John is back in the hospital.
Yesterday was another level of nightmare dealing with this whole thing.
I have a sign up in my office that reads something like this:
I’ve seen this quote attributed so many times to Marilyn Monroe and I’m not sure I believe she ever really said that but right now I’m hanging on to Marilyn for dear life and sending up prayers to her, to my mother to my sister to my grandma to anyone up there who knows my brother’s dear heart and will speak to it in a way he can hear.
John is obsessed with Marilyn Monroe as I’ve shared in another post so I will be peppering this post with her image as my brother gleans some kind of support from her which I don’t even need to understand. I just need to bring back some kind of normal in the way I’m looking at him right now.
Yesterday, plain and simple, was another level of chaos for both of us. I worked all day and between my appointments, dealing with other people in a high level of acuity of stress and pain, I fielded phone calls from John’s program and my Dad about how they were initiating a court ordered involuntary admission.
I spent my entire hour lunch break on the phone talking to someone or another about this as John waited at his program for a police escort to take him to a “holding area” for “one or two days” while awaiting a bed in the court ordered hospital.
As I write this, finally the tears I held back all day yesterday are falling down my face.
Just the thought of him in that prison like environment for one hour, much less two days, is almost too much for me to bear.
The staff at his program felt the care he’s gotten recently at the prior hospitalization plus his
crappy bullshit Psychiatrist was actually doing more harm than good and assessed him at a level of acuity that this was what they needed to do. He was a harm to himself and others. The believed the court ordered hospital would be a safer place plus provide him better care. I was terrified of one thing: no smoking. I don’t understand why they would take mentally ill people, often addicted to cigarettes, and rip that one coping mechanism away from them abruptly in a crisis.
I was also firing off emails to my new attorney who is an absolute angel, writing me back immediately with plans and support how to navigate this. All the while I had one person on my table waiting for me and another with questions standing next to me, basically all day long.
Chick Arnold set me up with an appointment at his office Monday with a new Psychiatrist who he trusts and this next week the whole new plan for dealing with John with new higher level professionals and systems, begins. It will take awhile to get him plugged in to it all, but it will be worth it. He was shocked we’d been surviving in the public sector services for so long. He’s a goldmine of information/resources. One program for example is this one:
John being in the hospital will give me time to get the ball rolling in lots of these areas.
Somewhere midday I got a call from his program coordinator telling me they’d scrapped the court ordered deal as the “Crisis Management Team” came out to intervene and arrange a police escort but instead changed the plan as John agreed to go voluntarily. So they sent him alone, via ambulance, to his prior hospital and basically dumped him off without an escort.
John proceeded to immediately call me to come pick him up. I was still treating clients when all this went on.
Balancing my work life and intervening in John’s crises is something I’m continually struggling with. It’s like I’m having to make these snap decisions about who’s pain is more important for me to deal with in the moment. My own pain/stress almost never gets addressed anymore, unless I leave town that is. Sometimes I feel like my entire life is looking around myself 360 and seeing pain upon pain I need to take care of around me. I create my own cracks then step right in to them and fall. That’s changing too.
I’ve lost so much income scrapping my work day and rushing to John’s side. I only make an income when I work, it’s just that simple.
Yesterday as it seemed the program had all of this in process and frankly I didn’t want to rescue any of them by rushing over to pick him up like I typically do, landing with my car/home/life as it’s own Psychiatric hospital, I let the whole thing unfold. While dealing with other people in their own degrees of crisis having to turn off my mind and focus on them over and over again. I can’t survive too many more days like that. It’s just too much for most anyone.
After John called me begging me on a voice mail to come take him home, I began , hurriedly, trying to call the hospital to see where he was, if was still there, had he walked out, what was going on. He had his keys and his wallet. He could have walked out, totally dangerous to himself and others and gotten to his car. I was doing this between client appointments.
Finally at the end of my work day I got notice he’d been admitted. He went willingly.
After my last client, I ran to his condo, grabbed clothes, cigarettes, toiletries and went to see him rushing in under the wire at 7:50 as visiting hours end at 8.
He was/is in a basement unit. I can’t/wont describe just how awful it was. He was mad, paranoid, yelling at everyone, “suicidal” (his word, to me). He had two male nurses who talked to me for quite awhile. I told John I was taking his keys back home and that made him more paranoid but I really don’t care. He can walk out of that hospital AMA and could take a cab to his car. I will always err on the side of his safety.
The nurses encouraged me to write a note to John’s Dr. which I did as I was super pissed he’d been discharged while unstable two weeks ago. Also that his
crappy incompetent Psychiatrist didn’t readmit him last Wednesday when we were in there for an appointment and John was openly telling him, yelling, that I was trying to poison him and to have his pills checked at the lab.
Chick Arnold reinforced that the public systems are burnt out and poorly staffed but there is another level of nirvana (my word) that can truly help John. You just have to pay for it which I will scrape my last dollar to do for him. Luckily money isn’t the problem in our family as it is for most mentally ill persons and I’m going to go First Class for him.
Just as I found when I got him the ticket to move out here…a first class plane ticket. In fact, John will never fly other than First Class again on any level if I have any say in the matter. And I am getting ready to have even more say as his Power of Attorney.
I won’t give up on him. I won’t allow his illness to let me see him as those horrible thoughts and words. That is not my dear brother. That is pain and illness talking and nothing more.
We are in the thick of it now, no doubt. But I’m assembling an Army and have the time to do it and space now that he’s safe and cared for.
And I’ll be back tonite, bringing him a new shaver so he doesn’t have to grow a beard like last hospitalization and I will steel myself to all of his fear and insults and keep telling him over and over that I love him and believe he will get well again, hoping it will sink in and touch him somewhere in there.
Like I always do.