Tag Archives: medical care

Jails are NC’s New Mental Hospitals!!

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Article from the Durham, NC Herald-Sun newspaper website:

http://www.heraldsun.com/view/full_story/10404711/article-Jails-tackle-tough-issue?instance=homefifthleft.

Guess what?

Somebody noticed that that a huge percentage of  inmates have mental health problems…

And the NC “Mental Health” system has problems… No. Excuse me. No longer exists…

And it will make things in the prisons (ie what’s left of the state mental health system) even worse…

So now the Jails are tackling a “tough issue.

Who are all these brilliant people?

And where were they 10 years ago when the state was trashing their mental health programs?

Is there  a polite way to saybat shit stupid“?

Didn’t think so.

Maybe they can move all their mentally ill inmates into Dorthea Dix.

After all, Central Prison IS right across the street.

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Will the “Feds” Just Bury That Stinking Corpse?

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Has we make some progresses?  Is they gonna be smoked by Uncle Sam?

Wanna take a sucker bet?

(My insightful, snarky, childish, cynical and/or totally disillusioned & disgusted comments are in Orange. Yeah, just like this! I was thinking about using full-color photographs of drowning victims to illustrate this post, but I felt it was horrifying enough by itself – so I’m just using the usual annoying gifs  & poignant photos stolen from other internet sites….)

From the Nov 25 News & Observer:

“Feds launch probe of N.C. mental health system”:

RALEIGH — The U.S. Justice Department has opened a formal investigation into North Carolina’s struggling (Too late. It already drowned) mental non-health system, the first step in a process that could trigger a federal edict for sweeping reform. They need an exterminator ,  not a broom.

The probe is the result of a complaint filed in July by the advocacy group Disability Rights North Carolina(the heroes!!), which contends that the state is violating the Americans With Disabilities Act (DUH) for failing to provide proper housing for people with mental illness. Is there a “Someone in the state government must have a brain” act?

Nearly a decade after the state Department of Health and Human Services (oxy-morons ) closed thousands of beds, (thinking, somehow, if they close them, the nasty crazy people would go away???) in government-run psychiatric hospitals as part of a reform effort, more than 6,400 people !!!! w ith s evere mental illness are housed in adult care homes scattered across the state, living in sometimes (usually) squalid and dangerous conditions. And the rest? Under the Bridge. If they’ re lucky. Remember the Bridge?

The mental patients, their care typically (always!) paid for with taxpayer money, are often far younger than the  elderly residents with whom they are housed.  In the last two years, at least four residents with mental illness have been killed by fellow patients who had histories of severe mental illness and violence.

That’s one way to cut the budget, isn’t it, Bev?

Vicki Smith, (Our struggling Heroine of this pitiful saga) the executive director of Disability Rights, after she stopped jumping up & down from the morsel that had been thrown her way, said the federal investigation could force the state to take actions to fix the mistakes (nice word for complete & utter incompetent failure) made during North Carolina’s 2001 reform effort (reform? really? effort?), which has also resulted in people with mental illness routinely languishing for days in emergency rooms, eating nothing but graham crackers & ginger ale, because no bed in a NC psychiatric facility is available. (exists)

And these are just the adults. Don’t even get me started about the kids!!

Word of the federal investigation also comes as the state (the state, as in “state of confusion”? ” state of oblivion”?) is debating further cuts to the state’s (already non-existent) mental health system and moving to close Dorothea Dix Hospital, because they don’t need to take care of “those people”, the communities will, won’t they?.

“Now DHHS is going to have to answer a whole series of questions about why mental health reform has failed,” Smith said. “This is huge, from our point of view. Huge.” Poor deluded woman.  Bet she believes in Santa Claus & the Easter Bunny, too… But she IS our heroine, so hush!

The Justice Department informed the state of its pending investigation through a five page letter received by DHHS administrators in Raleigh on Thursday.  However, because of the low literacy rate of DHHS employees, there was a delay while the letter was translated into simpler language by Bert & Ernie, so the state department did not (could not, would not) reveal the news until it issued a three-sentence media release earlier today, hours before the start of the Thanksgiving Holiday. Cowards.

