Stock image courtesy Pixabay
CORRECTION: An earlier version should have reported I later tested positive for hepatitis A, not B. This should not infer that I received hepatitis A in the hospital. I tested positive for hepatitis A after remembering an attack that occurred in my basement a year prior. Terrified, I called Quad-City Times reporter Brian Wellner, the only person in the entire community who I believed I could trust. He drove me to Community Health Care for HIV and hepatitis tests and also sheltered my cat LuLu in the Quad-City Times newsroom while I was there. I was jailed (on no charges at all, for two days) a couple of days after that health care test, and then received the hepatitis A results from Community Health Care shortly thereafter. There should be a Rock Island County Public Health report on the incident. My kitchen sink pipes and dishwasher reeked of feces for weeks during the opportune hepatitis A infection window (all have been replaced). The street in front of my home repeatedly was tore up.
You’re supposed to be safe in a hospital.
I knew I was not safe.
When I began to feel like I might die at Hy-Vee, my heart about to leap out of my chest, I asked the manager of the floral department to call 911.
I have known Lana a long time and always got the feeling she knew I somehow had been royally screwed over.
By the entire town.
So, I trusted her to make the 911 call.
I didn’t know what was happening, but my mouth had dried out and for sure I thought I might die of a heart attack. I had woken from a nap, had a drink of water, and suddenly began to feel just very, very sick, and like I might die.
I decided I might walk it off. I headed out the back door to Hy-Vee, about a mile walk through a residential neighborhood of which I am quite familiar.
On the way, I walked past the home of an old friend. Her mom, Diane, still lives there. Diane also knew what had been going through, and I wondered if I should just walk up to Diane’s door and knock.
But instead, I kept walking.
When I got to Hy-Vee, I knew I could die at any time if I did not get help.
When the ambulance came the paramedics were, of all things, rude to me. They acted like nothing was wrong with me. They began to whisper to one another about calling a second ambulance.
I wondered where they were going to take me. I wondered if they were going to take me back to the jail, where I had been held and tortured two days on no charges at all.
After finally getting out, the deputy who opened the door to release me, a guy I knew from college, and who I had shared information with about drugs during a Mulkey’s breakfast on my dime, drove me straight to Trinity.
I remember telling him in the squad car that I thought I might be murdered in the jail. His eyes looked like he had seen a bleeding deer who survived a direct shot to its heart when I told him that.
“You know why I have to take you here, right?” he asked.
“Yes, and I’m glad you’re taking me here. I think I might die.”
I had no idea what was awaiting me at the hospital. I knew it could not be good, because I had heard everything said in the jail.
But I never could have expected what happened next.
‘HIPAA, MACRA,’ we’re SMART malcontents, oh my!
The first thing I remember about the hospital ER is the employees fighting amongst themselves over hospital policies. One was attempting to play the role of queen kiss ass while the others partook in malcontent rioting.
I exclaimed from the cot something about “How about you tend to the sick people instead of fight amongst yourselves, dear God, I knew this place was toxic, but really?”
And if that’s not exactly what I said, that’s exactly what I would have said if I could go back and edit the moment.
The first doctor I saw was rude and distrustworthy. I just made that word up. I know his type all too well.
This hateful doctor, who used narcissistic, offensive down talk throughout the horror of my UnityPoint Trinity experience, wrote as my chief overall “Clinical Impression”:
Acute psychosis (unspecified). In all bold like that. It was just a litany of pathetic gas lighting and discrediting by sick healthcare workers. Not all of them. There always have been and always will be dedicated health professionals working for UnityPoint Trinity, too.
Wrote one nurse in what appears to be an absolutely desperate attempt to discredit me, “Upon admission the patient’s mood appears elevated, his speech is very rapid and flight of ideas are present,” she wrote. “The patient appears to have delusions of grandeur. He states “I am a very important reporter. I have done interviews with superstars. I need to leave, I have a job in California soon.”
I do not have HIV. I am not stigmatizing people who do. My HIV status is going to end up being a critical point in my book. Print date expedited! Coming Summer 2018!
I believe that UnityPoint Trinity, particularly its emergency department and affiliated Robert Young Center, should be taken over by federal public health officials at once. I cannot possibly be the only person to ever have an experience like the one I had. And once is one time too many.
I just sat there, helpless and confused, my life literally in that hospital’s hands.
I never stopped praying. I never gave up hope.
Another worker inside the crisis center, Dan, took the bull by the horns. Ignoring calls from others to abandon me on the lockdown mental health unit, he took me into a room where he conducted a videotaped interview.
I wonder if it will emerge someday.
It became clear within seconds of arriving at the hospital that it was nothing more than an extension of the jail. Full details will be in my book, coming late summer 2018 (print date expedited!)
According to my medical records:
A profound white blood cell spike (infection)
Tachycardia (dangerous rapid heartbeat)
Kidney disease (GFR under 60…I believe this was temporary due to who knows what)
Editor’s note: My most recent vitals were “good-to-excellent.” My Hep panel was not only normal but GOOD. I take no medications whatsoever but am a medical cannabis patient.
At one time, the mainstream medical community had me doped up on 4 mg of Ativan per day, even as a recovering alcoholic.
The inaccuracies in the UnityPoint Trinity medical records are nothing short of hilarious. I began to get angry while reviewing them, but now…I’m just going to sit back and enjoy the show.
Dr. Bernie Tadda of Community Health Care always said it is rather remarkable the comeback my body made with my sobriety. I would like to think I am a symbol of cell regeneration excellence.
I later tested positive for Hepatitis A, and of course I live with chronic PTSD that can at times be debilitating. I may also have BvFTD, my father’s brain disease.
And yet I can still dust it up with a good scoop.
Not acute psychosis.
I heard them talking in the jail about putting meth in my food. “We all did it,” said one.
He admitted this after I accused him of it out loud for another person in the jail to hear. That person then asked this jailer if it were true.
There was one guard, he looked like a guy on a sitcom, but I can’t remember which one, maybe “King of Queens.”
He was so kind. He brought me a meal and encouraged me to eat it.
“I made it” he said.
This guy must be embarrassed to work for that outfit.
Can you imagine the terror of what I went through? When I shared my story, mental health professionals admitted they had heard similar stories before. “But you’re the most credible one yet,” said two different behavioral health professionals employed by two different healthcare organizations.
I actually did keep my mouth shut for what…a year? Not even that long?
I reported the crazy sh*t to several people from the first day I was brave enough to talk about what went on in there, maybe a month or so afterward. I’m still scared for talking about it. On the other hand, keeping it inside would not have turned out well for me either.
Now, it is what it is. I really had hoped I had entered psychosis state by the time I heard some of the things I now believe to be true.
It is what it is.
It is no wonder the vulnerable in the Quad-Cities do not seek help under the current frightening, corrupt healthcare regime. Immediate intervention is needed for the sake of our community’s public health, which no doubt already has been significantly impaired by current indiscretions.
I ask President Trump to proclaim Rock Island County a public health emergency. I can make the case additionally in future blog posts.
No, I don’t think this blog post is ridiculous, even after editing it a third time. Not at all.
But I realize not everybody knows what I know.
Superman, I know you’re nearby. I still have my panic button, and I’ll only press it if I really need to.
You can find me on Twitter @DavidHeitz