They gave me Mellaril in the hospital in 1983. I got tachycardia (rapid heartbeat) from it. I was told this was not an allergy but an “unpleasant reaction.” I was told to not take it again if offered, though.
I was given Zyprexa (Olanzapine) in 1997. It made me sleep 16 hours a day, and the other 8, I was a zombie. It also caused binge eating. I’ve since learned that I’m not the only one who has had this reaction. After a few days, my shrink said, “I am taking you off of this right away. You should never take Zyprexa again. Don’t worry, I will never put you back on it,” I was underweight at the time, and even though I needed to eat, I didn’t need destructive eating.
In my hospital records at Mount Auburn from 2013, they wrote that I was delusional because I said I had no medication allergies. Their records stated that since I said this, I was a “poor historian” since apparently I had “forgotten” that Mellaril gave me “palpitations.” Palpitations means your heart beats harder, isn’t the same as tachycardia, and also isn’t an allergy per se. I knew that an allergic reaction had something to do with histamine, such as a swollen tongue, rash, or respiratory problems. I was absolutely right on. So I ask, who was the “poor historian”?
They also seemed to think that just because I had once taken Imipramine, then of course, two years later, I must certainly still be on it. Apparently they were at such a loss as to what my “meds” were, though I had carefully written for them the names and doses, that they resorted to calling CVS. I suppose my last shrink didn’t remember? Did she not have records? Who is the irresponsible one?
The correct spelling of my name, my birth date and address were never verified so they gave me Julia’s drugs, not mine. They continued to call me a “liar.” Who was the stupid one here?
I got yelled at and called liar, and other names, over and over. They assumed I was an idiot since I didn’t seem to recognize this other person’s drugs, I said again and again that these weren’t mine.’t mine. I finally asked, “Did you verify the address?” They hadn’t, and didn’t apologize. Who was the one who “lacked insight”? They began to abuse worse.
Next thing you knew, they told me they wouldn’t let me out unless I took Zyprexa. I told them I had had a bad reaction in the past. I’m sure by then they were discrediting everything I said. They also tried to give me Abilify, which only two months previously had given me insomnia and mania after three days.
However, my prior shrink had told them I hadn’t seen her for “months.” This wasn’t true. I saw her every month until July 10, a month prior to admission at Mount Auburn, when I had fired her, telling her that I had already scheduled with new providers and told her who my PCP was. I saw her write this down. Who was the “poor historian”?
Oh, so I was supposed to forgive? Next thing you know, completely unbeknownst to me, they had someone (the police most likely) do an illegal search of my apartment. I never found out till I got home and found the place torn apart. On one of my tables were two bottles, which they assumed were the correct pills. One bottle was two years old, the other, three years old, and both were empty, and in a remote drawer with my art supplies.
One was 600 mgs of Lamictal. I was given the entire 600 all at once. I almost took it, trusting them entirely, since they had just roused me, but I spat it out, saying, “I don’t take this.” Again, called a “poor historian.” No, I spat out those pills to save my life. Then, they claimed I was “suicidal.” Who was the one who lacked common sense? I asked myself over and over how they were getting away with this.
Is anyone going to call me “stupid” for not taking the labels off those bottles at home? My ex-friend did. One would assume these bottles would be safe way back in that drawer. Should I expect an illegal search on a regular basis? Had I tossed the bottles in the trash bin, for sure I would have removed the labels, since I’ve heard that adventurous teens can go get refills somehow. Believe me, they tore apart everything and left the place a mess. The same “friend” told me, “No one cares about patient rights. Why don’t you drop the subject.”
I’ve since found out otherwise. Thousands are joining the Movement, more and more each day.
Meanwhile, back at the hospital, I was assumed to be delusional since I spoke of “rights.” Apparently I had none. Because I wasn’t seen as human any longer. I cannot count how many nurses rolled their eyes at me after that, and how many times the “sitters” also abused me.
This, folks was “treatment.” I got out. I was condemned in my community for not being “grateful,” because I reporting Mount Auburn for abuse. Who are the bigoted ones?
I’d rather die than go back to Mount Auburn Hospital. I now live far, far away. Because what they did to me nearly destroyed me.
Here’s the link:
You can google this and find much commentary on this case, more commentary than news articles, in fact. This was the first news article on the lawsuit that I came across on Google so I am using this link as reference. I also saw a You-Tube that made this into a joke.
It ain’t no joke, and someone questioned that if this patient had been a woman, would folks be making light of it?
