September 01, 2019
I followed the nurse into a room where she went and grabbed a white plastic bag, took my patient ID, and stuck a sticker with my name on it. She asked for me to change into the same brown identifiable hospital gown I noticed only a few other patients wearing. I headed to the bathroom wondering about all these strict rules I keep being told and why they exist... Why the separately identifiable gown? Why do I need to change out of everything I feel comfortable in and into something where I feel ashamed about how I feel.
So I continued to head into the bathroom, and all of a sudden it clicked! The idea was to completely wipe you of any suicidal chance period. First I realized the strings on my hoodie. Then to my shoes. Continuing to try to Identify what other things could add suicidal risk... So I totally get the risk factors but why do I have to change out of and give up everything I own and wear just because I'm mentally ill. I felt like I had some sort of contagious disease. I get the strings/belt/anything I might be carrying... But my clothes???
We need a new understanding of mental health and illness. It's mental, not physical, so why make me feel isolated because I'm mentally ill.... maybe provide comforting clothes which show empowerment. Instead of subjecting me as the next one in line for the psychiatrist...
Anyways... I put on my brown gown and my happy socks and put the rest of my stuff in my bag. You're also are required to give up cell phone chargers and cellphones at night. I fully get these procedures and totally agree with them. So at this time, it was late and I gave up my phone for the night and spent the last bit with Rebecca by my side💛
That night there were too many people administered to the hospital in the mental health department... So I was placed in a bed in the hallway just outside the Emergency Room. While this is an absolute pleasure in Canada to have healthcare, to receive care in general, I must say we really need to step it up in this department. It was a regular hospital bed nothing special, except the multiple people lined up in beds up and down the hallway... Kelowna people!! Is the hospital constantly like this???
I only noticed one other person besides the lady in the room in a brown suit laying in a bed directly in front of me. Everyone else in the hallway was regular hospital patients and get this- they were in their regular street clothes!
I really think the hospital wards just don't understand they are making a human feel different, subjected by other patients, judged by the extra staff and janitors knowing they know you're the mentally ill one. So when I see another person in this ugly brown paper bag hospital gown I think ..... what's wrong with you.....?
That night I felt destroyed. Singled out in society as a subject in a hospital that doesn't really know what to do with the abundance of mentally ill patients.... This epidemic is here now 1 in 5 are mentally ill, but how many more are to come if even the ones now are not being taken care of!? To top it off as per procedure they really begged me to take the medication I took for the last week that made me suicidal in the first place.
That night consisted of many things I will never not be afraid to talk about. Ask me anytime, but, for now, I want to leave you with this:
No matter where you go don't be afraid to speak up for your mental health. The more people hear us the more this will get attention and be treated correctly in the world.