difficult child crashed. On hospital, not sure if neuro or mental crisis

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by SuZir, Oct 10, 2014.

  1. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member

    At Wednesday difficult child skipped both his morning and afternoon practise and didn't answer the phone. They went looking and found him from his flat at the evening, sitting on the floor next to his outdoor. Very incoherent, balance and vision issues (double vision), couldn't walk on himself, feels his other leg and hand is partly paralysed. Hallucinates and really messed up, had been sitting there from the morning apparently. He had also been harming himself. Not serious wounds and seemed like he had gone more for the pain than actual harm.

    In hospital he was first treated at neurological department. He did got a hit to the head almost ten days ago while training. Hard enough that they went through concussion protocol but he didn't show any signs of concussion then. Neither had he after it before Wednesday. Even now MRI is clean (apparently the neurologist feels that something probably should be showing with this serious, and late, symptoms) and also some tests they have made are atypical for brain injury. So they consulted psychiatrist and today he was transferred to psychiatric department. Neurologist will continue in his treatment team too.

    If not concussion, it could be either onset of psychosis or dissociative crisis. In both cases the physical symptoms would be explained by conversion disorder. He has been getting injected anti-psychotics, but they didn't seem to make much difference. According to psychiatrist that is atypical for first psychosis which would indicate this may indeed be 'just' dissociative. They have moved to try anxiety medications now.

    difficult child seems to be really messed up at times and then have clearer moments when you can even reason with him and get something coherent out of him.

    I'm scared and totally out of my wits. Trying to keep myself moving though so can't think much about that.
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2015
  2. JKF

    JKF Well-Known Member

    I'm so sorry SuZir! Sending prayers to you and your difficult child!
  3. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    Holding you and your family in my thoughts, SuZir.

    Prayers for your son's full recovery, and for strength, for you and husband.

  4. Childofmine

    Childofmine one day at a time

    Suzir, my thoughts and prayers are with you and your son. Please keep us posted. I hope things stabilize soon for him. Warm hugs.
  5. Signorina

    Signorina Guest

    Sending warm wishes, heartfelt prayer and a big cyber hug to you and your boy. XO
  6. ThreeShadows

    ThreeShadows Quid me anxia?

    Oh, SuZir, I'm so very sorry! Prayers for your son and your family.
  7. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member

    It has been helpful that, as messed up as he is, I have been able to see him today. He may have not been too coherent and seeing him in the state he is, is scary, but at least he is breathing. I just came from the hospital after sitting and watching him breath quite some time. He was given benzoes and they knocked him out, he tends to be very sensitive to those. Yesterday I couldn't drive to see him. I had something I really needed to be at and his life wasn't in danger. And husband was able to take time off and go, so it was only logical I didn't, but I too was really a mess because of that. But now I have at least seen him.

    Even before benzoes he was really sleepy and also somehow very slow. Doctors say, that it can be anti-psychotics. Those first shots they give to stop the onset of psychosis are not gentle nor is it process of gradual increase. I haven't have time to really research what he was given, but I understand they are heavy duty medications with heavy side effects.

    I'm not sure what of the options I'm most afraid of. No one wants their kid to have a brain injury, but that is an option I can comprehend. Something we have been afraid, but also a risk we knew we were taking letting our kids play sports, or to live, to be frank. And if MRI is clean, most get better.

    Psychosis is huge, or not so much a psychosis, but the schizophrenia. I know difficult child is in right age for that. And while I know that most can live quite okayish life with medications, and while I know surprisingly many go to remission or even get better, I have to admit it is a horror for me. Losing someone you love a little by little to the illness, side effects of the medication and every outbreak of psychosis destroying a little more for good. Losing my brilliant and talented son to something like that. It is something I'm not ready to look eye to eye.

    Dissociation is the evil we know, have gotten used to. But something this extreme would still be new terrain. And while we have had two years to get used to the idea of mentally ill son, and having to face the fuller, and more gruesome, picture little by little, this is still something else. Something like this, it is actually severely disabling, not some little mental health issue he can live through.

    Of course it can also be some combination of the two, being something totally else is unlikely. And whatever it is, it is and we have to live with that.

