When I was about 5 months pregnant with Risa and Vida, I was rushed to the hospital in mind-numbing pain (which, for the two days previous, I had attributed to pregnancy). Anyways, I ended up staying there for about ten miserable days, the incision across my belly unable to close because I was growing bigger by the minute. I was encouraged to administer my own morphine, but despite several assurances by various medical folks that it would in no way harm the two babies inside me, I couldn't conquer my paranoia that it WOULD. I think I pressed the button twice during my entire stay.
Anyways, I drifted in and out of sleep constantly, and I have vague memories of nurses who brought me warmed blankets when my teeth were chattering, who tried to teach me to visualize my pain away, and who performed other various niceties. But no one was as much of a lifesaver as the young doctor (it was a teaching hospital) who came to see me every night at two or three in the morning. He sat and talked with me for what seemed like hours, telling me all about his wife who helped to facilitate adoptions from foreign countries and who he rarely saw because of his schedule and her constant travel. They were trying to buy a house, he said, but it was hard to save money. He relayed gossip about my (excellent) periontologist and some of the big-shot doctors, one of whom was from India and boasted the most amazing head of hair (we nicknamed him "The Lion") I've ever seen in my life. He told me about some of the other interesting cases he was either working on or had heard about. This young doctor talked me through long stretches of night when I was bored and worried and having contractions I wasn't supposed to be having. I was so grateful for his company. He was often at the back of the group when his peer group came through with The Lion, and he would give me a reassuring smile.
But I realized something not too long ago: this young doctor didn't exist.
I made him up.
And now I wonder: Am I right to assume that I gave myself more morphine than I thought? Or (as my brother believes because of the late-night hour at which the visitations occurred) was it a super-natural thing? I balk at the latter, but I have to admit that I get THE most 100% creeped-out feeling when I think about this now.