Monthly Archives: September 2014
Amazing. Would you believe my GFR has gone UP since it was tested in April? A year ago, 26. Then 30 or 31 and I figured that was as good as it was gonna get. Now, 36 or so. The doc said of course there’s a margin of error but I am well into the 32 to 39 range. I got Puzzle to thank and clean air. Getting away from noise pollution has been a huge plus.
I do know kidneys tend not to restore. They say that about bone density as well but mine restored! Why? I am one lucky bitch. I am not counting on a miracle. I am only thrilled to be alive and free.
Mental illness isn’t even a consideration. Even though I said I had insomnia. No way do they think the exhaustion I get all the time is depression. Celiac disease is certainly on the table. I have never given that one a passing thought, though I have heard people with anorexia can develop it.
I guess they are less worried about dehydration at this point but I still have terrible abdominal pain. They found that I have miniature kidneys. The ultrasound guy asked me if one had been removed. I said no. Then he looked around more and said he found the little sucker. My wording, of course. Truth is, he was very polite and also concerned. Hmmm. I used to want to disappear but I wasn’t wishing that on my kidneys. Are they on a diet? Better send them to ED care fast! They’re twins, you know. This stuff runs in families. Okay, I will stop being punchy.
Here in this poor country, in a hospital that, like most here, ain’t the Ritz, I am touched by the amazing kindness and respect given to me by everyone here. They can’t afford pillows or towels or johnnies. But respect and the recognition that I am human is priceless.
Suicide hotlines? Most have sold out, including so-called warmlines. Get good quality friends instead
Years ago, I thought those hotlines were great. In fact, many were. Not anymore. Sorry, Charlie, too much pollution, you can’t eat that tuna no more.
Some don’t have caller ID but most do. So al it’s not even true that the lines are confidential. You might as well be calling 911 if you are in MEDICAL danger. If you are having a heart attack, if you’ve fallen and need help, if you are being beaten or attacked, if you are calling and pass out or if you have swallowed poison and are having a seizure then it’s a damn good thing 911 will know where you are.
But if you are calling to just to talk, and want to speak with someone you trust, please make sure that whomever you call can REALLY be trusted.
I have had trouble in the past losing friends just for saying one word, SUICIDE. Poof! Gone from my life. But guess what? There are plenty of people in this world who actually don’t mind discussing death.
When I was in high school I knew kids who were suicidal. Plenty. I hung out with a rather morbid crowd. Just reading sci-fi got us thinking about life and death. Death is probably the #1 topic for the world’s most wonderful poetry. I can tell you right now that if your friends won’t discuss death with you, then you need friends who will. Not everyone is squeamish and overly sensitive. Not everyone will tell you they have a terrible allergic reaction should you mention anything uncomfortable.
If you are surrounded by people who only discuss positive, rosy things, and insist on “being positive” ad nauseum, what do you do if you got stuff on your mind that ain’t so pretty? Your fake friends tell you to shut up.
Your real friends hug you and cry with you. Your real friends don’t give up on you. Your real friends know that if you are bitchy, there’s a reason. Bitchiness is ALWAYS temporary and won’t last long if real friends are by your side.
What is help? A person who is truly helpful will spend time with you. If all that person does, instead of being a pal, is to dump you off at an institution and pass the buck to so-called professionals, what kind of friend is that?
If you are having a heart attack then a good pal will call 911 and do CPR if necessary. But if you FEEL suicidal then you are not in medical danger. Know why? Feelings can’t hurt you. You have the right to feel anything. You have the right to discuss your feelings of sadness and despair without getting locked up. Just my opinion.
You can think what you want, too. We don’t have thought police just yet and no one should tell you that you are bad because you have uncomfortable thoughts. What’s the big deal?
If a kid is mad at his teacher and thinks “I wish she was dead” then let him think it. Thoughts tend to be fleeting. Ask him why. This will open doors.
I used to end up incarcerated in mental hospitals and treated like a criminal for having fleeting thoughts of suicide. Actually, had I been allowed to wait it out the thoughts would have ended after 20 minutes or less. No one asked me what was on my mind. Incarcerate first, ask a few days later when I talk to the “team.” If they even ask or allow me more than a few words. That was my life …until I learned better.
Yeah, I learned better. Those nice helpful “counselors” ain’t helpful. I learned not to run to them. I am a lot stronger these days and I am far more independent. I wish the same for you.
I highly recommend Desha Blue’s book, Abducted by Aliens, or anything else she has written. This is an amazing collection of poetry about psych abuse. All I can say is, wow. I can sure relate. Everything she says is absolutely true about what “they” do.
