Police Escort "Procedure" - Sorry So Long


New Member
I have been off line licking my wounds for a few days, but feel I can now type the chain of events from late last week to my friends here on the board.

I had been posting that difficult child was having a rough few weeks at collaborative day. There are two other boys in his class who have been ganging up on him with verbal abuse - name calling, etc. He was having a hard time dealing with it - and said the teacher was flat out refusing to deal with any of it - telling him to "stop tattling" and to "work it out", etc.

I had called the director of coll. day twice last week due to circumstances. I told him that difficult child seemed to be under an enormous amount of pressure - was beginning to only have negative things to say about the program, etc., even though at no other time in his past has he ever not wanted to go to school. I told him that it was my feeling that if something did not change that it was not going to end well.

Also, the new doctor has been weaning difficult child off the seroquel slowly and upping the lithium to see if it would help. Reports from counselors were that they were seeing improvements with difficult child's ability to be successful at counseling, but that he was becoming more agitated in class and p.e. with peers - DUH!! (sorry, hate that expression, but . . . ).

Well, Thursday I get a very early call at work to go to collaborative day. They say difficult child is very agitated and is becoming physical with staff. Discouraging to say the least, but nothing completely new, so while I am upset, I begin my 45 minute drive to school for yet another "search and rescue". On the way I cry, talk to myself and pray to calm myself down. By the time I reach the city, I have told myself that I can deal with whatever happens and that we will be okay. My rhino skin is perfectly in place and I was as calm as could be expected.

As I am nearing a busy intersection, I hear a siren - a city police car is racing through the intersection - lights flashing, siren blaring, etc. It turns toward the facility, driving something like 80 miles an hour. At this point, all of the blood rushes out of me - I have to remind myself to breathe - my fingers are tingling. I drive the final mile to the facility with dread.

When I pull up to the building, there are 3 city police cars and the campus security vehicle parked up front. I know now that I entered the building in shock. I was crying before I got inside. People were talking to me and I wasn't answering. I was shaking so badly that the doctor hugged me and they gave me a glass of water, which they then took from me because my hands were shaking and I was spilling the water. I didn't dare ask if he was okay. I was listening to them tell me what had happened. It was just as if I had predicted the episode. difficult child was being harrassed - teacher held him back from p.e. - the whole thing escalated and culminated in difficult child physically attacking everyone he could get his hands on.

By this time, the police had escorted my now calm difficult child to the emergency room. I still had not seen him and although they told me he was fine, I still could not figure out how that could be the case when there were so many police officers.

I was told that the facility's procedure is to call the police for an escort, but I sure wish someone had told me. I explained to the staff that driving up to that building was like rounding the corner to your own home only to have it surrounded by police tape and law enforcement vehicles. I truly thought that something "fatally wrong" had gone on. I had to concentrate on my breathing to make sure I was still doing it.

husband was already on his way to another city for a VA appointment 2+ hours away, so I made a call to secure someone to meet the bus for easy child after school and headed to the e.r. difficult child was okay - sort of. No broken bones - no bleeding, etc. But, tests and bloodwork showed he was at near toxic levels of lithium and was borderline dehydrated. Labs also showed that his thyroid functions are being compromised, etc. He had a full psychiatric evaluation, but by this time was calm and after fluids and something to eat, he was calm and rational and they decided not to admit him to psychiatric hospital.

We were advised not to give him any more lithium and to bring him back for more labs Friday morning, which I did. Lithium levels (after 24 hours with not medications) were back in the therapeutic range. doctor advised on late Friday that she believes difficult child should come off lithium all together. He cannot return to school until after a team meeting to be held on Tuesday afternoon. She said we could give difficult child smaller dose of lithium over the weekend or we could not give him any, since he was going to have to be taken off it anyway and he had already been 36 hours without it. husband and I chose to not dispense any more lithium and have spent the weekend waiting for the other shoe to drop, but it hasn't. I know that there is still some lithium in difficult child's system, but so far we haven't seen any difference in him at all. If anything, he seems a bit more composed and articulate.

