Hello campbellsworld visitors.
As I’ve explained in previous posts, I’ve been working on this book for quite some time now and after having had no luck getting it published in any way and giving much thought and prayer as to what I should do I’ve decided to share it here with you.
For me sometimes just the simple pleasure of writing and sharing my stories with others is more than enough. In fact, after spending much time in prayer about this subject I feel very strongly that to share my stories in this way is something I’m being called to do. I feel that somewhere someone is reading and that there is a message within the pages of this book they need to receive.
So, as I’ve explained one of the main reasons I write is to help readers know me and how I work. I want to try to help persons who don’t suffer from multiple disabilities understand what it is to have to live with them all wrapped into one package. Unfortunately to do this I must talk about a few more dark times in my life.
This week, I’m going to jump forward a bit in the chain of events in my life and share with you a story concerning a Bipolar episode I found myself in late summer of 2015.
Once you’ve read this, I hope you’ll have just a bit better understanding of just what it takes for those like myself who suffer from multiple disabilities to cope. I also hope you’ll learn a few things and that you’ll find ways to incorporate what you learn into your own lives as you come across persons who might not be quite like you.
If you missed the previous portion of this book you may visit: https://campbellsworld.wordpress.com/2019/02/10/an-explosion-of-stories-part-3-rescued/ . to catch up.
THE JOURNEY TO ‘BE WELL’ PARTS ONE AND TWO
BY: PATTY L. FLETCHER
*** READER’S NOTE:
This was originally taken from blog posts called, ‘The Truth Really is Raw’ Parts One and Two and I’ve rewritten it for use in this book.
The week of visiting with our friend Bobby had ended, and Campbell and I were headed home. We had a fairly good time, but I’d felt all along something was a bit off between the two of us. As time went along, I realized it was probably my moodiness that was not helping.
Once home, I began to work very hard to keep my depression and mania away from Bobby. Not because I didn’t want him to know. I told him I was having medication issues, and I kept him informed about the doctors and what they were doing, but I also buffered him from the everyday struggles I had while dealing with all the changes I was going through, chemically and physically. I knew he’d had a bad experience with a girl who didn’t take her mental illness serious like I do now, and I didn’t want him frightened off by it. I’d asked him many times if he were ok with my mental illness and he always reassured me saying,
“You’re not like her, you take your illness serious and you do a good job taking care of it. I know you sometimes get a bit loud, or excited, but we have agreed on plans to help not have those problems.”
Bobby assured me that he would let me know at the first sign of trouble. I, however, was depressed and manic at different times during my stay at his house, and I know more than once it bothered him. I could tell by his behavior. I could also see, although I tried not to, that he was not doing at all what he’d promised.
Rather than speak to him about it, I made the mistake of thinking that if I went home and got myself straight, that things would be ok.
Once I’d returned home, things seemed ok between us for a while. We chatted in the mornings before we set out for our day, and I tried as best I could to be upbeat. I was however very stressed about the situation where my house was concerned. It was becoming out of hand in an unhealthy sort of way for me and my animals. Bobby was concerned too, and we kept talking about different things I could try to get help. I’d had a grant from an organization called, ARC of Washington County and while everyone who worked for me helped in one way or another, no one was truly fixing the trouble and setting things up for me so I could maintain after work was completed.
This was yet another difficulty that had me down. I could find no peace, not even amongst the areas in which I lived.
Near the end of summer, I began to have serious problems with my Bipolar and Anxiety. After trying repeatedly to get in to see a regular psychiatrist and being told it was going to be a long wait, I gave in and decided to go to the hospital.
The process of getting evaluated for Crisis placement was hard to say the least.
Once I’d gotten there, gotten signed in and finally through the exhausting and humiliating process of being registered, I settled down and began to think of all the years I’d fought with this illness and where I was now.
As the ER finally settled toward the sleep of the sick, injured and dying, I put my mind on playback and began to try and sort everything out.
Once again, the fact that the brain cannot differentiate between now and memories was brought home to me in the clearest of ways.
