Saturday, October 23, 2010

A Doctor That Treats Himself Has A Fool For A Patient

As I settled in to my new job, if you could call it that, more like a baby sitter, I could not get the colonel out of my mind. What was I thinking? Well, I can't go back and change it. I wish that I could. I would have done things differently. I could have demanded my removal as his caregiver. I could have said no. I have a lot of time to think about what I had done. I still have not talked with Bunny. I have not visited her or tried to get in touch with her in any way. I found out from Henry that she had called the unit on several occasions trying to talk to me. I still wondered if she knew about what had happened. I still have told no one at all. Murder is murder, it does not matter the circumstances. If I had told anyone I am sure I would be facing criminal charges. Silence was my plan. The only other person that knew, as far as I knew, was dead. I planned on keeping it that way.   The drug use was becoming my way to deal with the memories, the pain, and the shame. I was still getting those 500 Valiums every two weeks. I would trade them for Quaalude, placidyls, Seconal, nembutals. I was becoming a walking pharmacy. I was working late one night and I walked down to the lab and talked my buddy into going up to the OR and stealing some drugs. He was game. We checked to make sure there was not any doctors in the hospital and we made our way up to the OR. We went in the same way I went in the last time and quietly we got all the liquid Valium out of the crash carts. We made our way towards the anesthesiologists office and raided the narcotics cabinet and walked out with a huge amount of controlled drugs. Three bottles of liquid cocaine, a case of injectable morphine and Demerol, and more vials of liquid Valium. We also got some vials of a drug we knew little about called ketamine. It turned out to be the largest theft in that hospitals history. There was no sign of forced entry so the investigators was sure it was an inside job. I would be sitting with some of my buddies that worked in the OR and they were bitching about the questions, drug tests and the attention they were getting from the investigators and they would be saying how much they hoped whoever did it would get caught. I did not care. I did not care about anything. That would come to be my undoing. It would not be long and what I would be going through would be hell on earth.      theblogmeister

Time To Move On

  It had been a few months since I killed the colonel and it was time to move on, farther. I went to my squadron commander, Major C, and asked for one more favor. I wanted out of the Air Force, honorably.He said to give him some time. While I was working on the MCU I had just about everybody that worked on the unit I used to work come by and see me. They could not believe I was throwing away so much talent. Several tried to talk me out of staying on the MCU and returning to the unit. They would tell me of times they had lost a patient and that I would get over it. We can't save them all, they would tell me. I have to say, I worked with a lot of great people on 2-east. They really cared about what I was going through. If they knew the truth I wonder what they would think of me, then. I really missed being a part of them, too. I could not go back near that room where I finished off the life of a human being. Hell, I didn't even hunt. I hated the thought of killing an animal. Now look at what I have become. The colonel was not an animal. He was a gentle, smart, witty, loving human being. I ended all that for him. Will I get a thank you if I ever see him in another world? No. I'll tell you what he will give me. A life of fear and self-loathing that only increased my appetite for the drugs. A life that almost killed me and one that made me question the existence of God. A life, for all practical purposes was not worth living.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

A Changed Me

  The memorial for the colonel had come and gone. So had the reading of the will. Also, my week to think about whether or not I wanted a transfer. I still wanted that transfer. I met with Major Cornelius and he agreed to give me the transfer. I moved from an exciting orthopaedic surgery unit to a minimal care unit. My patients were waiting to be discharged and had very minimal care involved. Thus, the name. I was the only tech on the unit and had to give meds, chart, then get my charting initialed by an RN. I noticed that when a patient was discharged, the left over narcotics were charted; returned to pharmacy. I also noticed that the RN's that were signing off on my charts were not checking with the pharmacy whether all the meds were, in fact, returned to the pharmacy. So, I began keeping the meds that I was ' returming to the pharmacy.' It started with a few percodan. I realized that the one thing that would help me deal with what I had done to colonel DeBarge was the pain pills. I felt great when I took them. May cause drowsiness my ass. Those things motivated me. I loved them. I then met a patient that was a pharmacy tech in the hospital and he loved to smoke weed and I had some friends that smoked it. We made a deal. Every payday, on the first and the fifteenth, I would get him an ounce of some good bud and he would give me a 500 lot bottle of 10mg valium. Back then, they did not count valium like they do today. So, I figured out a way to deal with the pain of killing the colonel by getting stoned. With 500 blue valiums(roache) I was the most popular person in the bar. I sold them, traded them, ate a lot of them, lost them. Hell, I was so scatterbrained from eating so much valium I would walk into work and the guy or gal, would ask me what I was doing there. I work here! Not today. I would look at the schedule and say,"See, Monday." he or she would then tell me that today was not Monday. Those valiums sure make you forget, don't they? My favorite bar was the Cracker Box palace in Ft. Walton Bch. and The Hogs Breath Saloon, just before the bridge. Hey, this was fun. Colonel who? I was having the time of my life. The more drugs I did the farther away the Colonel went. I had it going on. So I thought.....  theblogmeister

