June 5th, 2010


Is this bad service or am I being unreasonable?

I'm in the process of gathering documentation to attempt to argue my case with the committing court. The problem is, I risk being held in contempt if I do so.

Today, I slapped on the sunscreen and kept to the shade when I ventured out to sell off some old video gaming equipment. I was in the sun less than one hour total--most of the time I was in an air-conditioned business or bus. Despite every precaution I took, I still ended up with severe heat exhaustion--for the second time in two months.

I don't remember many of the details, but by the time I got to Wishard (never go to a hospital that has a letter in its sign burnt out), I was confused enough to where they asked more than once if I'd been drinking alcohol (I don't drink), and my heart rate was high enough to where I was asked if I'd ever had a heart attack (I'm 31). I'd broken out, swooned, and I was shaking. They triaged me, handed me an ice pack and made sure I had a bag in case of vomiting (I had dry heaves), then told me to sit in the waiting room. The ice pack lasted about twenty minutes. I'm not sure how long I sat there, but it was an entire episode of Jeopardy and a good chunk of the movie "Hurt Locker" (where the girl sings "Popular" from "Wicked" to the end of the movie).

When I was called back, the doc asked me what year it was. I said "Two thousand... damn. Uh... Two thousand ten? I want to say 2008, but I know that's not right." He ordered an IV. They couldn't get a vein--nurse said something about "I can see it bunching up" (no clue what that means, but I don't like the sound of it)--then gave it through my hand. Since they accidentally left a hospital phone in the room, I was able to time the elapsed time between the IV finishing and being visited again--more than one hour. Ironically enough, they paged the phone--and still didn't find it. I tried to flag a nurse down, but no one came by the room except this woman who kept pacing. It creeped me out, but considering that I'd had some hallucinations from the heat (and yes, I told them that), I'm not surprised.

The doc finally told me that I needed to "sit down and have a long talk with your psychiatrist". Apparently, I'm on enough meds to create a pre-disposition to heat exhaustion and dehydration. I told him she wouldn't return my calls, and he said that he couldn't do anything, and he knew how it was with Medicaid patients trying to get help. They discharged me, telling me to return "if you develop confusion, repeated vomiting, severe headache, severe muscle spasms, fever, chest pain or shortness of breath." I already had a severe headache, confusion and chest pain. I still have bouts of shaking, and I feel like I'm burning up and freezing at the same time.

They asked if I had a bus pass, and I said yes. However, IndyGo doesn't run a 24-hour schedule, not even to Wishard. How's that for an oversight? Even though I live in an independent facility run by the Midtown mental health division of Wishard, Midtown can't take me to or home from Wishard, and Wishard can't take me to a Midtown facility. Strange, because Midtown can take us grocery shopping... The Midtown residential facility can't take us to our appointments with Midtown, either.

So there I am, at two in the morning, sitting at a bus stop with no way home. Medicaid cabs won't take you home if you didn't take a Medicaid cab to the hospital. My father's out of the country, my mother's out of state, and both of my brothers have pregnant wives. I didn't feel safe there, and I knew that even if I had the strength to do so, walking home wasn't a good idea. I live in a neighborhood marked by a daily changing parade of discarded bottles of hard liquor. I called a friend from church, apologized, explained the situation and she gave me a lift home.

I spoke to a counselor and was informed that since I hadn't seen my psychiatrist, I could be held in contempt of court for failure to see the doctor.

I know this is normal for a low-income psych patient in Indianapolis. What I'm wondering is "Am I being unreasonable or am I really being screwed?" I told my friend "I know they're not trying to kill me, but I feel like they are."
Black Butterfly

The bus failed to pick me up...

In the beginning of May, I started volunteering at a vet clinic in the next community over.  I only have my beginners license and no car, so I have to rely on the bus.  I have to be at the clinic for 9 am.  I live in a city with a crappy bus schedule (runs once an hour, once every two hours in the evening, half of the routes don't go on Saturdays and there is no service on Sundays and holidays).  I have to be at the bus stop for 7:45, take the bus to Dorchester St (where most of the buses gather on the hour), transfer buses, and then once I reach my destination, I have a 15 minute walk.

Anyway, when I arrive at the bus stop, there are 4 buses that drive past me: Bus A, Bus B, Bus C and Bus D.  All of the buses except for Bus B are headed to the same direction, which is Dorchester St.

Week 1:  Bus A and Bus B drives past me.  Bus C picks me up.
Week 2: Bus A and Bus B drives past me.  Bus C picks me up.
At this point, I'm kind of assuming at Bus C is the one picking me up.  So I arrive start arriving a little bit later to the bus stop, in time to catch Bus C.
Week 3:  I was across the street from the stop when Bus A and B drive by.  Bus C is nowhere to be seen and Bus D picks me up.
Yesterday:  I watch Bus A and Bus B drive by from across the street.  I get to my stop, wait there for five minutes, and Bus D drives past me.

I had to catch a cab to the next community, which costs me $8.  I'm a broke college student who just spent $45 on a bus pass for the month, so I was not happy.

At 9:00, I called the transit office.  I first asked them what bus is supposed to pick me up at that time.  I was told that Bus A should be picking me up.  For the first two weeks, Bus A has been driving past me.  Bus A didn't even change into the appropriate lane to pick me up those two weeks!

Maybe it's because the stop is "close" to the Dorchester St.  I have only seen people waiting at that stop once or twice in the three years that I've been taking the bus.  I have to walk 10 minutes to the stop and Dorchester St. is about a 15 minute walk from that stop.  It was pouring down rain yesterday so like hell I was going to walk there.  Just because people rarely use that stop, it's still a legit stop and the buses have to stop for me.

The woman who I talked to is only responsible for the Handitrans and couldn't help me.  She gave me the phone number of her supervisor and told me to call Monday when he's in.

A friend of mine has called the supervisor a couple of times this year.  She asked a driver if she had missed her bus or if another one was on her way.  The driver said that her bus would be along in 5 minutes and it never showed up.  She waited an hour for it.  She also had buses not show up at all a few times and I guess the supervisor was less than helpful.

I have to take the same route again today, but at a later, busier time, so hopefully the buses don't drive past me again.  I might have to leave a little earlier and walk to the stop further up the street.

If this happens again, what can I do?  I should have gotten a receipt from the cab and threatened the supervisor with it...