Monday, March 18, 2013

TING AND I, Temporary Insanity

During this period of hydrocephalus my thinking was sluggish, my memory poor, my emotions and their display (affect) confined within a rather limited range, rarely very happy or sad, but mellow, instead. It was not as enjoyable as feeling sharp, but it was not so bad, either. Unfortunately, it could lead to permanent brain injury or even death.

After the surgery, I had an invasive examination of the urinary tract at the office of a urologist in a nearby city, and that cystoscopy gave me a bacterial infection that was curable and a viral infection that was not. Next time, doc, make sure your assistant has sterilized the ‘scope. The bacteria were of the type usually associated with nosocomial (hospital derived) infections. The virus was common to urban areas especially.

The urinary tract infection caused by the post-op cystoscopy (they had put a flexible endoscope, a light pipe, where men are not designed to have one be put) gave me powerful delusions: I was not sure where I was, and –although mellow–I was sure that one of my favorite nurses was killing people and putting their bodies in the big boxes that I had along the wall of my room. I never opened the boxes, but I did leave an obstacle in her path on the stairs to warn me if she were coming. Amazing!

The nurses got me to the hospital, where I stayed several days, recovering rapidly. The final delusion led me to believe that on the day I was scheduled to be discharged, September 28, 2008, there was going to be a general change of hospital personnel. You see, they were really all members of the Polish Secret Service, watchful allies of ours, and they were scheduled to rotate to different hospitals that day. It never made the newspapers, and I came to doubt it a day or two later.


Tina’s staff performed as desired; they did not need my constant vigilance. I was very appreciative. During the latter part of this mental incapacitation, I asked one of my staff to take possession of my handgun, a 9mm revolver I had obtained (with proper paperwork) shortly after the O.J. Simpson jury returned its “not guilty” verdict in his obvious killing of two people. One really could not rely on the cops, who come after the crime, or on the jury, too easily swayed by prejudices and ignorance, to be reliable deterrents. The expression among some gun owners is that they would rather be tried by twelve jurors, in the case of shooting someone, than be carried by six pall-bearers, if killed for the lack of a weapon.

There have been occasions out here in the country, especially in the winter, when the Lake Osiris population is down, when I have come downstairs with my weapon (and its muzzle-mounted laser pointer) to investigate possible trouble. My mother fears I am going to gun down some Girl Scout cookie-monger. Don’t come at night, dears.

Having been heavily dependent on my intellect, I regretted the dimming of it during this period but found a certain tranquility that offset the loss. Perhaps that is how one feels with Alzheimer’s. Having mental quickness and emotional responsiveness restored was better, still, more fun. My past delusions have made me more sympathetic to those who cope with them regularly. They were scary, with no offsetting benefits.

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