Monday, May 27, 2013

Locking Up My Stuff

Parrish suffers alternating periods of depression and mania.  I wonder if he needs a different antidepressant medication, so tomorrow I will call the local mental health facility and try to schedule an appointment for a crisis visit.  It’s not likely to happen, but I will try.

I have never seen him so depressed and it frightens me.  He hasn’t threatened suicide, but he has periods of weeping, sobbing into his hands.  I wonder which is worse, mania or this eerie quiet.

He is binge drinking, and it triggers mania.  I believe alcohol caused the hypermania that landed him in hospital twice in the last few months.  

I don’t know what to do.  Years of AlAnon taught me that I cannot stop his drinking.  I have locked up all the wine in the house, and Sophie helped me climb up the hill and lock the contents of the liquor cabinet in the playhouse.  I refuse to buy beer, his drink of choice, but he manages to get it anyway.  While I am out running errands or shopping, he calls one of his friends who brings him beer.  I don’t know how he pays for it.

After P stole his debit card out of my wallet and drained the entire balance on beer, I bought a safe and now I lock my wallet up, along with my car keys and any medicine that he might steal from me when he can’t drink.  I have finally done everything I can do.  I have plugged all the holes I can fill.  

Should I take him with me every time I leave the house?  No.  I refuse to let P’s behavior cheat me of being with my friends.  I refuse to allow his behavior to change my life and interfere with my needs.  I won’t serve up my entire world to him.  I just won’t.        


Sunday, May 12, 2013

Depression Sets In

When I fetched Parrish from the jailhouse on Friday afternoon, he was subdued, which I guess should be expected.  

“If you want to spend a month and a half in jail, just keep drinking.  You know Mr. Côté will make you blow into that thing every time you darken his door.”

X replied in a hushed tone, “I never want to see the inside of that place as long as I live.”

“Well, it’s settled.  You will stay sober.  You know that your liver can’t metabolize alcohol in a normal fashion because you have cirrhosis.  It will stay in your body for days. You understand?”

He nodded and stared at his feet. 

After we arrived home, we sat together for a while smoking and drinking juice.  P didn’t want me to leave him, but I went to The Goose to see my friends and have a drink.  I brought our supper home and we ate together.  He was manic but not severely so.

I went to bed but he stayed up most of the night, listening to music and writing.  When he got up yesterday morning to get something to eat and feed the dogs, I gave him his medicine, the first he had since Thursday morning.  He went back to bed and slept until about 8:00 last night.  Again, he had something to eat and returned to bed.  It is 1:00 on Sunday afternoon and he is still asleep.  

How many hours is that?  28 hours and counting.    During the few moments he has been awake he has been calm, pleasant and oriented and hungry.  I did not give him any medicine this morning, so he has missed two more doses.  I can’t make myself give sedatives to a man who can’t stay awake. 

And it continues, this treacherous journey of illness and pitfalls and hope for healing.  Yes, I am still hopeful.  I could not do this if I had no hope.  Every now and then it dims, but it is still in me.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

How to Spend a Night in Jail

Lost in Himself

Much has happened since P's admission to River Edge Inpatient on Monday, April 22.  He remained in the facility for 5 days, was detoxed and dismissed to me one week ago today.  The Nurse Practitioner who treated him there added one medicine to his regimen, an anti-psychotic called Saphris.  It caused night terrors, so after only two days on the therapy, P refused to take it.  

No one could blame him.  On Sunday night, he woke out of a terror and came to my bed, threw his arms around me and trembled and wept like a baby.  I got up with him and we sat together for two hours until he was calm enough to go back to bed.  I slept but he did not close his eyes until Monday night.

He began sneaking around and drinking.  I did all I could to discourage him, but as I have said before, I am not in the detox business.  I knew that he was treating his mania and that it would only exacerbate his symptoms.  One drink is never enough.

On the Tuesday after his dismissal, I went to pay his probation fine.  (I dropped P off at an AA meeting on the way.  They refused to take the payment, saying he was a week late in appearing.  I explained that he was in River Edge the week before, but the clerk didn’t care.  She had rules to follow.  I was instructed to bring Parrish back on Thursday to see his Probation Officer, Mr. Côté, in person.

On Wednesday, I began urging Parrish to stop drinking.  Knowing that he would go to jail of he were caught with alcohol on board, I didn’t worry too much.  When we arrived, Mr. Côté scolded P for not appearing the week before and didn’t seem to care where he had been.  He allowed me to be heard and I explained what was going on.  I told him about the difficulty getting in to see a psychiatrist at River Edge and assured him that I am doing everything I can to find the help Parrish so desperately needs.  

