Seriously, I remember piecing together a novel in the semi-conscious breaks during my one night in med/surg (where I was at my least lucid). But I have absolutely no memory of any details that would help me write said novel such as characters, plot, theme, you name it. As far as I know now, the idea went something like this:
I introduce this character, someone flawed yet sympathetic. Then I totally put her in some serious trouble, something that hasn't been done before. As she's fighting to put things to right, she royally screws up and probably has a dark moment in which she questions everything. But eventually she finds a way to fix things, and she's grown and learned something along the way.
I really wouldn't be surprised if that's what I came up with. Not so much the perfect novel as it is a recipe for your basic novel.
Regardless of what the idea was, it carried me through the next day and made the transition from med/surg to the ICU less scary. I often came back to the thought of my perfect novel that day, telling myself that when I got out of the hospital, I was going to write the pants off that thing. By the next day, during my Adventures on Ambien, I realized that I didn't have any clue as to the specifics of the idea anymore, if I ever did, and I think that's what made that day particularly rough fro me.
Maybe one day I'll reconnect with this perfect book. Maybe I won't. But I will say that a nebulous, flawless novel is a bit better for a drug-induced flight of fancy than having Captain Malcolm Reynolds of the spaceship Serenity tell me to get up and pump my breasts. Note to self: always mix percocet with morphine, never take alone.