A Night-Time Crisis

So I really need to get something off my chest. Yesterday was a mostly good day, as you can see from my previous post. However, in the evening, we landed in a pretty bad crisis.

It started out with the evening staff wishing me goodnight at 9:45PM. I still had to brush my teeth, so she asked whether I would manage. Normally I do, so I said “Yes”. When I was done brushing my teeth, my gums hurt from the inflammation and I was considering asking for paracetamol. I mean, I could’ve waited till the pain got severe, as I did the previous night, but then I’d have to bother the night staff.

I also realized the evening staff had left the light on. I had asked her to switch it off (it is a truly stupid switch which I can’t work), but she had asked me how I’d manage without light if I wasn’t ready to go to bed yet. Well, like, how I manage virtually all the time without light. I have light perception, which can be useful but in this case was more bothersome, in that it meant having to go to bed with the lights on. I can write blog posts and do basically everything with the lights off, but I cannot sleep with the light on. So inbetween the argument of whether I would be comfortable in the dark, the staff actually forgot to turn off the light.

As it was only 9:50 and the staff are supposed to be here till 10:15PM, I went looking for the evening staff rather than push the call button. She was gone. Then I pushed the call button. No response. In the next 30 or so minutes, I got increasingly panicked. I heard the buzzer go off so assumed the evening staff either must be somewhere but not care, or she’d left the phone with the buzzer in the house rather than having given it to the night shift. So how would I reach anyone now?

I was very panicked, engaging in self-injurious behavior, screaming and shouting. I was so scared and angry at the same time. If the staff are supposed to be here till 10:15, why did she leave by 9:50?

At one point, I somehow opened the door to leave the unit. Our unit is at the top floor of the building. It is sort of locked, in that my fellow residents can’t work the key to open it. I thought neither could I but somehow I can.

I ran out the door, intending on I don’t know what, going outside or something. My first response in panic is either fight or flight, and in this case I utilized flight quite literally.

A staff from the downstairs unit found me crying at the top of the stairs. Another staff from our neighboring unit came to the rescue too.

It turns out the night shift doesn’t start till 10:30. This is one night staff who caters to the entire facility, so she isn’t physically present on my unit most of the time. Well, how am I going to reach a staff in an emergency if the evening shift leave at 9:50 (or 10:15 in an ideal situation) and the night shift doesn’t come on till 10:30. My staff eventually found the solution of giving their phone to the neighboring unit, where staff is available till 10:30.

Finally, the night staff, who had joined the other two staff in helping me, gave me my paracetamol, plus a lorazepam to calm my anxiety, and turned off my light. Nonetheless, I didn’t sleep till around the second time the clock hit 2:30AM (daylight saving time ending). The night staff, though she hardly knows me as she only works nights, was nice enough to sit by my bedside and comfort me for a little while.

5 thoughts on “A Night-Time Crisis

  1. So sorry that happen I agree with you how can they have 15 or 20 minutes of time not covered by staff? And then have staff that isn’t even on the floor most the night but in another unit. To me it would be a liability to not have at least one person on the floor at all times. For safety reasons if nothing else, if the floor is locked as you said. I think I would check into that. I do not know the level of care most on the floor needs but as you said you don’t think most could even unlock the door and you, yourself having trouble and not knowing how to get a hold of someone when you need them. I think I would question that and see if they are following protocol. I can see why you would be in such a panic and so upset. Glad they were so helpful and caring once they found you.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Well as for staff not on the unit, most other clients can’t ask for help or find staff by themselves. There is listen-in technology in their rooms which listens for unusual activity suc as them crying or having a seizure. I was told that they do have seizure detection covered 24/7. This was one of my worries that drove me to meltdown. Not that I have epilepsy myself, but like you, I was upset for the other clients.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I still wouldn’t be comfortable with my loved one somewhere that didn’t’ have at least one person on floor at all times. I don’t feel it is to much to expect with the amount of money these places make for taking care of these people. Glad to hear they have some measures in place but still not the same as human interaction or someone that can take care of things quicker. It’s like oh well it’s okay because they aren’t aware or as aware to the fact no one is there. That rubs me the wrong way. but maybe that is just me.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. Yes, it rubs me the wrong way too. In psychiatric hospitals, which get about the same amount of money as my care facility, usually someone is on the floor all the time. Then again, night-time availability may be better but day-time availability is in my experiencce much worse.

          Liked by 1 person

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