This Floor Shall Be My Laughing Space





Tonight is another cold, cold night. I’ve taken up driving with a blanket around my shoulders. Don’t think I’ve mentioned the fact that my car heater only works when I push on the gas pedal. The AC doesn’t even work at all.

My father’s blood pressure was 190/108 tonight, again, so we got to the bottom of their medication bullshit. Turns out they were giving him the blood pressure medication combination he also takes at home, but they didn’t read the prescription instructions because they gave him both medications in the morning. After he received them, his blood pressure was 135/90 or something like that. As the afternoon went on it started climbing, and climbing and climbing because the doctors didn’t order more medication for the evening.

At home he’s instructed to take one in the morning and one in the evening and his blood pressure stays relatively even; the last time he had a doctor’s appointment his blood pressure was back down to the 130’s. It’s all about even dosage; every twelve hours, you know?

I felt like it was common sense; if one thing hasn’t been working for two days straight, obviously you need to try something else.


I’ll just say this hospital doesn’t have the best reputation but I’ve noticed some changes since they’ve remolded the emergency room and got updated equipment. The nurses are more informative, especially if you ask them questions, and the doctor we spoke to in the emergency room four days ago gave us all the information we could have asked for. Usually they say one or two things to us and tell us to get out. This time this woman actually seemed like she gave two shits.

Because they’re crowded and busy, I know it’s hard to keep tabs on every single patient, but it seems like the doctors and nurses don’t communicate very well. It doesn’t even seem like the nurses communicate with each other very well. One of the RN’s today said people don’t make eye contact with each other here, they just go on independently without speaking a word to each other. I don’t know if that’s typical for a hospital setting or not, but it doesn’t seem very productive.

The real test comes whenever he gets out. He’s already whined all night tonight about getting out; he started looking for his clothes and shoes tonight hoping he could put them on and walk out–he’s done it several times. They can’t stop him but they could at least give us a fucking ring and tell us “yo, he just left man someone should go find him”.

I’ve said this before, but I wrote about it months ago so I’ll reiterate: He has some pretty odd reactions to the drug ativan (one of the reason i was so scared when they gave it to me for my panic attack in the hospital) where he started hallucinating things were climbing up the walls and people were invading his “house” (the hospital ICU). They had him in restraints. We told them he wasn’t acting right and that it might be the Ativan (I knew a bit about the drug from the books I read) and they told us it wasn’t the medication.



Anyway, we figured they’d get it through their thick skulls sooner or later. When he got transferred out of the ICU into transitional care, he was still on the Ativan and still combative and hallucinating and tipping towards some kind of psychotic state. He was highly suspicious of everyone and always trying to escape the restraints and break the bed and get away from the intruders better known as the nurses.  He rolled around on the floor laughing his ass off at night and somehow got to roaming up and down the halls. He wandered out of the hospital.

Three hours later we came to visit. The head nurse looked at us and said he hadn’t been in his room for quite some time. He told us everything that happened that day, including the laughter and paranoia and such and said they didn’t know where he went but they suspected he left the hospital.

Turns out some hospital security saw him outside (thank fucking God) and called the police (I take back my compliment) and he was sent to jail for the night. We picked him up at three in the morning and he was still a little loopy but much better. He had a few laughing fits but he was easily controllable and feeling much better.

They’ve given him Ativan three times and each time he has a weird reaction to it. Now we just tell them he’s allergic because they don’t listen to what we say if we just say he has a bad reaction. The EMT’s and the nurses just look at us like we don’t know what we’re talking about.

Little do they know, I speak some (very little) of their language. I’ve schooled some of them some times because they think they’re talking to incompetent public citizens.

common-senseWould he have been sent to the jail if he wasn’t African American? I couldn’t say. But it seems like if you have a hospital patient who is not in his right mind and is wandering around saying random shit and rolling around the floor laughing and hallucinating after you gave him some bullshit medication, they would bring him back up to the room or transfer him to the behavioral health unit, not call the police.

The three police officers, by the way, tackled him to the floor and bruised half of his body.

Slowly but surely, the more changes I see the more respect they earn. They’ve been helpful and even showed us how to tell where valves are in your veins by looking at them.

But you can understand my hesitation when they said they were giving me Ativan. I was halfway-passed out and I couldn’t breathe and I didn’t even feel them stick the IV in my vein but all I could think about was my dad hallucinating and laughing on the floor and being tackled. I didn’t want them to do that shit to me because of what they gave me. They did that to the poor guy who thought people were stealing his ribs.

Actually, a nurse ran by and said give him Haldol. So I felt worse for him than I did for me; I’d take a quick dose of Ativan over Haldol any day.

Anyway, I had the opposite reaction. My heart rate calmed and I was singin’ “Everybody wit me drunk as fuck, break it down then roll it up” like it was my theme song. Then they gave me a CT scan and put contrast in my blood and I threw up twice. At home I passed out and woke up fully two days later like what the fuck happened.

Different medications do drastically different things. Expect the unexpected and don’t get mad because a few medications don’t work for you. Maybe there’s a better option.

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