    We do, he does.
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2015
  8. GuideMe

    GuideMe Active Member

    Oh my God Suzir, I am SO sorry! This is crazy because my daughter suffered a concussion last night too! She went to the ER , had a ct scan and everything, what a coincidence hun. Anyway, at least I know what's going on with her, however, you have no idea whats happening to your boy. Please make sure the medical doctors get to the bottom of it. How horrible. Sending you big hugs and prayers!
  9. GuideMe

    GuideMe Active Member

    By the way, I have heard of brain injuries bringing out mental illness. I hope this isn't the case. When are they giving him an mri or ct scan?
  10. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    guide me, they have already done that - he is on a sports team and that was one of the first things they did.

    SuZir, I am so very very sorry. There is no real way to anticipate this or know how to handle it. The options are just not much fun to think about right now, so just let yourself do whatever you feel you want/need to do, and feel whatever you feel even if you think that somehow you 'shouldn't' or 'can't' feel whatever it is.

    Know that we are all with you in spirit and prayers good thoughts, candle lighting and pretzelling are all with you at all times.

  11. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Suzir, we have clashed, but please accept my seriously sincere sadess for your pain and fear. As somebody who has lived with mental illness all of my life (I am quite sure it was already there in my childhood) I have learned that almost any type of mental illness can be controlled and the person can learn to live with it, sometimes quite well.

    Your son seems to be a strong young man who has lived through trauma and is here to talk about it. Like your son, I was bullied badly and am sure I had PTSD due to it before all my therapy and I wonder if that stress can kick it off, but "why" doesn't matter. I do not know if you have a religion or I'd be tempted to tell you that he is God's hands. If you aren't, you know he is the hands of good people who are going help him.

    I hope you will update us and know that we care deeply about his illness and your pain. I wish him a good recovery and hope that this is a stand alone episode.
  12. in a daze

    in a daze Well-Known Member

    Prayers and good wishes your way, I know the feeling of seeing your beloved adult child not in touch with reality. I hope he gets better soon.
  13. dstc_99

    dstc_99 Well-Known Member

    Sending prayers! I remember when my mother would crash and the fear was a living breathing thing. Please remember to take care of you. difficult child has a whole team working for him and it is easy to forget the rest of the family during the stress.

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  14. pasajes4

    pasajes4 Well-Known Member

    Sending many gentle hugs and wrapping your family in prayers.
  15. Signorina

    Signorina Guest

    Suz- my own difficult child's defining point began with a brain injury. He had two very minor concussions while playing football - they could have been a factor or not. His defining moment was being sucker punched his first week in college. He hit the ground so hard that he had a bald spot the size of a quarter and he nearly lost the sight in one eye. His MRI & CAT scans showed nothing. But I can say with absolutely certainty that is was his defining moment. It's a chicken and egg story for us- we dont know if it was the actual brain injury or the emotional baggage that accompanied it that caused his marked change. In most ways- it's not important to know why, because that doesn't change the outcome for us.

    I can say - having suffered my own serious concussion 2 years ago - I have a new understanding and empathy. I still have bits of brain fog that haven't resolved. For 6 months afterwards, I completely lost all ability to multi task. If it wasn't on my list - I routinely forgot to buy routine things - like milk - at the grocery store. Crazy.

    There are specialists who deal with brain injuries. A lot of the therapies are still very new but all of them require early intervention. In retrospect, I wish I had known about them. And I wish I had taken a more proactive approach other than the "wait and see" and "no obvious permanent injuries" that the doctors advised.

    I am so sorry your are going thru this and I send you cyber support and my prayers and best thoughts for your son's healing.
  16. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member

    Thank you all.

    difficult child woke up more lucid this morning. Did better in some tests they did to him at morning and was able to have a conversation with the neurologist about his physical symptoms and both the possibilities of them being either concussion or conversion or bit of both. Some of his symptoms are not like they would expect if they were purely somatic. Things like things that are usually symmetric being one sided and so on. This is a huge reason why conversion disorder is so much on the table, it tends to reflect more the understanding patient has about some illness than the actual illness. Neurologist explained both the psycho dynamic and neurological theories behind the conversion disorder (they don't actually know what really causes it and how much it is psychological and how much neurological) and difficult child wasn't totally against the possibility, that it could be a cause of his somatic problems. There are still some tests they want to do to be sure there is not some other somatic illness behind this, but first he will be moved to other hospital. To where will be decided tomorrow morning and he will be moved later tomorrow if nothing drastic happens.

