arghh- sw just called

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by klmno, Jan 19, 2009.

  1. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    SW from psychiatric hospital just called. She said they aren't discharging difficult child today but he'll probably be discharged tomorrow. difficult child cannot go straight to Residential Treatment Center (RTC) because my insurance does not cover any of it, even if deemed necessary for medication stabilization. It would have to go to county team first, which cannot happen prior to discharge, even if we get it recommended, due to scheduling. (It takes a week or so to geet the meeting set up- if it's an emergency meeting and can take months if it's not.)

    She has spoken with principal and encouraged recommendation for county involvement. She has left message for PO but has not heard from her. I told her it probably would be a few days because she's probably going to inaguaration. I asked if she would put recommendations in writing and she said she would.

    Then she tells me that she spoke with difficult child's therapist and he recommended extensive in-home services instead of Residential Treatment Center (RTC). That ticks me off royally. First, he's difficult child's therapist, not ours or mine. He doesn't know all that I'm living with here. I discussed things openly with my therapist and she jumped at saying difficult child needed Residential Treatment Center (RTC)- that it was not safe for him to be at home until his medications are stabilized. If difficult child's therapist thinks I'm doing traditional family therapy he's nuts. It would be fine if difficult child is not living in the home but any time this has been tried before, it's worse than a disaster, for several reasons. Basicly, since they all start trying to "identify" family problems, the 45 min appts last just long enough to open up a can of worms then they send us home for a week with the worms flying. They do not know what our household is like when worms are flying. And, it appears to me that getting difficult child stable has to take place before that will change. There are other reasons that it's a disaster but that's one of them. Anyway, I can seee this turning into a big mess now because therapist has a release form signed to communicate with PO. We are supposed to see therapist on Wed and therapist said he wanted it to be a family meeting. I get the feeling that therapist thinks it's a family problem not a medication or BiPolar (BP) or any other kind of problem. This seems to happen a lot when tdocs meet with difficult child about 4 times and hear all his side of the story and don't hear mine, then they expect me to give all my side of the story with difficult child sitting right there.

    If this turns into a court order for family therapy and noothing else or some other BS that makes more demands on me and offers nothing to really help, I'm throwing the towel in. And the tdocs that difficult child has had before, along with PO and GAL have all said they don't care if I'm able to afford it or what it does to me or anything else- that they are there to say what difficult child needs and make me do it. Well what if I don't have the resources to create a perfect world for difficult child without some help? And what about the message that this sends to difficult child? And the idiot tdocs running family therapy seem to all think they can say things like "ok, difficult child, you won;t go home mad or upset, right?" and expect that difficult child will not get mad or upset or rage for a week.

    I am so upset that I'm sitting here sahaking. I'm calling difficult child's therapist.
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2009
  2. ML

    ML Guest

    I feel your frustration, K. I can't believe what a circular trap/maze/nightmare this is. It's too much! You need help and I encourage you not to give up till you get it. I wish I lived closer to be of some real help. I'm just so shocked that this is how the system treats our kids. That's probably naive of me, but I had no idea. husband has been in the social services field for 25 years and tells me stuff like this is the norm. I can't accept it, not for my board nephew. It's not ok for any of our kids.
  3. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    I am so sorry.
    I agree, you should make some calls.
    Keep breathing. Go for a walk or something.
    This has been really dragging on and not giving good results.
  4. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Thanks ML. You know, another problem with this is that when they start with the pretense that it's a family problem causing it, when there methods don't work, one or both of us end up in trouble. But, what if it is a medication issue and seeing psychiatrist 15 mins once a month, at the very most, is not enough to get medications stable before the determination is made that it's a medication issue, not a family issue? because when tdocs and/or legal authorites have it in the heads that it's not a medication issue, no amount of talking does any good. It doesn't do any good anyway because I don't think they ever listen to what the parent has to say in cases like this.
  5. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    I would call my therapist- not sure how she is about accepting calls between appts- but she can't talk to difficult child's therapist yet because I didn't sign a release form. I was concerned that she would discuss more than I wanted her to and then if he ever ends up disclosing too much to PO or having to testify, difficult child would be sunk. I'm already concerned because I told him about the knives last week and if he tells PO that, she will have difficult child sent to state, I'm sure.

    Thanks, Terry!
  6. CrazyinVA

    CrazyinVA Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Deep breaths.

    Intensive in-home therapy is not necessarily a bad thing. And, it may be that you have to try and fail at that before they will take the step of funding Residential Treatment Center (RTC). It's pretty typical, at least it was in my county... you have to go through each "next step" of increasing supports before they go to Residential Treatment Center (RTC). It doesn't mean that Residential Treatment Center (RTC) is out of the question, it just means you may have to try something else first, something that hasn't been tried yet.

    I wouldn't necessarily assume ethis means they think it's a family thing.. it means they're still trying for that "least restrictive environment" (even though that's a school-ish term) before resorting to full-blown residentail. And, keep in mind that intensive in-home is MUCH better than where you are now. In fact, since it takes time to get to an Residential Treatment Center (RTC) (paperwork, paperwork), you DEFINITELY need that for now.

