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BS: stay afloat while others don't

keberoxu 08 Apr 20 - 09:33 PM
Mrrzy 06 Apr 20 - 09:12 AM
keberoxu 05 Apr 20 - 07:33 PM
Mrrzy 05 Apr 20 - 02:26 AM
keberoxu 04 Apr 20 - 06:59 PM
keberoxu 02 Apr 20 - 04:53 PM
keberoxu 01 Apr 20 - 11:10 AM
keberoxu 31 Mar 20 - 10:56 PM
mg 31 Mar 20 - 09:20 PM
keberoxu 31 Mar 20 - 07:29 PM
Mrrzy 30 Mar 20 - 07:59 PM
keberoxu 30 Mar 20 - 05:42 PM
keberoxu 29 Mar 20 - 10:24 AM
keberoxu 28 Mar 20 - 08:10 PM
keberoxu 26 Mar 20 - 04:07 PM
keberoxu 24 Mar 20 - 05:01 PM
Mrrzy 24 Mar 20 - 01:08 PM
keberoxu 23 Mar 20 - 03:46 PM
keberoxu 22 Mar 20 - 02:28 PM
keberoxu 20 Mar 20 - 10:44 AM
keberoxu 19 Mar 20 - 10:21 AM
keberoxu 17 Mar 20 - 02:45 PM
Mrrzy 17 Mar 20 - 12:34 PM
keberoxu 16 Mar 20 - 07:00 PM
mg 14 Mar 20 - 01:38 AM
Mrrzy 13 Mar 20 - 11:28 PM
keberoxu 13 Mar 20 - 08:06 PM
Senoufou 12 Mar 20 - 04:45 AM
keberoxu 11 Mar 20 - 10:37 PM
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keberoxu 09 Mar 20 - 06:24 PM
Mrrzy 09 Mar 20 - 08:56 AM
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Mrrzy 03 Mar 20 - 08:16 AM
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Subject: RE: BS: stay afloat while others don't
From: keberoxu
Date: 08 Apr 20 - 09:33 PM

Too weary, and need rest too badly, to post at length tonight.
But will have to eventually update this thread
with a report on the struggle
to switch to a different psychiatrist in treatment.
There are actually a small number of psychiatrist MDs on the clinic staff
in comparison to the more numerous Psy. D.s,
not to speak of the social workers.

Switching psychiatrists -- while 'not an outrageous' request,
as I was assured when I asked --
is therefore not easily done,
but I have done my part to accomplish this over the past four weeks or so.
It is out of my hands at the moment.
There is a senior member on the staff who
heads the department of psychiatric specialists,
and it was necessary for me to ask for a meeting with him
in order to plead my case.
I have now done so,
and I reckon that this department head
has also heard from the psychiatrist with whom I clashed in the first place.

So now I have to keep myself in patience
while waiting for the decision,
now in the hands of the senior staff and of that departmental head in particular.

One constructive outcome of me being pro-active and asking for the switch, and insisting on it,
is I have not had to meet with the problem psychiatrist
for two or three weeks now,
and it has been good to be free of that arrangement.

More later.


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Subject: RE: BS: stay afloat while others don't
From: Mrrzy
Date: 06 Apr 20 - 09:12 AM

Good to read, k. Stay in and get better.


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Subject: RE: BS: stay afloat while others don't
From: keberoxu
Date: 05 Apr 20 - 07:33 PM

I moved to a different room in the clinic residence complex.
Did I tell you that when I was admitted (six weeks ago)
I was assigned a little room in the 'admit' wing of the building?
You start over there, and in that wing there are shared bathrooms out in the halls. The rooms are very small and spare.
Initially I was told that I would have to move pretty shortly.

In actual fact:
I was able to stay there in the admit wing for six weeks,
while I got used to being in this institution
and found out how things are done and got acquainted with stuff.
It was made clear to me that living in the admit wing,
for people who stay the course and commit to long-term treatment in residence,
is temporary, and that one is expected to move to the wing on the other side of the residence complex.
That wing does not have bathrooms in the hall.
Either there are two-room suites that share a private bathroom;
or there are a handful of rooms with a bathroom which
does not have to be shared with anyone else.
As you might expect, room vacancies go together with waiting lists.

But what people line up for, are those rooms where you don't have to share.
This is not an issue for me. I do not mind sharing a bathroom.
So I am happy to let other patients compete with each other
about who gets the next private room that becomes vacant.

And then, of course, the coronavirus pandemic happened.
People voluntarily chose to discharge, a number of them,
so as to get home to their families instead of being stuck here.
When that happened there was a great 'musical rooms' shuffle.
Vacant rooms opening up; patients waiting for better rooms,
hustling to move out of the rooms they already have.
And since this clinic campus includes buildings converted to apartments (old large houses),
some patients were permitted to 'step down' their treatment --
while still living on the clinic campus, and still showing up
for therapy and everything,
they could leave the residence for one of these on-campus apartments,
and they would not require daily check-ins at the nurses' station.
Meaning, that some patients remained at the clinic,
but moved out of their rooms in the residence complex.

So you see, there have been a couple of weeks,
the last part of March going into April,
where there was a LOT of moving going on.
And, having decided to commit and stay long-term, I said to myself:
Now is the time to watch closely, and move when the opportunity is good.

Long story somewhat shorter: a suite in the long-term wing opened up. I looked at it last week, then went straight to the station with nursing, and applied to move there.
And now I have surrendered my little room in the admit wing,
and moved into one-half of a two-room suite ...
the other half is unoccupied. And so even though I didn't plan it this way,
I have got a bathroom all to my very own self.
Until somebody moves in on the other side.