In the early 80’s when I was just a teen, I had my first mental health episode. We did not know then, what had caused it. First I experienced a long bout of depression over the summer, after my freshmen year of high school, followed by a severe manic episode during the first few weeks of my tenth-grade year. After which I crashed again, and attempted suicide for the first time. I was found around 8:30 in the evening on the floor of my dorm room at the Tennessee School for the Blind in a puddle of my own blood. I’d slashed my left wrist. Thankfully it was not fatal. Unfortunately, it would not be my last attempt or my last battle out of mania and depression.
For the next ten years I was in and out of hospitals, tried multiple medications, saw multiple doctors starting in Nashville and working my way into my hometown of Kingsport Tennessee.
I was labeled everything from a spoiled brat who, ‘needed her ass blistered,’ to a ‘psychotic who needed to be heavily medicated.’
Both things, I might add were tried, as well as many others along the way.
Everyone I saw doctors’ therapists, etc. had a differing opinion on what needed to be done. I never felt completely whole or wanted anywhere, and find I still have that issue today.
I must add however that my parents were doing the best they could with the information they were and weren’t getting, and that much of what was going on with me was complicated by life circumstances around me.
In 1992, I suffered another multiple episode of first depression and then mania followed by an attempt on my life. I was placed in the Ridgeview Pavilion in Bristol Tennessee and there met a doctor who would first correctly diagnose me, and then proceed to begin working toward teaching me that I could live with my illness. I have had many successes and failures over the years, but I’m proud to say after nine failed suicide attempts, I have decided I very much want to live, and so have begun a true journey to “Be Well.”
I closed my eyes and tried to make it all make sense to me. Trying to bring back even the slightest of detail. I knew from experience that no hospital stay whether it was four days, or four months was productive if you weren’t ready to work and work hard at digging into the crux of the matter. Hospital stays were for getting at the root of the trouble and giving yourself a boost toward being well.
Understand “Be Well.” That does not mean, “Be Cured.” There is no cure for mental illness.
The first part of what had led to my current episode had begun earlier in the summer, and had been getting steadily worse, and worse. I’d been forced to change doctors and therapists’ multiple times due to constant changes within the facility where I received my mental health care, had tried a medication switch, and then when nothing had worked, had simply gone off everything in frustration. When I’d made the mistake of allowing all that, I’d again found myself in a full-blown Bipolar Episode. Now, here I was rapid cycling.
Rapid cycling for those who don’t know, is when a person has wild mood swings multiple times as often as each day. It can be very hard on the one experiencing it as well as those living around the sufferer. It takes a special person to love someone like me, and I have few in my life who truly do.
When I’d awakened earlier this morning, I found myself literally at the end of my rope. I was upset, feeling as if no one on earth understood me, or cared to try. Though everything felt topsy turby in my head, the one thing I’d known for certain was that I must get help or die. First, I tried walking to the nearest mental health outpatient center to my house, but I was told I’d have to get an appointment do an intake and possibly wait up to a month or more for services. Although I explained to them, I was in desperate need and feeling close to harming myself they gave me no other option. I must say I didn’t take that news very well. Finally, after making an ass of myself by announcing to the waiting room, “This is why no one comes to get help and why we have mass killings.” I left the center and walked home in the rain. Campbell was as always by my side loving me unconditionally without fail, not bothered at all by my sickness, only concerned with loving me and seeing me safely home, and through my troubles. Encouraging me onward every step of the way.
Once I returned home, I realized I couldn’t give up. I made the hardest call I’d ever made in my life. I picked up the phone and dialed the Crisis line. I feared I’d know the worker on duty. I couldn’t count how many calls I’d transferred to that line while working for Contact Concern, but it was secondary in my thoughts, I simply felt I had two choices. I could either go to the hospital and get help or die. I could no longer live with the way things were in my life and had decided if there was to be no relief from this hell, I was calling life I would just be done. Thankfully I chose help.
