Very long update

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by zoo_keeper, Oct 29, 2011.

  1. zoo_keeper

    zoo_keeper Member

    I have previously posted about my difficult child going downhill and losing his grip. He became really manic and sleep deprived almost to the point of psychosis (wouldn't even sleep with help of clonidine and trazadone). one week ago yesterday he was admitted to the psychiatric hospital. Our new psychiatrist's office is actually at that hospital and we had made the decision that he would be admitted from her office during our appointment. He ended up figuring it out at home and became violent. Actually banging his head against the kitchen counter, wrestling the phone out my hands and screaming "i'm not crazy!" over and over again. I finally called 911 for emergency transport. It was horrible. At the hospital they sedated him and he calmed down but was still fighting sleep. he held out his hand and said, "don't leave me." I almost lost it right then but managed to hold it together until he finally fell asleep.

    psychiatrist suggested full medication wash and long term (for that hospital) stay and I agreed. visiting hours are more relaxed than at any hospital he's been at but as you all know its just so miserable having him there. That sunday afternoon a few hours after husband and I left the head nurse called asking for permission to administer emergency medications. He got violent with another nurse and tried to stuff his pills down her throat! I can't even put it into to words... I talked to him on the phone an hour later and he was crying and begging me to come get him. Hung up the phone physically nausous. The next day during therapy therapist said he did apologize. He's gotten much better over the last week. A minor incident involving another boy there but nothing violent.

    This past summer we moved so we are starting at square one as far as services are concerned. County mental health has assigned difficult child a social worker to 'make sure he transitions safely home.' husband and I met her friday and she is living in la la land. seriously. difficult child will be discharged in about 2 weeks. In that time she will work with us and difficult child to develop a mutual expectation contract and a behavior chart that I will enforce. You'll be amazed at what boundaries and structure can accomplish she says. What!?! I already explained that difficult child does have a routine and this is more than a behavioral problem. Just look at the events of the last week. My son wants to 'be normal' but he can't. I also explained what we do at home. Each of our kids starts off with 30 mins of computer time and 30 mins of video game time. they lose/gain time based on a chart in our kitchen. I explained how this works wonderfully with the others but not difficult child and how sometimes I can't even go there with him. She says she'll give us the tools to sucess. She has not met difficult child yet (monday). She will work with our family for six hours a week.

    This whole situation has me speechless because she is completly out of touch with what our family is going through. Any suggestions on what to do??? My project for tomorrow will be writing her an email trying to talk sence into her. Thats in between trick or treating with the rest of the kids and visiting difficult child. I don't know how much more I can take.

    Thanks for reading this whole thing. I read on this site every day even though I rarely post because being busy/having nothing valuable to add. it gives me so much comfort knowing I'm not alone.

    Any suggestions/advice would be greatly appreciated.
  2. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Maybe... the therapist needs to be in contact with the s/w?

    I don't know. Not an expert on these extremes... but do know what sleep-deprivation does to a difficult child.

  3. Liahona

    Liahona Guest

    Could you request a different worker because of "personality" issues? Your differing personalty are clashing. This lets everyone save face.

    Hope the phos stay helped difficult child.
  4. zoo_keeper

    zoo_keeper Member

    Thats pretty much my plan at this point. At the end of the email I'm going to stress that I know my son best and if we can't get on the same page I'd like another social worker. At this point we're not even in the same book.
  5. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    I am so sorry you are having to go through this. A medication wash is probably a very good thing. Are they planning on trying to add one medication at a time so they can figure out which medication might be causing the behavior? The problem is that it sounds like your difficult child is a lot like mine in that it can take 2-6 months for the issues to show up. We were lucky in that there was only one medication that he hadn't been on for 7 years without issue.

    Our county social worker doesn't believe me either so I am just waiting (and watching difficult child 1 improve every day now that the medication has been stopped) to tell her "I TOLD YOU SO!" I have been here once before with another medication but she wasn't on board yet so she has no idea. She is convinced there is more going on and that he needs long-term placement and what are you going to do when (not if)...... Guess what? We haven't had a meltdown since he came home from the psychiatric hospital and that includes him hearing every word she said. He dealt with that anger heroically if you ask me. Stick to your guns. They can't FORCE you to follow her plan. YOU know what doesn't work. Be the broken record... "tried that, didn't work". Or you could always invite her to spend her 6 hours a week all in one day every week with him and try enforcing HER plan.

