Yesterday I once again entered the Kafkaesque medical world. After going to a nurse practitioner at my doctor’s office and to the grocery store I returned home to find two cop cars in front of my house.
I parked and went up to the police and yes they had an order to take me to the hospital for evaluation of being at risk of suicide. They allowed me to put some things in the frig and I called a neighbor to ask her to board my dogs.
The police took me to the hospital in the back seat of the cop car. My neighbors were gawking, and I, of course, was totally humiliated. Once at the hospital they told me to strip naked and put on a hospital gown with no shoes, no phone and no glasses. Next they put me in a room on the psych ward with no door and I then waited 20 hours before being evaluated.
It all started at my Monday morning appointment to see a nurse practitioner about another problem. I had decided to bring up the problem of depression after my episode on Sunday. Previously I have been reluctant to take yet another antidepressant since they have so many side effects. I explained the problem of depression to the nurse and she asked if I had thoughts of suicide.
I carefully answered that yes, I had thoughts of suicide, but I had no intention of taking my life. On the contrary I told her of my dedication to not doing so. I even told her about my blog. She was not impressed.
While I was speaking the nurse was typing every word I said verbatim into her online computer. She continued asking questions that were almost accusatory.
I was becoming extremely uneasy with her typing. It wasn’t a normal health care visit, it was more like she was taking my deposition. She didn’t meet my eye, she just asked questions and typed. Finally I asked her why; she said that’s the way she did it. I asked her to stop and she said no.
I told her that I thought my visit with her was a mistake and that I was leaving because I did not want every word I said available to the entire health system and any other person who gained access to it. My very own Nurse Ratchat asked if I was coming back and I said no, not to her.
The good part of my incarceration was that I prayed for most of the 20 hours I was there and regained my composure. Finally the counselor interviewed me and agreed that I wasn’t suicidal and had not needed an evaluation. After about an hour and a half they released me and I gladly walked the three miles home in the hot Albuquerque sun.
The first thing I did when I got home was call my health care provider and tell them to give me a new primary care physician. They asked me who I wanted and told them I didn’t care just so I got rid of the one I had.