It is morning again and I only know this because of the sun shining through the glassless windows. There are no clocks in these rooms. I don’t have a watch. They like to keep us as disoriented as possible. I stare at the giant hole in my wall and wonder whether it was a head or a fist that tore through the green plaster. I am still reeling over the events of last night.
The doctor who I had liked at the time, finally started to trust decided to order double the dose of medication as what she told me. I explained to her that the side effects were too great, that I didn’t want to take it anymore. She just smiled and nodded. And gave it to me anyway. No one listens here. Doctor knows best. She also added another medication. She didn’t explain the need for it, the potential side effects, the dose, possible interactions. Just threw it on the list for the nurse to shove down my throat. Crazy people don’t have the right to ask questions. I asked the nurse why it was prescribed. She just said if I don’t want it, its best not to take it. I was too tired to try to argue, so I just took the double dose and allowed them to drug me into oblivion.
The bed was so hard. Every inch of my body screamed this morning from laying on the awkward surface. The side of the mattress was shaped into a foam bunker. I guess to keep me from falling out, the whole two inches to the ground.
The breakfast trays came and I didn’t get one. The third meal here that I haven’t gotten. Watching everyone else eat and me not getting a tray. Makes me feel even more isolated. I went to complain and low and behold the nurse brought me some Cheerios and an orange. LOL more Cheerios. He guaranteed me a real breakfast tray would still come. It never did. I balled up and cried. I feel left out. I feel silenced. I feel different.
I did feel better after the Cheerios and decided to take a walk on the tiny L shaped unit. The hallway was quite short. I definitely couldn’t get much exercise in. I didn’t want to be accused of pacing or being restless. The dietician told me she promised she would get things straight with breakfast, but she never came back. I didn’t really expect her to. The nurse came back to check on me to make sure I got my breakfast. Nope. Never came. Not like that would change anything. The doctor came to discuss my medication. She was just a fill in, an on call. But she was kind and she listened. It is nice to feel heard.
I showered and the water was surprisingly warm. I cherished having my own room for the time being and not having to share my bathroom. Im worried about work, but there is nothing I can do about it now.
I called home. I am glad I remembered to get a calling card before I came. Its really hard to get a calling card these days. We went to a few different stores and finally just found one online. Home is long distance. Im thankful the kids are with my inlaws. Im glad that we have their help. The kids were too busy to talk to me. You would think that might hurt my feelings. But it didn’t. I was glad they weren’t worried about me. We hadn’t told them I was in the hospital yet and they hadn’t asked.
Im sad I will have to miss the first day of school for the kids. I don’t think they will mind too much. Back to bed. Not much to do around here on a Sunday. And sounds like nothing to do tomorrow either since it is a holiday. I am ready to go home.
For sure my lunch would be right. I have complained so many times. Nope. No lunch tray for me. I just don’t understand why a huge level I trauma center cant even get a diet order from the computer to the kitchen. God forbid I need some life saving medical treatment. Sitting here staring at the ceiling with no interaction is starting to take its toll.
Mom came bearing gifts. Two giant bags full of candy and chips and sweet treats. I have too much food now. But it sure is comforting. Everyone in this place craves sugar. And theyre all eating ice cream and chips and soda in the hallway. The antipsychotic medications they are all taking to blank out the little bit of reality left in this place makes them hungry and crave food. And the meds give you diabetes. Lots of diabetics here. Several docs roaming around trying to give new diabetic teaching and adjusting insulin. Talk about drumming up business. We will make you crazier, isolate you, drug you, feed your sugar habit, and then medicate you more for the problems we have caused.
The only thing to do here is eat and stare at the walls. Listen to the other patients swap stories about prisons and other hospitals, drugs and overdoses, and how to say the right things to avoid a DUI or jail time, or how to land yourself a bed in here instead of going to jail. Im reading the comics and low and behold dinner comes. I have a tray! A gluten free peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Im drugged and hungry and I laugh. My first meal is peanut butter and jelly, yet its kinda comforting. No one has ever made a me a gluten free peanut butter sandwich before.
I have a few conversations with the staff. The nurses are friendly enough, but overall pretty lazy. They could have easily planned some sort of activity today during all the downtime. But instead, they played on their cell phones. Patients or visitors aren’t allowed to bring cell phones on the unit. No cell phones allowed. The nurses all have their cell phones. Another way to remind us that we are subclass citizens.
There is an aide here tonight. He has been the worst one I have seen yet. He is a nursing student apparently. His title is “care partner” I don’t know what he cares about or for. Doesn’t seem like much. He came on at 3:00 pm and sat down in the tv room with the patients. Didn’t engage any of us. He proceeded to do squats in the room to “work on his form” for no apparent benefit to anyone other than himself. He watched as patients on the unit struggled to open items on their trays and return their trays to the appropriate receptacle and didn’t so much as move. He watched an entire movie as he thumbed through his nursing communication book and drank muscle milk while other patients stared at the wall. Nothing therapeutic happened here today.
It’s 6:20 pm and the shitty aide is still watching the movie while the other staff plays on their phones. The only people concerned about the patients are other patients. He is checking his flip phone again.
Ive been frequently reminded by the medical staff that there are very limited beds here and I am lucky to have one. But the unit feels empty and there are empty beds everywhere. The other patients tell me this is the best psych hospital around. Best is a relative term I guess.
Its time for shift change. The shitty aide finally gets up to go home. I think his name is John, but his badge is purposely flipped around. Another day in, just the dark night to go.