Archive for the ‘Who Am I?’ Category

2015 in review

Posted: January 3, 2016 in Who Am I?

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for this blog.  I did not post much in 2015, but we still had almost 10,000 hits.  And, in 2016 we will pass the 100,000 hit mark!  Cheers, folks!

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 9,200 times in 2015. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 3 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

Every year WordPress sends me a report on my blogging activity for the year.  I got the report today.  I had only two new posts all year.  I thought I had written more but I hadn’t.  Yes, the hospital and its lawyers clearly succeeded in scaring the hell out of me enough that I am simply afraid to post anything new.  The horror stories still come in… the frantic e-mails and phone calls still happen…I’m just too chicken shit to post them.  I feel somewhat like a failure in that regard.

Then again, I look at my post stats.  In 2014 this blog had over 14,000 views!  That means that what I wrote in the past is still being read, and based on the e-mails and phone calls I get, it’s clearly making a difference for some people.  I’m relieved that my lawsuit and the entire ordeal I went through was not in vain.  I’ve helped some people, and for that I am happy and just a little bit proud.  At the rate this blog is being viewed, we will surpass 100,000 views in 2015.  People DO pay attention to this and DO read it.

My biggest regret, though, is that the horror stories do continue to flow in.  I had hoped that under new ownership, the hospitals might get better.  It doesn’t sound like much has changed.  Meanwhile Dr. Kresch has gone on to start yet another money machine at US Healthvest.  Yes, the same person who started UBH Denton is opening facilities in other states.  Money has no conscience I suppose.

I stay in touch with so many people I met through the process of creating this blog.  Some of them have become my friends.  They have recovered from their experiences as best they can and moved on.  Some of them have lawsuits that continue to drag through the legal system at a snail’s pace, and I wonder if there will ever be any justice for them.  I can only hope.

I wish you much peace and prosperity in 2015.  Keep in touch with me at info@ubhdentonsucks.com

 

I dedicate this blog to the proud memories of Aaron and William.  I never met either of them but I regret that my voice, and the voices of others, were not heard in time to save them.  RIP gentlemen.

I never set out for this blog to be around this long.  My hope when I started it was that UBH would simply do the right thing and fix my medical records.  Here we are, years later, with a lawsuit and a lot of other stuff in the rear-view mirror.  Thank goodness the lawsuit is over!  Thanks again to my legal team.  I really do appreciate you all!

Most notable this year was that Byron Harris of wfaa.com in Dallas was finally able to show everyone what I had been trying to share for so long.  He did it effectively and fairly.  Good job, Byron!  His reporting has brought a lot of traffic to the blog, and I have mixed feelings about the stats on the report shown below.  This year 24,000 viewers took a gander at my writing.  I guess that’s good if a blog like this has to exist.  I hoped and continue to hope that my efforts here would result in positive change at facilities that, if operated properly, would be of great benefit to the community.   Meanwhile, I’m in it this far and I’ll do my best to keep spreading the word in 2014.  Either those hospitals will get fixed or I’ll keep lobbying for them to.

Wishing peace, prosperity,and yes–sanity– to all in 2014.  –B

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 24,000 times in 2013. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 9 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

This week, our site broke the 50,000 views mark.  I have mixed emotions about that.

It’s a very good feeling to think about all the people helped along the way.  I have talked to so many people on e-mail, chat, and the phone… and my heart just broke for them.  These were not people who said “I (or a loved one) went to a psychiatric hospital and hated it….”   Let’s be very clear… these people said “I (or a loved one) went to this particular hospital… and these really horrific circumstances resulted.”

But… when I first started the site?  No way I would have ever guessed that so many people had such bad experiences.  I was shocked to see how many people wrote in and shared their stories.  I’m also shocked to see how many people do searches every day about this hospital.  Never underestimate how many people are looking into a service provider, especially one as important as psychiatric care.

The day I tried to get UBH Denton and in particular Atique Khan to simply correct my medical records?  The sheer ARROGANCE to suggest that there was no wrongdoing and no need for correction when the discharge papers were completely inconsistent with the admission papers?  That, my friends, is the complete unmitigated total crock of proverbial shit.