The Spiral Begins

  It was Sunday, my phone was off the hook. I did not want to talk to anyone. The colonel's memorial is out of the question. I was not planning on going to the attorney's office tomorrow, either. I hope Bunny understands why I can't be there. In a way, I hoped the colonel had told her of the plan for me to kill him. Let's just call it even. That's what I say. I spent the day reflecting on all that had happened. I often ask myself what it would be like if I never even met the DeBarges. Everyone of my fellow workers at the hospital has called to check on me. All except Col. Potter, that is. I hope she feels partly responsible if anything should happen to me. Partly hell! She could have averted the whole thing. All it would have taken would be one word to the colonel's question; no.
  I do not go back to work until Tuesday at 3pm. It is Monday morning and I have decided not to attend the reading of the will. Bunny does not know where I live or how to get in touch with me other than the hospital. I left strict instructions not to give out my number to anyone, including Bunny. Later that night I received a visit from Nancy. She was worried about me. I convinced her that I was just greiving about the loss of the colonel. She completely understood, she missed him, too. After a little small talk she left and said she would see me tomorrow at work. We said goodnight at the door.
  I had been up since 3am this Tuesday morning. I could not get the thought of what I had done out of my head. I had little sleep on my 4 days off and I decided to be at the hospital at 7am, when my squadron commander came to his office. I was waiting on him in his lobby when he walked up and asked me what I was doing there. When I first came to Eglin I met him on my first day at the hospital. He found out that I was from Glencoe, Al. and we hit it off, immediately. We were both Crimson Tide fans and he was from Gadsden, Al. Glencoe is a small town just outside of Gadsden. I had told him of what happened with the death of colonel DeBarge,(Not what REALLY happened)and that I wanted a transfer to another unit. Preferably a clinic job. It would have less interaction with patients. He asked me to think about it for one week, then if I still wanted a transfer, he would give me one. If he only knew the truth the only transfer I would get would be to Leavenworth, Ks.     theblogmeister

How Do You Spell Relief?

  You can imagine the feeling I had when I woke up this morning around 3am. Looking around and not being able to see anything but hearing the comforting sounds of my wife's breathing. I snuggled up to her and was thankful that God had chosen to put us together. It was, once again, a feeling I have come to know, quite well. She is always the one that brings me back to reality after every nightmare, whether she knows it or not. Most of the times she is awake and pulls me from the abyss of my sub-conscious.
  I sat in my apartment thinking about the colonel's last few minutes. What was he thinking just before I injected the morphine. Did he think about the afterlife? Did he think about Bunny? My guess is that his last thought was of his one true love, Bunny. I am pretty sure he did not think about what would happen to me. As I look back some 32 years later, I am convinced he was not thinking of me at the time I pushed the plunger, nor, prior to the end while he was convincing me to go through with it. He did not consider what killing him might do to me. He was selfish and a coward. I have grown to hate everything about him for taking away what I wanted most in this world, to become a doctor. His request was purely selfish. He knew that if he committed suicide that Bunny would lose all the perks of being a retired full bird colonel's widow. His retirement. His social security. Above all, his dignity. So, He got me to do the dirty work. And what did I get? You will know exactly what I got in the coming months. It will take me that long to tell my story of what happened after Col. Renold L. DeBarge.
  As I was reflecting the phone rang, it was Bunny. She told me of the colonel's arrangements and his memorial. She also told me that he left me something that he wanted me to have. They had no children, so, he decided to put me in his will. It was a Saturday morning, he was to be cremated on Sunday, and the will would be read at their attorney's office on Monday. Bunny gave me her address, the attorney's address, and said that she loved me and would see me at the memorial on the next day. All of this is my fault. If I would have been true to my beliefs none of this would happen. I do not deserve anything but disgust. A lot of that was on the way like a tsunami.   theblogmeister

