Wednesday, October 16, 2013

There Goes The College Fund

Monday Night we got the call that a bed had opened up at the Psychiatric Hospital. A series of calls from nurses and social workers followed. Somewhere in between the flurry, my husband called the insurance company to report the hospitalization. It is a requirement that any hospital stay must be reported by the end of the 3rd day or there would be penalties.

Shock One: We do not have coverage for Mental Health Issues (any disorder listed in the Psychiatric Diagnostic & Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) After we meet our $2500 deductible, the max payout is $3000.

Shock Two: After a 3 day stay in a hospital room, our first impression of the Psych hospital was shocking. Housed on a college campus, the unit is in an older building. The sleeping rooms have concrete walls with mattresses on the floor and looked dirty and in disarray.

I immediately noticed the blowing noise from the air ducts and panicked. This place was full of things that could trigger my son with no escape. What the hell were we doing to him?

Shock Three: Our only meeting with our new Psychiatrist was Friday when our son was sent directly to the hospital, no evaluation needed. There was much chaos during our discussions that were frequently interrupted by EMT's, nurses, and staff trying to arrange transport for our son who we could hear screaming in the background. While we thought the psychiatrist outlined what was to happen over the next few days, we had the distinct impression that she would be managing our son's treatment while he was hospitalized.

You can imagine our horror when finding out that none of the staff that night knew our new doc and we were given a different name of who would be our son's psychiatrist while in the Psych Hospital.

What followed next was a nightmare of trying to clear up our confusion and having to fill out a mountain of paperwork. We decided to keep our son for the night as midnight was approaching but made sure we had the option to pull him out the next day.

By the time we left it was after 2:00 a.m.

We were so ready to get home, only to find ourselves stuck in the parking garage! I put the parking garage ticket in my purse with my cell phone and it may have demagnetized it. We pushed the call button for help. It took another 20 minutes or so until the supervisor came to let us out.

We stopped for gas, as my car was running on empty and got to bed around 3:00 a.m.

I was finally able to shed some tears as I tried to settle in for a few hours of sleep. I'd been warned that this process would be unbearable and tried to prepare. It was so heartbreaking to only be able to see my son from a distance so as to not agitate him. He looked so cute in his scrubs. I wanted to hug him but knew I could not.


Tuesday - Coming to Terms

After only a few hours of sleep, I went to work My husband's job was to sort things out and meet with the social worker. I spoke at length with our Behavioral Psychologist that we currently use for consultation purposes. He calmed my fears and let me know that Colin was at the best possible place for treatment.

Our Psychiatrist (from Friday) called and spoke with my husband to apologize and clear things up. She called me later that afternoon. I was able to explain how things looked from our perspective and how the lack of clear communication effected us. It was apparent that there was much miscommunication. I think we were able to clear the air and I was feeling a bit better.

Last night we took our 15 year old to see his brother. What a difference a day makes. Seeing the place during visiting hours gave us a much different feel. We also had a chance to meet his Psychiatrist who will be managing our son's treatment there. We like her.

Post to Parent Group, Wednesday, Oct. 16
Update on my son:
We went to visit my son last night and took along his 15 year old brother. My son was glad to see his brother but did not want to visit with me or my husband. I'm feeling much better about the Psych Hospital (other than the cost). There is structure during the day and the kids attend classes.

Apparently my 1st goal for treatment is a tall order. I wanted my son to admit he has a problem and accept his disorder. I am told Acceptance is not a short-term goal. My 15 year old has a hard time seeing his brother due to not knowing how to answer his baby brother about when he is coming home.

We met with the Psychiatrist who will be managing my son's treatment. She suggested a combo of drugs. We decided to have her start Colin on Neurontin. That should have been started last night after we left (if my son will take his pill).
She also wants to add a SSRI (Prozac) in a day or so.

Does anyone have the experience of combining a GABA with an SSRI?
We have a long road ahead but hopefully our son will be able to take his medication and soften his stance toward Mom & Dad. 

I'll be back tonight!

We are a work-in-progress!


  1. Oh, my heart breaks for you. I'm praying that this is the start of real progress and that your boy can come back home to you again soon and that you can resume some semblance of normal again.