I can sure see why the patient “waited” before initiating a lawsuit. I know myself how hard it is to get a lawyer to take on a patient harm suit. I can only imagine the trauma this patient went through. I know that patient rights groups run by the state only serve to stall cases and never do anything to help. In fact, their aim is to reduce lawsuits and protect the reputation of medical institutions. Everyone I know who has gone to whatever state-run legal aid there is gets the runaround an no action. If you want to do a lawsuit, bypass these agencies because they exist as fronts to discourage and stall you from getting anything done.
Of course, where is the first place a patient turns? The state legal aid people. I assume the patient went that route and got stalled just like the rest of us. I am sure he isn’t being defended by a state patient rights advocacy organization. The nonprofits that have sold out to the local medical institutions won’t touch a case like this either.
I assume this is the reason for the delay. He had just had a heart transplant and no way did he jump u, run home, and go make all the necessary calls. I know after my kidney failure I was exhausted, too, and didn’t have energy to make zillions of calls at random to lawyers. I was stalled several months waiting for Disability Rights who of course did nothing. The bar associations only gave me one name at a time. I’d call that one, wait for hours, sometimes days for a callback, often to find out the lawyer didn’t even do malpractice cases. I’d go back to the drawing board, get another name, get told about the same thing after a lengthy wait, get put on hold by the bar association, and there went another day and another day and another frustrating day.
I also called my state rep. This was right before I decided to leave the country. The state rep’s assistant listened to my story but that was about it. I also phoned NEDA. They listened and one person sent me links to legal help for people with ED. None of these links panned out. I also called another nonprofit that I found out is getting funding from many of the wealthy hospital corporations. No help there, although they used to be good before they sold out. I phoned MEDA and asked if they knew of local legal assistance. The person hung up on me and that was the last time I phoned MEDA. I felt like giving up.
There was a once-a-month number you could call. I waited weeks for that day. I phoned, and it led me to yet another dead end.
People were telling me to give up. That’s what these hospitals want. If you aren’t exhausted enough already, they will see to it that you don’t talk. After all, my own psychiatrist told me in spring of 2013 that her hospital was pissed off at me for blogging. They were angry because I was telling the truth about what happened to me, and apparently this was harming the hospital’s wonderful reputation. My psychiatrist worked for the same hospital. She said, in these words, “I’m giving you these drugs to stop you from writing.” She said I was “considered a liability case by the hospital.” At that time, MGH refused to allow me into a new program they were developing for ED. I blogged about that, too, saying I was being illegally denied care.
This is what is routinely done to people who are victims of malpractice and patient abuse. I read a few, not all, of the comments under this article. The article stated that the patient was “medicated” but did not state the patient was already under anesthesia. I know when I’ve had surgery I was given morphine prior to the surgery to reduce pain. Sometimes they give a sedative to patients. I imagine if he was a transplant patient they must have had him on something prior to anesthesia. I think it is well understood that if a person is awaiting transplant they are most likely unable to defend themselves. I also think it’s understood that under heavy medication and medically compromised, a patient isn’t likely to seduce a nurse nor have much in the way of sexual desires. He was probably lying there in a lot of pain and totally exhausted and scared he wouldn’t make it through the surgery alive.
I know the fear well. During my two stays when I was abused the worst, at MGH and at Mount Auburn, I was admitted in a life-threatening situation. Even after admission I was certainly scared I would die. When you are scared that way, and so weak you cannot get up, you will be more likely to be abused. Why? Because they can get away with it. They think they won’t get caught. They know you won’t be believed. I have seen abusers hide evidence of abuse when other personnel peeked into my room or entered. Of course they do! I was powerless to do anything.
I wish my dad was alive. I know if he were alive, I could have called him and told him what was happening. He would not only have believed me, but actually done something about the abuse. He would have gone straight to those doctors and hospital administrators and spoken on my behalf.
Instead, I had no one. Others assumed I couldn’t possibly be telling the truth. Some believed me but didn’t have the power to change the situation. My dad used to be NAMI president for Massachusetts before he got cancer. No way would my dad hear what I told him through the distorted lens of “diagnosis.” He would have listened, and known all along I wasn’t delusional, nor inventing my story, nor exaggerating.
