For seventeen days, I have been subjected to a level of seclusion at Crouse Hospital that the NYS Office of Mental Health would not permit for more than two hours.
Today I heard from Brenda, a nursing supervisor, that I am being kept in an isolation room because of my blog. Is this true? And if so, who made the decision?
Then the nurse practitioner told me it was because of an unnamed and unknown incident with another roommate. Is this true? And if so, who made the decision?
And why hasn’t anyone had the balls to go face-to-face with me and talk about it?
I have been in isolation for six weeks. I cannot see into the hallway to observe any other human beings. My window is entirely filled with the brick face of the POB. There is nothing on television except re-runs of re-runs of things I didn’t want to watch in the first place. My eyesight has deteriorated so badly that I can’t read for more than fifteen minutes. There is nothing to see, hear or do.
For weeks I have been asking and asking and asking for a room change and the nurse manager has refused to even make a commitment (e.g., “When room 5015 [or whatever] becomes vacant again, we’ll move you.”) Is it because Crouse has no intention of letting me leave this room? Why haven’t they talked to me? When I call, why don’t they answer?
What is being done to me defies NYS Office of Mental Health policy:
“Restraint and seclusion of patients are last-resort safety measures to prevent injury . . . Seclusion occurs when a person is placed alone in a room which he or she cannot leave at will.”
The batteries went dead on my power wheelchair SEVENTEEN DAYS AGO. For seventeen days, I have been restricted to a bed in an isolation room.
“You can be restrained or secluded only upon the written order of a doctor, based on personal examination . . . An order is valid for no more than two hours . . . . Restraint and seclusion are not to be used as punishment, or for the convenience of staff or as a substitute for treatment . . .”
When I was admitted a month and a half ago, I was so desperately glad to be out of the Iroquois that I accepted isolation. And then I repeatedly asked to be moved and got nothing.
“As soon as practicable after a person has been restrained or secluded . . . staff must review the circumstances surrounding the episode with the individual. They must try to identify with the person’s help what could have been done differently and how a future emergency could be averted.”
I attempted suicide at the Iroquois because I was suffering and there was no hope of being moved. The same situation now exists at Crouse. How can an emergency be averted? MOVE ME OUT OF ISOLATION.
“Hospital quality assurance programs also are expected to monitor restraint and seclusion.”
I have left three messages for the director of quality of care. He has not acknowledged any of them.
After I attempted suicide at the Iroquois and was transported to Crouse, people said, “Why didn’t you tell us? Why didn’t you let us know you needed help?” Well, now I’m telling you; I’m letting you know. CEO Paul Kronenberg’s email gets bounced back, so some of the rest of you ought to tell him that I cannot endure this anymore. I never should have had to endure it in the first place.
I’ve reached out to Laurie Fegley, Barb Drapola, Betty O’Connor, Bob Allen and a host of other people who weren’t anywhere to be found. Well, I’m telling you now. You simply can’t treat people this way.
At 8:30 a.m. Friday morning, I’m going to start making phone calls to people outside Crouse.