For some reason(s) which I don’t remember, I am extremely curious to find out how the interior of an ambulance looks. Like little boys and their fascination with fire engines.
Unfortunately, the only time I was in an ambulance, I was unconscious. I had thrown a fit, literally.
One moment I was in a meeting talking to my colleagues, the next I woke to a throbbing headache, someone shining a bright point of light into my eye, and a thin transparent tube with a needle at one end jabbed into the back of my hand. That someone kept asking me for my name and whether I knew where I was (presumably to check if I was disoriented, which I was, terribly disoriented).
My memories of those two days in the hospital are very very vague. What little I know is gathered from various eye-witness accounts which I have pieced together to try to make a coherent narrative. And even that is sketchy at best.
The story goes that I had seizures while in office and had to be carted off to the emergency department in an ambulance, where I was made to stay overnight for observation, and whisked away for CT scan and MRI and blood tests. All of which were inconclusive, so I was released home the next day.
I remember sustaining bruises from my fall (as well as during my transfer from office to ambulance). I remember my shock as I woke up to discover that someone had changed me into the hospital get-up without my knowing it, wondering if my modesty had been outraged(?). I also remember sleeping a lot, and still feeling extremely tired (wondering if the exertion of seizing had exhausted me?).
But what I remember most is the awkwardness of having a gap in my memory. That chunks of time had been stolen from me. That there was (and still is) a discontinuity, a disjoint in my being. It’s strange actually, because we lose consciousness while we sleep too, yet there isn’t the sense of having “lost” something. Is it because we can consciously choose to be unconscious that renders sleep non-threatening? Is it the lack of control, the lack of predictability we have over fits that make them scary?
For a while now, I have been a little worried that one day I might fall down somewhere and start seizing, or I might start seizing and fall down somewhere. If that happens, catch my head and turn me over on my side.