If only I’d had family support I don’t believe any of the crap that happened to me would have happened. They wouldn’t have dared, knowing that I had family that would come to my defense. God help others who are in this position. I suggest as soon as you arrive at a doctor office or you are in a hospital, if you are on public assistance especially, PLEASE LIE and tell them you have a rich attorney pal even if you don’t, and make implication that this attorney you know well takes on malpractice cases. I don’t blame people for faking calls to attorneys because it scares the pants off of abusive staff. I should have done so myself and not been so honest.
Speculation: All held in strictest confidence, between doctors. ATTN: Mass General and Mount Auburn Hospitals, Massachusetts
So this is speculation, which I sometimes do as writer, based on extensive experience as patient. I know two of the doctors involved. One of them I saw from 2001 until 2013.
Dr. Bibek Kiorala comes into his office at Mount Auburn Hospital, where he works as hospitalist. What a great job this is. High-paying, not too much work, great benefits. What a life. It’s nothing more than case management, but never mind that. He notes a new patient has come in. He looks over his notes. She came up to Needham 4 from the ER. Uh oh. Problem there, clearly.
He carefully moves the pages with the information regarding “full code” to a part of the patient’s chart where most staff would not access these pages. There, done. He also makes a note to put a gag order on staff. Do not inform this patient of anything that occurred in the emergency department on August 12th. If she happens to recall anything and inquires, do not supply information nor details. Try to avoid the topic, even tell her she must have been dreaming. He tells himself that he will speak to the head nurse about this. Avoid a lawsuit if at all possible. If the patient never finds out, we can all breathe a sigh of relief.
He goes through his phone messages. Of course, there’s one from Dr. Kimberly Pearson, the patient’s former psychiatrist. I can hear Dr. Pearson’s voice right now in that message. I’m sure it’s been carefully erased.
Maybe she said the following: “Hello, Dr. Kiorala, this is Kim Pearson from the Psychiatry Department at the General. You’ve got my former patient, Julie Greene. I want to warn you about her. She’s a liability risk. She is a writer and she blogs extensively about human rights. MGH was on my case to stop her any way I could. I tried to drug her. I suggest a Rogers Order or possibly a transfer to State at this point. We can’t let this whistleblowing go on.”
Or, maybe Dr. Pearson said this: “Julie was on lithium for years. Clearly her kidneys were deteriorating over the past decade as a result. We did our best to hide the truth from her. Unfortunately, the internet allows patients to look up the life-shortening consequences of these drugs. I think it’s time for State or a Rogers to keep her quiet, before she starts talking.”
Dr. Kiorala writes down some notes. He loves his job so much. Mostly, he loves the pay. He thinks about his next golf game at the club. Schmoozing around, laughing, joking, talking shop talk. That will be next weekend.
He reminds himself he needs to get back to work. He looks at the anorexic’s chart. He notes her admitting weight. When he writes up his notes, he deliberately writes this weight roughly 20 pounds higher. (The difference between what I weighed that morning and what they claimed I weighed in the ER was recorded as 18 pounds higher. Not exactly possible, eh? Not if you are five foot one, anorexic, and dehydrated. I didn’t have edema upon arrival.) He tells himself that if it appears that she isn’t really that seriously thin, it’ll look like they assumed she had come in for “anxiety.” Just another Welfare case wasting their time.
He notes that the patient seemed disoriented in the ER. He tells himself, smugly, “Good. This means she won’t have a case, if she tries to sue. We will just smooth it all over.”
He recalls something else Dr. Pearson said, “We put sitters on her at MGH. You can do this, too. You can claim she’s suicidal. This will keep her from talking too much. Remember, she’s a serious risk to us.”
He looks at the ER notes one more time. They’d evaluated her. There was a bit of a problem because clearly, the ER clinicians had made a point of stating this patient was not suicidal. What could he do to make it look like she was, or had become suicidal?
It was even more of a problem now, because the nurses felt sorry for her. They heard her story, “I starved myself because no one cares about me.” The nurses were saying said it was heartbreaking to hear about a woman who had lost so many friends and had family that never visited her. He had to turn this around somehow to make the nurses less sympathetic. Perhaps he could make this patient appear to be a SHPOS. Sub-human piece of shit. How would he do this?
The shrink. His pal, Dr. Patrick Aquino. He paged Dr. Aquino and asked if he could contact him at his convenience today.