The other thing the doctor wants to discuss at the team meeting is the possibility of sending difficult child to a facility where they will do a complete medication wash to find out what his baseline behaviors are and to do further neuropsychologist testing. We told her that we would be willing to look at the information and discuss the option, but that it would be a last resort for us. I believe the nearest facility of this type would be more than 6 hours away and I have no idea how long a process that a complete wash would be. The idea of it makes me ill.

So, that's where we are. :sad: Sadly.

I'm sorry this has turned into such a long post, but man, it sure feels good to type it out.

Thanks for reading.


New Member
I can only say that somehow things will work out. sigh.. I've recently gone thru a somewhat similar experience. Mine is at the psychiatric hospital right now. Hang in there. I'll send some Son shine your way and we can hope together.


Well-Known Member
Lordy Jamie...

That had to be extremely frightening. Glad difficult child was ok when you got to him.

Will be thinking of you as you make the decisions about what to do next.


Well-Known Member
Wow, Jamie. My heart rate went up right along with-you in that car, with-the flashing lights!
I am so glad things are getting under control and that a plan is in place.
Be good to yourself... it's always easy to say you're calmed down now but it takes a long time to really get back your sense of balance.
Best of luck to your difficult child. I don't know that much about lithium except to know that it is metabolized with-the body's salt content, and the high level of lithium found in difficult child's blood is alarming. The medication wash sounds like a good idea.
Keep breathing.


New Member
Oh my gosh! That sounds so scary!!! I am glad to hear that he is OK. It does not sound like Lithium is his medication of choice! A medication wash might be a good way to go in a situation like this. Good luck with your decisions regarding this matter. I wish you all well!


Well-Known Member
How wonderful that you were able to get rhino prepared under the
circumstances. Great job! Yes, I know, it didn't make everything "all right" but it made you as good as you can be under the circumstances and an experienced Warrior Mom.

I am sending hugs and prayers that better solutions will come
your way soon. DDD


Well-Known Member
I was on Lithium. You can't just discontinue it!!!! It can cause seizures and be life threatening. You HAVE to wean off. Please, please get good medical advice. It took me about a week or two to wean off the medication. Also, I'd wonder about the Zoloft. That is far more apt to make a bipolar kid "lose it" than Lithium, and it can take months before Zoloft and other antidepressants cause a breakdown in BiPolar (BP) kids. I know from first hand experience. I didn't like Lithium because I felt dulled, but it didn't make me a danger to anyone else or myself. Zoloft put me in the hospital. I was a basket case on Zoloft. (((Hugs))) How scary for you.


Mom? What's a difficult child?
Oh how scary I would have been terrified going up there as well, how awful. Well hopefully you can get your poor son back to a working level on the right medications. The medication roller coaster is so trying on everyone...
sending big hugs.


New Member
<span style='font-size: 14pt'> <span style='font-family: Georgia'> <span style="color: #663366"> good gosh almighty!! how scarey that sounds.

i know having him admitted ~~~ especially so far away ~~~ is terrifying for you. that being said, however, i think that at this point the medication wash, behavior observation & a new neuropsychologist evaluation is definitley in order. you don't site the dosages for his medications in your profile so it's hard to even hazard a guess how long the medication wash would take. i see they've already started to wean him off the seroquel. i'm sure you are watching closely for any problems from d/c~ing the lithium. the zoloft is staying as is for now??

doing a hospital supervised medication wash would be the way i would go. they can probably do it a bit more quickly & they will be on top of any negative effects. it will also be much easier for them to observe behaviors 24/7.

i know daily visitation would be impossible. could you maybe book a motel room for one night & stay most of the weekend. check with-the psychiatric hospital & see if they have a place they use. enquire about a nearby ronald mc donald house. see what ducks you can get lined up...as social services at the collabrative to assist with-this stuff as well. they should :rolleyes: know what resources might be available to make all this more doable for you guys.

i'm glad he's calmer & that no one was hurt. truthfully i'm not sure i would have made it from the car into the school.

