Name of Hospital: St. Mary’s Hospital
City, State/Province, Country: Madison, Wisconsin, USA
Number of Stars: 4
Comment: My time there was actually extremely pleasant. The choice of food we had for every meal was wonderful, and we had a day room where we could watch (supervised) TV, eat anything that may be in the fridge or cupboards, draw or read some books, and all the like. The doctors were really nice and none of them felt threatening or unreasonable. Everything was clean and furnished, there was a telephone where people could call in to talk to the patients if they couldn’t make the 2-6 pm visiting hours, and my family was allowed to give me foods and drinks from the outside as long it didn’t have caffeine and could be stored ( like Starbursts and chocolate, Sprite and Sunny D). We weren’t allowed to have any strings or sharp things, but I was allowed to bring books and my stuffed animal with me.
What I liked the most about it was that it was scheduled, but it didn’t feel forced or that I was pressured. A man came to give us our medication every morning at 6, and breakfast was at 7. You could shower in the morning or at night, and the Dayroom was always open until 11, which was the latest you could stay up before you were to be in bed. It felt very lenient overall, and it gave me free time to do some things like read my books or watch TV.
My main concerns was I was never told when I was changing my singles room to one with a roommate, and I had to ask them where my stuff was to learn about it. I was fine with the camera in my room, but was terrified of sleeping with another person who I didn’t know; luckily, a nurse let me sleep in a room in intensive hold for the night, but from then on I was forced to get used to my roommate; it’s a small problem, but I was never told about the change and it set me into a great panic, along with the paranoia that my roommate could hurt me in the night since I do not sleep well near complete strangers. My requests were never received to go back to a singles, and when a singles room did open up, I was unable to move into it.
Another problem I had was that it had programs every hour or so that kept us busy, but they were very general; I was forced to go to groups on things like anger management and group cooperation, neither of which had anything to do with why I was there or my problems with dealing with suicidal tendencies. The morning stretch was really nice, but that’s the only program I could bare. They lasted up to an hour, and I couldn’t stand sitting there in absolute boredom, but I was forced to always stay there.
Type of program (i.e. day program, inpatient): Inpatient
Any other identities/marginalizations (i.e. race/gender/sexuality) that could have influenced your stay?: Openly lesbian. It felt more like a passing comment, and my doctors never seemed to change or mention it again after I had been asked by my main Doctor.