The clinic having effectively shut down admissions
while 'shelter-in-place' is in effect for 'congregate' housing,
it may be quite a while before new patients are admitted
and somebody moves in to the other half of my bedroom suite.

Remember all that fuss, a few weeks back, when I was in the admit room
and the delivery truck showed up before dawn and made all that noise?
on account of my room was right on top of the service entrance one storey down?

My new room, while surrounded by other rooms with patients and the the ordinary bits of noise from fellow residents,
is well away from the service entrance where deliveries are made.
And when the other patients are still,
the wing, and the room, is blessedly peaceful!

Mrrzy, I quite agree with you about dreaming
and the mind working on dreams.
My former counselor, years ago, had a word for it --
she said such dreaming was 'productive'!


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Subject: RE: BS: stay afloat while others don't
From: Mrrzy
Date: 05 Apr 20 - 02:26 AM

I think it is a good thing you are having nightmares, keberoxu, they are work being done by your mind, to my mind. I finally had one a couple of nights ago, students just coming into my house without knocking and then treating me like an idiot for minding, and how did they even know where I lived? Looking forward to talking to my shrink about it... even if it has to be over video, yuck. But I was *angry* and that, for me, has got to be a good thing.

I need another phrase.


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Subject: RE: BS: stay afloat while others don't
From: keberoxu
Date: 04 Apr 20 - 06:59 PM

I believe the special word used for a clinic or hospital like this,
in the coronavirus restriction lingo, is
"congregate"    it's an adjective, not a noun.
The clinic is in Massachusetts,
which has a statewide "stay-at-home" order until May 4.
But it's different if your domicile is in the "congregate" category:
they are required to follow
"shelter-in-place" protocols, regardless of the rest of the state.

Therefore, although we patients are not under quarantine
and can take brief walks and such,
we are not to travel except as an absolutely essential thing
(like an ambulance to the emergency room, God forbid).


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Subject: RE: BS: stay afloat while others don't
From: keberoxu
Date: 02 Apr 20 - 04:53 PM

... no, I was far from the only one at that meeting.
This was a community meeting, meaning that
patients actually run the meeting and its government.
Obviously the clinic staff can and does have its own meetings,
but this was an open meeting for all.

What happened was bound to happen.
Tension has been building among the extended community of clinic patients,
and the staff are stressed and off their own game.
The clinic had already decided this week on discharges
for two patients for disciplinary reasons,
and now the community of patients let their feelings out.
This is fascinating to watch:
how conflict is contained and negotiated for the common good.
Not what I'm used to.

it would be most inappropriate to divulge details.
But this communal hostility towards clinic and staff
had to be heard and given air and space,
before the place could calm down again.


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Subject: RE: BS: stay afloat while others don't
From: keberoxu
Date: 01 Apr 20 - 11:10 AM

... so, I went back to sleep
and the weird dreams I had, fortunately,
were very laughable ones,
not saturated with long-suppressed grief like the earlier dream.

Today is April Fool's Day
and it is a magnificent sunny picture-perfect day outside.

Of course the trees and shrubs are bare,
but the air is mild enough for early spring.
Have to go to a meeting shortly about
how the clinic is going to deal with the COVID-19 crisis
as a "therapeutic community."
... well, at least I won't be the only one there.


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Subject: RE: BS: stay afloat while others don't
From: keberoxu
Date: 31 Mar 20 - 10:56 PM

This post is coming from a long-term residential clinic,
where the cooking is really good and the meals balanced --
"hard when in a group"? Lost me there.

I'm being very well cared for here,
if I were on the outside it would be a lot more ... iffy.


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Subject: RE: BS: stay afloat while others don't
From: mg
Date: 31 Mar 20 - 09:20 PM

are you getting enough fat and protein? Hard when in a group. Some believe night terrors are caused by a sudden drop in blood sugar and then adrenaline being dumped to compensate. Might not correlate with measurements on blood sugar meter. Wouldn't hurt to have a bit of cheese, meat, etc. before sleeping if available.


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Subject: RE: BS: stay afloat while others don't
From: keberoxu
Date: 31 Mar 20 - 07:29 PM

They didn't sit near each other.

I allowed myself to show my emotions and express my needs.
Afterwards I could not stop crying.
I am one big ball of hurt.
I slept through supper,
and had a nightmare in which I was weeping and crying for help,
running through a brick building
(NOTHING like the buildings her at the clinic)
asking for someone to please help me,
and everyone disregarded me and shrugged me off.

Maybe if I go back to sleep,
there won't be any more nightmares?


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Subject: RE: BS: stay afloat while others don't
From: Mrrzy
Date: 30 Mar 20 - 07:59 PM

Remind them not to sit near each other!

Good to read your news.


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Subject: RE: BS: stay afloat while others don't
From: keberoxu
Date: 30 Mar 20 - 05:42 PM

This is Week Six for me here at the clinic,
and tomorrow morning is my case conference.
While my case, and I, provide the subject for the conference,
most of this event is done without me.
Not entirely without me, though.
There is a moment, after the conference is well underway,
when my presence is required in the conference room with the clinicians.
I am told that I will be there for less than half an hour, it might be closer to fifteen minutes.
The conference will be chaired by a clinician who is NOT one of the doctors or therapists whom I see on a regular basis every week;
and this chair will interview me before the other clinicians.
Then they will let me go, I will be escorted from the conference room,
and all the team members will wind up the conference itself.

This is a moment on which all of my future treatment will pivot.
It makes for both worry and happy anticipation
because I feel at home here, and am ready and able to continue --
in truth I am fortunate and blessed to be here.
Regardless, it will be a relief to have the conference behind me!


