CHI Health Immanuel Medical Center

Name of Hospital: CHI Health Immanuel Medical Center

City, State/Province, Country: Omaha, Nebraska, United States of America

Number of Stars: 2.5

Comment: It’s hard to remember my time there (it was over 2 years ago and some of it is blocked out) but I’ll give my most accurate description: The waiting room had a TV, but the wait was so long… I was in a tiny holding room for more than 5 hours and it was 3 am when I got out. The rooms were doubles and split by sex (thankfully I didn’t know I was trans back then.) There was a bathroom in each room, but we were only allowed to use it with permission. The windows were barred and the doors were never closed. We were allowed our street clothes, but no hoodies (my comfort object at the time) or anything with strings or metal on it. The food wasn’t bad for hospital food, a little bland but had good variation. I think they accommodated for dieting restrictions for vegans or people with physical restrictions.

There was a very strict schedule, and visitor calls could only be made to parents (it /was/ a youth ward, but as a dependent unable to contact my qp the few days I spent there were brainhell.) There was some boy who kept hitting on me (I’m dfab and presented fem at the time) and they just allowed it. There were out of unit activities but all of them were in another room that was just down the hall. The day I left they had therapy dogs, and another time they had an arts and crafts block. Another time we watched a pirated movie on a little flatscreen tv in the common area. There was a logo for whoever stole it and people walking through the video. I can’t watch pirated movies anymore because of it. The worst part of my experience there were the psychiatrist sessions. They would pull you aside and ask you a bunch of questions. I know there was one about hallucination, but that’s all.

On the last or second-to-last day I was there, I ended up mentioning something about being pansexual to a therapist. I’m fairly sure I had to explain what it meant first but the mood changed right away. “How do you know that you’re gay? Are you sure you like women? Have you ever had sex with another woman? How can you be sure?” It was a Christian (Catholic, I think?) hospital with crosses over every door. I had never been sexually active with /anyone/ either – I was 14 at the time. How did I know I was attracted to anyone? I didn’t, it was more of a feeling. Until I got sent back home (I hadn’t eaten a single meal until they promised to send me home and I think that expedited it somewhat) the topic was “how do you know you’re gay?” It was like they were trying to “fix” it before it became “too late”. It was the closest thing to “correction” while still being legal. I’ve had to go back there (not to inpatient) for other procedures and the only time I can remember, I went nonverbal and had an anxiety attack.

Type of program (i.e. day program, inpatient): inpatient

Any other identities/marginalizations i.e. race/gender/sexuality that could have influenced your stay?: I came out as pansexual while I was there, but I’m white and identified as cisgender at the time.

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