Meanwhile, at the time?  I honestly didn’t see two lawsuits, over 5 years and 50,000 visitors to a website coming down the pike.  If I had?  I probably would have just given up and resigned myself to the fact that in this world?  Sometimes you’re the windshield, but usually… you’re the bug.

In any case…. let’s lighten things up a bit.   Hey…. gotta riddle for you!

What’s the last thing that goes through a bug’s mind when it hits the windshield?

Its ass.

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

4,329 films were submitted to the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. This blog had 30,000 views in 2012. If each view were a film, this blog would power 7 Film Festivals

Click here to see the complete report.

Interesting Facts about Mental Illness

Posted: December 17, 2012 in Who Am I?

In light of all what has happened in our country since last week, I thought I would do a little research on mental illness and its prevalence in the U.S.  Here’s an interesting little bit I found…. although I think it’s kind of misleading in terms of what you can conclude from it because it isn’t that one state has more mental illness than another (in my opinion)… maybe it’s that some states and their respective cultures have probably made it a little less “taboo” to seek treatment for mental illness?

I’m BAAAAAAAAAAAAACK

Posted: November 9, 2012 in Fighting Back, Lawsuit, Who Am I?

So UBH and its parent company were sold this year, as expected.  For over $500 million, as I understand it.  Meanwhile…. they have left ME hanging.  They sued me for about $6 million they knew I didn’t have, and, now that their lawyer is pushing up daisies and they have $500 million in the bank…and their former investors like Brian Chee at Polaris Venture Capital have feathered their nests all the more….what’s left?

I’ll tell you what’s left…. the HOPE that new owners Universal Health Services, Inc., will clean up the atrocities that are UBH Denton and Mayhill Hospital.  I am optimistic about that, I have to be.  Why?   I can’t have gone through all this for nothing.  When I was waiting out the early days of the lawsuit, all I could say to myself was “I did what was right… I did what was right….”

And, I did.  I’ve saved a lot of people by going public with my story and I don’t regret it.  Here’s the thing I don’t get….

They say the world is full of frivolous lawsuits, right?  And my lawyers are simply amazing southern gentlemen who are truly wonderful and compassionate men, so please don’t think I’m complaining about what they charge, because they’ve been super gracious and wonderful to me and they are worth every penny they bill for…..

…but is it really fair that to date I’ve had to spend tens of thousands of dollars to sit around and wait for Richard Kresch, Atique Khan, and the now sold Ascend Health, to…..fish or cut bait?  They apparently don’t have the desire to finish what they started.  I guess with $500 million in the bank Dr. Kresch is too busy thinking up his next big venture to worry about little old me anymore, especially since he’s no longer going to be impacted if UBH is shut down or loses its license.

And years ago they threatened to come after ME if I didn’t drop MY suit against them, alleging it would be frivolous.  <shaking my head>

So, for now, I have decided that I have to get back to work on my site.  Please send your stories and your questions to me at info@ubhdentonsucks.com    I’m in this for the long haul…..

How Do We Solve This Problem?

Posted: March 6, 2012 in Who Am I?

Today I got yet another e-mail.  Here is the bulk of it:

“It Is really amazing to me how this hospital keeps its doors open..my therapist had called them only days before I went in and they told her it was a unit for women and their issues….what I went through was life changing.  I just can’t write it all now….Will talk soon.”

So I suppose that story will arrive soon enough.  Here is the bottom line, and I’m asking ANYONE reading this blog for suggestions:  

What does it take to stop this insanity?  What else can I do?  What can the other victims of UBH Denton do?  

So far we know about the traditional venues for complaint, namely the Texas Department of Health, and, that joke “The Joint Commission” (which, by the way, does absolutely nothing that I can see, but that is just my opinion).  There is a new grass roots campaign forming now to start lobbying those organizations to do something about UBH Denton.  But, I welcome ALL suggestions.  

If there is a politician I should write, tell me who they are.  If there’s a government official I should contact, tell me who.  The probate judges?  I don’t know where to begin, but I welcome suggestions.  Do you know a reporter who does investigative work?  Please show them my site.

