Dear Keisha Edwards, JFK Boston Office Of Civil Rights
I am appealing to your humanity to please read this and if you cannot help me to show it to someone at the OCR who will. In GOD’s NAME I am suffering from an extreme traumatic reaction to what they did to me, both at the IOL, which case you dismissed, and from my recent stay at New Britain General. How can your office simply ignore this sort of abuse, especially when I tell you that it is routine and SOP there, even though what they did to me may have been worse than the norm by virtue of its excess.
Michael E. Balkunas, MD, chief psychiatrist of the W-1 unit of the Hospital of Central Connecticut in New Britain, deliberately misdiagnosed me, who have been on Social Security Disability and SSI since 1980. I was admitted to his unit with a decades long dx of schizophrenia, as well as PTSD since 2009 (largely due to in-hospital care-provider abuse of seclusion and restraints), but he immediately secondarily (though he made it clear that he considered it primary) diagnosed Borderline Personality Disorder, against all the evidence, which he took pains to gather from my family and outside providers. I believe he did this in order to justify treating me with isolation for three weeks, an inhumane Behavioral Treatment Plan, multiple uses of four-point restraints and ordering me forcibly dragged into a horrific supermax seclusion cell, into which I might have to run to avoid being propelled there bodily by the guards (who were actually given carte blanche as the RNs informed me to inflict physical pain in order to subdue me quickly, because the nurses themselves were not permitted to lay hands on a patient!).Once there, I was then stripped naked of all my clothing "for safety's sake.”
In the Supermax cell, HOCC's invarying protocol demanded that no matter how calmly or how voluntarily I went in, I would be injected with three "punishment drugs,” drugs which at times were not on my normal list of medications, e.g. Prolixin, which I haven't taken for decades and to which I have a terrible reaction. My Advance Directive, which I gave them on admission, states that i was not to be given any such “typical neuroleptic” like Prolixin/fluphenazine because of this reaction..Also, despite my repeated assurance that I would "take my punishment drugs” voluntarily and without resistance, I was often pushed onto my face, prone, on the mattress, and held down by several guards until I couldn't breathe, and forcibly injected.
Note that although the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid require "imminent danger of causing severe bodily harm to self or others, or even property" before any patient is put into seclusion of four point rsrtaints, I was routinely secluded, stripped naked by male guards, and four-point restrained in a spread-eagle maximum exposure position, for being a nuisance and a disruptive presence to the appropriate unit "milieu." Once, when I told the guards these requirements, the "rules" for secluding a patient, they seemed surprised...and even reluctant to continue, though of course they had to follow orders and did so. They were always willing to inflict pain on me to ensure my rapid compliance, even when I verbally assured them I would do so.
You may be surprised to hear that in point of fact, when I actually was in acute danger of self-harm, due to command hallucinations, and was observed by many nurses slicing my face with a sharp piece of plastic, drawing blood that streamed down my face and left open wounds, this behavior was actually ignored and even savagely mocked! So it was clearly not the case that their secluding me or stripping me had anything whatsoever to do with concerns for my physical safety...
In addition, Dr Balkunas, quite despite his apparent belief in the accuracy of his diagnosis of a personality disorder, never treated me for it, not with anything but antipsychotic drugs. Although he charged Medicare more than $300.00 per session each morning, he saw me for a one-sentence “How are you?” drive-by Q and A each morning. He largely ignored my presence on the unit. Worse, whenever I was put in seclusion or four -point restraints I would BEG for my 1-hour face-to-face interview for evaluation of the appropriateness of the intervention, but they routinely denied me that right, saying that they had 24 hours before I needed to see anyone…!
His whole rationale for committing me to the State Hospital was that "antipsychotic drugs take time to work", so I will send you there until yours do...Mind you, he never changed my meds. so I stayed on the same meds and the same dosages I came in on and that i had never stopped taking,so what was it that he thought “needed to work? Just torture?
Please help me, I cannot go on this way. NO ONE in Connecticut is charged with assisting me. NO LEGAL Agency has any interest in me…NONE. Believe me I have tried for years to find some help with this sort of abuse, but there is absolutely no one. Not even the Dept of Protection and Advocacy for the mentally ill or those charged with protecting the elderly!
Pamela S Wagner
PLEASE NOTE that I have trouble speaking, and while I can take a phone call i am using text to speech software. This is effective but it takes a little time for me to type and allow the iPad to speak my words. PLEASE be patient if you call me in the next day or so...
ALSO you might be interested, Dear Reader, in my Google + review, written shortly after that hospital stay of Dr Michael Balkunas. Either the link or the review itself should appear here.