Running Toward Happy
To all the Doctors and Nurses
My mother suffered from schizophrenia all of her adult life so consequently, I learned some things about doctors and nurses. I do hope that they will take the advice I have for them.
1. Do not play God with the mentally ill
2. Do listen to the family members when they tell you their loved one is able to cope at a certain dosage of anti-psychotic medication.
3. If our loved one is admitted into the hospital for a fall or surgery, make sure they stay on their anti-psychotic medications.
4. If you go on vacation over a long weekend and decide not to be disturbed, please leave specific instructions for someone else on the staff regarding any mentally ill patients you might have on the ward.
5. Last but not least. You are treating a person; someone’s mother, father, son or daughter. They need to be treated with respect. Do not call the person with paranoid schizophrenia a “schiz”. It is demeaning and heartbreaking to even contemplate that the medical community only sees the illness and not the patient.
1. If the doctor leaves town for a vacation and the family tells you their loved one needs to be on their psych meds, call that doctor, raise hell, scream and shout like the family would do.
Because after a few days of MY mother being admitted to a hospital near Austin, Texas for a fall, things took a very bad turn. When I realized my mother was not on her psych meds, I told the nursing staff who tried to call the doctor. I don’t know what was going through their minds. Maybe they had just seen a movie where a patient was overmedicated and a zombie and they assumed that’s what happens with a lot of patients. My mother was somewhat calmer when I saw her in the hospital on the Friday before Memorial Day. I looked the nurse in the eye and said, “You are going to have problems if she does not get her psych meds soon. Call the doctor.”
I returned two days later and could hear my mother screaming as I entered the hospital corridor. I knew in an instant, the hospital staff had not given my mother her medication. The nurses were running up and down the hall trying to calm my her. When the nurse looked me in the eye and frantically asked, “What do you do when she’s like this??!!!” My response to her was, “I don’t know what happens next because she has to go to the psych hospital when she gets this bad!”
Oh, the unneeded stress. Oh, the money spent because of a doctor that either does not believe in the previous physician’s notes, or thinks he knows better. Oh the patients who suffer needlessly because they don’t have their proper medications…..and oh, how my heart goes out to the families who see this and realize they can do nothing about it.
Pray for a cure. Pray for a grant and more research to be done in the area of mental illness. Don’t give up. Pray, wait and hope.