Chapter 13-4: High Plains Drifting - Don't mention Suicide

The doctor softened a bit and made yet another appointment for an RF procedure that Friday. When he walked us to the ER, he was kinder and made small talk. In the ER we were shown into a small room with a bed and sink. The time slipped by. Eventually a nurse came in and asked Bob to remove all his clothes.

“What for?”  Bob asked, “And why are we here?” The nurse was unable to answer us and disappeared and we waited. Finally, another nurse came back and said “It’s the procedure. He has to remove his clothes.”  Bob replied, ‘We’re leaving’ to which the nurse replied that the police would then be called in to bring us back. Our stress levels were now going through the roof.

Lake Maloya, New Mexico

We were stunned. What the hell was happening to us? We had driven up from Socorro for Bob to be treated for pain and now we were being threatened with police action and treated like criminals! Bob started to get angry with the staff and I realized that we were trapped.

Is this the way to treat pain patients or the mentally ill?

And to top it all, Bob was upset with me for bringing up suicide in the first place. I thought, stupidly, as it happened that his doctor would realize the severity of his pain. The psychiatrist spent less than five minutes with us and then told us we could leave. Three hours after we had walked into Kaseman for a regular pain appointment we left wondering what the hell had just happened, and how could this treatment be considered quality medical care.

 Amidst this drama, we were able to find some dark humor. “Let’s face it ,” Bob said, “If I really was thinking about killing myself, after this treatment I might!” and we were able to chuckle momentarily at the predicament we were in. Was this the way to treat a possible suicide patient? And we  sought out another pain doctor.