Renee McCoy, a spokeswoman (ie patsy) for the state agency , said there would be no comment beyond the media release, which said the state will “work with the Department of Justice to provide all necessary documents and information in response to the complaint.” Can you believe that’s all one sentence?

There no longer is a NC Mental Health System.

All there is left to do is clean up the bloated, stinking corpse.

WRAL also reported:

The United States Justice Department has notified North Carolina that it plans to investigate claims made in a complaint filed last summer by Disability Rights North Carolina.

The advocacy group alleges that mentally ill people are being housed in adult (demented old people who have been left there to rot) couldn’t care less homes

(building marginally meeting housing codes) that lack the qualifications (the Homes?? you mean run by, um, I was going to say “people”, but that’s not the appropriate word in this context.  I’ll just leave that to your imagination…) to care for p eople (under the age of 70 who can’t be tied into a wheelchair) with psychiatric  disabilities (including brains fried from crack, booze & fetal alcohol syndrome) ….Disability Rights claims thousands of people with mental illness do not have appropriate alternatives for care (back to that Bridge again, huh?), a situation which they say violates federal law.

There’s a law against Bridges now?

Where do I send my great big DUH?

It’s now very, very early Monday morning. Today, the press pack will be on the hunt, attempting to tree those ol’ sneaky DHHS  ‘coons.

They best be careful; lots of rabid raccoons around the area recently…

Dorthea Dix is Floating in the Water with the Corpse of NC’s Mental Health System

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(Please see my previous post “When will they eeeeever learn?” for the 1st part of this unfortunate series…)

Hey! They’re at it again!

Who’d have thought? Did anyone “thought”?

I’m pretty sure the answer to that is

“No, and who cares?”

It’s just those crazy people. The court said they had to be cared for in the least restrictive environment possible; isn’t under the bridge least restrictive? The ones in prison? Oh, they’re not our problem. They’re criminals, right? Mentally ill, you say?

Look, there’s some birds!

The controversy over closing Dix has been going
& going for years. For much too long, it’s also been a distraction from the real issue: North Carolina no longer has ANY public mental health system. Yes, there are a few feeble farcical fronts (hehe) claiming to serve those poor, lazy, undeserving wretches. They left almost 1,000 beds (in the entire state…); surely there was no need for 1700… We have plenty of least restrictive environments… our roads are just great!!

Bird! Bird! Quick! Look!


No money? Why is there no money? Because we
MADE CERTAIN there was no money! We put NO MONEY in the budget, then we complain there’s no money?

Look! A Bird with Money in its Beak! Wait a minute; that’s not a Bird!

Flying to contractors in the county where the “New” Cherry Hospital is being built.

Did the State pick “the lowest bidder” ? Well, sure, we made certain of that…  Our buddy Jim-Bob put it in, of course…   Will there be cost over-runs?

BBWWWHHHHAAAAAA!!!! (That’s the noise the Bird makes when it sees food…)

Here I present the latest “News” article”:

Money problems pushing NC psych hospital’s closure

RALEIGH, N.C. — The spirit of “Dorothea Dix” says too many mentally ill people are still waiting for help from the state, or getting little like when she first visited North Carolina 163 years ago.

Her CORPSE is rotating in her grave faster than a cat on a fair ride!


“Dix” was actually Wake County activist Ann Akland, wearing a long, 19th century-style dress while playing the role of the public mental health pioneer in front of microphones and TV cameras. She pleaded on behalf of Dix workers, advocates and patients for state officials not to close the state psychiatric hospital bearing Dix’s name.

But she didn’t throw money…   they can’t hear if they don’t smell $ at the same
time!

“The same thing that was happening in 1848 is the same thing that’s happening today,” Akland said in front of the Legislative Building last week. “Many can live productive, independent lives, but they need help. They need treatment. They need help in our psychiatric hospitals.”

