Let me start this off by letting those of you that don't know that in Oregon the state health program (medicaid) has been closed to new applicants for over 3 years due to lack of funding. Community programs can not keep up with the local needs due to the lack of state support.
The Friday before school started I was told to go see the West Side Clinic to try and get some medical attention for the infections that I've been dealing with (ear/sinus/chest) for weeks. While I told the Office on Aging and Disability that they were not accepting new patients, I was assured that the were and I needed to go. Reluctantly I wandered over to the West Side Clinic, the security person didn't even let me finish saying why I was there before she misdirected me and then got mad when I came back and tried again to explain where I was trying to go. I was frazzled by the time I got upstairs to the clinic only to be told that they were in fact not accepting new paitients. I was given the same list of community clinics that every other place has given me of other places that aren't accepting new paitents.
Distraught the last thing I really remember clearly is leaving the building crying and I started to just walk in random directions before I sat down just sobbing. Apparently I must have wandered some more, crying, and was found by the police and could not tell them who I was or where I lived. I was also walking near the light rail tracks. They were able to contact Maria from the information on my bracelet and in my wallet. Though there was a struggle about going home and I was deposited at home in hand cuffs.
I'm still a bit foggy about what happened next, but apparently I left the apartment very upset about the fact that everyone keeps saying no about helping. And sent several messages to Maria threatening to walk in front of a street car or jump off a bridge. Shortly after that I was pulled off the Market St. bridge while trying to jump into traffic on I-405. According to the police report I was on the other side of the guard rail when someone pulled me back and called the police. There was a lot of struggling and the police listed me as very combative.
The next thing I clearly remember is being in a holding room at the hospital. This is where things go downhill even more. I guess my glasses had been knocked off during the struggle and misplaced. So, communication was not happening, between not being able to hear well and not being able to read anything they wrote. Maria said it took them a while to find my glasses and then get an interpreter.
The holding area became the area from hell. It was about an 8'x8' room with nothing but a thin foam matress and very thin blanket. The door was locked and I had to pound on it to get any attention. I had to beg to get to go to the bathroom. When I refused to go to the bathroom in a bed pan and threatened to simply go on floor the let me use the normal bathroom, but they had 3 rather large security guards escort me. Two of the security guards grabbed one arm each while the other was behind me. I asked them to please not touch me and tried to pull my arms away, they twisted my arms/wrists behind my back and one grabbed my upper arm so hard he left huge bruises that are still there. The returned me to my holding room with my arms twisted behind my back so far I was bent forward nearly to my knees. My eyes were closed and I focused simply on putting one foot in front of the other. Then they literally threw me into my room, where I tumbled head over tail into the room.
I demanded to speak to the police and file an assult charge after this happened, but they ignored my pleas. The one nurse at first assured me that the police were on their way, but it became obvious she was lying and no one would even answer the door when I knocked.
I was told it was taking a long time to find an open psych bed to place me in. After approximately 20 hours I was unable to bear waiting and being ignored any more. The room was full of medical waste and dirt (bandages from when they had taken blood and the dirt/leaves that were on my sweatshirt and in my hair), it was filthy. I had not been fed or given any of my medications. The only medication I was given was Ativan in attempts to keep me calm. They did at one point try to give me Geodon, but I managed to stop that by telling that it caused an adverse reaction, which is the truth (it puts me into a wicked rapid cycle from hell). Things got so bad that I requested a shot of Haldol so that I could sleep until they found me a room.
After more than 24 hours they found an open bed at Rogue Valley Medical Center in Medford, OR. Now for those of you not familiar with the layout of Oregon (I wasn't really at the time). Portland is pretty much at the top of the state, near WA and Medford is pretty much at the bottom of the state near CA. They sent me 250 miles away, claiming it was the closest open psych bed. If this is the reality the state of psych care in Oregon is a sad state.
The hospital in Rogue Valley was much better. I slept most of the way there, Haldol has that effect (they gave me more before I left). The doctor at the 2nd hospital said they knew the minute I got there that I didn't belong there and were suprised by the report they got from OHSU. I was put in the secure room for the night, but was let out in the morning. Sunday they were ready to release me, but this actually led to some complications. How the hell was going to get back to Portland.
The county was only willing to buy a bus ticket to get me back and that was a 7 hour bus ride. And anyone who knows anything about me knows that 7 hours on a bus alone is not safe. And they didn't get it set up before the last bus left Sunday so it would have had to wait until Monday. I was crushed since I wanted to really attend the first day of classes (I later found out if I had missed the first day of classes it would have been an automatic drop!). I pushed to try and find another way back to Portland. In the end the one doctor actually bought me a plane ticket with his own money and said he would argue with the county to get re-imbursed. Maria met me at the airport and helped me get back home.
It was a very long weekend. I know I described a lot, but there is a lot missing or comes from other people's descriptions or reports.