E-mail me at info@ubhdentonsucks.com

My Story

Posted: February 15, 2012 in Who Am I?

In January of 2008 I went to a Denton, Texas, hospital emergency room.  I was having a bad reaction to Chantix/Champix.   The hospital emergency room ran tests on me, and had me evaluated by an intake counselor from UBH Denton.  The counselor determined that I needed to go to UBH, and assured my friend with me that I was going voluntarily and not being committed.  Then:

1.  Within 12 hours of being admitted, and after visiting with a doctor for maybe 15 minutes at the most, I was diagnosed as a bipolar alcoholic.  They immediately medicated me with klonopin and LITHIUM.

2.  On day 4, after realizing they were only going to keep drugging me and treating me like an alcoholic criminal, I asked to leave.  They held me against my will for commitment.

3.  On day 5, I learned that the chemical dependency coordinator had me mixed up with a convicted felon who was also a patient there.  He thought I was someone else!

4.  On day 6, Dr. Atique Khan wrote on my discharge papers that I had been admitted after an attempted overdose, which was absolutely not true.  This means he never did really know who I was or why I was there.

5.  I was sent home on lithium and klonopin. The lithium destroyed my thyroid function.  It has taken  years and thousands of dollars in tests and treatments to get healthy again, and even then, I’m not recovered.  I have just learned to live with 40 extra pounds.  (That period of time when my hair broke off and fell out is finally a bad memory, fortunately.)

To this day UBH Denton and Dr. Atique Khan refuse to apologize to me or even acknowledge what they did.  When I sued them for false imprisonment they basically threatened ME with a lawsuit and I couldn’t afford to take that risk and maybe lose my house.

Thanks for reading….  let’s start with the letter I sent the hospital. It’s a nice summary of what happened.

Happy November, everyone!  It’s time to count our blessings.  And for once, I’m going to post about something positive that came out of my UBH experience.  Something that I am thankful for.

Have you ever felt so hopeless that you wondered if things would ever get better?  Maybe your job is getting you down or your spouse isn’t paying you enough attention or money is tight?  Well, we all get down about those things.  But I have a quick pick-me-up strategy I use to always–ALWAYS–effectively pull me out of my funk.  Want to know what it is?

….I remind myself that I could still be a patient at UBH Denton!  Yes, I know that sounds like a smart aleck thing to say, but it is what I do.  I’ve never been in a more miserable place or had such a rotten medical experience–anywhere.  The surroundings were just plain awful.  Broken furniture, a crappy tv, no activities except a few board games.  The beds were painful and uncomfortable.  The closets were stupid (Yes, that’s a petty thing, I know… but seriously, what good is a closet if you can’t have hangers and there are no shelves?)

Most of the food was abysmal, and even the stuff that was reasonably fresh was suspect after I saw the mouse running around on the food warmer counter.   The only redeeming quality about the place were a few really nice patients, and the non-physician staff members.  The mental health techs were really super sweet people and so were the registered nurses.  How they kept an upbeat disposition there was beyond me.  And, I see by their website http://www.ubhdenton.com/Careers.aspx that they still have oodles of job openings so I’m guessing turnover is still high?  Wow, what a surprise.

The most miserable time in my life, ever, were the years 2007-2008.  I am thankful every day that I am above the dirt line that I survived them and came out stronger.  I hope everyone who makes the mistake of going to UBH can come out okay, too.

 

Well, perhaps “save” is too strong of a word. But read this comment posted a few days ago from a woman who almost went to work at UBH Denton:

“I am so disappointed right now. I am searching for a job in the mental health field in the metroplex and was thrilled to discover UBH’s website and the many job opportunities. The website makes it look like a perfect place with such special programs. Then I couldn’t help but be suspicious when looking more closely at the job listings. Why are there so many jobs in every aspect of the hospital? I feared the worst and a google search has confirmed my fears. My heart breaks reading the stories of you and the others posting here. Mental health and families are my passion and I mourn the traumatic experiences of people that are supposed to be cared for in places like UBH.”

You can see the original post here.

