Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Fight at the Institution

Last night there was a screaming fight that lasted a good half an hour. Of course, I muted my TV so I could hear it, but the screamer's TV drowned out most of it. The gist of it was two roommates screaming at each other over TV volume. Then you'd hear staff trying to calm them down. From what I could piece together, the quiet roommate, seeing the noisy roommate was sleeping, turned off his TV which irritated the heck out of the loud one. There were two men, both screaming F You! F You! F You!

It was scary and I even (seriously) decided if I heard a gunhot (god only knows where I thought one of them would have a gun) that I was going to get on the floor between my bed and the window/wall. That way no one could see me. It was really that angry sounding. Ah yes, the restful life in a rehab hospital.

It isn't a surprise. This place is a pressure cooker. Add in physical pain, being marginalized, being ignored, being treated like an object, bad food, no fresh air, etc and it's no wonder fights break out.

Meanwhile, the social worker and the head of nursing both came to see me this morning about an "incident" on Sunday night with the screamer where she said her privacy was violated and I got to see her naked or something. I have no memory of that and told them so. I said that I feel as if the nurses and aides are vigilant in drawing curtains--- which I do.

According to the screamer, who overheard the questioning and filled me in, I was walking past her bed on the way to the bathroom and the curtain wasn't drawn and they were changing her diaper. I said first of all, I wouldn't look because I wouldn't want someone looking at me and I respect that. Second, I said I don't WANT to see. I did whisper that she is quite difficult, there's been lots of "incidents' but she is a tough patient to handle.

Really, in order for this to be an "incident" it would mean that I would have to actively take part in looking at her lying there which I don't. I told both of them that when I'm walking to the bathroom, believe me, I am concentrating on walking and not falling so I have my own agenda.

I sort of laugh about an incident with my old roommate Pam who I really liked and miss. She wanted her fan turned on and no one would come to do it. I said I'd get up to do it -- actually I had to plug the fan in and I was wearing just a hospital gown. I joked with her that when I bend over to plug in the fan, she can't look at my ass. So I said something like, "OK, divert your eyes, I'm bending over" and she kept repeating, "I am watching American Idol, I'm watching American Idol" in the way you cover your ears and say la la la la la when you don't want to hear something.

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