The place was a shit-hole, in such a state of disrepair and neglect it's amazing the real estate can get away with leasing it at such a high price (for the area), it's unbelievable it can be leased at all.
Everything was broken down and when I asked for urgent repairs I got told by the agent "I know it's not working/broken/falling down (etc) but the owner chooses not to fix it'. When I asked why would the owner let his investment get so poorly managed they answered "it's a old house y'know" I was seriously perplexed by their non chalant disregard for their job.
Anyhow, on 16/2 there was a downpour of rain so heavy the blocked gutters overflowed (naturally) and the water found a way through the roof into the kitchen and some of my possessions got drenched, amongst them a few electrical appliances (which don't work any more after getting wet). I went to report the damage to their office the next morning and they said they knew there have been substantial damage because another neighbour had come earlier to complain, good old Trev was summarily dismissed just the way I was by being told they were sending "someone to have a look". Nobody ever came.
I went to see the GP and Dr R saw straight through me, he didn't let me go home, I got taken to Macksville hospital and from there transferred by ambulance to the Base Hospital at CH where I got scheduled under the MH Act (2007) for being assessed as a danger to myself and/or my reputation (all the fucks). I was stripped of all possessions including my mobile phone and 2 security guards were sitting out the door of the room I was allocated to wait in until a bed was available for me. At about 2am was finally taken to the psychiatric ward where I got informed of my involuntary admission, I told them I had gone there voluntarily and had no plans of absconding but they said the Emergency Dr decided I had to be kept against my will, that didn't help make me feel any better obviously.
That particular unit is quite large, it holds 38 patients and the majority are psychotic, it's a very noisy ward and not particularly suited for a depressed person. I wasn't allowed out, had no "permission" to use my mobile phone, could make 2 calls a day from their phone but they monitor the conversation and eventhough it is a hospital they had trouble sourcing some of my meds so I missed a large number of doses of my pain relief, to say that was a traumatic admission is to put it very lightly.
After a couple of talks and some negotiating I managed to get my status changed from involuntary to voluntary, that tiny suffix carries huge implications regarding your treatment i.e. you may be forced to take certain treatment because the dr has decided it's in your best interest and you are not consulted about it, they can keep you for weeks before you are taken to a hearing and then a Magistrate decides if you should stay longer, be forced into more treatment, etc, so it was imperative for me to be in control of the situation, once you're voluntary you may request to be discharged, which I did after a week of being in that hell hole.
Because of my chronic pain I take a lot of pills bot in quantities and kinds but I only take 2 S8s (opiates) one regularly and one as needed for break through pain, the bulk of what I take is made of paracetamol, gabapentin (an amino acid), and 2 antidepressants but a nurse told me one night when the pain was particularly severe, she thought "it is disgusting the amount of drugs you take, you're just a drug addict and I'm not about to give you any more, it's disgusting, no wonder you're in here, you've done the damage to your brain with all those drugs..." I told her it wasn't her job to judge me and shuffled away to my room, that made me decide to ask to be discharged the next day, I didn't even have clothes other than what I was wearing, the social worker found me some clothes in the left property box so I could at least wash my own, I bought a pair of undies from the "Pink Ladies" a volunteer group in the hospital. I managed to get in contact with D my support case manager and he had the undignified task of going to my house and packing a bag w the necessities for my stay, I was mortified he had to go throug my underwear drawers and get a few changes of clothing for me. There are only 1hr visit after lunch and 2hr after dinner so the place is so restrictive its environment is not conducive to healing, I told the dr that place was making me worse. I felt like a prisoner,for the first time I felt like I was being punished for being depressed as if it was a capital
offence, what bullshit!
We were waiting for a bed to be available at the private clinic and the dr and I were mislead into thinking I would be transferred but then the dr was told my treating psychiatrist in there didn't want to accept my case, and I was told they were full and my name had never been on the waiting list. So I went home.
On the next Tuesday I went to the pain clinic as I was doing regularly but after signing in I got called aside by the manger who told me my pain Dr said I could not do the program anymore until my mood disorder was treated so could I please leave.
I felt so sad, disappointed and let down I just said ok, I'll get my bag and go, I was extremely upset. I didn't understand, I couldn't get a bed in the psychiatric unit because whatever and now I was denied access to physical rehab for the pain, to say I was confused it's an understatement.
I marched in straight into my psychiatrist's rooms and spoke to G the receptionist who was absolutely lovely, I explained the situation and right away she said dr P wasn't in that day but she would ring him, to my surprise he took the call and I was told he would contact dr Ch to at least get me back on the phys rehab program, then after some more talking the receptionist hung up and told me dr P wanted me to see the clinic's unit manager so I was escorted by G into the clinic to an icy reception, the acting unit manager refused to see me but she sent a nurse with an appalling manner to speak to me and do a triage, after speaking to sister A (who kept telling me they were full) I got asked to sit and wait in the dining room, I decided to leave after 45min of being ignored, I had other things to do that day. I went away, caught a bus and went to put a claim for refund of rental bond to the fair trading office, because the bond was in both S' and my names I had to produce his death certificate and naturally the lovely lady helping me was asking me how he died, but when she read the line which states the cause of death she got teary and I just lost it and became a sobbing heap of tears. They were helpful but revisiting the details of my grief was too much for me to bear.
I decided that this would be the last time I asked for help, I've had had enough, then I got a call from the sour acting unit manager saying dr P wanted me admitted the next day by 11am, miraculously there was a bed available for me...
The day before I had a call from Housing offering me to have a look at a place in down town C.H. I went to get the keys and checked it out, at once I knew I had to get this place, great location, very well maintained and most importantly, affordable, so I said yes to the offer and thanks to the wonderful kindness of D, his colleague S, my friends M & H from Vinnies who packed all my stuff in one day, I moved not only houses but towns, all whilst being in hospital.
The hardest thing for me was to surrender and let go, I needed to be in hospital and I needed to pack so I graciously and gratefully accepted my friends help and it all got done in 2 days for packing and 2 weeks for the moving of boxes by loads, the furniture was moved by Mick the same chap who helped me the last time, he is a fair, honest & good working man, and now I am writing this from my new house which makes me feel hopeful for the first time in a long, long time.
I shall write about the actual admission on my next post but for now I'm just going to enjoy my new home.