Angel of the Backward Look

by Jennifer Loraine

Darryl had had a virus for a few days, but was feeling better. As a matter of fact, he felt bloody marvelous. He felt like he had been touched by an angel. He hadn't felt that good in years. He got out of bed with a bounce in his step and a smile on his lips. The day went by quickly and he finished his day at work with a flourish. The only residual symptom he was feeling from the virus was that he was pissing more than normal. He had to stop at gas stations twice on the way home to urinate. This wasn't a mere bladder infection though, he was producing huge volumes of urine.

He decided to buy some flowers and candy for Brydie, his wife, on the way home. Darryl was feeling romantic. After his daughter, his wife and he had eaten, Darryl and Brydie retired to bed and indulged in a long night of lovemaking. The went to sleep and made love again in the morning before he went to work. That day went like the day before and he repeated his previous night's performance. This went on for three days more before he noticed that he middle-aged pot belly had disappeared. He weighed himself on the bathroom scale and discovered he had lost sixty-nine pounds. He had to cinch his belt in six inches when he dressed to go to work. When he looked at himself in the bathroom mirror, he looked years younger. "It must be all the exercise I'm getting at nig ht," he thought with a chuckle.

He had never performed that well in his life; to be honest his lovemaking skills were lackluster at best and his sexual endurance had always been poor. Still, his new found sexual energy was a pleasant surprise for Brydie who was enjoying his sudden attentions. The next morning found him as horny as before, perhaps more so. He weighed himself again and found he had lost an additional twelve pounds. He urine output hadn't decreased any either, he was still pissing what seemed like a gallon a day. Despite how good he felt, Darryl decided to call in sick and go and see the doctor. True, the doctor had told him on numerous occasions that he should lose weight, but eighty-one pounds was an incredible amount to lose in one month. The constant need to urinate was worrying him too. He called his doctor and explained he had experienced severe weight loss and had a frequent need to urinate. Darryl also told him that his appearance had changed too, he looked like he had when he was nineteen. The doctor arranged an emergency appointment that morning for him.

When he doctor saw him, he couldn't believe it was Darryl. He thought that Darryl had talked a younger brother into impersonating him as a joke. When Darryl finally convinced him that he really was Darryl, the doctor became very concerned. He explained to Darryl that the rapid weight loss he was experiencing was extremely dangerous when coupled with the high urine output he was having. The doctor convinced Darryl that something was very wrong. He thought that perhaps Darryl had contracted a new form of virus and should be hospitalized until the cause of his symptoms could be determined. He made Darryl agree not to have any more sexual relations with Brydie until it could be determined that he wasn't contagious. Darryl reluctantly agreed to enter the hospital the next day.



North Central Memorial Hospital

Doctor's Progress Notes

Date: Aug. 30, 1998 Time: ~9:00 pm Patient: Darryl Burr

Diagnosis: Patient admitted to hospital with Dx of Idiopathic Somatic Regression,








Temp. 99.6 F



143 lb.

[approx equal]w

-11 lb. since office visit 8/29/98


69 in.

Lab: urine (~6300 ml) [normal ~1000 ml.], pO2 88, pCO2 38  


Other: Dental: third molars have disappeared  


General: Pt. complains that he is becoming younger. Pt. complains of frequent urination with some weight loss, Pt. age appears to be ~17 yrs. old, although age is known to be 41 yrs., otherwise appears to be in good health with slightly elevated temp.

Notes: Pt. was admitted to Adolescent Unit due to lack of space in other units.  




Orders: Ordered complete isolation of Pt.; mask, gown and gloves required for staff safety. No visitors, including Pt.'s wife, until Pt. has been fully screened for infectious diseases. Ordered complete news blackout on Pt. to preserve Pt.'s and family's privacy. Pt.'s measurements are to be taken each shift; height, weight, arm and leg length, etc.; details in Nursing Orders. Called Pt.'s Dentist for dental records, Ordered full set of dental X-rays each day, Ordered full photographic set by medical photographer every 24 hrs.; asked Pt.'s family for photo album for age comparison purposes, Ordered full radiographic set of major skeletal bones, as well as a Tanner-Whitehouse survey to determine RUS bone age, Standard Lab values including, Urinalysis, CBC, etc. Ordered multiple tissue cultures, antigen/antibody tests for pathogenic organisms, DNA tests




Darryl was bored. True, the hospital room had a tv, but nothing was on except talk shows and soaps. Darryl lay in bed and waited for the next visit by hospital employees. The doctor had ordered that he be allowed no visitors, including his wife, but that did not, of course, include employees following doctor's orders. So far this morning, he had had every inch of his body x-rayed while in his bed with a portable x-ray machine, another x-ray tech had come in and taken a full set of dental x-rays, a hospital photographer had had Darryl strip to the buff and photographed him from multiple angles standing in front of a folding cardboard grid to measure his body size, medical technicians had come up from various departments of the laboratory and taken samples of blood, urine, throat swab, and (ugh!) stools and finally a pair of nurses had come in and weighed him before measuring and recording the length and circumference of all his limbs. Then they took his temperature, pulse, blood pressure and listened to his heart and lungs with a stethoscope. He had suspected that a single nurse could have done the job alone, but one of them must have wanted to see the "incredible shrinking man" for herself. Darryl would have liked to see the employee's faces but everyone was gowned, masked and gloved into anonymity.

Darryl lay back in the bed and sighed. He had been poked, prodded, probed, photographed, bled, and irradiated. He was beginning to feel like a visitor from another planet being cataloged by medical science. The hospital personnel had been courteous but firm in their demands for samples from his body. Darryl hadn't realized how entertaining it had all been until they left. The employee's conversation had been formal and job related, but at least it was conversation. Darryl wondered how long he should wait until he tried to call Brydie again. Darryl had never been a big reader but he decided to have Brydie bring him some books to read to relieve the boredom. He looked at the clock on the wall at the foot of the bed; it read eleven thirty am, they would be serving lunch in thirty minutes according to the brochure that he had found on the bedstand. Maybe the nurse would have time to talk to him at lunch. He rolled over and lay on his side trying to nap. Darryl was sure they'd wake him when lunch came.



North Central Memorial Hospital

Doctor's Progress Notes

Date: Aug. 31, 1998 Time: ~9:00 pm Patient: Darryl Burr

Diagnosis: Idiopathic Somatic Regression,









99. 8 F



112.2 lb.

[approx equal]w

-21.1 lb.



64 in.

Lab: urine (~9800 ml) [normal ~800 ml.], pO2 88, pCO2 38  


Other: Measurements: (normalized to values at admission), thigh 89%, calf 89%, foot 91%, upperarm 85%, forearm 86%, hand 87%, muscle width; arm + calf 11.3 cm (reduced from 14.1 cm at admission), height 93%, weight 78%

Dental: missing two canines as well as third molars

General: Facial Alopecia of the lower maxilla and mandible (baldness-Pt.'s mustache and beard have fallen out), Nail shedding of both hands and feet, testes have shrunk from 21 ml. to 7.2 ml.  

Notes: The Pt.'s upper layer of dead epidermis sloughed off during the night, exposing fresh, pink skin. No lesions or dermatitis, skin normal in appearance. The Pt.'s family album was delivered today, comparison of pictures of the Pt. as a 14 year old boy and today's medical photograph seems to indicate that the Pt.'s physical age is approximately 14 years.












When Darryl woke up the next morning, he felt like he had been skinned and dipped into an acid bath. He had dreamed that he was lying painfully face down on a bed of thorns and the thorns had impaled themselves into his chest. He awoke to find the pain was real. He threw back the sheet on the bed to see what was sticking him and found hundreds of short, stiff brown hairs lay on the sheet amid large flakes of dead skin. He tried to brush them off the sheet and discovered that he could barely use his hands. Darryl looked at his hands; the calluses were gone and they were a bright pink. He had lost the entire upper layer of skin! The ends of his fingers ached dully; he was surprised to see that he had lost his fingernails too. He got out of bed and immediately found that he had lost the toenails and calluses on his feet as well! He could barely walk. Darryl hobbled over to the sink and looked in the mirror. His face was pink and his mustache had fallen out! He groaned in dismay, what was happening to him? His body seemed to be falling apart. When he opened his mouth to groan he saw that he had gaps in his teeth. He gingerly pulled back his upper lip and examined his teeth, somehow during the night he had lost his upper canines. Suddenly he realized that he had to urinate. He had to urinate now! He shuffled to the toilet and sat down just before he started to go. He had almost pissed on the floor! Darryl put his head in his hands and wept. "I can't deal with this," he thought in confusion, "What's happening to me? My teeth are falling out, my skin is peeling, and I've lost my fingernails. Is this a virus? I've never heard of a virus that does anything like this. Do I have radiation poisoning? I've heard of cases of radiation poisoning where the victims lose their fingernails and hair, but I hadn't heard they lose their teeth and skin too. If I have radiation poisoning, then why don't I have diarrhea? Doesn't radiation kill the lining of the intestine? Is this some kind of heavy metal poisoning? Why do I have to piss all the time? Mercury poisoning will cause loosening of the teeth, loss of fingernails and hair, and can act as a diuretic. But, if that's it, why is my skin peeling? Mercury poisoning is famous for making people salivate excessively. I'm not salivating and other than the fact that I'm shrinking, I feel good. I don't feel like I've been poisoned. I wish someone would tell me what's going on." He finished urinating and got up from the toilet, then turned around to look at the color of his urine. There was some kind of white plastic container that was fitted into the top of the toilet under the seat that was being used to collect his urine. It was a dark shade of orange against the white plastic. He had seen that color before in his life when he was a teenager in high sc hool football. His urine used to turn that color after summer football practice in the sun. It looked like he was severely dehydrated. The funny thing was, he didn't feel thirsty. Darryl limped back to bed and called the nurse. If he could get her to come in here and see what he looked like, perhaps she would call the doctor. Maybe this time someone would explain what was happening!


North Central Memorial Hospital

Doctor's Progress Notes

Date: Sept. 1, 1998 Time: ~9:00 pm Patient: Darryl Burr

Diagnosis: Idiopathic Somatic Regression,









100.2 F



77 lb.

[approx equal]w

-35.2 lb.



56 [fl] in.

Lab: Pt. voids urine continuously (~15000 ml) [normal ~750 ml.], pO2 88, pCO2 38  

Other: Measurements:(Normalized to values at admission), thigh 80%, calf 82%, foot 87%, upperarm 81%, forearm 81%, hand 82%, muscle width; arm + calf 10.3 cm, height 82%, weight 54%

Dental: 20 teeth; first molars (4) [permanent], incisors (8) [permanent], bicuspids (8) [permanent]

General: Alopecia of underarm hair, secondary sexual characteristics have disappeared, reduced penis size, testes have shrunk considerably- size 2.5 ml., aureole diameter halved from 1 in. to [fl] in., size of Pt.'s voicebox has reduced; voice has become higher and more childlike, forehead has become less pronounced, mandible has receded. Epidermal sloughing continues.

Notes: Teeth do not disappear entirely; the roots are absorbed and the balance of the tooth either falls out or is swallowed (crowns of teeth were found in the bed by nurses during bed changes and by lab technicians in stool samples)  












Darryl awoke in a puddle of urine. He was pissing in the bed! He grabbed his penis to shut off the flow and ran to the bathroom, heedless of the pain shooting up from the soles of his feet. He sat on the toilet and released himself and pissed a full five minutes before he stopped. He hobbled back to the bed when he was finished and pushed the button to call the nurse. When the unit clerk answered, he asked her to have the nurse change the bed. The unit clerk asked why the bed needed changing and he explained he had had an "accident". The clerk promised him the nurse would by there right away. He stood by the bed in shock. The sound of his voice this morning had surprised him. He wasn't talking as much as squeaking his requests. The nurse arrive a minute later, changed the bed and emptied the urine collection container in the toilet. She had explained to him yesterday morning that he needed to call her after he urinated so she could chart his output. He ended up calling her a dozen times a shift. Darryl dressed in the clean gown she had given him and sat on the easy chair by the close to the bathroom door. It wasn't worth it to go back to bed, he'd be getting up to go to the bathroom in a few minutes. He was glad that there was never anything good on tv in the mornings. When he had tried to watch tv at night, he had had to get up and go to the bathroom every few minutes. He couldn't keep track of the plots. He hoped that Brydie would bring him some books and magazines soon, at least he could read them while sitting on the toilet. He decided not to try and call her again. The change in his voice might worry her. She find out soon enough about his bodily changes.


North Central Memorial Hospital

Doctor's Progress Notes

Date: Sept. 2, 1998 Time: ~9:00 pm Patient: Darryl Burr

Diagnosis: Somatic Regression,









99.7 F



61.6 lb.

[approx equal]w

-17.6 lb.



52 in.