It never occurred to me when I started this blog that I might be saving someone from a career mistake.  I guess I always try to see the positive in everything, in spite of what happened to me at this place.  I recall two years ago a lot of things were going wrong with a closing on my house.  I arrived in my new town to find that the stupid mortgage broker didn’t get a mortgage for me.  With three U-Hauls loaded slap full, I discovered I had no place to live.  My poor mother doesn’t deal well with stuff like that, and she was kind of freaked out, but didn’t say anything at the time.  Later, after I was moved in and the house had closed and it was all mine, she confessed to me her anxiety over my situation:

“I just knew you shouldn’t have bought that house… you should have rented something first and then bought something later…”

I told her (from my new home, which was and still is FAB-U-LOUS!) and this was absolutely true:

“I never worried for a minute, and I didn’t let it bother me.  Mom, after you’ve been locked up in a mental hospital and threatened with a commitment hearing, and not really knowing if you’d ever get out, or when you’d get out?  You just don’t sweat the small stuff anymore.  I always know, no matter how bad things are in my life at the moment, they could be worse–I could still be in UBH.”  

She laughed and said, “I never looked at it that way.”

So, I guess I should thank Dr. Khan and Drunk Randy for my new outlook on life?  Maybe that was part of their so-called “treatment plan” all along?  “Hey, let’s just make our patients so damned miserable they vow to never come back here again!”

Nah… they’re not that smart.

This article appeared in the Denton paper this week.

I could not let it go without a response.  I posted this blog’s address in the article’s comments section and got quite a few click-thrus, plus some of the highest traffic ever for this site.   Thanks to all who read and shared with others.

This morning I wrote the reporter who wrote the story and told her the following.  I thought you might like to see what I said:

Dear Ms. Mehlhaff,

I read your article on the merger of UBH and Mayhill hospitals with great interest. I have posted a comment to the article that shares a link to my blog, http://www.ubhdentonsucks.com If you have not already seen it, I hope you will review it.

I have talked to or had e-mail correspondence with probably 20 people in less than a year who all report one or more of the following things that I also experienced while a VOLUNTARY patient at UBH:

1. Overmedication
2. Lack of proper basic medical care.
3. “Cookie cutter treatment”: ie., diagnose everyone as bipolar and/or a substance abuser.
4. Poor security
5. Unclean quarters and food service areas
6. No outdoor recreation.
7. A tendency towards holding patients for commitment even if they signed themselves in voluntarily
8. Attending physicians spending little time with patients, and/or not reading their charts, and/or not paying attention to the patient’s requests and wishes.
9. Retention vs. discharge decisions based primarily on insurance coverage rather than the welfare of the patient.

I understand why you wrote the story that you did, but I really do believe there is a story to be told about what happens at UBH Denton that no reporter has been willing to touch. My Denton friends in psychology and psychiatry tell me that UBH is well-known in town for all the things I mentioned above, so they only use Mayhill when inpatient treatment is required. I have lawyer friends in town who have told me that “everyone in the legal system knows how bad it is at UBH….” Yet for whatever reason they are allowed to continue. UBH seems to be the dirty little secret that no one in Denton will acknowledge or discuss. My mission—my purpose in maintaining my blog and reaching out to people like yourself—is to make sure that the problem is finally acknowledged and dealt with.

The day I asked someone to drive me to the emergency room and then readily signed myself in to the hospital is probably the #1 day in my entire life that I wish I could have a complete “do-over” for. Neither I nor my close friends and family had any clue how I would be treated at the hospital, or how things would work while I stayed there.

I heard this week from a former student of mine (I was a professor at UNT for 17 years) that he fully intends to sue UBH because of something they did to a family member. When he asked to speak to the CEO, Susan Young, he had to wait 3 weeks to get the answer from them that she was “just too busy” to talk to him. This is pretty much the same reaction I got when I sent them my letter describing the horrid conditions I found during my stay.

All I am asking of you is to review all the posts and comments on my blog, and ask yourself how there can be so many people who come out of there feeling and saying the same things. I realize it’s easy to dismiss the comments of any one person who has been in a psychiatric hospital because they/we are, in most people’s eyes, at least a little bit “crazy.” But as many of us as there are who have shared our stories, I would think that someone who start to smell something really rotten at UBH.

