Sunday, August 14, 2011

Memoir: Chapter 51: Dr. Davis, the Intern, tells Dr. Branch after my near death experience he has fallen in love with me

As I was lying in bed the next morning preparing to see Dr. Davis and talk to him about what happened yesterday, I felt such a rush of love for him, thinking of him sitting by my bed for two hours, that I felt guilty.  He was married, and I was going to have to push those thoughts out of my mind.  As I started to make the effort to do what I considered the right thing I went numb.  I could not feel anything but my teeth and my bones.  I instantly realized that I could not be banishing any support coming my way no matter what it caused me to feel.  I was just going to have to love Dr. Davis because of the emotion he had dared to show for me.  I was too close to death to be rejecting anything that was positive and made me feel better.  To my relief the feeling began to come slowly back into my flesh.

I was going to have to be careful, very careful, even about what I thought.  The slightest effort that took something away from me pushed me to the edge again.
When I saw Dr. Davis he asked me if I could explain to him what happened yesterday.  But before I could begin he said that he had told Dr. Branch that he had fallen in love with me when he saw him that morning. He said he asked him if he wanted him to continue with my case because of this emotional attachment he was forming.  I was upset because he had even suggested to Dr. Branch that he might want to take him off my case.  He said Dr. Branch said no, that he wanted him to continue talking to me.  He said he would make a decision later about my treatment.
That was frightening to hear.  Could he still be trying to decide whether he would prescribe shock treatment? I wondered if Dr. Davis had not told him he was in love with me to convey to him that he now had an invested interest in what happened to me.  If any further damage occurred to me he would be a witness.
I knew Dr. Davis could not criticize Dr. Branch.  He would just have to be polite to him as I had to be until he could work through his issues with me.
I told Dr. Davis that I also had developed some very strong feeling for him which I had tried to drive out of my mind that morning, and had nearly died again as a result. I described going numb clear to my teeth and bones.  I said it felt like the last sensation I would have before I became a lifeless corpse.
"What happened yesterday in the day room?" Dr. Davis persisted in questioning me.
I explained, "Well, it was like I had a giant tantrum.  I was so angry over having to fight against shock treatment.  I did not consider myself unhinged when Dr. Andersen incarcerated me.  I thought he over reacted.  He did everything too fast.  He knew nothing about me.  He was just guessing.
In the day room it occurred to me not to take a deeper breath until their policy toward me changed. Dr. Branch thought he could bully me into conceding that I might be mentally ill enough to need treatment.  Although you could say that I proved I really was insane by what I did to stop them from giving it to me.  Dr. Branch would not believe there was anything seriously wrong with me.  After I willed myself to die for four hours he would know there was something very wrong with me.  I would then be considered too insane to give shock treatment.  If I could come that close to dying all by myself, I could probably expire with shock treatment."
Dr. Davis nodded gravely at my logic, and seemed to understand it after a fashion. At that moment he probably thought I was the most insane girl he had ever met, which was why he had fallen in love with me, I was certain.
He almost read my mind by saying out loud, "I feel like I have been on a giant roller coaster ride ever since I met you.  It's been a thrill a minute."
I thought it would take a lot to get to this battle scarred veteran, but I had done it.
He seemed to feel a little guilt of his own. "I don't even know why I have been so susceptible to you.  I think it is because I really wasn't madly in love with my wife when I married her, but she was from my world, and I thought she would be the best suited to be my companion when I became a doctor. I simply could not hurt her after all she had done for me after the war, so I married her."

I thought about how totally unsuited I was to be a doctor's wife, especially after what I had done to myself yesterday.  I was going to be weeks recovering and would probably never be the same again.  I knew I had broken something pretty vital. Was bound to have done.
"I think you are infatuated,  not in love," I said,  "You need to realize I am a cow girl from southern Utah.  I was raised by an outlaw father.  I was just thinking the other day that is probably why I am capable of going to such extremes.  This will pass, but I have never needed anybody's love so bad in my life as I have needed yours during this trial.  I don't think I could have survived without you."
Dr. Davis said that he would contact me as soon as he had any word from Dr. Branch.
That afternoon he came toward me with a white official looking paper in his hand. He said, "Dr. Branch is going to let you go home, but you need to sign this paper first."
It was a paper that said I had volunteered to enter the hospital.  "This is a lie!" I burst out.  "I was committed against my will."
Dr. Davis continued to hold out the paper to me with such a pleading look on his face, I took it and signed that lying document even though it was against my principles. If Dr. Branch was willing to forget electric shock and let me go home in exchange for my guarantee that I would not sue, he had a bargain.  Sue, that was a laugh. I just hoped I did not die after I got home.  Let alone take anybody to court.
After I signed, Dr. Davis said, "You will have to stay ten more days so they can make sure you are okay."  I figured they were taking that precaution in case I had any more strange seizures.  But my giant rage left me as soon as he told me I could go home.  And I knew I needed recovery time before I dared to go back to southern Utah and the mad house where Mother and Dad had lived for years, fought, and thought about killing each other.
"We will be talking," promised Dr. Davis.  "Until you leave."  He looked happy at the prospect.  I know I was very much happier, and relieved.
As for the men in white, I made a solemn vow they would never capture me again.  I knew now I could not trust 'em.     

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