Monday, April 6, 2009

SUNDAY, JANUARY 18, 2009

(part 105) CIGARETTE AND THE PSYCH WARD


I was placed in the psychiatric ward of UCLA following the cigarette episode. After being shot up with a ton of valium I was not much trouble to anyone for a while. You would have thought that the shot they gave me was far more likely to do me in than a single cigarette, but that's what they did and neither one of those things killed me. After being put into the psych ward the battle of the cigarette raged on. I told the doctor that none of this would have happened if they'd just have let me have a cigarette, which was true. On the other hand, we had the hospital rules, regulations and medical opinions and a Mexican Standoff that was going nowhere.

The hospital continued to hold its ground on the issue while I maintained that the whole thing was dumb and could have been avoided. My position I felt, was somewhat bolstered by the fact that the cigarette hadn't had any adverse effect on me but the drama resulting from it got me locked up and filled with more drugs.

As the sedative effects of the shot wore off over the next few hours I decided that being locked up in the nut ward at UCLA was no longer acceptable to me, in light of why it had happened. I asked to speak to the doctor and told him I didn't think I deserved to be there any longer and asked him to let me out which he refused to do.

I went on to tell him that the hospital's position was the cause of me being there and that the cigarette hadn't hurt me, so why were they continuing to hold me in the nut ward when it was obvious that they'd been wrong and had made too big of a deal about it. The doctor was in no way going to admit any mistakes on their part which continued to frustrate me.

I felt at the time, like I was in jail for wanting a cigarette but the hospital felt like I needed to stay in the psych ward for continued observation. The doctor went on to say that, after this particular episode and my behavior, the staff didn't feel comfortable with me being in the hospital unless I was in the psych ward.

"Then discharge me," I said. The doctor looked at me saying, "I don't think I can do that, Mr. Jameson. You need to be in the hospital and where you are currently is the best place for you to be." "Well I don't wanna be here anymore, so let me out." I said, "I want out."

The doctor watched me carefully at this point to see how agitated I was going to become. Knowing this, I did not allow myself to escalate my demand too far for fear of having someone run up and give me another shot. I was emphatic but not overly aggressive. I repeated myself saying, "I want out of this hospital."

The doctor finally said, "If you're dead set on leaving, Mr. Jameson, then it will be against medical advice, because the hospital's position is that you need attention, which we are prepared to offer you. "I don't want any more attention from this place," I said, "I wanna leave." Looking very frustrated the doctor said, "You'll have to sign and AMA before I can legally release you." "What's an AMA?" I asked. "It's a form that says you are leaving the hospital against the medical advice of the staff on duty. You have to sign it before I can let you go, because of the hospital's liability should anything happen to you." "OK," I said, "I'll sign it."

With that, I was given my clothes and escorted out of the psychiatric facility and wished good luck. I have no recollection at all as to where I went or what I did then, after signing myself out of UCLA. I would imagine that I went to the closest place I could find and got a drink. My mother had probably gone to a motel to get some sleep, being unaware of any of this, and by the time she got back to the hospital I was gone. I can only now imagine how she must have felt.

1 comment:

  1. I got my first electronic cigarette kit off of VaporFi, and I enjoy it a lot.

    ReplyDelete