Lab: urine (~8200 ml) [normal ~700 ml.], pO2 88, pCO2 38  

Other: Measurements:(normalized to values at admission), thigh 72%, calf 74%, foot 81%, upperarm 72%, forearm 73%, hand 75%, muscle width; arm + calf 9.6 cm, testes 1.6 ml. , height 75%, weight 43%

Dental: 18 teeth; first molars (4) [permanent], incisors (8) [permanent], bicuspids (2) [permanent], posterior molars (4) [deciduous]

General: Alopecia of pubic hair, pronounced epidermal sloughing, Pt.'s face has become childish in appearance. Pt.'s appearance compares favorably with photos taken at age 9  


Notes: The deciduous teeth erupted very quickly; within a few hours. X-rays of the mandible and maxilla show other deciduous tooth buds developing and the absorption of the roots of the permanent teeth  











The next day Darryl woke feeling much the same as he had the day before. His skin was still raw and tender. The bed sheet was covered in flakes of dead skin, it looked like he was molting during the night. When he got out of bed to go to the bathroom, he had almost fallen on his face. The bed seemed to have grown in the night. He was still shrinking. Darryl hurried to the toilet as fast as his tender feet would carry him. He sat down and exploded urine into the collection container. He pissed until he thought surely he must have filled the plastic bucket in the toilet. He looked down at his penis and was shocked by it's appearance. He had been denuded! All of his pubic hair had fallen out! His penis had shrunk too; it was only half the size it had been the day before! Darryl reached down and cupped his scrotum in his hand and felt his balls. His balls had shrunk too! They had been the size of small eggs yesterday and now they were the size of marbles; small marbles! His penis and balls looked like a little boy's organs. "If only I knew what was happening to me. Can't they stop this? Why won't they tell me what's wrong with me? I could handle this a lot better if I knew what was going on." He was hit by a renewed urge to piss again and hastily stuffed his penis between his legs before he had an accident in his hand. Darryl began to weep in frustration. He felt trapped. Alone. He was terrified by the thought of what he would look like tomorrow. Would he continue to shrink? What about the day after? And the day after that? Would he dwindle into nothingness? Why was his hair falling out? Why wouldn't someone tell him what was going on? Did they know what was happening to him? Darryl finished on the toilet and went to the mirror to see what his face looked like. He was shocked by the image the mirror returned to him. It was his face alright. His face when he had been nine or ten. He opened his mouth to check his teeth and saw multiple gaps in his dentition. He wasn't just shirking, he was regressing! His body was becoming younger! He looked closely at his gum and thought he saw a tiny tooth bud erupting from the gum. That explained why they were taking a complete set of dental x-rays every day. He had understood the need for regular x-rays of his body, but the dental x-rays had baffled him. Now he understood why the medical photographer was taking pictures of him every day as well. They intended to use them in medical textbooks. They hadn't explained to him what was happening because they didn't know! His condition was totally unknown to them. That's why they took all his measurements three times a day. They were gathering data for study! He went back to bed and pulled the covers over his head. He was supposed to call the nurse and tell her after he had urinated so she could chart his urine output and empty the collection container, but it was too much trouble. Besides, he didn't want to see anyone right now. He wanted to be by himself. He would have to get up and piss again in a few minutes anyway.



North Central Memorial Hospital

Doctor's Progress Notes

Date: Sept. 3, 1998 Time: ~9:00 pm Patient: Darryl Burr

Diagnosis: Somatic Regression,









99.4 F



50.6 lb.

[approx equal]w

-11.6 lb.



48 1/2 in.

Lab: Urine (~5650 ml/day) [normal ~650 ml.], pO2 88, pCO2 38  

Other: Measurements:(Normalized to values at admission), thigh 63%, calf 65%, foot 73%, upperarm 66%, forearm 67%, hand 69%, muscle width; arm + calf 9.0 cm, height 70%, weight 35%

Dental: 20 teeth; first molars (4) [permanent], incisors (4) [permanent], upper lateral incisors (2) [deciduous], lower lateral incisors (2) [deciduous], canines (4) [deciduous], posterior molars (4) [deciduous]

General: Nocturnal enuresis, PMI (point of maximum impulse of heart) relocated from the 6th left intercostal space to 4th intercostal space, just left of midclavicular line  

Notes: Epidermal sloughing continues at the same pace. Pt.'s dental records arrived today, comparison of daily dental X-rays and dental records substantiates the hypothesis that the Pt. is physically regressing in age. The Tanner-Whitehouse study of the radius, ulna, metacarpels and phalanges corroborates this evidence with an error of 2 years. The photographic evidence also supports this conclusion with a physical age estimate of 7 years. The medical statistician has predicted on the basis of this evidence that if the regression continues unabated, the Pt. will be 1 year old in 4 days. The Pt. is already too small to wear hospital gowns or b.p. cuffs in unit. The Head Nurse of Adolescent Care and the Medical Chief of Staff have requested that the Pt. be transferred to the Pedi Unit.

Orders: Transferred to Pedi.- Isolation Room  












Darryl woke up early in the night in a puddle of urine. He had wet the bed in his sleep. He called the nurse, who came and changed the bed sheets and he slept the rest of the night without incident. In the morning, Darryl got sleepily out of bed and promptly fell on his face. A blood vessel broke and his nose started bleeding. The pain from his nose stunned him and he sat motionless on the floor, forgetting his urgent need to urinate. Without warning, his bladder cut loose and he peed all over himself. This was too much, he began crying. A passing nurse heard him and looked in the room to see what the commotion was about. When she saw him sitting in a puddle of urine with his face covered in blood, she rushed in to check his condition. She helped him up, removed the wet gown and called his nurse. The bleeding stopped just as his nurse arrived. She took over for the other nurse while the passing nurse sopped up the puddle with the already wet cotton gown. His nurse soaked a washcloth in cold water in the sink, wiped his face clean of blood and told him to hold the washcloth to his nose while she got a clean gown from the cabinet for him. As Darryl was standing there at the bedside, he noticed that the height of the hospital bed mattress came up to his solar plexus. The bed height was still set to the height it had been set to when he came in and was now too tall for him. No wonder he had fallen. His nurse came over and attempted to dress him in the fresh gown only to find it was too large for him. When she put his arms through the gown, the bottom of the gown dragged on the ground by a good four inches. He had become too short to wear even the smallest adult sized gown. She called the unit clerk on the nurse call system and asked her to call housekeeping to mop the floor in his room while she went to pediatrics and borrowed a gown to fit him. Darryl sat on the easy chair and waited for her return.

She bustled in his room with a stack of disposable paper pedi gowns in her arms and restocked the cabinet. Then she gowned him and helped him back into bed. She put the side rails up on the bed saying, "I think we should have these up on the bed from now on. That was quite a fall you took. If you need to get out of bed to go to the bathroom, call me with the nurse call button and I'll lower the side for you and help you out of bed. Here, I'll clip the call button on your pillow so you can find it easily." Darryl lay in bed morosely after she left. This was humiliating! Not only had he fallen and bloodied his nose, but he had had an accident on the floor besides. He was surprised that she didn't lower the bed height for him to get out of bed without assistance i nstead of raising the bed rails. Was this her way of insuring that he would stay put in the bed until she came to get him out? His need to urinate lately had been so urgent that he wasn't sure he could wait until she arrived. What would they do if he started to wet the bed on a regular basis? Catheterize him? The housekeeping maid came in and looked at him with a disgusted expression on her face. The mask prevented Darryl from seeing her pursed lips but he could read the angry look in her eyes easily enough. This was the fourth time this morning she had had to clean up a patient's "accident" on the floor. "If these people can't control themselves," she thought, "...then why don't the nurses put them in diapers?" Darryl turned over in bed and faced the wall while she mopped the floor, he didn't care for the expression in the maid's eyes as she worked.


North Central Memorial Hospital

Doctor's Progress Notes

Date: Sept. 4, 1998 Time: ~9:00 pm Patient: Darryl Burr

Diagnosis: Somatic Regress,









100.8 F



41.8 lb.

[approx equal]w

-8.8 lb.



43 1/2 in.

Lab: Voids urine every 45 min-1 hr (~4200 ml/day) [normal ~600 ml.], pO2 88, pCO2 38  

Other: Measurements:(Normalized to values at admission), thigh 54%, calf 57%, foot 66%, upperarm 57%, forearm 60%, hand 64%, muscle width; arm + calf 8.5 cm, height 63%, weight 29%

Dental: full set of baby teeth

General: Early childhood Lordosis has reappeared, Pt.'s physical age estimated at 5 years. Behavior: outbursts of uncontrolled temper (temper tantrums?), Pt. unable to shower unassisted. Pt. increasingly confused & attempts to leave bed unassisted, Pt. wets self and requires constant assistance to toilet. Pt. cannot control tongue for oral temp., nurses took rectal temp instead, Pt. strongly objected to use of rectal temp. probe. Pt. has begun sucking thumb when there is no one present. Pt. has formed an emotional attachment to one of the day shift nurses and calls for her constantly.

Notes: DNA tests have revealed an abnormality at site p51; the gene involved in cellular replication usually associated with carcinoma. The study suggests that a plasmid of unknown structure and origin has inserted itself into the site. The growth this plasmid may be causing in the Pt. is unusual, but not a oncological type growth pattern. An alternate possibility for this structure is a jumping gene, switched on by unknown environmental factor(s).

Orders: Nurses requested Pt. be placed in diapers, Nurses requested use of crib with crib top device to control night wandering, also high chair to facilitate feeding- Ordered  











If yesterday had been bad, today was terrible. He had been transferred into the pediatric side of the floor with all the children. The nurses had told him it was an administrative move to free up space for other patients, but he suspected they were lying to him. He had simply become too small to be cared for in an adult unit. Every time they had wanted to take his blood pressure yesterday, they had had to borrow a pedi cuff from the other unit. When they tried to take his temperature he rebelled. The nurse had told him to drop his pants and lay down on the bed. He had thought she was only going to examine him. When he felt the rectal probe placed into his anus he battled the nurse fiercely. She rang for assistance and three pairs of hands compelled him to submit to the intrusion. Darryl was told afterwards that the unit policy was that all the patients in the pedi unit were required to have their temperatures taken rectally, regardless of age. He had also had problems getting immediate assistance to go to the bathroom. He had been right in his guess that he wouldn't be able to wait until the nurse got him out of bed to urinate. He had wet the bed twice yesterday waiting for the nurse and three times today. The first time it happened he exploded. He vented and screamed his rage at the embarrassment her delay had caused him. The second time he was climbing over the side rails and his gown got caught in the bedframe. He was forced to balance on the rail while he attempted to extricate his gown from the bed's lifting mechanism. The pressure of the rail on his stomach had proven to be too strong for his overfull bladder to tolerate and he peed helplessly while stuck on the rail. He was forced to call his nurse to extricate him from his ignominious predicament. When she arrived, she went ballistic. She cut the trapped end of the gown off with a pair of bandage shears from her pocket, lifted him up form the rail and put him back in bed. She told him in no uncertain terms that he was not to get out of bed unassisted and would be strapped in the bed if necessary. He had snuck out of the bed three times after that by climbing over the foot of the bed.

Today he got caught out of the bed twice and when the nurse demanded to know what he was doing, he was too frightened and embarrassed to explain clearly. He had mumbled something about wanting to sit down on the easy chair to watch tv. When the nurse reminded him that the sound from his tv came from the pillow speaker attached to his pillow, thus making listening from the chair impossible, he looked vague, put his thumb in his mouth, and told her he forgot. She put him back in bed, told him she would be watching him and left the room. The second time he had been trying to take a shower when the nurse burst into the bathroom. He was startled by her entry and slipped on the wet floor and landed in a heap on the tile. He was livid! He told her that she caused his accident and if this happened again he would sue her and the hospital. She told him it was all his fault; he had no business being out of bed without assistance and his accident only proved that he needed to have someone with him in the bathroom while he showered. She helped him up and assisted with his shower despite his demands that she leave immediately. When he had finished, she dried him off, regowned him and helped him into bed. She told him his accident would be reported to his doctor and measures would be taken to keep him in bed.

The nurse left the room shaking her head. No wonder the day shift said this patient had an attitude. She intended to talk to his doctor when he made rounds tonight. His threats had irritated her; she had read the nurses notes about how he had wet the bed three times today. She'd fix it so he didn't have to leave the bed to pee. For that matter, she intended to fix it so he wouldn't be able to get out of bed.


North Central Memorial Hospital

Doctor's Progress Notes

Date: Sept. 5, 1998 Time: ~9:00 pm Patient: Darryl Burr

Diagnosis: Somatic Regress,









100.8 F



35.2 lb.

[approx equal]w

-6.6 lb.



39 in.

