Smeagol at St. Joes

"I don’t use drugs, my dreams are frightening enough.”- M.C. Escher

When I think of him now, two images come to mind. One is of Kilroy. You know, that dude that looks over a wall with the big nose? I think he was associated somehow to Styxx album. In middle school we drew him a lot. I don’t recall why. It was the cool thing to draw on your notebook. Along with writing “I (heart) Brad Johnson” I drew little kilroys everywhere.

But put that picture in your head.  And combine that picture with Gollum. The scary creepy dude from Lord of the Rings. Formerly known as Smeagol, he was later called Gollum for the gurling noise he made in his throat.

So, have you combined those two images?

Imagine seeing that creature when you are in heavy labor. Imagine being in a hospital bed, alone, 18 years old, 1000 miles from home and you see that creature outside your hospital room window. Further imagine that you are on something like the fifth floor.

Yeah. Kilroy/Smeagol/Gollum watched me while I writhe in the pain of labor prior to my daughter’s birth.

I understand it was somewhat atypical. Not all women get such lovely visitors during labor. Not all women hallucinate. But I did.

Why?

I was given some sort of drug during labor. I don’t know what it was. I don’t know why they gave it to me. Clinic girls from Gehring Hall were told we did not get drugs to reduce the pain of labor. I had one doctor tell me that feeling the pain in full force was my punishment for getting pregnant out of wedlock.

So imagine my surprise when I am later told I was given something. Huh? 

The hallucination was so strong, so vivid, I can still see it today. Imprinting. Its there in my brain forever. Stamped on some synapse, some neuron. Never to leave me.

Next to that image is that image of my caseworker and her voice.

I see her next to me in my bed looking at me rather oddly. I must have been coming out of the hallucination for I am very aware of someone screaming and babbling and crying. But it’s not me. Only it is me.

I became somewhat lucid and I ask her if I was just talking. She looks frightened and confirms that I was indeed screaming and crying and yelling about a man watching me give birth to my baby. She leaves the room citing a need for a doctor.

A nurse comes in. They check my stats. My heart is racing. I am terrified. Lost. Confused. They suggest that I was having a reaction to the drugs they gave me. What drugs? No one told me about drugs? How did I miss that? I thought slutty pregnant teens like me from Gehring weren’t eligible for drugs. Who gave me drugs? Wont they hurt my baby? Why wasn’t I told?

My caseworker smirks. Acknowledges something the doctors tell her. I am still floating in and out. Unsure of what is going on and what is being done to me.

It seems to pass.

Following the birth of my daughter, I am told that I should avoid Demerol. That I have the reverse reaction. It should have calmed me but it made me hallucinate.

Uh, yeah, ya think?

I still don’t know why I was given those drugs when it was so contrary to what I was told. I don’t even know if it was truly Demerol. I have, however, avoided it since then.

Who authorized that? What was the purpose? Was it because I was with Easter House and girls whose babies would be sold by Easter House got more? Was it one of those lovely perks?  The ability to heavily drug me?

To whose benefit was that, exactly?

3 Thoughts.

  1. That is absolutely horrible that they would drug you without your informed consent, just awful

  2. Suz, that was torture. If anyone saw this story on the news, they’d be outraged. It’s inhuman that you, or any woman, has had to experience this.
    I hope you can really stick it to those SOBs one of these days. I’m so sorry you have been through this.

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