Back in 1959 (when Bonnie and I were all of 10 years old) Dinah Washington recorded a pretty little melody called What a Difference a Day Makes. If you'd like to hear that pretty little melody, visit this site.
During a discussion with Bonnie's doctor over the phone, on May 2nd, I was informed that we needed to meet to discuss Bonnie's refusal to sign the consent required to begin treatments. I agreed to do so, and on May 4th, a Thursday, I fortified myself with medication and drove to the hospital. After having parked in the lot on the south side of the hospital, I crossed the street and headed for the disabled-accessible door that I had used on previous occasions. It was my unlucky day - there was some sort of reconstruction being performed, and the entrance was roped off. I was forced to hobble a block to the east to the next available door, which had a flight of eight steps leading up to it, and in the vestibule, another eight steps leading down. The extra two blocks and 16 steps did nothing to make me feel better.
I made it to the ward at around 9 am. The desk attendants were quite surprised to see me (normal visiting hours are from 3 to 8 pm.) I explained, once I had regained my breath (the walk had consumed most of my small reserves) that I was there to meet the doctor at her request, and they eventually let me in to see Bonnie.
As we had not seen each other since April 19th, you may well imagine the scene that then took place. The doctor came into the room not long afterward to introduce herself, at which point Bonnie curtly asked if she and I could have some time alone. I was a bit nonplussed, as I was eager to discuss matters with the doctor, and I knew that she would be leaving around noon to attend a seminar. After having spent an hour or so talking with Bonnie, I went out to the desk in search of the doctor. We did finally have a short discussion in the small lounge while the staff was cleaning Bonnie's room.
I explained to the doctor that, if Bonnie's consent was not forthcoming, I would be happy to sign in her stead, as I was eager to have the treatments begin. It was at this point that the doctor became slightly evasive, indicating that she didn't think that would be allowable and that, since Bonnie had demonstrated no sign of progress, she had begun making arrangements for Bonnie to possibly receive treatment at the Rochester Psychiatric Center. At no point did the doctor inquire of me whether this would be inconvenient for me.
The meeting, from my point of view, was rather unsatisfactory and vaguely unsettling. To make matters worse, the haze of pain occasioned by my first real exercise since leaving the hospital on April 21st was interfering with my concentration, and I wasn't quite certain that anything had actually been settled.
Sometime during the afternoon, an attendant came into Bonnie's room , introduced himself to us, and indicated that he would in some capacity (perhaps as nurse) be involved in Bonnie's case once she had been moved to the Rochester Psychiatric Center. This, you may imagine, was cause for dismay, as I had not, I thought, been properly consulted with as to this action, and it seemed that it was being presented to me as a fait accompli.
Over the weekend, I had a discussion with a friend (who accomplished some helpful research for me, and who encouraged me to take action), and on Monday, May 8th, I sent this email -
Dr. Brewer, i am sending this in a small amount of desperation. My wife, Bonnie, who you last treated for clinical depression in early 2000, is once again in the Psych Ward at Strong Memorial. This time, however, despite my assurances and her records, the attending physician seems to want to transfer Bonnie to the Rochester Psychiatric Center.