Lab: Urinates every 30-45 min. (~3300 ml/day) [normal ~550 ml.], pO2 88, pCO2 38  

Other: Measurements:(Normalized to values at admission), thigh 44%, calf 47%, foot 58%, upperarm 47%, forearm 52%, hand 56%, muscle width; arm + calf 8.0 cm, height 57%, weight 24%

Dental: full set of baby teeth [deciduous]

General: Complete childhood Lordosis, Pt now has appearance and sound of small child of approximately 4 years Behavior: Pt. initially resisted, but now accepts use of diapers for urination. Pt. requests the use of the toilet for bowel movements, but on one occasion, soiled himself before nurses could assist him to bathroom. Pt. is becoming increasingly dependent on his nurse for assistance in basic activities. Pt. has difficulty using knife to eat and needs his food cut up for him. Pt. sucks thumb frequently, sometimes in the presence of favorite nurse. Pt. appears to be regressing emotionally to apparent age. Pt. appears frustrated by crib top device and cries when placed in crib.




Orders: Nurses requested that the Pt. be given sponge baths in the crib instead of showers due to the Pt.'s size and increasing loss of motor skills.- Ordered  












Life for Darryl became more and more difficult to bear; late last night, night nurse had come in and forcibly put him in diapers. He had screamed and tried to fight it, but to no avail. She had left and then returned a few minutes later with another nurse in tow and a baby board in hand. This was a three-quarter inch thick plywood board with straps attached to allow recalcitrant babies to be tied down and treated. Darryl fought like the devil incarcerated in a nunnery populated by charismatic nuns, but he was quickly overpowered. They were too strong for him. He struggled valiantly within the straps of the board, but once he was belted to the board, he was defeated. Frankly, he needed to wear diapers and knew it. He just didn't want to the nurses to think he wanted to wear them. His nurse promised him he could use the toilet to poop in if he wanted to, he just had to wear diapers to keep him from wetting the bed. Then the next morning the nurses had come in and replaced his bed with a baby crib. This was not just any crib but an all steel crib with a matching steel barred top that enclosed the entire crib. It was for all practical purposes, a cage. He cried for hours when they first put him in the crib. When the nurse brought in a high chair for him to eat his breakfast in, it was anticlimactic. He had fully expected it after they had put him in a crib. An hour before, Darryl had a serious accident in his diaper. He had called the nurse to take him to the bathroom, but she had been delayed. His bowels had cut loose and he had filled his diaper while he stood at the crib rail and screamed for his nurse. One sniff had told her what he had done in his diaper. She dropped the rail and laid him on his back to change him. Darryl had never felt more vulnerable in his life. Darryl whimpered in embarrassment and frustration. He turned his head away from her and put his thumb in his mouth without realizing it. She comforted him saying, "There, there Darryl. It's okay. It's just a little accident. You're clean now. I put a fresh diaper on you. Don't worry, Honey. I'm not mad at you. Lots of our patients have accidents."

The knowledge that she was speaking as a pediatric nurse did nothing to quiet him. He knew that the patients she was talking about were all children. He was losing his toilet training. His whimpering changed into distraught weeping then anguished crying. The nurse picked him up, held him to her and patted his back as if he was an infant needing cuddling. He continued to wail for fifteen minutes before he became quiet. From that moment on, she began to coddle and pamper him like a small child. At first, he found her pity humiliating, but the loneliness of his condition made any sympathetic human contact attractive. He found himself becoming more and more dependent on her. When his coordination deteriorated to the point where he had problems cutting his meat with a knife, she cut up his food for him. He began sucking his thumb in her presence and putting his arms out to be held by her. He felt silly sucking his thumb, but lately the urge was irresistible. He tried to hide it, but the other nurses had caught him sucking his thumb several times. His regular nurse hadn't said anything when she caught him, she had only smiled understandingly and continued with her duties. He was glad she hadn't made an issue of it, sucking his thumb made him feel better, more secure. Now Darryl sat in his crib, sucking his thumb and watching tv. His tastes in tv had changed since he had been in the hospital. He had quit watching news shows and watched cartoons almost exclusively. He knew his behavior was regressing to match his apparent age, but he was unconcerned. There was nothing he could do about it, so he had resolved not to worry about it. He found himself wanting to have his nurse beside him at all times. He called her constantly on the slightest pretext. When she asked him what he wanted he was unable to answer; he was finding it increasingly difficult to talk in compete sentences. Later that day he soiled his diaper again after lunch. He had not been able to exert any control over his bowels, they had acted on their own. Darryl was glad he was wearing diapers, the thought of soiling his bed was unbearable.


North Central Memorial Hospital

Doctor's Progress Notes

Date: Sept. 6, 1998 Time: ~9:00 pm Patient: Darryl Burr

Diagnosis: Somatic Regress,










100.4 F



30.8 lb.

[approx equal]w

-4.4 lb.



35 1/2 in.

Lab: Urinates every 30-45 min (~2300 ml) [normal every 2-3 hours ~500 ml/day], pO2 88, pCO2 38  

Other: Measurements: (Normalized to values at admission), thigh 37%, calf 42%, foot 52%, upperarm 40%, forearm 47%, hand 54%, muscle width; arm + calf 7.6 cm, height 51%, weight 22% (Normalized to values at admission), thigh 44%, calf 47%, foot 58%, upperarm 47%, forearm 52%, hand 56%, muscle width; arm + calf 8.0 cm, height 57%, weight 24%

Dental: 20 teeth; lower central incisors (2) [deciduous], upper central incisors (2) [deciduous], upper lateral incisors (2) [deciduous], lower lateral incisors (2) [deciduous], anterior molars (4) [deciduous], canines (4) [deciduous], posterior molars (4) [deciduous]

General: Three large bowel movements during day; after breakfast and after supper, there was a third in the midmorning standing at the side of the crib. Alopecia of scalp; considerable thinning of hair, but no bald spots. Fontanelle closed, big muscles well developed, abdomen protrudes slightly, Lordosis receding, arms and legs shortened giving Pt. appearance of toddler 2-3 years old.


Reflexes: Plantar reflex absent, neck righting reflex absent, Babinski sign present, Landau reflex absent, accommodation present Behavior: Pt. has little control over bowel movements, Pt. recognizes when he has soiled himself & asks to be changed, loss of speech; Pt. says short sentences only, shows cooperation at being dressed, uses spoon, uses cup hesitantly. Pt. frequently sucks thumb in the presence of others. Pt. has emotional reactions of a toddler of 2-3 years. Demands constant attendance of favorite nurse.

Ambulation and range of motion: Unable to balance self on either foot, Pt. losing fine muscle coordination, although can build a high tower with blocks and fit a peg into its proper hole, throw a ball into a box, walks unsteadily alone, good control with a spoon, poor control with cup

Notes: Screening for infectious agents negative, if final tests return negative, will remove Pt. from isolation status and allow Pt. wife to visit Pt.  


Orders: Nurses requested the removal of the crib top device to facilitate Pt. care - Pt. is now unable to get out of crib without assistance, Nurses requested the removal of the Nurse Call button from the Pt.'s crib., also requested the use of baby bottle when Pt. can no longer control cup- Ordered









When Darryl awoke, his diaper was sopping wet. He called the nurse repeatedly before anyone would answer him. His muscular control had deteriorated badly during the night; he couldn't even stand on the crib mattress without holding on to the bars. She changed him without comment and thirty minutes later he was wet again. His noticed his body was changing in shape as well as proportion; when he sat in the high chair his protruding stomach almost touched the tray where there had been an inch of clearance the day before. Eating was becoming more difficult too. He had to grip his spoon in his fist instead of his fingers and he had almost lost control of his drinking cup several times. His gown had served as a bib and caught most of his spills. He soiled his diaper again at midmorning while standing in the crib waiting for his snack, causing him to wail in distress. He couldn't help himself, it was becoming impossible to control his emotions and his thinking was becoming foggier with each passing hour. He was becoming a infant in every sense of the word. He realized that soon he'd be unable to utter any intelligible sounds and would be reduced to infantile babbling. He lost interest in tv cartoons, they were too difficult to comprehend. He sat in his crib most of the day, staring out the window and sucking his thumb. His bladder emptied itself every hour. He quit calling the nurse to come and change him; it was too much trouble. Besides, he was getting used to wearing wet diapers. Sleep came more easily to him; he found h imself napping almost three hours a day in addition to the ten to twelve hours he was sleeping at night. When he went to sleep that night, he said goodbye to the world he had known. He knew that tomorrow his personality would regress into infancy, taking his reason with it.


North Central Memorial Hospital

Doctor's Progress Notes

Date: Sept. 7, 1998 Time: ~9:00 pm Patient: Darryl Burr

Diagnosis: Somatic Regress,









100.8 F



23 lb.

[approx equal]w

-7.8 lb.



30 in.

Lab: Voids urine continuously (~3650 ml/day) [normal 6-8 times day ~400 ml/day], pO2 88, pCO2 33  

Other: Measurements: (normalized to values at admission), thigh 33%, calf 37%, foot 48%, upperarm 37%, forearm 45%, hand 52%, muscle width; arm + calf 7.2 cm, height 43%, weight 16%

Dental: 6 teeth; lower central incisors (2) [deciduous], upper central incisors (2) [deciduous], upper lateral incisors (2) [deciduous]

General: Sleeps 10-12 hours night, naps easily - 20 min. to 3 hours daytime naps, loss of large muscle development. fontanelle open, pronounced protuberant abdomen, Pt.'s age estimated at 1 year old.


Reflexes: Plantar reflex present, neck righting reflex absent, Babinski sign present, Landau reflex present,

rooting reflex present, accommodation present


Behavior: gives attention to people and objects, shows fear of strangers and strange situations, Pt. has become uncertain and fearful; cries if left alone, demands to be picked up and held by favorite nurse. Pt. eliminates urine & feces automatically and does not recognize when he has wet or soiled himself. Pt. cannot speak intelligible words or say his name, but makes sounds like da-da and ma-ma, Pt. does not appear to understand simple sentences when spoken to, Pt. indicates wants by crying, Pt. will not feed himself with spoon, must be fed by nurses, demands bottle for drinking, eats some chopped foods, a very picky eater, more negative, especially at meals and naptime, Pt. sucks thumb continuously, if given pacifier, Pt. will suck in preference to thumb. Ambulation and range of motion: cannot walk alone, walks a side-step pattern along furniture, otherwise walks a wide-legged gait, but prefers crawling, creeps like a bear; hands and soles of both feet in contact with floor, gets to a standing position from a squat, pivot a quarter of the way around, can sit up strongly without support, uses one hand more than the other, fine motor coordination nearly absent; builds a tower of two blocks and fits a peg into its proper hole with difficulty, cannot throw a ball into a box, cannot control cup, cannot lower himself from a standing to a sitting position without falling.

Notes: Removed Pt. from isolation status in a.m., Pt. will remain in isolation room to insure privacy. Allowed wife to visit, but restricted visits from other family members.  













Brydie sat gloomily in the Pediatric Waiting room looking out the window. A fast moving storm was coming in; the black clouds boiled angrily as the front swept over the city. The cheerful pastel designs on the wall were muted by the room's growing darkness. Brydie waited impatiently for the doctor to arrive, the nurses had told her that the doctor had taken Darryl off isolation status and she could visit Darryl. Dr. Halstead had requested that she talk to him before visiting her husband. She waited about an hour in the Pedi waiting room becoming increasingly frustrated. The nurses were taking care of patients and the nurses' station was unoccupied except for the unit clerk. She decided to take matters in her own hands and slipped into the isolation room when the unit clerk was occupied. She entered the room quietly, expecting to see Darryl in bed. The room smelled of disinfectant and baby powder. There was a curtain around a bed in the center of the room. She went to the curtain and pulled it back. All she saw was a sleepy rosy-cheeked tot wearing a small paper patient gown standing in a crib. The crib was stainless steel and completely surrounded the little boy; even the top of the crib had bars. He looked like he was in a cage. He must be a handful if they have to put him in a crib like that, she thought. She turned to leave when Darryl's nurse came in the room with a stack of diapers in her hand. "Oh, there you are Mrs. Burr. Is Dr. Halstead still here? I need to talk to him."

Brydie shook her head no and demanded, "Where is my husband now? The clerk at the nurses station told me that he was in this room, where have you moved him?"

The nurse looked puzzled and said, "He's right here......Ohhhh...You haven't talked to Dr. Halstead yet, Have you?"

Brydie replied testily, "No, I've been waiting a hour, but I haven't seen him. What do you mean he's right here? There's no one here but this baby," Brydie said turning and pointing at the crib.

She glanced at the card taped to the footboard of the crib and saw that the patient's name had been written on the card with a black marker. It said Darryl Burr. "This has to be some kind of horrible mistake! That's not my husband," she said angrily.

The nurse looked at her sympathetically and said, "If you'll come with me, I'll see if I can find Dr. Halstead."

Brydie looked at her stubbornly, determined not to move until she found Darryl. She said, "What's going on here? Why does this crib have my husband's name on it? Why did you say he was here? Where is he?"

