Monday, September 29, 2008

Driving the Mentally Ill Crazy; a Circular Tale

New Mexico wall; Can't get over it, can't get around it
Regular readers of this blog may remember how Auntie Bucksnort sought treatment at the local emergency room and was sent to jail in chains by a system that doesn't discriminate between the mentally ill and criminals (see What Happened Next).

Here is yet another chapter in the saga. Please understand that I tell you these things to help bring public awareness to the way we still treat the mentally ill in our country.

Watch for the circularity.

1. To review: Bucksnort went to the Plains Regional Medical Center emergency room in Clovis, NM to get help because she had run out of medication and was in deep depression.

2. She was handcuffed, chained, thrown in a bare cement cell (no toilet, bed, blankets) at the local jail overnight, then shackled and transported by a sheriff to a hospital in Roswell.

3. The doctors in Roswell took away her other prescription medications, gave her a short term supply of new, unfamiliar medications, and eventually released her.

4. She was out of meds again by the time she could be seen by a psychiatrist in Clovis, the only person who could prescribe a new supply. This doctor prescribed yet another set of medications on Friday.

5. On Saturday, when the prescriptions were supposed to be ready at the local pharmacy and she went to pick them up, Bucksnort was told that they didn't have those medications and that they couldn't find them locally. They might be able to get some later in the week. By that time, she would have been without medication for almost a week (see #1 for what happens when the meds run out and the disease isn't controlled).

6. Bucksnort called the psychiatrist's after hours number and was told: In case of emergency, please go immediately to the Emergency Room at Plains Regional Medical Center.

Circle complete; go back to #1 to continue.


Margie's Musings said...

Mu gosh! How stupid can a psychiatrist get?

Sylvia K said...

Pardon me? but when is this crap going to stop! Has there been any other word from the "you know who"? Has anything been done at all?

Sylvia K said...

I've been gone all morning and just read your post. I can't believe this is happening, has nothing been done at all about the whole situation?

clairz said...

Sorry, my Internet service has been coming and going for a couple of days, so I haven't been able to check the comments.

The story of Bucksnort's treatment is being passed around the Sheriff's Dept.; the newspaper editor is not sure what to do with it. It is also being circulated at some of the state level mental health advocacy organizations.

Rain said...


AlisonL said...


If I help in any way, let me know. It is so sickening to see that care for mental health is so far behind times here.

clairz said...

Thank you all for your caring comments. As of today (Tuesday) Bucksnort has gotten one of the two prescriptions and is feeling more stable. But who would ever have known this stuff would happen?

June Saville said...

Thank you for this story of love for a sister Clairz
June in Oz