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BS: stay afloat while others don't

keberoxu 09 Mar 20 - 06:24 PM
Donuel 09 Mar 20 - 06:37 PM
keberoxu 11 Mar 20 - 10:37 PM
Senoufou 12 Mar 20 - 04:45 AM
keberoxu 13 Mar 20 - 08:06 PM
Mrrzy 13 Mar 20 - 11:28 PM
mg 14 Mar 20 - 01:38 AM
keberoxu 16 Mar 20 - 07:00 PM
Mrrzy 17 Mar 20 - 12:34 PM
keberoxu 17 Mar 20 - 02:45 PM
keberoxu 19 Mar 20 - 10:21 AM
keberoxu 20 Mar 20 - 10:44 AM
keberoxu 22 Mar 20 - 02:28 PM
keberoxu 23 Mar 20 - 03:46 PM
Mrrzy 24 Mar 20 - 01:08 PM
keberoxu 24 Mar 20 - 05:01 PM
keberoxu 26 Mar 20 - 04:07 PM
keberoxu 28 Mar 20 - 08:10 PM
keberoxu 29 Mar 20 - 10:24 AM
keberoxu 30 Mar 20 - 05:42 PM
Mrrzy 30 Mar 20 - 07:59 PM
keberoxu 31 Mar 20 - 07:29 PM
mg 31 Mar 20 - 09:20 PM
keberoxu 31 Mar 20 - 10:56 PM
keberoxu 01 Apr 20 - 11:10 AM
keberoxu 02 Apr 20 - 04:53 PM
keberoxu 04 Apr 20 - 06:59 PM
Mrrzy 05 Apr 20 - 02:26 AM
keberoxu 05 Apr 20 - 07:33 PM
Mrrzy 06 Apr 20 - 09:12 AM
keberoxu 08 Apr 20 - 09:33 PM
keberoxu 10 Apr 20 - 04:12 PM
keberoxu 11 Apr 20 - 11:38 AM
Mrrzy 11 Apr 20 - 03:22 PM
keberoxu 12 Apr 20 - 01:47 PM
keberoxu 13 Apr 20 - 09:40 AM
keberoxu 13 Apr 20 - 11:10 AM
keberoxu 13 Apr 20 - 02:05 PM
keberoxu 14 Apr 20 - 04:03 PM
keberoxu 16 Apr 20 - 12:47 PM
keberoxu 17 Apr 20 - 09:21 PM
Mrrzy 20 Apr 20 - 08:33 AM
keberoxu 21 Apr 20 - 05:55 PM
keberoxu 22 Apr 20 - 02:04 PM
keberoxu 25 Apr 20 - 09:22 PM
Mrrzy 26 Apr 20 - 07:55 AM
keberoxu 26 Apr 20 - 01:53 PM
Mrrzy 26 Apr 20 - 05:43 PM
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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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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 - 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: keberoxu
Date: 10 Apr 20 - 04:12 PM

ah, well ...

just came from an appointment with
the resident psychotherapist to whom I am assigned.
And I feel as though I had a tooth pulled out of my head.
Strange feeling. It smarts, and yet
I feel better now that it is out. Metaphorically.

It's seven weeks, almost two months, into my treatment,
and my psychotherapist surprised me by questioning
my commitment to working with her and being here.
It was a surprise because, strangely,
I am starting to feel as though
I have accomplished what I actually came to do,
and it might be time to go home sooner rather than later.

I don't know.
This clinician has a very cool, smooth presence,
and at first it was soothing and calming.
Now, she feels remote and ... calculated? phony?
We understand each other well on the thought/intellect level;
something is missing emotionally, in the heart.
She hasn't done me any harm.
But she wants more than I am giving her, and oddly,
part of me is saying: ENOUGH.

I didn't expect this to happen.


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Subject: RE: BS: stay afloat while others don't
From: keberoxu
Date: 11 Apr 20 - 11:38 AM

I figured out the word for the attitude that my psychotherapist
has been giving me for the last two months roughly.

Entitlement. This psychotherapist reeks of entitlement.
A subtle practitioner, this one.
Nothing overt, nothing in poor taste,
and nothing unrehearsed or unprepared.

In my youth, I too have been arrogant and dismissive of people,
and I have certainly given offense, not once but many times.
I'm not saying that I am superior to this clinician.
But having said that,
Mrrzy was right, in an earlier post on this thread:
As a patient, I am, and must be, a person with judgment.

