01/09/13: Messages that I sent to my e-mail from my phone 01/06/13, Part 2, with pictures: Massachusetts General Hospital

by thiswinteralso

‘CERTO MINI FACIAL  TISSUES.’ I’ve been sick for a week at the time that I’m writing this.  This is what the boxes of tissues that they’ve been giving me look like.


Do children get molested while they’re patients in this hospital?  That’s a horrible thought.

Video questions: what does it mean to videotape a patient in the bathroom in a hospital or crisis stabilization unit? Worse than that; to pass it around to people and put it on the Internet. I don’t know if there’s video of me on the Internet. If what has happened to me can happen, it can happen to anyone.

I’ve been here since this afternoon, and now it’s 10:30 at night. Months ago, when I went to an ER and decided with a doctor to try a crisis stabilization unit rather than a psychiatric hospital or ward, it seemed to take a long time for the placement to be made. I know that phone calls have to happen to find places that have room, except that it was at least 1:00 in the morning before I was brought to a stabilization unit the last time and I think I got videotaped in the bathroom there.

Did it take a long time the last time because once the unit heard that I’d be there they put a camera in the bathroom and it took a while to do that?  Is that why it’s taking hours and hours for me to be put somewhere this time? The next place is going to do the same thing?

Pine Street Inn: Last night, I removed a chip (food) and a wad of used tissues from the bed that I got at the Pine Street Inn before I put sheets on the mattress. Those things had been left there by the person who had the bed last night.

That shelter has been better than a lot of shelters for cleanliness. Everyone who gets a bed has to take a shower at night and is given a towel, flip flops, a nightgown and a robe. You give back the towel after your shower and the rest of the things in the morning.

They give everyone who has a bed a set of clean sheets; you make up the bed at night and take the sheets off and turn them in in the morning.

I don’t think that they wash the blankets on the beds every day. I also think that hygiene is worse now because they took out 20 regular beds and put in 20 bunk beds for the winter, so that there are 20 extra beds.  Usually, if you get a bed, you have to put the clothes you were wearing before the shower and your change of clothes for the morning in the locker that goes with your bed number; you don’t bring a lot of stuff with you to the bed, you can’t.

There aren’t lockers for the top bunks of the bunk beds, so people bring a bag with their stuff in it to the bed with them when they get top bunks.

There are people who either won’t take a top bunk or can’t climb up into one.  I’ve been getting a bed through the lottery almost every night since they got the bunk beds; they do a separate lottery for the top bunks first, and then they put your name into the lottery for the rest of the beds if you don’t get a top bunk. You get 2 chances for a bed rather than one.

Unfortunately, I think that I got conjunctivitis from the bed I was in last night. The eye is red, there seems to be an increasing amount of thick, yellow discharge from the tear duct, and it hurts ; not a sharp pain but noticeable and also something which has increased over the past few hours. The eye started to feel irritated this morning.

Also unfortunately, the doctor who looked at my eye here said ‘Maybe you just got something in it that irritated it.’ She didn’t seem to think that it was conjunctivitis, and it seems to me that it is. I’ve gotten it before, after staying at the Boston Public Health Commission shelter in Quincy, where all of the mattresses are old and dirty, you take whatever blanket you can find from a bed that hasn’t been given sheets yet, and sometimes there are neither blankets nor sheets for everyone and you sleep on the filthy, dilapidated mattress without them.

The doctor who looked at my eye might have been 10 years younger than I am. I have never seen a young, female doctor who was as lifeless as she was, almost devoid of a personality.  She didn’t seem to have any confidence.

She alarmed me with her apathetic treatment of my eye; I really think it’s conjunctivitis, and it’s my EYE. I only have 2 of them.

The feeling that I got from her is that she, like a lot of women now, is psychologically battered at work by the same sexual harassment that happens to me and that’s happening to a lot of women and that isn’t being called the sexual harassment that it is.

My guess is that she is abused by supervisors, people at her own level, people whose work status is lower than hers but who use the denied harassment to undermine her authority, by patients. The men get everything and she gets nothing. Her decisions are questioned or not supported. She isn’t praised when she’s right and may even be more harassed when she does a particularly good job. Her mistakes and hesitations get ridiculed overtly or with smirks and gestures; they are treated as proof that she isn’t good enough, that she is stupid.  Because hostility is everywhere

she makes more mistakes and is more hesitant.

Because she is constantly getting the message that women are worthless and bad and that her work isn’t valued and that her presence is unwanted, and also because I am another female and a particularly stigmatized one, she is apathetic in her treatment of my eye, incorrectly diagnoses the problem, and does not help.

I thought about whether she might just be intimidated by me and the fact that if I write about her on my blog a lot of people will read it. However, I’ve met other female doctors since I’ve been in the Boston area, and nobody has been the way she is, not to that extent.

The last time I was in an ER was months ago. Every day that the conglomerate promotes its agenda, women are losing ground.

I wasn’t trying to take pictures of my nose or say something with my nose. I was trying to take pictures of my eye.

Eye: picture that shows discharge from my eye. I’ve worn a mask since I got into the ambulance; one of the EMTs gave me one as soon as I told him that I’ve been sick for a week and he heard my cough.

I’ve been wiping discharge like this from that eye for the past few hours.

I’ve seen my eye red before; I’ve never seen discharge like this.




(I’m writing this note now; it wasn’t one of the messages.  I sent the messages on this page at times from about 9:00 p.m. Sunday night until about 5:00 a.m. Monday morning.  When something happened, I would send a message, although I didn’t send a message every time I got harassed. I tried to sleep and was able to get a few hours, between my bouts of coughing and having to blow my nose from my cold, that has now been going on for a week and a half, and being coughed at or otherwise harassed by some of the staff.  I told everyone that I talked to that I was sick and that I was sorry that I was coughing; nobody had a reason to think that I was coughing on purpose.).


Copyright L. Kochman, January 9, 2013 @ 2:23 p.m.