My head is pounding. As I open my eyes, I am trying to get acclimated as to where I am. I have no idea of my surroundings and this causes me to panic. My vision is blurry and I can’t for the life of me think of what is going on or how I got to where I am. Suddenly, I feel someone lifting my eyelids and pointing a light at my eyes. I still can’t make out who the person is that is doing this to me and even with that, I am confused and really unable to protest. It’s like I am going in and out of consciousness. I give up on trying to fight to get back in control of my surroundings. I don’t have the energy to talk, understand, or move for that matter. I hear someone calling my name over and over. My eyes flutter open and shut. Now I am noticing that it is white coat trying to get me to wake up. Which now reminds me that I am in still in the “Doom Room” or am I?
I hear white coat walk off and a door closes. I am still laying on a couch. A couch?? This must be why I am having such a hard time coming to. I am actually comfortable. As much as my head is pounding, I am actually really comfortable. Never ever take your sofa or bed for granted. Never. I hear the door open and I am not sure if I am in any danger or if I am ok. This puts my panic up a notch. I hear Vontay’s voice and my mind is somewhat easing down. I trust Vontay.
As I start to understand my surroundings, it appears as though I am in white coat’s office. The sun in beaming in from her window. Part of me wants to cry, but I can’t because I have absolutely no energy. The sunlight alone makes me feel like I have a chance in life. The heat from the sun tells me that I can feel things too. The feeling is liberating. I breathe. As soon as my breathing becomes somewhat normal, the tears start to flow from my eyes. Vontay is in the middle of getting my vitals. When he sees the tears, he sits me up on the couch and allows me to lean on him while the tears flow. He tells me that everything is alright. He says that I am ok. He tells me that I am lucky. I have no idea how he has come up with any of this. I don’t feel alright. I don’t feel ok. I don’t feel safe. I damn shoal don’t feel lucky. I ask him what is going on and why am I in here. He tells me that I must have had a moment when I was talking on the phone and it got loud to the point where others wanted to know what was going on and then the “Doom Room” panicked.
At this point I feel awful. I am sure that all of us got the needle. This is all my fault. I apologize over and over in the middle of sobbing. Vontay says that there is no need for me getting upset or feeling bad about anything. He tells me that it actually turned out better for me and some of the others in the “Doom Room”. He says that Dr. Sunni was able to witness some things that she had not seen before and with all that was going on, I became a priority. Dr. Sunni on her own, had dragged me from the confusion and put me in her office personally. I am surprised by this. Even though I know what Vontay is verbally saying, I am still having a hard time processing the information. I am still trying to “wake up”. As Vontay and I are still talking, Dr. Sunni walks back in with a tray of food. Breakfast.
“Hello, I am Dr. Sunni. I am the head Psychiatrist here at Tampa Memorial. Is it ok if I talk to you about a few things regarding your reason for being here in the hospital?” I look at Vontay and Dr. Sunni apologizes. “I am sorry, Vontay, do you mind giving us a minute?” I speak up and ask if it is alright if he stays with us for a moment. She appears to be delighted in my suggestion. We go on a fact finding mission as to how I came to be a patient in the facility. Dr. Sunni listens very intently. I am relieved to at least think that someone in authority here is finally listening to what it is I have to say without seeming judgmental off the rip. When I tell her about the test results from the biopsy, she stops writing and she is looking at me intensely. I am not sure what is going on in her head. She puts her pen down on her desk and she looks out of the window. I am now just as silent. Vontay breaks the dryness and asks if he could get us anything to drink. Dr. Sunni states that if she was a drinker, should would ask for a shot of Johnnie Walk Black. We all laugh at that one. She turns to me and asks what is my favorite drink. I think she was expecting me to tell her something alcoholic. I tell her that the best thing in this life is a cold Coca Cola with extra ice. She smiles. She instructs Vontay to bring us three Cokes with extra ice. I am stunned! I haven’t had a Coke in what seems like a year. Maybe Vontay is right about being lucky.
