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Time, like always, is flying by.  I keep meaning to write, but one thing or another needs my attention and blogging gets thrown to the side.  It might have been for the best this time.  I have been so riled up about the terrible psychiatric care at our local Hospital, that perhaps it is better that I took time to calm myself down.  Despite that, it does not mean that the problem has gone away.  I have simply had more time to think about it.

Since my last post about my friend being admitted to a surgical floor, she has been admitted to the hospital on two other separate occasions.  I would love to write about how she was treated so much better, but she wasn’t.  The care was still appalling.  I keep sharing these stories in hopes that change will come of it, however not many friends share my post.  Perhaps it’s because the topic is so taboo.  No one wants anyone to think that they have been the victim of abuse or that they are mentally ill.  The Truth however, is that I have never met a single person who has not been touched by mental illness.  I want this blog post to be shared by everyone who reads it. There needs to be change here in Fredericton, New Brunswick, but if no one cares, change will be slow, if we see any at all.

So, here is the continuation of my friend’s story.  A week after being discharged from the surgical floor, my friend was back in the ER.  Not only that, but she was once again left on her own, unsupervised in their “quiet” room.  I was alone with my children and was not able to physically get to the hospital. Concerned for her safety I called the Dr. Everett Chalmers Regional Hospital (DECH) ER department and requested to speak to her Nurse.  I did not think this was a crazy request, considering she was suicidal and alone.  I was advised that I was unable to talk to her nurse and that she herself (the clerk) had no idea what was going on.  I hung up feeling frustrated and angry.  I had no way of knowing if my friend was dead or alive.  I was left with one option. I called 911.

Now, you May think 911 would have been anoyed with my crazy request to send officers up to the DECH to check on the status of my friend.  They did not question me, they did not seem annoyed. If anything it seemed as though they were not surprised by request in the least bit.  They sent officers up to the hospital to check on her.  Within a half hour she was admitted to the psychiatric unit and a 911 dispatcher had called back to update me on the situation.  The fact that I had to waste 911 resources on someone who was in hospital seems ridiculous to me, but this is how the DECH treats psychiatric patients.

Another week or so had gone by after her discharge.  She was still suicidal and once again found herself at the same ER. This time I quickly rushed to be by her side.  She had overdosed on meds, yet the nurse was oblivious to this.  She had taken her pill pack so it was “impossible” that she had taken pills said the nurse.  I asked if she had checked her bags for other pills.  She had not.  She overdosed.

They admitted her to an acute care bed after they realized that she did indeed take the meds.  I was asked to wait outside the room (aka the curtain) while they got her ready.  A new nurse came in, and then I heard the unimaginable. “You again! You are a Spoiled Rotten brat”.  My heart almost stopped. I could not believe what I had just heard come out of the mouth of a nurse.  Someone who is supposed to care for people when they are unwell.  

Eventually I was allowed in her room. The same nurse came back, I started to record the conversation.  She was being nice, and I called her out.  I have her, on tape, calling my friend a spoiled rotten brat and justifying it to me.  I was apalled.  Sick to my stomach, I continued to record the conversation.  I am i sure what we will do with the footage.

Friends, this is the reality of mental health services in Fredeticton, NB. Please, Please share.  I have her to meet someone who has not been touched in some way by mental illness.  People are being discharged while still suicidal. People are killing themselves after receiving inadequate care.  This has to stop! Please help spread the message.  

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