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Subject: RE: BS: stay afloat while others don't
From: keberoxu
Date: 29 Mar 20 - 10:24 AM

An earlier post dated 13 March 2020
reported on the news of a COVID-19 patient in the hospital,
hometown within ten miles of this institution.

The Sunday edition of the local newspaper gave a summary
of the spread of coronavirus in this particular county.
The patient from that town -- name withheld -- was included in the summary.

It seems that there is an ER or urgent-care facility
in the person's hometown,
and he went there first, earlier.
He is a 70-year-old man, and at that earlier time
he allowed that he had had a cough all winter long.
That facility sent him back home, no testing, no nothing.

It was when this older man took a turn for the worse
that a relative of his put him in the car
and drove him, not to that hometown urgent-care place,
but north to the regional hospital.
And the hospital admitted him, tested him, and put him in isolation.
As of today's report,
the man is still in hospital, in "critical condition;"
other cases in the county have either recovered or have died.


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Subject: RE: BS: stay afloat while others don't
From: keberoxu
Date: 28 Mar 20 - 08:10 PM

The one patient who displayed symptoms reminiscent of coronavirus
has been tested,
and found negative for COVID-19.
Up to this moment, no other patients are ill.
Apparently the precautions we have been taking
are paying off.

As stated earlier, what directly affects the clinic
is illness in the staff.
One physician is at home, positive for COVID-19.

But there are patients who know people who have died of the disease,
outside.


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Subject: RE: BS: stay afloat while others don't
From: keberoxu
Date: 26 Mar 20 - 04:07 PM

Earlier this week, one patient at the clinic woke, and
had unusual difficulty breathing. Nurses on full alert!
Rushed the otherwise healthy young man to the ER,
got him testing, he was kept for observation.

Today his coronavirus test results returned: Negative.
Enormous relief here at the clinic residence hall.

No other patient at the clinic is symptomatic;
however there have been deaths of friends, from COVID-19,
for a handful of patients here.

This week alone, three clinic patients --
two were in-patients with rooms at the residence,
one was living on-campus in one of the clinic apartments --
have discharged earlier than planned,
largely because they have families they are concerned about.
Then there is one in-patient here who is really fragile, and
just had their clinical case conference.
This patient has to stay for now, because if discharged,
their home area lacks the resources and support they need so much.
However, this patient's children include a special-needs child
and the patient is FURIOUS at being separated from the child.
Tricky and touchy situation, AND this patient is a one of the drama-venting types.

The nursing staff is very stressed and some of them have been insensitive with patients, which makes a bad thing worse.
Most of the nurses, however, know better.
We are actually very well cared for here
and I can't personally imagine anyplace better to be
with this pandemic going on. So I am holding up all right.
No further aches or pains, either, and sleeping well.


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Subject: RE: BS: stay afloat while others don't
From: keberoxu
Date: 24 Mar 20 - 05:01 PM

The CEO of the clinic, himself a psychiatrist,
sat down today with the "therapeutic community"
-- clinic-speak for us patients with some nursing/mental-health-worker staff -- to bring us up to date on the clinic versus the coronavirus pandemic.

A nurse who was ill, received negative test results, yay!
A staff intern in the clinic admissions office,
who went home ill on 10 March and has not returned to work,
received test results positive for coronavirus.


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Subject: RE: BS: stay afloat while others don't
From: Mrrzy
Date: 24 Mar 20 - 01:08 PM

I *really* enjoyed taking the Rorschach. Really. My shrink, though, felt sorry for the tester, apparently smart people take foreeever.


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Subject: RE: BS: stay afloat while others don't
From: keberoxu
Date: 23 Mar 20 - 03:46 PM

Interesting times at the mental health clinic.
This institution has meticulous and elaborate hierarchies of treatment plans. As patients stabilize, make progress, and become more prepared to ease back into the world outside,
there are ways to "step down" their treatment while not yet going so far as discharge.
The little clinic is organized so that the campus includes, not only the in-patient residence and the building with the conference rooms, offices, and other public functions,
but also some homes that have been converted to 'multi-family', in other words, apartment residences.
In these, patients who no longer require nursing supervision, can check in daily at the clinic and can keep on getting treatment,
while they get the hang of living together outside the in-patient residence.
There are treatment plans in which a patient lives nearby and agrees to treatment less than five days a week, with according reduction in the weekly amount billed to them.
Some hold down jobs as they do so.
And this is all BEFORE discharge and aftercare.

What has this to do with the coronavirus and the sheltering?
A heck of a lot.
Not all of the decisions have been fixed yet,
and a lot of the planning is at the contingency stage.
For one thing --
knock on wood --
we have no patients with symptoms of coronavirus, and thus,
no patients who require quarantine and that sort of nursing.

Four staffpersons, however, including
one nurse and one physician,
are ill and at home, and are being or have been tested;
word of mouth has it that test results for these clinicians here
will come through this week.

In the meantime, contingency plans are being made
in case there are patients who sicken with coronavirus;
such as, which wing of the residence can be closed off so that
only the nurses and other staff are admitted,
while the rest of us carry on in a different wing...

we are supposed to be hunkering down for the rest of March and all of April, but naturally everything is subject to change.
I feel safe and well, but we have some patients here
with anxiety issues to begin with,
and they are NOT happy campers.


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Subject: RE: BS: stay afloat while others don't
From: keberoxu
Date: 22 Mar 20 - 02:28 PM

This high-end clinic takes seriously the consideration of a patient's family. To that end, every clinical 'team' to which any patient is assigned, includes a fully certified social worker. Even I have a social worker here. This is a new experience for me, as I have avoided living with others since I left my family of origin, and I don't have significant others, or dependents, or in-laws, or what have you.