My phone number is xxx-xxx-xxxx  if you want to visit further about this, or, you can write me back here.

Who am I….and what do I want?

Posted: January 5, 2011 in Who Am I?

I have a regular job, I own a home, I’m a good parent and a good friend to lots of people.  If you met me on the street I wouldn’t stand out as someone  who is particularly seeking attention or notoriety.  I’m an average gal, average size, average height, average looking, average age.

I led a pretty normal existence until I took Chantix.  It changed me in ways that made no sense to me or my family.   I wish we’d been properly warned about the possible side effects a lot sooner, but, we weren’t.  It is what it is.

But the FDA had a black box warning on the medication at least a month before I went to UBH Denton.  And that doctor (I use the term very loosely) had the nerve to tell me it couldn’t possibly be Chantix.   Everytime I think about his smug face talking to me like I was an idiot….  “YOu’re not participating in your treatment…”  “There are no studies to prove that Chantix causes this….”  “Yes, I’m sure you’re bipolar….”

I’m NOT bipolar, you arrogant little virus.  But your lawyer told me you “stand by your diagnosis” (even though you thought I was there for a failed suicide attempt… and that’s NOT why I was there!)

So …. good for you!  Nothing like making a problem worse by denying its existence, is there?  Dr. Khan, are YOU participating in the treatment that YOU need?  It would be good for your soul and your career if you apologized to me and to every other patient you’ve done this to, because I surely am not the first.  I just happened to be the first one who didn’t want to accept your diagnosis.  I walked out of that place so confused, and so absolutely baffled about my condition, that it was an utter relief to find out that you had me confused with another patient!  At least then there was a reason for the nonsense you put me through.

Now, when I went to see your  hospital‘s lawyer, it was under the assumption that we could arrange an apology.  And when he asked me what I wanted, I told him “An apology.”  He said, “That isn’t going to happen.”  So my next request was a settlement.  Hell, pay me something to feel a little better about what I went through.  Not only did he not return my calls, he kept just putting me off and would never say “Look lady, there’s not going to be anything done about this.”  He’d tell me I could expect to hear something in a couple of weeks, and then I didn’t.

So, you got sued.  I thought for sure you’d at least try to negotiate and discuss a reasonable outcome.  Nope.  Your lawyer just promised NOT to sue me for your legal fees.  And you guys knew you had more money than me, and you knew I’d have to back down.  SO, you won all rounds up until the point I built this blog.

But I’m okay with that.  I hope you are, too.  I mean, after all, you HAVE saved your pride.  You did get to preserve that “Never Admit You’re Anything but God Because you’re a Doctor” attitude.  Now that you’ve basked in your moment of glory… let me tell you what mine is.

Do you realize how many times a day someone searches online for UBH Denton, or Dr. Atique Khan, or Dr. Richard Kresch?  I just happen to know….an average of about 20 people do that every day and click through to my blog to read more about you.  I’ve had over 2,200 hits since I went live in September.  At least two of those people have contacted me to tell me they were mistreated by your hospital just as badly as I was.

Do you think this is doing any good for your hospital’s reputation?   When one Googles UBH Denton my site is the SECOND ONE in the Google Search results!   Does Dr. Kresch know about my blog?  Should I tell him?  Maybe I will.  Oh wait… he makes sure his e-mail address isn’t accessible on the www.ascendhealth.net site.  GO figure (I find it so hard to believe that he wouldn’t want to be available for people like me to share my experiences with him).

Sooner or later, someone is going to sue you in a way that sticks.  I really look forward to that day. Meanwhile, I’m going to feel good about what I’m doing, which is exposing your hospital for what it really is, and making sure that other people who get duped into signing themselves in to UBH Denton know they are not alone.

Hello everyone and Happy New Year!  I’m approaching my 3 year anniversary of this incident and although it’s one I’d rather not have experienced, I am quite pleased that I’ve managed to get the word out about this questionable hospital and its administration.  I was surprised to see that in just a few short months I’ve had about 2,000 visits to the site!  Wanted to share that good news with you (see below).