Who? What? Gov. Perdue can’t HEAR you…     Where’s the money??

Look!The Handsome Bird…

But with a modern replacement for Dorothea Dix Hospital in Butner already taking patients and the state facing a potential $3.5 billion budget gap next year, Gov. Beverly Perdue may have little choice but to close Dix.

How is it a ” replacement ” if it has fewer beds than JUH & DDH had together?? Do they understand the word “replacement”?

Oh, as in “They replaced the name-brand with a much cheaper after-market part made in Somalia”?

OK. I Understand now. Birds, do you understand?

“ The bottom line is there are no new moneys. There are very few resources, ”Perdue said in an interview.   “I don’t believe that given the current fiscal environment, North Carolina can afford to keep Dix open. Patients will be transferred and they will be given great, great care.”

Dear Gov. Perdue, When was the last time you visited an acute adult ward in one of our state hospitals incognito? Hysterical joke you made there – connecting the words “great, great” with the word “care”!

I’m looking for the News Birds!! 


Wake County legislators who want to delay closure at the hospital that opened in 1856 will need the support of other colleagues during the 2011 session. Many argue Dix exemplifies the failings of mental health reforms in North Carolina that haven’t made up for a 44 percent reduction in the number of institutional beds.

Hey! These the people are right! But they aren’t waving money,   so no one can hear them.

“Several years ago the mental health reform process was assumed to work, and it hasn’t,” said Rep. Deborah Ross, D-Wake, who plans to file a bill to try to prevent the closure if she’s re-elected.

Ummm, If the patients are transferred in December & you, if re-elected – Wait! What’s wrong with this picture? I mean, besides the Large Purple Bird standing in the way?


You’re ALREADY in office, sweetie!!   Where’s the bill?  Why is it waiting for your ” re-election “?

Of Course! Blackmail – It’s what’s for Politics!!

Stop hiding behind that Bird!

The General Assembly agreed in 2003 to build a new hospital to consolidate Dix and John Umstead Hospital, also in Butner. Dix, which had between 300 to 400 beds for several years, initially was supposed to close in 2007. Buildings there are several decades old, and residential space doesn’t comply with modern building codes.

Why in Butner?   Because it’s SOOO convenient for all the patients now served by Dix? Because then you can take the land DDH is on & sell it to the highest bidder? In direct violation of State Law? Wipe up all that drool off the floor, you (fill in the blank with ugly word of choice)

Don’t blame the Bird! That’s so disgusting, the Bird won’t even get near it!

The first patients arrived at new Central Regional Hospital in July 2008, but Dix patients were delayed for a year
while litigation by Disability Rights North Carolina led to safety improvements at Central. Now the Department of Health and Human Services is moving another 125 beds from Dix to Butner and 30 more to Cherry state hospital in Goldsboro. Only 30 forensic beds — for minimum security patients committed because of crimes — and a child outpatient program could remain at Dix by Christmas.

Falalala lala lala.

Sorry, Santa doesn’t bring new buildings for the Criminally Insane … Nor does he actually build more space at CRH or Cherry. Those extra folks from Dix will actually be put right into high-class rooms at – guess where?- the old JUH!!  Not to mention the o nes going to Cherry. Aren’t they justifying the new hospital because of “over-crowding”? Where are they putting these 30 beds?

On the roof? With Santa, I presume…

The shift is necessary, according to the department, because it received no additional funds to operate Dix this year, leaving it with a $29 million shortfall. State hospitals division director Luckey Welsh told a legislative oversight committee last week that the change will save the state $16.9 million and slightly increase the number of beds at the state’s four psychiatric hospitals. Dix workers have been offered jobs at Central.

Umm, see the beginning of my post…     No budget line = no $.

Welsh said later plans are being formulated to close Dix entirely, but state law requires it first get approval from
Perdue and the Council of State. Lawmakers also could vote against the closure. The forensic beds would stay at Dix for awhile longer even if Dix closes but would be managed by Central Regional.

