Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Medical Technology school 7-2001 to 6-2002: Prelude to a Clue

The first day of class for the medical technology program was July 22. And of course this was the year 2001. The first day was typical of most first day programs anyone will be a part of. We introduced ourselves. Ann Rose gave us our course intro packets and we discussed what medical technology is and the scope of our practice as medical technologists. She also gave us our tentative schedule for lectures and also our clinical rotations. The rotation was the situation where we were actually in the lab with an employee, running patient samples as the employee supervised.

The material was compact and compressed, as we had so much to go over, however it was very informing, and I grew to like the field more and more. There are several career pathways I could choose from, even now as I write this. One could of course work in a hospital laboratory testing specimens from inpatients and outpatients. One could go into research, either at a hospital equipped to do so or a research laboratory. One could work for medical equipment manufacturers as sales representatives and field service technicians. One could even go into public health. Since public health was sort of what I was doing as a graduate, this sort of just gives me another opportunity to pick up there where I left off.

All is well through the first component of the program (the lecture component) up until about sometime in January. At that time I think I was stressed from the intensive program and we were beginning the clinical phase of the program. That is where we work along side the employee techs with patient samples, in their respective departments. We would rotate through chemistry, hematology and coagulation, urinalysis, immunology, blood banking, and microbiology.

I think it may have been sometime in January or early February that I came across a movie in which Tom Cruise starred in. Penelope Cruze was the co-star and played an easy going, simple but beautiful woman who attracts our main characters interest. From here on out I will refer to the character names and not the actors and actresses while talking within the confines of character analysis. Now, when I get to what it means to me, then I will most likely use the actual actors and actresses names.

David Ames (Toms character) is from an upper class family. His father left him fortunes in an editing and publishing firm. David thinks that the board of directors has tried to frame him for a murder that he insists he did not commit. The film opens with David in a cell wearing a mask and talking with a psychologist. He's been having dreams about Ellie. David insists he is innocent. So now we come to the story. David had a girlfriend who was rather possessive and when he breaks it off because of a new love interest, Sophia, his ex girlfriend drives them both off a ramp. She dies, he becomes disfigured. Fast forward a bit: David is in bed with Sophia after having made love when Sophia changes into his ex girlfriend. This occurs a few times, then stays in shape of ex girlfriend. David freaks out and begins to strangle ex girlfriend until she is silent. When David calms down, he slowly pulls the pillow away from the womans body and sees the mole on her chest. The mole belonged to Sophie. He loses it again, and goes screaming out of her apartment.

We go back to the cell, and the psychologist says he can't help him any further, he doesn't know what to do. He leaves while David looks off to the tv in the guards room. The tv is blaring on about some life extension because a man had a dog put on ice and the dog, Ellie, was successfully reanimated. This reminded David of something, so he pounds on the windows, and cries out, "Let me out".

David and his councilor and the guard all go to the place called L.E. for life extension.
He meets tech support in an elevator and learns that he signed a contract with them. He had been put in suspended animation for over one hundred years, but there has been a problem. They have found the fix but now he must choose on whether to wake up to the real world (where the technology exists to fix his disfigured face) or stay under the ice a while longer.

One of the things I find fascinating about this is that this is exactly, well sort of, how I feel on the inside. Like I'm here but I'm not here. In and out. Yin and Yan, again. Perhaps even more interesting is that this movie was first aired for the theaters on December 14, 2001. Obviously the 12-14 sticks out like a sore thumb, at least for me, anyway. Not only that, but this was out on VHS only. It wasn't out on DVD. Usually it is vice versa. I did not have access to a DVD player at that time, so I sort of imagined it was like that for a reason, so I would be able to see it at that time. That plus the date of theater introduction just kind of makes a person like me go, "Hmm". I should also mention that on one of the making of featurettes. that played at the end of the movie, Tom and the director, Cameron Crowe, made it sound as if they were looking for somebody. Again, hmm?

I should also mention another movie I saw. This one was Artificial Intelligence. It was directed by Steven Spielberg. The story is sort of set up in two parts. The first part concerns two parents who are losing their only child to a disease. They decide to have a child built in the likeness of their son. The mother was reluctant while the father was the instigator. So they have the andritic child made and brought home. The mother can not deal with this and therefor has the child taken away for "decommissioning". On the way the child android (along with the human child's robotic sentient teddy bear) escapes. This brings us to the second part, in which David, the sentient child android, and Teddy meet up with a male android and they seek the "blue fairy" who can enlighten David as to his purpose. They eventually find the child's makers who attempt to try to explain to him what he is. He is heart broken, he still searches for the blue fairy, and upon finding an old Disney fairy, with blue dress, sign underwater (in his ship) he eventually freezes underwater. Thousands of years later, robots from made by humans (humans are gone, gone extinct?) find him and are taken with him because he looks like the humans (one of the first AI). They reanimate him and set him up with the supposed "real" mother (taken by a hair sample that Teddy had on him). However, they haven't perfected this technology and she is can only survive one night. It's okay, because David really needs that love and belonging that he had with her before.