"I think I'd better let Dr. Halstead answer that question," the nurse said primly.

Brydie stood her ground and said softly, "He was getting younger when he came into the hospital. You can't mean that this is my husband?", she said turning back to look at the nurse.

The nurse's face was set in an expression of barely concealed sorrow and nodded involuntarily. Brydie turned and looked at the baby again and saw the resemblance between her husband's baby pictures and the tot in the crib. "Darryl!', she cried. "What have they done to you?"

She ran to the crib and dropped the side. Brydie wrapped her arms around him and hugged him tightly. She kissed him repeatedly on the face and said, "Oh my darling, What's happened to you?"

Her hands moved lower on his body and felt the diaper. "They've put you in diapers!", she said in a surprised tone.

She turned back to the nurse and demanded, "Why is he in diapers?"

The nurse looked embarrassed and said, "Doctor's orders, Mrs. Burr. He's lost his toilet training."

"He's a grown man, no matter how he looks. He doesn't need diapers!", Brydie said defiantly.

The nurse looked at her sadly and said, "He's wet right now, Mrs. Burr. I checked his diaper a few minutes ago. I left to get some clean diapers. That's where I was when you came in here."

The nurse sniffed and said, "And I think he just pooped too. Let me get him in some clean diapers"

Brydie look at her in disbelief and turned to Darryl. She lifted the gown and looked down at his diaper. It sagged low on his hips and was obviously soaking wet. She could smell it too. The nurse was right. He had pooped in his diaper. She hadn't noticed it in the excitement. "Oh Darryl, Now look at what you've done!", she said in dismay.

He smiled innocently at Brydie, completely unaware of his dirty diaper. "I'll change him," Brydie said resolutely.

The nurse nodded and handed a diaper to Brydie, who began to change Darryl. She laid him on his back and removed the diaper tapes and pulled the front of the diaper down between his legs. Darryl chuckled happily and kicked his feet. "Be still, Darryl!", Brydie said and finished changing him.

She folded the dirty diaper together and handed it to the nurse. Brydie picked up Darryl from the crib and carried him over to the easy chair and sat with him in her lap. Darryl looked up into Brydie's eyes and patted her cheek affectionately with his hand. "Oh my poor darling, what's happened to you? Speak to me!", she said.

Darryl smiled at her, then made a cooing noise. "You can't talk anymore! Nurse, how long has he been like this?"

"About a day, Mrs. Burr. Yesterday he could say simple sentences, but today he hasn't talked at all," said the nurse.

"I should have stayed with you the whole time you've been in the hospital," Brydie said miserably.

"It wouldn't have changed anything, Mrs. Burr. We're doing all that can be done," the nurse said, trying to comfort Brydie.

"Try and talk to me, Darryl. Please try and say something!", pleaded Brydie.

Darryl's face assumed an expression of concentration and he said, "Mmm....Ma...Ma-ma!"

"Oh my poor husband, you're talking just like a baby!", she said pityingly. She cuddled him to her breasts and said, "It's okay, Brydie's here honey. Brydie will take care of you. Don't worry darling, everything will be alright."

She comforted him, murmuring sympathetic noises lovingly over him as the nurse silently left the room. An hour later the nurse returned and announced, "It's time for lunch, I'll be bringing his food in a few minutes. Would you like to feed him?"

Brydie nodded and the nurse left and re-entered with a high chair. She set it up and said, "Go ahead and put him in the high chair. Leave the gown on him, we don't have any bibs. I'll bring him a new gown after lunch."

She went out of the room and returned with some jars of baby food, a feeding spoon and a small pre-packaged bottle of infant formula. "He drinks formula from a bottle too?", Brydie asked unhappily.

The nurse nodded and handed Brydie the food and bottle. She told her she would be back later and get the high chair after he finished lunch. Brydie fed him mixed vegetables from the jar, followed by a chicken dinner with macaroni. She gave him the jar of apple cobbler for dessert, then wiped his face and hands with the gown and removed it. Brydie folded the jars into the gown and put it in the trash can. She took him out of the high chair and sat him in her lap on the easy chair. She fondled his cheek gently with her fingers and smiled knowingly as she saw his mouth make unconscious sucking movements. Darryl reminded her of their daughter Carol when she was little. Rain started to patter on the window as she tilted him back against her arm and put the nipple of the bottle in his mouth. He seized the bottle with both hands, eager for his noon bottle. She stroked his hair as he surrounded the nipple with his mouth and suckled hungrily, murmuring in delectation while making loud sucking noises. "He looks like his baby pictures taken when he was a year old," she thought to herself as she watched him consume the formula greedily.

He finished the bottle and she sat him upright on her lap. She patted his back to bubble him and was rewarded with a loud burp. She laid him back on her arm again and cuddled him close to her. Distant thunder rumbled in the background as he smiled winsomely and tugged on the front of her blouse. He thoughtlessly put his thumb in his mouth and began sucking it. He looked like every mother's dream of a charming, cheerful baby. "Oh my precious angel, you've regressed into infancy!", she wept, cuddling him with both arms to her bosom.

"I'll get the best doctors for you, Honey. We'll get you in rehabilitation so you can re-learn how to walk and talk again. You'll have to wear diapers until they can do something about your incontinence though. I hope they can reverse the changes in your body and make you grow again. You look like you're a year old. Poor Darryl, I don't know if you'll ever be normal again."

Bitter tears rolled down her face as she wept for Darryl. He reached up and touched her cheek, bewildered by the tears. She looked back into the baby face gazing up at her in confusion. He smiled at her hopefully and touched her lips with his tiny fingers, trying to capture her attention. Drool rolled down his chin as he bubbled and cooed at her. The storm clouds outside parted momentarily and a shaft of sunlight came through the window and illuminated his face. She looked into his eyes and saw that behind them lay a fundamental lack of comprehension of the world around him.

"Oh God, Darryl, your mind is gone!", she said, stunned by the sudden realization. "What's happened to you? Can you understand me? Wave your hands if you can understand what I'm saying! Do something Darryl! Don't just lay there! Oh God, it's affected your mind too! You not only look like a baby, you are a baby! You can't even understand what I'm saying! You have the mind of a infant! No wonder they've been treating you this way, you've become a diaper-wetting, drooling baby again," she sobbed.

He sensed her anguish and started to whimper. Brydie snuggled him protectively against her and comforted him saying soothingly, "Shhhhhh.....There, there, Darryl... I'm right here. ...Don't worry, I'll take care of you! ...Don't cry baby, it'll be okay."

She rocked him silently, tears streaming down her face. He quieted and lay his head serenely against her breast. She sat looking down at her diaper-clad, infant husband tenderly as the last silver beads of rain ran down the window pane and hoped the doctors could reverse this dark miracle. He put his hand to his side and tugged on the adhesive diaper tab, trying to take it off. Brydie took his hands away from the diaper gently, saying, "My darling, you've lost control of your bladder and bowels, you're going to have to wear diapers until you're potty-trained again. When you can control your peeing and pooping, I'll let you wear regular underwear."

He gurgled happily, blew bubbles, then grinned a gap-toothed smile while peeing in his diaper.

"He looks so much like Carol looked when she was a baby. If Carol had been a baby boy instead of a girl, she would have looked just like him," she thought.

He yawned sleepily, then stretched his small fat arms and clenched his tiny fists. He turned his head and nestled it between her arm and her breast. "He looks so terribly innocent. You'd never know he'd been a man once," she told herself as she pulled the top of the diaper up over his protruding tummy.

Her maternal instincts were aroused by the sight of her infant husband snuggled protectively in her bosom. "Look at him. He's completely helpless. He can't do anything for himself," she whispered to herself. "I'll have to take care of him like he's a baby. He supported and cared for us all these years. Now it's my turn to take care of him. He needs me to be his mommy now," she thought.

"Would you like me to be your mommy, Honey? Do you want to be Brydie's baby boy?"

Darryl bubbled with glee as he reached up and plucked at her breast. "Darryl likes that idea, doesn't he? Darryl will have a mommy to tend to him and watch over him. Darryl will never have to worry about anything again."

She smiled down at him indulgently as he put his thumb in his mouth and resumed sucking. Brydie tickled him under his chin and said, "You're the most adorable baby boy I've ever seen. Aren't you, honey? You're sooooo sweet mommy could just eat you up! Mmmmm!", she nuzzled his chest as if she was going to eat him and he cackled in delight.

"He has such an angelic face. If I'm not careful, I'll spoil him rotten," she thought, caressing him fondly. Brydie thought of how they had spoiled their daughter when she was a baby. It was too bad she had given away all the baby furnishings. She would need to buy a roomful of baby furniture and toys for him. Some indoor-outdoor carpeting would be nice too, it would give him a warm floor to play on and cushion his bottom when he falls," she thought to herself. Carol's nursery was now her bedroom; she would need to convert another room into a nursery. Brydie decided she would turn his den adjoining the master bedroom into a nursery. He wouldn't need a den now.

She smiled, thinking how cute it would look when she got finished. Their eleven year old daughter, Carol, could help her decorate it, she could help her take care of Darryl too. Carol would love the opportunity to take care of a baby. She and Darryl had planned to have another baby years ago, but she had not been able to conceive after Carol's birth. Now Carol would have a baby brother. She would being Carol tomorrow to visit him. Darryl's nurse opened the door and said from the doorway, "Is he finished with lunch now?"

Brydie nodded and the nurse came in with a clean gown and said, "I see that you've already cleaned him up. Where did you put the dirty gown and empty jars?"

Brydie pointed to the waste basket and the nurse moved to pick it up and put it by the door. "Dr. Halstead would like to talk to you now, he's at the nurses station."

Brydie got up and laid Darryl in the crib and raised the side. "I'll be right back Darryl," she promised. She turned and walked toward the door, while the nurse busied herself unfolding the gown to put on Darryl. He lay happily on the bed, watching Diane's movements and sucking his thumb. Twenty minutes later Dr. Halstead entered the room, followed by Brydie, who looked shaken. Darryl was standing at the rail of the crib wearing a fresh paper gown which billowed out and made him look like he was wearing a short yellow dress over his diapers. When he saw her, he smiled broadly and prattled, "Ma-Ma!", stretching out his arms to be picked up. She went to the crib while the doctor continued to talk. " you see, Mrs. Burr, there's really nothing we can do. This is totally outside of our experience. All we know is that something reprogrammed his genes to rebuild his body. As nearly as we can tell, his physical age is now about one year."

Brydie reached over the crib rail and picked Darryl up in her arms and said, "Then why is he acting like a baby? I thought you said his physical age is one year old, what about his mental age?"

Dr. Halstead sighed and said, "We don't know; it could be a form of amnesia resulting from the rejuvenation of his neural tissue or it could be a psychological adjustment to his situation. We simply don't know. The fact that he recognized you, however, is a hopeful sign."

"Will he grow up again?", she asked anxiously.

The doctor heaved a sigh and said with his eyes downcast, "The epiphysis of the bones is absent. We don't think so."

"The what?", she asked. "The epiphysis, a secondary boneforming center at the ends of the bones, without them he can't grow," he answered.

"Can't you give him something to make him grow, a growth hormone or something?"

Dr. Halstead shook his head no, "Without the epiphysis, the bones wouldn't grow. Human Growth Hormone is very dangerous, it might kill him. Unless he matures mentally, it would be a waste of effort. Who would want an adult sized infant?"

She held Darryl closer and said despondently, "There really isn't anything you can do, is there?"

"We can watch and wait. I think you should go home now. There isn't anything you can do for him, but let him get some rest," he said.

Brydie lifted Darryl over the crib rail and stood him in the crib. The doctor moved toward the door and motioned for her to join him. She said, "Bye-bye Darryl. I'll be back tomorrow," then turned and walked to the door.

Brydie asked the doctor as they left the room, "I was wondering if my daughter, Carol, could visit him tomorrow. Would that be okay?"

Dr. Halstead assented reluctantly and closed the door. A rising wail arose in the room as they walked away, "Ma-ma!", cried Darryl plaintively.

Brydie half-turned and started to go back, but was stopped by a disallowing twitch of Dr. Halstead's head. The nurse picked Darryl up and carried him out of the room in her arms. She took him to the nurses' station and put him in the playpen. Darryl continued to cry until Brydie was out of sight, then settled down and whimpered in frustration. His nurse stooped down and put a pacifier in his mouth and gave him a teddy bear to cuddle. He hugged the teddy for a few minutes, sucking the pacifier furiously, then calmed. A few minutes later, he crawled over to the toys in the playpen and played happily until he fell asleep and was put in his crib by his nurse.


North Central Memorial Hospital

Doctor's Progress Notes

Date: Sept. 8, 1998 Time: ~9:00 pm Patient: Darryl Burr

Diagnosis: Somatic Regress,









99.6 F



23 lb.