Same song, different verse. Purdue’s stumbling all over herself to approve the closing. They’ve been formulating these “plans” since 2001.

Who’s formulating them? Monkeys with typewriters???

Bed capacity at state mental hospitals dropped from 1,717 as of June 2000 to 954 last summer, according to department figures. Advocates said that’s the wrong direction (duh) when community treatment hasn’t reached levels envisioned when lawmakers began reform in 2001 in part to comply with federal court rulings that mentally ill patients be served in the least restrictive settings possible. The idea was to use money saved by downsizing the mental hospitals to expand community treatment capacity.

Look! Isn’t that a Bird? Look at the Bird!! Don’t look under the bridge!

But budget shortfalls have forced cuts in services, and some state hospital admissions actually rose. The state also wasted as much as $226 million through providing non-medical care for at-home patients, according to a legislative report.

Wasted? Wasted? How ’bout “allowed itself to be robbed of”? Or “was complicit in $226 million disappearing into pockets of unqualified, uncontrolled, un-inspected greedy companies”? Or “so totally ignored what was going on, it was criminal”?

BTW, who is “The State”? Can “The State” be held accountable?

Hey, wasn’t that MY MONEY???? Bird, Bird, come back!!


“The state continues to operate (Dix) on an old, outdated, flawed plan about how to develop a continuum of care for people with mental illness,” said Vicki Smith, executive director at Disability Rights, which wants more attention to community-based care.

Old? Was this the plan they were using i n 1850? That one where Aunt Sally was locked in the back room & Uncle Paul was chained to the wall?

Akland, with the Wake County chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness, said closing Dix makes no sense when thousands of people are in inappropriate settings for treatment.

No. Really? Isn’t that bridge an appropriate  setting?

Smith’s group filed a complaint in August highlighting poor conditions for mentally ill patients winding up in adult c are homes. Akland uses state data to argue there are six times as many prisoners with serious mental illness as there are beds in state mental hospitals. The Correction Department couldn’t immediately confirm the numbers.

Most “adult care homes” are only a little bit better than under the bridge. But I hear the food’s better in prison…Is that why there are more mentally ill people there? I hear they get “3 hots & a cot”…

Rep. Jeff Barnhart, R-Cabarrus, a likely key budget-writer next year should the GOP take over the House, said it would be a tough choice to close Dix. But he said it’s hard to justify keeping it open when the state is entering a third straight year of budget gaps. What? By that “logic”, we should close UNC Hospitals too. They cost a huge amount of $ and we already have so many private alternatives. Look! We have Duke & WakeMed & Greenville & Rex, etc…

“We’re more of in a survival mode,” Barnhart said. 

Yeah? When’s the last time YOU lived under a bridge?

Dead Bird.


I guess I should have titled this post:

“NC releases hundreds of mental health patients to least restrictive environment:  under the bridge”

Original WRAL article is Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved (copied from the WRAL News website)

I thought things came 3 in a row…?

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Now, this just isn’t fair! (Of course there’s a huge debate tending toward the “life ain’t fair get over it” side.)  After all those wonderful occurrences of the last few months, I foolishly thought I was clear of “disasters” for a while. At least a little while? Wrong! I clearly  must’ve lost count. Must have been 5, not 3! Friday night I had Hubby drive me to the UNC Emergency Room. I’d had some belly pain start in the morning that got progressively worse during the day. My physical therapist suggested it might be early appendicitis. Being hard-headed & really not into another surgery, I stopped by the GoodWill on the way home from my PT session.  I thought “Well, if I can hang out here for a while, talk to folks and look around without getting worse, I’m OK” Yeah. Right. Stupid move, huh? First bad sign – I didn’t find any jewelry I liked. The shoes were enticing & I managed to even find 2 pair that fit (an almost unknown occurrence!) while chatting with another lady. Somewhat nauseated and sweaty, I scoped out the ceramics. No, not much there either.  Barely glanced at the households bin. Stopped to look at some original paintings. About now I was wondering if I was going to make it to the check-out. Since I’m a veteran, I quickly laid out my finds & checked out as quickly as I could. Noticed my handwriting was shaky and I was sweating & chilled.