When I watched this, I had such a pull toward the story. Like I was supposed to look for my own "blue fairy". Was this movie trying to tell me something? I didn't know. I knew I was sick, but it felt like something was here and searching me out.

These few months between up to June I had had several non Philip Kindred Dick related experiences one of which was fool proof evidence, or at least to me, that Something was going on.

Things were getting weird at school. By this time we were in the work area of the lab, what we commonly refer to as "the bench". There was a rather rude older lady, fat, dark hair whose name was Carol. I was working with her one day, and I had the feeling she was about to trip in the chemistry area. Then all of a sudden, an extreme surge of Deja Vu came on. It came on so strong, I about tripped myself. Well, looking aver at Carol she was walking toward an analyzer and she nearly fell. I had to break her fall. That was probably one of my first of many encounters with Deja Vu.

Several more paranoiac episodes occurred during that time, a few of which I will recount.
This incident occurred on 3-13-02 and although it is probably more of a personal clue, because the very nature of it is so vague, it could have been mere coincidence, but this precedes a few other incidents. Therefore, this could have been the "mental set up" I was supposed to acquire Our class went to the City today on a field trip to visit the American Red Cross blood distribution centers, a research lab at the City University, A stem cell research lab, and finally to a reference laboratory. While we were at Quest Diagnostics, the reference lab, the lab director was giving a tour of the facilities and near the end of the tour she began telling us about their toxicology department. She mentioned they did do lead testing. Myself, being interested in environmental health, I had asked her if they had tested for any other environmental toxicants. She said they did not, and then proceeded to go off on a tangent discussing how that it would be a waste of time to go into a medical technology program if one wanted to do environmental testing. they discussed how medical technology is about correlating results with patient disease states. Well, I did not ask for this lecture. I was quite sure I knew what I was going through this course to do. It was a simple question. I thought at the time that they were all doing this to humiliate me. Our lab school director looked at me as if she were expecting me to ask a question. I thought, "Is all this set up for my relentless torture"?

The next major incident occurred that same day after we had made it back to Capston from the City. I was riding around the University, making sure I knew where the crime lab was, because we were supposed to meet there at nine the next morning. At that time, I was thinking about a certain young oriental man that used to go to the university. I forgot his name, but he used to be around a lot. I also saw him around the hospital quite often, and I wondered if he was perhaps from the last class. For some reason, at that moment, I was thinking about him and having suspicions that he was covertly "watching" me. For what reason, I did not know. Almost immediately after thinking that, I saw him strolling along pacific street, next to the large stone Glowell building. I thought, "What the hell is going on"?

We, or I should say Tabby, had a good friend who was about to give birth there at our hospital. So one day I decide to go up and see her, and wouldn't you know it, she was talking with Tabby as I was walking through the door.

Of course, I was stressed. Mental illness can drive you crazy. So naturally, I seemed probably somewhat distant at school. Things were beginning to get hard to keep up with. It was March and I was on my last week of four weeks in the Microbiology department. I had over heard the Micro supervisor talking to another student and the supervisor mentioned that if I didn't want to be there I shouldn't have came. That was in response to a misunderstanding between the supervisor and myself earlier that day. That was it, it was the last straw. I just couldn't take it any more. If I came back the next day, it would probably be as a patient on the fifth floor psychiatric ward, again. I called Ann and we had worked out an arrangement where I could come back and finish the sections I had missed next year. I was very pleased with her compassion and help.

I was finished with the program for now, but I wasn't totally done for. I was able to work, so I went back to Manpower at the Procter and Gamble site. One day, I had cut myself while trying to adjust the back of a chair. I had made a make do bandage by getting a piece of paper towel and placing a piece of tape around it to secure it to my finger. It wore off soon, and as I was walking to the break room, with just a section of paper towel wrapped around my finger, I was thinking how nice it would be if I had a piece of tape to secure it with. Well, I looked up and there was about a two inch piece of tape hanging from a rail, like it was just put there waiting for my convienence. It would have done the job nicely. I didn't use it however, because I did not know where it had come from. You have to be cautious in manufacturing facilities. You never know what you could be hazarding yourself with. Almost immediately, I "noticed" tape in four or five other locations. Whole roles of tape. Some how, my vision seemed to gravitate in those directions. It was like there was a florescence, a halo, around each role of tape, so I would notice them. They "stuck out", pun intended!

I told my counselor about all this, and she said that it seemed to her like I was very "intuitive" and perhaps had a special relationship to the universe. I told her I was frightened, and confused. She told me to just keep going on, it will get better. Unfortunately, this was my last session with her. She did let me know. She went to work with a private practice psychiatrist in her home town. We hugged and said our good byes. God, how I have missed her.

It wasn't long after that, when June 23rd came around and I made the connection. One thing I'd like to point out, or question is this: If I had not been going through this other stuff, the paranoia, seeing patterns in things, the psychic situations, I wonder if I would have made the connections that day on June 23rd? I don't know. It seems that it possibly could have helped, however, I have asked a few people about the seemingly valid synchronicity and it appears that it could very well stand on its own.

No comments: