What’s life without whimsy?
-Sheldon Cooper, The Big Bang Theory
I came to the ER last Monday. On Tuesday they transferred me here. On Weds. I met with my doctor for the first time and we didn’t get along at all. On Thurs. we didn’t really even say much to each other. That was the day she was supposed to decide whether I could go outside for 10 minute breaks. When you come to the ward, you wear hospital pajamas and socks. All of your clothes and belongings are locked up and you don’t have access to them. I guess it is so you don’t run away and hurt yourself.
So, on Thurs. evening it had been decided that I had no priveleges to go outside. I hadn’t been out since coming to the ER on Monday and the thought struck me, “what do I have to lose, I already wish I was dead?” I took my socks off and carrying them just walked out the door in front of the nurses station. My nurse was behind me asking where I was going and I told here I wanted a walk and continued out the building door. Now I was on a sidewalk spattered with ice and snow in hospital pajamas and bare feet. It must have been a sight. One student asked if I needed help. I tried to answer as normally as I could that I was fine. I didn’t walk far before my feet started hurting. I found a dry spot in a loading bay and sat to wait for security. When they showed up I stood and asked “are you my ride back?” I think he was a bit surprised but let me sit in his truck. An RCMP officer came and handcuffed me to take me back. I ended up spending two days in a solitary confinement cell with nothing but a mat, a blanket and a non-flushing toilet.
It took a couple more power struggles before the doctor and I got to a place where we could work together. None of the other struggles were quite as serious or amusing as this one, though. The Monday after this was my first chance to legally go outside for a ten minute smoke break, one week almost to the hour since I walked into the ER. For those first breaks I was still in pajamas and socks, no shoes, so I wouldn’t escape.