Chapter 1 – The Morning I went into the ICU.

I don’t remember much, and what I know now has been told to me, But the following is an attempt at a first person account of going to the ICU.

As I said before, I write novels, and that is the style I will write it in.

Note: it will be true, even if it’s not written in a non-fiction style:


That night I looked at the beef jerky in the fridge. Mom and I worked so hard on it, but it was all wrong. Translated from imperial to metric, the old recipe was hard to read and translate. In the end 50 lbs of meat was wasted. It would have been good if it wasn’t so salty, but it just wasn’t edible.

I looked in the fridge and saw all this home made beef jerky, that I had been looking forward to eating and wondered what to do with it. Maybe, I could just eat a bit?

Maybe it didn’t all have to go to waste? I’d already eaten a mountain of candy, while we were making it. What would a little bit of a salty snack do? Would it even hurt anymore than the christmas candy?

Mom and I had tested a christmas candy eating game to see if it would be any fun for christmas day. It was fun, and tasty, because every time a person landed on a square not landed on by somebody else, they got a candy. The person with the most candies at the end of the game won, except, who could resist eating it all before the end?

Of course sneaking candy, while judging the candy pile of the other player, made us giggle, and was half the fun. Well maybe all the fun. That and eating candy.

And that is how we spent our evening: making beef jerky and eating candy during the stages the beef jerky had to sit or cook.

After Mom went to bed, I opened the fridge door and looked at the mountain of beef jerky.


Just maybe….

I could eat it and get over the saltiness….

Maybe it wouldn’t be that bad.

I hadn’t had that much before. Only a nibble to decide it was horrible.

I took a piece and ate it, to see if it would grow on me. It didn’t. I thought “I’m going to be sick”, but I ate 3 more pieces, each piece getting worse than the last.

Finally I had a headache, and I went to bed.

Unfortunately, the beef jerky was waste of 50 lbs of meat, and there was nothing I could do about it.

Little did I know, that the beaf jerky would be forgotten by morning, and thrown out in the days to come without any fanfare. The waste of 50 lbs of meat, would be the least of anybody problems.


The next morning I woke up with a swollen tongue. It was so big it wouldn’t fit in my mouth. I couldn’t talk. I tried telling my mom what was wrong, but she kept saying “quit mumbling”. Finally I tapped her on the shoulder and pointed to the problem when she looked at me. She wanted to call the ambulance, I thought it was minor and she should call my family doctor.

I was briefly aware that the ambulance attendants wanted me to walk to the stretcher outside, and thought “I’m not that sick, or they would would have carried me on a stretcher’.

Later I remember them putting an IV in my arm, and then trying to put a tube in my throat. I asked for a pen, and they gave me one.

I wrote “Don’t worry the __(name of ENT doctor)___ couldn’t do it without anesthetic either.”

They asked why I had an ENT doctor. I don’t remember my response.

The next thing I remember is being asked how to take my shirt off. I couldn’t explain the knots that were tied in the back, and it had to be lifted over my head because they were permanently tied. I was told “never mind I’ll cut it off”, and I was relieved, but later, I wondered why were they cutting my clothes off? Who were these people? Where was I? What were they going to do to me?


I woke up tied to a bed, that was on a platform.

All around were people I didn’t know, and they seemed to be trying to figure out what to do with me.

A man (who I later named Frank), was with H, the most popular and cutest kid from my grade 2 class. She was all grown up, and and still a bully. They were on the platform the bed was on, examining something while they discussed a mistake they made.

“How will we fix it?” H asked.

“I don’t know.” Frank responded, “I guess we’ll have to kill her”.

He climbed up on me, and tried to suffocate me with a medal plate. I tried to get away but I couldn’t because I was tied to the bed. Finally the man looked me in the eyes and said “I can’t do it.”, but H wanted him too. She was like that in grade 2 too, always getting other people to do her dirty work.


Later my mother came, and saw that H and Frank were the ones in charge and told them she was transferring me to a different hospital. I was in a hospital, 1000 km away from home, and she said “We’re going home.”

Why was I so far away?

The ambulance ride was bumpy and noisy, with lots of banging. Finally we arrived in the city closest to my home.

There was a nice nurse there. I felt safe and protected in her care. She moved buttons and wires and did things that made me feel better.

One night the nurses were all sitting around a table discussing what they could do for the night. One nurse said “I always wanted to take piano lessons, there’s an ad in the paper, for a man who gives piano lessons. He brings the pianos to you, teaches you and leaves.”

All the nurses thought this was a great idea, and the nurse with the idea called the piano man. When she got off the phone she said “Great. He doesn’t have anybody booked now. He’s coming now.”

All the nurses were excited, and cleared spots for the pianos. The talked about how exiting it would be learn how to play the piano.

“We have nothing to do at night anyway, this will make the evening fun”, one said.

Another said “I’ve always wanted to learn to play the piano”, and stories about siblings and friends who took piano lessons as children abounded.

The nurse by my bed, didn’t participate. She sat by my bed, and made me feel safe.

There was a knock at the door, and one of the nurses, opened this huge garage door, and let all the cold air in. The piano man walked in. It was Frank, and H was with him.

He explained how he used to work in an ICU, but he got fired for trying to kill a patient. I knew that patient was me, and tried so hard to make him not notice me.

He brought in inflatable grand pianos with one leg in the front and two legs in the back. He set them up for each nurse who wanted lessons, and H went around tattling when they weren’t set up right.

The door was closed and it was warm again.

The nurse beside me watched, as they played the worst piano music I have ever heard. It was so grating on my ears and nerves, that it made everything worse.

When the lesson was over he offered to play some of his own music. All the participating nurses, said “ya”, and encouraged him to do so.

He played even worse than his students. His piano was not only out of tune, he couldn’t play piano at all, but all the nurses clapped, said thank you and good buy.

One of the nurses opened the huge garage door again, Frank and H, loaded their truck of all the inflatable pianos, and then came back in to say good bye.

Frank made a grand gesture, of bowing and waving his arms, while he said “good bye ladies, it was nice, but I have too go”.

And I said “Thank goodness”.

The nurse beside me said my name in a reprimanding way, Frank looked at me and said “you”, walked over to the end of my wall and pushed a big red button on it.

“Just for that, you will suffer.”

I couldn’t breath. I felt like I was suffocating again.

My nurse said “Frank”, and went to push the button again, but Frank stood in her way, and she couldn’t do anything. She asked “Why are you being so mean”, and Frank said he wasn’t going anywhere. H could go on and continue teaching piano lessons, but he was staying here to deal with me. I was terrified.

The garage door was closed, and H drove away without Frank.


There is more to this story, and although I will write it soon, I won’t post it soon.

I think this is enough for one post.

Even as I write my heart is pounding so hard I can feel it outside my chest, and I feel the terror I felt at the time Frank announced he would stay.

I can see him, and I’m there.

But I will keep writing because I want ICU staff to know what sedation is like.

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