On this day, 9 months ago, I was paralyzed due to a medication reaction. This medication was given to me a little over a week before, it paralyzed me for about a day and then I regained movement. When I was given it on this day, 9 months ago, it paralyzed me from the neck down.

In November of 2021 I had COVID. I was so sick, couldn't keep solids or liquids down. I couldn't keep my medication down so I quit trying to take it. After 4 days of not taking my medication, and despite having COVID, I started regaining arm and hand function. I never started back on the medication.

When I was in the hospital, I begged the nurses to not make me take the medication again due to the previous reaction. They didn't give me a choice. The nurse who gave me the medication the second time, didn't document that she gave it to me. We are sure this is because the staff are trying to cover themselves.

During all of my paralysis, the nurses didn't believe me. The doctor didn't believe me. I was constantly told "It's all in your head." "It's just anxiety." "You'll get better when you choose to." Every single day, when I went in to see the psychiatrist he would ask "Why aren't you walking yet?" I literally couldn't and still can't feel my body. He told me "Just keep moving your legs and hands." I couldn't.

Months after leaving the hospital, we finally received my hospital records. The psychiatrist lied about everything knowing they could easily say "She wasn't in the right mindset to remember what was given to her." He said everything was psychological and I was faking it. THIS is the reason I can't get a neurologist to give a second opinion. Because of this asshole of a doctor, I can't get the help I need. Doctors briefly look over my records and brush me to the side. We constantly get "Sorry we don't work with your disorder."

9 MONTHS. 9 MONTHS OF BEING PARALYZED.

I will NEVER understand how shitty nurses and doctors can be in their field of work. Especially nurses and doctors who work in MENTAL HEALTH. If you don't like what you do, find a new job. I went to the hospital due to a traumatic event. I wanted help. I needed help! They released me to my parents care after complaining about having to take me to the bathroom for a week. I left more traumatized. I left paralyzed.

I will continue to share my story and my journey. We want people to get help when they need help or want it.. but when going to get help, you should be surrounded by caring and compassionate people. Not people who belittle you and talk down on you. When you are hospitalized for mental health, you are not surrounded by your outside support. You don't have your family or friends. You have doctors, nurses, and social workers. If they don't care about you, then how is that helpful? It's not.

A mental health unit should be a safe place. This was not the case for me. They didn't believe me. They rolled their eyes when I needed to go to the bathroom. They pulled my fingers apart when they were seized and told me to leave them open. They wouldn't give me privacy. They kept telling me "You are getting too difficult to be in this unit." It wasn't my choice.. I didn't choose to be paralyzed. I wanted help. I try to be the nicest- most genuine person but I will never forget the people who hurt me. The people who caused these last 9 months. I will never forgive them.

I have been in California for over 2 weeks now. We have been trying to raise 20k that we should not have to be paying, to fix the damage the hospital caused. I am fighting a battle every single day. Who has to live with that battle? Who has to raise money to get treatment? Who can't work or go to school? Who can't live like a 22 year old? Me. My whole freaking life is on pause.

I am busting my ass every single day, trying to love myself. Trying to forgive myself for asking for help. Trying to understand a disorder that I shouldn't have. Trying to find the new me.

9 months ago, my whole world flipped upside down. I will never be the same again.

I don't want anyone else to go through what I went through, and what I go through every single day. I will stand up. I will be a voice. Because no-one deserves this. Not a single person. It's not fair and I have no choice.

-Aspen Sage Baxter

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