Dr. Aquino is a smug-looking man. He is younger than me. One thing I remember clearly about him: that crooked smile. He smiled off to the side. I have a crooked smile, too. Only mine’s far cuter, I hate to inform him. Mine came from an accident on a swingset when I was a kid, and I’m very proud of it. His? Oh, probably a sign of dishonesty, but of course, I’ll never know. Given that psychiatry is based on coercion, of course he’s dishonest. Coercion is dishonesty. That’s his career. He gets paid to trick patients into thinking they have a disease, and then believing this for the rest of their lives. Taxpayers owe a lot of thanks to shrinks for the billions of disability payments now doled out. These are ruined lives that otherwise would have been productive. But they don’t want you knowing that.
Dr. Kiorala is off on a coffee break with his favorite sexy nurse when the page comes in from Dr. Aquino. He excuses himself. He gets Patty-boy on the phone.
“I heard from Kim Pearson. Kim’s not at the General anymore, but she tipped me off on Greene. We need to write up a DTS on this patient and keep her on a one-to-one for her entire stay. (DTS means danger to self.) She needs to be watched because she’s a writer, a danger to us. Can you arrange this? Meanwhile, I’ll write up a retroactive Section on her. As of her admitting date.”
“Oh sure. No one has to know.”
“We can say it was written up in the ER. We can say she refused to sign herself in, even though truthfully, she signed herself in willingly, and asked for medical help. The section will make any transfer elsewhere far easier. See what I am saying?”
“Certainly. I’ll try to get her annoyed, then the DTS will be easy. I’ll just say she’s showing signs of anger, and that will be enough. I’ve used that trick plenty of times. They taught it to us in doctor school. After all, in psychiatry, all we need is a doctor opinion, not any real tangible proof.”
“And Pat? Push the antipsychotics. The more the better. We want this patient as drugged, silent, and rendered as incapable as possible.”
“As per usual.”
“Of course, you know the drill.”
A couple of weeks later. Dr. Kiorala plays a great golf game. After the entire 18 holes (is it 18? I have never played golf…), he strolls into the Mount Auburn Country Club bar, and orders a drink. He feels great. He checks his stocks in the paper. All doing fine. He’ll be able to retire and have a terrific life for himself in…how many years?
He gets into his car to drive home from his golf game with the guys. The sun is low in the sky on this hot August night. Labor Day is coming soon. He starts to turn off onto another street. The traffic is so annoying. He switches on public radio.
Then, he sees her. It’s that patient. That same one that came in August 12th, walking a small white dog. He remarks to himself, “We weren’t able to drug her. Good thing she’ll die anyway. She’ll be so exhausted, she’ll never be able to tell the world the story of what happened on Needham 4. Anyone who took lithium dies young. It’s justified.”
A red light stops him. How annoying. He turns public radio up higher. How did that fly get in here? He turns. The patient is in view. He watches as she removes her thick glasses, then wipes a tear from her eye. He watches more closely as she mouths the words, “Patient abuse.”
That’s all he can bear to see. He revs the engine as soon as the light turns green.
Again, this is not a precisely true story but speculation based on the facts and hospital records I have. Some is, of course, a bit of humor on my part as well, and my overall disregard for the psychiatric profession. I do not dislike psychiatrists as individuals, but I despise the idea of it.
Breaking news on Dan Markingson case! Attention: Minnesota! Open letter (from me) to all nurses considering blowing the whistle….
Dear potential whistleblower nurses, and all readers,
A nurse has spoken out about drug research at the U of Minnesota Medical Center. Here’s the link:
If anyone out there thinks that hospitals don’t commit crimes, you need to see this video. I will try to stream it here if I can.
Hmm…it doesn’t want to stream in WordPress, but if the above link doesn’t work, try this one:
There is more in the video than you read in the text below it, so do watch!
Anyway…Any potential whistleblowers out there? Are you considering tattling on your workplace? What about patients, speaking up about abuses instead of remaining silent?
I first encountered this question way back when…oh, 1977 or so. I was working for McDonald’s. I never wanted to work there, but at the time, I could find nothing else. The name of the game was gender bias in the workplace, oppression of barely-paid workers, and a shocking amount of food that went to waste. Okay, “food.” But still, I knew families on Welfare that could have used a burger or two.
Okay, call me dumb. I spoke up about the food waste, but my timing sucked royally. Picture this: I was working the register along with some other girls, while the more privileged male workers worked the grill. I watched in horror as the assistant manager came into the front area and swept the burgers off the grill and into the trash. A handful of customers also witnessed this.
Agreeably, they’d been on the grill warming for a bit. But they certainly hadn’t gone bad. Supposedly “high freshness standards” forbade selling burgers that had been cooked and then didn’t sell.