  6. buddy

    buddy New Member

    seriously, she needs to read the explosive child. How can a whole part of education be so missing in someone who works in psychiatric hospital? It is not behavior 101. The kids that works for do not end up in a psychiatric hospital. I dont know what to do but appeal to her sense of right/wrong but without someone backing you up like her therapist or someone I guess you just let her "show" you while he is there? maybe she will see. problem is any new thing can work for our kids just because it is new for a short time...and especially if it is not us doing it.
    Gosh, just wanted you to know that you are in good company, we here know that is a silly recommendation. you should read what DammitJanet wrote about her stay in a psychiatric hospital and the girl who ran a group. really crazy. It is on my difficult child update starting ROFL ....I think-- anyway, in one of them from me lately--
    . there are some real dorks out there. I have heard that too...well if you would use "meaningful" consequences...huh guess I should move up to taser guns or something really meaningful to my difficult child. really they think we are so stupid.
  7. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Buddy -

    The s/w doesn't work for the hospital... she's "community"... which means... well, lets just say that most of us around here have significant issues with the damaging-helpfulness of certain community resources...

    And yes, there are more dorks out there than we want to know about, except... I wouldn't call them dorks. They are WAY worse than THAT. (can't quite find the right - and usable - word, though)
  8. zoo_keeper

    zoo_keeper Member

    You it the nail on the head. Thats exactly the problem. This has become a pattern for difficult child in the last two years. First its complete and total crisis and into the hospital. Then after he gets released he does great for about 3-4 months. Then gradually starts to worsen and psychiatrist tweaks his medications by uping the doses. And a few months later its back into the hospital due to a major incident. Its so disheartening. The plan right now is for current psychiatrist to observe difficult child completely medication free for a while and start with lithium. Perhaps continue with the lamictal and for sure continue with the clonidine as she beleives the abilify was most likely the problem. Thanks for the reply.
  9. buddy

    buddy New Member

    still, same issue...they work for mental health system and dont know that typical parenting techniques dont work?, just a waste of tax dollars I guess. Yes, dork was a nice way of saying it,smile.

  10. zoo_keeper

    zoo_keeper Member

    useless piece of poop is more like it. I'm just completely at a loss. On friday I actually had a more rational conversation with difficult child than with the social worker. I have not discussed the new social worker with our psychiatrist yet. I hope she will be able to help us with this.
  11. buddy

    buddy New Member

    :rollingpin:me too
  12. Bunny

    Bunny Guest

    It always amazes me that a social worker does not understand that stickers and reward charts do no work for certain types of kids. I was told that I had to be a better disciplinarian, but that was not the problem at all. Because she was not seeing the behaviors that I was describing, she automatically thought that I was exagerating the problem in order to get help.

    Can you suggest that the social worker talk to the psychiatrist? Maybe the psychiatrist will be able to talk some sense into the social worker and get her to see that what she is suggesting is not going to work in your case.
  13. keista

    keista New Member

    I don't have any practical advice with the S/W. So far, I've had the luxury of switching professionals (whoever they were) if they didn't 'get it'. Fortunately, the ones that I can't switch easily really do "get it" So ((((HUGS)))) and good luck to you getting a new S/W, OR getting her to see the fact that behavior charts just do not work when there's a real biological component to the behavior.

    I do want to say something regarding difficult child, though. Have you discussed with him his illness and related issues as a true illness? IOW you're not taking him to the hospital because he's crazy, he is legitmately sick, and when an illness can't be controlled at home, ppl go to a hospital for treatment. My favorite current analogy for this is the "stomach bug" If you get hit with the bug and throw up (poor behavior) it is understandable, but someone has to clean it up. You don't just walk away and leave it. This brings in personal responsibility for one's actions, even though, to some degree, they "can't be stopped" If a person throws up enough from a bug, they get dehydrated (more poor behavior creating utter chaos). If it's severe enough and can't be controlled at home, they must go to a hospital for IV fluids.

    in my opinion this makes the illness and resulting behavior separate from the self, but something that still must be dealt with.
  14. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    can I ask something? You say you moved, did you have any services where you lived before? If so, is it possible for you to have those records sent to this new social worker? I am hoping this is an option. If not then well, lets try and think of more options just in case it isnt.