Mr. Côté picked up the phone and asked for “the box.”  When it arrived, he opened a breathalyzer and had P blow.  He blew 1.83, three times the legal limit for blood alcohol.  My mouth dropped and I shook my head and wanted to cry like a baby. 

“What are you going to do?”  

“Mr. Gray, you understand that I can lock you up for 45 days, do you not?”

“Yes, Sir.”

“Because your mother is here to support you and she is actively seeking help for you, I’m only going to keep you behind bars for 24 hours.”

I heaved a sigh and looked at P.  I wanted to say something to him but I couldn’t figure out what.  I simply stared at him.

“Mrs. Schlottman, I am ordering you to bring documentation of Parrish’s active treatment at River Edge.  Since you have an appointment on Monday, bring Mr. Gray back here next Thursday with the required documents.  You should come at 2:00 so you there won’t be a mob in the waiting area.”

“Thank you, Mr. Côté.  We will be here with everything you need.”  

While he called a bailiff, I took P’s belt and tie and left the building and got into my car and drove home.

© 2013 cjschlottman

Monday, May 6, 2013

Some Thoughts 05/06/13

Dear P,

What about me?  Why, when I am here for you and do everything I can to get you the help you need, when I give you a roof over your head and a clean bed to sleep in and nourishing food to eat, do you say your life is over and you have no reason to live?  What about me?

There is no logic in depression, and you are suffering.  Your drinking is making things worse, and you say you cannot stop.  If you have alcohol in your system when you visit your probation officer on Tuesday, he will throw you in jail.  For how long?  He can lock you up for 45 days if he wishes.  What will he do this time?

I fear for your life.  Your sanity is already in great peril.  Please don’t put yourself in a place that will lead you to jail.  Please.

© 2013 cjschlottman

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Messages to Melissa - 1

The next three posts are copies of fb messages I sent to Melissa Gray, Parrish's stepmother, when we were under particularly stressful circumstances.  She and I have opened a dialogue after many years of trying to avoid each other.  Actually, she is the one who cracked the door.  Melissa has been sympathetic and understanding and generous of spirit as well as generous with money to help me with P's expenses.  I am deeply grateful.

April 20, 2013

Hey, things here are dreadful. P has been super manic since yesterday morning. Even he knows how bad he is but he refuses to go to hospital. He is paranoid and thinks I am going to put him away for life. He keeps asking me not to leave him. He has been for 3 walks today, trying to slow himself down with no results. He is terrified f what will happen at the hearing tomorrow and I cannot assure him enough that nothing big will take place. He has been begging for electro convulsive therapy. He is delusional and having hallucinations. He thinks some boys tried to break into the house last night.

Let's see what else. When we arrived at River Edge, the community mental health center, on the Wednesday after he was dismissed from the hospital, we were told he did not have an appointment and I fact the doctor was not in on Wednesdays! They was rescheduled for APRIL 6. This was the supposed appointment that the social moron at the hospital made for him.

On top of that, the landlady at the boarding house called this past Tuesday and threatened us if she didn't get her $200. by this weekend! Here is the direct quote from her: "if I don't get my money by the weekend, well, we know where you live and them it will be case closed." We, of course, called the police, and they said it really didn't constitute a threat. I shit you not. They said that. They blamed P for ever living there in the first place. 

Hell, the man is sick and did not use good judgement. I called the officers on their unfair judgement of P and explained that he was mentally ill.  Then P piped in and said there was drug dealing going on over there. To my astonishment, they admitted that they were aware of it. I just about needed a fainting couch. When I asked why the place was still in business, he said they had turned it over to the drug unit, but hey had done nothing.

Now, what else? I have been listening to a crazy person ranting about every wrong he ever imagined to be visited upon him. Then he rants about his young adulthood and everything he and his friends. He is obsessive about showing me his muscles and bragging about his grip, He just asked me if I have any Valium to give him IV for his mania. He just pounded his chest at me like a gorilla. His delusional memories are far from true. He builds himself up in all the tales, told me he once too a gun away from a cop and him him in the head with it.

He has finally agreed to go to hospital. 

More later.........cj

Messages to Melissa - 2

April 21, 2013 - 4:00 AM

When we arrived at the hospital, the triage nurse sent P to a room - read that cell - and security came running and locked him in his room.  The triage nurse called security to escort P to a locked room when he was clearly not violent.  They let me go in with him after a few minutes, and he was still manic but not in any way violent. An ER doc, not a psychiatrist, came to see him for about 3 minutes.   

A little later, when p was very animated, and loud, NOT violent, the nit wit of a nurse called security! Five - yes - five uniforms stormed into the room and kicked me out. I begged them to let me back in, but they surrounded his bed and interrogated him. They later admitted that he was not violent. 

