. O’Brien said.

I laid back on my pillow and Dr. O’Brien took off the bandage over my left eye. Dr. O’Brien took his little flashlight and shined it in my left eye. Dr. O’Brien moved his little flashlight back and forth across my line of sight, which caused me to see brightness and then normal light.

“Cover your right eye, now how many fingers am I holding up?” Dr. O’Brien asked.

“Um, three, I think,” I said.

“And, now?”

“Um, two?”

“Uh, huh, well, I guess we’re going to have to fit you with glasses so you can see clearly. I’ll make you an appointment to come down to our clinic for a thorough examination. I’ll see if we can get you in this afternoon. How’s your head? Still sore?”

“Yes, but I take pills for the pain,” I said.

“Do they deaden the pain to your satisfaction?”

“No, because the pain comes back before I get to take another pill. And the pain wakes me up at night.”

“Uh, huh, well, I’ll talk to Dr. Luck and see if we can get your prescription changed. Okay, got to go, more patients to see, busy, busy, busy. You have a good day and maybe I’ll see you later in the clinic.”

Dr. O’Brien put a new bandage over my left eye, turned and quickly walked out of my room. Then a nurse came into my room with two men in whites they call orderlies here.

“We need to move you over by the window,” the nurse said. “We have another pediatric patient who needs a bed.”

The orderlies went about getting the spot next to the window set up for me and then they pulled my bed from the wall. They moved it over to the new spot and went about getting my chairs set up along with my tray table. Then an orderly pushed in a bed with a little boy in it. He seemed to be asleep and then I saw the bandages on his wrists. And, I saw that his arms were strapped to the bed. An orderly pulled the drapery away from the wall and totally blocked my view of the little boy. I started trying to remember what I saw about the little boy and then I realized that the little boy wasn’t exactly all that little. Obviously, he was younger than me, but he didn’t look to be under twelve or thirteen from what I remembered boys that age looking like. Then I realized that the little boy was actually little as in being smaller. The little boy appeared to be almost thirteen, but his body was small. I wondered if that was the reason he tried to kill himself. Then I remembered why I came down to County the second time.

I wondered if I was going to be able to talk to the little boy. I didn’t see any reason I shouldn’t be permitted to do that, but I also knew he might be drugged to keep him calm and not try to kill himself here in the hospital. Maybe, maybe he just needed a friend. I decided I could be a friend to him. I could be a good friend because I knew what it was like to be crazy and he might have had crazy thoughts before he tried to kill himself. I decided that I should talk to Dr. Kaiser about that. Then I remembered I was going to have an meeting with her this morning. I pressed the call switch for a nurse to come.

After quite a while a nurse did come into the room, she came around the drapery blocking my view of the little boy and said, “What do you need?”

“Do I have an appointment with Dr. Kaiser this morning?” I asked.

“Yes, but don’t worry, someone will come and take you up to the psych ward for the interview.”

“You are sending me to the psych ward?”

“No, Dr. Kaiser has her interview room up there.”

“Oh, yes, I remember when I was in the psych ward and they took me out of the ward to have an interview with Dr. Kaiser. Okay, I’m good with that. I’ll be patient. Hah, hah, I made a funny. I’ll be a patient patient. That is medical humor. Oh, the little boy on the other side of the drapery. Will I be able to talk to him? Or, is his psychiatrist not going to allow anyone to talk to him because he tried to kill himself?”

“Why do you think he tried to commit suicide?”

“Because his wrists are bandaged and he is strapped to the bed. Obviously, he must have tried to cut his wrists so he would bleed to death. Or, am I misinterpreting the evidence?”

“No, you’re correct in your assumptions, but his psychiatrist has requested we keep a drapery between the two of you.”

“Oh, yes, of course, it is because I’m crazy and I might be a harmful influence on him. I understand. I’m quite crazy if I don’t take my meds, but sometimes I’m crazy anyway. I’m sorry, but I think crazy thoughts all the time like assuming I could be that little boy’s friend because I understand what he must be feeling if he tried to kill himself. I’ll be quiet now.”

And I didn’t say another word, nor did I try to appear as if I was angry. I wanted the nurse to think I wasn’t going to be crazy. I certainly didn’t want to be transferred up to the psych ward now that I was almost well enough to go home and recuperate there.

