Tag: hallucinations

Olympic Team Member?

I wonder how external stimuli impacted my distorted perception of the world. For example, 2021 was when the world met in Tokyo for the pandemic-delayed Olympics. Even if I could not watch television, I imagine someone likely had the tv on in my room. So, the grand spectacle of the games and advertisements and news reports bombarded my subconscious. Nurses were also bathing me and changing my gowns. Apparently, I incorporated these things into my hallucinations while living an “alternate life.”

I was on the Olympic team…

I was a part of the U.S. Olympic Team’s staff. That is laughable given my physical condition. However, I was something of a canary in a coal mine. I was a guinea pig for SARS-CoV-2 medications. I was also used to test other treatments whose aim was immune system modification. At one point, there were even bionic modifications. I recall the latter because something done to my hearing created odd difficulties with “non-compatible devices.” I might hear some or none of what was said, but then I’d register sounds from beyond the normal range from compatible tech.

And it provided connections

This ability led to a profitable side gig beyond U.S. Olympic team staff. There was an avant-garde musician who wanted to create a sound one experienced with the whole body. He had connections and knew of my bionic hearing. He wanted to collaborate with me to make his new sound. I recall being uncomfortable because there was what one imagines with the rich and famous, the stereotypical debauchery. Though I helped him complete his project, it further injured me. I began hearing things I shouldn’t. As I had with some of my visual hallucinations, this, too, made me question my sanity.

And new experiences

Now, how did the bathing and gown changes come into play? First, as Japan is a “bathing culture,” there were visits to onsens and sentōs with the Olympic team. So, those strangers scrubbing me became compatriots washing my back and hair. My hospital gown became the yukata. That amuses me because my self-consciousness would never permit me actually to visit an onsen or sentō in real life. However, the fact that I was wearing yukata must mean that being something of a VIP landed me a trip to a lovely onsen ryokan (i.e., a traditional Japanese inn).

It is nice that even while wondering if I was losing my mind that I could still enjoy some pleasurable experiences.       

The Scientists

As I have received positive feedback on these posts on social media, I will share another. There was a period when my eyes remained open despite being outwardly unresponsive. The doctors had me chemically paralyzed. Someone had left the lights on, and my mother saw my eyes “crinkling,” her description. So, nurses administered eye drops to keep my eyes moist. After they had released me from the paralysis and I was more cognizant of reality, my eyes continued to weep. I thank God I can still see. I share those details as a possible backdrop for the impetus of another series of hallucinations or dreams I had while in the hospital.

The bleary world…

I heard a voice saying that my parents were coming to see me. Unfortunately, all I could see were blobs of color. Perhaps a more accurate description is that everything looked to be melting. Thus, something in motion looked like the color left behind by a pastel crayon dragged across a canvas. First, I thought I was going insane. Then I would tell myself that I was not going but had already gone crazy. Periodically, I heard something like a blaring alarm. Unfortunately, I received no respite from this save eventual oblivion. I lost awareness of even my inner world and awoke to another inner reality. Whether or not this was a recurring experience and its repeated trauma has caused this to remain with me, or it was an isolated experience, it continues to haunt me.

Neither here nor there…

A hallucination with a fantasy or science fiction twist also occurred in the context of a parental visit. (My parents faithfully visited me despite driving many miles to do so.) I was in a surreal world with alien-looking creatures. There were people in white coats, but they were scientists rather than doctors. These scientists endeavored to create new lifeforms capable of existing in parallel realities. I must have lived in this parallel world because my situation is what kept my parents away. Suddenly, there was a bit of excitement. The scientists told me that they could bring my parents to me but that I could only have a short visit before leaving the same space. A better way of putting it is that they had to trade places with me.

Therefore, the scientists put me into a position to choose whether I wanted to take the chance that my parents would become stranded in this strange place or if we would remain separated without even a visit. Naturally, I was anxious because I could not make that choice. And then the scientists managed to open a means of communicating. I suppose I don’t have to tell you what my parents said. They wanted to see me, even if it meant taking my place. I felt it selfish but agreed to see them since they were willing. There was a portal off to the side of where I was sitting. Then, a fog began filling the space. My eyes made out shapes in the mist, which were my parents. They came closer to me and embraced me in a hug. We spoke for what felt like hours. And I even recall asking them about the tiny house by the railroad depot.

Presented Opportunities…

If the cold metropolis was my brain’s “save point,” this bizarre phantasm was my “warp zone” to other worlds, a cheat. I put in gamer terminology because it seems most apropos. And to my joy, the scientists had a surprise for me before I left. I could periodically return to this space to visit my parents. I did so. As it turns out, they got to experience a comfortable life. They had “pets” and even fostered some of the strange little beings made by the scientists. I did apologize to them for stranding them, but they told me everything was okay.   

