Thursday, August 03, 2006

I see........Roaches?????

I would like to share my day with y'all. Are you ready for this? And it's all true, I promise. I guess I need to explain that I work in a Medical Clinic. I am the Manager.

I am paged to the Front Office. I get there and as I round the corner the staff begins to tell me, "There is a man out there (the lobby) with roaches all over him!" Now I have not reached the point where I have a view and so I'm thinking, oh dear, poor soul, and picturing a poor old person probably in a wheelchair or something and I'm preparing to admolish my staff. I mean, think about it, what would your first thought be? My staff is like stunned and upset. Then I hear, "Oh my gosh, he just ate one! He just ate a roach!" I can't even tell you what I'm thinking then and I get to where I can see out in the lobby.

What I see first, is patients clearing a path with GREAT concern on their faces. Then I spot him. Wearing black. His back is to me and there on the back of his neck is a HUGE roach. (For those of you who watch Fear Factor......THOSE roaches they eat all the time.......that is what I'm talking about) I think, that can not be real.....then it moves and crawls and I'm like ohhhhhhhhhhh myyyyyyyyyy wordddddddddddd. This man is walking around the lobby at people just to see them back away.

Okay, get information.......who is he? Is he a patient here? What is his name? Does he have an appointment? Who is he here to see? WHAT AM I DEALING WITH HERE!!!!! I'm watching him closely as I try to get information before I confront him so I don't just walk into something blindly, you know????? Finally, I get a name, he does have an appointment and who he is there to see. I say, get the doctor or his nurse NOW. We can not find them, I say, page(the nurse by name) AND SAY STAT!!!! I don't want a panic on my hands and I have to do something pretty quickly. Do you think she answered the page????????? NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO So that gets my blood boiling. The man walks outside.......okay, now I need to move and keep him outside. I go outside and what do I find? The man has now found a young girl (about 13) in a car and he's outside leaning down talking to her. The window was half way down and I could see fear all over this little girl's face. I approach and ask the girl if he's with her and she shakes her head NO with eyes as big as saucers.

I then address the man and ask if he's the one with the roaches. He tells me yes. I ask if he was aware that he had upset the people inside? He said, yes and that was their problem because he had a right to wear roaches if he wanted to and then asked me if I would like to remove it? (Won't eveeeeeeeeeennnnnnn tell you my thoughts on that one but I didn't respond) He then tells me he will make a deal with me. If I get him in there to see the doctor right away and out quickly, he will behave himself. I said, I'm not making any deals with him and I did not want him back in there. He said he had a right to go in there if he wanted and I couldn't stop him. I said, if you do, I will call the law. He said, you call the law and I will sue you. I'm walking away to go call the law and he's yelling at me "Do you know how much money I can make off you if I sue??????" I go in and have the staff call the law. THEN the nurse shows up saying she did not hear the page and when we tell her what is going on she says "oh him, he's crazy." Now THAT was suppose to make me feel better?????????

To make the rest of this longgggggggg story shorter. The law did come and of course the man denied everything and nothing was done and he got taken to the back and got exactly what he wanted. I was furious.

Come to find out the man is bi-polar and something else who refuses to take his medicine and has been known to do things like that and worse. I'm like, and he's just allowed to do so???? "Wellllllllllll he's crazy." That's the only response I could get.

The man is sick, has serious mental health problems, refuses to take his medicine, which is his right, but there is nothing anyone can do???? There is no place for this person???? He lives on the go......they aren't even sure of his living arrangements. The law has gone and picked him up many times and taken him somewhere else many times. He is allowed to roam and terrify people whenever he wants.

There seems to be a serious problem with what do you do with people like him??? I live in one county and work in another and the one I work in is an eye opener. I am learning so much. My anger was not at the man. My anger was at the fact there was no solution. And this is just one of many.

We hear about the health crisis all the time but I'm telling you, I think the mental health crisis is farrrrrrrr more of a crisis. And it just seems to be overlooked until someone is killed and then it's too late. Mental health problems are used as an excuse for dangerous behavior with no consequences because they are supposedly unable to control themselves or know right from wrong. Please do not misunderstand, I have compassion for those with mental health problems but I believe we as a society HAVE to do more.

