DEBBIE VISITS A SPANISH MENTAL HOSPITAL
I awoke to the sounds of breakfast for the others but none for me. Maria came by
and said, "Dr. Gonzales just called and wanted to make sure you were thoroughly
restrained and gagged. I told him where you were and that you were well chained
with a pear gag. He wanted tape added, so here we go."
With that she began wrapping the horrible elastic bandage around my entire lower
head, muffling my groans. As she was finishing, Dr. Gonzales appeared with an
orderly and some type of nursing supervisor.
"Are you sure she can't get loose?" was his first question. "While I review her
chart I want you to get a blood specimen for AIDS. Just look at my hand."
Despite the fact that multiple days had passed since I bit him, the hand was
still very swollen and bandaged. "She could have any type of infection," he
"And from her little attempt to escape yesterday, she still is obviously
agitated, paranoid and difficult to control.
Well, schedule her for a series of five electroshock treatments."
I looked at him in disbelief and screamed into the gag and tape.
Maria said, "I thought that Dr. Morales had specified no electroshock."
The reply from Dr. Gonzales was, "Didn't you hear? Dr. Morales had a sudden
heart attack two days ago and died. So his orders no longer apply. Besides, if
he knew about her behavior here, he would agree. In fact, I don't know why he
didn't or shock therapy to begin with. It will give me considerable pleasure to
start her immediately."
As the import of his words sank in, I struggled against my bonds and continued
to yell and groan. My God, there was no one to come to release me. Well, maybe
Dr. Morales' nurse, but she would be very involved with his funeral and her own
Would she remember me? ...ever?
My immediate problem was fighting as they (2 orderlies and two nurses) linked my
wrists together behind my back, strapped my knees and ankles and transferred me
to a stretcher where I was covered by a restraining sheet.
Maria came over and said as I was wheeled away, "I'll let Elisa know but doubt
if she can do anything. It won't be too bad."
I knew that in my own hospital, patients received a brief general anesthesia and
intravenous muscle relaxants to stop the convulsions that would otherwise occur
when the shock was applied across the brain. I had heard that in the 'old days'
flexion fractures occasionally resulted from the convulsions. What about here?
The treatment room to which I was taken had what appeared to be an operating
table. I was transferred onto this and, despite my struggling, my ankle and
wrist cuffs were attached to the edges of the table with my arms by my sides.
Broad straps were then tightly placed over my chest, waist, hips and knees. Next
I felt the center of the table being raised, hyper extending my back. To my
dismay, I could see no anesthesia machine although they did have an oxygen tank
there. Also, there was no evidence of an EKG machine or any other monitoring
Dr. Gonzales entered the room with another man who I guess was some type of
He went to the head of the table and looked down at me.
"Glad to see your head is already shaved," he said. "Saves us time." With that
he applied some type of jelly or ointment to the sides of my head just above my
ears, and then placed on these areas two electrodes with wires attached. A
rubber strap around my head held these in position. "Usual voltage, frequency
and amperage?" he asked Dr.
Gonzales who smiled and nodded.
The doctor then said to me, "Debbie, I'm not sure about that gag of yours.
It might not prevent you from biting yourself. So I am going to replace it with
a standard rubber mouth piece and airway. Please don't fight me for I can make
this much more difficult for you."
He sounded sincere and a little sorry for me. As he took off the tape and
removed the gag I said, "Doctor, please don't do this. I am not crazy." But in
went the rubber thing, wedging open my jaws with something that held my tongue
down and out of the way. Then my head was strapped back over a roll behind my
Then he said, "Ready? Everyone step back." Then came a burst of light and pain
in my head.........
I slowly regained consciousness to find myself lying on a bed. I couldn't figure
out where I was or why I could only move my hands and feet a short distance.
Wasn't I a nurse?
Why wasn't I on duty? What was my name? Why did I hurt all over?
A nurse came to the bedside and said, "Good, you're waking up. Debbie, are you
"Who are you? Where am I?"
"Debbie, you are in a mental hospital and have had a shock treatment.That's why
you can't remember. Your mind will slowly clear. Just try to relax."
With time I could recall hearing that Dr. Morales was dead but everything after
that was blank. Later, Elisa came by and we talked for quite a while. I decided
to tell her everything for it seemed like my only chance of getting out of the
Although she listened, she did not seem to accept what sounded like an
"Debbie, I'll think about what you told me. But now I want you to get some
With that she leaned forward and kissed me.