Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Dying to be Dead Part 1 - Chapter 8 - Taking Your Work Home

Her mother had been a crack addict that abandoned her before her eleventh birthday, and there was never a father in her life that she could ever remember. Her very sanity and success was owed to foster parents who found it in their hearts to love her like she was their very own. They instilled the hope and self worth in her that she had always been lacking. Her life had turned around completely when she became a part of the Bradley family. Dr. Bradley knew she was headed down the wrong path in life just like Lana until her foster family cared enough to show her another way to live. She decided she needed to be that beacon of light for Lana. Lana saw two men approach her carrying wires and equipment. One of them started attaching electrodes to her body. She didn’t even have the strength to try and stop him. She only whimpered, “No, please.” That was all the protesting that she had the energy to do, not to mention that she was still fully restrained across a gurney. The men left the room and the bright light went out. She couldn’t see anything, but she could hear beeping sounds. Then suddenly she felt shocking sensations from the electrodes that were firmly attached to her body. It wasn’t really a strong painful feeling, but more of a dull aching sensation. “What do they expect to accomplish by doing this?” Lana asked herself. It was starting to scare her. 

Dr. Bradley was somewhat desperate and at her wits end when she resorted to shock therapy for Lana. She hadn't gotten any promising results from conventional methods she had previously tried. She knew it was risky. She had studied many research cases where patients who were unresponsive to other forms of treatment fared well to minor shock stimulation sessions. She regretted seeing the fear that masked Lana’s beautiful, delicate, young face. Tears were streaming down Lana’s face as she cried out for them to stop. She couldn't continue with the treatment. Dr. Bradley shut the machine down and immediately went into the room where Lana was strapped to the gurney. Electrodes were protruding from her like a haywire lab experiment. As she was pulling off the electrodes Lana was just crying and repeating the name “Gabriel”. Dr. Bradley knew far too well who the name belonged to. Lana was delusional and had created a being in her mind that loved her. She pulled away the straps that attached her wrists and ankles to the bed. Lana stopped crying and just stared blankly at Dr. Bradley. Lana’s stare was so lost and empty that it helped to set a decision in motion for the emotionally torn doctor. Dr. Bradley asked the orderlies to leave them alone for just a few minutes. A thought had been developing and nagging at the back of her mind for a while. She hadn’t decided to go through with it until this very moment. 

The look in Lana’s eyes told her that she was so near death and something drastic had to be done immediately. She knew in her heart that if nothing were done to avert this tragedy, Lana would be dead very soon. Lana was becoming so emaciated and pale. No one had been able to get a sufficient amount of food in her for some time now. Her appearance was getting to be a bit frightening. She was as pretty as ever, but very unhealthy looking. Lana’s grandmother had not been in to visit Lana in well over a month which was shortly after the time she signed the final papers for Lana to be committed to the hospital. “Lana, I’m going to do something that may seem unorthodox or maybe even a bit strange to you and also others as well. I want to take you to come live with me for a while. We will continue treatment, but not in the same way we have been doing things here. I feel you need my constant care, more than I am able to provide you here”, said Dr. Bradley. 

Lana’s first impression of Dr. Bradley’s penthouse was that it was very prim and proper, kind of sterile like the hospital, but more luxurious. She felt just as much out of place here as she did in the mental hospital. She had a hard time trying to understand Dr. Bradley. She couldn’t figure out the doctor’s intentions. Lana had learned early in life that nothing was ever as simple as it seemed. “She can’t be acting out of pure concern and care. There has to be a hidden agenda”, she thought. Lana regretted the fact that she had already opened up too much to Dr. Bradley.. She needed to be with Gabriel now. He could sweep her away from all of this confusion and sadness. She had been feeling so sick everyday now, Something that she hadn’t been able to shake off was taking over her body. She had been feeling it coming on for some time. Everyday she felt like it was getting easier and easier to make the choice not to go on living. She played it over and over in her mind. Cutting herself just enough to bleed out would do the trick. She fantasized about falling asleep and never waking up again so she wouldn’t have to feel all of the pain and loss anymore. Then she wouldn’t have to think about how she abandoned her mother Vivienne right when she needed her most. She hated the feeling of not being sure of her sanity. It terrified Lana to have doubts of Gabriel’s existence, that he may only be a figment of her grief stricken imagination like Dr. Bradley kept suggesting. She knew she would never be able to face that part of reality if it turned out to be so.