[approx equal]w




30 in.

Lab: Voids urine 6-8 times day (~400 ml/day) [normal 6-8 times day ~400 ml/day], pO2 88, pCO2 33  

Other: Measurements: (normalized to values at admission), thigh 33%, calf 37%, foot 48%, upperarm 37%, forearm 45%, hand 52%, muscle width; arm + calf 7.2 cm, height 43%, weight 16% (no change from previous day)

Dental: 6 teeth; lower central incisors (2) [deciduous], upper central incisors (2) [deciduous], upper lateral incisors (2) [deciduous]( no change from previous day)

General: Requires 6-8 diaper changes minimum, otherwise no change from previous day.

Reflexes: no change from previous day.

Behavior: Pt. has adapted well to the use of the playpen and rarely cries. After Pt.'s wife was allowed to see the Pt., he attached himself emotionally to wife and cried when she left the room, Pt. has the appearance and the emotional responses of a twelve month old baby, intellectual development has regressed to the same stage, otherwise, no change from previous day.

Ambulation and range of motion: no change from previous day.

Notes: Pt.'s temp has become normal and the production of urine has fallen to values expected from a 1 year old. The sloughing of skin has stopped. Physical regression seems to have slowed or stopped. Pt. appears to be an extremely healthy 1 year old baby. After initial angry reaction to her husband's condition, the attitude of the Pt.'s wife became extremely maternal and protective of the Pt. The Pt. says ma-ma at the appearance of his wife and behaves as if his wife is his mother.

Orders: Nurses have requested that all Unit Nursing Protocols for Infant Care be observed for this Pt.-Ordered. The Pt.'s wife has requested that his daughter be allowed to visit. I changed the visitation orders to this effect.










The next day Brydie brought her sixteen year old daughter, Carol, to the hospital. Carol was pleased with the opportunity to visit her father and didn't understand her mother's sadness. "Mother did say that Daddy wasn't sick, didn't she?", Carol thought. "Still," she thought, "...his long stay in the hospital was awfully suspicious."

All her mother would tell her was that she would understand when she saw her father. Brydie checked in at the nurses' station, then went to the room with Carol in tow. Brydie opened the door softly and went into the room. Carol rushed in behind her, determined to be the first to greet her father. "Daddy?", she said quietly, as she approached the curtain. "Are you awake Daddy?"

Carol flung the curtain back expecting to see her smiling father in bed and was surprised by the sight of a baby sleeping in a crib. Carol turned to her mother and said, "This isn't Daddy. Have they moved him to another room?"

Brydie shook her head no. Carol stood defiantly and said, "Well, this isn't Daddy! Where is he?"

Brydie's face appeared drawn and weary. "Your father is right there. I didn't know how to tell you. He's become a baby again," Brydie said disheartened.

Carol looked puzzled and said, "You mean that's Daddy?"

Carol looked down at the small sleeping form that had been her father. "Is he going to get better? I mean, is he going to grow up again?"

"They don't know ," Brydie said.

Carol lowered the side of the crib and carefully lifted Darryl in her arms and held him against her shoulder. Tears welled up in her eyes as she said, "Poor Daddy, he won't like being a baby again." Brydie patted Carol's arm and said, "I don't think he knows he's a baby, Carol dear. Give him to me."

Carol passed him into her mother's arms and asked, "When is Daddy coming home, mother?"

Her mother looked uncomfortable and said, "They don't know yet." "Well, how will we take care of him? We don't have a crib or anything for a baby!"

"We'll buy whatever we need, dear," said her mother patiently.

"But how will we live? Daddy won't be able to work, he's only a baby. Where will we get money? Will we have to sell the house?", demanded Carol anxiously.

"We won't have to sell the house, dear. There's plenty of money in the bank and your father has lots of insurance. We'll be okay, I promise," said Brydie, trying to calm her daughter's fears. She had been astonished to find out just how much money Darryl had in the bank. She had gone through his papers to find their insurance policies and found an investment portfolio worth over eighteen million dollars as well as savings and money market accounts totaling nine hundred thousand dollars. There was even a fifty thousand dollar trust fund for Carol's college expenses. "No," she thought to herself, "we're not going to have to worry about money. My husband was a good provider."

Darryl yawned and opened his eyes and saw Carol. He chuckled in glee and stretched out his hand toward her. Carol said excitedly, "He recognizes me. Can I hold him, mother?"

Brydie nodded and Carol took him in her arms. She tickled him under his chin and he chortled in delight. "Daddy, can you talk? Say something to me! It's me Carol!"

"Ala mumum ippi!", replied Darryl.

"Mother, can Daddy still talk?"

"No dear, he just makes baby noises," said her mother sadly.

"Does he understand us, mother?"

"A little, I think, Dear," Brydie hesitantly replied.

"He really is a baby, Mother. Can I help you take care of him?", Carol asked.

Brydie sighed and said, "Yes dear, I'll need your help to take care of him. He'll be the baby brother you've always wanted."

"I'll finally be a big sister with a baby brother," she said looking at her Daddy's infant form. "At least I won't the youngest person in the house anymore."

Carol saw that tears were rolling down her mother's face. "Mother, don't cry. It'll be okay. I'm sorry I said that about being the youngest person in the house, I didn't mean it."

"That's alright, Carol dear. I know you didn't mean anything by it. I know how hard it is to be sixteen, remember I was sixteen once too. I just miss your father. It's hard for me to get use to the idea that he's a baby."

Carol nodded and said to Darryl, ""You won't be my Daddy anymore. I'll be your big sister and you'll be my baby brother," she said, secretly pleased by the reversal in roles. The opportunity to fulfill a long delayed desire suddenly occurred to Carol. "Mother, now the Daddy's a baby he won't be able to drive will he? Can I have his car? That way I'll be able to drive to the store and buy diapers and baby food when you run out."

"Yes dear," her mother said tiredly. "You can have his car. We'll see about getting you a driver's license. I'll need your help to take care of him."

"Do you mean I'll get to babysit him?," Carol asked.

"Yes, dear. You'll feed and bathe him and change his diapers," said her mother.

Carol looked down at Darryl in her arms and said, "Did you hear that? "I'm not going to be your little girl anymore, Daddy. I'm going to be your big sister and you're going to be my baby brother. I'll take good care of you Daddy!", Carol gushed happily.

Carol frowned and said to her mother, "What should I call him, Mother? It's embarrassing to call my baby brother Daddy. My friends will laugh at me, I can't call him Daddy."

Brydie looked thoughtful and replied, "We'll have to call him a baby name. How does Darrie sound?"

"Darrie," Carol said, rolling the word around in her mouth to get the feel of it. "It's perfect, Mother. We'll call him Darrie."

Carol noticed that the front of her blouse was wet. "Uh-oh,", she said. "I think Darrie is wet, Mother."

Brydie took Darryl from her arms and laid him on his back on the crib. She said, "Carol, I'll teach you how to change a diaper, come around here where you can see." Carol went to the head of the crib, fascinated by the operation. "First you check to see if he is wet. You do that by putting three of your fingers down the front of his diaper like this. You feel the diaper to see if it is wet. If it is, you need to change him. Then you unfasten the tapes on the side of the diaper like this and pull it down between his legs and look to see if he's pooped. See? He's only wet the diaper. Hand me a tissue, dear. Then wipe him off like this. Hand me a diaper from the bedside table, dear. Open it up for me, please. Now I pick up both his legs in one hand and pull the dirty diaper out from under him. Thank you dear. Just put it over to the side. Now I slide the clean diaper under his bottom. Let his legs down and pull the front of the diaper up between his legs up to his tummy. Now I tuck the front flaps inside and tape one side. Now I'll tape the other. See? It's easy. Now I'll fold up the dirty diaper so that the wet part is inside and use the tapes to keep it together. Put it in the waste basket, please dear. See,... ", she said, picking him up under the arms and swinging him out of the crib in front of Carol. "Darrie is nice and snug in a dry diaper."

"Can I hold him again?", Carol asked.

"Here dear," her mother said. "Now be careful, Don't drop him." She gave him to Carol and suggested, "Why don't you sit down on the chair with him, dear? Now sit him up in your lap and hold him with your left arm. Can you take care of him a few minutes while I go and talk to the nurses? I'll be right back."

She went to the door and was about to open it when she was interrupted by Carol saying delightedly, "Look Mother, he's sucking his thumb!"

Brydie smiled and nodded, then left the room.

Darryl screwed up his face and started to cry. "Darrie,..." Carol said firmly. " you stop that! Mommy will be back in a few minutes."

She hugged him tightly and said, "Don't cry Darrie. Would Darrie like to play horsey on my knee? Let's play horsey."

She sat his bottom on her leg with his legs astride her's and began bouncing her leg up and down. He smiled then bubbled in glee, pleased with this game. He made delighted shrieking noises and blathered happily. Brydie rushed into the room to see what was the matter with Darryl and found the two of them frolicking pleasantly. "What are you doing to him, Carol?", she demanded.

"We're just playing horsey, Mother. See? He likes it."

"Well, try and play with him a little more quietly. Would you please, dear? There are other babies trying to sleep on this floor. Why don't you see if he'll walk for you? Sit down on the floor with him and see if he'll take a few steps."

Carol got on the floor and left Darryl leaning against the easy chair. She moved a few feet away and said, "Come on Darrie. Walk to Carol. Come on. Come to your big sister."

Darryl let go of the chair, took a step and swayed dangerously, then took another and sat down suddenly with a look of surprise on his face. "Come on Darrie. Walk for me," she coaxed.

Darryl got on his hands and knees, smiled and crawled to Carol. "Oh Darrie," she said disappointedly. She picked him up and put him on her lap. "Mother was right, Darrie. You're just a silly baby. Aren't you?"

Darryl grinned toothlessly and drooled down the front of his chest. "Mother,..," Carol asked, "...did Daddy change my diapers when I was a baby?"

"Occasionally," her mother said.  

"I guess now I'll get to pay him back by changing his diapers," Carol said with satisfaction.


Brydie knelt next to her daughter, put her hand on her shoulder and said soothingly, "Carol, honey, the nurses told me that the doctor plans to release Darrie at the end of the week and they want to do some more tests now. We're going to have to go."

"But Mother,...."said Carol. "..he'll start crying if we leave."

"We'll give him to his nurse at the nurses' station. He likes her. She'll keep him with her in a playpen until he needs to go for his tests."

They took him to the nurses' station and gave him to his nurse. She put him in the playpen, then reached into her apron pocket and took out a pacifier. "Ohhhh...Does Darrie use a pacifier too? Let me give it to him," Carol requested. "Here Darrie,..," she said, "...take your Binkie."

Carol put the nipple of the pacifier in his mouth, which he began to suck immediately. "We're going bye-bye Darrie. Can you wave bye-bye?", she continued.

Darryl stood mute with his hands on the top of the playpen rail. They turned and walked away with Carol waving Bye-bye to Darryl until she couldn't see him anymore. Darryl stood in wide-eyed wonder as they left, then sat down and played with the toys at his feet.

On Friday morning, Brydie and Carol stood at the nurses' station waiting for the unit clerk to finish the Patient Release Forms. Darryl's nurse was getting him ready and would bring him out when she was finished. The nurse walked up to them carrying Darryl and said, "He's ready now. Would you like to carry him or shall I order a wheelchair?"

"Oh,..," Brydie said, "we'll carry him."

Brydie put out her hands to take Darryl and was interrupted by Carol pleading, "May I carry him, Mother? Please?"

Her mother put down her arms and nodded to the nurse, who gave Darryl to Carol. She took Darryl in her arms and held him on her hip, with one leg in front and the other in back of her. The head nurse came out from her office, took the release forms from the clerk and said, "Dr. Halstead would like you to see him before you go home. He's in his office now. Could you stop by and talk to him? I'll call him and tell him you're coming."

Brydie nodded and the nurse handed her the forms. "Be sure to read the instructions for home care. Dr. Halstead would like you to pay special attention to them. I believe he would like to talk to you about them before you take him home. Have you been to Patient Accounts? Oh... Here it is. Well, you're all set. Can I get someone to help you? Do you have Dr. Halstead's office number? He's in the building next door. We're going to miss Darryl around here. He's been a wonderful patient. He's such a sweet baby. Bye-bye Darryl. Bye-bye." They left the hospital and went immediately to the Medical Arts building across the street to visit Darryl's doctor.

The receptionist showed them into his patient conference room immediately. Dr. Halstead invited them to sit down and began. "Good morning Mrs. Burr. Is this your daughter? I don't believe I've met her. Carol isn't it? Well, Darryl is finally going home. I can't say I'm happy about it, though, I would really like to keep him under observation for awhile. Since he seems to be stable and we haven't been able to do anything for him, it's probably best to let him go home. Do you have the home care instructions? Good. Now I want you to follow them exactly. Have you read them yet.? No? Well, I'd like you to take his temperature and weigh him three times a day. If his temperature is one degree above normal or his weight drops more than one half pound, I want you to call me immediately. If you think, for any reason, that he is getting younger again, I want you to call. Is that clear? Good.