A Nightmare on Taylor Road

 I was sleeping like a baby. It almost felt as if I were sleeping out in the hot sun. I could feel the warm rays on my face. I could hear the sound of the ocean's waves lapping at the pure white sands of Alabama's beautiful beaches. The smell of salt was almost pungent. The light started to get much brighter and a little too hot on my face. I did not want to wake up with a bad sunburn on my face that would cause people to think I had a bad drinking problem, high blood pressure, or both.
  When I opened my eyes the light was more brilliant than I thought. I had to squint, only letting a small amount of light in for fear I may injure my eye. I could no longer hear the soothing sound of the waves they were replaced by a steady beep, beep, beep. Where the hell was I? Still with my eyes mostly closed I tried to raise up. Something was holding me down. Now, I was starting to get a little freaked out. Straps were around my wrist, pinning my wrist to the bed. My legs were faring no better. I felt a sting on the inner side of my arm, just below my elbow. I was having a hard time figuring this one out. I was still having trouble seeing. "Will somebody cut that damn light off!" I got no response. I felt a burning sensation going up my arm followed by a sense of euphoria. Wow! This feels good. I slightly turned my head sideways to see who was responsible for the feeling I was having. I wanted their cell number. I tried to talk but my mouth would not move. Hell, I didn't care. I have never felt this good in my life! Through the haze I saw a curtain being opened and a few people standing on the other side of a glass window. While I was trying to figure out who they were, one looked very familiar, I heard someone from inside the room asked if I had any thing to say before sentence was carried out. As I was trying to process that bit of information I heard the same voice say,"commence." Looking out the window I figured out who the lady was. It was Bunny and wondered why was she here and where was..... theblogmeister

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Reliving The Past

  I thought long and hard about going back to the beginning to tell my story. I thought it may be important to other non-combat veterans who have been diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder to let them know they are not alone. The decision to go back that far was not made in haste. I am already beginning to suffer from those decisions. I am reliving those days, some of the most painful of my life by writing them down. To make a record of what went into the decision making is the same, to me, as reliving those moments. It has brought to the forefront of my cognitive reasoning  those acts and reasons of why I did those things. It has also brought along the pain, the fear, the self-doubt, the psychological turmoil just as real today as it was in 1978. I can still smell the odor of death when I last saw the colonel, the smell of Bunny's perfume as we hugged and cried, together. I can still fear the emptiness I felt on that day. It was November 13, 1978. I can still feel the shame I felt when Bunny told me that the colonel loved me like a son, remembering I was the cause of his death. I can still feel the confusion when Bunny told me how proud she and the colonel was for the courage and respect I had shown to them on that last day. My mind is being flooded with memories that started my spiral downfall in emotional abyss. The pain seems as real now as it did  then. I ask myself should I carry on with this journal of the life of a young, impressionist, that went out of control and almost lost his mind. I am going to carry on with this journal because I believe that if I stop, the nightmares will just keep getting worse until it will overtake my conscious mind to the point that I will end it all. Please, pray for me as I relive this journey with you. Thank you and God Bless   theblogmeister

