Ok. Since it appears that A LOT of people read or liked the first part, I have decided to post another small part, continuing on from where the last section left off.
To answer the question that everyone seems to have though, YES. This is my real story. THIS REALLY is my story and what went through my mind and what happened. THIS is how I finally got my diagnosis of bipolar disorder and was able to start sorting my life out and getting myself together again.
So, HERE YA GO!!!!…… ENJOY!!!!
I sat in the chair twiddling my thumbs. Yes, I really was twiddling my thumbs. There was nothing else for me to do since they had stripped me of my purse, and even my clothing, while I sat in my hospital gown and waited for an exam room to open up in the ER (I refused to let them cut out the drawstrings on my BCBG track suit so my only other option was the pretty blue hospital issued garb. Hey, those tracksuits are expensive!). I don’t know how long I was kept in that room, but it felt like an eternity. After I was convinced that I had spent about 5 hours in that room (reality said about 1 hour), the security guard they had stationed outside the door to watch me and make sure I didn’t somehow magically make something appear that I could hurt myself with, led my boyfriend into the room. While I did leave him the message and HOPE he would come, I truly never expected him to.
Neither one of us knew what to say, so we sat in silence for several minutes. Since I hate awkward silence and have a knack for talking people’s ears off, I made a meager attempt at conversation.
“So, you got my message. Thanks for coming,” I mumbled quietly at the floor. I couldn’t really look at him for several reasons. First, I was slightly embarrassed for actually coming to the hospital. After sitting in that room for awhile by myself with nothing but my own thoughts, I had started to convince myself that I was totally fine and all of those thoughts about dying and my sitting on the railing of the balcony was just a momentary lapse in judgment. Going to the hospital was so ridiculous, I couldn’t believe he arrived and was looking so calm. Second, I was embarrassed because I couldn’t remember what we had been arguing about the night before. I figured I had done something or said something that was intended to make him feel badly for either something he said or did or possibly didn’t do. I was assuming that I owed him an apology but I had no idea what I was supposed to be apologizing for. Lastly, I was waiting for him to lay into me for doing something as ridiculous as going to the hospital and making him come down here to get me and waste his day because they surely were going to release me and declare that there was nothing wrong with me except for being some crazy, attention seeking girl.
BUT, he did not yell or get upset with me. He didn’t even get a chance to say anything at all because a nurse walked in and said they were moving me to an exam room within the ER. Mr. Security Guard, my boyfriend, and I followed the nurse through the two big, swinging, motion activated doors and that was the last time I would see freedom for the next 2 weeks.
The nurse led my boyfriend and I into a room and the security guard stayed outside. I was a bit confused because this room looked quite a lot different than any other ER exam room I had been in. For starters, it was practically bare. The bright white walls were undecorated and there was no medical machinery anywhere. There was a stainless steel table that was sottered into the wall in one corner and diagonally across from the table, there was a bed that was bolted into the ground. Right above the door and in the corner of the room was a video camera. I went and sat on the bed, and as I did, the door closed and the nurse walked out of the room through another door which was directly below the camera. She came back in, gave me a glass of water and a few pills and instructed me to take them while we waited for the doctor to come and talk to me. While my boyfriend tried to crack a few jokes to make me feel better, and searched the room for some sort of escape, he found a paper clip on the floor. He began fumbling with that while I began to get somewhat woozy and laid down on the bed.
The next thing I remember is a nurse coming in the room, my boyfriend showing them the paper clip that had been left on the floor and informing them of how dangerous it could have been had he not found it (always got your eyes out for a lawsuit after you have been in the legal field!), and a wheelchair was wheeled into the room.
“Wait! Wait! Where am I going? What’s happening? What’s going on? Am I being discharged? Can I go home now? Is this mistake over? I really don’t think I’m going to hurt myself anymore!! I’m cured!!! CURED!!!!” Those thoughts raced through my mind as the nurse began speaking softly to my boyfriend.
“…taking her……..other building………evaluation………” was all I could hear. Why were they talking so softly???? My boyfriend told me to hop in the wheelchair because it was time to go for a ride. I had tears in my eyes because I didn’t know what was going on and I was so confused but was too afraid to ask any questions; partly because I think I was too afraid to hear the answers.
The nurse wheeled me through the ER department and used an ID badge to open a locked set of huge swinging doors. My boyfriend kept assuring me that everything was going to be alright. That was actually kind of weird that he was being OVERLY consoling. Why was he being like that? Something weird had to be going on. After being pushed down several hallways, through several sets of locked swinging doors, and after what felt like 5 miles of hallways, we began to go through a raised pedway with windows on either side showing the city of Chicago and its high rises and hospital personnel pedestrians on the sidewalks below. At the end of the pedway, the nurse turned to my boyfriend and said, “I’m sorry sir. This is where you have to say goodbye. You can come back about 5 pm for visiting hours. We should have her intake done and have her settled in a room by then.”
WHAT!!!!! He can’t come with me??!!! I AM GOING WHEREEVER THAT IS BEHIND THAT DOOR ALONE????!!! NO WAY!!! NUH UH!!!! I started crying. I started begging them to let me just walk out with my boyfriend (they denied that request because I had apparently at some point signed a form voluntarily admitting myself to the psychiatric ward). I grabbed onto his arm and begged him to not go and to do something. There had to be something he could do. He was an attorney. He should know of some sort of patients rights thing or something right? WRONG. Nothing he could do.
He promised to be back at 5pm, which was only 2 hours from now. He said he was going to go home and pack me a bag, arrange for my car to be brought home, and would be back in no time. He gave me a hug and kissed me on the top of my head, and there he left me.
The nurse swiped her badge and pushed the wheelchair through one set of doors. Once the doors locked behind her, I got up from the wheelchair and she swiped her badge to unlock the second set of doors. I looked down at the ground and watched my feet as I walked through the doorway and the doors quickly snapped shut and locked behind me. I stood in my socks and pretty blue and white hospital gown, legs slightly shaking, hands trembling, as tears flowed down my face and dripped onto the tile floor.
I slowly raised my head up to see where it was that I had been taken to and was being held captive. I looked up and quickly scanned the room. My eyes opened in horror and my legs began to get weak.
“NO!!!! NO!!!! THIS IS A MISTAKE!!!! NO!!!!!” I yelled at the top of my lungs as the nurse helped me into a chair by the door so I didn’t fall on the ground. “NOOOO!!!!! I DON’T BELONG HERE!!!! NO!!!!!!!!!”