Friday, April 8, 2011

On the inside... the Psych ER Saga Continues

So Where did we leave off? Oh, yes, Rage Guy...


I was in more danger sitting in the friggin’ ward than I would have been wandering the streets!



So finally, after a couple hours, I was called in to see the nurse. She took my pulse, my blood pressure, my blood. I had to roll up my sleeve for her to do this.  My other sleeve, not the arm I was bleeding from, but still one with prominent scarring. This gave me a momentary heart attack because I thought they'd ask to see both arms after seeing the one. She asked me a bunch of questions and walked me back out to the ward where I was informed that a social worker would be with me “soon”.

Back to Rage Guy. Who was even more ragey. He was getting red, veins starting to throb in his forehead. He was onto stories of how he nearly killed a guy the last time he got this mad. Pacing. Back and forth. Much to close for comfort. I was expecting him to start throwing chairs like he was threatening. Take one and throw it right through the nurses’ station window. In the mean time, they’d admitted some grizzly mountain guy that smelled like he’d rolled in week old beer and garbage someone had pissed on, muttering to himself incoherently.

“Soon” apparently meant an hour and a half later. The clock on the wall was the loudest thing in there. The steady tick, tick, tick, was enough to drive anyone mad.

The social worker came and got me. She asked me the same questions the nurse did. Then started my psych evaluation. Apparently she’d been on the phone with Boring-Ex who informed her that I was a cutter.  Asshat. So I did what I do best. Lie with the truth. Put on my mask of the little girl, exhausted, a little vulnerable, scared, soft spoken, exceptionally pleasant, and wonderfully rational. I admitted that yes I overreacted but I didn’t quite mean what Boring-Ex thought I meant (I did word my suicide threat well enough that I didn’t outright say I was going to off myself).  There was some misunderstanding in what I said. Yes, I had been a cutter, but it’s not a problem. Admitting things in half truths, admitting where I made ‘mistakes’, giving them the answers they wanted to hear in a manner that made me appear soft but very competent.

After this they lead me back out into the ward. Where I had to take a phone call.
They called my parents. Seriously? I’m 29 years old and they’re calling my parents? Who, by the way, are 500 fucking miles away. What are they going to do besides have a heart attack? So I was sitting on the phone with my mom at 4 in the bleeding morning trying to explain to her that, no, I didn’t try to kill myself, my ex is just a giant douche bag.

An hour later I got to repeat the entire process a THIRD time for the Ward psychiatrist. I’m sure they were trying to see if my story slipped. I’m a fucking genius, and you think I can’t lie, cheat, and manipulate my way out of a psych evaluation? And the Oscar goes to. Medical professionals can be really stupid sometimes.

She decided I was stable enough to go. Plus my blood work came back negative for all drugs and they didn’t have a leg to hold me on. Though they would have had they done a physical examination too.

Back to the ward.


Where Rage Guy was losing his GODDAMN MIND. I couldn’t have given a shit less. On some level I knew I was about 10 seconds away from getting shanked in the collateral damage but it didn’t faze me. I just watched with rapt attention, amused beyond reason. He had started to yell, flex his muscles, hit the walls. The nurses came in, trying to reason with him. Because that was going to work? Finally they informed him that if he didn’t calm down they were going to dose him with a tranquilizer. Three guesses on how he took that. A security guard grabbed my arm and pulled me away. The door to the nurses’ station opened and about a dozen armed security guards swarmed in, circling Rage Guy. He was still threatening ALL of them. He was a cornered animal in fight mode. Ultimatum: Either take the tranquilizer or they were going to beat him down and drag him to lock up. He crumbled. They dosed him.
Not amused.




The guard that grabbed me had pulled me off to the side. Where they locked me in a small room, for my own protection. And forgot about me. About an hour later I tapped on the glass and they said they’d let me out when they found the key. Excuse me?!? I’m in a small, dark room, lit only through the glass from the nurses’ station and they don’t know where the key is?  I was fucking pissed. Why the hell was I the one locked away?

They let me back into the ward. Welcome to the waiting room from hell. Because that's what I did for the next few hours. Wait. Maybe purgatory would be a better description.

Finally, finally, around 8 in the morning I was handed my discharge papers and given my socks/shoes/phone/wallet and a cab voucher.

What do you say to a cabbie that just picked you up from the Psych ER? It was a lovely spring morning.

And finally it was time to suture my own leg.

Psych ER. Shit hole. Wrapped in cellophane.

Never, ever, again.



And thus ends my adventure in the Psych ER. Please join us next time. Or not. Because I will never, ever go there again. 








Tomorrow, morals of the story and explanation with lessons learned

10 comments:

  1. I am with you. Talked my way out of there a time or two. Those places just seem to do more harm than good. At least the ones I have been to/seen. There might be good ones, but I have yet to come across one. For all of the advances that have been made with modern medicine, psyche hosps/ER's are still in the middle ages.

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  2. I've never been to a Psyche hospital and this was very eye-opening. I'm really sorry that you had to go through all that bullshit. If it had happened to me, I reckon I would have been worse coming out than I was going in.

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  3. That was incredible. Dude you should write a book

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  4. Seriously, get this published. Make some cash off of something you love to do!

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  5. @Maasiyat... more harm than good for sure. The only time they do any good is when (like notme) you want to be there voluntarily. Personally I've never been able to afford that, nor have I ever wanted it it. Therefore it never would have done me any good. My sis checked herself into a good one and was the better for it. My best friends wife checked herself into one that was shit, but then again, she was a total wackjob so who knows. But yes, they really should put some funding to improving the places they send people to improve their mental health.

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  6. @Erika, thanks. It was definitely an experience. I wouldn't want to do it again, but my brain works in ways that I don't get scarred from these things thankfully.

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  7. @Candle & I'm a GD Artist... Haha, that would be something wouldn't it. Adventures in the life of BPD. I would love to write a book, but blogging and actually creating something publishable are totally different things. Thanks =)

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  8. fascinating story I got caught up in it. What a wild experience most people never get to have. Looking forward to perusing your blog a bit more.

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  9. @Justin... ::smiles:: Thanks. It was an interesting experience to get caught up in. Hopefully this will be a warning to people so they don't have to have the same experience, haha, it wasn't my favorite. Glad to have you.

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  10. My 18 year old daughter landed in the equivalent here in Germany... they weren't so lax as to not do a physical, and turned up her scarred arms where she had cut herself. My wife has, it seems, BPD, and is passing it on, one by one, to our 5 kids (the 18 year old being the oldest).
    My daughter got to stay, equally 'voluntarily', for 4 nights. The only blessing was, that it wasn't as hectic as you describe.... they 'sort them' better here, I guess.
    Thank you for your blog, anyway, it is, I hope, helping me to understand, and, after I've read more, maybe I'll send a link to my daughter, in the hope that she doesn't feel so alone and misunderstood.

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Leave me a comment! It makes me feel good and less paranoid about talking to myself =)

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