Jamaica’s Premier Asylum 5 Star’Helltel’ aka Ward 21-Through the eyes of a Patient.

ADMISSION– I was adamant that I was going to be admitted on that fateful Monday. I had to get one of the few beds that were available.  SO my pre-admittance show had to be good.

“I am going to kill her and I am going to kill him to @$&!$&@. Dem mus ded tiday I screamed over and over punctuated with many expletives. I was whisked away in a van and taken to the Accident and Emergency area of the hospital.  Now that was where my show began in earnest. I not only shouted the aforementioned chants of killing them but I enquired from many nurses near and far where I could get a gun to buy to carry out my intentions of “Double murder”

After being seen by many nurses and my vitals taken each time a nurse visited my bed I began getting fed up with the slow and tedious process to get admitted. I ensured that I was going to be admitted by still chanting my murderous intentions until I became physically exhausted.

Finally the Resident Psychiatrist came to my bedside. A sign that my  admission was imminent. After some paperworks i was finally ready to be admitted. I was given two injections to sedate me and ensure that I would soon fall asleep

By  the time I arrived on the ward I was very sleepy and a few of the last words I heard was a nurse commenting that I really dressed manic as I was wearing a crimson red skirt with a blue blouse with crimson red markings.

DAILY ROUTINE- I was in for a rude awakening  because the daily routine was very rigid and could be liken to a boot camp for the training of soldiers.

5am- The lights were flicked on in every room with shouts of Time to get up and go shower. Are these people crazy no pun intended  because they have to be out of their minds to believe “crazy” people would want to shower at 5 am. And you guessed it in COLD water . But I guess they were because we had to. I could hear the quarreling  of the patients on the male wards each morning as one or more was being accused of being “batty man” . This provided some comic relief to take my mind off the cold shower I had to take. The age old trick of running the shower while standing on the outside didn’t  work as if that was suspected your back would be checked.

By 6 am all the patients should have showered and go upstairs in the day area. Many track stars were discovered as some patients sped to get the few sofas to lie on. Usain Bolt would enjoy the competition.

6:30am was snack time. The television  was turned on by this time and for some of us who had no snacks we spent our time watching Morning Time on TVJ.(Snack time will be talked about later in detail)

7am The nurses changed shift so they had their handing over meeting near the day area so that if you “whispered” to a fellow inmate they would hear”. Inmate -patient same difference .

8am suppose to be breakfast but breakfast was rarely on time. After breakfast they had devotion and sometimes you could be talking to your nurse for the day, sleeping, chanting on your own or sitting in silence somewhere near. I often choose the latter.

Somewhere before breakfast we had our vitals taken.

Directly after breakfast was medication time. Drama, drama, drama. Some patient protested taking their meds as they were not sick. Under the tongue check was employed to ensure meds were taken.Track and field time again as inmates ran to get a sofa.

Time- wasting followed during which time patients got on top of each other nerves and many a quarrel had to be quelled. Sometimes a patient had to be given time-out. Sent downstairs. Some played bored games like Ludo and Dominoes and the males especially showed their skills or lack thereof at Table Tennis.

Sometimes during this period of time wasting a privilege few went to Occupational Therapy or a discussion session with a psychologist . I was among the privilege few ,a few times.

Lunch couldn’t come soon enough which was about 12noon.

After lunch “humanritis” set in and I was always drowsy. But rest hour was between 3 and 4 pm which couldn’t  come early enough. I never slept on the sofas because I just couldn’t . So I usually  sat and rest my head on a table.

After rest hour we usually have an organized activity that ranged from a discussion to working out. Anywhere in between was playing a game or more discussion. The nurses sometime were not very prepared for this and just made it up as they went along.

During some of these discussions I was very vocal about the regimen and complained about the one size fit all program and decried the rigidity of the program. Up two three four up two three four………… .

Supper followed and after supper those who wished to could take a shower to prepare for visiting time which was between 6 pm and 8 pm.

One of the three snack times was after visiting time. We got our meds  and was ready for bed by 10pm.

To be continued.