    I would defintiely push for having some sort of plan in place upon discharge, even if it's just an informal crisis/interim plan you discussed with the psychiatric hospital, therapist, and psychiatrist. My daughter's therapist was great at coming up with those.

    As for your son's therapist, it might be time to request some mini-sessions withyou alone at least every other visit (assuming he goes weekly?) I think that's really important.. I always got 10 mins with the therapist, either at the end or beginning of each session. Most tdocs should understand this, they know they don't get the whole picture from the difficult child alone. I tend to think a balance of all three is important, some (most) sessions for the difficult child alone, some mini sessions with mom alone, and then a few together. I ended up seeing the same therapist for myself, separate sessions, once in awhile, just to get strategies on how to cope with my daughter. I can't tell you how helpful that was.

    You're doing good. I know it's hard not to panic when things don't go the way you'd hoped, and you've had to deal with so much back and forth on this I know that's even worse. But do your best to take those deep breaths, and focus on "ok, what do I need to do now, since that isnt' working can I make this work to my/difficult child's advantage." It takes lots of practice.
  7. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Who's suppposed to be paying the bills during this time period? And what if it takes him killing me and/or himself before they realize that it wasn't the right answer? Or him going out and breaking the law again? See, the more family therapy, the more lectures, the more court orders, the more demands, means more stress on both of us, less time, less resources, and more likelihood of failure at it.

    Don't get me wrong- if therapist is sticking with what he wrote in his letter, that's fine. But it's looking like he's not right now. And he is not aware of everything we've already tried that made things worse. It would take me a week of constant talking to inform him of all that. He is just proposing things he shouldn't be propopsing without discussing them with me first. Actually, right now I think he's just ignoring what I've told him.
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2009
  8. CrazyinVA

    CrazyinVA Well-Known Member Staff Member

    In-home therapy would be paid for by the county. It could be that you could have someone in every afternoon when difficult child is home from school, so you could at least work during those times. I ended up taking difficult child with me to work the afternoons they couldn't provide me with someone.

    I'm just saying that Residential Treatment Center (RTC) is going to take time to get him into, no matter which route you go. I know that ideally our kids would go straight from acute hospitalization to Residential Treatment Center (RTC), but it rarely works that way, unless they're in foster care (because that means it's already funded through Medicaid). Again, just my experience. It "hoovers," but it's the way it is. :-(
  9. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Crazy, there is no way this will work. My ONLY hope of ever being able to meet difficult child's needs is to go back to work full time (as in a minimum of 40 hrs/week) starting next week. What about him needing supervision 24/7? therapist and psychiatrist and PO appts- and at least some I need to attend? When I work full time, it takes all my after hours time to meet the demands of being a single parent to a typical teen. This will require more because now we'll probably end up with mst again which meant a good deal of time with this jerk on top of household/normal parental requirements and time dealing with difficult child stuff. If I thought it was leading to the things I put on my list, fine. But my gut is telling me that it is not.

    I haven't figured out how to cover this months bills yet. My work requires a great deal of concentration- I simply cannot go a few hours here and there when this kind of stuff is stirred up and the job requires more than that anyway. We tried that for months last summer and fall and that is when I started trying to get more help. In the meantime, things kept getting worse. Now we are dealing with a worse problem. And I personally am in worse shape financially and mentally and emotionally and our house is in worse shape- it is damaged and difficult child is in worse shape and on the verge of being turned over to state. I have 3 appts set for this week, not to mention time needed at psychiatric hospital. I can't pick difficult child up and drop him off at home and go to work. I cannot take him for hours to the office regularly. I cannoot stay ahead of keeping things locked up at home- it's impossible to lock everything up that he has to be watched around. It takes a much more secure environment. I can't stay awake for 2 days straight when he's cycling.
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2009
  10. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Take DEEP breaths.

    Write a letter revoking difficult child's therapist's permission to talk to PO and take it to his office TODAY. Push it under the door if no one is there. Then call his phone number and leave a message saying you are revoking permission for him to talk to PO.

    Then call your therapist and leave a detailed message asking for a call-back ASAP.

    Tomorrow, before you go to get difficult child, call PO's office and ask for the top supervisor. Try to make an appointment with them. Or stop by and try to find out who the head boss of the office is, and make an appointment in person with them. Have all your documentation of this PO's idiot decisions and behavior, so if they can talk to you right then you have what you need.

    Do NOT agree to take him home if they do not have services set up. Do not accept "call therapist for an appointment 2 times a week, call psychiatrist for an appointment within the next month" garbage. Tell them it is garbage and THEY need to MAKE these appts and line up the county team BEFORE you can/will bring this dangerously unstable child home.

    Also, check your insurance coverage. In many policies, if a person is re-admitted to the psychiatric hospital with-in a certain number of days it counts as the same visit, not a second visit. This saved us at one point when we were struggling financially.

