Saturday, December 18, 2010

mr. toad's mild ride

it had to have been weird to watch, a little middle aged lady, a little twitchy but otherwise quiet and docile and howling loudly. hey bring me into the ER at the bennington hospital and make me strip down. this is the only time i've ever been in an ER that i wasn't permitted street clothes, which did not improve my mood any. i'm polite, but i am still crying very loudly. and i am a classically trained singer, so i have some LUNGS.

and wen you come in with the police, the police stay with you until you leave, apparently. or until you move to another unit. and they ask me if i can stop the screaming because i'm disturbing their emergency room.

which is of course a serene place.

i ask for a chaplain. i have been asking for a chaplain since i came in. they offer me medications. i'm not opposed to medicine, but what i really want is a chaplain.

they come in and they shoot me full of lorazepam. it really hurts going in. "hey," i tell them. that just honkin' hurts." and that's just the language i use, too. "i would'a' swallowed TABLETS!"

so i sleep a couple of hours. while i am sleeping what i do not know is that my family is frantically trying to find an open psychiatric bed anywhere in the state of vermont so i don't get shipped to albany, which is not a sparkling gem in the constellation of mental health care. there is not a bed anywhere.

there is not a bed anywhere.

there is not a bed anywhere.

after a wile i wake up screaming again.

the nurses rush in and jab another hypodermic in me. "hey!" i tell them. "that STILL hurts! i STILL would'a' taken a tablet given the choice."

and i sleep a while later not so much because it knocks me out, but because there's just not that much to do but sleep or cry and once the edge comes off i have more of a choice and i'm not wild about crying anyway.

after a long time (it probably seems like a lot longer to my family, who are on the outside working desperately than it does to me, because while i'm very sad by this time i'm mostly bored) ONE bed opens up at the brattleboro retreat, which is not just the nearest psychiatric facility; it is one of the nation's finest. it is one of the hospitals i've been trying to get into all along.

apparently when your admission involves nine officers and four squad cars you move closer to the top of the list.

so they put me in the truck and i'm on my way.

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