The Aftermath

  The phone was ringing when I walked into my apartment. It was the hospital asking if I would come back to the hospital. They would not tell me why, I already knew. I am sure the staff was worried about me , that is the reason that there was no mention of the colonel's death. I got into my car, sat there for a few minutes trying to figure out if I could go back there without tipping anyone off. I did not want to bring suspicion upon myself. I drove slowly back to the hospital going over the last couple hours in my mind. I began doubting that I had done the right thing. How could I let a terminal cancer patient talk me into killing him. I don't care how you spin it, it still boils down to one simple fact; I had committed murder. All of my dreams since childhood had been thrown out the window. For what? Boy, I really fucked up, this time.
  As soon as I stepped off the elevator I could feel it. Death was all around. I started walking toward the colonel's room, not even stopping at the nurses station. I could feel their gaze upon me. I could hear the soft sounds of several crying. I looked up and saw Bunny and she almost ran into my arms. We both cried and held each other. To know the reason of her pain was my fault and it was almost too much to bear. She broke our embrace and looked me straight in the eyes and said, "He loved you like a son and so do I." I could not speak. My knees buckled and some staff were there to catch me. All I could do was cry. It was the most I have cried until the death of my mother in 2008. I was helped to a chair and Bunny was sitting right there beside me. The next statement caught me completely off guard. "I just want to say thanks. Thanks for all you have done. There is no one else that would have the courage that you have shown." That blew me away. Did the colonel tell Bunny of my plan? I was so confused I did not respond. Bunny opened my hand and placed an envelope in it, kissed me on the chick, and said that she would see me, soon.
  I do not remember how long I sat in that chair. I was in a total daze. Nancy had came back to the hospital, too. I heard her voice from what seemed a long way off. She was asking me if I wanted to go to her place. She did not think I should be left alone. Any other time I would have jumped at the offer. This time was different. I told her that I would be alright. I had the next 4 days off and I was going home. She made sure I was alright and then left. The staff came by, one by one, and hugged my neck and said how sorry they were about what had happened. Time would heal the pain. Little did they know that time would almost kill me. The only person that did not speak to me was Col. Potter, the very one that refused to reassign me to another patient. I often wondered why she avoided me but I already knew the answer.   theblogmeister

A Request For Help

  I am going to continue to write about my history of PTSD and what it has done to me and is continually doing to me. You cannot imagine how hard it is reliving the past. I have gone against my doctors advice. What I am  asking of you is to help me provide for my family. I am not asking for hand-outs or donations. All I am asking is that you get all your friends together and order your Christmas through  my blog using You can click on the ad just above my blog and it will take you to the complete astore. You can find everything and by using my blog to purchase your items it would help me while I go through the long process of veteran service-connected disability.. Please. I need your help. I hope you will continue the journey with me of my life as a PTSD patient. You can help my wife and I stay in our home and make it through these difficult times. Thanks,  theblogmeister

It Was Time

  I had finished my pre-op work on my patients that were having surgery that day. I had the medication that I needed to put the colonel out of his misery and out of this life. I will tell you how I had gotten the meds that I needed. My floor was located on the same floor as the operating rooms. I had a good knowledge of the layout of the OR because of my many visits to see a variety of surgeries. The night before I told Nancy that I was going down to the dining hall to grab a bite to eat. Instead, I went through the locker rooms where surgeons change into scrubs. The locker room was locked from the inside by a small outside of the door bolt. Wearing gloves, I grabbed the handle and gave it a quick pull and the bolt came right off. I reattached the bolt and made me way into the OR. I had to be especially quiet because the ICU was right next to the OR. I made my way to the crash carts that contained some of the meds I needed. The morphine, however, was a little harder to obtain. I found a metal box hanging in the anesthesia's office. I had a pen light light in my mouth so I could see what I was doing. I noticed a clipboard hanging below the bow and found it to be a narcotic sign out sheet. I took my screwdriver and wedged it in between the crack of the metal door and gave it a quick pop. There before me was another metal door and I knew, without a doubt, that narcotics were behind the second door. I opened it and found a drug addicts dream, although I was not a drug addict but it had what I needed. I got a 30cc vial of morphine and had already gotten the sodium chloride from the crash cart. I made my way back out the locker room and replaced the bolt to the door. There was no sign of forced entry, so, I felt I would not be caught for stealing the drugs from the OR. When the news broke, I could not replace the two metal doors that I had ripped open, all hell broke loose. More about that, later.
  The time was here. At 7am, while first shift was getting report from night shift. I entered the colonel's room. H was awake and looking at me trying to read my body actions or anything else that would tell him if I was to carry out his plan. With an aching heart I slowly administered a massive amount of morphine sulphate. He watched me until his eyes closed. Shaking, I inserted the large syringe that contained the sodium chloride. I immediately walked out of his room. Before I left, I leaned down and kissed him on the forehead and told him that I loved him As soon as I left his room I immediately took a left into the stairwell and walked down two flights and out to my car. I had done it. I had went against everything I believed in my morals and medicine. The totality hit me like a freight train. What have I done. God will surely punish me for taking the life of another man. Nothing could prepare me for what lay ahead. The unspeakable horrors that awaited me were never considered and my life would never be the same, again.   theblogmeister