It was very hard to put this out there.  But having heard from people who went there and were treated as badly as I was, and realizing that they felt better knowing they weren’t alone in their experiences, made me feel like the effort and the pain of reliving it all a few more times might have been worthwhile.  I could not sit back and pretend that my experience was unique when I knew that it wasn’t.

SO, hope you find these stats interesting (especially YOU, Dr. Khan)….

The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Fresher than ever.

Crunchy numbers

A Boeing 747-400 passenger jet can hold 416 passengers. This blog was viewed about 2,000 times in 2010. That’s about 5 full 747s.

In 2010, there were 16 new posts, not bad for the first year! There were 4 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 114kb.

The busiest day of the year was October 29th with 116 views. The most popular post that day was It’s hard to believe, I know…..

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were chantixsucks.com, facebook.com, ubhdenton.blogspot.com, fairwarning.org, and en.wordpress.com.

Some visitors came searching, mostly for ubh denton, richard kresch, md, ubh in denton, ubh of denton, and ubh dr khan.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.

1

It’s hard to believe, I know…. September 2010

2

Post traumatic stress? Yep! September 2010
2 comments

3

The Letter I Sent Them September 2010
1 comment and 1 Like on WordPress.com,

4

Dr. Richard Kresch: The Mastermind of this Quack Shack September 2010
2 comments

5

Why Did I Agree to Go in the First Place? September 2010
6 comments

I have concluded that UBH Denton is a cruel joke.  But, what’s worse is that the hospital has been completely enabled in its cruelty by the laws of Texas.

As I understand it… if someone  in Texas THINKS they need some help with a mental health issue and then asks to go inpatient, voluntarily, they have the right once they are in to request release, and, they have the right to an answer to that request within four hours.  But my fellow inmates said “you’re not leaving” and I didn’t understand why.  And I soon learned that the answer to a request for discharge can be “no, we’re holding you for commitment.”

The sad part is … whether they ultimately go for the actual legal commitment of the person is irrelevant…they can hold you until a judge has time to hear the case.  And at any point in time, they can decide NOT to take it before the judge.  It  may take 24 to 48 hours… on a WEEKDAY, to even see a judge to tell him why you shouldn’t be allowed to leave.  <SENTENCES DELETED>

And, you better hope those 24 to 48 hours don’t start clocking late on a Wednesday…  the hospital then has like 48 or 72 hours to actually secure a commitment order from a judge.  Judges are not available on weekends, right?  So a patient who wants to go home can be “held for commitment” on Wednesday, then they can start the legal proceedings on Thursday… wait… the judge isn’t available?  Or wants time to review things?  Or there’s a holiday?  ZAP!  You’re there the entire weekend.

Ca-ching, ca-ching, ca-ching goes the hospital’s cash register.

Remember, insurance is paying for this, so 99% of people are going to not question any part of this decision.   And, most people who sign themselves into these places think they belong there.  And then there’s that 1%, like me, who think this sucks and want it challenged.

SO, here’s my conclusion…. wait, I hear my lawyer… he says… oh yes, I must say this….AND THIS IS JUST MY PERSONAL OPINION….<SENTENCES DELETED>  And, if they sue you, the charges will never hold up in court and they can’t collect on the bill.  I saw them do that to a women who was brought ininvoluntarily the same night I walked in on my own two feet.  She got to leave.  I didn’t.

A former nurse from their facility has told me that when they hold daily staff meetings, the discussion emphasizes the patient’s insurance benefits.   I really don’t understand why Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Texas keeps putting up with this.  They are the ones who paid for the stay.  They should be furious, but so should the taxpayers of Texas who paid for my benefits when I was a state employee.

I have NO idea what other insurance abuses occur in the Texas mental health system, in general, whether at UBH Denton or elsewhere, but what I do know is that the system in that state is seriously flawed and it errs completely against the patient in favor of the for-profit hospitals.

P.S.  UBH DENTON SUCKS!!!!!

“There are no studies to prove that [Chantix causes these kinds of episodes]” he said to me as he crammed the “bipolar” diagnosis down my throat.

