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Part 16: Near Fatal Mistake, Pervasive Injustice. What Happened?

By Ashley Huckabee

After being informed that I had suffered a stroke but was left with no deficits, I thanked my lucky stars and did my best to move on. Later that day, as I was sitting in the dayroom with a few of the other patients, I started to feel very strange. Suddenly, everything went black. I tried calling for help, but was barely able to mumble “nurse” before collapsing. I fell to the concrete floor, once again striking my head quite forcefully.

In light of my second stroke diagnosis, the staff determined it was necessary to allow me to undergo testing at the hospital. As terrifying as it all was, the thought that I might be able to finally leave that hellhole made me ecstatic. Unfortunately, when I arrived in the ER, I learned how wrong I had been in believing that my release was imminent.

In spite of my vehement objections, I was sent back to the mental health facility after the tests were concluded. I believe it’s worth mentioning that years later, when I visited the Mayo Clinic for unrelated health issues, their neurologist told me that I had been misdiagnosed. When I mentioned that the staff had combined an antihistamine with obvious alcohol withdrawal, I was told outright that they were morons. She explained that the combination had caused a dangerous drop in blood pressure, which was why I passed out.

When I returned to the facility against my will, the patients and I formed a bond over the various injustices we had each endured. The story of a young kid by the name of “Micah” stood out above the rest. As he described it, he had been subjected to racial discrimination, abuse, and harassment by the staff. While I may have been too weak to defend myself, I would rather die than knowingly allow anyone else to suffer in the ways I had. Had the hospital foreseen the hell we were about to unleash upon them, I guarantee they would have treated him better.



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