Sunday, April 19, 2015

Casting Out Evil Spirits

     I was pumped to come on strong to Paulette. She was not used to residents putting her on the spot with inconsistencies in her actions. It was probably fortunate she had left work early that day. It gave me a chance to simmer down. In fact, once I settled in, alone in my dead end room, my excitement were off. It was replaced by the run down feeling of illness I had been suffering all weekend. I slept off and on—mostly on—all afternoon and night. I vaguely remember eating and the night supervisor scolding my third shift sitter. Apparently, she had slid her chair from the hallway into my room at some point. Such was unacceptable at this point.
     I awoke the next morning to a sore throat. It hurt hurt so badly, I opted to drink some cough syrup. My suffering has to be major before I will take medication of any kind. Of course, now I was on antidepressants, so that bridge was a smoldering pile of ashes. The cough syrup tasted awful, but it was the good, high alcohol content type. I had only been up for a half hour or so, but I already enjoyed a wonderfully sleepy buzz. As with any good feelings I enjoyed at the time, it was fleeting. My sitter, Ticia again, had to attend a CNA meeting after breakfast, so I had to sit at the West wing nurses' desk for a while instead of sleep. I had not been sitting there long before Paulette showed up. I stood up so she could see me over the high desk well.
     “Paulette!” I said. She turned and smiled at me, apparently happy I was willing t initiate contact. “I need to task you about something Dr. Hiatt said.”
     “Okay. Come to my office,” she said.
     “Now?”
     “Yeah. Now's all right.”
     I did not worry about my sitter. Someone would tell her I had gone totting off behind Paulette. I followed behind her at a fairly large distance down two hallways towards her office. I kept my distance on purpose to avoid talking to her until we got behind closed doors. When we did, I plopped down in the chair in front of her desk. She barely settled in before asking me how I was.
     “I have cold. I have taken some cough syrup. I have a little buzz going. Now George Harrison songs make sense.'”
     “What?' she asked with a nervous laugh.
     It was time to suppress my sense of humor. 'Never mind. I need to ask you about something Dr. Hiatt told me.”
     “Okay.” She was growing noticeably apprehensive. She had probably figured out I was going to throw something at her she did not want to hear. Sometimes she could be astute. Not often, but sometimes.
     “He said he did not want me committed. He said it was Oakhaven's idea. Why would he say that?”
     “I...I don't know, Jamie.” Yes, she was nervous.
     “He said he wanted to increase the frequency of my therapy sessions instead. So who recommended I be committed?”
     “It was a holistic decision. A group effort.”
     “Okay. Who was in this group?”
     “Everybody.”
     “Dr. Hiatt said he was not included. Why would he say that?”
     “I don't know.”
    “Everybody?” I returned to her previous answer. “The dietician had input? Give me some names.”
     “If you want to know who is engaged in the process of finding placement, I am. I filled out the paperwork.”
     “Who. Made. The. Decision?”
    I drew out slowly. I wanted her to admit it was Brock, but she was too intimidated by Brock to do so. She knew I would confront Brock, and such an encounter would land her in hot water for pointing fingers.
     “it was a holistic decision,' she began, circling her hand in the air to signify all encompassing. Suddenly, she cut her thought off complete and yelled at me even more forcefully than she has the last time we were in her office. “why are we wasting time on this? You're suicidal!”
     I sat in silence for a beat. There would have been no pointin arguing my cooperation with everything thus far was evidence I was not an imminent suicide threat. I opted to just keep cool. Paulette had just lost her temper, motivated by the urge to protect herself. When someone's actions are governed by high emotion, it is best to back off. Nothing productive of any further talking.
     “Shall I leave, then/' I asked calmly.
     "You might as well,” she told me.
     I promptly got up, opened the door, and left. She did not follow me this time like she did the last. She did not want to risk I might say anything else, I imagine. Tcia was out of her meeting and across the hall waiting for me. Someone had told her where I was. Good. I did not want any awkward moments of no sitter shadowing me. Who knows what issues that circumstance might raise.
     “You all right?' Ticia asked.
     “Yes.”
     “Did something happen?”
     “Nothing important.”
    Something important actually had happen. There was a spark revived inside me. I had been feeling despondent ever since October 2012 when the diverticula burst. My despair turned to suicidal thought when I was abandoned to rot away at Oakhaven. I had felt as though I was being treated like crap even though my treatment was being adamantly justified by all parties. But now, I had made someone blink. It was over a simple matter. Just a pointless lie to avoid tension with the boss. But it was enough to confirm I was on the side of angels. I have a battle to fight. My old personality, one that had lain dormant since before my retina detached a decade prior, was best suited to fight. The old Jamie began stirring within.

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