Friday, October 8, 2010

Toad of the Trapeze

Once they cleared site of the hospital there were hugs all around. Toad leapt from the wheel chair and promptly careened towards the nearest tree. Rat grabbed him and firmly put him back in the wheelchair. "Not so fast you! Doctor's orders are for you to avoid trees for the time being.  The only thing you will be about for the next weeks bed!" They all laughed but Toad, who looked despondent, and miserable, and forlorn. Having promised himself not to let his friends down ever gain,  here he was trying to launch himself into trouble immediately upon his rescue.

"Cheer up you silly Toad", said Mole. All will be well. Half the Wild Wood are waiting at Badger's and we will soon be there." And indeed, it seemed that in no time they were at Badger's front door,  over which there was now a sign that read, "Wild Wood Sanitarium." The door was open and flanked by dozens upon dozens of the local inhabitants, all cheering for Toad. Tears welled up in Toad's eyes and he made his way from one to another thanking each and every.

Having made a full circuit, he found himself in front of an old oak that had ropes hanging in a peculiar pattern from a huge over hanging limb. "What's all this then", asked Toad.

"As you noticed," Badger said, "you are a bit unsteady on your feet,   "so Mole came up with a contraption he calls a 'trapeze'" And suddenly Toad was set upon by the two young HedgeHogs and rigged to the oak like a marionette. Badger let go of Toad and gave him a slight nudge. Toad lurched away but as he was about to take a dive one of the HedgeHogs  pulled on a line and up Toad came. Soon the two little HedgeHogs looked like they were madly pealing the village bells, while Toad did St. Vitus dance. Badger had refreshments served all round and they all smiled in the sun (even Toad, who danced the whole afternoon.)

Toad Emancipated

The world came crashing in on Toad. Gone was his small parlor. Gone was the jabberwocky (with whom he had become fast friends.) He was free! What? And with that he realized that his new found freedom had rather intriguing limitations. He was fitted with a vest that was tied to the bed, and while he explained in detail (in several languages) why such measures were obviously unnecessary for a person of his pedigree, the stoats and weasels seemed to take no notice (which in no wise interfered with his tasking them over their obvious oversight.)

And then a set of new doctors appeared.  The tallest, a person of about Badger's height, and about Badger's width, and who sounded a great deal like Badger, and... "My stars!", exclaimed Toad, "It's Bidthr", the last bit muffled by a thermometer that had suddenly materialized in Toad's mouth. "Delirious" said the assistant who sounded just like... "Rat" shouted Toad, and Dr. Ersatz winked at Dr. Williams who nodded knowingly back. And with that, the second assistant interrupted to urgently advise Dr. Williams that there was a patient who seemed to be running amok in the next ward (his long nose twitching a bit in the proces ) whereupon the horde of stoats and weasels, dashed down the corridor, while Ersatz and his two assistants calmly wheeled Toad to the door that Otter held wide.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Toad Aware

A new dawn found Toad listening to the girl tell him about what was going on in the wide world. Toad cried from time to time as he realized how much everyone cared for him and, more importantly, how much he cared for everyone.

In the meantime, Rat and Mole had disguised Badger as a doctor and Dr. Ersatz was arranging for Toad to be transferred to Dr. Ersatz's private facility for rehabilitation. Dr. Williams was a bit nervous about this ("You remind me of someone I know", he muttered over and over) but Badger , disguised or nor, made for a convincing personage. Mole felt a little guilt, what with his fake mustache, eye-glasses and white coat, but he was thrilled to be having a hand in the scheme. Rat, similarly attired, was chatting the stoats up about the latest in respiratory therapy ("How does he do it", Mole wondered to himself.)

And by noon, arrangements having been made and Toad having exhausted himself, all was quiet. Toad was napping while the girl sat at his bed, and Badger, Rat, and Mole, having collected Otter, were free of their disguises and dancing in the lane on their way back to the Wild Wood. Toad would be free and whole. It was just a matter of time.

