The Psychiatric Ward

389553_188948971187378_171788062903469_396253_1491984663_nThe enclosing doors of hospital psychiatric wards are all the same: thick and automatic, with codes for authorized personnel only.

Every time I heard those doors seal shut, I knew I’d be there for a while.

Normally, Dr. Herlihy had a private room for me. Ken always helped me pack a bag before we’d go, but that was a joke. Most everything went home with Ken. I was allowed only certain types of street clothes, but they encouraged us to wear them over hospital garments.

In the mornings, I was visited first by the breakfast tray, then the medicine cart, then Dr. Herlihy.

“Hey, Sister Jefferies!” Doc would say. He always wore a white lab coat with his name stitched in red.

The food in the psychiatric ward was okay, but even filet mignon loses something when it’s eaten with plastic utensils that broke when you looked at them wrong.  399967_211372058945069_171788062903469_447711_14354735_n

Still, I always looked forward to our evening snack. Peanut butter, crackers, and a drink. And those little cups of ice cream. Got those sometimes too.

Group therapy was every other day … there was never any shame in my game … I just talked and talked and talked …

Three times a week we had occupational therapy … some didn’t get to participate. If they were naughty and didn’t behave.

Paranoia-2We got a lot of free social time too. Time to walk around, visit with other patients.  Unless you were on suicide watch.

(That’s all I’m ready to say about that. :-/ …)

It was hard for me … I missed Ken and my babies.  But Ken came to see me EVERY DAY. By far, the best part. I would cry when he left.

I’m crying now just thinking of it.

I had to go to the hospital a lot. Even in the midst of it all, I had a hard time wrapping my mind around the fact that I was actually THAT sick.

I had a lot of close calls over the years, but God held on to me like super glue!408773_10150578805107192_59453552191_8930283_450048585_n

Now, I count my blessings each day.

I gotta tell ya, this has been a difficult blog for me to write and there are a lot of things left unsaid. I’m just not ready. To write it is to relive it. Still, I realize it needs to be shared.

So stay with me. My story’s not over yet … 😉

Until next time …


7 thoughts on “The Psychiatric Ward

  1. Vilma says:

    wow! that is an experience…
    Would you like to know about my time in a psychiatric facility?
    There were not automatic doors,
    there were not private rooms,
    there was not a doctor every day at my room,
    there were meds, but we had to wait in a row for taking them…
    we had to wait in a row because all of us had to use the same glass, one after the other, with out even changing the water…
    The food tasted delicious because it was so little that we were always hungry.
    At nights we sleep in any free bed we could find, all we were sleeping in two big rooms with a bed next to the other, all of us together with out distinction of diagnoses.
    After 6 days I could go home but after that experience I went back home plenty of little friends (thousands of lies in my head).
    It was a public facility I asked my sister to take me out of there and they said there was not any private psychiatric facility and I had to be under control during my maniac stage,
    when I got in the Dr said I should to stay 3 weeks but my shock with that level of reality let me get out in less than one.
    The last night there I had to sleep near of a patient that was looking at me with weird eyes I thought she was going to make me something bad when I got to sleep, but all of us were taking drugs to sleep.
    I live in a third world country and that was my first and hope last experience as psychiatric inpatient, i dont loss a doses of my med because I dont want to go back there.
    I were not so afraid of going back there if my experience were like yours. It would be good to be you!

      1. Vilma says:

        Hi, Leeann, sorry for being bitter in my comment, I read some of your blogs and watched some of your vlongs in youtube and could undestand the context better… thank you for sharing your experiences, have a great one!

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