The nurse gave me a strange look and then left. After a few minutes, I heard some noises from the little boy’s bed. I could almost hear people talking and wondered why they were whispering. Then I saw an orderly come around the drapery and push it against the wall. I saw that they had taken the little boy away. I guess I talked too crazy and must have scared the nurse that I might do something crazy and harm the little boy. That was always happening to me. Just about when I think things are going to be normal around me, I open my mouth and say crazy shit and then people get all afraid I’m a crazy person who needs to be kept away from normal people, but what they don’t understand is that that little boy probably needed to know it was okay to be crazy. On the other hand, it was possible that that little boy wasn’t crazy at all. Maybe other kids were getting down on him because he was so little and that made him try to kill himself. Yes, that sounded better than him trying to kill himself like I was thinking of trying to kill himself. What was that thing Dr. Kaiser said that day? Oh, yes, suicide ideation. Yes, that was what she said about me thinking I wanted to kill myself. It was more than obvious that that little boy didn’t do any sort of suicide ideation. He actually tried to kill himself. Now, the only problem I had was where I’d go if I killed myself. Maybe I should ask Dr. Kaiser that during our meeting later this morning. I pushed the call button again.

After a while, that other nurse came in the room and asked, “Now, what do you want?”

“Can I go for a walk around the floor?” I asked.

“Let me go see if Dr. O’Brien has given you permission to get out of bed. Plus, I’ll see if there is someone to escort you.”

“Why do I need an escort?”

“Because you might get it into your head and go into another patient’s room and upset them.”

“Why would I do that? Only crazy people would do that. Yes, I’m crazy, but not that crazy. That is so crazy it is weird. I’m not a weird person. I’m just a crazy person.”

“There are rules against a patient like you wandering around the floor.”

“Oh, yes, rules against crazy patients disrupting the peace. Fine, I don’t want to go for a walk. It is obvious I’m not welcome here. Maybe you should call Dr. Kaiser and have me committed to the psych ward. I’d certainly be safe from doing crazy shit here on the pediatric floor. Go away, you are upsetting me. If I get too upset, I may have a meltdown and then you will have a problem. Go away!”

She stared at me, turned, and walked out the door. Then she came back in and pulled the door closed. Well, that was certainly different. I looked around the room, but didn’t see anything I could use to kill myself. That would certainly fix them.

After a long while, the door opened and Dr. Kaiser walked in. She shut the door and came over to my bed. She moved one of the chairs so that it was at the foot of the bed on the side of my good right eye.

“So, Ed, how goes it?” Dr. Kaiser asked.

“What does that mean?” I asked. “Dr. O’Brien always says that every time he comes in to check on me. Why should I need to know where something goes that I don’t know anything about?”

“Uh, huh, I see your point, but ‘how goes it’ is just an expression asking how you are doing.”

“Then why didn’t you ask how I’m doing?”

“Okay, how are you doing?”

“I scared a nurse. She closed my door. Plus, I think she called you and now you are down here wanting to know why I scared a nurse. Yes?”

“Why did you get the nurse upset?”

“Earlier this morning they brought a young boy in here who had tried to kill himself. They drew the curtain between our beds so that I couldn’t converse with him. I think his psychiatrist was afraid I might be a bad influence on him in his current state of mind because I’m schizophrenic. It isn’t my fault I’m crazy. I didn’t do this to myself so that I’d stick out in a crowd of normal people. I realize I was foolish to think that I might be a good influence on that little boy because I kind of know what it is like being crazy. I realized that that little boy didn’t try to kill himself because he is crazy. Most likely, that little boy tried to kill himself because he is so little and other children were probably getting down on him because he is so little. I just thought I could be a friend. He probably doesn’t have any friends, just like I don’t have any friends. He is little and I’m crazy. I want you to know something right now. I looked around this room and realized there isn’t anything in this room with which I could kill myself, so you don’t have to worry that I might do something crazy like trying to kill myself. Also, I’m sorry for having suicidal ideation. I’m sorry, but I can’t help being suicidal because I’m crazy and I’m tired of being crazy. I wanted to go for a walk, but the nurse said I had to have an escort because I’m a crazy person and I might upset other patients by doing crazy shit. So there, now you know how goes it with me.”

“Well, Ed, it is certainly obvious you have had a very traumatic morning. I spoke with Dr. Luck and Dr. O’Brien. Dr. Luck says you will be able to leave the hospital on Thursday, if you are transferred to a rehab facility. I would’ve recommended Moorlands, but that is no longer an option. There is a facility south of the city in Des Moines. It is on a bluff overlooking Puget Sound. They don’t normally accept pediatric psychiatric patients, but since you’re eighteen, I should be able to get you a bed there. In the meantime, I’ll recommend that you be transferred to a different floor. Also, I’ll prescribe something to calm you. Plus, Dr. Luck is prescribing a new pain medication. Any questions?”

“Are you going to give me an injection now?”

“What gave you that idea?”

“They gave me that down at the state mental hospital every time I acted out.”

“No, you won’t be getting an injection. I’m giving you a new antipsychotic that should work well with the one you are taking now. You will take it in the morning along with your antidepressant. Anything else?”

“Yes, I wanted to take a walk. Will I be able to do that on the new floor?”

