Saturday, May 9, 2015

Forces Pulling From the Center of the Earth

      The ironic part is I had been convinced to drop the issue.
      Oh, I was still incensed. Brock had lied to my face and then copped her usual arrogant, patronizing attitude. I knew federal law was on my side, too. I wooed win this battle if I fought it, but it would likely have been a Pyrrhic victory. I was convinced of this after I ran into Ellen on my way to retrieve the ombudsman's phone number from the list of Phone Numbers Every Resident Should Know posted n the wall just around the corner from the East Wing nurses'' desk.
       I liked to bounce thoughts off Ellen. She was in the unique position of being an insider to management while not being directly employed by Oakhaven. (As head of the therapy department, she was employed by a staffing company that provided physical and occupational therapists to facilities.) She was also a blunt yankee from Michigan who was quick to speak the truth even if you did not want to hear it. Her sort of straightforward honesty was a nearly nonexistent element in the conducting of Oakhaven affairs. I explained everything to her, right down to Brock storming out. For what it is worth, Ellen offered an explanation for Brock's behavior.
       “Brock is rarely challenged. She usually isn't prepared for it. You're probably right, you caught her off guard, and she didn't know how to deal with it.”
       “I will bet she hates seeing me coming, huh?” I said.
       “She does. She never knows what you're going to throw at her.”
     “She doesn't like it, I assume,” I said as more a statement than question. I already knew the answer was yes.
“You scare her. She thinks you will hold her accountable for anything and everything.”
        “She knows I don't like her, too, doesn't she?” I asked, knowing full well the answer was an even more definite yes than my previous question.
        "Yeah, she knows,' Ellen assured me.
       Ellen suggested I call the ombudsman on my own to run the question of visitation by her. It was late Friday afternoon by this point, so I could not call until Monday regardless. I would have the weekend to mull the matter over. I did not need all weekend, however. After saying goodbye to Ellen, I went back to my room for the evening. It did not take too long before I reached the conclusion this battle was not worth fighting even if I was likely to win it. I sent Ellen a Facebook pm informing of my decision to drop the issue and just vent about it to Dr. Hiatt on Tuesday. I thanked he for listening. She messaged me back late I had made a mature decision, and said I could talk about any issues on my mind with her anytime I needed.
       If only dropping the issue had been that easy. A slow weekend means much time to think. What else was there to think about besides Friday's festivities? Considering my rate rate and blood pressure soared during said festivities and thinking about them constantly never gave me a chance to calm down, the physiological toll was obvious to the weekend staff. By the time Monday rolled around, everyone knew Courtney had been tossed out, somehow I was part of the aftermath, and mt involvement had a seriously detrimental effect on me.
      Ellen looked me up Monday. She told me she had dropped by corporate to get their view on the incident. Corporate was blind sidted by the news Courtney was visiting me when she had been told to leave. As far as they knew, I was only inquiring as to possible future visits. The confusion has lead to a couple questions. One, did Brock know Courtney was my visitor at the time? I assume she did, and just did not tell corporate. Considering her willingness to lie about the official policy in order to force me to leave the facility in order to have Courtney visit, Brock already showed her inclination to lie to produce an outcome convenient for her. Two, was corporate now afraid I might hold them accountable for kicking Courtney out? Forcing out a resident's invited guest would be a serious matter. Perhaps one they could be fined over. As I had reported them to DHEC over Caligula, corporate my suspect I would report them gain. I was not even thinking about punishing them. I just wanted future visits uninhibited. But there was simply no way to reliably answer those two questions at the time. Or now, for that matter.
       It should come as no surprise none of the players from Friday approached me on Monday. Not even Paulette. One would think the social worker would want to follow up after such a serious incident between the executive director and a resident, but it did not happen. The rest of management had gone into full cover for Brock mode at this point. My first encounter with Paulette was by happenstance Tuesday morning. I was literally on my way out the door for an appointment with Dr. Hiatt when Ticia, my first shift CNA, caught up with me. She needed to take my vital signs. She took them near the East Wing nurses' desk. Paulette happened to be walking by on the way to her office when she noticed the results. I do not recall my blood pressure—it was high—but I remember my pulse was 110 bpm.
      "Has it been that high all weekend?” Paulette asked.
       I nodded. “And higher.”
