Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Things went downhill after the cat scare.

Mom called the mental health hotline on Friday. They sent a crisis team out to see her and contacted me.

Peanut and I visited Mom Saturday morning. She said she needed to go to the hospital. I convinced her to call the crisis line again and we both spoke with the counselor. We had to use my cell phone because her phone line has so much static that she can’t hear to have conversations on it. The phone company’s test indicated the problem was on her end, but I still heard static at the outdoor test jack. They wouldn’t send anyone until the end of this week. I wasn’t comfortable with her being alone, especially without a working phone. She and the cats came home with me. I told her I would take her to the hospital after Hubby came home from work. By evening she felt a little better and decided to wait.

She didn’t want to get out of bed on Sunday. She wanted to go to the hospital as soon as I got up. I needed to get Peanut fed and dressed first. By the time we were ready, Mom changed her mind. She felt like she would die if she went to the hospital because they would never let her out. She remained in bed for the rest of the day only getting up for an occasional glass of water or trip to the bathroom. When I wasn’t playing with Peanut or taking care of him, I was on my hands and knees scrubbing grout. I needed something physical to take my mind off Mom. The grout has gone from dirty dark brown to almost white. She did eat a little bit of dinner and made a little bit of conversation with us.

Monday was the same, except she didn’t want to go to the hospital or call the crisis line since “they don’t help.” Hubby, Peanut and I went out for lunch and to do a little shopping (a sanity-saver for me after 2 days on Mom watch). I checked on Mom when we got home. She admitted to taking 5 Klonopin pills in the time we were gone. She’s supposed to take a maximum of 3 per day. At first she stated she was trying to hurt herself, then she said she only wanted to take enough to sleep, then she said she would have taken more if we had come home later. I took the bottle away and Hubby called work to request a unit to come to our house. Luckily, one of Hubby’s good friends responded and Mom was Baker Acted.

***

Now the fun begins. I must get in touch with the hospital as well as the folks from the crisis line/non-profit who handled Mom’s residential treatment and is supposed to be handling her outpatient treatment. I need to figure out where she’ll go when she gets out. I think she’s past the point of safely living alone. As I see it, she needs to be in a group home or with us if we can arrange some sort of home health care, at least on the days that both Hubby and I are working, but I don’t know if that would work as a permanent solution.

I am fed up with mediocre mental health care. I realize that the non-profit is underfunded and understaffed, but I can’t understand how they would release someone like my mom, even if she seemed stable, only to make her wait 6 weeks for a psych appointment. It’s a recipe for disaster.

3 comments:

Emma Jane said...

I just came back to reading your blog again, and I'm sorry to hear that the last few weeks have been so rough with your mother.

It was 6 weeks to the followup appointment after release?! Oy.

Cheeky said...

The state of publicly funded mental health services is terrible in our country. As someone who works in the midst of that bureaucracy, I can tell you that it makes me feel ill every day. Everything is about "lowering utilization" which should ideally mean helping clients to not need services, but more often means just not making services available. It's very awful and largely the fault of mandates that come from above that require certain outcomes attached to funding, which forces the cities and states who get that money to meet those outcomes, which forces the individual agencies to do so as well. You're right, it is a mess.

I hope you can find a good situation for your mom. I worry about you having her live with you even if you do have in home care. Sounds like that could become intolerable pretty quickly. :-(

StaceyG said...

It IS such a dismal time for mental health care. If you are fortunate enough to have insurance that actually covers mental health, the options are so limited it's pathetic. I've had clients repeatedly in and out of hospitals and then they start getting rejected!

It's so frustrating!