This is the letter I will be emailing to the Hospital Inpatient Behavioral Health Satisfaction Survey. I am going to go through and remove the Doctor’s names, so that you get a sense of the experience without having the real names of anyone involved. Me and my damn ethics. The names also do not correspond to the first letter or any part of their names.

My typical prose poem is at the end.

A. The Admission Process
Speed-fair
Courtesy of staff-very good
Information provided about Patient’s Rights including confidentiality-very good

I waited all day to be admitted to a female bed in the psychiatric ward for medication adjustment. One patient waited a day and a half to be released from the hospital, based upon the word of her doctor. (Dr. B) Day 1- here were no orders, though the doctor again told her that she would be going home. Day 2- She spent most of the day waiting to be released.

B. Unit
Comfort-very good
Noise Level-very poor
Overall Condition of the Unit-fair

Sound proofing or the addition of carpet even on the walls would reduce some of the traveling sound from the televisions in each of the lounges and the screaming and crying of my next door neighbor, who arrived screaming, “I want to die, I want to die, I want to die…”

C. Meals
Quality-very good
Quantity-very good
Temperature of the food-very good

The Kitchen staff was pretty attentive to my red dye allergy and lactose intolerance. I wish I could say the same for the Saturday morning pharmacy that sent orange pills to me for my morning antidepressant of Viibryd. They sent two orange 20 mg pills to me to make up my dose of the 40 mg I take daily.

My reaction was this:
I said, “No, no, no, no” and started sobbing. I climbed into a chair and curled up. I refused to take the pills and while I was having my anxiety attack, I explained that I had brought my own blue 40 mg pills with me. I was told by a nurse that they were in the pharmacy locked up for safekeeping. I was given a shot of Ativan to “calm me down” and asked if I wanted to be someplace quieter with fewer patients and was put into the special care unit without full disclosure about the type of unit I was agreeing to enter. I was told that it would be quieter and there would be fewer people, since I had complained earlier that there were a lot of people and noise, more than I was used to. The complaint about the larger ward had to do with the young men (18-24) that were cruising the halls in aggressive packs. They were asking ridiculous things of nurses and then laughing about it loudly, while complaining about the staff.

Upon being admitted to the unit, I was told that I could not leave without a court hearing/order, though I admitted myself for medication adjustment. I was treated as if I was a harm to myself or others. I was just put in a special lockdown unit where we were only allowed to use marker and crayons. That created great anxiety in a patient who already has an anxiety disorder.

D. Nursing care
Friendliness/courtesy of the nurses-good
Degree to which nurses introduced me to the unit and program-fair
Promptness of nurses in responding to requests-poor
Degree to which nurses took my health problems seriously-very poor
Degree to which nurses kept me informed about my treatment program-very poor
Degree to which nurses kept me informed about my medication-very poor
Helpfulness of the nurses-fair

The majority of the nurses were responsive, unfortunately, the weekend psychiatrist on call (Dr.B) and the nurse mentioned above in Item C. disregarded my allergy to red dye. I’m used to being treated with respect. That respect entails a nurse believing me when I told her about my red dye allergy. I was treated like an unmedicated psychotic, paranoid or schizophrenic patient with no rights to decide what was in my best interest regarding my care. I requested to speak with Dr.A. I was told that he would be my doctor on Monday. I requested to speak with a therapist. That never happened after the initial evaluation Saturday morning. The Saturday am therapist- Her name was Q and she seemed to listen and I appreciated that.

E. Psychiatrist
Courtesy-poor
Helpfulness of time spent with psychiatrist-very poor
Information provided by psychiatrist about my medication-very poor
Information provided by psychiatrist about my condition-very poor
Concerns and sensitivity shown for my questions and worries-very poor
How well I was kept informed about my treatment-very poor

Dr.B spent maybe five minutes with me each day. The first day I woke up and he was sitting in my room next to my head, firing questions at me, asking if I was aggressive with my child who had previously abused me, “No, I curled up into a ball until he stopped punching me.” He also asked me if I saw things or heard things that weren’t there? Dr.B, was obviously in a hurry, had not read my file, did not listen to me or show concern for my health. That was my impression on Day 1.

When I woke from an “episode” seizure on Day 2, I believe was caused by withdrawal from my Clonazepam he asked me if I was “possessed?” I looked at the nurses present and asked them, “Did he ask me if I was possessed?” They looked embarrassed.

I have an anxiety disorder, a major depression disorder and ADHD.

Day 3, Dr.B arrived during dinner. He asked me how I was doing? I told him I had two seizures that day. He made no comment, then asked me if I was a vegetarian. I said, “No?” He said, “Good, good,” then said, “You eat very healthy foods.”

I VOLUNTARILY admitted myself for medication management/adjustment after I had a panic attack and anxiety attack in Dr.A’s private office on Thursday. We agreed that my medicine was not working correctly and that hospitalization was a solution. He told me to report back to the hospital on Friday for admission. I was under the impression that I would see Dr.A, while I was an in-patient at the hospital. I had to wait from Saturday morning when I refused my Orange Viibryd until the early evening before someone could get my Blue pills that I brought from home out of the pharmacy. I repeatedly asked about withdrawal from clonazepam and was not taken seriously until I had seizure like symptoms 2 days later. Then I was given.5mg clonazepam 2x/day after that Sunday night.

F. Medical Procedures
Adequacy of explanation of tests-very poor
Amount of time Physician spent with me-very poor

A phlebotomist took blood with no explanation of what the bloodwork was for. I assumed it was routine. She was very friendly and skilled, but I never received my results. I still don’t know what the bloodwork was for.