Part of the initial six-week evaluation includes a detailed family history for each patient. The new patient goes over their family history with the social worker in particular. This is going to result in the social worker drawing up something I have never seen before, they call it a geno-gram. Still in preparation, I think I have supplied all of my information but I have yet to see this diagram.

The other thing the social worker does, has two parts to it, and that is the social worker advocating on behalf of the patient to the patient's family.
Firstly, the patient and the social worker decide whether any family member is to have information disclosed to them about the patient's status and treatment, and whatever is decided, a formal agreement is drawn up, signed, and dated, to that end.
Secondly, the social worker contacts the patient's relatives to interview them about the patient's history from the relatives' point of view.

This month, my assigned social worker received my permission to talk by phone with one of my blood relatives, not saying which one. It would have to be, wouldn't you know, one of the relatives who is most disruptive. In the end, it had to be so: it is the family that decides which relatives will manage affairs and monitor communications on the family's behalf, so even though this relative is one of the unbalanced ones, communicating through this person conforms to family expectations -- and is more satisfactory to the family. The thing is, I now have an advocate in this social worker, doing the communicating on my behalf, and this clinician is the one who takes the heat, not me.

I can't even put into words how huge this is for me.
This kind of advocacy is something even my attorney, financially oriented as my attorney is, has not provided for me.
I suppose I ought to be really emotional about this, and pleased about it.
Instead I feel worn out and exhausted. Having turned this corner, so to speak, I'm just so tired and weary -- okay, depressed -- from years of putting a brave face on and keeping the stiff upper lip, and not giving anybody the satisfaction of seeing me show any signs of vulnerability. More than anything, I feel like rest and quiet is what I need.

For these reasons, the coronavirus restrictions pose no hardship for me at all: the clinic campus is my home, the care is excellent, and I can actually rest and relax as I have not done in years. I feel too weary even to weep, although someday the tears will come -- I know there is at least one good cry inside of me, I'm just too weary to let it out.


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Subject: RE: BS: stay afloat while others don't
From: keberoxu
Date: 20 Mar 20 - 10:44 AM

We clinic in-patients -- and the patients whose "step-down" treatment plans put them in apartments on the clinic campus, rather than in the big residential building -- are actually very very well taken care of, in spite of the patients who always find something to complain and bleat and moan about.
I have heard no reports of clinic patients, in or out of the big building, showing symptoms of coronavirus or otherwise feeling poorly.

No, the bad news comes from the clinic staff. More than one have developed symptoms or illness. I have heard of these professionals staying at home and cancelling their appointments or what have you. Of course everyone is alert and gossiping as much as their consciences will permit, I mean the patients, sorry, the staff are on their best behavior.
What I have not heard is that anyone has had access to testing here. In this county of the state, there are coronavirus cases; I heard one report on the radio, no name given, but the report gave the name of the town, and it is within ten miles of the clinic, which is the diagnosed person's hometown. This person is now in this county's largest city, where there is a hospital, and in treatment -- and isolation -- there.

I know of no one personally who has experienced someone whom they know dying, yet, of coronavirus; no doubt this too will change.


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Subject: RE: BS: stay afloat while others don't
From: keberoxu
Date: 19 Mar 20 - 10:21 AM

A couple of nights' good sleep,
and I feel more like my old self, recovered from the
psych-test four-hour marathon.

While this clinic is the best possible place for me to be,
particularly while weathering the coronavirus pandemic,
there are plenty of fellow patients who disagree with me.

The most unhappy are those who are parents with children.
One patient, a married father whose wife is pregnant,
has said, to heck with it, and is terminating his treatment,
directing the clinic towards discharge,
and heading for home as soon as practical.

Well, naturally, we in-patients are getting on each other's nerves
under the stress and strain of the present,
especially with the future holding
all these threatening unknowns.
Some patients, predictably, increase their voluntary isolation.
When it is mealtime,
they show up at the dining room/kitchen area,
get their meal to-go,
and without further ado they carry the dishes and walk away,
to eat in the privacy of their residence rooms.

And some in-patients are sniping shrilly at the rest of us
because we get closer to each other than six feet,
we sit too close together,
we don't wash our hands with sanitizer to THEIR satisfaction,
miaow miaow MIAAAAAAAAAAOW.


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Subject: RE: BS: stay afloat while others don't
From: keberoxu
Date: 17 Mar 20 - 02:45 PM

Boredom is NOT one of the things I am feeling right now;
on another day there may be time for boredom, but not today.

The clinic's initial six-week treatment procedure, going up to
the case conference that determines future treatment, includes
psychological testing -- some of it projective,
some of it cognitive, other stuff I don't have words for.
Normally, during those first six weeks,
the staff psychologist who administers the testing one-on-one
will space the testing out over three days in a particular week.
He would have done so with me, had things been normal,
which of course they are not.
The first appointment was first thing this morning.

I ate a good breakfast and went straight to the office building.
In the reception lobby, the psychologist met me and led me up the stairs to the topmost floor -- third story.
Not his usual space, but again, things are not normal --
so he got this conference room set aside on the highest floor.

And up there he asked me, how was my schedule today and
did I have the morning free or did I have commitments after this?
I allowed as how our appointment was for two hours of testing,
and after that my schedule was open. And he said:
wanna get all four hours of testing done today?

If I had known what a toll it would take, I don't think I would have agreed.
However: not normal times, I already knew it was strenuous,
so: yes, we might as well get it overwith.

Get it overwith, we have.
We went two-hours plus before he took a break. The break was short.
When we came back, the harder stuff was ahead, including those infamous Rorschach ink blots,
which initial 'impressions' are followed by going back
a second time through the prints and answering questions.
I was pretty cranky by this time:
whaddaya mean, 'why does it look like a whale'?

