(Again, I’m honoring the legal advice I’ve been given, and I have chosen not to use anyone’s last names due to the lawsuit I’m pursuing/engaged in)
After I clicked the record button on my phone, which was sitting on my lap facing the ceiling, a man named Michael R. appeared on the Telehealth screen. It was after 4:30 in the morning. I let him know that I disagreed with having someone do a mental health test when they had been up for 24 hours and had gone the last 5 hours without food or water. He was nodding as if he agreed, but his spoken concern was why I hadn’t received water, especially because I explained to him that I was still nursing my 4-month-old baby. I told him that the water in the section of the hospital I was in had been turned off due to COVID, as I was told, and although I had asked for water or anything to drink at least 5 times, I had been ignored. The nurse named Dakota, who had initiated the Telehealth screening, overheard me. She was new to me since she had just started her shift and immediately went to get me water. Unlike the other nurses I had asked, Dakota actually followed through. All of this was caught on film.
Michael R. went on to say that in the “call-in doctor ordered report,” it was written that the doctor who called me in stated an “emergency involuntary commitment” due to me being a risk to myself and/or to others. He then asked me why I felt I was there and gave me space to respond.
I proceeded to tell him that the woman who called was not Dr. Robin but was instead his wife Ann, using his name. I explained that I had called her out for stealing from us and performing insurance fraud. When she threatened me, I returned the threat by saying that I was going to report her to Cigna. The next thing I knew, the cops were at my house, demanding I go with them to the hospital because a doctor had ordered a mental health mandate under the pretense of suicide watch. I told him how I was cuffed and dragged away from my baby and that all this happened when I was nursing her before bed. I let him know I was NOT suicidal, and I was mentally well. I asked him to verify this by contacting my actual Psychiatrist, Dr. T, from the ___ institute of Nashville, and my actual counselor Lisa H, who also worked there. I had been seeing them both consistently for the last three years for ADHD and trauma processing.
Michael R said, “Dr. T. is your psychiatrist?” I nodded. “Yes, that’s why this whole thing is a huge nightmare of a misunderstanding.” Michael went on to tell me that my Dr. T used to be the Head of the ____ Pavilion at the TRiSTAR Hospital where I was currently staying.
I pleaded with Michael to call Dr. T to get this all sorted out, to let me go home to my baby because I was breastfeeding her and had never spent a night away. I let Michael know that my husband had recently gotten a new job with the Predators, and he had never cared for our baby by himself. I desperately needed to get back to my child. I also needed to eat, drink water, and go to sleep.
During the intake assessment, Michael R. said he had a lot of compassion for me and that he was going to advocate for me to get out. He also said that he didn’t have the authority to request my release since I was mandated there by a Ph.D. and would need to see the head psychiatrist (in person) at the hospital before I would be officially released. “Please, you don’t understand. I need to get home. I’ve never been away from Gracie. I need to feed her, hold her, soothe her. We have a bedtime ritual; I need to sing to her…” I broke down and started crying. I couldn’t help it. Talking about Gracie out loud and all the little things we did together – all the things I missed so much just caused tears to spill out of my eyes. I had been holding it together for the sake of composure and getting out, but hearing that I’d have to wait until later that morning for yet another doctor was agonizing. I was so tired, so hungry, and just so fucking sad. I got it all on camera. Watching it back with my attorneys now is still so difficult. It makes me tear up, even though it’s now been over a year since this incident happened.
After my mental health assessment, I continued to sit in the hallway for two hours. It was past 6 in the morning at this point and I was so worried about my baby. I had still not gotten a breast pump, and was in extreme discomfort. I called my friend/neighbor Jennelle to go to my house and check on my baby. I told her verbatim what had happened, how I was being treated, and how upset I was at the system for keeping a new mother away from her daughter. She tried to calm me down and assured me that she would be over at my house to help my sister with Gracie so that Ty could go to work since he was new and couldn’t miss.
Truthfully, I was pissed at Ty. I thought, “Why hasn’t he gotten me out of here yet? What the fuck is going on? I didn’t know that on his end, he was trying everything he could but was met with wall after wall due to it being an “involuntary check-in.” The same thing happened to my family when they tried to get me out.
The hospital staff soon confiscated my phone and apple watch, and I got very upset. The shock of everything was wearing off, and I realized, “Holy shit. This is for real.” I was stuck there after being taken from my baby without any time to set up care for her, she was breastfeeding, and I needed to be there. I felt scared about who would care for her and how she would be fed while I was held at the hospital (against my will) since I did not have a nanny or family support nearby (other than my sister, who had never even changed a diaper before). Also, I had a diabetic cat who needed an insulin shot two times a day, along with two other animals.
