Episode 26 Herby Schult
Herby Schultz lived in a bachelor’s apartment in the Fort Rouge area of Winnipeg. For the last two years, Herby had been in and out of homeless shelters in the Main Street area of Winnipeg. As he sipped from his first cup of no-name brand coffee, Herby started to reflect on his life. At thirty-three years of age his life could be seen as a long strange trip, a lyric from a Grateful Dead song called Truckin. Herby had never known what a stable home life was like. He has been adopted by his foster parents when he was very young. Herby lived with them for four years until his foster parents split up. From there, it was on to a series of residential group homes that took in young people.
Herby performed poorly at school because he had ADHD. At that time his teachers did not know about this disorder and just saw him as a student who couldn’t sit still, was easily distracted and was rarely able to complete any of his assignments. Herby quit attending school when he was sixteen. He was a high school dropout.
After he left school Herby needed to find employment. There would be the odd factory job that he could hold down for one or two months, but there were always problems. Although he tried hard, Herby had difficulty with the tasks required on his job and his coworkers often felt uncomfortable working with him. They complained to their supervisor about the issues they were having with Herby. It wouldn’t be long before the supervisor had to inform Herby that he was being terminated. Some employers were gentle when they had to inform the employee that he would have to be let go, others not so much. Herby always experienced job termination as an extremely painful and humiliating event in his life.
The main issue that Herby’s former coworkers mentioned was that Herby would often look like he was in a trance when a co-worker approached him. Some workers stated that when Herby would be at his work station he would be heard talking to himself. It wasn’t any wonder that his coworkers thought he was strange and that some were even afraid of him.
One night when Herby was overheard yelling and screaming in his apartment. His next-door neighbour called 911. When the police and paramedics arrived, they found that Herbie was experiencing a psychotic break. He did not respond when a police constable knocked on the door of his apartment. As Herby had not locked his door, the police officer just needed to turn the doorknob to gain entry.
When Herby finally acknowledged the presence of visitors in his room, he ran to his kitchen drawer and grabbed a large cooking knife with a black candle. As soon as Herbie lifted the knife to shoulder level height, a young constable sprayed Herby in the eyes with mace. As Herby was temporarily blinded, two police constables forced Herby to drop the knife and then put the handcuffs on. Herbie was placed in an ambulance and was transported to the Health Sciences Centre in Winnipeg. The police and the paramedics have encountered this type of incident many times before and knew that the young man that they had just arrested was either in a psychosis caused by ingesting illegal street drugs or had experienced a psychotic break as a symptom of his schizophrenia.
When they arrived at the ER, and intern treated Herby with an injection of Haldol and strapped him into a hospital bed. Herby spent two days in the hospital. A psychiatrist diagnosed his patient as suffering from paranoid schizophrenia. He was sent home with a note providing him with the address and phone number of a psychiatrist and was advised to get in touch with the doctor as soon as possible. He was also given a prescription for Seroquel, an antipsychotic medication.
When Herby arrived at his apartment, the building supervisor called him into his office. “You caused quite a disturbance last week, Mr. Schultz. The police and paramedics were called you were driven away in an ambulance,” the supervisor a balding man in his fifties,” said.
“I’m very sorry sir. I have a grand mal epileptic seizure,” Herby lied.
“Are you presently seeing a doctor about your condition?” the apartment supervisor asked.
“Yes,” Herby replied shuffling around in his seat. My grand mal seizures occur very infrequently. The last time I had a seizure was about three years ago.
“Well, Mr. Schultz, you’ve been a good tenant over the last two years. You pay your rent on time and this is the only incident that occurred while you’ve been staying here. Furthermore, I can sympathize with your medical condition as I have a brother-in-law who has epilepsy. Are you feeling better now?” asked the kindly supervisor.
“Yes, I am sir. I’m very sorry for any trouble I may have caused you,” Herby said.
“I’ll tell you what Herby. Normally, I would be forced to evict a resident after an incident like you had last week, but I’ll tell you what. You strike me as a well behaved, polite, young man so I’m going to allow you to stay here,” the supervisor said.
“Thank you for showing me such compassion sir. I greatly appreciate it.” Herby Schultz sighed with relief, as he took the next flight of stairs back to his a[audio