A new plan for a new day and hope gusted in the Fall air with the yellow leaves.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Toad Delirious

Introduction: Delirium, an organic psychiatric syndrome, occurs in 10% of hospitalized patients and is characterized by fluctuating consciousness and impaired cognition, perception, and behavior.
Method: Charts of 11 consecutive patients with delirium were retrospectively reviewed.
These patients were given quetiapine fumarate, a novel antipsychotic, as first-line treatment for
their symptoms. The charts of a control group of 11 patients treated with haloperidol, the standard
treatment for delirium, during the same time period were also evaluated. The Delirium Rating
Scale (DRS) was used to evaluate the efficacy of each treatment.
Results: Ten of 11 patients in both groups had > 50% improvement in DRS scores. There was no
difference in onset of symptom resolution, duration of treatment, and overall clinical improvement.
Quetiapine was better tolerated in these medically ill patients.
Conclusion: Quetiapine appears to be an efficacious and well-tolerated treatment for delirium.
Further prospective studies are warranted.
(Primary Care Companion J Clin Psychiatry 2000;2:10–12)

"Damn!" Rat had been reading about the medicines Toad was receiving in hospital based on Otter's most recent intelligence.  "Easy, Rat..." said Mole. They had dressed up as cleaning women and, having gotten into Toad's room, dressed him in similar costume to secret him to Badger's home. Things had been going splendidly until Toad started having bouts of delirium in the hospital room, screaming "I have to pee!" Toad, an excitable, impulsive creature at the best of times, had seemed if anything, m ore rational than usual, so his sudden agitation took his would be emancipators off guard. They had hurriedly placed Toad back in his bed and beat a hasty retreat pushing their mops before them and nodding to the nurses running to check on the commotion in Toad's room. Crestfallen, they had regrouped at Badger's table.

"Apparently, he has been sedated for so long and what with his injuries and all, he gets confused", said Otter. 

Toad wasn't the only one confused.

Thursday, September 30, 2010


"'The time has come,' the Walrus said,

'To talk of many things:
Of shoes—and ships—and sealing-wax—
Of cabbages—and kings—
And why the sea is boiling hot—
And whether pigs have wings.'"

The Great Owl cleared his throat.

"'Will you walk a little faster?" said a whiting to a snail,
'There's a porpoise close behind us, and he's treading on my tail.
See how eagerly the lobsters and the turtles all advance!
They are waiting on the shingle - will you come and join the dance?
Will you, won't you, will you, won't you, will you join the dance?
Will you, won't you, will you, won't you, won't you join the dance?'"

And that was that.

And somewhere, not so far away, planets moved.

Toad's Hour

   "The Badger strode heavily into the room, and stood looking at the two animals with an expression full of seriousness. The Rat let his egg-spoon fall on the table-cloth, and sat open-mouthed.
   `The hour has come!' said the Badger at last with great solemnity.
   `What hour?' asked the Rat uneasily, glancing at the clock on the mantelpiece.
   `Whose hour, you should rather say,' replied the Badger. `Why, Toad's hour! The hour of Toad! I said I would take him in hand as soon as the winter was well over, and I'm going to take him in hand to-day!'
   `Toad's hour, of course!' cried the Mole delightedly. `Hooray! I remember now! We'll teach him to be a sensible Toad!'"

Toad Breathes Again

Toad sensed that something had changed and excused himself. The jabberwocky had taken to cocking its head to one side as if listening to someone and had seemed since to be rather more polite about sharing their cramped quarters and Toad had come to have a certain sense of camaraderie with the fearsome beast.

Things went out of focus and all hazy for a bit and finally the hospital room swam into view. Toad suddenly remembered how uncomfortable this place was. Why had he come back here?

One usually doesn't think about breathing; it is one of those things that we take for granted, like the sun coming up in the morning, the rains coming in the Spring, butter and jam with scones. But when one hasn't been able to breath on one's own, one develops a new found respect for that enterprise. Toad realized what had changed and it struck a chord deep inside him. He was responsible for himself; he was breathing on his own. And then his head exploded

And just as suddenly he realized that his head was still intact but he had the worst headache he had ever known. Then another wave of pain. He closed his eyes and in the swirling mists he could see the beast in the little parlor. The poor creature was coughing, and with every spasm its head would hit the low ceiling. Toad felt a tear in the corner of his eye.