So There’s More… Sunday Update (aka “No Pillows for the Patient”)

Posted: December 7, 2011 in Stories from Other People

Frightened Wife wrote me Sunday afternoon around 5:00 p.m. and said this:

Thanks for your reply.

I spoke with the program director who convinced me to give him a little time to detox but then my husband called and sounds so broken. He’s mad one minute and then sounds really depressed the next. He wants out of there so bad. We recently changed family doctors but I will be calling tomorrow to see what they can do.

I’m just so torn! I’m scared that after such a bad experience there that he is going to think that this is the way every detox option is. So that’s the only reason I want him to be there to detox so that he does get detoxed and doesn’t have a seizure. Seeing that yesterday morning scared me in ways I can’t even describe. I’m a roller coaster mess today and just want to do what’s right for him.  …
He told me they have not checked his blood pressure at all today which they told me many times they do at least every 4 hours but would check more if needed. Since he has high blood pressure and family history that’s not good – and since I monitored every hour when he was home detoxing – I’m scared for him and pissed at them! I called and was told that they are on shift change and should call back in 15 minutes. If they have not taken his blood pressure or done the other things the program director promised this morning, I will ask for the form while I’m there and have him sign the request for discharge in front of me so they know we mean business and that way the clock can start ticking. Then I can call the doctor in the morning and ask about detox options. 

Hahahaha…. every four hours?  Please.  Mine got checked once a day in the morning, and that was it.  I seriously doubt that has changed at all.  Oh, did I mention her husband has high blood pressure and should be checked often?   This is how I responded:

Well, there are two separate issues going on here. One is he is broken, and he has a problem. The other is he’s in the crappiest place possible he could be to fix it. …

[I then recommended a doctor and therapist for her for her husband to see after he is discharged.]
Do NOT WASTE MONEY ON UBH OUTPATIENT TREATMENT. YOu are throwing good money after bad with that. Trust me. I went there for a few days. It is large group therapy billed at an amazingly high price. I think everyone who goes through something severe enough to require hospitalization really needs some one-on-one counseling and help to figure out why they did it. You should have seen the crap that went on in that therapy group. It was just more of the same follower, cult-like, crappy mentality that the hospital has.

I’m so sorry you are going through this. And, I’m sorry your husband is, too. Just remember to stay up beat for him and make sure you bring him things he likes. They are slack as hell about monitoring what is brought in to patients. For instance, they wouldn’t let me have sharpies for writing and doing art (because someone might inhale the fumes) or glass in a picture frame, but, anyone who came to visit me could bring in a purse and hand off cell phones, etc. So, take him some of the snacks and food he likes, some magazines, and some comfort items. The beds and pillows there SUCK so take him a decent pillow. That will help a lot. Even just a favorite blanket or bathrobe will be welcome, I suspect.

 I’ll be back in touch with you if I have more answers about where to go for treatment. If you need to talk to someone call me at XXX-XXX-XXXX. I am available to listen. And, if your husband is really in dire need of talking to someone who has been in there before, and wants to talk to me, feel free to give him my number and he can call me collect long enough to give me his patient ID # and the # to the hospital and I will call him back. 

So later on I receive an e-mail from her telling me that her husband did indeed say the pillows were awful.  Imagine the worst cheap motel pillow you’ve ever seen, then slice it down in half in terms of thickness.  That’s about what you have to sleep on there.  BUT…UBH would not let them bring in a new one.

So they bill like several thousand dollars a WEEK and cannot afford to issue each patient a new pillow?  W.T.F.????  Relatively comfortable pillows are available at Wal-Mart for no more than $10 each.  This problem could be solved pretty easily.  Or shit, have the pillows for sale to the patients on the inside.  But to deny someone a comfortable night of sleep (the beds are covered in industrial plastic, which is hot, sweaty, and miserable to sleep on, too.  I guess they’re afraid someone will pee on the bed?) is not what I consider to be a hospital.  It’s a correctional facility.  And, my insurance company, nor your’s, should have to pay those prices for that kind of care.  Here is what Frightened Wife had to say:

The program director called me and explained that many have tryed to smuggle in things in the past in pillows etc. I wanted to take him a water bottle so he wouldn’t have to keep refilling the small styrofoam cups and was told it had to be a new water bottle and didn’t have time to go get one. I wanted to take him some snacks but told no, and saw a guy last night who complained because his wife asked him to bring candy and he did and they wouldn’t let him leave it.

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