So I spoke up. “Why can’t we cook to order so there won’t be so much food waste? I know people who are really hungry and would appreciate that food. But you tossed it out. That’s wasteful.”
Okay, okay, I cannot recall my exact words. But I did use the word “wasteful.” Right in front of customers.
The assistant manager turned beet red. He was so, so pissed. You could tell by the way he was tossing spatulas around. Pissed. I didn’t know what to think. I was young and naive. He stormed off.
I was fired. You bet he used some excuse to get me out of there.
So…this was my first workplace experience with blowing the whistle. I encourage any nurse out there to blow the whistle on abuse in hospitals. Patient abuse is more than just a few burgers and fries. These places are very powerful and have lots of money, so maybe you need to consult a lawyer before coming out. Just to protect yourselves.
Retaliation really does happen. I was victim to it myself as patient whistleblower. I have left the USA to ensure that I remain free of harm. My little dog and I are together and okay now.
Julie Greene and Puzzle
Okay, follow my instructions to the T.
First, pick your victim. It can be anyone but it’s to your advantage to pick someone who has very little money, no lawyer, and family that isn’t supportive or all dead.
Find out where that person lives. The name of the town and the person’s address. Call the local cops and tell them this person is either DTO or DTS, or better yet, both. That means danger to self or others. Tell the cops which hospital to bring the person to.
Now, call that hospital saying you are that person’s shrink. Tell the ER people some bogus name. Then, say that this person just left your office, is mentally incompetent (don’t let that suit and tie fool ya), lacks insight, is a chronic liar, and paranoid. Oh, and also that he/she is a very poor historian. Tell the ER people not to believe a word he says. Tell them he’s so dangerous that they’d better immediately do a strip search and keep Security on high alert.
You can do this to a relative, a friend, an ex-friend, or…how about killing a real murderer? Do it to a shrink! Shrinks kill themselves, too.
The doctor has been depressed lately. Tell them that and tell them to monitor all his phone calls.
Now, call a hospital administrator (the one supervising) and give that person a similar line. Only add the following:
You need to protect yourselves above all. This guy is a worthless piece of shit. Watch him like a hawk. Don’t worry if your personnel are abusive. He doesn’t matter. He’s subhuman.
Okay, so there was never anything “wrong” with him, right? Just the usual human traits. But now, even if he does get out, he’ll probably kill himself. They’ve treated him so badly he won’t be able to live with it.
Of course, if you want to kill directly, work in a hospital.
So? You’ve now murdered someone and you can collect your paycheck. Wipe your fucking hands clean.
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
Here’s the link to the article in Mad in America by Phil Hickey:
Here’s my comment, as it is now, up on the site:
More fuel for the argument, Phil! Thank you!
I entered the tween stage, that is, 55-65, when we get to be halfway elderly and occasionally can take advantage of “senior discounts,” with a bang. I decided to use a slogan to describe my age: “55 and Alive!” Some seven months later, I experienced acute kidney failure. I am lucky to be alive today.
The psychiatric profession appears to be desperate to deceive patients and keep them in the dark about consequences, even if it means hiding important information regarding medical conditions from patients so that they will continue to comply. For years, my kidneys were running low, and I wasn’t told. When I arrived at an ER and I went into full code last August, a nurse blurted out to me that I was in kidney failure. I believe they hoped I wouldn’t recall this blunder. However, for whatever reason, I remember well. My electrolytes were so off at that point that it didn’t even register in my mind that I was near death. I was merely curious as to what would occur next. For over a month I’d been feeling like I was on a moving ship, or was the world just tilting back and forth the whole time?
I was up on the floor and I asked flat out what had happened. I repeated what I’d heard and they said, accusingly, “Who told you that?” as if it were a lie or my imagination. I was in the hospital 11 days. Every day, each morning, i was offered Abilify and I refused it. The doctor in charge finally told me if I didn’t take Zyrexa, he wouldn’t allow me to leave the hospital even if I was medically stable enough to leave. He’d pushed many antipsychotics on me, including Haldol, and i’d refused all of them. Their main goal, as far as I know, was to transfer me to a psych ward where I’d be started on the deconate, and court ordered to stay on it. I’m sure, had I refused, I would have been transferred to a state facility.
I told the doctor that I didn’t think Zyprexa was an appropriate medication for a person with anorexia nervosa. It had already been proven to be unhelpful for anorexia, and it’s not approved, either, as off-label use. I’d taken it before with disastrous results.
