Tag Archives: Middlesex Hospital

Too Many Anniversaries and Too Many Memories

Eemie on Bed

One of the anniversaries is my little Eemie’s death last year, at age 17. She was only about 14 in this picture, maybe a bit younger. But she never looked much different from this. Even the day she was “put to sleep” the vet thought she was a very sick 5 year old and not the elderly kitty she really was…She was my all time favorite cat, but i won’t try to replace her, or get another. I cannot do it, and will not try…

Pam and Joe 06 at Lahey

This  photo is of Joe Cornelio and me in 2006, just after he was diagnosed with ALS,  Lou Gehrig’s Disease, which would finally kill him, or complications thereof, two years ago today. I stil miss him dearly.

ERICA Screen that Joe sees

At the height of Joe’s illness, when he was completely paralyzed except for his eyes, and could not speak or move, he was able to use an eye gaze computer known as ERICA to speak with. ERICA registered the glint in his eye and allowed him to spell out each word by looking at the letters of the alphabet, which you can see on the screen in the photo, and then he could ask the computer to speak what he spelled by looking at the “speak” function. It was laborious, yes, but it worked well enough that we could actually have skpye converations by phone when I could not get in to see him in person, and I would set up my computer by my paintings and do some artwork by “videophone” so that he could watch me work while we talked.

Joe using ERIKA

This is  Joe — weird how I never saw the changes in him in life but always saw him as “my old Joe” except in these photos — using the ERICA.

Pam and Joe in HFSC smiling

Pam and Joe, smiling at one another…

facility_restraints

The other anniversary of this month is that three years ago, I was sadistically restrained (the first of several such incidents) on April 24th at Middlesex Hospital, absolutely traumatized by it and have not forgotten it yet. I tried to get redress, and we had JCAHO go in to investigate, but it did no good, because the Joint Commission largely doesn’t care about how often general hospitals use restraints and seclusion on patients in psychiatric units and doesn’t even track their usage. Try and find out about it. It is impossible. They track use of R and S in psychiatric hospitals, pure and simple, that is to say, State Hospitals, and private psychiatric hospitals, but not in general hospital units. So what good is that, I ask you? Most people who have severe psychiatric illnesses (chronic) are not hospitalized in this day and age in private hospitals but on psychiatric units in general hospitals, where the treatment can be tantamount, as I know all too well, to what the UN in March called torture.

Finally I was going to upload a bunch of photos of my tiny apartment but in one fell swoop I erased everything in my iPhoto library, including all the new photos. and, well, that was that! All I have left is whatever was saved in the ipad Photostream, which was precious little when it comes down to it. Stupid me!!

So today is the anniversary of Joe’s terrible death and I am trying not to think about that and all the other anniversaries coming up…It looks like it is going to be a bright sunny day here in Connecticut so I will try to take a walk and maybe do some artwork if I can get up the energy to do so…

Different kind of artwork for me: Car Picture for Tim

Okay, this is for the boys!

1956 Mercedes Benz 300c 4-door sedan: What can I say, except Tim owns one and it is truly a cool car, if you care about cars! Anyhow it is my very first car drawing, so I am rawther proud of it.

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Some sad news that I only feel able to share now, is that  I had to put my beloved cat of 17 years to sleep on Friday last…and it was truly awful. I didn’t understand that it would be so fast. The vet injected something in Eemie’s vein, and she lifted her head as if in curiosity — then put it down — I asked how long it would take, and the vet said softly, “She’s gone…” I burst into tears, having had no understanding that in fact she wasn’t curious, she had been taking her long last breath. Oh god, I miss her so. I keep wondering where she is when I get up in the morning, and when I get home from wherever I have gone out to, I feel that someone is missing, that I need to feed her, and find her… and then I realize I don’t have a companion any longer, that Eemie is no longer…I am tearful even as I write this, and I wish I could post the video that a friend made of us a week or two before she became seriously disabled. She was ill, yes, but you couldn’t really tell on the video since we just cuddle. I am so glad that the friend had the foresight to encourage it. Because now I have that to remember Eemie by. I know it wouldn’t mean much to anyone else. But like any doting grieving mother, I would post it because I still feel the grief and feel somehow that everyone else would want to see it too. (Which of course would be silly but the grieving do silly things. I know that.)

To lose Eemie on top of my father, Leo, and Joe too just exactly one year ago April 27th feels like really too many losses piled on top of one another. But one gets through or breaks and I cannot let that happen. I do believe that I am strong enough in general to get through it, and while I did take Haldol for a few days it had more to do with the Middlesex stress (yes, a little to do with Eemie I admit) than anything else…Okay, it did have to do with Eemie, but I think without Middlesex coming up I might have weathered Eemie better.

But I got through it and I stopped taking Haldol on Monday, haven’t needed it since then, or have slogged through without it. Did the car picture since then, so things could not have been too too bad. Artwork is always good therapy anyway. Better than drugs if I can get myself out of bed and organized enough to do it.

By the way, my art show is up and on exhibit at the WETHERSFIELD LIBRARY right now. I have work on three walls, plus the display case, for those of you who live near enough to Wethersfield or Hartford to stop by and see it. If not, you can always check out Photobucket and see what is there, though you lose a great deal by not seeing things “in person” of course. It cannot be helped, naturally!

Enough for now. I hope last night’s post was not too negative, not too mean-spirited and revengeful. I was very angry, and very upset. The very idea that the director of the Middlesex Hospital psychiatric unit said anything at all, rather than simply remaining silence just incensed me. I think that was a grave mistake, and he likely regretted it afterwards. I suspect that the CEO probably told him that it was not something he should have indulged in…But what he said is said, and it only retraumatized me if anything. The notion that he, who wasn’t even there during the episode, and ought to have been appalled, simply took the side of my torturers was to me itself disgusting and appalling. But he will get his comeuppance, one can only hope, and I won’t have to do anything about it, since presumably the Joint Commission and the DOJ will do it all.

Enough of that. I am really tired and need to eat something. Ta ta for now.