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


  I stayed away from the colonel most of the night. He and I, both, knew this was his last night to deal with the agony of the past 5 months. I had already procured the medicines that I needed to do the job. Now, it was just a matter of time. I kept asking myself if I could go through with it. I thought that I was ready, emotionally. The actual act was a big question. I had promised the colonel that I would do it tonight. I did not think of the ramifications criminally because I knew that there would be no suspicion of his death. Everyone was expecting him to die, soon. I rationalized that I was just helping the act along. I told myself that he would be free of pain and the tremendous burden on Bunny would be lifted. She could begin to live out the remaining few years of her life without seeing her true love in so much pain. I guess I was still trying to convince myself to go through with it. There was a part of me that said I was doing the wrong thing, that I was playing God. Who am I to decide when a person must die. Then I would hear the colonel's voice and how convincing it was. He was ready.
  I had a fairly busy night and that was okay with me. It kept my mind off the colonel for a few hours. I was sitting at the nurses station when Nancy sat down beside me and asked if everything was okay. My heart skipped a beat. I thought I was hiding my dilemma fairly well. I told her that I had not gotten much sleep that previous day. Which was true. Not to worry, I would be fine. In just a couple more hours I would do something that would alter and haunt my life, forever. I had told no one about my plan. My best friend, Henry Steele, whom I told everything to, did not know. It was my secret and it remained that way for the next 24 years.  theblogmeister

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Persistance Pays Off

  The next week the Col. kept trying to convince me that the best thing to do was to end his life. He was not about to commit suicide, his plan involved me putting an end to his pain. He had made peace and he was ready. The problem was that I was not. I went to my boss and told her that she was right, that I was too emotionally involved with my patient. The same argument that she gave me a month ago I was now giving her. The colonel had already gotten to my boss and told her that he would not allow another tech to attend to him. He had built a bond with me and that was final. The colonel outranked my boss and even though he was retired the chain of command was still strong. I'm not even 20 and she decides that I could handle his death, emotionally. The truth was she did not want to deny a full bird colonel his wishes, without regard to how I would deal with his death. As I stated before, the colonel was a shrewed and manipulative man. I did not have a chance. I would lay in bed at night wondering how I would handle taking the life of someone I had grown to love and respect. The actual killing him would be easy. The aftermath of that act is what worried me. I could not convince the colonel to let nature take its course. He was, indeed, in a tremendous amount of pain. It was hard seeing him, day after day, losing the light in his blue eyes. My love for him won out. I could not stand to see him suffer everyday. I had to work nights from 11pm to 7am. I came into work and told him that I would do it. Against everything I believed, He had won. All he said when I told him was "when." Not thank you, no emotion, just when will I do it. I had worked 6 nights in a row with one more to go and I would be off 4 days in a row. I told him that I would do it tomorrow night towards the end of my shift. That would give me time to steal the meds I needed to do the job. It would also give him a full day to spend with Bunny. It would be the last day he spent with a woman that he had been married to for fifty years. I stopped by his room the morning before "The" day and told him I would see him that night. I also hugged Bunny and told her to have a good day with him. I almost broke down because I knew that this time tomorrow her life would be turned upside down. It would be all because of me.  theblogmeister