So the psychologist and I, with the aformentioned break,
went from 8:30 A to 12:30 A, and were done,
and I staggered back to the inpatient residence for lunch.
Bored? NOT.


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Subject: RE: BS: stay afloat while others don't
From: Mrrzy
Date: 17 Mar 20 - 12:34 PM

Stay well, physically and all, keberoxu.


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Subject: RE: BS: stay afloat while others don't
From: keberoxu
Date: 16 Mar 20 - 07:00 PM

Today at the clinic,
there were meetings of the patients
-- in groups no larger than twenty-five people at a time --
about how to comply with state and government mandates
concerning the coronavirus pandemic.

I seriously doubt that this clinic is going to close;
but for all that, the clinic people have to seriously discuss
if and when they MIGHT,
temporarily, close the clinic.
I would guess that admissions are suspended for the moment.

In the meantime, we residential patients may no longer
have buffet-style meals three times a day --
the buffet self-serve approach another object of mandates.
The kitchen is thinking of ways to serve differently
until it's safe to have meals with a buffet again.
No visitors or guests until further notice,
and for us residents, no traveling until further notice.

I feel as safe here as, and safer than,
I would feel in a lot of places.
But everybody, one way or another, is feeling this crisis.


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Subject: RE: BS: stay afloat while others don't
From: mg
Date: 14 Mar 20 - 01:38 AM

i pick up a wipe used for shopping carts and wipe everything in sight


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Subject: RE: BS: stay afloat while others don't
From: Mrrzy
Date: 13 Mar 20 - 11:28 PM

Someone at my grocery store self-checkout was cleaning the touchscreen between customers, great job


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Subject: RE: BS: stay afloat while others don't
From: keberoxu
Date: 13 Mar 20 - 08:06 PM

Still feeling well, no relapse or anything.

This clinic is probably a better place than most
to wait out the coronavirus pandemic.
There are protocols in place should IT manifest on the premises.
The closest I hear of nearby cases:
one town about six or seven miles down the road
has one confirmed adult case,
and said adult has been admitted
to a hospital within twenty miles, for treatment.
Don't know the particulars of this case,
just heard the announcement on the car radio.

Dispensers of high-alcohol-content hand sanitizer have appeared indoors in multiple locations, especially
in the dining area for residential patients and staff.
The kitchen/dining room staff doesn't include waiters,
as there is a buffet area referred to as a "servery" (?).
But such staff as there are,
if they aren't busy in the kitchen during mealtimes,
are standing at doorways,
watching those areas in which eating utensils are picked up or dropped off,
and those areas which have dispensers for beverages like coffee.
Rather than watch us dining patrons as such,
the servers are watching those vulnerable areas,
and when we venture into them
they watch US, like hawks!
There is also one staffperson standing next to the
hand sanitizer dispenser which is next to the kitchen utensils,
politely reminding each individual
to use hand sanitizer
before touching knives, forks, spoons ...

at the end of the day, one's hands are not only clean
but also a little bit dried out.


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Subject: RE: BS: stay afloat while others don't
From: Senoufou
Date: 12 Mar 20 - 04:45 AM

Oh phew keberoxu! I was...er...just a tiny bit worried there. :O
However, you seem to have pulled through, thank the Lord.
You do sound upbeat and positive, which is very good.
Lots of kind thoughts coming your way!
love, Eliza xx


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Subject: RE: BS: stay afloat while others don't
From: keberoxu
Date: 11 Mar 20 - 10:37 PM

Thank you, Donuel; thank you, one and all.
I had some time to rest and got attention from the nurses,
and whatever wearied me seems to have run its course,
as I feel like my normal self again.

Ah, I won't repeat what the fellow patients are saying,
it would be imprudent,
but suffice to say that the topic of coronavirus makes for some
lively conversations in a residential long-term treatment clinic
not all that far away from New York City.
Several of my fellow patients have ties there --
if not residents of the Big Apple, then
they have family or friends who are.
No small amount of gallows humor, dark mordant humor.
Relief of tension and anxiety in a modest way.


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Subject: RE: BS: stay afloat while others don't
From: Donuel
Date: 09 Mar 20 - 06:37 PM

Just hoping your convalesence goes well


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Subject: RE: BS: stay afloat while others don't
From: keberoxu
Date: 09 Mar 20 - 06:24 PM

This week, after play-reading,
those of us who signed up for the spring play are to start meeting four nights a week at the clinic's patient activities building,
where the theater space is on the top floor.
And I had to notify by voice-mail message
that I am out, sick. Bummer.
But I started feeling sore ALL OVER, and very weak.
So went to nurses' station, got my temperature taken,
took two Advil, got a little supper,
and am going straight to bed.
And again, bummer. I hope this doesn't get any worse ...


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Subject: RE: BS: stay afloat while others don't
From: Mrrzy
Date: 09 Mar 20 - 08:56 AM

You are a person with judgment. Judging is not only allowed, it is required.

When I was in my clinic I shushed a nurse who was positively howling at their phone in the middle of the night when a) people were sleeping but I was up, pacing) and b) we patients weren't allowed phones... Turned out they were on *camera* phone so I turned them in for horrible HIPAA (the P is Privacy) violation. Boy did they get in trouble.


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Subject: RE: BS: stay afloat while others don't
From: keberoxu
Date: 09 Mar 20 - 08:54 AM

I was mistaken, thank heavens.

The hollering man was one of the night nurses, not a patient. The patient in question had in fact never left the premises, but did the orderly thing and went to the nurses' station. And from there, the night nurse personally went down to the service entrance to, erm, question the delivery men. Then returned to the station, and reported to the patient what the delivery men said to him, the nurse.

