Give me strength!
After working all day, I came home and tried to spend a few minutes with
my daughter who seems to be spiraling down into a “not good” place. We saw a new psych clinician Monday. This well credentialed clinician has been on
our radar since last summer. Where we
live, we have an alarming shortage of Psychiatrists and getting an appointment as
a new patient takes months.
It is so hard to get my mind around the concept that a
mentally ill individual, and by extension their family and/or support network
is struggling on not a daily basis, but an hourly basis to try to keep a
tentative grip on reality knowing that stability is possible with the right
medications and therapy, is being told the first available appointment with the
only psych clinician in town who will take new patients if several months away. When you express a heartfelt concern about
how the patient and you will manage to get from today to that date, the well-meaning
staff advises that if a crisis arises, call 911 or go to an emergency
room. Well….been there and done that….if
the mentally ill individual is not, at that moment an imminent threat to
themselves or someone else….no intervention.
Doesn’t matter that they are ranting and raving about demons chasing
them and hurting them and talking to people who aren’t there. You just have to get back in the car and go
home and “deal with it”. The only
alternative, put the person you love out on the street and make sure you can
live with the consequences. And what
would that accomplish. They would never
make it to the much needed appointment.
So, put on your big girl pants and find a way to deal with her.
Finally the big day came.
My daughter is an adult and so I am not invited to be a part of the
process. I have to sit in the waiting
room and hope that she is honest about her issues so that the right medication
can be prescribed and we can finally start moving to some sanity in our lives. Having lived in this world for over 5 years I
really have become knowledgeable about the disease(s) and having a first-hand
experience, call it on-the-job-training, with the various medications and how
she does or does not react to them. So,
when the hour long appointment (good sign) is over my daughter and the
clinician come out and I am told that there are no oral medications being
prescribed, only 1 injectable. My heart
stopped. As I said in my initial blog
offering, my daughter is both bipolar and paranoid schizophrenic. The injectable (I am guessing, Invega
Sustena) treat the schizophrenia (or at least it is supposed to) but from
experience it does nothing for the bipolar symptoms. But, ever the optimist, I thought well, if
she can get the hallucinations and voices to stop then we can work on the
bipolar mood swings. The only problem,
that was three days ago and the paranoid schizophrenic symptoms are actually
worse than they were a week ago. I asked
my daughter to call the new psych clinician, but that hasn’t happened yet. If I call, they won’t talk to me…she is an
adult….so…now what. We have a follow up
next Tuesday and I am going to insist, to my daughter, that I go in with
her. If she refuses, there is nothing I
can do, but I have to try. Hold a good