My good friend emailed me in response to something he saw me write about how the “hold music” was nicer at where she is now. He asked me:

What do the doctors say? Can you eventually visit?

I sent him a very long reply:

Ah. I hadn’t told you about the previous place. When she was at the other facility — Stewart-Marchman-Act, the other “Baker Act” facility in Volusia County — the hold music there was inconceivable. It was this terrible, awful trance sort of dirge on a loop. It sounded like something they’d play in a horror movie about a mental ward. It was traumatic to be put on hold there.

Now she is in the psychiatric unit at the county hospital, which is infinitely better than where she was.

The doctors are mind-numbingly bad. It’s just devastating how unacceptable the care is for the uninsured in this country. She is basically receiving no treatment at all, and hasn’t been for almost three full months now. They medicate her to keep her stoned out of her mind so she won’t “cause a nuisance” or “make the other patients anxious”, but that’s about it. Without anyone there to police her caregivers, she is just wallowing. I finally forced them to stop pumping her full of anti-psychotic drugs on the 12th. They weaned her off them slowly and she was done with them by the 19th. Then on the night of the 19th they transferred her from Stewart-Marchman, which is simply a halfway house / rehab place for cocaine and heroin addicts and the truly psychotic, to Halifax Hospital, presumably for some political / budgetary reasons. That was fine with me, though, because that place was a disaster. At least at the hospital there is a CHANCE that she will receive medical attention.

But, sadly, she isn’t. They gave her an MRI and that’s about it. Once the anti-psychotics were flushed from her system, she miraculously became lucid again and you could have a conversation with her.

Then without talking to me, they put her on Wellbutrin and she immediately became paranoid delusional again. After three days I flipped out and learned about them starting her on Wellbutrin and got them to stop, but she’s now just completely frantic and scared to death.

The doctors just say, “She has dementia.” It’s a bullshit diagnosis. It’s not even really a “diagnosis”, because I KNOW they have not performed any of the battery of tests that are used to make that diagnosis. And the primary doctor simply says that it’s incurable and the best we can do is attempt to stabilize her until we can get her moved out of his responsibility and into some other long-term facility. Pass the buck.

I can visit any time I want. But […] I don’t even know what I could possibly accomplish other than yelling at the doctors there. And, really, how much can you yell when you aren’t a paying customer?

So, it sucks.