    I am sorry they want to send him home before he is ready. Sending confidence and gentle hugs to you.

    Do you have a lock box or locked room to keep all the knives/sharp items in? WE had to do that at one point.
  11. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    It was court ordered that I sign a release for PO to verify difficult child was attending therapist and psychiatrist appts and being compliant and recieve updates on difficult child's treatment. I didn't think a judge could court order that, but she did.

    Susie, I had a locked room at one point and changed the lock on it to an exterior type that required a key to unlcok. difficult child took the door off the hinges to get in. Now he has taken to just busting a hole through any locked door. Previous tdocs and even psychiatrist don't really get it- when I start getting to how bad things get when difficult child is unstable, then they start saying difficult child should be in detention to learn his lesson. Yet when he's stable, they'll sit there and say it's a mental health issue. It's like they think they understand raging and aggression or mania, but when I describe what he's doing during those times, they turn around and act like it's just ODD.
  12. CrazyinVA

    CrazyinVA Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I understand, believe me. I didn't mean that I have the answers.. I don't .. the system is LOUSY and is getting worse. It's exhausting, overwhelming, and downright impossible. I went into bankruptcy, lost a job, a house, friends. There are days you can't go on.. but you do, somehow. I've been where you are. Sadly, I had to accept the system as it was.. and find ways to work with it. There's not much choice. I also took my frustrations... the things you are saying here, and said them to the hospitals, the courts, the doctors ... just as you're doing. Asked them if they were going to wait until difficult child was dead before they did something. It's why I had to go to the outrageous step of filing paperwork to turn over custody to the state, just to get youngest help. That was the only thing that got their attention, because they didn't WANT to take custody ... and they freaked and gave me what I wanted, and I was able to rescind my filing. But it was a scary prospect, and one I wasn't sure she would ever forgive me for. It's also not something I would ever expect anyone else to do.

    I'm not trying to make you feel worse, and I hope I haven't. I was trying to be realistic... things don't work quickly with the county/state/courts/schools/hospitals... accepting those things helped ME to cope when I knew what realistically could and couldn't happen. I worked hard on trying to find the positive in every step, no matter how messed up and backward it seemed. I forget sometimes that people's thought processes and coping mechanisms tend to be quite different from mine, and I apologize if I came across as insensitive.

    There is still hope. Don't give up.
  13. CrazyinVA

    CrazyinVA Well-Known Member Staff Member

    P.S. ..I kept all the knives/sharps in the trunk of my car, and slept with my keys. Just a suggestion.
  14. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Thanks Crazy- I might be at that point- regarding custody. I hate to talk to difficult child about this. Today is his b-day.

    I have been sleeping with keys, phone, credit cards, cigs, lighter (that weren't locked up in trunk of car). When he's manic, he can stay up many hours longer than me. I try to stay awake then go to bed when I can't anymore. He will go to my room and slide these things out from underneath my pillow and get them anyway.

    difficult child always talks about having good goals and plans while he's in psychiatric hospital, then after he comes home and starts back to school, he slips right back. I try to stay on top of it all but he always finds a way around it and then I get blamed by PO.
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2009
  15. 30 and searching

    30 and searching New Member

    I hope this isn't too off the topic here, but I wanted to let you know that I am deeply sorry if my posts have caused more worry. You don't need any extra stress right now.

    This is a slow process, unfortunately, and I feel your frustration. I think you are doing a great job trying to get your son the help he needs.

    Peace and Love- Sarah
  16. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Thank you,. Sarah. I hope you understand that I can't dwell on fights I fought a year ago right now. I sincerely hope they don't resurface and do appreciate an occassional reminder to watch how I'm going about things to minimize those chances. If there is any advice on how to approach things to achieve the objectives without creating more problems, I am happy to hear it and am most appreciative.
  17. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    Hi KLMNO--

    This issue is really out of my league....but I wanted to send you support...and let you know that I am thinking of you. Stay strong...

  18. Ropefree

    Ropefree Banned

    klmno: Intensive family therapy can include a person in the home for many hours per week...even over night...basicly until your son is stablized medically he IS NOT ABLE TO LEARN.
    One time per week for a 45-55 minute session is utterly inadiquate. He needs to be supervised and as such for you to work and support the family you do need to arrange for an appropriate care for him during your work hours when he is not in school.
    The fact that he IS A THREAT to himself or others(you rate as an 'other') does mean when you are seeking diligently for the supports for his care and treatments you are doing your part.
    Keep it up. The responce you muster is going to be a result of your tenacity and your clear and unwavering intention.
  19. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I'm so sorry they want to release him before he is ready. They did this with difficult child last year. He was back withing a day.

    I can only imagine how tired and exhausted you are. You are working so hard at advocating your son. I understand about the work thing and needing to get back to putting in the 40 hours. I also know it must hurt extra with today being his birthday. I remember difficult child was in the hospital when he turned 8.

    I wish I had some suggestions. I truly get so angry at our mental health system in this country. Sending hugs your way and saying prayers.