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Active Member
So sorry this all had to happen. You did great. Posting about it sure feels better too.

in my humble opinion I think you need to have some discussions with your psychiatrist. The medications definately need to be looked at. Pediatric psychiatrist's are who should be treating your difficult child.

Others on the board have had their difficult child's experience adverse side effects.

"Is Zoloft recommended for children and teenagers?
Zoloft is only approved for the treatment of obsessive-compulsive disorder in children between the ages of 6 to 17. Zoloft is not approved or promoted for the treatment of depression in children or adolescents."

The above is from the Zoloft website when I googled it.

Many psychiatrists will not put someone on an antidepressant if the mood is not stable.

Sending supportive hugs.


New Member
Thanks to everyone who read my very long post and responded. Your support is immeasurable and so appreciated.

Gosh, I see that I never updated my profile as far as difficult child's zoloft is concerned. We discontinued that something like 8+ weeks ago because he had a very bad episode back then - nothing like this past one, but bad enough. psychiatrist decided then to wean him off the zoloft then. I just took it off my profile.

I know you are not supposed to just discontinue the lithium, but because he had already been without it, we took the chance. I also know what to be looking for and would without hesitation take him to the e.r. if necessary. Honestly, we haven't seen any change in him. He says he's not so "glum". His psychiatrist has called me several times each day since Thursday. It has been stressful watching and waiting, but so far so good.

I never thought of the possibility of there being a Ronald McDonald house. That might be possible. I can't even really think about what it would be like to have difficult child so far away for an unknown period of time. We have been lucky that when he has been inpatient in the past, there was always a bed for him at the psychiatric hospital only 45 minutes away from here - either husband or I went down to see him almost every evening - and we all went on the weekends. At the same time, the extensive neuropsychologist testing and 24/7 supervision would be beneficial.

Thanks again to all of you. I will be on pins and needles for the next few days until we know what we are doing.

timer lady

Queen of Hearts

Sorry I missed this - you've been a very busy lady.

Rattling beads that a bed opens soon. It's so hard to watch our difficult children disintegrate before our very eyes.

In the meantime, rest, recharge. This doesn't sound like it's going to be a short stay. :warrior:


New Member
Just an FYI about Lithium........You mentioned that his thyroid is being affected. I was on Lithium a few years ago and it severly affected my thyroid function. I now take Synthroid, but my thyroid has not been normal since I was on the Lithium. (Signs of thyroid problems from Lithium include.....always cold, dry flaky skin, constipation, vocal changes..deep voice, not to mention the worsening depression!!!)I was a basket case for quite a while after that, and it can take time to regulate thyroid function once it is out of whack. Even now, I get my thyroid checked about every 3-4 months and it still goes whacky from time to time.


Active Member
It sounds like the medication wash will be a worthwhile thing to do. Can you do anything about the failure of the teacher to deal with the bullying that was going on? That may well have contributed significantly to the meltdown. Crikey - sirens and all! No wonder you got a fright!



New Member
We have a team meeting tomorrow at 1:00 p.m. It will be the first time that I have seen most everyone since last Thursday - including the teacher. All the staff has said about her in the past few days is that she is "not the warm, fuzzy type" and a social worker made the comment that if the coordinator could "get the staff to comply with his rules and wishes" things would be different in the program. Too bad it's the difficult children who pay for these things.

I am truly nervous about the meeting. While the medication wash sounds like a positive thing from my point of view - it would be good to see what difficult child's baseline is without any medications - it cannot be done in our local facility and I have no idea how long difficult child would have to be inpatient somewhere hundreds of miles away in order to have this done.

He has been great the past few days, however, he has been home and the stressors of school/bullies/teachers & tattling have been removed for days now, too. That definitely has to be taken into consideration.

I think I am in full detachment mode at the moment. I am trying to not think about things too much until I have all of the information and can sort it out. Of course, we will do what's best for difficult child, but sometimes all of the available options don't seem workable.

Wish me luck at the meeting.