Saturday, June 21, 2008

Weekly Warning 6/22/08

Always carry your identification in when you're visiting an in-patient mental hospital.

One late evening in February, I got called out on a snowy evening to GMHI (Georgia Mental Health Institute) because I had the double misfortune of being a social worker and carrying the on-call emergency pager for my county. GMHI was the state run mental health hospital in Atlanta. One of my kids had threatened to do something to someone and was "10-13ed" to GMHI. Because the state had custody, the on-call caseworker--me--had to sign committment papers NOW as the intake worker put it.

Looking like death warmed over at 2 a.m. while wearing Scooby Doo pajamas top and flip flops does not inspire professional confidence but I had been rudely awakened to drive 60 miles into Atlanta.

I arrive without fanfare to sign the papers only to wait for an hour in the waiting room with "my" charge who called me every name in the book. I pointedly ignored the comments about my sex life and read a two year AMA journal.

When the attendent called out my kid's name (we'll go with Carrie) to go to her room, I followed him. Carrie did not do the same.

We got to the door and Mr. Warm and Fuzzy Attendent slaps some restraints on me. At this juncture, I wake up and tell the guy I'm not "Carrie" but rather her social worker. He ignores me and pulls me toward the hospital. When I resist, he demands to see my state ID (which is out in my car). Then he tells me that he'll sedate me if I don't shut up.

Carrie is nearly on the floor laughing. She finally informs the medic of the situation.

Scary that I had to rely on a teen age terrorist to bust me out of a mental hospital because I didn't have an ID proving I was the sane one. Which when you think about it, working social services for 12 years is not exactly normal.

1 comment:

Lil Knitter said...

Okay, I was laughing there for a minute then it got a little scary. Omg...the possibilites! Thank goodness your little terrorist spoke up...maybe she wasn't all bad after all.