So it was all above board, and I let my fears run away with me.
So I have apologized to the patient for suspecting him, he has accepted my apology, and I am rightfully humbled.
And actually the truckers are going to look into adjusting the delivery time. The kitchen staff were unaware that the delivery of the foodstuffs happened THAT early in the day, and it startled them to be told as much. So maybe a compromise can be reached.


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Subject: RE: BS: stay afloat while others don't
From: keberoxu
Date: 09 Mar 20 - 01:51 AM

This clinic, as treatment institutions go, is one with a small patient population;
one which is encouraged to bond together and to form alliances, acquaintances, constructive friendships.
Then we are reminded what treatment entails.

Two different patients have had to be released to the local full-service hospital, to be sectioned, and then to be transferred
to a different treatment facility with locked wards and suicide watches,
which this little clinic decided, in the beginning of its history,
never to do, and has stuck by its decision.
One of the two had their crisis just before my own admission.
And the remaining patients (staff, as well) were still processing this development.
The other such patient had their crisis this past week.

Yet another event that I know better than to take personally.
But there was a time and place, in my own therapy and process,
when I, too, took everything personally.
I remember how raw I felt back then.
Some of my fellow patients are just that raw,
and they take it really personally when a fellow in-patient
suffers a setback, a serious one.
I know better now, but who am I to judge them,
when I was once there myself?


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Subject: RE: BS: stay afloat while others don't
From: keberoxu
Date: 08 Mar 20 - 03:17 PM

In the in-patient residence at the clinic, there are two wings. Actually this residence is a centuries-old Stately Home converted into a clinic residence. The Stately Home itself had these two wings to begin with.
They have been organized into:
an east wing, which has various community areas on both the entrance floor and in the basement.
The upper two floors of the east wing are 'admit' rooms, for which the newly admitted patients have priority in housing.
a west wing, with two upper floors of larger, more gracious housing. Mostly those west-wing rooms are suites which have got one bathroom shared between two bedrooms, and access to said bathroom is through the bedrooms and no place else. The long-term, settled patients are there, moved there from the admit wing.

I'm in an 'admit room' in the east wing. And, as previously stated, when the delivery truck brings the weekly delivery before dawn during a weekday morning, the service loading dock and entrance is directly underneath one window of my tiny room. Like the other 'admit rooms', my room has got a sink and mirror [NO cabinet to hide meds in], and the toilet/bathroom facilities are in the hallway and are shared by the patients in neighboring rooms.
When the truck rolled up last week, in addition to the long time interval of metallic rolling, engine idling, doors slamming, and so on, there was a moment when a man raised his voice and began shouting, seriously shouting. Well, one makes allowances for the fact that the noise continued uninterrupted, and so, right, the man has to shout in order to be heard above the noise. I had a surprise coming, though.

Community meetings (voluntary, but strongly encouraged) take place every weekday. The meeting held that same day, another east-wing, admit-room patient vented their indignation at being awakened before dawn by the truck doing the delivery ... and went on to volunteer that this person, themselves, had inquired about what reason there could be for a delivery at that hour when people are trying to sleep. And went on to relate 'what the delivery men said.'
I put two and two together, and silently thought:
that was YOU?! A fellow patient?
You got up from your bed, threw some clothes on, left your room, went down the stairs, out of the building, over to the service entrance, and SHOUTED AT THE DELIVERY MEN? You, one of the patients, before 5:30 in the bleeping morning??

Their room and my room are on the same floor of the same wing. I didn't hear doors opening and shutting, or footsteps in the hall, and by the time I heard that shouting, I was quite wide awake and fully vigilant (if disinclined to leave the bed), and my ears were on full alert.

I didn't utter a word at the community meeting, only listened.
In the days between then and now, I have been afraid to venture the topic with the person who volunteered those statements during the meeting. But I have discussed it with the nursing/support/community staff, and at one much smaller group I have brought up my experience among the other patients (which do not include the person I suspect of doing the shouting).

If I want to really put this behind me, I will have to have a word with the fellow patient who spoke up in community meeting... what if I get my head bitten off ... but I am imagining all sorts of frightful things, and I fear that only the facts and the truth will put my imagination in its place.


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Subject: RE: BS: stay afloat while others don't
From: keberoxu
Date: 07 Mar 20 - 10:24 AM

Two mornings ago, before dawn -- sometime between 4 am and 6 am -- the service entrance at the in-patient residence received a delivery. One large truck/lorry, and one large order at the back of said truck. The delivery men worked rapidly, slamming doors and rolling things on dollys and carts, a great metallic thundering noise.
I ought to know. My second-story admit room is directly above the service entrance. I thought there was a thunderstorm! Then I got out of bed, raised a windowshade, and saw the enormous truck directly below the window. But why take it personally? It made me laugh, actually.

The patient in the room next to mine, well, I can't breach confidentiality, but this patient is physically miserable and with good reason, needs their treatment. And my next-door neighbor took the pre-dawn delivery and the noise, personally -- VERY VERY personally. Poor lamb. Between a rock and a hard place, that one. Can't blame the patient for losing it, when they are feeling so rotten to begin with.


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Subject: RE: BS: stay afloat while others don't
From: Helen
Date: 05 Mar 20 - 06:42 PM

I recently bought a Margaret Atwood novel, which I haven't read yet.

It's about a theatre company in a prison, so that doesn't relate to you, but it might have some similarities to the theatre group you are involved with.

Hag-Seed

"When Felix is deposed as artistic director of the Makeshiweg Theatre Festival by his devious assistant and longtime enemy, his production of The Tempest is canceled and he is heartbroken. Reduced to a life of exile in rural southern Ontario—accompanied only by his fantasy daughter, Miranda, who died twelve years ago—Felix devises a plan for retribution.

