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Day 11 in a series: "HOSPITAL DELIRIUMS"

I am told that I would thrash about on my bed and cry out. I was also informed that I had actually hit a nurse. Much to the staff’s discredit, they chose to tell Kathy I was “confused” when in fact I was delusional and was hallucinating.

These delusions and hallucinations are better known as “hospital deliriums”. In my early stay at Lynchburg General I experienced many deliriums. They were very unnerving for Kathy and made a difficult experience even more taxing. I would see ants crawling on the ceiling. I saw a bowling ball floating in water. The smoke detector would come “alive” and “walk” across the ceiling. I saw cats: a black one and a gray one who would chew on my feet. They loved to chew on my big toes. The unnerving thing about this was that I could actually feel it. At times the gray one would show up with a razor blade in its mouth and start to use it on the surface of my feet. I could actually feel a razor blade cutting in the top of my feet as strange as that sounds. Of course there was nothing there but the feeling was unmistakable. I found that I could use my big toe to “freeze’ their jaws. This particular hallucination finally stopped when I employed this strategy. Its worth noting that If I tried to grab either one, they would simply “poof” away.

Deliriums are different than dreams. You don't know that you're in a delirium; you think it's real even though much of them are ridiculous. In one I saw an old friend of mine from Delaware. It was so real it was frightening. He put his hands on my shoulders and I could feel it. At one point in the delirium our faces were inches apart. I had my arms on his shoulders and I could feel them. I could smell his breath. For all intent and purposes it was him.

Another delirium was when I panicked about paying the bills. I just had to get home to pay the bills. So, in my delirium I got out of bed, and tried to walk home. In the rain. In my hospital gown. In my underwear. My delirium didn’t end well; I ended up getting “lost”. Despite the fact that was really in my hospital bed the entire time, I was convinced at the time I had actually tried to walk home in the rain.

Another delirium was when I thought I was going to die because of a mucus block. I suspect this particular delirium reflected what was actually happening at the time in real time.



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Nick is the Vice-Chancellor of Amherst Theological Seminary, and he has a D. Min. from Amherst Theological Seminary. He has his MA from Liberty University in Marriage and Family Therapy. He is the author of the book: "The Walk Applied: Living the New Creation Life as a Citizen of God's Kingdom in a Secular World". He has also written "The Fasting and Prayer Handbook". Nick has been married to Kathy since 1985, and hey are the proud parents of 3 children.

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