I really need to take a good hard look at myself. I really need to make some hard changes in my life.
I am honestly just sick and tired of thinking about these things and writing about these things and talking about these things.
I feel stuck in some kind of trap that is probably of my own making that I need to find my way out of. Where’s the damn trap door???
I feel like I’m either fighting for my brother or fleeing from my brother to keep my sanity.
What I do know, without doubt, is I’m fighting harder for his well being that he’s fighting for himself.
This is something I’ve struggled with in so many areas of my life. I’ve learned to manage it pretty well when it comes to my business after essentially a 24 year boot camp. I wasn’t a quick learner. I’ve even discharged clients and referred them out for this reason. Yes, my peace of mind is more important than being paid for that dynamic.
This ACT Team is still on probation and it remains to be seen how well they will perform. I get so tired of these big sales pitches about programs and then, they fizzle before they’d taken off. This is the public sector. I guess you do get what you pay for. I still hold Dr. Yasinski in my mind as an option but we would also need to build a team of other providers in addition to him which, again, is a full time job for awhile.
John was transferred to this program two days ago. We were told he’d have 24/7 access to case managers should he have a need. He left there after that transfer without one of his heavy duty antipsychotic meds being filled because of some “preauthorization” issue. No one (but me) ever followed up on this so as of today, he’s completely out of this medication. This major medication that isn’t to be played around with.
We both called multiple times yesterday and left messages and heard nothing back. Fail.
He’s been seen by none of these multi disciplinary case managers we met two days ago nor has even one called him to set up an appointment to work with him. Fail.
I finally tracked down the coordinator who we’d met with this week and shared all of this with her, along with my concerns that their “med check” visits, really the only service he’s gotten from this “intensive” team in two days which involves someone coming to the house and watching him take his meds for a couple minutes, requiring him to take his bedtime meds at 5pm.
Which means he’s in bed sleeping by 5:30 because, being such strong tranquilizers, they knock him out. That’s insane. Fail.
Not only did I get much of a solution for that (“well that’s when we do our med checks”) but this coordinator had no solution for me about the medication that John is now OUT OF and literally said “well he may have to go cold turkey off that if we can’t get preauthorized”. Medication prescribed by their very clinic, by the Dr. who is on the premises. FAIL.
Here’s me, grinding my jaw, trying to be nice, trying to not make waves saying “I’m a trained Psychiatric Nurse, he cannot go off that medication cold turkey”.
And what I got back was “our Dr. is out of the office til next week”. “Then who is covering for him?” (for God’s sake, this is an INTENSIVE PROGRAM!!!).
See what I’m talking about?
I pushed this issue (as was necessary) and she went to speak with the Dr. who ordered it, who is RIGHT THERE IN THE SAME BUILDING WITH HER, and got it approved.
But do you see the degree I am continually fighting , fighting, fighting to get John’s basic needs met?
While he’s laying over there on my couch, doing nothing. “I’m having a bad day” he says.
And to that I said “if you don’t invest in your own life, then I’m stopping pushing you”. I’m either pushing him to go to classes, go take a walk, make a phone call to find out something about, say, that medication issue. And he lays on the couch telling me “I’m having a bad day”. How luxurious he gets to have “bad days” and not advocate for himself. Yet I have to keep reminding myself that he is very capable when he wants to be. He got himself in the last two days to Urgent Care, an ER, a CT scan, a Dr. , stores to buy cigarettes and various fast food places which I also can’t seem to mitigate. There are just so many areas of dysfunction you have to choose your battles.
I’m moving him today to my Dad’s. He left to go over there just now.
I have to pull back. I’m going to lose my mind with all of this fighting fighting fighting pushing lighting fires trying trying trying to save my brother who does not seem that invested in saving himself. Or much of anyone else for that matter. I’m treading water holding a life saver trying to toss it out in the open sea. To someone who’s just floating and staring at me like “huh?”. I need to start swimming. Swimming for shore. I’ll just leave that life saver right here and see if it gets picked up. Terrifying.
The tears finally came when I started reminding him that he’s the same person who went to every furniture store in Phoenix shopping for our Sedona home, who found that house, who wanted to go to Sedona with me, who went to movies with me, who enjoyed this…that….this was just a few short months ago.
I pleaded with him “WHERE IS MY BROTHER???”
“I don’t know” he said.
It’s utterly heartbreaking. That’s one of many adjectives of what it is.
I don’t know if he will make it on his own. I have to turn him over to this
incompetent disappointing new ACT Team.
I have to see if he has a chance for rising with them.
I have to find my own life again. Can you imagine how hard it is to turn this off in my head? Even when I have a day off like yesterday and do something fun for myself like getting my hair cut and meeting two friends for wine and food and a little pub crawl? I do my best to not talk about this but it’s been so consuming it’s so hard to not think about or find other things to talk about.
I was so happy, so relieved, so whatevered, to hear my hair dresser’s long story of a dramatic story that had gone on in her life. Please, anything, anything to pull my mind off this unending dramatic nightmare.
John breaks my heart as he sadly walks out of my house saying “well you have a good day”. I get sympathetic to his sweetness over and over again and then I put up my gloves for him.
He might choose a marginally functioning life where, without constant pushing, he lives his life between his patio smoking, alone, to his couch, laying down, alone. He may end up back in the hospital. He may fall right through the cracks of this “intensive program” which to me seems more like a series of cracks than any kind of foundation. He might get suicidal again, he might get totally psychotic again, he might he might he might….I seem to be the one person, other than Dr. Yasinski who’s invested in the “he might get very functional again”. It’s so sad.
I’ve been thinking a lot about first impressions lately.
I have to say it. This is a bad one for the ACT Team. That anyone working with the mentally ill would, for any reason, ever, in any situation other than stranded on a desert island, think that taking someone off their major meds “cold turkey”, meds that they need, is any kind of viable option. Over “insurance authorization”. That is terrifying and defined certain things to me.
I don’t know how long we will give this program and need to think about that.
I have to let go. I have to let go. I have to let go. I have to let go. I have to let go.
I feel like I’ve lost my only surviving sibling. Again.
And I just can’t type anymore after saying that.