Mental Health

Luke and mom on a very good day snowshoeing

 

If you read this, it will change your life…

Luke has a rather severe case of autism. It is coupled with Bipolar. He can rage at a moments notice.  If you are in his way, the chances of you getting physically hurt are high. 


I had just returned home from a trip to Hawaii ( yes I have a life) when I had my son over for a few nights.  While finishing supper with  Luke, he was his usual hyper self. What happened next was 5 hours of pure nightmare. 

Luke ran upstairs to his room and began hitting the back of his head into the wall. He has made several holes in the drywall, but it had been 5 years.  I caught only one bang of his head visually by the time I got to him.

While physically injuring himself, Luke was crying loudly and a hematoma was developing on his cranium.  I was able to ice his head, give him meds, and get him in a bath tub to calm down.  The pills kicked in, but the crying and other bad behaviors were persistent. Five hours later he was asleep from pure exhaustion. I did not sleep at all that night. 

You may wonder why I did not call 911. I want to tell you why. Here is what conversations took place from this incident. It was almost exact to what I had heard a few years ago when I reached out for help. One day I fear I will be unconscious and can not even make these calls. Luke did make me bleed. I am fine though:

1. I called the crisis hotline and left a message. That’s right I got a voicemail. 

2. I received a call in 30 minutes from a man who called himself a social worker who triaged the hotline. He said my son would be restrained if anyone came to my home. He put a referral in for me, although I said my son doesn’t need restraining.

3. The referral call came an hour later and she was a social worker too. She stated to me almost verbatim what the first man said. She added one bit of information by saying we have nothing good for adults with autism and our community is 20 years behind . 

4. I talked with Luke’s medicine management provider. He stated Luke was more than he could handle and refused to see him in his office the next day if he was aggressive.  He said call 911. I believe this is a cop out by providers and lame.  I think providers need to see the patients how they can be and not all calm.  I worked for 30 years as a nurse. I understand the hazards. 

5. I spoke with a RN friend who works as a mental health nurse on the largest psych unit in Seattle . She knows Luke personally and said again to me: “Luke would be restrained. Please try not to bring him or call 911.”  She knew my pain and our predicament.  

6. I called Luke’s case manager and met with him. Luke is being placed back on a list for a special home. Will there ever be one found ? We have been down this road before and three homes refused to take him. 

Rewind :  Will society ever do what’s right  for folks as Luke? 

Luke is better right now, but I wanted all my readers to know we have a crisis in mental health. Again, will we ever get this right?  I will not call 911 for my son to be handcuffed. 

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28 thoughts on “Mental Health

  1. Connie

    God bless you and Luke. I can’t say that I know what you are going through but I know your mother’s heart and I know you hurt for your child. I pray with you and for you that God makes a way.

    Reply
  2. Laila

    Praying for you , Luke and your family. It’s a difficult situation.
    I pray, with God’s help, a wonderful home will become available for Luke. One that he can have a good quality of life in. One that is close for you and the family to be able to have easy access to.
    Love you guys.

    Reply
  3. Pam Rhodes

    Praying for you and especially for Luke. I understand not calling 911. Have heard many horror stories over the years. That is why when Charles had his adverse reaction to his blood pressure med and became suicidal. I knew it was the Rx change and I also knew if I called anyone they’d have placed him in a mental health ward and restrain him. Instead I made the decision to stop the bp med since I knew it was the cause and I locked all of our doors, removed all the keys, and boxed up every knife and sharp item and put them under my bed. I know he attempted to get out the door as the next morning he asked me if I’d locked him up. I told him I did. In a few days I made an appt and the dr returned him to his previous meds. He asked why I hadn’t called. I told him and he agreed I was correct. I realize restraining is sometimes needed but it shouldn’t be the first option. I pray that eventually, and hopefully sooner they will improve this process.

    Reply
  4. Peggy Gilkey

    I pray for you and both boys every night. I hate it so bad for him and you. I have friends with a grown son with autism and they can’t get any help either. They need to find what causes it and a way to cure it. You said it started before he had even finished dinner. Maybe certain foods help trigger the bad episodes. Have you thought about charting the foods he eats when he has these really bad ones?

    Reply
    1. alesiablogs Post author

      Thank you Sheryl. I try to write when I feel something can be informative even as personal as it is. I hope someone with some authority in our healthcare system can and will want to something to help. My sincere feeling is that because there is not much $ in this kind of care-people like Luke are “left behind” and where the real $ is ( i.e. Surgery) – doctors are catered with big benefits! That is sure not the case with mental health providers.

      Reply
  5. tbirdcymru

    Thank you for sharing your story. It helps me to understand more about autism and the different human factors for the family.

    Reply

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