I can't help but wonder if those with mental health problems are not pushed into dangerous behavior because it's the only way to get help. We as a society are just not equipped to help these people. I have a cousin with serious mental health problems and hon I'm telling you it's awful what he had to go through to get treatment and then if he has a crisis, all he can do is go to regular hospital ER and they don't know what to do.

The cost for treatment for mental health problems is way higher than the healthcare industry for physical problems. Most just can not afford it.

You would think we would have a better handle on this problem. Having said that, I still say, if a person is a danger to society, I don't care what the diagnosis is, they need to be put someplace where they can not harm people.

This man may have not harmed anyone but the possibility of next time he could is there.

People have a right to be able to go to their doctor's appointment without fear of being harassed by some "crazy" person. That little girl thanked me later and said "I was so glad when you came out". I'm so glad I did too.


Blogger WayneDawg said...

Man, I’m glad I sit in front of a computer all day dealing with irritated, need a price now salesmen (people, persons; whatever), customer service and tech service folks.

I can’t imagine having to deal with things like that…….although I have had to sit next to a person who seemed to never exercise personal hygiene and made a lot of bodily noises that formed malicious odors from both ends that drifted over my cubed wall.

But other than that……no roach people.

10:23 AM  
Blogger HotRodHanna said...

That is disgusting! You are very brave. I can bandage a severed arm, but if I saw him eat a roach I'd be out cold.

The mentally ill are a huge problem in this country. Society doesnt really know how to react or how to handle them. Do they know what they are doing is wrong? or are they so far gone they have no idea-they're living in an alternate reality? Should they then be held accountable for something they dont realize they are doing? A large percentage of the homeless population is mentally ill. (Which leads to a whole different which came first chicken or egg argument.)

5:21 PM  
Blogger Soup said...

Just a quick note to let you know I have reviewed your blog and linked to it from my own.

8:53 PM  
Blogger one more patriot said...

In my line of work, we deal with these people often. They usually get hauled to the E.R. by ambulance, get a quick glance, some food, and are off again. It's a vicious cycle. The laws are written in a way that makes it very difficult to "force" these people to get help. When they are lucid enough to get help they can usually get it. However, they quickly change their minds and leave the facility thats trying to help them.

Also, medication seems to be a big issue. Most cannot afford their meds, and when they can they refuse to take them.

The best way to deal with them is treat them like a person, try to meet immediate needs and point them to professional help. DO NOT let them call the shots. I've found that many of them know EXACTLY what they are doing in situations like you just described. Usually if you stand your ground and they know your not going to fall for it, they will walk away.

But roaches???? That's a new one. I think I would run!

12:47 PM  
Blogger Auntie D said...

I feel I have to make a confession, I lied because I said I was not mad at the man but the circumstance. That was not true. I was soooooooo mad at him I could have "hurt" him. I lost my KOOL people. It is not something I'm proud of but I did. My blood started boiling when I could not get the help or information I needed but when I walked out and found that man terrifying that (I found out later 10 year old girl) I just .........I had no more KOOL. If you don't any reading on my blog you all know my soft part when it comes to children. I wanted to hand him by his toesnails and ......well, whatever. It's just such a shame , the whole situation. But I sTILL do not want that man back on the property especially because the doctor did exactly what the guy wanted done. No telling what will happen next time.

7:14 PM  
Blogger Auntie D said...

Talk about typos.....sorry about the last post.

3:35 PM  
Blogger Hope said...

First a big laugh. A long time ago, I did a post of these giant cockroaches being encrusted with gold and gems and being worn as jewelery. They decorated them up and wore them on a gold chain, crawling around their chest!!!!

Seriously though, the issue of mental illness and human rights creates some pretty muddy water.
A very vicious circle.
They are ill, they get help, they take their meds, they feel fine, they stop taking their meds.
It is not against the law to walk the streets crazy. It is not against the law to not take your medication.
We are forced to wait until mentally ill people are at great risk to themselves or others to take action. It is not enough to scare people, to live marginally or to be a nusance.
We legally have our hands tied.
A difficult situation, and painful to watch.

5:36 PM  
Blogger Auntie D said...

Yes there is a "funny" side of the whole thing.....I agree.

I also agree that there is no answer and that is very, very sad for all.

7:05 PM  

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