I write this to honor Desha and I support her efforts 100%. I truly believe in what she is doing to show the world precisely what psych abuse does to a person.
I can’t say it was that bad at first otherwise surely, I wouldn’t have ever gone back. I’d say the last 6 years for me were bad. The last three, Living Hell. As soon as they claim you lack insight, you become worthless shit.
It’s true that psych abuse wrecks lives, breaks families apart, and is the #1 cause of suicide.
I am writing this also remembering Diane Daw. She was a good friend of mine. We were hospital roommates. We laughed together many nights. After that, we remained friends.
Diane was an amazing artist. A painter. She was witty and, I’d say, brilliant.
In 1986, I left Vermont and moved to the Boston area. I begged Diane to move and leave the incompetent quacks she was seeing. Namely Carl Burak, MD and the other incompetent she saw. However, Diane was rather taken by these doctors and praised their expertise. In the same breath, she said she knew they were not only humbugs but that she was getting nowhere with them.
That’s how it is with folks that get immersed and too deeply into it. Psych abuse sucks you in just like spousal abuse and you can’t get away.
I sent Diane a letter in 1988 and her roommate wrote back that she had died. The letter said she had been buried in Connecticut. Nothing Read the rest of this entry
is there a ophthalmologist willing to help out by volunteering to assess Gloria to see if her eyesight can be restored?
Readers, I have received the following. Seth Farber has given me permission to share:
UPDATE ON PATIENT BLINDED BY ASSAULT BECAUSE OF NEGLIGENCE of TRENTON PSYCHIATRIC HOSPITAL STAFF–Sleeping on the Job UPDATE
> Seth Farber, Ph.D.
> 212 560-7288
> Gloria Gervase is the 54 year old girlfriend (for 18 years) of a (pro-bono) client I have known for 25 years, Jeff Levy, 57 and seen off and on. She was assaulted in the state mental hospital, in Trenton, New Jersey on Friday Sept 19, 2014. Disability Rights has agreed to investigate the case, and maybe to take it on–I don’t know their criteria. I have spoken to a number of lawyers and I have now learned that the odds of getting any kind of compensation for a patient permanently blinded due to the negligence of a state mental hospital are remote–at least according to most of personal injury lawyers to whom I spoke. That is one reason I want to get publicity–to try build a base of popular support for Gloria. For those who missed the first announcement: Gloria, a meek sweet-tempered woman (most recent diagnosis was “bipolar”) who had never hurt or threatened or deliberately provoked anyone was attacked in Trenton Psychiatric Hospital by a violent mental patient– her roommate for 3 weeks–who suddenly went beserk in the middle of the night on Friday February 19, 2014 and got on top of Gloria and pounded her eyes over and over, taking 50 years of rage against the mental health system out on poor Gloria.
> Maybe Gloria’s white skin made her a symbol of privilege in a hospital that was comprised almost entirely of blacks and Hispanics. But there had been no indication of this before this incident. I know from reading and experience that people like this assailant (reportedly an elderly woman in her early 70s) almost always have histories of violence. These patients become repeat offenders because “mental patients” have neither rights nor responsibilities –as Thomas Szasz said–and thus violent patients are not given the message that they are responsible and will be held accountable for their crimes. So the system unwittingly encourages their repeat criminal offenses.
> > But the lion’s share of accountability in Gloria’s case lies with the hospital which has assumed the task of “caring” for patients. If not for Trenton Psychiatric Hospital, Gloria never would have been brought into contact with this dangerous criminal. In Gloria’s case it was against her will that she was at Trenton–she never asked to be sent there. She wanted to return to her group residence. (To those familiar with the history of psychiatric atrocities, Trenton Psychiatric Hospital was the institute where patients suffered under the murderous reign of the notorious Dr Henry Cotton a century ago.) It was the judge who –upon the urging of the hospital psychiatrist– ruled that Gloria was “too sick” to return to her group residence and needed to stay in Trenton Psychiatric Hospital for her own protection and welfare. Considering the hospital, the State, professed such concern for Gloria’s welfare one would have expected them to take minimal measures to ensure that Gloria did not have her eyes knocked out by another patient, someone who unlike Gloria really was dangerous.