After talking with the crisis worker on duty and having her ask several questions of the facility I wanted to be placed in and making sure Campbell would be alright to be with me there I began to work toward getting ready to go.
Many have asked why I’d worry about whether Campbell could go to the hospital with me due to the law stating that because as a guide dog he can go anywhere. Normally, I wouldn’t ask, but under these circumstances I felt it more than necessary. There are several reasons why. One of the most important, his equipment could be used to harm someone or myself. Another is that Campbell could become upset from things such as emotional outbursts from me, or other patients, but after having the worker call and ask questions about the facility, I learned that the likely hood of us running into a patient sick enough to do bodily harm to themselves or someone else was slim. They said if at any time I felt Campbell was upset we would be more than able to find a quiet place to calm him. They assured me that this facility’s mission was to help people stabilize before they reached that point. I was relieved to hear that because that’s exactly what I was after.
I spent most of the day washing my laundry, packing a small bag, and letting my family and my dear friend Bobby know what was going on with me.
That Friends was another hard call to make.
I sent him a text saying that I was simply unable to continue dealing with my sickness on my own and that I was going to go to the hospital and be evaluated for services. I hated to do that in a text. I felt it was cowardly, but I wasn’t sure when I would leave, and in my defense, he was at work. As soon as he could, he called me.
Bobby Donald has so far since we reconnected again been kind, caring, and as understanding and tolerant as anyone could be, and more so than many. Even after having had other experiences with persons with mental illness. Some good and some not, he had chosen to continue along with me. For that, I was ever grateful. That afternoon, however, I expected the same reaction that I’d always gotten from others. I expected that either while I was in the hospital, or soon after, we’d have the usual.
“I’ve had fun, but I am really not interested,” talk, or my real favorite. “I am sorry; I just really don’t think you’re my type after all.” That’s always my favorite because I’ve usually already heard by then the famous lines, “Oh I cannot believe how much we have in common it’s like we’ve been waiting forever for each other.”
Bobby and I were both amazed at how awesome our time had been together so far, and his attitude concerning my mental illness had been positive and supportive. Still, something bothered me. I couldn’t put my finger on it, but even before this current crisis every now and then there was just a hint of something lurking just beneath the surface of what he allowed me to see.
When he called, he told me he hadn’t realized I was feeling that poorly. He asked why I hid it from him. He reminded me about our agreement to be honest with one another. I explained my fears to him. He told me, “I understand, but you have to trust me a little. I’m not going to just stop being your friend or caring about you because you’re having a problem. If we were roommates, or partners of some kind I’d have to know about it, wouldn’t I? You recognize it; you’re going to get help. I’m proud of you for that. That’s hard to do.”
Not at all what I’d expected. I’d felt so much better that for a few minutes I wondered if I might be making a mistake. Soon however the old sadness was creeping up like a slow-moving fog, and after a while, I was teary eyed again, and trying just to keep it together while I finished gathering my things.
Soon it was 3-pm in the afternoon, all arrangements had been made, and I’d been told I needed to go to ER to see a crisis worker there, be evaluated, and then would be placed in the Crisis Stabilization Unit in Johnson City Tennessee.
I knew the process of doing this could take time. Once before I’d been in the ER for six hours while waiting to be seen, evaluated, and placed, but had I known that afternoon what would be in store for Campbell and me, I might not have gone. I must say, that would’ve been a huge mistake. I now realize that the 14 or so hours I spent in the ER, and then the next two or three hours I spent getting transferred to and signed into the Crisis Stabilization Unit were for sure worth it. I am further along now than ever before with becoming stable and being as well as is possible for someone like me.
Finally, I was packed and ready to go. I’d chosen to take the bus to the ER. Many have asked me why. My answer was not at first easy to give, but later when talking with my then Niece In-Law Michelle, I realized it was the need to feel empowered, in control of something and in charge of my destiny. For so long I’d felt as if I’d been tossed into a large washing machine and left on the spin cycle. I had to allow myself to make all the right choices because I knew I’d already allowed myself to make all the wrong ones that had led me here.