I learned that I’d gone into renal failure because the the day I went home free the discharge doc accidentally gave me papers I shouldn’t have had access to. I was alone late on Friday night when I found out I’d nearly died, and they never bothered to tell me.
I have a new slogan, “56 and Free.” I am lucky to be alive. My kidneys are roughly at 1/3 functioning. I know now that they were desperate to keep me from writing or speaking out about what happened.
Sorry, docs. I am a writer and my weapon is my pen. They were desperate to stop me even if they had to tell huge lies. You can stab yourself with a pen. But why do that, when you can put it to far more powerful use?
I love ya’ll, Julie Greene and her little dog, Puzzle
Folks. I wrote this a while back. I’ll tell you something: I think it’s spot on. However, I know I was wise to wait a few weeks before allowing the post to go “live.” Enjoy! Or not. This will truly expose Mount Auburn for what they did. And don’t worry, I’m safe from their grip now.
I dtid indeed receive the records from Mount Auburn Hospital in April, 2014. That’s the place where they persecuted me last summer. The records are obviously fudged in the hospital’s favor, that is, they’ve taken out pages. I believe this was done before the “chart” went into their archives.
I did indeed state that I was being abused, that is, I reported this to anyone who would listen right while I was there in the hospital. Keep in mind that this was a medical hospitalization and I was in precarious physical health, for the most part, too weak to get out of bed. I was at the mercy of anyone who entered the room and I couldn’t get up and get anyone’s attention if I needed something. It’s a horrible position to be in. You are so darned powerless. I had an IV in me and of course, was being watched constantly. I had no clue, at the time, what the REAL reason was, and what the heck they were so desperate to hide from me. I kept wondering if something awful had happened to Puzzle. I hadn’t heard from the dog-sitter, no reassurance that Puzzle was really okay. I felt so darned powerless and would ask, “What is it? What are you keeping from me?” What I didn’t realize was the extent of the lies.
I was desperate to know. I had no clue what the real reason was for the 1:1 “sitters,” but I knew their claim that I was a “danger to self” was completely bogus. It made no sense that there would be any need for 1:1 observation of me, a weak, 55-year-old woman who clearly was NOT making any effort to harm herself. I was eating fine and inquiring about how to eat properly to heal my body. My reasons for refusing their drugs were mostly because the drugs they were pushing I had taken in the past and I knew these would harm my body. It was obvious that I wanted only to move on, to heal. I figured maybe someone had heard me say the word “suicide” in a sentence and perhaps put the sitters on as a precaution. I never, ever stated intent to harm myself because I had no intent. But after days and days and the sitters were not removed…I knew that something fishy was going on.
These sitters weren’t put there to protect me from harming myself. They were put there to make sure I didn’t squeal on the hospital.
Finally, I demanded to know who had ordered the sitters. I asked the psychiatrist, Dr. Patrick Aquino, and anyone I could get to listen to me. Funny how the question was avoided by most doctors who claimed they had no clue and it wasn’t their concern. However, I figured Dr. Aquino would certainly know, and since they were claiming I was suicidal, it was indeed his turf.
He finally told me that he himself hadn’t ordered the sitters put on. But who? I asked. He had allowed me to believe that he was the one who had ordered them, but finally, I cornered him, because I knew it was someone else. His response? He said, “Oh, I don’t know, some nurse ordered them put on.” Really? I knew sitters were supposed to be ordered by a doctor. Yet there he was, lying to me. I was getting tired of the lies and half-truths and obvious coverups. At the time, I believed him, though. Why would I not? After I got out and asked around, it seemed impossible that a nurse had made this decision and was being a stickler, as he was insisting.
He made a gesture as if to say that he was above the nurses in status, above the sitters, above all the staff, immune to any criticism certainly. Dr. Aquino’s haughty attitude was clear. He was the only doctor who regularly shooed the sitters out of the room while he was speaking to me. He did this with a gesture toward them, as if he were sweeping away flies. All the other doctors, such as the kidney doctor and the internists were actually concerned about my physical health. Dr. Aquino sure did everything he could to assert power and power alone.
I realized, even then in my weakened state, that Aquino was in fact desperate to assert himself as a far more important member of my care team than he actually was. I felt that his attitude of “taking over” seemed unwarranted. After all, my kidneys were at stake. Of course, after I came home and found out I’d gone into full code in the ER (which they’d kept hidden from me the whole time I was there) I knew that Aquino was certainly a minor figure who was trying to puff himself up.