"Eventually he takes a job teaching Literacy Through Theatre to the prisoners at the nearby Burgess Correctional Institution, and is making a modest success of it when an auspicious star places his enemies within his reach. With the help of their own interpretations, digital effects, and the talents of a professional actress and choreographer, the Burgess Correctional Players prepare to video their Tempest. Not surprisingly, they view Caliban as the character with whom they have the most in common. However, Felix has another twist in mind, and his enemies are about to find themselves taking part in an interactive and illusion-ridden version of The Tempest that will change their lives forever. But how will Felix deal with his invisible Miranda’s decision to take a part in the play?"


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Subject: RE: BS: stay afloat while others don't
From: keberoxu
Date: 05 Mar 20 - 04:40 PM

Did I tell you that the patient activities department and the drama division
have narrowed down this year's "spring play" to
two by Shakespeare:
Pericles (very late Shakespeare), or A Midsummer Night's Dream.
Another reading tonight, and we will see what we will see.
I'm in, for better or worse.
It's definitely going to take a big chunk out of my sleep;
but I realized that
I would really kick myself for letting them do it without me!


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Subject: RE: BS: stay afloat while others don't
From: keberoxu
Date: 04 Mar 20 - 10:53 AM

The spring play in the drama activities program has yet to be chosen,
it will, however, be Shakespeare.
We are reading through Shakespeare plays as a group this week.
Yes, there is a Shakespeare play every spring, and so when we read,
the plays done in the recent past are ruled out.
There was a recent Hamlet, so no Hamlet this year.

The fellow patient who plays the cello,
is part of the group interested in drama, as stated in an earlier post.
A natural performer, very passionate and emotional; it will interest me greatly
to see in what role he is cast.
There are, it will not surprise you to hear,
more women than men.
The staffperson who runs the drama activity, and directs the plays,
is an older man who is a seasoned director and knows Shakespeare repertoire well.
He really loves working with the patients in their modest theater on the clinic campus.
It will be fascinating to observe what he does to adapt a dramatic production to the abilities of clinic patients.
It is a given that some of the men's roles will be played by women
because there aren't enough men.

That said, there is a method I'm already aware of:
the first people cast in the chosen play,
come from the patient population.
Shakespeare plays can be densely populated, and it is regularly the case
that there are more roles than interested patients.
So then the next phase of casting takes place, opened up to
the local community on an amateur/volunteer basis.
The drama program has been running in this fashion at this clinic
for decades now,
thus there is a dedicated support system at the community level.
When the week of performances takes place, in May,
there will be a good crowd in the audience -- tickets are sold --
and the audience will come from a distance in some cases.

At "community meetings" oriented to the patients -- and governed by the patients -- which take place five days a week,
a heck of a lot can come out. Each weekday has a separate agenda.
Yesterday, the agenda included -- I'm using different terms than the committee/rulebook uses --
infractions of the community guidelines and rules, and disruptive ongoing situations.
There are structures in place, all engaging the patient community,
to look at community problems and issues. It is at the meetings that I realize how ill some of the patients are,
because oddly, in this no-locked-ward, open-community setup,
there is considerable peer pressure to carry yourself a certain way.
You can be withdrawn and uncommunicative, but as long as you are not disruptive,
the community can contain you and your behavior.
Some individuals however have got behavior that is screaming for care and attention, they really need help.
I've only been here ten days. Yesterday's meeting spent considerable time, and a lot of heated exchanges and emotion,
on a person who was absent -- by choice --
who has been a problem for months now. I can't say a lot.
This patient started out sociable and formed friendships.
Then, the deeper into the treatment over time,
the more anti-social the patient has become.
When confronted by the structured committees about behavior,
the patient's hostility increases, the anger and resistance increases,
and there is even more pushing away of people.
This is a patient I have yet to meet in my ten days here,
and I have been introduced to so many fellow patients.

The people I speak to here, who have been here a while and are the most mature and wise in perception (this includes fellow patients), remind me that work of this depth and intensity makes slow progress, gradual forward progress.
I am seeing the drama that goes with someone who really, really needs to be here. And I can see that a full resolution may be a long way off, and it won't be one nice neat package deal.
I feel for the patients who have been verbally attacked by the troubled individual. That's all for now.


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Subject: RE: BS: stay afloat while others don't
From: Helen
Date: 03 Mar 20 - 01:41 PM

Not only the best thinking, SRS, but playing music is almost like meditation for me. I have seen studies showing the positive influence of playing music on a range of emotional and physical aspects of life.

Don't ask me to quote my sources, because I've been seeing them in the media and in documentaries for decades.

If I am stressed and play music I am able to bring myself into a completely different head space. And playing music with other people is one of the best pastimes that I know. I've said for years that going to parties where people stand around drinking and talking about whatever is not my scene, but make it a party where people are playing music and it's my idea of heaven on earth.

(Please bear in mind that I don't play thrash metal. I'd like to see the studies on the influence of thrash metal on the musicians' emotional and physical well-being. LOL)


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Subject: RE: BS: stay afloat while others don't
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 03 Mar 20 - 01:20 PM

That musical opportunity sounds marvelous! I always find I do some of my best thinking when I'm playing for my own pleasure, so hopefully this will be doubly beneficial.


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Subject: RE: BS: stay afloat while others don't
From: Charmion
Date: 03 Mar 20 - 11:18 AM

Congratulations, Keb. Great to hear.


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Subject: RE: BS: stay afloat while others don't
From: Mrrzy
Date: 03 Mar 20 - 08:16 AM

First, the, and a period after the super. No editing of posts allowed on my phone, only backspacing. If I touch where I want to edit I can't type any more. This is new.


