“Where’s the patient?” Doctor Midda was one of the world’s foremost experts in hypnotic conditioning, a field of medicine developed by Doctors Hugh Brown and Derren Briss.
“This way.” Doctor Jensen escorted him down the hospital corridor. “We put him in the IC to prevent him hurting himself.” Jensen stopped in front of the door. “I must tell you, Doctor Midda, I acutely disagree with your approach.”
Great. One of these guys. “You’d rather Mr. Danson suffer with his Body Integrity Identity Disorder?”
“Of course not.” Jensen circled two fingers like he did when explaining things to his patients. “But to lie to him, and expect him to live with it?”
“I’ve only had extreme success with my methods, Doctor Jensen.” He opened the door and walked in, Jensen behind him.
“Hello, Mr. Danson.” He reached out his hand and Danson took it. “I’m Doctor Midda.”
Midda clenched his teeth when Doctor Jensen hesitated from his role. He smiled tightly and nodded to Jensen.
“Mr. Danson, Dr. Midda is a specialist who has helped many people with conditions like yours. He thinks he can fix you.”
“Yes, Mr. Danson—”
“Please call me Adam.”
“Certainly, Adam. I understand you don’t think your left arm belongs to you.”
Midda picked the patient’s arm up by the wrist. Adam didn’t react and the harm hung limply.
“It’s not part of me. I keep pushing it away, but I can’t get rid of it. It’s like someone else’s dead flesh attached to me.”
Midda pinched the back of Adam’s triceps. No reflex. “I understand. As Doctor Jensen has told you, you have a rare condition called BIID. You say it’s giving you nightmares?”
“Horrible nightmares. Usually I’m part zombie and part human, constantly fighting against my lust for brains.”
“Interesting.” Midda set the arm down. “You’ve asked to have it amputated, yes?”
“I can’t stand it, doctor.”
“My methods are a bit extreme, but they are a hundred percent effective.”
Dr. Jensen blew air through his lips, breaking the hypnotic calm Midda was trying to achieve with his voice.
“Dr. Jensen, could you please stand over there?” Midda pointed to the far corner out of Adam’s vision. Jensen hesitated, but complied. “Adam, please look at my face and focus all your energy upon me. There is nothing to worry about.” Midda waved his hand in slow mesmerizing motions. “I will give you several days to think about my proposal and we can talk about it at length. You can reject the treatment at any time, so there is nothing to fear if you don’t want it.”
Danson looked calm, receptive, and responsive. Very suggestible.
“Adam, are you ready to hear my proposal?”
“You will remain perfectly calm as you consider my proposal, Adam. We have marvelous prosthetic technology these days, extremely lifelike. I recommend we amputate the arm and replace it with one of these prosthetics. It will feel exactly like a normal arm, and we will program it to respond to your brain. All the marvels of modern technology.”
“That sounds wonderful,” said Adam.
Doctor Midda smiled warmly and maintained his calm when he met Jensen’s anxious expression.
A few days later, Adam having decided to go through with it, they hooked up some fake IVs and wheeled him to the operating room. Doctor Midda spoke to him with calming imagery of meadows and glassy lakes, suggesting that the anesthetics were taking hold and he would soon be unconscious. By the time they reached the OR, Adam was in deep hypnosis.
They wheeled him to a quiet room where Midda spent an hour deeply ingraining the suggestions, the only negative aspect of the procedure being Jensen’s dark face. He just had to observe the entire thing.
They wheeled Adam back to the room, still under hypnosis. Jensen and the nurses put him into the hospital bed.
“Okay, Adam. Close your eyes. I’m going to count back from ten to one. When I get to one, you will awake, you will be very calm, and you will marvel at the lifelike quality of your left arm and at how well it responds to your brain.”
Midda counted down. At ‘one,’ Adam opened his eyes, and his mechanical arm amazed him, a true miracle of modern technology.
“You should be fully recovered from the operation, so you can go home,” said Midda.
Adam looked at Dr. Jensen, who nodded.
“There is no maintenance. I only ask that you make an appointment with me every three months.” Midda was confident the hypnosis conditioning would last for many years, but reinforcement never hurt, and it was a good stream of income.
A week later, Dr. Jensen left him a message saying that something had gone wrong and to come see Mr. Danson again.
Midda second-guessed himself on the way to the hospital. Had he overestimated Danson’s suggestibility?
“Hello, Adam.” He used his calming voice, but the patient would have nothing of it. He was stern and assertive.
“I know what you did, doctor. I figured it out.”
“Mr. Danson, I can fix this.”
“You lied to me—this isn’t a mechanical arm, and and I know your real name.”
Midda cocked his head in surprise. What’s this?
“This isn’t what I agreed to, Dr. Frankenstein.”
Dr. Jenson’s anxious expressions were nowhere near as irritating as his look of ‘I told you so.’