In my last post, I left off where I was headed to the emergency room. (Click here http://bit.ly/Inptpart1 to read Part 1)
My mother was driving and I was both relieved and terrified. A small part of me was relieved because I would finally get the help I desperately needed, but I was also petrified because I had no idea what to expect.
Around 1:30PM I signed in at the desk and explained that my doctor had called over regarding a psych evaluation for me. We were taken into a small room where a policeman wanded us and then left us there. Apparently there was a barrage of ambulances arriving, so we had to wait until the critical patients were taken care of first. We waited about 2 hours.
Finally a nurse took me back to a small examining room. Instead of the usual hospital gown that ties in the back, I was given a pair of mauve paper scrubs to change into. They also confiscated EVERYTHING that I had brought with me, including my cell phone. I was told that no personal belongings were permitted once I went upstairs to my room.
I have to admit, the thought of not having my phone was unnerving.
We sat in the examination room waiting. And waiting. And waiting.
I hadn’t eaten anything in over 24 hours and was actually a little hungry. When they finally brought some food, it was apparently on a “suicidal watch” tray: no utensils, a paper plate, and a paper cup. All of the food could be eaten by hand.
It was at this point that I realized the severity of what was going on. I wasn’t suicidal and was there strictly for anxiety, but this was like nothing I had ever experienced before. Of course my anxiety got worse. Perfect.
At 6:30PM my mom had to leave because she was taking care of my dog. After she left I panicked a little more because I felt so alone. THANK GOD there was a tv in the room. I didn’t care what was on, all I knew was that it was better than staring at a wall.
Finally at 11:30PM (yes, you read that correctly) a nurse came to escort me to my room on the psych ward. She told me the floor would be on lockdown, but I would be able to roam the hallway at my leisure.
She took me to my room which thankfully was a single. I had never seen such a barren room before. It contained a bed and a desk with a chair and one small dresser. The bathroom “door” was a foam mat held up by Velcro. The top and bottom were open (like in a public restroom). That was it.
I was then practically strip searched because, “A lot of patients try to smuggle in things like cigarettes”. I was thoroughly exhausted and just wanted to climb into bed. When I finally did, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to cry or not. Part of me did because I had no idea what to expect, but the other part was so relieved that I was finally getting help. The next thing I knew they were waking me up at some ungodly hour in the morning for blood work.
Stay tuned for Part Three.