Case File # 11862

Attending Psychiatrist: Dr. Aurora Bradley
Subject: Lana Marie Kelly
Juvenile/ Age 16
Clinical Diagnosis: Trauma induced dementia with psychotic tendencies
Physician Comments:

Patient has made startling and dramatic improvement since there was a change in environment. Patient has been moved to a position of constant care by her attending psychiatrist, I, Dr. Bradley. She was signed into my personal care approximately two weeks ago. Personal progress has been made and I feel I have gained confidence of client. She has confided in me more and is going to be easier to treat when properly diagnosed with new surfacing evidence. Client seems to be suffering from evident physical ailments. It had previously been assumed that client was causing illness through cuttings, but from what I have witnessed, she does not seem to be inflicting harm upon herself. There has to be another explanation for these questionable occurrences.  Client has progressed positively in emotional state despite her physical lack of well being. Client has been diagnosed with acute anemia. It is uncontrolled and client is now undergoing regular blood transfusions. There is no evident surface reason for client’s physical disorder. Client will remain in my custody and personal care pending outcome of new official mental diagnosis. No full treatment option has as of yet been determined. 

Seventeen floors above the Corpus Christi skyline at night was a beautiful view to behold. Lana felt so uneasy here at Dr. Bradley’s penthouse. The city below looked so disconnected and far away. She could see lights twinkling everywhere, even across the blackened bay. Everything looked beautiful from this high up. Lana figured that this must be how it feels for the rich, looking down upon the commoners from their ivory towers in the sky. Everything in this penthouse was so modern looking and new. It made Lana uncomfortable. She missed the relaxed, comfortable splendor of Gabriel’s old southern hacienda. She longed to be there once. She longed to be there once more. “Why hasn’t he come for me since I came here?” She wondered. She feared that Dr. Bradley was really pushing Gabriel out of existence in her mind.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Dying to be Dead Part 1 - Chapter 7 - The Searing Light of Day

With his renewed vigor Gabriel was back at his hacienda within minutes. He rushed in to find Lana sleeping right where he had asked Isaac to leave her. She looked like a china doll in the satin gown he’d laid out for her to wear. He yearned to hold her, to feel her frail human warmth. She was fast asleep, asleep like the dead. Her breathing was shallow, her heart audibly slower, and not the slightest stirring did she make. It was becoming obvious to him that the small blood kisses he’d been taking from Lana were really starting to have an effect on her health. He didn’t regret answering her call. Her thoughts told him what needed to be done. Her mother was no more. Her stepfather was predictably easy to pin the blame on, and even easier to dispose of. She would be all his soon enough.

The first morning rays of searing sunlight cut through the blinds of Lana’s hospital room like an axe through wood. She felt the burn immediately. The pain was so excruciating, like poking hot needles all over her body. She did the best she could to muster up the strength to pull the cover up over her head. All she was able to do was scream in utter agony. Suddenly an alarm sounded and the pitch of the noise shot through her ears like bullets. She sensed several people nearing her room. She had no idea how she knew this. She hadn’t heard anyone coming. She just felt them. When two women entered the room, she pleaded with them to close the blinds securely. They were two nurses who had probably come to sedate her. The nicer of the two conceded. The meaner and older of the two stuck a needle in Lana’s thigh faster than Lana was able to stop her. Lana instantly felt her eyelids getting heavy. She was struggling to win a losing battle for consciousness. The old nurse glared at Lana and was relieved to see her eyes rolling back as she fell back into deep sleep. Lana awoke to a darkened room. She was restrained across a gurney. Suddenly, a bright light shone above her blindingly. It reminded her of an operating room light. This light didn’t burn her like sunlight had been lately. The way the light was shining directly above her made the rest of the room around her look very dark.

Dr. Bradley gave the orderlies the go ahead to attach electrodes to Lana’s body. The doctor was still groggy from the fainting spell she had the night before. She thought about the last thing she remembered doing that night. She remembered looking in on Lana and noticing the most peculiar mist seeping in under the doorway where Lana was at. Then she remembered feeling very cold after that, and she noticed that the mist was rolling in under the door of the room she was in. It got very thick, like a dense fog, and she could no longer see into where Lana was or anything that wasn’t directly in front of her. She tried to move towards the door and that’s when she blacked out. She recalled how embarrassing it was to be discovered laid out cold on the floor by two orderlies at the change of their shift. She feared there would be talk of it all over the hospital facility. It was even more disheartening for Dr. Bradley to learn that Lana turned up missing from the secured observation room, and was found in the early morning asleep on the roof of the facility. Dr. Bradley was at a loss to figure out how Lana was able to escape the locked observation room. She had the key on her the whole time, and there had been no sign of forced entry in or out of the room. She shuddered to think of what Lana was planning to do on the rooftop. Dr. Bradley was determined to save this girl from the hands of suicide. The doctor knew from personal experience what it felt like to be left alone in this world. She knew the feeling all too painfully well what it meant to have no one left to love or care for her. The calm and collected Dr. Bradley was orphaned early on as a young child herself.