I was so grateful to policeman John for having prepped me with the guidance to write all the emergency numbers from my phone down with those crayons. It was now 6:45, and I began frantically calling every one of them to help me get out and help take care of Gracie. I’m pretty sure that the front desk staff was annoyed with me because I was constantly using their phone once daylight hit!
Apparently, there was still confusion on the hospital’s end as to why I was there, according to one of the nurses who was rotating through. I was then set up for a second mental health screening with a man named Dr. K. I’ll be honest – he was a total dick and had zero compassion. He said that in my notes, it said I was tearful. I went on to explain why and he cut me off by asking if I felt I was experiencing postpartum. I let him know I did not have any postpartum symptoms and reiterated the reason why I was there was by mistake. I asked him if my actual doctor, Dr. T, had been reached, but he said no and that he didn’t see any notes of that in my chart. This was especially upsetting to me since my psychiatrist, Dr. T, used to work at and oversee that very facility, and many of the hospital staff I had been talking to knew him well. It was so frustrating because the entire staff, doctors included, rotated in and out every 12 hours, so I felt like I was telling my story in circles. The individual notes each nurse and doctor took were then passed along to the next set, and it felt like a fucking game of telephone.
Also, during this second psych evaluation with Mr. K, I referenced my music career. I told him about me being a songwriter, and when he asked if I had any success, I told him I had tied with Michael Jackson as the youngest writer signed to a publishing deal, and that I had five platinum hits, and two #1’s by the time I was 13. When he asked about my family, I asked him to put down my husband, dad, and my brother Luke for my contacts. When asked about what they did, I told him my husband worked in hockey, my dad was a real estate mogul, and my brother was recently in the NFL. He gave me a look that said he thought I was lying or out of my mind to believe such large stories. So, I asked him to check my Instagram to verify that I was speaking facts, but he wouldn’t. He said it was against hospital protocol. I got pissy and said, “Isn’t it also against hospital protocol to keep someone here illegally?” He didn’t like my snarkiness, to say the least. In my files later, I found out that telling the truth of my background, occupation, and family history were referenced in parenthesis as “grandiose thinking,” next to circled “symptoms of bipolar/mania” in my medical records notes, although they were actually just the facts of my life. Such bullshit.
After my assessment with Dr. K, I met another doctor named Amy. She arranged for me to get a breast pump (finally), and I was told they were moving me into a room just off the hallway I was still sitting in… just waiting to go home. Policeman John said goodbye to me. I felt for him. He stayed with me the whole night and asked if I remembered his name. I said I did, and he told me to write it down. He then told me to get in touch with him when I eventually got home. I knew what he was getting at. He knew this whole thing was fucked up, and later when I did reach out to him, he vogued for my sanity and the injustice I had gone through to my attorneys. I’m really grateful to him.
The room I was moved into was bright yellow and had a tv on the BET channel… with no sound. At least it was something to watch other than the speckles on the floor. I was finally given two meals and three bottles of water. I finally had the privacy to use the breast pump. I saved my milk supply and asked them to refrigerate it, but they wouldn’t. It was heartbreaking because breast milk is often referred to as liquid gold, and the nutrients should have been going to my baby, but instead, it was going down the drain while I sat in agony being away from her. I was in that bright yellow room for over 17 hours. It felt like I was stuck in a holding pattern from hell!
I had learned how to read/understand military time since that’s what the hospital runs on. With
my coloring book and crayons, I decided to keep track of everything. I wrote down every doctor and nurse I had met and wrote down what times I had met them. It was helpful for me to know how long I’d been there and how long I’d been awake since I still hadn’t slept. I was constantly brought unfamiliar pills, but I refused medication since I was breastfeeding and didn’t want anything to contaminate my milk for Gracie. It was a legitimate concern. After denying the pills three times, I was then met with Dr. Amy, who was a bit forceful with the plastic cup containing two white ovals. I was told by Dr. Amy that, at this point, I had no choice if I wanted to go home. She said that what she was going to give me was to help me sleep and that it wouldn’t affect my supply. Unfortunately, Dr. Amy had not told me the full truth, and she gave me Zyprexa, which I found out later was a bipolar medication. She assured me that it was to help me sleep (in the bright yellow room with the TV on), but it didn’t. It actually did the opposite, and I was then going on a full day and a half of no sleep due to being forced away from my baby, stuck in the hospital hallway room against my will.