I was so confused. Why the coverup? Why were they simply not being honest? The medical student, named Katherine, was perhaps a weak link in their coverup scheme. It couldn’t be helped, because it was Katherine’s job to actually spend time with me and speak to me at length. She knew I was no dummy. She had a hard time keeping the truth from me simply because she was one of the few that spoke to me for more than a few minutes at a time without rudely cutting me off.
One day, she admitted to me, in the presence of another doctor who happened to be walking into the room at that moment, that the staff were having arguments over me. She finally admitted that no one really believed that I was suicidal.
So I asked her what the holdup was. Why on earth was there such a delay getting the sitters taken off? She looked extremely frustrated, knowing she had to give me some answer. So at this point, she lied. She claimed that the nursing staff, or some stickler nurse, was insistent that I was suicidal and that this person was in disagreement with the rest of the medical staff that insisted I didn’t need sitters.
I know now. I know they were all lying.
It’s clear from my records that I have received that these sitters were ordered by the “hospitalist,” a doctor with whom I had had few dealings. This was Dr. Bibek Koirala. He had ordered that the staff watch closely, and if I showed any signs of anything they could label as excuse to put sitters on, to do so.
I checked out what the heck a “hospitalist” was. It’s a newfangled type of doctor who does case management. I honestly had no clue that this management was not being done by a usual hospital social worker, but this upper-management “hospitalist.” Actually, at one point during my hospitalization, I demanded to see the “social worker.” In fact, there wasn’t one on my case. It was this Koirala who was the manager of my case, but this was kept from me, and the staff went along with my demand to see a social worker, I suppose, for show. They didn’t want me to know that this Koirala was in fact the puppetmaster. I kept asking and asking, but this vital bit of information was kept from me.
Early on in my stay, Koirala had decided to put sitters on me after interaction with my former psychiatrist, Dr. Kimberly Pearson. I had last seen Pearson in July and fired at that time. Pearson and I had parted peacefully and she wished me best of luck, but at the same time, Pearson was darned scared of my big mouth and my insistence that I had been abused back in 2011 while inpatient at Mass General. She was desperate to shut me up and had even admitted it to me in a fit of anger one day.
So as I figure it, Koirala called Pearson. I doubt they had a real conversation. Knowing Pearson as well as I do, she wasn’t one to spend much time on the phone. She rushed through every conversation. She gave airs of efficiency and acted business-like, but personally, I always felt put off by her attitude. I compared notes with patients who had other psychiatrists. They’d ask me why I couldn’t speak to Pearson over the phone. My response? Her callbacks lasted 15 seconds or less. “Take a pill,” was all she said most of the time. I got so fed up over the years that I’d habitually time her callbacks with my watch.
Therefore, would her callback to Koirala be any different? Apparently, she gave no important information to Koirala about my medical status or anything that would help me get well. Instead, the content of this message (again, I assume there was no real spoken interaction, just traded voicemails) contained one essential bit of information which isn’t revealed in my records but was the cause of Koirala’s insistence that I be monitored 1:1.
Of course, Pearson told Koirala that I was a squealer, a whistleblower, a potential liability problem because whatever went wrong I was going to be rather vocal about via my blog, so they’d better keep me quiet. I had no reason to believe otherwise. Pearson was emotional enough about shutting me up right in my presence, so of course, as soon as she was contacted this was most likely what she told them.
What better way than to put sitters on me? Having those sitters in the room would keep me from causing trouble, from contacting anyone on the outside that mattered and stirring up a problem for the hospital.
You can imagine what it was like for me to have constant monitoring. I had no clue why. The sitters violated my rights in so many ways I cannot even begin to list them all. I felt helpless and powerless. Not only that, but I didn’t have any clue if I’d ever see my wonderful Puzzle again, or breathe fresh air and be under the sky. I had no clue if I’d end up institutionalized forever. It seemed like they all had too much power.
I was physically weak and at their mercy. Just being in that position and being treated deceptively in that manner…this has caused long-lasting trauma in me. I have suffered terribly since leaving the hospital from a trauma reaction due to the abuse.
