What's it like in a mental hospital?
This time I was prepared - or in other words, this time I prepared myself properly, I made the decision earlier and had time to do the right shopping. Because for a stay in a psychiatric hospital in Poland, you need to prepare properly.
Step 1: Appropriate clothes
First of all, I went to a second-hand shop, where I bought 3 pairs of sweatpants, two sweatshirts, and a few loose T-shirts - okay, I didn't buy T-shirts in a second-hand shop, because there were none, but in Kik. In a second-hand shop, I paid PLN 65 for 5 pieces of clothing - taking into account the fact that in the coming months, I will not be earning - it's worth not spending money on crap, and clothes are just one of those things for me. Besides, I've gained weight recently from a night of binge eating on quetiapine - and my clothes are slowly failing to hide my body and not disgust me when I look at that tight-fitting body in the mirror.
In Kiku, in addition to the t-shirts mentioned earlier, I bought two nightgowns, socks and panties - the ones I have at home are not only ten years old, but also too small for me - you know, too fat ass.
Step 2: Plastic fantastic
I went to Pepco in search of plastic slippers, suitable for taking a shower, but also wearing them with socks in case it was cold. Previously, I only took flip-flops, and I didn't even have other flip-flops then, and in retrospect, I think it was a poor choice. 15 PLN in Pepco and I have beautiful pink A la Crocs slippers.
In Tedi, in turn, I bought plastic cups - you can't take glass or porcelain dishes to a psychiatric hospital - you know, you could hit someone in the head with it or hurt yourself. In addition, I bought a cosmetic bag, a beautiful box for chargers, plastic cups for brushing my teeth.
Step 3: Electronics
I went to Media Markt to get an iPhone charging cable - from my previous stay I have short (20 cm) charging cables with a microUSB and USB-C connector, but then I didn't have an iPhone yet and I didn't need a Lightening cable. Fortunately, the store had this cable.
Step 4: Addictions
And then in Żabka - two barbells of cigarettes - how lucky I am that I smoke electronic cigarettes - in a psychiatric ward cigarettes are a scarce commodity - once you give someone, they will come to you again and again - it's hard to refuse, and some patients don't even care about that constantly asking for a pipe is not cool, and they even follow you and say, or even demand - GIVE. Already! Give! Today, during my dad's visit, one of them came up to us and asked - actually, she didn't even ask, but straight away to my father: GIVE ME A SMOKE! My father says he doesn't because he doesn't smoke. She said - what do you have in your pockets, SHOW!!! heh
Yes, this time I prepared myself.
I thought carefully about what to bring and what is unnecessary. After all, I already have experience, right. After getting to the ward and the room indicated to me, I felt for a moment the way recidivists returning to prison must feel - you say hello to your new friends: Hi, hi - Asia Zuza - first time? No, what are you sick with? Chad. Schizophrenia, drug addiction, alcohol addiction, etc. After the answer, everyone nods understandingly, doesn't ask anything, you go back to your activities - unpacking your bag, or rolling another cigarette, or turning your head to the other side and sleeping.
In Poland, there are no luxuries in public hospitals - in a psychiatric hospital that is in my city and for obvious reasons I always end up here - time stopped several decades ago. In the rooms with 6 beds - and so it's actually better than in ward XVIII B, where I was two years ago - there were 7 beds. But there are rooms with fewer beds. A bathroom with a toilet outside the patient room, with one shower - this one bathroom serves 30 people - there is not even a washbasin in the room - there was at least this in the XVIIIB ward - you could brush your teeth without leaving the room. Although, maybe she's not in this room at the moment, because I'm in the room under observation due to the fact that I reported suicidal thoughts at admission. So maybe that's why there's no sink or even an electrical outlet here. There are two bathrooms in the ward - in the one closest to my room there is one shower, but without a shower head - as a result, when you take a shower, it's like you're pouring water from a hose on yourself. An interesting experience - but you can rinse your hair nicely if you set the shower to maximum power, nice pressure.
The bathroom for the disabled, with two showers, has been adapted into a smoking room.
There are some pluses - there is a window, so you can open it when it's sooty. In addition, there is a toilet bowl - in fact, after a cup of coffee or a meal, you can go for a pipe and have a double - after all, it's a luxury! And in the vestibule, by the sinks, there is a plastic mirror - it is known that there are no mirrors in the psychiatric ward, because you could hurt yourself with them - but a plastic one - although I don't know if it's plastic? Maybe it's just a foil? I don't know - in any case, this is the only hygienic and sanitary room with a mirror - maybe it's better why we have to look at our sick sad faces.
The entire ward is functionally poorly designed - in the middle of the ward there is an open space - like a hall - where tables and chairs are arranged - we eat meals there, and visits take place there - so patients can walk from one side of the ward among visitors. And so Ewka approached me 5 times today during my father's visit so that I would let her call someone who probably does not answer calls from anyone on purpose - never mind, Ewka is not discouraged and calls constantly, preferably every 5 minutes. Then Gośka, who is in a cool mania, said something cool, a patient whose name I do not know approached my father and demanded a pipe.
I could see from my dad's reaction that he kind of realized that mental illness exists and that it is suffering. But this visit also made me realize that I would rather not ask to see my kids here - the sight of other sick people, sometimes wandering aimlessly in the corridor, suspended - I don't know whether from the drugs or what they have in their heads - or taunts and confessions of sick schizophrenics, where you can't keep up with all the threads of their story - it could be a terrifying sight for them.
And I feel at home here. Maybe because I'm mentally ill.