“Unfortunately, Dr. Luck wants you to stay in bed. Once you get down to that rehab facility, they’ll will work with you on getting out of bed. That fall you had was quite serious and any undo movement at this time may cause further damage to your brain. Plus, you are seriously mentally ill. In a regular situation, I’d transfer you up to the psych ward, but you are too physically ill to go there.”

“Well, yes, now that you have explained it that way, I’ll endeavor not to be disruptive from now on.”

“Good, anything else?”

“No, I’m sorry to have acted so crazy. I just can’t help myself sometimes. It’s like I’m trying so hard to act normal I overdo it and end up acting very crazy.”

“I understand, but at least you are willing to accept that you are mentally ill and that is a significant realization for you at this stage of your illness considering your age.”

Dr. Kaiser left and didn’t close the door. I thought about that because it reminded me of Syl often not closing my bedroom door. Maybe it was just a woman thing. Maybe women didn’t close doors because their minds were always somewhere else and they always forgot. Or, maybe Dr. Kaiser didn’t close the door because she was going to tell the nurses that I wasn’t going to be getting out of bed and they didn’t have to worry about me walking out of the room.

Eventually, an orderly came and pushed my bed out into the hall. He stopped at the nurse’s station and they gave him my folder and clipboard. He pushed me down the hall to the elevators, but none came that were empty, so he took me to the patient transport elevators. The first one to come was empty and he took me up one floor. I ended up in a four-bed room, but all the other patients were really, really old. They all slept most of the time. That night I was woken by a noise and I saw an orderly pulling the bed across from me away from the wall. The bed was flat and the bedcovers were pulled up so that they covered the old lady’s head. Obviously, she died.

On Thursday, I rode in an ambulance to that rehab facility in Des Moines overlooking Puget Sound. I had a room with a view. There was an old man in the room who had had a stroke and he slept all the time. That was okay except when someone came in to change his diaper. That was very stinky. After I had been there four days, that old man died while I was in the physical therapy room. I didn’t have anyone in my room for three weeks and then I went home.

E3 vacated his den and I was put in there until I was well enough to go to my bedroom. That only lasted three weeks. Dr. O’Brien prescribed some glasses for me so I could see almost normal-like. The only problem was I was legally blind in my left eye and it would never get better. E3 brought a lawsuit against Moorlands Psychiatric Hospital, but their insurance company settled for nearly two million dollars because that man tried to sexually assault me. It turned out that young male patients had complained about him before, so that was why the insurance company paid so much. E3 said they wanted to keep it out of the papers, whatever that meant. E3 had the money put into an investment portfolio at our brokerage firm. He said that it was a trust fund and would be managed by the brokerage firm. I asked what a trust fund was, but E3 said it was rather complicated and I shouldn’t worry about things like that. Finally, I was okay and E3 said it was time for him to find me suitable employment.


Copyright © 2021 CarlHoliday; All Rights Reserved.
  • Like 6
  • Love 4
  • Wow 1
  • Sad 1

Recommended Comments

Chapter Comments

Interesting chapter. Ed has had an interesting time whilst recovering, he seems to accept his mental illness. It's no surprise the hospital settled.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
2 hours ago, chris191070 said:

Interesting chapter. Ed has had an interesting time whilst recovering, he seems to accept his mental illness. It's no surprise the hospital settled.

Thanks for the comment. Accepting your mental illness is one thing, being able to successfully live amongst "normal" people is something else entirely as we shall see in future chapters.

  • Like 3
Link to comment

I think Edvard is intelligent enough to handle say a desk job but I’m concerned his lack of confidence will cause him to falter initially as well as potentially result in him not putting in his best effort as he often automatically defaults to believing he can’t do anything right because of his perceived low IQ. Then the socializing aspect of a work environment could be challenging of course so I’m curious as to what E3 considers “suitable employment”. Perhaps it’ll be an office job at his law firm.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
13 hours ago, NimirRaj said:

I think Edvard is intelligent enough to handle say a desk job but I’m concerned his lack of confidence will cause him to falter initially as well as potentially result in him not putting in his best effort as he often automatically defaults to believing he can’t do anything right because of his perceived low IQ. Then the socializing aspect of a work environment could be challenging of course so I’m curious as to what E3 considers “suitable employment”. Perhaps it’ll be an office job at his law firm.

Thanks for the comment. Ed is probably capable of doing a lot of jobs, but the opportunities that come his way could present unknown challenges.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
View Guidelines

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Newsletter

    You probably have a crazy and hectic schedule and find it hard to keep up with everything going on.  We get it, because we feel it too.  Signing up here is a great way to keep in touch and find something relaxing to read when you get a few moments to spare.

    Sign Up
  • Create New...

Important Information

Our Privacy Policy can be found here. We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue..