Thursday, January 5, 2017
Getting into the hospital was not an easy feat - seems it was a popular destination. We were told there were 20 people on the waiting list for a bed. Since I had just arrived. This did not bode well for me.
Tales of patients sleeping on beds in the halls of the ER waiting for a coveted space in the IOP abound. Somehow I managed to move up the list and bypass the halls of the ER. This alone confirms the dire straits our nation's mental health system is in.
The IOP is divided into 4 units (Adult, Senior, Children, and Substance Abuse/ Addiction). Due to the shortage of beds, the "Senior" unit served as an overflow for the "Adult" unit. As it was to be, I was admitted to the "Senior" unit. Thinking I am still in my 30's, I needed to face reality that being in one's late 50's put one damn near the age of "Senior Discounts" and Blue Plate Specials.
The faculty and staff at the IOP had an excellent reputation. From their web page I had been able to glean a few things. According to the description, the center offered a calm quiet environment that fostered emotional growth and healing. Patients were asked to leave all mobile phones, computers, lap tops, etc, home. Doing so ensured that you would not be distracted by these and would take advantage of the peaceful setting.
Given the attractive nature of the hospital, I pictured the IOP being bright and airy, with comfortable chairs and sofas about. I could imagine large floor to ceiling windows that looked over a tranquil courtyard. In fact the thought of so much quiet, peace, and kumbaya in one place may be more than I could handle. So be it. It was what it was going to be.