       She called me into her office. I protested. I was far more interested in and in far more need of talking to Dr. Hiatt, but she insisted it would only take a minute. She asked if I was still upset about Friday. I told he I was, adding the bad personal treatment I was receiving apart from the healthcare was damaging my general health. Not for the first time, either. While my ulcer had stopped bleeding, it still required medication to prevent flare ups. She agreed things were going badly, and told me she would see what she could do.
     What she could do was help Brock try to screw me over.
     Brock instructed Paulette to contact Dr. Hiatt and request a meeting to discuss alleged renewed suicidal idealizations for possible involuntary commitment to a mental institution. For those keeping sore at home, this is the second time she tried to have me committed. Paulette allegedly protested, assuring Brock this was not the help I needed. But she still made the call to Dr. Hiatt. Dr. Hiatt was well aware of management's role in making life in Oakhaven miserable, as well as their dishonesty in claiming I had been his idea to try committing me to a mental institution a the first time Brock got the notion. He refused to violate my confidentiality discussing our sessions, but assured her I had no inclinations towards suicide. So Brock came up empty.
       There is some dispute as to which day Paulette’s conversation with Dr. Hiatt occurred. It was either Monday, December 22nd 2014 or Tuesday the 23rd. The evidence pointing to Monday is Paulette's crying in her office after my altercation with Brock while telling me to :take care of myself.” I got the impression brack had expressed desire to get rid of me after I left her office so she could call corporate, bet Paulette would not say anything. If the call was made on Monday, it was pure reprisal on Brock’s part. However, Dr. hiatt did not reveal this phone call took place until our January 6th session. The timing of the revelation makes it more likely the call took place on Tuesday after my counseling session. Not that the Tuesday timing precludes the likelihood of reprisal. Brock was attempting to violate doctor/patient privilege to manufacture suicidal idealizations in or to get me out of Oakhaven. I will never know for certain. Once state regulatory agencies go involve in my case, everyone clammed up over their actions. They could not, however, control Dr. Hiatt, and for that, I am grateful.
       Regardless of which day the phone call occurred, Paulette came to my room Tuesday afternoon. I would like to describe her manner much better than I am about to do, especially because I had seen it a number of times in the past under similar circumstance, but she was overly friendly. When she has been this way in the past, it is because she was in a combination of guilt and relief. Every time I had sen her like this in the past, it was because Brock made her do something potentially damaging to me, but failed. Yes, this had happened before. I would not know about the call to Dr. Hiatt for two weeks. I had no clue how seriously Brock had it out for me, so I never pushed Paulette to explain why she was acting strangely. It was just as well. History say she would have lied to hide her involvement and cover for Brock.
       What Paulette did reveal is Brock asked her to contact the ombudsman, Michelle, for mediation, as I had originally requested. Do note Brock's first inclination was to toss me in a mental institution instead. Michelle suggested I write a letter to Brock explaining what I would like to have her do regarding Courtney's visitation. My brow knit over the idea.
        “Write a letter? Is she serious?' I asked.
      “That's what she said.” Paulette laughed awkwardly. She knew writing a letter was a strange suggestion, too.
       “It's just an odd thing to suggest for a nursing home resident. Most of them couldn't write a grocery list if their lives depended on it.”
       It may sound mean I said that, but I suspected Michelle was not giving me much credit for brains. Maybe she thought I would either struggle with composing a letter and give up, or I would write some semi-literate crap, complete with backward R's and I's dotted with smiley faces, in crayon on a napkin. Everyone would have a good laugh as the matter disappeared int oblivion.
       “I agree,” Paulette said, laughing awkwardly. “But that's what she said.”
      “I have to write a letter because...why? Brock won't speak to me personally? She isn't going to pay a letter any attention. She probably wouldn't even read it. You know full well what she thinks of me...how she treated me at that meeting last summer.” I said. Paulette knew exactly what I was talking about.
      “Do you want to see if Sonya will meet with you and me to talk about it?” she asked.
     It was a tempting prospect. At the time, I had friendly relationship with Sonya. We spoke to each other every time she visited Oakhaven. We exchanged movie recommendations. There was still a standing lunch offer between us. She would help resolve the matter in accordance with federal law. But I declined. The thought of writing a letter suddenly warmed up to me. I thought it would b therapeutic, actually, and told Paulette I would write it for myself with little desire to do anything other than purge some bad feelings by banging away on a keyboard. But plans have a way of evolving during execution.

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