In case you missed part one of my voyage to Middle Earth, er, Loopy, click here.
I had this wooden bed with a comfy mattress that was “no longer bolted to the floor” as they said. But I didn’t lay there long because they called us for supper. People were already lined up, but the guy at front reading a book waved me forward. Ladies first. One of the other women bitched because she was a bloody Marine and didn’t need special treatment. Whatever. Women still aren’t paid as much as men. I take my perks when I get them.
The food was actually pretty good. I was warned against the Salisbury steak and took the Chicken Alfredo. Some of the others stared suspiciously at the noodles. And I thought I was picky. The cafeteria lady was simply charming, growling at us as we picked our food. A fellow Looney, Kleenex girl, said “Could you please smile?” Cafeteria woman glared and said “I AM smiling.” Right. Moving on.
They only had diet sodas. So apparently caffeine was okay, but not caffeine and sugar. Though you could have juice, chocolate milk, and dessert. Whatever. I got all of the above. No one said what I was limited to, so I figured I’d get my money’s worth.
We only had plastic forks and spoons. No knives. Nevermind that you’d have to work pretty hard to slice yourself or anything else for that matter with a plastic knife, we didn’t get one. This was okay with the noodles, not so much with the chicken they later served. I ended up eating it medieval style, spiking it with my fork.
Once back to the room, they served dessert, but did not allow us a spoon. Some wily people had smuggled their spoons in, but the rest of were out of luck. Apparently you can shank yourself or your pal with a spoon if you break off the handle. Thank goodness for the mental hospital, or I wouldn’t know half the ways a person could kill herself.
This wouldn’t have been so bad if they had served us cake instead of ice cream and yogurt. Try eating that shit without a spoon. We did it, sure, but wtf. I mean, why give that as dessert and not allow spoons unless you’re conducting some kind of bizarre experiment? Maybe that was the idea. If so, I can tell you the results. It annoys the mentals.
There was one big screen TV, but a lot of us, so you had to stay with whatever the person holding the remote picked. That turned out to be American Idol. I was just thankful it wasn’t Fox News, or I might have had to steal a spoon and shank someone. The Meatloaf dude won over the Katy Perry look-a-like. Yay.
We were given our pills in an orderly fashion. This is the point where they doubled my anxiety meds without informing me they were doing so. I wouldn’t figure this out for a while yet. They doled what were little more than hand towels for our showers. The Hitchhiker’s guide is right. Wherever you go, bring a decent towel. I didn’t have a towel, or any clothes at all to change into because I was waiting on my husband to come by with them. This had not happened. No big deal except that I really needed new underwear. There’s another lesson. Don’t just wear clean undies, carry another pair. I mean, you never know.
They had nothing in the bathroom, not even soap which seemed kind of unsanitary seeing as how you do have to pee and all. I got hospital versions of all the toiletries and took a shower. Normally I hate showers because mine has not been cleaned since Obama’s first term. But this one was nice except that it turned off multiple times and you had to keep smacking the button to get more water. But it was all mine and I didn’t have to clean it. Score.
Earlier I talked about how they made rounds every 15 minutes – and how the doors had to remain at least partially open. This is not so bad during the day, but kind of sucks at night. Especially if your tech has bronchitis and thinks she must yank your door open all the freaking way every time she stops by while coughing her head off. Twit.
The lights outside the room never go off, and the TV didn’t go off until 11 pm. Thank goodness for knock-out meds or I don’t know how anyone would get sleep. I did wake up the night twit tech went by and couldn’t fall back asleep so I cried. A really nice nurse stopped by and talked with me a little bit. “What can you do about it now?” she asked. Nothing. Good advice. I’m trying to remember it still.
There was very little individual counseling here. Almost everything was group. I think you’ll find that at many mental health places, because it’s cheaper for them. It sucks for the patients, though, because frack if you’re going to get some one on one anywhere, shouldn’t it be at the hospital? The shrink does stop by on certain days, but most of them have social disorders and don’t talk. I got sneaky though. Cornering nurses, getting counselors by themselves and at last resort, calling the Chaplain. We had fun dissing the Church of Christ together. I liked him.
Okay so I didn’t get to Nurse Ratched – yet! Stay tuned.