Campbell and I caught the bus at 3:30 that afternoon. I had Campbell’s food, his bowl, and one of his small blankets from home. 4 days’ worth of clothes, my computer, and National Library for the Blind Digital Player. I had no idea what they’d let me use and what they wouldn’t, but I for sure knew I’d be in the ER a while, so I wanted my things with me even if I had to surrender them at the Crisis Stabilization Unit later.
After transferring buses once, it was around 4-pm, and we were finally at the ER. The driver on duty was concerned for me, and so he walked up to the door with me and made sure I got in alright.
I went inside with Campbell leading the way and wagging his tail as if to assure me. We walked up to the counter and I said to the clerk, “My name is Patricia Fletcher, and I need to be evaluated by a crisis worker and placed in the CSU before I hurt myself. I’m not there yet but if someone doesn’t help me, I will be.”
Their assistance began immediately.
By 4:45-pm I was signed in and ready to be seen by the nurse. When she came out to get me, I began to encounter several problems right away. The first thing to go wrong was when she called me back. Rather than directing me to where she was, she stood still and said nothing. I had no idea which way to go or what to do. A kind man there in the waiting room directed me, Campbell and I walked up to her, and then the trouble truly began. “Come on darling,” she crooned in a sing-song voice.
And then immediately took my arm, and of course this is, unfortunately, the way of it most of the time. She did not ask first how she could help. This told me she like many other medical professionals was not educated. For whatever reason this, along with the way she spoke to me – like some small frightened two-year-old child – infuriated me. Maybe it was my emotional state, maybe it was the fact that I’m sick of encountering people who are professionals in the 21st century who are still not educated correctly, and maybe it was both. I don’t know, but I shook her hand from my arm and demanded, “Ma’am! Please? Number one, do not ever touch someone working a Guide Dog or any other service animal without asking, and number two, please? Do not make the mistake that just because I am blind, I need to be babied.”
She took one heck of an attitude with me.
“You will not speak to me like that. I do not like being told what to do.” She was completely defensive and spoke to me an army sergeant nurse like voice – which, by the way, did nothing to intimidate, but only served to further piss me off, at which point I insisted, “You will not touch me without asking, because you are interfering with my dog’s work, and invading my personal space. Furthermore, it is you Ma’am who will not speak to me in that manner. I’m a grown woman, and, you are a professional who works amongst the public and you damned well should know better.” To say that we did not get off to a good start at all would be an understatement.
She walked me back allowing Campbell and I to follow her and you could more than tell she had her nose out of joint. At that very moment, it wouldn’t have bothered me one bit if the sprinkler system had activated and drowned her! However, once I got seated and began to speak with her a bit more, we both calmed down, and after both of us had gathered ourselves, and apologized to one another, things began to smooth out.
Once I was registered and they had my vitals and all my insurance info I was sent back out to the waiting room to wait. It was a little after 5-pm in the evening then, and I was already feeling extremely exhausted, starting to have second thoughts, and almost ready to walk out. Just then my text alert went off, and it was Bobby asking me if I’d gotten there ok and if I were alright. I texted him back and told him how I was feeling, and he quickly called me to encourage me along.
He said to me, “Baby, you have to be seen, and you have to get help. There’s no shame in it.” I nearly cried. I remembered all the times I’d been sick, and Donnie had mocked me, belittled me, and refused to be a part of any of my treatment plan before, during, or after my having been in the hospital. After talking with him a while, I felt better. He spent some time just chatting with me, telling me funny stories about when he was a teenage boy and trying to keep my spirits up. Soon he had me laughing despite my situation. I loved his voice, always smiling and happy. Even when he scolded me, it had a firm and gentle quality to it that endured him to me in a very special way. As we finished up, I was somehow strengthened, and by the time they called me back at 5:45-pm I was calmer and able to continue onward.