G. Other Members of the Treatment Team
Overall rating of counselor-very good
Overall rating of case manager-fair-good
Overall rating of recreational therapist-very good

I requested to see my Counseling Center Case Manager who was on call for the weekend. He was never called and I never saw him or an inpatient Case Manager or therapist until after I called my mother to help get me released on Tuesday. I understand that they are busy, but I requested to speak to someone and no one ever came. That was extremely anxiety producing.

H. Program Activities
Helpfulness of individual contact with staff-very good
Amount of time spent in therapeutic activities poor-fair
Helpfulness of group therapy sessions-very poor
Helpfulness of social/recreational activities-very good

Watching TV and Reading are not therapeutic activities. I never had group therapy from Friday pm through Tuesday pm. More recreational activities would have been appreciated. The nurses let me crochet, that helped me a lot.

I. Visitors and Family
Hospital staff’s courtesy toward your visitors-very good
Adequacy of visiting hours-very good
Confidentiality respected with regard to my visitors-very good
Availability of space to meet with family and friends-very good

I did not know that none of my minor children would be able to visit. That was extremely anxiety producing.

J. Discharge
Degree to which I felt ready for discharge-very good
Understanding of my medication at discharge-very good
Information provided about my care after discharge-very good
Innstructions on what to do if I need help after discharge (when to seek help, whom to call-very good

Since I left Against Medical Advice, I received a handwritten list of the medications I received while in the hospital and was told to follow up with Dr.A who I never saw during my visit. I was given no medication disclosure information what so ever about the medications I was given during my stay at your hospital. Would I go into withdrawal from any of them? I don’t know? What were the side effects? I don’t know? I was on my own because I did not agree with the treatment I was receiving and chose to leave.

K. Personal Issues
Staff concern for my privacy-very good
Degree to which the staff asked if I had physical pain-very good
If I had physical pain, how well was it taken care of-fair
Degree to which I felt safe on the unit-very poor(1st unit,) fair-poor(2nd unit)
Degree to which staff was sensitive to my language cultural needs-very good
Degree to which staff was sensitive to my emotional needs-good
Degree to which staff was sensitive to my spiritual needs-very good
Degree to which I was included in decisions about my care-very poor

You have some very good well trained nurses with good listening skills and empathy. A couple left a lot to be desired. I was not included or consulted regarding my care at the beginning of my stay. If I had not left A.M.A. I would still be there getting depressed because I could not see my children and had no idea when I would be going home. That was very anxiety producing.

L. Overall Assessment
Overall impression of the hospital-poor
overall cleanliness of the hospital-very good
Degree to which I feel that my condition improved-poor
Degree to which the staff worked together to care for me-poor
Overall rating of care given at that hospital-poor
Likelihood of my recommending that hospital to others-poor

All of my comments put together basically mean that I will never recommend your hospital psychiatric units to anyone who needs help. I will never voluntarily admit myself to another hospital psychiatric unit for fear of the same type of treatment. There is nothing worse than being treated without adequate respect for my mental, emotional and physical history.

I was given different medication to deal with my physical pain, 625mg white tylenol with red letters, than what I brought with me 800mg Ibuprofen in green gelcaps. I was in pain. I have degenerative arthritis in my lumbar spine and had to ask for that medication. The nurses allowed me to take longer showers to relieve some of my muscle spasms.

Your administration should be admitted and treated the way I was by Dr.B. It would be an eye opening experience for them. Dr.C went on rounds Monday and Tuesday in the Unit and he seemed to treat his patients better than the care I received. He took more time and seemed genuinely concerned about his patients.

Not part of the letter:
I am happy to be home,
but I have been told that
they believed I faked the seizures
(who doesn’t enjoy falling over
and drooling on the floor?) and that
Dr.A may not see me since I left
Against Medical Advice.

Wow, protect yourself,
get shunned, again.
I’m really sick of receiving
special treatment because
I am considered to be mentally ill.

That does not make me an idiot.
I also don’t like showing off my
side effects for doctors who can’t
seem to call a pharmacy or other
doctor to get verification of my allergies.

Lactose intolerance is painful
when I ingest small amounts of
dairy products. Bloating,
constipation, vomiting or nausia.
The Red dye allergy is complicated.
I giggle, then cackle with abandon,
seem drunk, stagger around, pass out,
then sometimes swell up in my hands,
lips and face. Sounds like fun.
Add my seizures that I didn’t have a
history of until they took me off the
clonazepam (it is an anti-anxiety and
anti-seizure medicine then you have
a completely traumatizing experience.
One last small note, I was flying high
ADHD through the end of the visit that’s
why chrocheting helped,no one bothered
to give me my Adderall meds either.

Thank you New Local Hospital.
Bravo!

Thanks for listening.
By the way, when you arrive, they take your
cell phone, your computer, your shoe laces and
your pens, but I could crochet with a metal
hook, funny. NO communication with anyone whose
number you didn’t have memorized.

12 thoughts on “This is what happened at the hospital, last Friday-Tuesday

    1. I think its terrifying that they gave metal crochet needles to work with, but I couldn’t use a pen, which would have calmed me down. Kind of like airport security taking a silver necklace of a woman off my neck, but giving me stainless steel silverware to eat with on the plane.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. What a horrible experience. Who can you turn to when the “caring profession” cannot be trusted? Mental illness makes you so vulnerable, because it’s assumed that people with psychiatric disorders have mislaid their brains, but there is no excuse for that attitude from people who specialise in that field. My heart goes out to you.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. No they just gave it to me in the hospital. When I left I was only allowed to leave with the medicine I went in with, no new prescriptions, no instructions. A “fuck you if you don’t like our care” from the hospital.

        Liked by 1 person

Any thoughts on the above post are appreciated! Otherwise, I think I must be living under a rock.

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