Read this, you pompous jerk:

http://www.fairwarning.org/2010/12/chantix/

Nah, couldn’t have been Chantix, even though there were also no legitimately-conducted studies to prove that it was SAFE.

…I figure most any day now I’m going to get a letter from either Khan’s lawyer, or the hospital’s, telling me I have to take this site down.  I’m sure they don’t like it that I’m putting the truth out there for everyone to see.  But how do you come back from what is otherwise a traumatic event and make sense of it?  Some people I guess just block it out, and I wish i could.  But I had to do something to make sense of it…. I had to do what I could to make sure the next person who dealt with this joke of a hospital didn’t feel as alone as I did when I got out of there.  I’ve heard from entirely too many people who feel that their loved ones were signed into this hospital wrongly, or, who got held there longer than they should have, to at this point give up on sharing the information that I have.

Anyway, I’m gonna’ toss this one out there, in case they find some legal loophole to shut me down….

I don’t know if you can understand how it feels to be held against your will, have your family told that you have a drug problem you don’t have, and be misdiagnosed as bipolar… but trust me, it screws with your head.  I used to lie awake at night after I got out of the hospital, remembering the sheer terror of thinking I could NEVER leave.   Have you ever been somewhere like that, being told you’re suddenly bipolar after 39 years of NOT being bipolar?  You have two major fears… one is that you are, and you’ll always have major problems to deal with.  The other is that you’re not, and no one will believe you.  Neither is particularly fun to deal with.

Being there was… well, it’d be different if I’d tried to hurt myself, or someone else, and been put there against my own wishes, but I WALKED IN on MY OWN TWO FEET. Signed myself in.  So they were saying I was sane enough to sign in, but not sign out?  It was the most illogical situation I’d ever been in.  Ever.  And I had my friends and  family hearing things about me that weren’t true.  Do you know how people look at you when you walk out of a place like that?

I guess maybe if you’re a psychiatrist, it’s no big deal to be “inpatient” for 6 days and confused with another patient.  But, for the rest of us…. it screws up your medical history, it makes you uninsurable and it generally marks you much like one big ass scarlet letter (not sure which letter it is… maybe “P” for “Psycho” or perhaps “N” for nut case?  Or possibly just “D” for “Defective.”)

I’m not suggesting that people who go into hospitals have anything to be ashamed of.  I just know that people look at me a little sideways when I tell them I walked in on my own but couldn’t walk the hell out.  It’s kind of hard to believe.

I don’t think I’d feel bad at all about going in there if I’d gotten a simple clean bill of health along the way.  If they’d have said, “Okay, you’re stable now, it was the Chantix… now you need to go get plenty of rest, etc., and then you’ll be okay.”  Nope… they “stand by” their diagnosis of me as bipolar.  I also don’t think I’d feel bad if I’d gotten an apology.  I’d have signed a confidentiality agreement, and whatever it took, to just simply hear “I’m sorry.”   I’ve served as an expert witness before in contract law cases, so I understand the need for confidentiality and all that.  I’d have played along.

Well I’ve got news for those people who “stand by” their diagnosis.  I have not had ONE “episode” like the one that caused me to ASK to be taken to the emergency room since that date.  Ever.  Never before, never since.   The Chantix did some damage, so did your quackery.  But I’ve seen two VERY reputable doctors who have cleared me of any “bipolar” diagnosis so just kiss my fat ass over that one because YOU WERE WRONG and you KNOW YOU WERE WRONG.  It’s just that your lawyer in Texas (the WORST place to have a malpractice case, ever) told you to deny, deny deny and so far, you’ve gotten away with doing so.

But maybe I’m just slightly more tenacious than you are?

BINGO!   I’m not going away anytime soon.   These are FACTS and I have every right to post them.  These are real events from my medical record and I realize they embarrass you, but you only have yourself to thank because YOU CREATED THEM.

Yes, YOU made this website happen.   I’m sure it doesn’t seem fair that.  But damn if I don’t know THAT feeling, too.

Reflections

Posted: November 29, 2010 in After the Dust Settled, Who Am I?

