Dear Attorney Candi Schickel, the Court and Mercy Hospital Administration:
On Thursday, October 6th, Kate, the nurse practitioner, said that since I was here voluntarily and since I was not a harm to myself or to anyone else that I could go home to Des Moines. However, when I asked to make a call to arrange transportation, the nurses would not allow me to make a call, just like they hadn't been allowing me to call my family, my church and Iowa Legal Aid. And then Jo Ellen (not the patient advocate, even though she had represented herself that way) claimed (falsely) that here was no transportation and no taxis in Mason City -- a city of 28,000 -- which again was a lie. It is totally wrong that I was taken away from Des Moines by Mercy Hospital and away from my support network of a psychiatrist, counselors, Eyerly Ball and my family, especially my mom and then told that there was no transportation. Then it was also totally wrong that as of last Tuesday, October 4th, the nurses started denying me access to the phone for no reason at all. I feel, very strongly, that the nurses in the unit and Mercy North have been trying to isolate me from my support network in Des Moines, where I reside, and trying to tell me that I have no right to call whomever I need to call. And I do have transportation paid for by my Medicaid provider Amerihealth Caritas but again, the nurses and hospital staff have not been providing me with the telephone number nor have they been allowing me to call them. Then on Thursday, October 6th, when the nurses were not allowing me to call my mom, several of the nurses, most especially Lindsay, Kristy and Harley, started denying my requests for water even though I have felt very dehydrated during my hospital stay. Also, the call button in my room has not been working so I have to go out to the nursing station and then when I do go out to the nurse's station they tell me that I can't have any water for another half hour and then when I go out in half an hour, they continue to tell me that I can't have water for another half an hour. Essentially, the nurses are playing games with me and not honoring my human and civil rights. Then on Friday, October 7th, when they said that I could call my mom, they wouldn't give me the phone to call her and Lindsay, especially, was withholding the phone from. This was totally wrong and a violation of my rights, which I am very aware of as a teacher of cultural studies and writing. And then when I reached for the phone on the desk, Lindsay snatched it away from me and then several of the nurses pinned me to the ground, and again, I am a very peaceful and calm person and this was totally wrong and inhumane. Even as a peaceful person, I will still stand up for my human and civil rights guaranteed by the laws and guaranteed by HIPAA and my Medicaid and Medicare insurance providers. And then, also, I have made repeated requests, in writing, to go home to Des Moines where I reside, so that I could be near to my support network of family and friends and a psychiatrist and counselors and Eyerly Ball and again my insurance provider will most definitely pay for and arrange transportation if the nurses and hospital staff would allow me to call them and provide me with the telephone number.
Diane K. Olson