    We have public healthcare system and county of residence is the one paying the bills. While everyone is of course taken to nearest suitable provider in acute cases, patients are moved usually as quickly as possible to providers the county of residence runs or regularly buys services from. Because difficult child anticipated he would be moving around a lot this year, he kept his primary address in our place, so he will be moved from this hospital to close to where we live. Our small rural county has only on inpatient treatment department and that is for long term care for those, who are not high functioning enough for nursing homes anymore. So obviously not there. Our county also funds a hospital in neighbouring small city together with that city and other rural counties. They do have both acute and longer term psychiatric department and small neurology department, where they treat more common neurological issues. For less common, or the most serious, neurological patients are sent to university hospital in the big metropolitan area also next to us. So when they decide where to send him, we will know their best guess.

    Acute conversion disorders are usually treated in neurological departments according our national care guidelines. If that is the biggest problem they suspect, difficult child will be sent to university hospital. If they suspect it is more somatic and caused by concussion, he will be a smaller city hospital in neurological department. If the main issue will be considered to be for example severe (psychotic) depression or other psychotic illness, or the self harm, he will be sent to psychiatric department in the smaller city hospital. In any case he will have both neurologist and psychiatrist treating him, but they have to put him into the bed in some department.

    In this hospital he was moved from neuro to psychiatric for not only because of possible psychosis, but also the self harm and the fact that they had more patients than beds in neuro and had couple available beds at psychiatric, we were told today.

    Self harm is something I have very difficult time even thinking, much less writing down. As I said, it doesn't seem like he would be going for serious injuries or it to be suicidal. He is going more for the pain. And that freaks me out. I know I should be relieved it doesn't seem suicidal, and I am. But that I could again comprehend somehow. I can understand suicidal thoughts, I think I could understand a bit something like cutting. But who puts pins under their nails? Or makes small scratches and puts hottest jalapeño they can find to them? Or puts that stuff into their eyes deliberately and not even because of some dare? And this has been going on some time, or even the long time. difficult child confessed to neurologist that he had deliberately put oil of jalapeño to his eyes Tuesday night and that it hadn't been the first time. He told me earlier today he has been doing this off and on at least a year; and I suspect even that may not be a whole truth. I'm extremely uncomfortable even thinking about this.

    As I said, difficult child has been better today mentally. Physical symptoms are about the same, but difficult child is more here, more touch with reality, hallucinates less or deals with them better. Is even able to use the techniques he has learnt to root himself and lessen the hallucinations etc. Still slow and under-responsive, but it seems again like he is there, somewhere.

    I and husband, well, we do what we do in crisis. I'm fact hunting, looking for possibilities, making plans etc. husband is immersed with immediate practicalities and protecting difficult child. As long as that is the terrain we can stay, we are fine. We always are. It is what comes after that, that causes us trouble.
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2015
  17. pasajes4

    pasajes4 Well-Known Member

    Perhaps the stress from high level competitive sports has been just too much for him to deal with. His own anxiety about his performance coupled with the pressure from coaches and the team might be part of what is going on.

    I am praying that his care providers can get to the bottom of all this and everyone can get some relief from this nightmare.
  18. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member

    I'm sure that has it's part. As an athlete every failure is so public and criticism from the outside is harsh (in fact little less so from coaches and team mates, for the last decade the catch phrase in coaching philosophy has been: "Mistakes are allowed." They are more afraid players are too afraid to try anything, if they are criticised too much for the mistakes they make.) But of course just knowing the expectations and feeling of letting everyone down, if he fails to do well is hard.

    However I'm not sure how much of it is external and how much is internal. difficult child is an extremely intense person. Always high maintenance, high strung, perfectionist to a T. Insanely competitive. Not just with his sport but about everything. That has always been so and I'm afraid I was not being him a good example when he was young. And while I did try to discourage the self-loathing that came with all that, I also used and encouraged that drive, because I saw it something that would help difficult child be as high functioning as possible and it felt so very important back then, when I was thinking that it could make a difference between having a more normal life and being limited to live with extra help through his adulthood.

    But while I would do things differently now if I would get a do over, I'm not sure if it would make much difference. It is who difficult child is, who he has been from the moment the midwife gave him to me while the cord had not yet even been cut.

    I'm afraid that if it weren't the sports, it would be something else.
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2015
  19. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member

    What a horrible and frightening thing for your son, family and you to go through. I am keeping you in my prayers.
  20. everywoman

    everywoman Active Member

    Prayers for your son!

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