And it is my judgment that the days of
my relationship with my psychotherapist are numbered.
Of course, this will play out over time
and with much conversation between numerous people,
given that this is a clinic with protocols and procedures.
I can't honestly say that I look forward to all the confrontation.
And yet I know
that I will feel all the worse
if I revert to pleasing everybody and giving them what they feel,
ahem, entitled to.
Well, it's the weekend,
and it will be during the weekdays when IT hits the fan.

So I will enjoy the peace and calm while I may.


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Subject: RE: BS: stay afloat while others don't
From: Mrrzy
Date: 11 Apr 20 - 03:22 PM

Hang in there. Accent on the IN.

I never wrote the formal letter of complaint the ward head recommended I write, about the psychiatrist to whom I was assigned in my second loony bin (that I'd been sent to by the first when their time limit ran out and I was still too suicidal to be sent home), for telling me that a) I could not stay unless I let her medicate me and b) there was no access to psychological help on that ward. Both were false, so she both caused me harm *and* prevented me from getting help.
Snot.


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Subject: RE: BS: stay afloat while others don't
From: keberoxu
Date: 12 Apr 20 - 01:47 PM

So in my first two months at the mental health clinic,
I am dissatisfied with both my psychiatrist and my psychologist.

The psychiatrist, I have completely given up on.
I don't answer his phone messages now.
No doubt he is still being paid, but I'm not showing up.
And that is about to happen with the psychologist/psychotherapist as well.

I surprise myself doing this.
I didn't know I had it in me.
Many are the times that I have just turned tail and run away from a situation -- I've done that more times than I can count.
This may appear similar, only it feels different to me.
I don't want to leave the clinic now,
and this doesn't take into account
the crisis in the world which is changing everything for everyone.

When my psychotherapist, this week, expects me for the customary appointment
-- in the clinic procedure, these appointments are several times every week
-- I have news for her.
I am going to tell her in so many words:
Your heart is not in your work with me.
Where your heart is, and what you have a heart for,
is your affair.
And it isn't my job to make it any different for you.
You go right on pretending that you are all there,
when in fact you are putting on an act, a performance,
which is empty inside, which has no heart,
and you will lose me, sooner rather than later.
I don't want you taking up any more of my time
with hollow, empty talk.
If you won't meet my needs, somebody else will.

My case conference, which was maybe two weeks ago,
appears to me, now, in an entirely different light.
No wonder I felt such anguish during and after the conference.
No wonder I could not help breaking down and crying.
No wonder it hurt so bad.
I feel an utter fool for not having realized all this much sooner.


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Subject: RE: BS: stay afloat while others don't
From: keberoxu
Date: 13 Apr 20 - 09:40 AM

Within the hour,
I meet -- by telephone -- with my therapist.
I'll be thankful when it's over.
I must be resolute.

I have left a letter for
the director of Patient Care
about my therapist and me,
and about how I can't stand it any more.


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Subject: RE: BS: stay afloat while others don't
From: keberoxu
Date: 13 Apr 20 - 11:10 AM

The change has started.
It would be incorrect to say, it's done:
no, it has started.

When my therapist and I kept our phone appointment,
I kept control of the conversation,
and spoke more as an independent individual
than with the dependence of the patient.
I stayed calm and stated my case with civility,
and said that we were finished.
I explained that the Director of Patient Care here
now has a letter from me (wrote it this weekend
and slipped it under her office door this morning)
and I will abide by the requirements of the administration.

It's not a question of asking for money back,
and I made this clear:
the therapist, as long as she is
my 'Therapist of Record,'
will have what she is entitled to.
She may have the money.
She simply may not have any more of my time,
because I'm not going back to her.
If she and I have to be present together in person,
I want somebody else there with us.
And she has got to work out her part of the problem
separately from me.

The in-patient coordinator, whom I just spoke to,
tells me that a consultation arrangement is the next step.
A different therapist
will interview both me and my former therapist,
and this different therapist will then report to administration.

Now I have to go and keep an appointment with my social worker.
And, for a time,
I will have to go without therapy entirely.

Fortunately, my plan here,
at the maximum expense level at this moment,
provides the maximum support from nursing,
and so if I need help, nursing can help me in the interim.

