Day 3 Prison Break

I remember the days of my stay in hospital well. The psych ward had 8 beds, with room for more. When I was admitted only some were occupied, but in the 2 weeks that I was there beds would fill and vacate. The patients would be woken at 6 am and there was a large recreational room to the back of the ward with many caged windows. Depending on the nurse that was on duty we would be put to sit in a circle and she would lead devotional songs of worship. Most of the patients did not participate but looked vacantly ahead. I tried to sing but my throat and lips were so dry I could only mouth the words. It seemed like hours before the breakfast trays were delivered. Tea, diluted juice and tasteless hard bread and cheese, and if we were lucky there was an egg thrown in. Later I asked my husband to bring me some milk and cereal, but it quickly disappeared from the nurses fridge. My taste buds also reacted to the meds, and I would have to force down every meal.
There was a girl in her late teens I will call Jane. She was so very thin, and very tall with a very pretty face. Jane did not like to eat, in fact, at meal times a nurse was assigned to watch her and coax her into putting something in her stomach. Often, noone succeeded. I befriended her and helped her during meal times, even feeding her a spoonful or two. I never found out her story, but she left the hospital after me. When I returned to visit the ward she had left.
The Psychiatrist assigned to my ward visited daily. Each patient would get a chance to see him individually. When it was my turn I remember entering a small room and I was shocked to see at least 5 people with the doctor. Some may have been wearing white coats. I remember feeling very afraid and not being able to answer any questions. I was there for less than 2 minutes before I was allowed to leave. They quickly realised that a group of interns would not get me to open up. I was left alone for a few days and then I got some one on one time with the doctor, seldom more than about 5 minutes at a time. Visiting hours were in the afternoon. My husband brought the kids a few times and then he came alone after that. My mom and dad visited and my sisters and my best friend. I never wanted them to leave and felt a sinking, desperate feeling afterwards. The first time my husband brought my kids I was so happy. My baby looked chubbier and was dressed in a beautiful yellow dress. I hugged her close to me for the whole visit and gave her a bottle. My son, who was 4 at the time, was a little unsettled, and I could see he felt uncomfortable, but I chatted with him and his dad and played with him. I felt robbed when they left – the precious time with them was never enough.
How I longed to be back home again! The uncertainty, the fear … Thank God that Jesus showed up when he did!

4 thoughts on “Day 3 Prison Break

  1. This made me cry uncontrollably. I will DEFINITELY have to follow this story. My mom was hospitalized when I was a child (she had a severe break and tried to murder my siblings). I’m still traumatized by visiting her there and I’ve often wondered what it was like for her. Reading your story, although I’m sure it is in no way the same. Helps me understand a bit how it was for my mom (and later my brother) when they were in this situation. Thank you for sharing this!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for telling me this! This is why I wanted to share my story. Thank you for your blog also, it was the first one I put in my favourites. Deborah


  2. Thank you for sharing. My mom was hospitalized for 3 months when I was in 3rd grade. We couldn’t visit-just dad.

    She is THE calmest, unbroken, determined woman I know. At 91, she is walking a mile a day-after breaking her hip last summer. She is determined to “retire” that walker! And many days just holds Dad’s arm as she walks.

    Beautiful. God’s grace.


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