Now, as I lie there mulling all this over, I couldn’t think what on earth could have been wrong with me earlier. “You’re just so used to everyone rejecting you, you’ve got it in your head, Bobby’s too good to be true.” So, I shut down the worry factory and picked up the flow of assurance. Even though I was in the ER and waiting to go to the CSU, I was going to be ok, and I had this way cool friend who so far was walking that extra mile with not one bit of prodding from me. He was informed, and there of his own free will. I simply didn’t have the capability of saying how awesome that truly was for me. I’d never ever had anyone who felt that real. I was still frightened, and feeling very out of sorts, but knowing that Bobby was not about to leave me because I’d fallen ill with an episode went a long way toward helping me do what I knew I must do.
After a while, Campbell and I were settled in an examination room, and a nurse was asking me a ton of questions. Once she’d finished a doctor came in to examine me. By this time it was going on 6:30 in the evening and I let them know I’d soon need to feed Campbell and take him out. They were more than happy to help. First, I got out his bowl, and food, fed him and gave him time to digest a bit while I gave them the blood and urine samples they’d requested. Then I got one of the security guards to take him out since by this time I’d been admitted as a patient intended for a crisis evaluation and really did not need to leave the building. Even though they said they’d make an exception I decided to simply let them take him. I explained about telling him ‘Park Time! Campbell!’ and gave them a pickup bag and sent him out. “It’s ok Bug, Mommy will be right here when you get back.” After a little hesitation and a bit more coaxing from the guard and me he went willingly with him. Soon they were back, Campbell was wagging his tail, and I could tell he not only felt better for having gotten to relieve himself but that he understood more about what was going on.
Once I got him resettled beside me one of the nurses came in and asked me if I’d eaten. I sat for a moment thinking about it and then said, “You know? I don’t think I’ve eaten since yesterday.” She said, “I’ll order you a tray. Do you have any diet restrictions?” Giving a short laugh I replied, “Only that I should not eat so much.” We both laughed, and it was nice to have some humor in what was becoming a very stressful situation.
It was after 7-pm and I was worrying about Campbell. He seemed to be tiring some and he was more than a bit anxious about all the activity around us. I’d taken off his harness and put down a blanket for him, but still I worried. I was having second thoughts about having him with me and was considering calling someone to come and get him when Campbell himself let me know just exactly where he wanted to be. Just as I was reaching for my phone to call, one of the nurses stuck her head in to check on us. Campbell stood from where he’d been curled on his blanket and came to stand beside me. When the nurse walked away, he put his mouth around my wrist and began to chew gently on it, dribbling slobber down my arm. I asked,
“You want to stay, don’t you?”
He began to wag his tail furiously round and round, chewing just a bit harder, and that put an end to my doubts. I realized Campbell and I were a team and we would get through this together, as we’d done with so many other situations before. I settled him down again on his blanket, adjusted the tie-out link, and lay back to try and relax.
After some time, the nurse came back with my food, and I was happy to see it was a real meal. What with the lateness of the hour I figured it would be a sandwich from a machine, and while I’d have been glad to get it, I was more than a little glad to see real, hot food on a plate. Then the nurse asked me what I’d like to drink. I asked timidly, “Could I maybe have a cup of coffee?” She was happy to get it for me. She asked me how I took it and was soon back with a large hot cup of strong, wonderful coffee. It too was real, not instant, and I could not help but smile as the food and coffee began to work their magik. I knew, however that while the food and coffee were strengthening me and making me feel better physically and somewhat mentally that the feelings of stability would be short lived and decided to continue to wait to be seen.
After I was finished eating an aid stepped in and offered to take away the trash left from my meal. When he returned a moment later, he asked if I’d like more coffee, and I thanked him and said I would. He came back quickly enough with a fresh cup and more creamer. He also showed me where the sink was, and helped me become more familiar with the layout of the room Campbell and I were staying in. It was spacious and had a half way comfortable exam bed in it. There was plenty of room for Campbell, there were curtains all round, and there was a toilet as well.
