Locked In…temporarily

I know I’ve talked about hallucinations a lot. But, they’re really troubling. Like bad.

It’s been 18 months and they’re still there. I vividly vividly remember them in the hospital.

I remember hearing everything and seeing people. But no one could see or hear me. I don’t know if my eyes were open or what…but since I can’t completely close my eyes now…who knows. I do know that my eyes are paralyzed horizontally now - and I couldn’t see anything forever because they bounced up and down sporadically for awhile. So I don’t know what I was seeing. Or if my brain was filling in the picture that I thought I should be seeing. It’s all so confusing. And it drives me nuts.

Hearing people talk about me like I wasn’t even there was scary. It was scary as hell.

Being able to hear things but not move or speak or anything is something I never want to experience again. I don’t know when exactly I woke up but I remember the drs explaining what they thought had happened. I remember them asking what drugs I was on - because what happened to me never happened so I had to be on meth or crack or something. I remember Trey telling them I didn’t do any drugs, I didn’t even drink.

I remember Trey getting so frustrated … he didn’t know what was going on. I remember him asking Benton what drugs I took, just be honest what was I on. I remember benton crying, and didn’t know what was going on. Saying I didn’t take anything - that he knew of. Everyone was thinking I was a drug addict. I couldn’t move a thing. I was trying to tell everyone to test me for Guillan barre syndrome.

In my head thats what I had. I had done a paper on it in middle school, and that’s what was wrong with me.

But then I heard the Dr talking to Trey and Brenda and he told them I had a pons hemorrhage and that it was at the base of my skull, and that there was basically nothing they could do…it had to drain and absorb on its own. I could hear all of this.

And then they told Trey Surgery would be too risky, and basically put me into a vegetative state. So it was a wait and see how I turned out.

Around then is when I zoned out. I knew my sister was there. I feel like I was more with it at night. It was dark and calmer. During the day it was a bright fiasco. I remember the day my sister got there Trey had his iPad there for her to use and he had loaded golden girls on it. She would watch an episode or so. And then go get food. Come back with nothing for me, and watch some more. She’d always ask if I wanted to watch another one. But then she would close it and say okay go to sleep. And I would just be thinking damn woman. I wanted to watch more(I never really watched it…just hearing akmething familiar was nice) She would sleep and I’d lay there. And that’s when the hallucinations started so I don’t know if I was asleep or awake.

It was scary though. Weird tests I had to go through. My bed was hung from the drinking…so that if I wet the bed They could just mop the floor. They would feed me dog food through my nose, and push it through with a syringe. The bed was set on a timer so that if I didn’t move enough it would turn into a wood chipper, and I’d be done for. Weird everything.

The only people that I knew were real were Trey, and benton. Benton always brought Trey to the hospital, and somehow I was so stuck on that. If they were late it was a national emergency…And I full on panickes. Over nothing I guess. But it was terrorizing. All I ever asked for was Trey & Benton. I remember begging April to call them…she would just say okay, and ignore me. They would finally come up and then they would leave, and my sister would stay. I never wanted Trey to leave, ever. I felt lost and freaked out without him there. I remember him explaining to me that he couldn’t stay because of his cancer. I remember him saying oh Thomas I hope you can hear me. Trey always talked to me like I was there which I was. I recall one specific day. I think it was a Saturday, but then how would I know I also thought it was November … I think Trey and Benton were cleaning house? Or grocery shopping, something. I believe Brenda was there…I remember squeezing the football with my hand a lot, and playing tic tac toe. I know Brenda brought me the football, and a squishy thing her neighbor had given her, and I remember the dry erase board Because I was like OH THANK GOD I CAN COMMUNICATE… and no. I couldn’t even hold a marker. I think that’s when I realized…oh no. I am a mess.

Before I ‘woke up’ I remember benton and Trey talking over, or across my bed. Trey was holding my right hand Benton my left. Trey told him point blank -

‘if your going to leave you need to go now. No matter what happens Thomas is going to need a LOT of help, and I’m not exactly sure how this is going to happen…but if you need to go then get out now before he wakes up.’

I remember Trey was crying a lot...a lot a lot. And couldn’t get out what he was saying. I just remember Benton telling him that ‘we were family, and that he wasn’t going anywhere. Thomas is my best friend, and we took care of you(Trey) so now he and Trey would take care of Thomas.’

There was never even a question. I remember Trey telling benton that he didn’t know how much he could help. But that he felt better knowing that we had a benton.

I remember them holding hands and crying a lot. Benton just kept telling Trey that everything was going to be alright...

I just remember being like ... well good lord. Someone break out the peace pipe and we can all sing ….

‘Kumbaya my Lord, kumbaya

Kumbaya my Lord, kumbaya

Kumbaya my Lord, kumbaya

Oh Lord, kumbaya…’

I know that was the day Trey found out about his cancer. And I know he was about to tell benton. But he held back…in a way I’m sorta glad that he did. I don’t know what I would have done being in that state and not being able to talk or communicate…not being in any control.

My hallucinations continued anytime Trey or Benton weren’t Around. The tests, New Orleans for medical tests…my sister abandoning me to some weird experimental doctors, and treatments. Helicopter weird explosion hallucinations. Things to scare me And make me move, or walk. Anything to get up. Nothing worked. I remember Trey just pleading with me to do something. To try. As hard as I could. It seemed like months. Or weeks- it was a long time ‘locked in’ But in reality I think it was MAYBE three days.

And then something happened…

I had Treys attention. He was literally RIGHT in my face. YELLING at me.




I Just remember it was so bright, and I couldn’t focus. At all. I knew Trey was there. But I couldn’t focus. And then I saw benton. He too was right in my face. (like invasion of my personal space close) But he was still. They were talking at me. Trey got back in my face and was still. I could see him. And then there was everyone. Nurses, Drs…I don’t know. I just know Trey was so animated. And telling literally everyone I was there.

I’ll never forget that moment.

I don’t know what I did to catch his attention. But it honestly felt like I would never get it. I just know it was all calm and peaceful. Trey and Benton had been talking about work…and then all hell broke loose. And it was a fiasco.

That’s where it gets weird for me. Reality and hallucinations really blurred everything up. I know my mom was there…but I saw her as a physical therapist trained by Jennifer Collier. I kept thinking is this the best this hospital can do? I also saw dust everywhere. I kept telling Trey it was so dirty get me out of here. My mom the physical therapist made me count to ten. It was NOT my favorite activity. AT ALL. I was like damn I ain’t forgot anything. Y’all treating me like my brains been erased.

I wanted to know how Treys treatments were going. That and work were really all I cared about. I was always asking Trey about Treatment. And I remember talking about the jobs in the hospital with Benton.

My Stroke was in the Pons, or Times Square of the brain.  Right there in the middle of everything.  I had about a grapefruit size of blood and fluid overtaking the whole center of my brain, and spinal cord
Anatomy of the brain

it turns out... Ischemia(strokes) and crazy hallucinations are common. Probably as a way to deal with the total hot mess that you’ve become…and to cope with everything happening.

…when I ‘woke up’ things started to change.

In big … Big ways...

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