Sunday, May 4, 2014

Sunday Night at the Institution

I remember seeing a show about people in prison and one of the prisoners said he doesn't want visitors because it makes it more difficult to do your time. I undetstood that back then, but I really feel it now. It's difficult to have visitors and interact like a normal person, and eat the food they've smuggled in like a normal person, and feel like a normal person and have a normal conversation and then they leave and you're back to being an inmate in the institution.

Tonight I lost it for a while. There's a relatively new patient -- I think he came in last Wednesday -- and he's a screamer... this evening he was really screaming and it goes on and on and add to that the TVs which blare 24/7 at full volume. I don't need it quiet as a tomb, but I would like a few moments of silence. So combine the screamer who is two doors down with the TVs and my general disposition and I just couldn't stop crying.

Fran called in the middle of my meltdown and I answered it knowing it was Fran, but then I could not talk, just cried. It's not funny, but I appreciated that first she said in the kindest way, "Tell me what happened" and I couldn't and so she said, "you don't have to talk." So finally I regained my composure and filled her in on the screamer.

I think I was at the tipping point because I laid down about 4:15 and fell asleep and had my computer out and so I was awakened about 5 with the aide with dinner and I knew she wouldn't move my computer and there is no place else to put the tray so I had to sit up and I don't like be woke up like that... I like waking up at my own pace. Then I lifted the lid of the so-called dinner to see this:

I've been taking some photos of my "greatest hits" meals, and this is one of them. This is described as a salami sandwich, but it is an old, horrible looking and smelling slab of meat on a cheap hamburger bun with no condiments. Side order is "tossed salad" (aka iceberg lettuce) and commercial macaroni salad which has that slimy consistency. 
Just so you can appreicate the so-called "tossed salad" -- here's a close up -- limp, bad iceberg lettuce with one cherry tomato. It came with one ketchup-size packed of orange goo, calling itself "French dressing." Luckily I had a peanut butter and jelly sandwich leftover from yesterday.

As long as we're talking food, how do you like this one -- it's "chicken parmesan"

This photo doesn't really do the hideousness of this justice. Ok, first imagine it cold which it is, then imagine that fart-smelling aroma of overcooked broccoli stems and cauliflower. 

This is probably the worst one -- this is either "turkey burger" or "vegi-burger" --- again on a cheap hamburger roll, again with the farty overcooked broccoli stems and I think this was some kind of potatoes au gratin, but tasteless and cold.

And finally, to round off life in the instituion, all my clothes have my name in them on adhesive tape. It's all part of being institutionalized. This is my bra. Now I have to thank Amy for "reframing" the name tags for me. She patiently explained, "You don't want to wear some other lady's bra and you don't want some other lady wearing yours." That appealed to my logic. She's right, but it's still demeaning to put on a pair of underpants with your name in them. We can have a nametag removal party where egg drop soup is served when I get home!


Melissa said...

Awe... I'm so sorry you had a bad day. I almost called tonight but I figured you had company yesterday and today and were probably tired... Hopefully still having a room sans roommate. The food looks aweful... Hopefully a progressive week ahead. Call you Monday.

Amy Laboda said...

Hey, at least you CAN get those name tags off! We will celebrate that, definitely!

Anonymous said...

Oh Pat, now I know what you are talking about. I don't see any resemblence to Maz's food.

I remember wne my mother was in the hospital. She would get so mad at me when I left. She always said...sure, you go home and have a good time and I have to stay here. I so wish I were there to come visit you and smuggle in some chips and salsa...WITH SALT for Dr....I forgot his name. Do you remember?

Hopefully, you will be sprung from prison and get home again. As Dorothy said "there's no place like home"..Soon enough girl, soon enough.

Love ya, Stephanie

Pat said...

Steph -- I don't remember the doctor's name, was it Dr. Schwartz? Stephanie and I used to go to a great Mexican restaurant and we would do a salute to the doctor by adding salt to the chips.

Today at lunch, I either got "battered fish" or "veggie burger" - I swore it smelled like fish, but they claimed it was a veggie burger. Either way I passed it up and ate the scoop of mashed potatoes and some green beans which possible were, god forbid, FRESH. Plus banana pudding for dessert which, all things being relative, wasn't bad.