I am uploading my new PAD, IN ORDER TO AVOID INJURIES SUCH AS THESE, brought on in Jan 2013 at Hartford Hospital’s Institute of Living. and photographed the very day I was released.
Although I brought the PAD both to the Institute of Living in Jan 2013 and to Yale in Aug 2013, I don’t know what happened that it was abrogated so deeply and so widely. At Yale, they forced medication on me, holding me down three times daily at times, resulting in such psychic regression that as you have all read, I routinely stripped naked, defecated on the floor and smeared feces all over the wall. That I was at one and the same time attempting to communicate with these people, by WRITING WORDS IN MY SHIT, was utterly disregarded by all at the time. But I assure you that if I was regressed and psychotic in doing such things, I was nevertheless still verbal! I am also virtually certain that had they not grabbed me, pinned me to the floor and held me down for three painful injections in the buttocks of a drug that Soviet dissidents have long called pure torture (Haldol in the 60s/70s was the subject of many a televised congressional hearing, and discussed in just such terms…) my response would have been very very diffferent indeed.
That said, they did what they claimed they had to do, and when I left, I left feeling absolutely convinced that my life was and had been mortally threatened, that I could NEVER return, that I would literally be murdered if ever I dared. Nothing more need be said about such sadistic places as the Institute of Living at Hartford Hospital. Even in the Patient Care Guide and Journal, they are at pains to make it clear that any loud or out of control behavior will be dealt with swiftly and severely, with seclusion, restraints, and even charges pressed by the local authorities! (NO attempts to soothe the traumatized patient or act on what CMS has urged be the best practices of trauma-informed and patient-centered-care at the IOL. No, at Hartford Hospital, it is all about NO SWEARING and staying quiet, non-disruptive. The “Or else” threat behind it all is not even implied but openly stated in their rules and obligations section. Why ANYONE would want to set themselves up for treatment in such a place is beyond me…They have even edited out any attempts at kindness from the old handbook that I was given just a year ago. Yale at least attempted to live up to a policy of Trauma-informed and Patient-centered care. When they said No Restraints policy, I believe they meant it, at least in terms of NO MECHANICAL leather and shackles restraints.
And I believe that had Robert Ostroff MD, NOT been in charge of my care during the week or two that Robert Milstein MD was away, some of the brutality might not have occurred at Yale and I might be writing less devastated things about the Washington Square 2 unit, a place I had once so hopefully described as a “soft, gentle place to land in a psychiatric crisis.” But as much as because of my outrageous and disruptive behavior in response to their trauma as because of their repetitive violence and cruelty, I can never return there…a sad thing I suppose, since there is literally no safe place in Connecticut for me.* *more on this later or in another post. What I have posted here is an update in order to Keep me OUT of the hospital as much as to direct my care if I am put inside, It is not the whole thing, only the first two or three pages, I would be happy to upload the whole thing so you can see how I did it, if anyone indicates interest. Let me know. So far it was always the first three pages that got people’s attention. ______________________________________________________
PSYCHIATRIC ADVANCE DIRECTIVE 2014
FOR WHEN I AM HOSPITALIZED OR INFORMATION TO HELP TO AVOID IT
Miss Wagner has experienced multiple episodes of severe psychological and physical trauma, including date rape, the suicide of two friends, and domestic abuse by caregivers. She should NOT be subjected to restraints, involuntary seclusion, or forced medication. The use of these inevitably leads to re-traumatizing and injury, regression and severe worsening of her psychiatric symptoms.
HOW TO INTERVENE IN A CRISIS:
- DE-ESCALATION IS ESSENTIAL
- DO NOT TOUCH ME OR GRAB ME.
- DO NOT LAUGH AT ME.
- I WILL CALM DOWN IF YOU REMEMBER THAT:
- I AM SCARED AND PARANOID. I ONLY FIGHT IF I FEEL UNDER ATTACK. DO NOT USE A SHOW OF FORCE, AS THIS WILL FRIGHTEN ME MORE.
- DON’T ISSUE ULTIMATUMS…That will push us all into a corner and serve nothing
- AN UNRUFFLED PERSON SHOULD ASK ME TO TAKE A DEEP BREATH, and try other verbal calming techniques. I am always grateful for people remaining calm when I am upset.
- NEVER LEAVE ME ALONE IN A BARREN (seclusion) ROOM.
- A WEIGHTED OR WARMED-UP BLANKET SOOTHES ME. SOMETHING ICY TO EAT CAN ALSO HELP.
- PLEASE LISTEN TO WHAT I HAVE TO SAY. Medication may not be needed if you hear what the problem is.
- IF NECESSARY, YOU MAY PERSUADE ME TO TAKE ORAL MEDICATION, if you negotiate this with dignity and kindness. Keep speaking to me calmly and explain your reasoning.
*I cannot reiterate enough that if you utilize 4-point restraints or seclusion, it is virtually guaranteed that you will see regression, increased hostility and aggressiveness as a result. Please don’t do something everyone will regret.
ADDITIONAL STATEMENT TO CAREGIVERS (PLEASE READ)
It is important that you understand that I do not have a personality disorder (you can confirm this with Dr Angela C——, or any of my longtime outpatient providers and friends and family members). If my behavior/emotions seem out of control, it is because I am out of control – temporarily.
I have had tertiary CNS Lyme disease, which I was informed after multiple positive PCR and Western Blots during treatment was likely incurable. During my initial illness, my brain developed MRI lesions which may predispose me to temporary emotional and behavioral abnormalities but these are NOT my norm. Anyone who knows me well would tell you that, if you ask them.
I am not always able to communicate my fear but because I feel so threatened and unable to communicate clearly about it (lest there be consequences to me) I may become very angry at the hospital situation. I am not an angry person, but I do have trauma issues, as many people do.
Please be aware that I am sometimes mute, in frustration and overwhelmed by circumstances. You can provide me with a pad and pen to facilitate communication, but berating me into speaking will no purpose and may only precipitate anger.
Ascertain from me whether the information you have at hand is correct. Too many records and hospital charts have been drawn up on faulty information from earlier charts or information gleaned from others but not from me, and the consequences to my treatment have been devastating.
I would prefer NOT to take any medications and will resist them. I want to experience my LIFE AND MY FEELINGS. If you insist on meds, the ones that work best are _______.
I will not take any drug that induces weight gain. If you force it, know that I will fight you, tooth and nail.