posted on Jul, 1 2008 @ 11:02 AM
I experienced a real life "conspiracy" last week ... and live to tell the tale.
It involved my wife, several Emergency Room doctors and a mental institution. The conspiracy was that the nurses and doctors tried to convince my
mother-in-law and myself that my wife was mentally ill, though I disputed their claims with fact and proof. Their conspiracy theory proved wrong in
time and raises major concerns regarding the assessment and treatment of those deemed "mentally ill".
It all started one afternoon when my wife and I decided the fence line of our yard needed weeded. We commenced to pull the weeds from the bushes and
flowers. My wife happened to unknowingly get into a patch of poison ivy. Being the naturalist that she is, she attempted to "treat" the affliction
with topical treatments. After several days of attaining no relief and the poison ivy only spreading and worsening, I convinced her to see her
physician. Once at the doctor's office, she was treated with a shot of steroids (I'm not sure what the actual name of the steroid in the syringe)
and the doctor prescribed what is known as a "DexPak" in the medical industry. This "DexPak" is a corticosteroid known as prednisone, a steroid
which, like many other steroids, can have multiple and major side effects.
The steroid caused my wife to have trouble breathing and also a very rapid heart beat. We consulted the M.D. that prescribed the medication and she
told us that this was normal and we should continue with the prescription. My wife did as was recommended by her physician. This drug cause my wife to
have trouble sleeping. She slept only 1-2 hours per night while taking this medication and my wife normally sleeps AT LEAST 8 hours per night. After
the 4th day of no sleep my wife took herself off the medication (which one should NEVER do, it turns out). The insomnia continued. On the 5th day of
practically no sleep, I told my wife that we should go see her physician once again and see if anything could be done about this sleep disorder. We
told her that my wife had stopped the medication. The doctor wanted to prescribe an anti-anxiety medication to help her sleep. Of course, my wife
wanted a more naturalistic approach and asked if it'd be OK to drink a glass of wine. This doctor said this would be fine and drink however much
helped her to get some sleep. We went home and she drank a glass and a half of wine before she reverted into a delusional state. She broke a wine
glass over the counter while laughing at something her mother said over the phone. I convinced to to lay down and rest. I spent the remaining night
with her making sure she didn't have a heart attack or her breathing didn't get any worse. Her condition worsened.
I got her up the next morning and took her to the Emergency Room since we seemed to get no relief from the M.D. that she regularly sees. The ER
checked her in, drew blood and took a urine sample. All her vital signs (EKG) checked out normal (aside from the rapid heartbeat and her trouble
breathing). The urine and blood test returned no signs of drug use (I fear that's all they checked for - being that she was up for 5 days straight
they automatically assumed that she was a drug user and wacked out on speed). We explained, as we had to her M.D., all the side effects that she'd
been suffering such as: lightheadedness, sweating, disorientation, blurred vision, constant urination, confusion, excitement, false sense of
well-being, feelings of self-importance, feelings of being mistreated, restlessness, acne, headache, irregular heartbeat, muscle weakness, nausea,
and of course trouble sleeping. All side effects of prednisone.
The doctors took note and said she should stay and rest a while. I was happy to oblige the notion and hoped that she might finally get some sleep with
this peace of mind. While attempting to sleep, my wife - as she had at home - would begin with R.E.M. when starting to drift off. But, just before her
mind could enter deep sleep my wife would snap awake and begin to tell whomever was near the mysteries of the universe, as she now experienced them
through her delusional state. This happened several times. My wife, being the delusioned Christian that she was, being speaking about Jesus and God.
This is a strict NO-NO in the medical field. No mention of faith based deities should be referenced in the modern medicine arena. She went from the
official diagnosis being that she was suffering side-effects of prednisone to suffering from a mental illness. The doctors explained to me that she
was probably exhibiting the early signs of schizophrenia. They wanted to get a counselor from Our Lady of Peace Hospital to speak with her. I said
that would be fine. I asked the doctor if steroids could trigger such an episode of mental illness. He said no. But typically women begin to show
signs in the mid 30's-late 40's when they suffer from such.
I had no idea what Our Lady of Peace Hospital was. I was under the assumption that it was just another medical facility that was better equipped than
the local small town hospital we were currently at. She had yet another episode and with this one she attempted to escape the ER. We were able to
restrain her and calm her down once more. Just like all the other times, when the episode was over with she apologized to the staff and explained to
them that she didn't know why she kept having these fits and she was sorry for all the trouble. After the apology, the nurses sedated her with shots
of Tramadol and Adavan. After which, they strapped her down and suggested that she be transfered. I signed the papers and followed the ambulance into
the city to Our Lady of Peace, which turned out to be a mental institution, among other things.
We were interviewed and they took down our story. They asked my wife (while sedated) many questions regarding her health and mental state. She
answered all semi-coherently. She was admitted. I went home to rest and came back to the hospital at 7:00 during visiting hours. They took me up to
the 3 North wing. I set foot into the ward and realized the mistake that I had made. This was indeed a mental institution in full effect. I
immediately went to my wife's room where she continued to sleep. I stayed only a few minutes and left to allow her to get some rest. I attempted to
ask the attendants some questions and was able to after about 10 minutes of waiting around while they did crossword puzzles. I won't get into all the
incompetencies that the ward suffered from, but let me tell you this: The state mental illness treatment in this hospital was EXTREMELY POOR. I felt
sorry for anyone that is treated for such a condition in this facility.
I returned home and did not sleep. I got up at 6:30 the next morning and returned to the hospital. My wife called me on my way there. She told me that
she felt 100% better and that she'd gotten 12 hours of sleep finally. She had met with a "doctor" (we later found out that this was not a doctor,
but a "counselor") and he wanted her to continue with her sedative medication and well as pescribe an anti-psychotic medication known as Risperdal
along with Ambien to help her continue to sleep.
Now, keep in mind that they are keeping her for "observation". To me, that would mean that they're attempting to see these "mental illness"
episodes take place. Being that the episodes subsided after the sedation took place I still don't understand why they would sedate her in an attempt
to "observe" these episodes. Also, why would any doctor (or counselor) prescribe antipsychotic medicine without being 100% positive that a patient
would need said medication?! My wife, of course, refused the "treatment".
I asked about getting my wife checked out. They told me that I would have to have a doctors approval, but I could speak with her social worker. I said
that would be fine. The doctor had visited the hospital that morning, seen his patients and had left. I called his office and was informed that the
doctor had many other hospitals to visit and wouldn't return to his office until 2-3:00 pm. I told the receptionist that I'd like to speak with the
social worker that was handling my wife's case. I was informed that the social worker wouldn't be in until 11:00 am. So I waited. I made calls to
friends that are doctors and they seem to agree that my wife should accept the 'treatment' that the doctors were offering. I wasn't satisfied that
she needed any such "treatment" being that she was mis-diagnosed as being mentally ill, when any idiot that can read could discern that she was only
suffering side effect of the steroid that she was prescribed. I called some friends who're lawyers to discuss my options. They began to look into
what could be done to get a release. Meanwhile, my wife began to ask about self-release from the facility. She was told that she could not check
herself out because she was not in a coherent state, though she was. There were several incidents that took place that I considered inappropriate
behavior for staff in a mental illness facility. I won't get into everything. It was mostly small annoyances such as hiding extra items that I had
brought my wife. They "misplaced" her extra clothes. They "misplaced" her glasses. He magazines that I had brought her would disappear, then 30
minutes later the nurses on duty would be reading the magazines. Very unprofessional behavior and totally inappropriate for a mental ward where
patients are attempting to receive treatment for an apparent mental illness. It's almost as if they didn't want anyone to think that they were
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