Click… Click… Click… We are again leaving this hospital without Jacinta and I am starving!!!! We might have to hit a drive through or two before we see this attorney. I can see that Chico’s head is spinning. At the same time, it looks like our team has gone from two heads thinking correctly to one head thinking correctly. Why I am the only one being able to handle things around here is beyond me. However, we need to be redirecting our focus back to making this “break out of jail” situation a reality. I am beginning to feel like a broken record every time I mention her name. It makes me feel like shit and it only lights an extra fire to my ass to push this shit along. It feels like every little step we take towards getting a plan into place something forces a stupid wedge and we are gapped back out. This cycle is going to end today as soon as I get something to eat. I tell Chico that we need to hit a few drive thru restaurants and after that, leave all of the talking to me.
Vontay returns with three Cokes and three cups of ice. Dr. Sunni takes a sip and the euphoria of it all is written on her face. We start discussing what my next steps and options should be so that I can get a speedy court date. Dr. Sunni believes me!!! I am overwhelmed with joy and gratefulness. Dr. Sunni believes me… She also lets me know that this is going to be a lengthy process. I straight ask her, realistically, how long will it be before I can get out of here. Her prediction is that at the earliest, I can be released in about three months. The word “months” felt like a death sentence. She senses my reaction and she writes something on a piece of paper and gives it to Vontay. He leaves the office while she is instructing me to breathe. Shortly, Vontay returns with a small paper cup with a pill. It is a Xanax. They give me the medicine and they lay me back down on the couch. As the medicine starts to kick in, I tell them how much I truly appreciate all of their help. It means the world to me. I only ask if they can contact my husband to tell him that I am with them and that I am going to be ok. Vontay gives me a wink. Dr. Sunni tells me to just take it easy and rest. I can stay on her couch for as long as I like. That statement is the lullaby that gets me back into a deep sleep.
“Hi, Mr. Daniel. My name is Vontay Hill. I am one of the nurse’s on your wife’s hospital floor. I just wanted to let you know that she is ok. She had a panic attack and it sort of gotten out of hand. We have the situation under control and she is resting peacefully in the office of Dr. Sunni. I have taken her vitals and everything is coming back down to normal. She just needs to get some rest. I will have her call you once she is able to. Do you have any questions?”
I am so relieved that Vontay has taken the time out to call me regarding Cint. I am all over the place with everything that this going on. To hear something somewhat positive from someone on the inside is liberating. I asked him if I could bring her anything. He says that I can bring her some undergarments and a pair of pants and t shirt. I am on that stat. He still advises that I have had some pretty strong medicine and that she would be sleep for a while. He suggests that I bring the clothing during visitation. I tell him that the security officer informed us that we would not be able to have visitation today due to a code red. Vontay says that the visitation has been lifted as directed by Dr. Sunni. I am overly thankful. I tell him that if there is anything that Jacinta, Dr. Sunni, or any of the staff members need, to please not hesitate to call. He says that he just appreciates that there are people out there who don’t give up on their family and this is just a part of being a nurse.
Chico is still on the phone with the hospital as I am approaching the receptionist’s desk for the attorney. She is well dressed and extremely professional. She is already expecting us and she tells me that she will alert Mr. Fernandez of our arrival. It looks like things are not as bad as I thought they would be by the look that Chico has on his face. A moment later, I am greeted by Juan Fernandez, Esquire. Chico finishes his call and we are escorted into the attorney’s office. After a few pleasantries, I cut to the chase and I tell him that we need my sister taken off of Baker Act as soon as the first court comes into session this Monday. I can tell that Mr. Fernandez is a very accomplished lawyer, just by looking at all of the accolades that are hanging on the wall of his office and in the hallway. Mr. Fernandez starts to smile. I am assuming at my tenacity to just cut the shit. He looks at the both of us and says… “well let’s get to work! I love it when a client has more drive than I do. It pushes me harder.” He pushes a button on his office phone. A few seconds later the receptionist is at the door. “Erica, please put me on the court docket for Monday morning, Baker Act Hearing. Also, patch me into Judge Hoffman. He owes me one.”
Chico and I look at each other and are now feeling like we are making a stride. Don’t worry Cint, we got this coming….