ventilator – the elevator

I was on a ventilator for 12 days, and had numerous dreams and hallucinations during my time under, I have no idea if what went on in my mind was spread across those two weeks, if they occurred during the days that I was apparently awake, or if they even happened in a single day. All I know is the helplessness and hopelessness that I felt were very real to me, and that while I’ve so far been spared of most of the emotional and mental trauma that accompanies those memories, they’ll stay with me forever.


I woke up to two nurses talking. One was my nurse, Bill (whom I had in some other hallucinations), and another was a female nurse that was with him. The female seemed like she was new at the hospital, and she was partnered with Bill, who was showing her how things were done at the hospital.

As I woke up, I realized that I was tied down. I couldn’t move my hands and feet since I was strapped to a hand truck (like the one pictured, although I think the one I was strapped to was green). Since I was on a hand truck, I was upright, and at this point Bill and the other nurse were in front of me, to the side. Instead of being in my room at the hospital, I was in an elevator – I was being transported from my room in the hospital to a truck waiting outside (like the one pictured; however, I wasn’t being kidnapped, everything that was happening was legit).

While the elevator was heading down, the two nurses began having a conversation about Epic, the software system that the hospital used (and which a large amount of hospitals use). Bill was complaining about Epic, talking about some of the issues that he had with Epic, and explaining some of the quirks with the hospital’s implementation of it; however, he never mentioned the name of the software while he was talking. The other nurse that was with him was asking him some questions about it, and they were having a general discussion about the system.

While the two of them were talking, I came to. I asked if they were talking about Epic (Michigan Medicine does use Epic – I think that I knew about this before I had covid though). Bill was surprised that I knew about Epic (I don’t remember if he, in this hallucination, knew my background, and that I had zero medical background, but he was surprised). He asked me how I knew about it, and I told him that I knew a lot of people that were in Madison, Wisconsin, where Epic is headquartered, and so I had found out about it through that. Shortly thereafter, the elevator stopped, and Bill moved me from elevator into the back of the truck, where I was still strapped to the hand truck (but lying down).

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