The only problem I’d faced thus far were the patients on either side. One was someone who’d come in roaring drunk to the point that he’d passed out and wasn’t quite sure who or where he was, and from what I could tell the guy had some other ongoing health issues as well. Then there were the couple on the other side of me. Those two, I wanted to smack just for general principle. I named them Mr. Sad and Mrs. Reason for being so. They started out bringing in Mr. Sad, and he was in crisis like me, only once Mrs. reason for being so came in I understood why. Hell, no one could’ve stood living with that. I listened in amazement and hoped they’d admit her as well. Then after the doctors and nurses left and they finished their argument with him apologizing and her bitching more, they began to make up, and I am not talking about apologetic hugging or a gentle, loving kiss followed by a snuggly hug. I’m talking about making out. They also had their TV on loud. Now by this time it was after 9 in the evening and I was hoping for some rest. I decided to wait them out. I’d been told the crisis worker would see me next, and I was hopeful they’d get us transferred soon. I knew if they didn’t, I was going to have to try and improve the sleeping conditions for Campbell. If he was to help me, he needed sleep. Regardless of whether I got any or not. I knew the noise wouldn’t bother him. He lived with me and my weird hours at home, but I had to see to his comfort a bit more.
Around 10 or so the crisis worker came in and we began to talk. She spent quite a bit of time with me, and I thought that as far as evaluations went hers was a darned good one and, in fact, was a bit impressed.
She assured me she did not believe there would be a problem getting me into the CSU (Crisis Stabilization Unit), but she wanted to phone them. She told me she was not the only worker on duty and that someone may have admitted someone there from another area. I asked her how many crisis workers they had on duty that night, and she said they had one per shift per county.
I have been told since then that was false by one mental health worker, and yet others tell me it is so. Who knows what to believe? Anyhow, soon she was gone with her paperwork and still we waited.
Finally, around 11:30 when she still had not returned, I hit my call button and one of the guards came in. He asked what he could do for me and I told him I needed to find out if they were going to accept me into the CSU and if we’d be transferred out. He promised to check. As he started out, I added, “I’m also going to have to see to my dog’s comfort a bit more if we’re to be here much longer. He needs his rest if he is to work for me when we are ready to go.”
I was starting to be concerned. While Campbell never complains, he gives signals that let me know when he is flagging, and they were starting to make themselves known. The biggest one? Restlessness. He was showing signs of that in a big way. He was, Up and down at every noise and every time someone came in or by the room.
After a while, I checked my phone again for the time and was more than a little annoyed to see it was now after midnight and that no one had yet come back. Mr. and Mrs. Sad and reason for being so were playing their TV loudly as if they were at home, chatting companionably as if they were snuggled on their couch. Oh! How I wanted to pick them up by their collars and put them out!
Then there was Mr. Drunk Driving 101, and who of all things had shown up naked. At that I simply shook my head.
He was chatting happily with one of the staff from there in the ER, and I was truly starting to be a bit more than impatient. Up until now, I’d done everything asked, not complained at all, and gotten reasonably good care, but now it was late, my dog was tired and needing to sleep and quite honestly so was I.
Just when my patience was about to run out the guard came back; he informed me that I had been accepted to the CSU but that it would be in the morning before we could be moved. There was no one on duty at that time who could come and pick me up. To say I was feeling a bit upset wouldn’t have been quite accurate. I took a deep breath and said, “Well, let’s see what we can do about making Campbell a more suitable bed.” The guard was more than helpful. He went and got some of the largest pillows I ever saw, a large fitted sheet, and made a great big soft bed for him. Then he took him out for me, walked him a bit allowing him to go park time, and stretch his legs. Soon he was back, and I was tucking him in for the night. I gave him gentle kisses and petted him a while. Stroking his fur ever so softly.
“Bug, Mommy is so very proud of you. You have been so good. I promise when we go home, you are getting a big treat, diet or not.” He let out a content sigh and began to drift toward sleep.
Soon my boy was settled down, we’d turned down the lights and he was snoozing as if he were in his bed at home. Finally, I thought I could relax, and try to sleep myself. First though I needed to do something about the giggling couple watching stupid adult cartoons in the room next door, and Mr. chatty Drunk Driving 101 bragging about how many DUI convictions he currently had and what he was awaiting next as far as charges went.
