(Written in 2013. Dale passed away in October of 2013 and is very much missed…LD)
I have two sisters. They are twins and four years my junior. They are as unalike as two people can be. They are both female and their initials are D. J. They both have dark brown hair, one child and work, or have worked in the medical field. However, that’s as far as it goes.
The last time they spent any quality time together was most likely in the womb. While bad driving was Dennie’s claim to fame, Dale’s is much more concerning and not quite as humorous unless, of course, you consider runaway squirrels in the I.C.U. funny !
A few years ago she went in for some emergency surgery, and woke up four months later. No one is really sure why. Doctors at the time advised shutting off the respirator, as they mistakenly thought she would never recover. She must have heard them because by the next morning she was showing signs of survival. Eventually she found her way out of the coma, learned to walk again and went back to work in the ER of our local hospital.
Two years later suffering from a respiratory infection she was again seen in the Emergency room. By evening she was once more put on life support. This time it was over three months until she finally emerged from her second coma. Miracles both. No debate with that. This time however her recovery wasn’t as complete and she is now mostly wheel chair bound and has taken a forced retirement. Having worked for 35 years that was a no brainer.
Anyway when she came out of the first coma did she have a story! Seems they evacuated everyone one on her floor in the middle of the night…All except her that is. By morning however the coast was clear, (I’m guessing here) and everyone was back in their designated beds, with one particular addition.
Somehow, a squirrel got into the I.C.U. (Stop laughing…) Seriously, a little brown, bushy tailed rodent was scurrying up and down the hallways of the 6th Floor and hiding …(drum roll) in Dale’s room, behind the curtains! Medication aside, people coming out of lengthy comas do have a tendency to hallucinate or at least think some of their ‘dreams’ while comatose were real. Time and long talks usually put all these things to rest.
Last week when reminiscing she looked at me somewhat annoyed and said: “You know it’s not nice to make fun of me …I had been sick and in a coma.”
Chastised and remorseful as only a big sister can be, I replied, “I realize that Dale but three months later you were still claiming that happened.”
Her response: “Oh yeah.”
In the last couple of years she has had a ‘few’ other delusionary episodes.
There was the “man with the pants” walking around her backyard – while we were playing cards, the little girl on her deck and my favourite, the parrot on the garage roof! The latest was two days ago when she called me at 4:00 AM because she couldn’t find her phone to call her son-in-law.
I warned her some time ago, keep this up and you’re going to appear in my novel….
All kidding aside, hopefully a change in her meds will solve this quirkiness, but oh how I am going to miss these additions to my story telling. Wonder if she would consider learning how to drive again? From what I remember she never once in her driving history ever turned left!
Maybe she had more in common with Dennie than I ever thought …