Now Carol, has your mother explained to you what's happened to your father? Yes? Good. I want you to remember that he's not an adult anymore. He's just a baby. We don't know if he's going to get any better. I wouldn't hope for too much. I think the best we can hope for is that he won't get any younger and is happy. You'll help your mother, won't you? Remember that when you were a baby, your mother had your father to help her. Now that your father's a baby you're going to have to help her. Your father doesn't understand what's happened to him and you're going to have to do all the understanding for him.

Your mother has told me that you wanted a baby brother. I think it would be best if you thought of him as your baby brother. It might be best if you told your friends he's your brother. If they ask why he doesn't grow, tell them he has a congenital defect. Mrs. Burr, I'd like you to take Darryl to a colleague of mine who will be following Darryl's case in the future. Her office is right across the hall. I've scheduled a meeting with her right now, if you've got the time."

Dr. Halstead rose and escorted them to the hall door and led the way across the hall. The sign on the door said, Evelyn Beard M.D. Pediatrician. The receptionist greeted Dr. Halstead and called Dr. Beard on the office intercom. A few moments later, a graceful woman with motherly demeanor in a lab coat appeared at the office door. "Dr. Halstead," she said, "..and Mrs. Burr, I believe. Please come in."

Dr. Beard led them into her office and bade them sit down. Dr. Halstead looked at his watch and said he could only stay a few minutes, then proceeded to explain the reason for the change in doctors. "Mrs. Burr, frankly, there's nothing I can do for your husband at the moment. Your husband is physically and mentally a baby, with little hope of recovery. The only rational course of treatment is to monitor his condition from a pediatric standpoint; which is why I brought in Dr. Beard. She has been the pediatric consultant on his case; she is an authority on growth in children and has taken an interest in Darryl's case. I would like her to take over as Darryl's physician. I will of course review any changes in his condition with her and be available in case of emergencies."

Dr. Halstead looked at his watch again and said, "If you'll excuse me, Mrs. Burr, I'm scheduled to perform a procedure in thirty minutes. Good Luck."

Dr. Halstead shook Byrdie's hand and left the office. Dr. Beard smiled and said, "There goes a busy man. Now, Mrs. Burr, I have all Darryl's records here," she said, patting a three inch thick folder on her desk. "...I'd like to examine Darryl today for my records."

She keyed the intercom and asked the nurse to step in her office. A pert freckled brunette in a nurse's uniform came in and Dr. Beard said, "Susan, this is Darryl Burr. Would you take him to examination room four, please. I'd like to examine him."

Susan took Darryl from Carol's arms and took him down the hall and into an examination room. She laid him on the table and removed his diaper. Susan listened to his breathing and heart, then took his blood pressure. She sat him up on the table and put an infra-red temperature probe up to his ear canal and measured his temperature. Susan charted the results and waited for Dr. Beard. The doctor came in, studied the nurses notes on the clipboard and began her own examination. Dr. Beard took a tongue depressor from the counter and lit a small flashlight and examined his mouth and throat. "For a forty-one year old man, you sure look young for your age," she joked.

She put a disposable cover on the wall-mounted otoscope and examined his ears. "Everything normal," she pronounced, "That is, for a twelve-month old baby. Let's test your reflexes."

She tested a range of infant reflexes and said when she had finished, "No change since the last time I examined him in the hospital. Susan, would you bring his mother in here?" Susan smiled and said, "His mother, Dr. Beard?"

Dr. Beard looked nonplused and corrected herself, "His wife, then. Although I think we should all stop pretending. He is a baby and like-it-or-not she's his mother."

Susan brought Brydie to the examination room and stood quietly at the door while Dr. Beard talked. "Mrs. Burr, I don't know what Dr. Halstead told you about how to take care of Darryl. I'd like to talk to you a minute about that. The girl who was with you, is she your daughter?"

Brydie nodded. Dr. Beard continued, "Then I assume you've already raised a baby. I'm sorry to be so blunt, but I think it's time to face reality if you haven't done so already. Darryl is a baby. He needs a mother. He doesn't need a wife now, he needs a mommy. He needs you. He thinks you're his mommy. Are you prepared to be his mother?"

Brydie said she thought so. Dr. Beard continued, "I know you're in shock, but we have to know now. If we have to make other arrangements for his care, he'd be better off if we made them immediately. Your married life to him is over, as far as you're concerned you're a widow with an infant child. Do you understand that?"

Brydie said that she did. "Good. If you need help, don't hesitate to call me. You might want to consider putting him in a day care facility for a few hours a day, just to give yourself some time to adjust to the situation. I can help you with that. You'd have trouble getting him in a day care without a birth certificate and I think you'd have even more trouble if you showed them his birth certificate. Will you promise me you'll do that, at least for the first month or two?"

Brydie assured her she would. "Good. Then it's settled. Susan, would you re-diaper him, please? I'd like to see Darryl again next week. Tell the receptionist that I'd like to see him every week until further notice. I'll see you next week." Dr. Beard shook Brydie's hand then saw them to the door. They made the appointment with the receptionist and went to the car.

Brydie strapped him in an infant seat in the rear passenger side of the car. He bubbled and played with his fingers all the way home. Carol took him out of the car and brought him into the house. Brydie said, "Carol, honey, put Darrie in the playpen while I get lunch for us. I don't believe he's eaten."

Carol sat him down in the playpen and left the room, returning a few minutes later with a small teddy bear and a baby blanket. She leaned over the side of the pen and gave them to Darryl and said, "Here Darrie, I bought you a Winne the Poo teddy to play with. And look at this, mommy bought you a blankee."

Darryl took the bear and hugged it to his chest tightly. He gazed at the proffered coverlet a few moments, then grasped the blanket in his fist and began to suck his thumb. He looked around the room with a bewildered expression. Carol dropped the side of the playpen and attempted to get him to play with his new toys. Brydie called to Carol and said "Carol, lunch is ready. Would you bring Darrie in the kitchen, please?"

Carol carried him in the kitchen and pointed out his new high chair, "Look Darrie! Mother bought you a new chair to eat in. Let's see if it fits you."

She put him in the chair and strapped him in, then Brydie came over and tied a bib around his neck and mounted the tray on the chair. Brydie picked up a baby jar from the counter, sat in a chair in front of Darryl and said, "Our lunch is on the counter, Carol. I need to feed him first."

She began spooning baby food into him as fast as he could swallow it. He tried to push it away and she slapped his hands and said, "Naughty Baby! Do you want a spanking?"

He looked surprised, then accepted the food and ate until it was gone. She cleaned him with the bib and gave him a bottle. He settled down and nursed while she ate her sandwich. When they had finished their lunch they took him with his bottle to the living room and let him crawl around the floor while Carol watched MTV on television. He rolled on the floor and played peek-a-boo though his legs with them, wallowing in infantile complacency. He adored having an audience and clowned shamelessly. He knew he was their beloved baby. Brydie went to do the laundry and left him with Carol. He crawled to Carol and jabbered at her. She cuddled him in her arms and said, "Daddy's a silly, silly baby. Isn't he? Daddy's not going to ground Carol any more, Is he? My friend Laura is coming over after lunch to watch MTV with me. Daddy's going to behave himself in front of Laura, isn't he? If Daddy's naughty, Carol will paddle his diaper in front of Laura. When we're finished watching tv, Carol will take him in his stroller to Susie's house. We're going to take off Daddy's diapers and let him crawl on the floor naked so Susie can see what a silly baby he is. And then we're going to play dress up and put him in Susie's baby sister's dresses. Darrie will be so cute in a baby dress. Now take your Binkie Daddy."

Darryl was blissfully incognizant of his daughter's taunts and sucked on the pacifier happily. "Can you still read Daddy? Would Daddy like Carol to read to him?"

He looked at her with wide innocent eyes and made no response. Carol carried him to the sofa and sat down beside him and took a book from the coffee table. "See Daddy, Mommy bought you a book. Course you can't read anymore can you? Here. You can look at the pictures while I read the story to you."

She put the book in his lap and opened it to the first page. "This book is called The Cat in the Hat'", she said pointing out the picture of a standing cat on the page. "Can you say cat?"

He sat mutely while she proceeded to read him the story, gurgling in occasional delight at the pretty pictures. Brydie finished the laundry and entered the living room and was pleased to find them getting along so well. "Just the same," she told herself , "I'll keep my promise to Dr. Beard and enroll him in a day-care tomorrow."

"Carol, honey, could you babysit Darrie for me while I go into town to go shopping for Darrie? I should be back by seven o'clock at the latest. Do you mind?"

"Can I have my friend Laura over to watch tv with me? We told Susie that we would come by later this afternoon, Could I take Darrie with me?"

"Certainly, dear." Brydie picked up her keys and purse, then went out the front door. A few minute later the doorbell rang and Carol answered it, It was Laura. "Come in Laura!," she said cheerfully. "I want you to see our new baby!"

She showed Laura into the family room where Darryl was seated on the carpet with his thumb in his mouth. "Isn't he adorable?," Carol said proudly.

Laura looked confused and said, "Your mother wasn't pregnant. Did your parents adopt him?"

Carol laughed and said, "No, we didn't adopt him, he was already part of the family! Do you remember I told you that my father was in the hospital? Well,... that's him! He's turned into a baby!"

"You're lying!," Laura squealed. "That's your father?"

"Not any more. He's my baby brother now!," Carol said with a grin.

"I guess he won't mind if we watch MTV, will he?," Laura said. "He couldn't say anything about it if he does mind. He can't talk!"

Laura sat beside Darrie on the floor and tickled his stomach. Darryl burbled and gurgled in delight at her attentions. They sat down on the couch with Darryl between them. Carol turned up the tv and they talked about boys while the tv blared out music videos. Darryl grew bored and blathered at Carol. "Quiet Darrie," she said, "we're trying to watch tv."

Darryl continued to make noise unfazed by her instructions. "Be quiet!," she roared at Darryl.

He laughed at her and she became furious. "I'll teach you to disobey me!"

She pulled him over her lap and began spanking him. Darryl screamed in terror at the unexpected assault and immediately peed in his diaper. He thrashed and twisted hysterically in a vain attempt to escape. Darryl's panic made him pee until his diaper was sopping and began to leak. All at once, she stopped. "Darrie!!??", she said in surprise. "What have you done?"

She took him off her lap and laid him face down on the sofa beside her. In the center of her lap where he had lain was a large spreading yellow stain. "He peed on me!", Carol exclaimed. "He peed all over my lap!"

Laura chuckled and said, "Looks like you scared the pee out of him. Why don't you go and change clothes. I'll take care of him."

"Good, you can finish changing the little monster while I get some clean clothes on," Carol said as she left the room, and left Darryl in Laura's care.

Laura turned him over on his back and pulled Darryl's diaper bag next to her. His face was red and puffy from crying. His chest heaved with fear and he sniveled in self-pity. He had been badly frightened by the attack of someone he trusted. The angry tone in Carol's voice as she stalked off to her room had not reassured him that the danger had passed. Laura unfastened the tapes on the disposable diaper and pulled the front down between his legs. Laura's ministrations didn't comfort Darryl; he fidgeted apprehensively while she loosened the sodden diaper. He became alarmed when she pulled down the front of his diaper and exposed him to her thoughtful scrutiny. Darryl started peeing again in renewed panic; a thin stream of urine arced upward from his baby penis and drenched Laura's hands. She hurriedly threw the front of the diaper over the stream to be contained and soaked up by the cellulose padding. She reached into the bag and took out some baby wipes and cleaned her hands. She grimaced in disgust as she wiped his pee off her hands. He found the expression on her face so comical that giggled at the sight of Laura's discomfiture in spite of his fear. "So you think that's funny, do you? We'll see how funny you think it is when I tell Carol what you did."

She pulled out a diaper, then picked up his legs in one hand and began diapering him. When he saw what she intended to do, Darryl writhed and kicked his legs at her trying to make her stop. "Stop that!", she scolded. "Do you want another spanking? You soaked your diaper and peed all over Carol's lap. Now be a good baby and be quiet while I change your diaper or Laura will spank!"

She finished diapering him, then picked him up and sat him up on the couch. She leaned over him and said, "Now sit there until Carol gets back."

She reached into the bag, took out a pacifier and put it in his mouth. Darryl put his hand up to take it from his mouth and she shook her finger at him and said, "Naughty, Naughty! Suck on your Binkie or Laura will spank!"

Carol returned to the family room and sat on the couch. She put him on the floor while Laura told her what had happened. Carol's eyes widened when she got to the part about the arc of pee and she looked down at Darryl. "Dr. Halstead was right! You really are a baby! Aren't you? From now on, I'm going to treat you like a little baby! Sit! Now!," she said in a strident voice. "If you don't sit right now I'm going to spank you again!"