It’s evident that Pearson told Koirala little else than her fear of my big mouth. I had told her I had a new PCP at our last appointment at Harvard Vanguard. She had written it down. I had told her I indeed had arranged followup appointments and that these were already scheduled. I told her the dates. I kept the name of my future psychiatrist at Harvard Vanguard secret from Pearson. I faked that I was unable to recall the name of the therapist I was scheduled with as well. Can you blame me? I believe I told Pearson the name of my new PCP, however. I may have mispronounced it because it’s a difficult name. Of course, Dr. Pearson must have had SOME record of what she was prescribing to me. Also, Pearson recognized even in our last appointment that I was an “excellent historian” who remembered every med I’d ever been on, and all the therapists I’ve ever seen and the dates as well. However, she failed to tell Koirala any of this. I’m sure she left one of her typical voicemails, that 15-second efficient business-like type she generally left.
So Koirala got scared. He ordered the sitters put on as soon as I did anything, any excuse they could find. Not one educated person on the team believed I was truly suicidal, no one did who had any real contact with me. Perhaps a few nurses may have been swayed, assuming that Koirala put the sitters on for a real reason, and that maybe I was truly “dangerous.” Notably, the nurses that literally seemed scared of me and my supposed “danger to self” would more often than not cut me off mid-sentence and were excessively rude. I never understood why they were so impolite.
I got out of there by the skin of my teeth. The main reason they let me go was because it was getting increasingly difficult for them to keep up the deception. I was gaining physical strength and I wasn’t as “out of it” anymore. So it was harder to pull the wool over my eyes. Finally, they said they were going to attempt to transfer me to a psych ward.
It’s rather understandable that since the psych wards are overcrowded as it is, they’d only accept someone that truly needed psych treatment and by all means the local psych wards didn’t want someone whose chief reasons for hospitalization were mostly medical. So to get me “placed,” Mount Auburn had to call in the BEST Team because this job of where I was to go next was too much for them to do internally.
The BEST Team is a local psych placement team. They have a crisis place you can go if you actually want to be evaluated and not have to go to an ER. Their people are crisis-oriented. I actually have a great deal of respect for these folks, anyone highly trained in crisis management. They are intelligent and insightful and not slackers. Of all the types of mental health professionals out there, I’d say the crisis people do the best work nowadays, the good ones, that is. These are the only ones I’d say really save lives, and get folks out of tough situations. Also, they are trained to recognize trauma. Even ER personnel aren’t as well trained. Not only that, the BEST Team workers actually spend time speaking with patients.
After I spoke at length with the BEST Team person, it was all over for Mount Auburn. Their claims were blown to bits. I spoke with the BEST Team on Tuesday. There were some delays getting the report faxed into my chart. I myself made sure that fax went through. On Wednesday the 21st, that fax went through around 11am. The sitters were taken off right at the end of that day shift, at around 3pm. Not only that, but the BEST Team person insisted that since the hall noise was so loud I was by all means entitled to keep my room door shut. The BEST Team person was brilliant. He told those nurses they were wrong about me, and that I wasn’t going to “off myself.” The following day, they released me.
I now realize that this was an amazing victory for me. It’s amazing that I got out! These doctors are POWERFUL! Far too powerful. They have the power to make it or break it for someone based on their whims.
It was in their plan to see to it that I was forcibly drugged to render me incapable of writing. They didn’t succeed and I am FREE to be the writer I am meant to be.
What happened to me while inpatient was flat out wrong. I felt cheated by Mount Auburn and all its personnel. I now know that they indeed did some rather crooked stuff, at my expense. What resulted was that I have lived in fear ever since leaving the hospital. I felt for a long time that Mount Auburn ruined my life because they stripped me of every last bit of dignity I had, and had crushed my soul.
They can’t touch me now. I am telling the truth and they won’t be able to retaliate.
My life has been in shambles ever since because of what the hospital did. Medical abuse is real. I have lost so many friendships. People, well-meaning or not, who refuse to believe that this is happened to me. However, it did.
I’m not sure what to do. Maybe write to the CEO and tell this person what my life has been like since I left, the impact it all has had, and describe just what happened and why it all was wrong, and say this should never, ever happen to another patient in their care.
Why is the victim so often blamed? Why are the perps, who are often doctors, wealthy people in high places, CEOs, health care providers, therapists even, psychiatrists of course, so often glorified as saviors?
These cruel people are not saviors, but abusers.
We need to put a stop to abuse. Please stop abuse. Stop it from happening to other people. And please, if you have abused, at least APOLOGIZE. You’ll most likely feel better. Stop abusing and you’ll be a better person.