Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: Pen and Paper (07/17/14)
- TITLE: Ted~
By C D Swanson
LEAVE COMMENT ON ARTICLE
SEND A PRIVATE COMMENT
ADD TO MY FAVORITES
“Come on in Ted.”
“Hi..hi…hi. I need more paper and pen.” His smile beamed as he fidgeted in place.
“Of course. Please help yourself Ted; you know where they're stored.”
Moving quickly across my office an inaudible “thank-you” was offered.
“Ted, how have you been? I heard that you’re having trouble sleeping? What’s going on?”
“Well, I’m scared…scared…scared. There’s a rat in my room and jumped into my mouth and I was choking.”
Ted’s schizophrenic delusions had escalated the last couple of weeks. It wasn’t determined what was causing the increase along with his agitation. The doctor’s tried a medication adjustment, along with additional drugs, to which I objected…believing it was doing more harm than good. But, who was I to say? I wasn’t the psychiatrist on Ted’s case.
“Ted. Did you call the nurse when that was happening?”
“No, the nurse is afraid of rats. I didn’t want to bother her. She was doing things to other people, torturing them with needles and listening to the whispers of Ed Trader.”
“Can you sit for a moment Ted?”
“Okay…just a little while. No more. No less. I do it for you.” He smiled and added, “I really think you look like a real princess. You are good, there are devils in here you know. Watch out for the devils in here.”
I nodded. "What are you writing about with your paper and pen? Is that okay if I ask you that?”
“It’s a surprise. I can’t tell you…not yet. I can’t tell you…not yet.”
“Oh, well that’s okay then. I will respect that.”
“Okay, respect that. Okay, respect that. You will respect that.” Ted’s echolalia piqued more so when he was nervous about something.
“Your brother came to visit last night. Did you go out and have donuts and coffee?”
“Donuts and coffee. Donuts and coffee. Yep, we had donuts and coffee.”
I sat and observed and noted that he wasn’t making eye contact; instead he was constantly scanning his external stimuli. Jumping up he ran to the door.
“What is it Ted?
“The nurse won’t let me write it, she won’t let me do it.”
I walked over to him and calmly asked, “What is it the nurse won’t let you do?”
“The nurse won’t let me do it. She won’t let me do it.”
I patiently waited for him to stop fidgeting and answer me.
“I did it secretly. I did it secretly. I have it…I have it upstairs.”
He took my hand and opened my office door. I knew he wanted me to follow him. And, so I did.
We walked in silence upstairs. Ted was frightened of elevators. That was fine with me a known claustrophobic. Within three minutes we were in his room. He closed the door behind us before opening his chest of drawers. He rummaged through and found it.
“Here it is.”
I looked at the item he gave me and started to tear up. A self-made card fashioned from the paper he took the day before. On the front was a cross and the words, “Jesus, He saves me from the bad things.” Inside read, “I love Jesus, and thanks for sending me a princess who talks to me everyday.”
“Do you like it? Do you like it? I made it for you. The nurse didn’t want me to draw the cross. She doesn’t like the cross. She yelled at me for the cross.”
“Ted, this is the most beautiful card I’ve ever seen. This is amazing. You are amazing, but I’m sure Jesus already told you that.”
“Yes. Jesus told me that. Jesus tells me that all the time.”
I found out later the new nurse I had hired was in fact an atheist. She actually did give Ted a hard time. In fact, she kept taking the paper from him each time she saw the cross. There were three witnesses who came to my office to report it. I terminated her immediately. A zero tolerance for emotional and/or physical abuse was our policy.
I always believed Ted, even when the others didn’t— being schizophrenic didn’t mean he was a liar. I explained to staff we just needed to separate the delusions from reality.
Ted was a special man who touched my heart. I’m thankful that God placed him in my care for the longest time.
Wikipedia: Echolalia (also known as echologia or echophrasia is the automatic repetition of vocalizations made by another person. It is one of the echophenomena, closely related to echopraxia, the automatic repetition of movements made by another person; both are "subsets of imitative behavior" whereby sounds or actions are imitated "without explicit awareness". Echolalia may be an immediate reaction to a stimulus or may be delayed. Echolalia also occurs in aphasia, schizophrenia, dementia, catatonia, epilepsy, after cerebral infarction (stroke), closed head injury, in blind children, children with language impairments, as well as certain developing neurotypical children.
The opinions expressed by authors may not necessarily reflect the opinion of FaithWriters.com.
Accept Jesus as Your Lord and Savior Right Now - CLICK HERE
JOIN US at FaithWriters for Free. Grow as a Writer and Spread the Gospel.