> Since I knew someone who tripped on a pothole and slightly injured her foot and successfully sued NYC for $100,000 I thought getting Gloria a few million dollars would not be that difficult once I found an intelligent courageous lawyer. No amount of monetary compensation can make up for the loss of one’s vision of course. But at least the money–if Gloria as a SSD–SSI recipient could keep it in some kind of account, or if it was enough to provide an income– would allow Gloria to find a better group home, or better home service–or enable her to buy a service dog, would give Gloria access to the kind of amenities available to more well off blind persons. The State owes Gloria that much–but it’s no compensation for its crimes. Further Trenton Psychiatric Hospital took away Gloria’s vision and there should be criminal charges filed against individuals within that hospital for the actions that they failed to take to ensure Gloria’s safety. Gloria went into Trenton Psychiatric Hospital with full sight. Now she is permanently blind. This poor woman is the victim of an horrendous crime. She was kidnaped by the hospital and kept there for months until she was assaulted due to negligence, to a “depraved indifference” to human life (to use the legal term)––the life of a mental patient. Will no one be held accountable?
At first I naively assumed that the blinding of Gloria would make front page news in New Jersey. But I was soon disabused of that notion. It became obvious to me that there would be no genuine criminal investigation. The state hospitals had their own police force whose purpose was to cover up for the hospital. I called up the police to confirm the incident was reported, and the officer assured me a “thorough investigation” was being conducted. But no police officer has even bothered to interview Gloria about the assault to this day, one week later. What kind of thorough investigator does not even interview the victim? I called up a dozen New Jersey newspapers to report that a patient in their state hospital had been blinded — none of them showed any interest in doing a story. Although I left dramatic accounts with these reporters only one even returned my communication. The police and New Jersey’s supine journalists are involved in a cover up.
> I called lawyer after lawyer. Most curtly told me the case was too difficult. In New Jersey in a state mental hospital–several lawyers told me– it is not sufficient to prove the hospital was negligent. I had spoken to one lawyer, Abbot Brown, who said when he read my FB account –which I sent him– he gasped out loud. “This should not happen to anyone.” He has a social conscience. He spent a day thinking about it and then wrote me that he had instructed his partner who specialized in personal injury law to “begin the representation of Gloria and investigation.” But the partner was more wary––the obstacles are too great. Negligence does not mean liability in these cases, he said. “What?!” I said, “The hospital has no liability?” “No it’s not that there is no liability” he responded. “What constitutes liability then?” I asked. He responded by giving me an example. He said that if they were “willfully negligent” they would be liable. Willfully negligent? The hospital has to have wanted Gloria to be assaulted? That is ludicrous. It did not happen because they wanted it. It happened because they did not care, because she belongs to that lesser breed of sub-human creatures: mental patients, “schizophrenics,” “bipolars.”
> > So the hospital is allowed to force a patient to stay there, involuntarily subjecting the patient to great risks, certainly greater than forgoing “treatment” (this would be the case even if the treatment did some good)––and the patient must bear total responsibility for those risks even though she had no choice and would have returned home rather than sign a waiver if she had been given a choice. If one chooses to go into a dangerous high crime area late at night, then it is only fair that one be held accountable for what happens. One cannot sue the State because one is assaulted in a ghetto by an addict.
> But if the State acting parens patriae places a patient in a high crime area against one’s will it is only common sense that the State ought to bear responsibility for what happens to that patient. If it fails to assume responsibility then it is no better than a criminal, an assailant. It is a kidnapper. It is like a criminal who throws a patient into a building on fire and is exempted by the Courts from accountability for damages merely because he claims he is acting for the patient’s own good. If the risks– e.g., going blind, being murdered– outweigh the potential benefits (assuming there were genuine benefits in psychiatric wards) of the intervention than no reasonable person would assume those risks. What right did the State have to make Gloria assume those risks and then disclaim all responsibility?!
> . The hospital should not have put a potentially violent patient in the room with Gloria–intentionally(willingly) or not. I am assuming that an investigation would show this patient had a history of violence–the hospital did not bother to check. I’m told Gloria should not have been left unchecked in any circumstances for so long. Many hospitals check patients every half hour. The social worker leaked to Gloria’s boyfriend that there were 3 hours between the time the attack commenced and when she was found the next morning. In other words she was not checked at all. I do not know that these are all facts. I am giving a reasonable reconstruction based on my knowledge of Gloria and on information reported by Gloria and leaked to her boyfriend by staff who felt sorry for Gloria.
> A question that Gloria’s boyfriend keeps asking is: Is there any hope that Gloria will recover partial vision in the right eye—the eye in which the led is sewn shut? (The left eye was torn from its socket.) It occurred to me that this slightly brighter prospect might depend upon the expertise of the ophthalmologist, the eye surgeons, who are treating Gloria. I said to one lawyer, “It is the hospital’s responsibility to see that Gloria receives the best treatment in order to salvage some vision.” He corrected me: The hospital’s only legal responsibility is to see that Gloria sees a competent ophthalmologist. They are not legally obligated to do everything possible to salvage some sight.
