My dad was in the hospital for more than a month, moving from intensive care to a step-down unit and back to intensive care, round and round and round. Even more disturbing than the terror of his mortality was his sudden and complete descent into insanity. He brought forth a constant stream of nonsense, sang songs in languages that didn’t exist, told incredible stories that were made of words but otherwise bore no resemblance to anything, said horrible and insulting things to everyone, and insisted that he was connected to a network of minds that had warned him of a bomb that was going to explode in a small town in Indiana. Apparently ICU psychosis is a common and unremarkable phenomenon in the medical world – it sure didn’t phase the nurses or doctors. For us, though, it was the most terrifying thing that we’d ever gone through as a family. There were moments of sweetness and levity though, somehow. This was one of the more delightful things that he said to me, very solemnly, as he labored over the intake of each breath.
When he recovered from his illnesses, he recovered from his madness as well, almost instantly. He is now healthy and active and completely back to being his usual kind, calm, rational self. Before this experience I thought it was an antiquated misunderstanding of human physiology when Shakespearean characters would go crazy just all of a sudden, like the way he thought you could be smothered to death and still talk a little bit before dying. Now I’m not so sure that this is impossible.
The morbid writing below the comic is sort of unrelated and was done on a different day, but they are on the same page and it somehow seemed wrong to remove it.