Saturday, February 17, 2007

Chapter Five: Critical Relapse

"Obviously things are not going well," said Dr. Archer.

The nurse nodded, rocking herself back and forth in the office chair of the meeting room.

"This treatment plan isn't working. We will need to work in some talk therapy - get a psychologist down here. Someone experienced from the forth floor Intensive Care Program. Hell, maybe we should even transfer her up there," Archer looked down at the file.

Last night, Allyson had struggled uncharacteristically in bed, trying to get to the door. From her mumbling it was clear she thought that Dr. Archer, who had been conversing with a nurse outside, was actually talking with the terrorist group she believed she was affiliated with.

"She's still stuffing the napkins under her bed," said the nurse. "I see her taking them out a few times a day, all the while looking around. Clearly, she is very paranoid."

"I only wish we knew what happened to her before the police brought her here," again Archer checked the file.

Allyson had been brought in with a serious concussion, a battery of injuries, and blood streaming through her mangled hair. A stranger had found her lying, cold on the January sidewalk in a trendy London suburb so long ago. The coma has lasted for five months, followed by a period in which Allyson was barely conscious of outside reality at all. And now this. Yes, she was awake, but was this delusional state really a positive alternative. Damn it! He was a doctor - he couldn't think this way.

A noise immerged from the main room where the clients usually gathered to watch TV and meet for group therapy. Archer raced to the door. An older woman in her mid-sixties was yelling at Allyson in a loud voice.

“That’s my napkin,” the woman screamed over and over again.

Allyson balled her fists, not letting go as the woman clawed at her and staff hurried to intervene.

“No you can’t take it,” Allyson sobbed and sobbed.

“Please, I have to know what is going on. I need to read about the accident.”

Allyson curled up on the floor, and Archer finally got a good look at her. She was a mess, most notable was the scar on the bottom of her bare left foot. It appeared as though Allyson had been clawing at it with her fingers.

A nurse carefully collected the sobbing Allyson.

“How did she get out here?” said Archer to the nearest staff.

“I don’t know,” stammered a pretty young nurse. “When I checked on her a minute ago she was sound asleep.”

“Damn it!” thought Archer again. “What did they do to you to hurt you so, to make you so lost?”

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