    We know what your son has done in the hospital and that is available for this social worker to view as something not just coming from your words alone. The nurses saw him out of control. I dont think a sticker chart would have stopped him from shoving his pills down a nurses throat. What you need is to talk to the social worker at the hospital and get her input on what she knows about for community supports. While this outside sw maybe coming 6 hours a week, that does not mean that is all that is available. Its entirely possible there is more out there that you dont know about.

    However, this does remind me of when Cory was in his first psychiatric hospital and got his bipolar diagnosis. I knew we only had a very short admit time and was very no nonsense when I was in there for our family therapy. His father on the other hand was very compassionate towards Cory. I did say hi to Cory and gave him a hug and kiss but basically I just left him sitting in the chair and ignored him and put all my attention on the SW and started grilling her about what services we could get upon his release, if we could get partial hospitalization, day treatment, blah blah blah. His dad just sat there and let me do the talking because that is my forte. He just doesnt know all this stuff. The social worker just turned to Cory and said "how does it feel to know your mother doesnt love you enough to want you home?" I was livid! Then she told his father he should take Cory home and kick me out of the home!!!!

    Tony told her she was a fool. We checked Cory out of that hospital that day AMA.
  15. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    Wow Janet, you just keep coming up with personal experiences that keep me saying wow. You should write a book. You'd be rich!! LOL
  16. zoo_keeper

    zoo_keeper Member

    Thanks so much for the replies everyone.

    Keista- you make a really valid point. It's difficult to get this point across to difficult child 1. I don't allow the c word (crazy) or the r word (retard) at home. I've always done my best to be open and honest with my kids. difficult child know that he is bi-polar and that everyone thinks differently and he takes medication to help balance out the chemicals in his brain. Just like I do. I often make the analogy of diabeties or an amputated leg. Its still very hard on him because I think he senses he is different. He's been paranoid and often repeated 'I'm not crazy' ever since we started school this year with a 1:1 behavior buddy (which he calls the crazy patrol. I'm pretty sure he picked that up at school :( ). Anyone have any suggestions on how better to deal with this?

    My anger over the s/w's ignorance has disapated somewhat. I resisted the urge to call her a useless piece of poop in my email anyway. I did use your quote 'there's a real biological component to the behavior.' I also stressed that I want to take advantage of services we're offered, urged her to speak to our psychiatrist and keep and open mind.
  17. zoo_keeper

    zoo_keeper Member

    Oh wow. Really puts what I'm dealing with into perspective. yikes! I have no idea how I would have reacted, definetly not as calmly as you. i can see my difficult child using that comment against me every chance he got. I hope that wasn't your experience.

    We did have a few services where we lived before. difficult child attended a day program at the psychiatric hospital in the mornings and we worked on school together in the afternoons. Last school year was a disaster and he was on homebound by Thanksgiving. I'm really trying to prevent that here. We also had a in home therapist that worked with our entire family. The s/w said she had read difficult child's file at current psychiatric hospital and was all up to date with his issues. I told her that file didn't begin to describe difficult child and his history and would gladly loan her my personal records and files I have kept for all these years (which has a record of all the services). So i'm really hoping that our first conversation was just a result of the s/w being unfamiliar with difficult child and not total ignorance like it seemed. Thanks for you input after reading a few of your posts you sound really experienced with all this and I would appreciate any home transition tips you have to offer. :)
  18. keista

    keista New Member

    Awwwww poor kid. Yeah, does sound like something picked up at school.

    We don't use the "c" word (much) or the "r" word (at all) either. We do *celebrate* being different, strange, odd, peculiar, geeky, nerdy, etc. Normal is boring and overrated. However, we don't have the intensity of illness that you and difficult child 1 are dealing with. But, it is also a family thing, not singling out anyone in particular.

    Does he have strengths? I mean specifically anything positive that can be attributed to his illness? If so, focus on that. Often, this manifests in some creative outlet - writing, drawing, painting, singing. I hope someone else has better ideas of getting through to him.
  19. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    I haven't been there done that so all I can do is send your supportive thoughts and hugs. Being a Warrior Mom is tough but I have faith you'll get the job done. DDD