Gabriela had not taken her medications again on Monday night and she was still not sleeping.
Tuesday was the deadline Dr. Duncan and I had set for filing the Riese paperwork a legal process that would take the right to refuse medications and food out of the hands of Gabriela. Unfortunately it wouldn’t give the rights to me despite the Durable powers that she and I had arranged. Instead, it would give these rights to the Doctor, in this case Dr. Duncan. It wasn’t what I wanted and I knew damn well it wasn’t what Gabriela would have approved of but given the fact that even I couldn’t convince her to take her medications there was no other logical solution.
Dr. Duncan called me on Tuesday at about eight in the morning to let me know that Gabriela had again refused medications and based on our prior conversation he would file the Riese paperwork. I agreed.
My expectations were that by my evening visit Dr. Duncan would be sailing the ship.
As I entered the Ward that Tuesday evening, Gabriela was nowhere to be seen in the hallway, the place she had hardly left since being admitted.
With hesitation I checked her room to see if perhaps she was sleeping. She was not.
Finally at the end of the hallway was the day room and there seated at the dining table was Gabriela eating dinner!
I stood quietly watching her eat a meal for the first time since the sandwich we prepared together nearly a week earlier on Ward 200. She drank the juice that was served, she didn’t speak but finished eating then took her tray to the client assistant.
Then Gabriela smiled at me.
I was over the moon! Dr. Duncan must have gotten the power to medicate her!
Gabriela and I sat together in the hallway and it was obvious to me that she was doing better. She was eating and drinking, she spoke a little, and she sat next to me without having to be convinced to do so.
At the same time it was clear that Gabriela was still listening to voices and that she was very distracted by visual hallucinations. The difference was that she could catch herself and turn her focus away. She would tilt her head and freeze for a moment to listen then Gabriela would tell me what was happening in her hallucinations.
During our visit her father, Cody, called and despite the fact that it was against the rules to talk on a cell phone while on the ward, I answered. Cody wanted to tell Gabriela hello.
I whispered to Gabriela, “It’s your father” and pointing to my cell phone. “He wants to say ‘Hi”.
Gabriela jerked back from the phone, a look of panic on her face. I held the phone to her ear. I could hear Cody’s voice while Gabriela tried to wiggle away.
I got back on the phone with Cody just long enough to say “Sorry, that’s all”. I didn’t wait for any response and hung up the cell phone.
As soon as Gabriela saw that I had hung up the phone she leaned over and whispered into my face “We gotta get out of here, he knows where we are … He’ll sell us into the sex trade”.
Gabriela was dead serious. I knew her father and I didn’t like him but the thought of him being in the sex trade! I couldn’t help myself; I laughed out loud because it was so unimaginable to me but for Gabriela it was her reality.
I got myself under control and told Gabriela that it was okay, that there were guards at the hospital to make sure that everyone on the ward was safe. She looked around suspiciously and checked the doors to make sure they were kept locked. When she was satisfied she sat back in her chair cautiously.
Later that evening Gabriela took all of her medications, even her blood pressure and anti-psychotic meds. She took them without fanfare. Day six, it felt like things might finally be turning around but there was still a long way to go.