I tried to go back in the room but they had him locked in again and would not let me in. I tried to sneak around them and they shoved me out into the hall and threatened to kick me out of the hospital. I did not make this up. I pleaded with them to back off, saying five officers was overkill and P was already manic enough. I tried to explain his illness but no one would listen. When I tried to go back into the room, an extremely hostile if she put her hands on me and physically pushed me out the door.  Then she said she would ARREST me if I tried to go back in the room!  I wish I had put out my hands and told her to go ahead and take me to jail.  The other officers would have laughed her off the force.  Picture it.  A 6’2” officer and me, all 5’3” and 140 pounds of me, cuffed and taken to jail for disturbing the peace.  Jesus.

I walked up and down the hall and went back to see him. Not allowed in. They started speaking to me in a condescending and patronizing tone. It was absolutely infuriated. The charge nurse took me down the hall for coffee. It was 45 minutes before she let me go back. Because I was weeping, she decided that I needed to come home and get some sleep. I assured her that I would not sleep.
When I got back to see P, THREE cops escorted me to the security office. They made me go on the other side of a desk, closed the swinging door between us and stood on the other side of the desk like a tribunal. There were four of them including the charge nurse.  I felt as though I were on trial.  They told me to go home and I said I wanted to stay with P.
The nurse called the ER doc and HE said I had to either go home, taking P with me or let them "place him in a hospital" without me there.  Either take him home with me or leave him alone. 

“That is totally a Hobson’s Choice!”  I guess I assumed too much in thinking they would know what a Hobson’s Choice is. 

Of course I couldn't take him home. He was already somewhat sedated. I knew P needed hospitalization but wanted to stay with him until they sent him away to God-knows-where.  It was GHASTLY the way they treated me. 

I asked again to stay with him for a while. Denied and told to go home.  I finally convinced them to let me sit with him for a bit.  When I arrived back at the cell, P was so heavily sedated that I could not even tell him I was leaving. Thanks for listening. I am at my wit's end. 

© 2013 cjschlottman

Messages to Melissa - 3

April 23, 2013

Thanks for your good energy. God knows I need it.
Hey, I always ask permission to publish the words of others, but because my brain has been reduced to chicken feathers, I asked YOU if I could publish my OWN words. I really should be in a rest home somewhere far, far from this situation. I DO want your permission to publish all of the dialogue between us over the last week or so.

After the post of 3:00 AM yesterday, I took a hot bath, put on my “jays” and got into bed were I lay awake until 7:00. I got up and let out the dogs, had some coffee, dressed and drove back to the hospital. Having been the victim of the hospital’s coffee, I lingered over my tasty French brew.

After being detained in the ER waiting room so the receptionist could make two phone calls to make sure I was allowed inside, the scene at the hospital was the polar opposite of what it was on Sunday night.
The “watcher,” Debra, assigned to the two rooms in our cell block was, after a few minutes of looking like a deer in headlights, warm to me and was caring and nurturing and a calming influence. The other staff had their badges turned around. I kid you not. I wonder what the night shift told them about me.

P was still very drowsy from the dose of Geodone that had him so zonked Sunday night. (He needed to be zonked). He slept until about 11:45, when I noticed he was stirring around in bed and trembling. He appeared to be on the verge of withdrawal symptoms so Debra phoned P’s nurse, who had not darkened the door since shift change at 7:00. I wanted to let her know his condition had changed. Debra and I entertained one another and P slept fitfully. 2 hours later, yes 2 hours, the nurse had not appeared, and I had to leave to for the guardianship hearing in Probate Court. Debra made the call as I went out the door.
The hearing was uneventful and I was awarded guardianship of my 43 year old son.

When I returned to the hospital, a was again detained in the waiting room until I was cleared to go back. The nurse, who had her name badge turned around to conceal her name and photo, was in P’s cell and introduced herself as “his nurse.” She gave us the happy news that a bed had opened up for Parrish at River Edge's inpatient facility for detox and stabilization. He was dismissed forthwith.

We came by here for P to shower and get some things and we drove to River Edge. Well, we got lost and had to call the facility and ask for directions. You will surely think I thought this up myself, but the phone number the nurse wrote down in case we got lost connected to one of those annoying messages that say the number is not in service. No kidding. First a non appointment at River Edge outpatient care, now the wrong phone number for inpatient care.

We asked a man at a rundown gas station, and he gave us instructions. Were greeted warmly and I feel sure I left P in good hands. He should be there about a week.

I may stay in bed until he is released. Thanks for the positive energy. God knows how much I need it. Sophie came yesterday to clean so I could have a fresh bed and a tidy kitchen. She is always here for me..........cj

© 2013 cjschlottman