Thanks for your positive thoughts.
This is uncharted territory for me
and I feel like I am walking straight into the dark.


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Subject: RE: BS: stay afloat while others don't
From: keberoxu
Date: 13 Apr 20 - 02:05 PM

The imbalance -- if there is a single word for it, that is the word --
between me and my now former therapist
has layer upon layer of complexity to it --
and that's just the part for which I myself am accountable.
Not even speaking of what the therapist's problem is.
And some of it is inappropriate to burden this thread with.

But getting to the deep festering part of my trouble,
and extracting the splinter of it,
has finally ended the impasse at which I have found myself,
therapeutically, for weeks.

My social worker, whose heart IS in the right place,
was an enormous help with this.
When he and I exposed the developmental issue at the heart of my problem,
and I burst into tears in his office,
the social worker said gently:
"Your therapy begins now."


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Subject: RE: BS: stay afloat while others don't
From: keberoxu
Date: 14 Apr 20 - 04:03 PM

The Director of Patient Care at the clinic
interviewed me briefly today.
They have no problem with me requesting a switch,
however, it will take time.
The consultation, which features
a therapist different than the one known to
the patient requesting the switch/change,
is the next step.
The psychologist, have to call the person Doctor,
who is the Director of Patient Care,
has got a consultation therapist/interviewer in mind.
Only trouble is, this new therapist
is sheltering at home, and can't come in person.

And I don't have a computer of my own for ZOOMing.
Never mind, something will get worked out.
In the meantime, no therapy,
as I'm not going back to spend one more minute
with my former therapist,
and I'll have to lean on other support (like the nurses)
and carry my own weight carefully for a week or two.

At least the sun came out today.


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Subject: RE: BS: stay afloat while others don't
From: keberoxu
Date: 16 Apr 20 - 12:47 PM

I told you that the food is died-and-gone-to-heaven wonderful, right?

Lunch today was Swedish meatballs with egg noodles, side of roasted vegetables which were cauliflower and chopped asparagus with some onion.

I went back for seconds!
The buffet, you must understand, is no more.
Infection Control and buffet serveries are a poor mix.
So the long-suffering kitchen staff,
which has run the dining-room buffet for years now,
has to 'plate' our food -- on paper and plastic dishes and silverware
individually, which is completely new for them.

We can still drink out of beverage glasses that are synthetic, washable, and reusable.
Although there are also paper coffee cups
and ceramic mugs.

The social-distancing requirement has completely shaken up
the dining room,
where we used to sit eight to a table.
Same tables, now it is two to a table.
Ultimately it was requested -- and granted --
that all the now superfluous chairs be removed from the dining room,
because if the chairs are still around, then people will sit in them
even if people are too close to each other.
All the kitchen staff wear face masks in and out of the kitchen.

And there is a host of other little fussy changes
throughout the residence complex,
but I won't prolong this post with them.

I am so lucky to be here.


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Subject: RE: BS: stay afloat while others don't
From: keberoxu
Date: 17 Apr 20 - 09:21 PM

The clinic came one step closer to the pandemic crisis.
With congregate housing under a shelter-in-place order here,
only something urgent would take one of the patients off campus.
Well, shortly before Passover, one patient went
to the emergency room,
was tested, and discharged.
Said patient then went to a Seder observation which was held
in one of the little apartments on the clinic campus
for patients out of the residence and away from the nursing staff.

When this patient then developed 'symptoms',
the quarantine protocol went into effect
while waiting for the test results to be released.
The wait went over one weekend, which made it longer I think.
The patient was quarantined in their in-patient residence bedroom.
The others at the Seder who had had close contact with the patient
also were put under quarantine, meaning
that they stayed in their on-campus apartment building,
and had meals brought to them and everything.

This week the test results came back, negative,
and the quarantine was lifted altogether.
It was a very sobering reminder to all of us
not to be casual or careless, regardless of the fact
that negative test results
spared us being put through the whole pandemic treatment/protocol.


...yes, sometimes I am reminded of those
who need this clinic far more desperately than I need it.


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Subject: RE: BS: stay afloat while others don't
From: Mrrzy
Date: 20 Apr 20 - 08:33 AM

Stay in, dude. We love you.