OK, so finally I admit to myself “I’m sick. Not just sick, bad sick”.  Cautiously I drove home without passing out. Practically dropped through the front door. Before long I was calling Hubby. Blessedly, he works only 5 minutes away on Fridays. After 2 small diagnostic pokes at my belly (he’s Dr too) neither of us had a doubt. Off to the ER for me.  Shit!

After the usual wait, ER indignities  (I will not list those  here) plus yummy CT contrast (and CT), the surgical team converged on my curtained bay. Oh yes indeed. There it was on the CT, not to mention the excellent classic signs I allowed the lowly med student to elicit (OW!) so the sadistic resident could pimp him. No, really, they were really nice. The attending surgeon was a great lady (we later discovered a common interest in antiques & collectibles!) and a terrific trauma surgeon. They couldn’t do that nice little laproscopic procedure due to a belly full of mesh left from my cancer reconstructive surgery. A mid-line approach she said. So what’s another scar?  Nothing like an appendectomy to make your weekend. Surgery was quick; apparently my body cooperated. Cool.

Unfortunately (there, I used that word again…) that was the last time for a day or so.  Another pain med got crossed off my list. They’d put fentinyl in my PCA. Well, I’d had the patch and some prn stuff before without problem. Not this time! Horrible migraine with all the most lovely aspects. Tragically I’d consumed cherry jello not long before!! Staff not being so cooperative; more on that later. The absolutely most horrendous episode I can remember. Ever.

Interestingly, I found the pain from the incision controlled quite well with Tylenol & a heating pad.   A good night’s sleep & I felt pretty good. For a while.  I strolled around the halls & whined for   solid food. Then the consequences of the previous day’s “activities” started to show themselves. I hurt. Boy did I hurt. Oh, my belly was just fine. It was almost every other part of my body; interesting what a workout violent retching is! (Hey, this blog is rated PG, folks…) There was nothing but time to make that better.

Bad night’s sleep. I didn’t realize I was being dogged by another migraine until that morning. Had to go through the same thing again, except this time I got the medication just in time to head off the puking part. Tragedy is the meds work in about 5 minutes but I had to wait for an hour to get them! I, however, knew better than to complain to those who could make the rest of my short stay miserable…. By  this time I was ready to get out of there before something else happened. Home! Home to my heating pads that actually work! Home to my comfy bed! Yes!

Hubby came & took me away. Forgot to bring me clean clothes. Brought his hideously uncomfortable car instead of my van.  Such is life in an ADHD household. Important thing – he came! (Could’a forgotten that too….) Got home in one piece – very very sore piece! Had to lift my legs out of the car with my arms. Yeah. That uncomfortable.

But it was all better when the pillows had been arrainged on the couch & my heating pads were in place. AHHH….

After a good night’s sleep & rest today, I’m thoroughly convinced that I will live. Get better even. Still working to catch up on my email & my Bonanzle booths. Nothing that can’t wait. I’ll attempt to go against my nature by resting & taking care of myself.

I plan my next post to be about all the indignities perpetrated on me by the medical system in just 3 short days. Not much new; I’ve been in the hospital so many times I know what to expect. Usually. Some things just come out of left field. So, next time (if I remember)…. ## Reasons not to go to the hospital unless you think you are in danger of life or limb. That’s what your insurance company wants to happen anyway….

Addendum: This sat for a few days because (oh wait, sit down!) I DID TOO MUCH on Tuesday. So it’s being finally posted today, 1 week post surgery. I’m still quite wrung out…..

I have managed to list a couple of great things in my Bonanzle booths, including this really hot pair of Fire-Engine Red Prada Mules!!!

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