The House

There was a house whose nebulous location must have been sufficiently distant enough to present difficulties for the day-tripper but close enough that one did not have to take a plane to reach the site. (About a day’s drive?) It must have been in the mountains of either eastern Tennessee, western North Carolina, or southeastern Virginia. As for the year, it seemed to be the early twentieth century, despite my realization that I was a twenty-first-century man.

The house was a refuge…

I met with my parents at this location on one occasion. I retained enough awareness of the outside world to know that I was sickly, unable to move much and knew I couldn’t take myself to the bathroom as I wanted. The strange thing is that it wasn’t our house. It was furnished but empty of occupants and adjacent to a railroad depot. A fire burned in the fireplace, and I could see the cardinals flitting about in the gently falling snow out of a picture window. I was comforted by this scenery, but couldn’t shake the feeling something was wrong.

But the only constant is change…

Eventually, we learned that the house belonged to a family whose circumstances put the house’s future in jeopardy. So, I might lose my refuge. Fortunately, a community of people came together to assist the family in preserving the house since it provided such comfort to wearied travelers. Someone suggested that the family covert the house into a place where people could convalesce. By opening the residence up to such usage, the family could receive outside financial support. The family agreed as long as everyone decided to leave their family’s heirlooms untouched.

Does it sound as if something were wrong? I suppose it does not. On the contrary, I was happy that things worked out to preserve the house but understood that my place there was limited. After my reunion with my parents, it felt as if they had left and gone far away. I was alone again, despite hearing the voices of others in the house. And soon, I was transported to another location, though I know not how or why. I was lying on a cold street amid a sprawling metropolis.

And all good things…

In the cold city, people walked past me lying on the concrete. Finally, a good Samaritan contacted the authorities, who had an ambulance transport me to the hospital. I recall being relieved as I would receive care. And though I felt cared for, my thoughts kept returning to the house and my parents. (As an aside, this metropolis was not unlike a save point in a video game. So I returned there often during those days of my lost year.)

I sensed my pain and discomfort and wanted to be well and return to “normal” life. I wanted to see my loved ones again. And I wanted to return to the tiny mountain house with the picture window and playful cardinals.

Interesting Hallucinations

I had mentioned that I experienced hallucinations (dreams?) I interpreted as reality. Perhaps, you will find them interesting or even entertaining. But, I wonder what Carl Jung would make of them? So, here are my various “hallucinations” in no particular order.

Why won’t anyone help me?

I had entered an empty warehouse-like structure and became trapped beneath some debris that had fallen on me. Why had I entered this place? I do not know. People were entering the building and were stealing items. Calling out to them, I desired deliverance but to no avail since they acted as if they could neither see nor hear me.

The reality was nurses had me restrained. I had pulled out my ventilator while loopy, after all. I imagine I must have repeatedly pleaded with them to release me from the restraints. However, until I was lucent, they could not do so.

“Paint me like one of your French patients…”

It may surprise you that I became a desirable model. It is true. However, before you start hearing Right Said Fred’s “I’m Too Sexy,” I was not that kind of model. I knew I was having health issues leaving me debilitated, and I wanted to do something to earn money. A CGI artist, a woman whose name I don’t recollect, used motion capture technology to make works of art using people with mobility issues. Since I could lie still and allow the artist to pose me however she wanted without complaint, I became one of her favorite models to use.

The artist had friends, most of whom were also women, and they would sometimes have gatherings at posh restaurants after the artist had completed her work. I seem to recall her thanking me with meals and letting me crash at her house when I had need. She had a daughter, but I remember no father.

Being unable to move in this hallucination had an apparent cause; it was a subconscious realization that I could not move. I have no idea how that related to art. I remember being thankful for the kindness shown to me. All of that “feminity” around me in the hallucination must have been because most of my nurses were female. There were a few fellows, but I know there was one I did not like; I thought he was plotting something against me.

“I don’t trust him.”

I had a male nurse whom I was able to become better acquainted with after becoming lucid. He is a nice guy and a joker. Thankfully, I got the opportunity to apologize to him for what I did while out of it. However, in my earlier hallucinations, he was a trickster like the Norse Loki. He was always trying to trick me into elaborate plots. He kept asking questions like he wanted information from me. And he promised he would help me if I helped him. I did not trust him, writing as much on a whiteboard for others, including this nurse, to see. Oops. In my haze, I knew he wasn’t being candid with me. He and a particular female nurse would do the “good cop, bad cop” routine. I wish I had committed these false memories earlier as the details become fuzzier with time.

The nurses did ask me a lot of questions. For example, “Do you know where you are?” “What year is this?” “Who is the President?” Given this particular nurse’s personality, he likely tried to interact with me whenever he provided care. Again, though, I’m unsure why I decided he was a bad guy.

There were other strange realities I inhabited during my four-month hospital stay in 2021. These examples were just a few that popped into my head as I sat down to write. I will share the more bizarre examples of hallucinations with you in another post.