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Subject: RE: BS: stay afloat while others don't
From: keberoxu
Date: 21 Apr 20 - 05:55 PM

Glazed ham for dinner, which I have yet to sit down to --
better get some before it's all gone.
Check in later.


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Subject: RE: BS: stay afloat while others don't
From: keberoxu
Date: 22 Apr 20 - 02:04 PM

One week later --
after agreeing to be loaned a tablet (from the nurses' station)
and connecting by ZOOM to a clinician staying at home --
I have finally done what the administration required of me.

Just today I participated in a remote ZOOM session with
a senior psychotherapist who interviewed me, separately,
about what went wrong between me and my former therapist:
a 'consultation,' the formal name of it.
It was not easy to do, but it is done.

In the meantime, although I am in treatment,
I go without psychotherapy until it is possible
to switch psychologists, which ... will happen eventually.
I do hope that I am not in for
another ordeal like the past eight weeks.
But all the formalities are being observed in some way or other.

I regret that the past eight weeks were so difficult,
but I am still glad that I came and that I am here,
and I still want to stay and get on with things.


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Subject: RE: BS: stay afloat while others don't
From: keberoxu
Date: 25 Apr 20 - 09:22 PM

Some day,
I will look back on these first two months in treatment
and feel proud of my pro-active stance and actions.
It has to be said, in fairness,
that this clinic had staff at every level
who supported me and advised me in every choice I made;
such is the overall attitude here,
that one has the patient's best interests at heart.

I hope it will be borne out, as my treatment continues,
that going back to the drawing board two months later
makes it worth being here this long.

I have not disclosed to this thread
all the drama that I have been surprised by here.
I told you about the poor fellow with the terrible cough
( did I not mention his cough?)
who I suspected of yelling at the delivery men.
(It was actually the night nurse.)

He isn't here any more.
With the COVID-19 restrictions setting in,
he wanted to go home
to his pregnant wife and their little son.
So he pushed for discharge and left the clinic.

In the meantime,
I was sitting at this computer station late one evening
when two other patients
had this huge blow-up,
and they took absolutely NO notice of me sitting there
and hearing the whole sordid thing.

This took several weeks to be dealt with.
I did end up taking advantage of a staffperson's offer
to act as mediator,
and spoke with each of the two patients
about how startled and frightened I was.

I understand now, having discussed this with staff,
that these two patients,
who have been here far longer than I,
have an ongoing contentious and emotional connection to each other.
This isn't going to die down just because I spoke up.
But the upside is
that there is always someone to confide in
and to be supportive here.


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Subject: RE: BS: stay afloat while others don't
From: Mrrzy
Date: 26 Apr 20 - 07:55 AM

Good on yer, keberoxu.

I have started having the itchies again, always a sign of stress with me, but from which I had not actually been suffering these last few years. Hope it is not a harbinger of worse to come...


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Subject: RE: BS: stay afloat while others don't
From: keberoxu
Date: 26 Apr 20 - 01:53 PM

Do consider, dear Mrr,
that with the COVID-19 pandemic crisis weighing on us all,
and darned near powerless to do anything but wait and see,
ANYBODY could come down with the itchies, bless you.


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Subject: RE: BS: stay afloat while others don't
From: Mrrzy
Date: 26 Apr 20 - 05:43 PM

Yeah, but I liked being *fine* eh!


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Subject: RE: BS: stay afloat while others don't
From: keberoxu
Date: 28 Apr 20 - 11:04 PM

We all have to hang in there, in times like these.

I'm interviewing prospective new therapists
and I break down and cry every time.
My throat hurts from choking up.
I sure hope this is worth it.


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Subject: RE: BS: stay afloat while others don't
From: keberoxu
Date: 29 Apr 20 - 05:28 PM

Maybe this lower-the-expectations strategy works after all.
I finished up this week's interviews in my process
to switch to a different therapist at this clinic.
And today: success.
Interviewed a therapist about whom I knew nothing,
not even by reputation.
And we clicked right away: our personalities are compatible,
we are both direct to the point of bluntness,
she has a good serious work ethic,
and she is for real: we can connect on the spot.
So I reported to the Director of Patient Care,
and barring anything unforeseen,
I get to go back to the drawing board -- metaphor for admission --
and really get to work this time.
I was so dreading the decision among three different candidates,
but it has ended up being very simple.
It won't be easy, but at least it won't feel impossible,
as the previous relationship did.


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