Darryl sat on the carpet obediently, even his infant mind realized that he couldn't fight her. He fretted at his frustrated desires but still obeyed. Carol smiled down at him maliciously. "You know...," she said to Laura, "we could have a lot of fun with him. It's not every girl who gets to chance to diaper and spank her father. He'll never be able to ground me again. Look at his expression, he's absolutely terrified of us. We can do whatever we want to him and he can't even tell my mother. He's completely helpless. I think we should start by making him crawl on the floor for awhile, then we'll teach him to creep on his stomach like he was six months old."

Laura agreed and they got down on the floor with Darryl and forced him to re-learn to creep and crawl. When they had finished, they took him down to Suzie's house to show Suzie what Carol's father had become.

"He's so adorable!," squealed Suzie as she watched Darryl crawling around the floor dressed in a diaper and an infant's baby doll dress. "You mean he's never going to get any older? He's always going to be like this?," Suzie asked.

"No," Carol said, "the doctor said that I should think of him as my baby brother. He even told me that I should tell everyone that he was my brother. Of course, he couldn't have meant that to apply to my friends. Anyway, you and Laura can keep a secret. You won't tell anyone."

Suzie got up from the floor where she had been sitting and watching Darryl and her baby sister Carrie crawl around the carpet. "I think we should take Carrie's dress off Darrie, I don't want him to get it dirty. It's time for Carrie's bottle, should I get a bottle for Darrie too?"

Carol nodded and presently the two diapered babies were contentedly nursing formula and watching the three girls as they talked about school. Something Carol said about school cause Darryl's mind to reel. Darryl's psyche was suddenly filled with images of people. Darryl's consciousness seemed to telescope in and out of focus. His memory returned and he recognized Carol as his daughter. He took the nipple out of his mouth and stared intently at her face as he tried to remember what had happened to him. "Darrie, Carol said, "don't you like your formula? Is Darrie's tummy all full? Does Darrie need to be burped?"

"Darrie? Darrie?.......My name is Darryl!", he thought furiously. Then the memories of the past months filled him. He had regressed until he had the mind of an infant. Somehow he had regained his faculties! He had an adult mind again! He tried to tell Carol the good news but all that came out was a baby's babble. She smiled condescendingly at his infantile attempts at communication. Suzie suggested that they see what was on tv. She bent down, picked up Carrie and put her on her hip while Carol did the same to Darryl. Carol carried him into Suzie's sister's room and put him in the playpen with Carrie, they returned and sat down in the family room to watch the Sunday afternoon movie.

Darryl sat disgustedly in the pen and wondered how he could tell Carol he could think again. He saw the alphabet blocks in the pen and spelled out a message. "I AM OK." Darryl tried calling Carol's name, but all he could manage was an incoherent childish shout. She got up to see what was the matter and he motioned to the blocks. She looked at him, smiled tolerantly and started to leave to go watch. the movie. He became angry and started screaming at the top of his lungs. He waved his arms and pointed to the blocks. Carol looked down, read the message, and said, "That's only an accident, you can't spell, you're only a baby!"

Darryl rummaged through the other blocks and found an "E", then turned the "M" upside-down and spelled "I AWOKE". Carol stood staring at the blocks in shock as he rapidly spelled "I MAN". He waited a short time then spelled "NOW".

A curious expression of disbelief mixed with dismay crossed her face, the vanished as a look of understanding came into her eyes. She reached down and picked him up and carried him to the couch. "You can think again, can't you?", she demanded furiously.

He nodded his agreement. "You are not a man! You're a baby! Do you understand?", she raged at him. She shook him and said, "You're never going to spell again! Do you understand me? You're a baby and you're going to stay a baby! You're My Baby Brother!"

He shook his head no without thinking. "What do you mean, No?!!! You're mine now, my baby brother, ..and you're going to stay that way!"

She turned him over her knee and began spanking him. He cried in helpless frustration as she spanked him until he could feel his pulse throb painfully in his bottom with every heartbeat. The pain grew until it was agonizing. He struggled in a futile attempt to escape. Finally she stopped and picked him up and held him with his face three inches from hers and asked, "Are you going to spell again?"

He shook his head "no" as tears of pain rolled down his face. Laura and Suzie rushed in the room at this point to see what was happening. "Are you going to be a good baby?", Carol demanded.

He nodded yes. "You're going to be Carol's sweet baby brother forever and ever, aren't you?"

He nodded yes and she cuddled him to her breast. "I know what baby needs to take his mind off spelling.", she said, unbuttoning her blouse. The others gaped as she reached in and pulled out her breast and guided it to his mouth. "Take it, baby. You need some tiddy. Take it or Carol will spank!"

He reluctantly put his mouth around her nipple and began to suck. Within a few minutes she was beaming happily down at him as he nosily suckled her tit. The spanking and nursing stimulated him sexually and his penis became fully erect as she forced him to nurse her other tit. Carol laid her hand down on the front of his diaper to comfort him and was surprised by the unexpected hardness beneath. She unfastened his diaper as he lay in her lap and she pulled the front of the diaper down between his legs to expose the evidence of his desire. She grasped his penis between her fingertips and began to rhythmically relieve him. He orgasmed quickly in the gawking presence of his daughter's friends. Carol re-buttoned her blouse demurely and looked her friends straight in the eyes. "Nothing happened here, right? Right?," she demanded.

They looked at her with a shocked expression on their faces and nodded dumbly. She cuddled his naked infant body in her arms while she explained to her friends that her father was not going to deny her a baby brother this time. She put his pacifier in his mouth and said, "Darrie's going to be Carol's baby brother the rest of he life, isn't he? If Darrie tries to tell Mommy that he can think again, Carol will tell her that he tries to suck on Carol's tiddies. Mommy won't like that, will she? Mommy might put Darrie in a hospital for the rest of his life. Darrie wouldn't like that! There wouldn't be anyone to talk to Darrie or play with him. They'd leave him in a crib alone for hours and hours. They probably wouldn't change his diapers when they got wet or dirty. He'd sit in his crib in dirty dydees until they got around to changing him. Poor Darrie, he'd still be in a baby's body, only then there wouldn't be anyone to take care of him. All alone in a hospital! Does Darrie want that to happen? Is Darrie going to try to tell Mommy that he can think?"

He shook his head no, causing a tear of submission to roll off his cheek and down into his ear. "Good," she said, "then everything will be okay. You'll see. Mommy and Carol will take good care of Darrie. You'll get used to being a baby, I promise." Tears coursed down his face as he nodded agreement.

The horror of an infantile existence became apparent to Darryl over the next few weeks. It wasn't just the bland, textureless food or the tepid formula or even the embarrassment of needing to wear diapers, but his inability to do the smallest thing for himself rankled him. He was dependent on Carol and Brydie for everything; his body was still a baby's even though he had regained his adult mental functions. His utter helplessness irritated him. Worse, the way the two of them treated him made him want to scream in frustration. That Brydie still loved him was obvious; she petted him, cuddled him and told him that she loved him a dozen times a day. Even Carol had settled down into a permanent baby-sitting routine. It was the condescending way they treated him that was so annoying.

He slowly realized that his standing as a thinking being in the house was less than the family dog. The two of them acted like he was so much baggage to be packed up and toted around to their next stop. Brydie asked him if he wanted to go shopping or to the day-care center without ever considering he had an opinion that mattered. The baby-talk Brydie made to him wasn't really an attempt to communicate with him, she was only amusing herself by making noises to the cute, helpless creature he had become. She knew the diminished tissues of what had been her husband couldn't understand her. Brydie had accepted the fact that her husband was gone and had left her with the responsibility for a body and personality that would remain permanently puerile. Carol's behavior toward him was at best, barely endurable. She usually treated him with the exaggerated care that a little girl lavishes on a new baby doll. When she felt hateful, however, she found a multitude of petty, annoying ways to demonstrate his helplessness to him. Carol's baby-talk was a verbal sneer at what he had become. She turned her teenaged rebelliousness against authority into attacks on him. She paid him back for every slight, real or imagined, that he had given her while she was growing up. His second childhood was nothing like his first. His big sister was a real bitch and his life had become a living hell. The prospect of being sent to a nursing home for the rest of his life wasn't as odious as his current existence. At least he wouldn't have to deal with Carol if they sent him to a nursing home. Darryl decided that he had to prove to his wife Brydie that he had regained his adult mind. The only problem was, how to prove it to her? He couldn't write. He didn't have any blocks to spell with. He'd have to wait until an opportunity presented itself.

A month later, Brydie celebrated Darryl's birthday with a small party. Carol had gone out to a movie with her friends and left Darryl and Brydie alone. Brydie removed his diaper and let him toddle around the rug in his "birthday" suit and then fed him a cupcake decorated with a single icing candle to represent his new age. He chortled in delight at the prospect of eating something other than baby food and gobbled it up before she could change her mind. She left Darryl crawling on the rug while she went to the closet and returned with a gaily wrapped present. "Open it, Honey! It's your birthday present!"

He tore at the paper clumsily until he had exposed the contents. "What is this thing?," he thought. It was a blue plastic box with pictures of animals and the alphabet on the front. Brydie knelt on the rug beside him and said, "Ooooh....What a pretty blue toy! Look Darrie, there's a cow on the toy. Do you know what sound a sow makes?"

She pushed the large button with a picture of a cow and the toy emitted a "Moooooo".

Darryl smiled at her attempt to please him, he wasn't very impressed with the toy's capabilities. "See the rooster, Darrie? Make the rooster crow!" He slapped the rooster picture with his hand and the toy sounded "Cock-a-doodle-doo!".

Brydie smiled down at him and said, "Let's push this button at the top and see what it does to the sound a cow makes!" She pushed the function slide over to "I am.." and then pushed the cow button. The machine promptly said, "I am a Cow!".

She took his hand and pushed the nearest button, the toy responded with "I am the letter A'".

Darryl looked at the function button closely, the next position over was labeled, "Name Sound". He slid the control over to "Name Sound" and hit the cow button. The toy replied "Cow!" He looked at the control again and noticed a position labeled "Spell". He pushed the slider over to the spell position and hit the buttons "C", "O" and "W" in rapid succession. The toy said, "C-O-W" very slowly and clearly.

Darryl smiled exuberantly, this was his way out! Brydie looked at him with an amazed expression on her face. She couldn't believe how fast he had learned to play with the toy. Darryl hit the buttons "B", "R", "Y", "D", "I", and "E" very slowly and deliberately. The gadget responded with a computerized "B-R-Y-D-I-E".

He looked up at her face intently to see her reaction to the spelling of her name. Brydie looked thunderstruck, the expression of amazement had morphed into one of frozen shock. He picked up the machine again and began to rapidly punch buttons. "B-R-Y-D-I-E", it said "...I...C-A-N...T-H-I-N-K...."

Brydie gasped in surprise and yelled, "Honey! You're okay! I thought I had lost you forever!"

She picked him up and hugged him to her bosom while covering the top of his head with kisses. "Oh my sweet Darryl! You've come back to me!"

He pointed down at the machine and motioned for her to pick it up and give it to him. Brydie bent over and picked up the toy, then sat down on the sofa with him on her lap. "Talk to me Darryl! What is it that you want to say to me?"

"..I...L-O-V-E...Y-O-U..," returned Darryl.

"Is there anything else you need to tell me?"

"....W-E...N-E-E-D...T-O...T-AL-K...A-B-O-U-T...C-A-R-O-L..." Darryl rapidly typed.

They spent the next hour with the machine, with Brydie asking questions and Darryl punching his answers out on the toy keyboard. When they; had finished Brydie re-diapered him and said, "I think I know what to do about Carol. You sit here on the sofa while I make a phone call."

She returned a few minutes later and said, "I've called Dr. Rollings, the psychiatrist who saw you while you were in the hospital. He's coming here to the house at six o'clock. I want you to act like a baby when Carol gets home. I'll take care of her!" She busied herself picking up the family room and then put him in the playpen. Darryl grinned as he waited for Carol to come home. "This was going to be entertaining, Carol was finally going to get her comeuppance!"

The doctor arrived promptly at six and was seated in the family room when Carol came home. Brydie introduced Carol to the doctor explaining that he was the psychiatrist who had seen her father in the hospital. Brydie opened with, "Carol, there's something I want you to tell Dr. Rollings about. I won't say who, but one of your friends called me about what happened at Suzie's house. She told me all about Darrie sucking your nipple and what you did to him. I've called Suzie and she told me the same story. We'd like to hear what happened in your own words."

Carol proceeded to tell them that Darrie had grabbed her tit and began sucking it. She carefully omitted the part where she had masturbated him in her lap. "Is that all?," her mother asked.