> There is another aspect to this case. Why was Gloria kept in the state mental hospital for over 6 months? Was it to benefit Gloria or to benefit the hospital which milked Gloria’s Medicaid and Medicare to pay for its staff, services, “medications”? I wanted to contact the MHLS attorney on Gloria’s behalf to get her out sooner. (In NY I have often persuaded them to more aggressively represent their clients.) But Gloria feared that if I interfered she would be thrown on the street with nowhere to go. Jeff and I tried to explain to her back in July this could not happen but Gloria trusted the mental health system anyway. She fully trusted the doctors, the system–the system which is destroying her. The fact is Gloria’s “presenting problem” had greatly improved. She was taking showers. But the social worker told me Gloria was still “very sick.” Why? She’s not communicating–she’s keeping to herself. That is no rationale to keep someone in a state mental hospital. She was not a danger to anyone. The American with Disabilities Act mandates that patients’ constitutional right to freedom b e respected and they be placed in the least restrictive environment necessary. The hospital violated Gloria’s right to freedom and prevented her from going back to her group home. Why? Because she was reticent. This seems like a minor right compared to the right to be safe, the right to see. But it illustrates the hidden agenda of Trenton Psychiatric Hospital. Cui bono? Not Gloria. Not the blind lady
Here is the link:
Any state in USA.
It’s funny how people get misinterpreted. This happens to the elderly and children and anyone who is powerless all the time. This funny little story illustrates what happens when we assume.
I was in an awkward situation. I am in a dorm style hospital room with 12 beds in one room. The lady in the next bed had a visitor who was here all day. The visitor needed to plug in her phone. For whatever reason the visitor sat in the only chair available to me and then asked to use the only outlet I have. I said sure, thinking it wouldn’t be for longer than an hour or two. Instead, she used my outlet for hours while visiting her mom. Meanwhile, my phone went dead. I waited a long time but she never stopped using the outlet.
I had no desire to get into any conflicts every though this was really getting extreme. I picked up my stuff and walked into the hall, where there are places to sit. I had to bring the IV as well. It’s not on a separate pole that I could roll along. So I just carried the bag.
I kept looking anytime I saw chairs. I saw light switches but no outlet. I kept looking. I passed by a desk where I guess they watch who comes and goes. I guess they assumed I was lost or confused since I only shrugged in response to their questions. They started following me and getting demanding. Finally I said I didn’t understand enough Spanish to know what they were saying. I tried to say I wasn’t lost, but seeking an outlet. It was impossible to say my one and only outlet was being used by a visitor. I showed them my plug. Pointed to the wall. They led me to a room they thought I was looking for. This was another room with many beds. I shook my head and said no.
They asked me which room was mine. I answered in Spanish the room number. They followed me all the way back. Clearly they were thinking I was lost and couldn’t find my way back. I told them they didn’t need to follow me, that I was okay. I didn’t like feeling like I was being supervised or that I had done something terribly wrong. I had no way of telling them.
Back at my room, those two “reported” me to the nurses. But the nurses knew there had been a misunderstanding. One nurse asked me to use my phone to translate what I wanted to say. I told her my phone was dead. She phoned another nurse she knew who knew English. I explained the problem. I was actually finding this funny in a way.
The nurse took the her phone back and listened while the English speaking nurse explained. All the sudden, she was cracking up while she heard the real story. I was laughing, too.
The visitor was leaving shortly. The nurse moved her charger to an adjacent plug . My plug can only use a Shuko plug but hers could use the three pronged as well. But the woman objected, saying my plug was the only one that worked and the adjacent ones were out of order.
The nurse put her foot down. But what about her mom’s three plugs instead of mine? These are for patients anyway. The visitor was already getting ready to leave in a few minutes so surely her phone was plenty charged after all this time.
I felt bad cuz I didn’t want to get her mom upset with me but it all worked out. I showed the nurse how my plug doesn’t stay well in the wall and keeps popping out. She used nursing tape to tape it up. I used my phone to tell her, “I always knew nurses were smart.” She laughed.
I know I should know more Spanish. But as I explained to the doctor, it’s been terribly difficult given that I have been so exhausted. I hope to feel better soon so I can do more and spend less time feeling like a zombie.
I will try anything self help. One of the many apps i downloaded was RR. I can’t recall what it stands for. Anyway, it’s not something I would recommend. I wasn’t too happy about the terms of service. The app told me today that the more I log, the closer I am to recovery. However, what this means is that the more we log, the more data for the researchers. Logging food and rating feelings on a scale of 1 to 10 does nothing for me. Sorry, i think this app is gonna go. Actually, the calorie counters are more informative. Believe it or not.