Monday, January 18, 2010

Washington State DSHS - Western State Hospital - A Shoeless Joe Jackson Story in Western's Field of Dreams

Sometimes in the hardest of times, in the mist of unbearable circumstance, through the tears of sorrow, the howling wails of injustice, you must stop to take a deep breath of cool fresh air, force a smile through the thickest of hazy fog, and find a tiny bit of laughter within the muffled darkness




Went to visit Lindsay today @ WSH. Lindsay wasn't being verbal, but appeared quite happy we were there to visit, giving her mom a big hug and myself a smiling grin of approval.


We had brought the usual yummy snacks, some play doe, a large box of crayons, and a coloring book with puzzles and quiz's in it to help keep her mind occupied.


I really cherish these days when she is making eye contact, engaging us in her accepted forms of connection, giving her encouraging words and gestures.


We colored and made play doe faces on the table ( Picasso-Esq in digression would best describe my artistic talents in this area), we laughed, made are usual silly faces, shared grins, sang out-loud ( at least I did, picture a howling cartoon coyote for this one), and just tried to make the short time we have together really matter.


Today was enjoyable, continuing to foster all the support and hope we can muster under these obviously constrained circumstances for Lindsay.


Then the bedazzlement of bombs bursting in air came a frenzy of staff theatrics.



WSH does not allow photographs to be taken on their secretive grounds, so I found this photo of accepted standards of care employed within their institution that best depicts how staff was reacting to our visit today


As an announcement was overhead on the intercom system declaring "the following people are eligible" for the 4pm "fresh air break". six names were called out (from an estimated thirty patients on this ward only six were eligible) with the last name on the list being Lindsay. ( I thought this a bit odd since the only time I have heard the intercom used during my visits there was to call someone directly to the nurses station or for scheduled medication time ).


An "unnamed" WSH staff entered the visiting area and proclaimed "she's been outside 2 times already", the staff said.


"what shoes did she wear?", I asked as her advocate.


"i don't know that wasn't my shift, they told me, i don't know", the person said.


Stephany opened the door of the visiting room and walked to the nurse's station and said, "do you have any shoes?". To the best of my knowledge and experience from frequenting many other institutions, that a hospital does provides athletic shoes with Velcro straps to patients as standard practice.



Knowing Lindsay arrived to the WSH on 12-21-09 in plastic slip on sandals (those sandals are no where to be found), and the only thing she owns personally at present are pink fluffy slippers (which we brought her and have not been seen since she was moved to her new ward).


"what size does she wear?" the correct size is communicated to them and they say they only have one pair of shoes left, and it was not her size, too small.


Though they brought them to her anywise as they watched Lindsay struggle to get the shoes on her feet as they were obviously far too small.


"we won't have more shoes for one month. doesn't she have shoes at home?", the person said. (one month without shoes and another to go I catch myself mumbling under my breath. Are they actually serious? Is this stupid excuse number ?WHAT? for reasons we "WSH" will not give patients outdoor/fresh air time).


(Lindsay hasn't lived at home for 2 years and the shoes she had on her feet we bought her were missing when the police found her at 1am in October 1/2 clothed and lost, in 40 degree weather, story goes on from there, we all know it by now right?)


They rushed her to get the shoes on, the patients were waiting! oh, too late! another person walks in the visiting room, i asked where her pink slippers are, as i have not seen them on her feet since she arrived there, and wondered if they were lost. that staff went and unlocked her closet, found the slippers, telling us my daughter's key didn't work for her belongings closet. does she have a new key or not? what about getting her things out?(I was feeling hurried, pressured and anxious by this flood of demanding stimulus about this time to be frankly honest; so I can only imagine how Lindsay was feeling with her need to have TIME TO PROCESS her thoughts).




I believe this depicts the staff at this juncture in our visit, at least the one that weren't sitting behind the nurses station observing!

--

if she went outside 2 times before today it was in barefoot in the wet? Or are we talking about a quick trip out to the "field of dreams" aka outdoor time so to speak?


the patient has no shoes, could that now be handled? we have not even begun to talk about a treatment plan or mental health wellness goals, we are at the stage of what? take her outside? shoes? what shoes? locker key? what locker key?



Have no fears, I believe this is a top secret photo taken of the WSH treatment team hard at work on Lindsay active individual treatment and care plan, while discussing how it will be implemented to best meet her level of care, her least restrictive goals, individualized acuity needs, and accommodate her disabilities throughout her stay and beyond.


We have decided to lower our expectations and walk into the "field of dreams" where people have high professional standards, as high as if they were actually a patient being treating by themselves.



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Lindsay actually was able to enjoy our visit today, next we will be bringing her a ball to take outside, someday soon we hope to join her on the court, take her for walks on the grounds, and even bring her dog Koda across the street to the Doggy Park for some quality time with Lindsay, and we hope they have found WSH issued shoes by then?, because what if we weren't there to notice she had no shoes on? are they honestly saying they walked her through hallways and out to the outdoor enclosed area barefoot in the rain and cold?


I have to wonder if a patient @ WSH needed something really important, maybe even something critical to health; how exactly would that be handled effectively by this team?


I have shake my head in honest disbelief at this juncture.


I know, I know, don't be Anti-Western after all, right!


This post is based on similar perceptions you can read over @ wsh-field-of-dreams-and-shoeless-joe

3 comments:

Noe Noe Girl...A Queen of all Trades. said...

You're a good guy Stan.
<><

Stan said...

isn't it said that "Good Guys Finish Last" lol....

Stephany said...
This comment has been removed by the author.

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