I’d accidentally let the very helpful aid, and the splendid dog bed maker security guard get away, and now needed to get some help. Mr. Drunk Driving 101 was loudly bragging to the lady staff member, but I couldn’t seem to get her attention.
I spent some time on my computer. Writing I thought would indeed, be the best release of stress. As usual I was right. I, in fact, wrote a funnier version of what I am telling you now, with much more sarcasm tossed in.
Once that was done however, it was nearing 2-am, and I knew sleep was needed for me too. I turned everything off, settling down in my bed, trying to sleep, but Mr. Drunk Driving 101 was still chatting and Mr. and Mrs. Sad and reason for Being So were still giggling and watching what I’d learned was Adult Swim. While I liked that, I did not want it at 2-am, while in the damned ER.
Suddenly, I could stand this no longer, and hit my call button. Now friends, the reaction I got, was not what I expected. What do you think I expected? I expected said staff member chatting it up with Mr. Drunk Driving 101 to stop and come to see why I’d pushed my call button. She was standing just a few feet away it was beeping and blinking, but she made no move. I waited, and still nothing. I waited again, but still the two continued to chat. I was livid. I picked up my cell and determined if I lived to tell of this Bobby Donald would be appropriately rewarded for his generous gift of this phone.
I asked Siri to dial the front desk of the hospital, gave the name and the phone did just that. Soon the operator for the switchboard had answered. “Please? Connect me to your ER?” I said calmly. She did with no question. Of course, why would she? When the ER picked up. “Hello,” I declared, “My name is Patricia Fletcher. I am a patient in your hospital and I’m in the ER and I pressed my call button several minutes ago, there is a staff member in the room directly next door to me and yet my light continues to blink and beep.”
“Ma’am are you in the hospital?” The lady asked.
“Yes, very observant of you. Now, can you answer my question?” I queried in a sarcastic tone of voice
“Why are you calling?” she questioned curiously.
“Oh? Now, you’ve gone and disappointed me. I thought you were observant, but I see you are no smarter or able to see or hear than your coworker.” I mocked in an overly disappointed voice.
“You’re calling from an exam room here in the ER?”
“Yes, how splendid of you to connect the dots? I want someone back here now!” I demanded.
Soon there were not one but two staff members in my room, one being the charge nurse. Miraculously the staff member in the adjoining room disappeared with another seemingly official lady who was speaking with her in not so friendly tones about the situation at hand as they walked away.
the charge nurse asked me for details. First, I explained why I’d called, and told of the noise from both sides. She took care of Mr. and Mrs. Sad and Reason For Being So and asked the Drunk Driving instructor on the other side to settle it down as well.
“What’s a guy got to do to get a drink around here?” He roared.
I don’t even want to know what her face looked like. Her voice gave me quite enough information.
“Sir! Go! To! Sleep! Or! At! Least! Be! Silent! So! Others! Can!” She thundered back.
Campbell had raised his head up by this time to say, “Good God yall shut the hell up!” and snorted as much, giving a yawn and a sigh, he lay back down.
Now all was quiet but the roaring in my head. I didn’t know whether I’d sleep or not. It was 2:30 in the morning and although things weren’t busy, they were active, and I was more than a bit nervous about what lie ahead.
I’d like to thank you for staying with me through what was quite a long tale. I’m certain there are those of you who feel I could’ve edited that a bit and to you let me just say, I did.
Thing is there are times when tales that simply must say what they have to say in their own way.
Furthermore, those telling them must do so in the way in which is most comfortable to do so, and it has been my experience that those who tend to get in a hurry slow down and learn to be patient readers/listeners they can indeed learn much.
For now my tale is done and again I’m grateful for those who stuck with me through to the end.
If you, or someone you know is suffering mightily from mental illness or addiction I’d like to encourage you to call your local 2-11 hotline to be referred to a crisis worker. You need not suffer.