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Subject: RE: BS: stay afloat while others don't
From: Mrrzy
Date: 03 Mar 20 - 08:14 AM

Sounds great, k. We had no music in my dirst clinic and rhe some we had on the locked ward was super


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Subject: RE: BS: stay afloat while others don't
From: Helen
Date: 02 Mar 20 - 11:38 PM

Playing music with other people is uplifting for the spirit, in my opinion. Please keep us updated on your musical sharing.


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Subject: RE: BS: stay afloat while others don't
From: keberoxu
Date: 02 Mar 20 - 08:45 PM

well, this day has held some surprises.
Went to treatment consults and group meetings as required,
showed up for all three meals (God forbid I miss the food).

A vigorous and diversified activities program is one of the better-known features of
this institution, such that outsiders know about these things.
In this activities program, some people learn a visual-arts medium and end up with their work mounted in a local exhibition.
And then there is the theater, directed by a long-term theater person.
Two plays a year every year. I'm just in time for the spring play.
I had a word with the professional who does this, and said,
Look, I am partly in treatment for sleep-related health issues;
and if I cannot commit to all those nights of rehearsals because
I literally need to go to my room and get some sleep instead,
then that rules me out, right?
And he said no, far from it. We'll work something out.
So tomorrow night already we all start reading, as a group,
and the group will contribute to the decision of which play to perform.
In getting acquainted with each other -- "meet and greet" -- tonight,
we went around the room and said what kind of performing experience, prior to this, we had.
So I mentioned being in my high school play, lo! these many years past; and I went on to add that
I was once a professional musician and did no small amount of performing,
however I wasn't playing any sort of character at the time.
I added that I had been a pianist accompanying other musicians.

So we break up and head our separate ways,
and one of the other patients at the meet-and-greet
(one who has been here for some time, and has already
performed in the plays here last year)
hurried after me to say: excuse me, you're an accompanist?
Would you be interested in playing piano with me, I play cello.
"That was YOU?!" I exclaimed. Because I heard him practicing.
There is a music room conveniently close to this very spot,
the computer station, where I enjoyed myself for hours this weekend;
and many of those hours, somebody was behind closed doors in the music room, practicing solo cello, and playing classical cello music really well.
Well, yes, that was he. So at some point in the future, he is going to pull out some of the music in his repertoire, we will find a piano, he will bring his cello, and I will fight the muscle cramps in my hands and arms from being out of practice for so long.
And who would have thought it!


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Subject: RE: BS: stay afloat while others don't
From: Charmion
Date: 02 Mar 20 - 10:59 AM

When everything else in your life has gone to shit or is trying to, good food can be a literal life-saver, and for many patients I'm sure it's the last source of pleasure left. Management at that joint you're in has some good thinking skills.


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Subject: RE: BS: stay afloat while others don't
From: keberoxu
Date: 01 Mar 20 - 02:25 PM

February, leap-year day and all, is past, and March is here.
And after a cold snap, the weather is headed back to where it was
on my arrival a week ago: unseasonably warm and bright outside.

There is a rhythm in the patient schedule:
all the individual treatments are on weekdays.
Weekends no-one sees a psychiatrist or therapist except when urgent.
As to the peer-driven group activities,
every weekday does have a community meeting;
but for in-patients, both weekend days have group meetings
that are separate from the community meetings.
So, when the professionals disappear from the weekend routine,
the peer groups (with nursing staff) pick up the slack.

This coming week, my schedule will not be bursting with interviews, introductions, and admission assessments as last week's schedule was.
Along with weekday treatment and appointments, my schedule will have time
for the community meetings that I could not go to last week (except for one or two).
Have to introduce more interactions with the other patients into life.

And so, slowly getting acquainted with more individuals.
Young adult women do predominate the patient population, some of them really young adults still close to their parents.
It is sobering to discover how urgently they needed treatment when they got here.
Now becoming apparent that this is not the easiest gig for men.
Those men patients who are more extroverted and gregarious have the advantage here.
I have now got used to the silent introverted men who seem quietly resigned to
the raised voices of the younger women patients.
The men's presence is far from threatening; I like having them around.

Can't say enough good things about the nurses and their fellow 'mental health workers' at the residence. More than one patient has expressed how nurturing they are.
So much so that I don't feel alone or isolated here.

The patients who obviously are most conflicted and struggling
are the ones separated from loved ones,
which of course is not the case with me.
Those patients who are parents of children feel a constant pull.
Some of these isolate from the other patients because of this.

One outstanding feature of this treatment center, which
will take time to understand on my part, is
the role of the social workers in family therapy
and as the contacts to the relationships outside.
For some of the patients,
the relationship with their assigned social worker is a lifeline.
They depend enormously on their work with the social worker
in order to progress.
I've only met mine once, and as my emotions were running high at the time,
there was only so much work we could get done at our first consult.
So that remains to develop and to be seen.

One last detail: the cooking is wonderful.
Died-and-gone-to-heaven wonderful.
Three delicious square meals a day. It's an enormous blessing.


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Subject: RE: BS: stay afloat while others don't
From: Helen
Date: 29 Feb 20 - 09:50 PM

The shower thing might have been a test to see how proactive you are at problem identification and notification. You passed that test with flying colours.

Or it might be a dastardly trick to make people more stressed. Nah! Sounds like they are too nice for that. LOL


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Subject: RE: BS: stay afloat while others don't
From: keberoxu
Date: 29 Feb 20 - 08:16 PM

ah, but it's leap-year day, not Groundhog day.
The sun shone through the snow flurries today.
Does that mean it won't be spring for six weeks?


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