"Well no....,"she replied and told them how her had spelled out a message on the alphabet blocks before grabbing her tit. Dr. Rollings looked over at Darryl. Darryl was seated in his playpen, clad only in a diaper, with his thumb in his mouth and drool running down his chin.

"Carol," he said. "Are you telling us that he spelled out a message?"

Carol nodded "yes".

"Is there anything else you'd like to tell us?," asked her mother quietly.

Carol could see her plan had backfired, they didn't believe her. She shook her head "no" in resignation.

"Carol, haven't you forgotten to tell us something?," her mother inquired.

Carol shook her head "no" again.

"What about when you masturbated him? Tell us why you did that."

"He made me do it!," Carol shouted.

Dr. Rollings looked at Brydie and nodded, then bent down and picked up his bag. "Carol, Dr. Rollings is going to give you something to calm you down. I want you to cooperate with him. Do you understand me?"

Carol mumbled agreement and stared at the floor with an expression of utter defeat while the doctor gave her an injection in the muscle of her upper left arm. Dr. Rollings left the room to make a phone call, then returned and sat down again while he waited for the drug to take effect. When Carol's eyes had dilated slightly, he said, "Carol, Your mother and I have decided that you need treatment. We've talked about it and decided it would be best if you went into the hospital for a short time. I've called the hospital and they have a room ready for you tonight. They're sending a car over to pick you up right now. Your mother has already packed an overnight bag for you. As soon as it arrives, they'll take you to the hospital. I'll follow in my car. Do you understand?" Carol nodded dumbly.

A half hour later, Brydie watched at the front door as her daughter was taken to the hospital. Dr. Rollings had said that she wouldn't be able to have visitors until after he had made a complete evaluation of Carol's mental state and determined the course of treatment for her delusions. He said he thought shock treatments would probably be necessary and she could probably expect to have Carol home within ninety days. Brydie sighed as she closed the door. "At least I still have Darryl," she thought.

She went into the family room and took him out of the playpen. "Honey," she said, "we have to talk."

She took him to the nursery and sat down in the rocking chair with him on her lap. She stroked his hair gently and said, "Darryl honey, I realize that you can think again, but we still have a problem. You're stuck in a baby's body. Your body is too young and undeveloped for you to exercise any control over it. Even though you know about toilet-training, you don't have any control over your bowels or bladder. You'll have to keep wearing diapers. Since you're too small to wear anything but baby clothes, you'll have to wear them too! Besides, there're cut big enough to go over diapers and they have snap-crotches to make it easier for me to change your diapers. I don't think it's good idea to change the furniture in the nursery. I'll need to keep the furniture in the nursery just the way it is. It's more practical for me to take care of you with baby furniture because of your size and condition. The changing table, the crib, the dresser and even the high chair in the kitchen are absolutely necessary. I need the changing table to change your diapers. There'll have to be a baby-sized bed for you to sleep in and the crib is exactly the right size for you. Besides, you toss and turn in your sleep. I don't want you to roll over and fall out of bed while you're sleeping, your bones are so small and fragile that you might be seriously injured. You'll continue to sleep in your crib with the sides up to keep you from falling out of your crib. You're too small to sit in a regular kitchen chair at the table, so you'll eat your meals seated in your high chair. You're not coordinated enough to feed yourself, so I'll still have to spoon-feed you. You'll wear a feeding bib and be fed with a rubber-coated baby spoon. I can't even change your diet. You don't have any teeth, so you'll have to continue eating baby food. Since you can't drink from a cup, you'll take your formula in a baby bottle, just like before. When we go out of the house together, you'll still have to use baby things. If the police see you in the car in a regular car seat, they'll give me a ticket. It's illegal to have a baby in a car in a regular seat. So when you're in the car, you'll have to ride in a baby seat. When I take you shopping with me, you'll have to ride in a stroller. You can't walk and I can't carry you, your diaper bag and the shopping bags in my arms at the same time. If I take you out with me, I'll have to carry baby food, formula and clean diapers. With a stroller I'll have a place to put the shopping sacks and your diaper bag behind you on the rack. Your stroller will giving you the freedom to nap in the stroller if you're tired and get sleepy while we're shopping. If we stop to get something to eat, I can feed you some baby food out of the jar. If you're thirsty, you'll have your bottle to suck on. If you pee or poop in your diaper while we're shopping, I can take you into the women's bathroom and change you at the diaper changing station.

I'm sorry, darling, I'm glad that you can think again, but I can't see that it will make any difference in how I take care of you. I'll still have to wash, dress, feed, and change your dirty diapers. In other words, honey, I'll have to go on taking care of you just like you were a baby."

She hugged him to her breast and said, "Poor Darryl, I know it's frustrating to be treated like a baby when you have an adult mind, but I don't have any choice. Don't worry, I'll be here to take care of you and you can "spell-talk" to me with your new toy........Oh dear, I just thought of something. If the authorities find out you have an adult mind, they might charge you with sexual assault on Carol. Poor dear, I don't blame you for what happened. You're helpless and unable to defend yourself. I know she what she did to you was out of some sort of sick, sexual jealousy, but that won't protect you if they know you've regained your faculties. They might even charge me for false imprisonment of Carol! Who would take care of you then? I think it's better for everyone if you go on being my baby."

She drew him away from her chest and held him in one arm. Brydie chucked him under his chin and said with a smile, "The very first thing we have to do is get rid of your new toy. It's too much of a temptation for you to try and talk to someone. I want you to forget about ever talking to anyone again. From now on, you're my baby. Do you understand?"

Darryl nodded slowly, this hadn't turned out at all like he had expected. "I'm going to call you Darrie, like we did before. Now, I want you to act like a baby! Is that clear? Put your thumb in your mouth darling....... That's right. Now suck it...... That's a good baby! Don't worry about what happened with Carol. The shock treatments will make her forget all about your ability to spell. In a few weeks, she'll think it was all an hallucination. If you act like a baby, she'll never know the difference. After psychiatric treatment, she'll act nicer to you, I promise. I told Dr. Rollings how nastily she was treating you. When Carol finishes her treatment at the hospital, she'll think she really is your older sister. It's better this way, Darryl. If they know you've regained your mental abilities and then you drool and pee yourself in front of them, you'll be terribly embarrassed. As long as they think you only have an infant's mind, they won't expect you to do anything else. They'll think you're behaving like a normal, healthy baby."

Darryl shook his head "No".

"No?," she said querulously. She frowned unsympathetically and asseverated, "What do you mean, no! You don't have any choice in the matter. I'm not going to tell anyone that you have an adult mind and that's final. Do you understand me?"

Brydie's outburst frightened Darryl and he peed involuntarily in his diaper, soaking the front. He whimpered and looked downward at his sodden diaper, then put his hands down and pushed on the front of the diaper, trying to take it off. Brydie's stern demeanor melted at the display of Darryl's helplessness. She gently took his hands away from the diaper cooing, "Hush baby, it's alright, Mommy will change your dydee. She'll put you in a nite-nite diaper so you'll stay dry all afternoon."

She got up, carried him over to the changing table and laid him on his back. "Here baby, suck on this," she said, putting a pacifier in his mouth.

Brydie smiled down at him maternally while she unfastened his diaper. He got wide-eyed as she tickled him on the stomach while unfastening the tape on the diaper. "Darrie is Mommy's dorable baby!," she murmured lovingly down at him.

He mewled in despair, realizing that no matter what he did, she would consider him to be her baby. Brydie's mind had snapped under the strain. In her mind, she wasn't his wife anymore, she was his mother. Brydie had even gone so far as to have their daughter "adjusted" so that Carol would think of him as her baby brother. He turned his head and sighed despondently as she lifted his legs to remove his wet diaper. He was completely in the power of someone who believed she was his mother. His change in status was permanent. Resistance was futile, he thought in sick horror. He realized that the sights and smells of his nursery; all the sensations of babyhood, were becoming an accepted part of his world. They would soon become his whole world! She'd smother him with motherly love and concern until he could no longer even think like an adult. He knew that in time his personality would regress and he'd forget he had ever been anything but her baby. He would spend the rest of his life as an infant. Tears rolled down his cheeks as he realized the hopelessness of his position. He didn't dare let anyone know he could think. She'd go to prison and he'd spend the rest of his life in some dank, foul-smelling, over-crowded, under-staffed state nursing home. She was right. He had to be washed, fed and changed like any baby. He could barely walk. He couldn't talk. When he needed something, he could only whimper and cry. He needed a Mommy! The thought of Brydie being his Mommy disturbed him; she would control every aspect of his life. She would love and pamper him, and scold or spank him when he was naughty. She really would be his mommy! She finished diapering him and sat down again in the rocking chair with him in her lap. Brydie patted the front of the diaper, saying, "There you go baby, now you're all snug and comfy in a clean dydee."

She tugged the diaper up over his bulging tummy and said playfully, "Are you going to be a good baby?"

He nodded yes with a mournful expression on his face. "You're going to be mommy's sweet angel forever and ever, aren't you?"

He nodded "yes" and she cuddled him to her breast.

"Poor baby is unhappy. I know what mommy's baby needs to take his mind off spelling.", she said, unbuttoning her blouse. "Mommy has a surprise for her baby. Mommy went to the Dr. Beard, your pediatrician, and had her give Mommy a prescription for hormones to let her give milk. She'll be able to breast feed Darrie now."

He watched as she lifted her teat free of her blouse and holding it from beneath, guided the nipple towards his mouth. "Ooooh.....honey" she murmured, as his mouth took in the nipple. Her nipples engorged with blood as his tiny hands kneaded her breast. He heard a distant command to suck the tiddy and knew he had no choice. He put his mouth around her tit and compassed her aureole with his lips. He felt the nipple grow erect and fill his mouth completely. He swallowed involuntarily as a jet of thin milk squirted into his mouth. He began nursing passionately. Darryl's mind careened wildly with the desires that the taste of her milk induced. He was seized with a craving for her milk and suckled ravenously. He whimpered softly as he gorged himself on her milk. She beamed happily down at him as he suckled her tit. Darryl's sucking made her want to moan with pleasure. She had forgotten how enjoyable nursing was when Carol was a baby. She looked down and saw Darryl laying in her arms and sucking her tit with a ecstatic expression on his face. His legs kicked out idly as he glutted himself on his mother's milk. She smiled lovingly at him and switched him to her other breast, cradling his diapered bottom in her hand. Brydie looked down on Darryl from time to time to check on him and saw only a contented baby face intent on suckling her. He was lost in the act of nursing, eyes closed, oblivious to the external world. "Diddums like Mommy's tiddy? Mommy promises she'll breast feed you every day. Mommy likes breast feeding her baby!", she said emphatically.

Brydie chuckled and said, "As a lover, Sweetheart, you were a dud. You tried hard, but you were still a dud. But you sure know how to please Mommy now that you're a baby, Honey. You'll be Mommy's little tiddy-baby forever and ever, sweet baby.", she said, caressing him tenderly with her hand while he suckled.

Darryl began to feel sated as his stomach distended with milk. Feeding at her breast had produced a curious sense of infantine tranquillity in him. The act of nursing at her breast had triggered physiological responses buried deep in the limbic brain. Wakefulness-producing hormone production dropped and blood was shunted from his brain to his stomach, while the capillaries in his skin dilated. He felt warm all over and he was getting very, very, sleepy. He snuggled his body deeper into the comfort of her arms and looked up at her drowsily, still suckling the nipple in his mouth. Darryl felt dull, unable to think. His mind slowed and became more sluggish with each tug at her nipple. Presently he stopped nursing and drifted off into sleep. Brydie watched him affe ctionately as his eyes closed and her breast began to slip from his hands. She pulled her teat from his lips and took her breast from him tenderly. She slipped her breast back into her blouse, then put him on her shoulder gently and lightly patted his back. He burped quietly in his sleep and she took him from her shoulder and cuddled him in her arms. He looked so peaceful, she thought. He shouldn't have to think or make decisions. He shouldn't have to worry about anything. He was only a baby! She'd make all the decisions for him from now on. She didn't care that he would never be potty trained. She didn't mind changing his diapers. He didn't need to do anything for himself. He had a Mommy to take care of him. Dr. Beard was right; he did need a Mommy! Brydie dec ided that she would call the day-care center tomorrow and tell them she wouldn't be leaving Darrie with them. She knew how to take care of a baby, hadn't she raised Carol? She didn't need them to help her take care of him, she wanted to take care of all his needs herself. Brydie smiled down at him wistfully, pleased with the thought that he wouldn't grow up. She was happy with him just the way he was. "A woman needs a baby to be complete," she thought, "...Darrie will be my little baby forever." Brydie began crooning a lullaby to him softly as she rocked him in her arms. "We'll be the perfect family, Sweetheart," she said with a satisfied tone, "Carol will be your doting big sister, you'll be my little angelic baby and I'll be your Mommy for the rest of your life!"

Finis coronat infans