I have a friend who lives in a trailer, in a flood prone area. When the rains come and the water rises… do you know what critters come to the surface? Snakes. From her trailer porch she can see the snakes swimming to save their own lives.

When I know that’s happening, I go get her and her five kids and bring her to safety. But I can’t always be there. So sometimes she has to live with the realization that snakes might just come inside her house.

You might wonder, “What does this have to do with UBH Denton?” I’ll tell you what …. it’s a trapped feeling that most people never ever have to feel or experience. I know she feels it when the waters surround her house, and she sees the snakes swimming past her.

Have YOU ever been locked up against your will? Even though you hadn’t DONE anything WRONG, or otherwise deserved to be there? If you haven’t, you don’t know how it feels. And if you have, you know that it does something to you.

There’s a calm that comes over you that forces you to accept the circumstances you have. You have to mentally “check out” from reality on that one is all I’m saying. The time I sat in that place, wondering if I’d EVER get out, I had to just completely dissociate myself from reality. I was fairly sane before I took the damned Chantix, at least by medical standards. But I can see how being in one of these hospitals could certainly make a person lose touch with reality.

I kept thinking of making a run for it, but I knew I’d never get over the wall or the fence before the mental health techs tackled me.

Hell, the reason I went to rescue my friend is I didn’t want her to live with the possibility of snakes in her house.  But, I can honestly say that having been in UBH Denton, I’d much rather live in a flooding trailer.  At least I’d know if I just wanted out, I could go.

I used to think the worst thing that could happen to me was a flood or a snake infestation.  But, what kinds of snakes live in flood plains?  Garden snakes.  And who really gives a shit?  They’re creepy, but harmless.   On the other hand… the UBH Denton staff is, in my opinion, creepy and harmFUL.

UBH Denton did one thing to make me a better person, and that was to realize I could survive anything and be okay.    I guess I should thank them for toughening me up?   Thanks, assholes.

I had a bad reaction to Chantix.  I knew that was the problem.  So I asked to be taken to the E.R.  I had heard all the news stories of people killing themselves and hurting themselves after taking it.  I was entirely too committed to living and remaining a productive member of society to want to take that chance.

All I can say is, “Don’t ever go to Presbyterian Hospital in Denton and tell them you need help.”  Cuz they don’t give a shit.  And, once I threw a big enough fit that they took me back in there, they held me alone, and did not let me consult my boyfriend or my family doctor.  They just left me in there alone, for literally HOURS. They ran cat scans to rule out a brain tumor, etc.  They never gave me those reports… I had to ask for them.

Then the intake counselor for UBH Denton, “Ingrid,” came in and talked with me. She said I’d had some kind of episode… and with the help of a very competent physician who came along later, we figured out that it was sleep deprivation, plain and simple. IF someone had just knocked me out to sleep for about 24 hours, I’d have been fine.

Put it this way, I’ve never had such an episode since. EVER. Had never had one before, either. But it was classic symptoms of sleep deprivation.

They told me I needed to go inpatient. I was scared shitless! Of course I needed something, but I wasn’t even seen by a doctor. It was all physicians’ assistants and nurses. And this “intake counselor.”

Later on, after I got out, I saw how she evaluated me. She wrote up that I smelled. I SMELLED???? HELLO…. I took a shower that morning. My boyfriend will tell you I did not SMELL. They wrote me up to look as disheveled and undone as they could.

I was assured, again, that I was going in “voluntarily.” And as soon as the doors closed behind me, I felt a real knot grow in my stomach. Like maybe I wasn’t there on my own. And I found out three days later that I wasn’t.

The scary thing is that when I told the other patients I was leaving, they all told me, “No, you’re not.” I said “Yes I am. I came in here on my own.” They told me if I had good health insurance, the doctor would file an order of commitment against me. And sure enough, when I filled out the paperwork to leave, the nurse looked at me and said, “He’s going to commit you.” I said “Huh? But I didn’t DO anything! I didn’t try to hurt myself or anyone else. I just had some kind of episode. Why?” They just told me he would.

And sure enough, that’s what the guy did.