Sunday, October 18, 2009

Remind me again why I did this?

As usual lately, it's been a tough week. As usual, crises in our house don't just happen one at a time after a long drought. (big sigh)

I'm furious. I know I have to come back to calm, but I don't believe I have ever in my life been this angry. And that's saying an awful lot.

The assisted living place where my mom lives called me early Saturday morning and told me that my mom had wandered out of her apartment, down the hall, and was found sitting on a bench in the hallway, in a soaking wet nightgown, and had no idea where she was at. The nurses wanted her to be checked again for a UTI, so I brought her in to the clinic and spent the morning there. We knew from last time we did this (not too long ago) that my mom would have a tough time providing a sample, so they used a catheter. I'm sorry if this is too much information, but I knew it was bad when I saw the cloudy urine that was in the tube the nurse was labeling. Sure enough, my mom has a bad UTI.

The doctor really wanted to admit her to the hospital for I.V. antibiotics. I explained that every time my mom is hospitalized, she becomes more confused, takes a step down cognitively, and never really bounces back. So is there any way at all that we could treat this without admitting her? The doctor was understanding, and said we could try, but someone would have to stay with her all the time until she started to think clearly again. I'm willing to do anything to keep her out of the hospital, so that was no problem at all. The doctor wrote out prescriptions for me to have filled in town, because we weren't sure if/when the delivery service that the assisted living uses would be able to deliver on a weekend. So DH was going to stay with my mom while I filled prescriptions and picked up some other things that she needed.

Unfortunately, this meant that DD's visit with her bio mom would have to be postponed. She did not like that idea, and decided to have one of her wonderful screaming-at-the-top-of-her-lungs tantrums. But DH was kind of mood-swingy and stressed about my mom himself, so he told her he didn't have time for her "crap" and he left to meet me at my mom's apartment.

As soon as he walked in, his cell phone rang (mine was in the car). She had decided to cut her damn wrists!!!!!! So I had to run home and deal with that. When I got there, it became VERY clear that this was attention-seeking at its worst. I've had worse paper cuts.

But they were bleeding. I told DD that this was absolutely the most selfish thing she had ever done in her life. I decided that in order to cover my you-know-what, I would have to bring her down to the hospital. They put a 72 hour hold on her and cent her to a mental health unit in the City. 2 hours away. And "a parent has to be there to sign the admission papers."

By this time she had figured out that it wasn't going to be fun, and she told me she felt better and could we just go home, and I told her "No, you did this. The doctor thinks that a kid who hurts their self like this needs to go to the hospital, and there's nothing I can do about it now." She got really contrite and started telling me how sorry she was. Huh.

So. After convincing the doctor that I really really needed to go and get the prescription filled for my mom while we waited for the ambulance to take DD to the City, I took a half hour to get that done. Then I quick ran home to potty dogs, and make sure food bowls weren't empty. And then I went back to the hospital.

After they left, I drove to the city to sign the stupid papers. I was three hours late to work (for which I won't get paid), plus out gas money AND parking money for the hospital. PLUS, at a time when my mom is having a health crisis, DH wound up having to stay with her, because he was too angry and stressed to deal with DD at all.

And I don't blame him. Today, I didn't call the hospital or go there. I am so angry with her, this stupid, childish, drama-stunt has done nothing but make me and DH much more stressed at an already very stressful time.

I talked to the psych nurse on Saturday night, and she was pretty firmly of the opinion that this was attention seeking behavior. So she was not suicidal (that was my suspicion all along). Just drama.

There is a "family meeting" at the mental hospital tomorrow. At that point, since she really is not suicidal, they might request that the 72 hour hold be dropped and send her home with me. If I was one speck less of a person, I'd tell them to keep her.

I am so angry with her, I don't want to talk to her. Or, I do want to talk to her, but the things I want to say are not allowed to be said in our house. I am really having a hard time coming down from this anger. And I don't know what, if any consequences she should receive for this. The logical parenting part of me says that the hospitalization was the consequence, and that's enough. But the angry disgusted part of me wants to drive the point home that this was terribly wrong, an awful and selfish way to try to get her own way. Oh, and you can bet tthat she'll be "bragging" about this to the kids at school, how she "slit her wrists", etc....she'll turn it into something even bigger than it was, and of course none of it will be her fault at all..... So right now, if you could see me, there'd probably be steam coming out of my ears.

Kindhearted suggestions are welcome.


Grace. said...

Some days are like that! (I'm quoting "Alexander's Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day" which is what I'm reading these days!)

Since you asked for parenting advice and since both of us are/have reared kids with FAE, I think you're right, the consequence was the hospitalization. But I also think that it takes a lot of repetition for a kid with FAE to get the point, so at various times, I'd mention why I wasn't at the hospital ("Grandma was in pain and had to have someone with her; Then you deliberately scratched your wrists, and that took me away from Grandma who really needed me. I love you both and I just don't understand why you would have done that at precisely the time Grandma needed me. Fortunately, there was a psych hospital for you, so now I know exactly what to do if you ever scratch your wrists again."--repeated ad nauseum!)

perphila said...

Since you asked I think the consequence should be the hospitalization. Also I would repeat over and over that the consequence of hospitalization is there whenever she does harm to herself in that manner. A sit down talk of course would be in order about the seriousness of the situation. When Cade made threats and Connor too we had talks in therapy about how serious even the threat of suicide much less an act would require hospitalization. The therapists were there to say this is what they recommended and I said that was what I was going to do. Then we moved on to how to find other means of expressing their needs. Hopefully though words and conversation. It was attention seeking for one son and depression for the other. Different needs but the same consequence.

It's ok to feel upset and angry. You have a lot going on. The fact you are trying to think things though and are able to recognize you are angry puts you ahead of the game.

I was thinking about your mom. She is having a really rough time even with DH there right now. Is this any better than if she was in the hospital? I agree if you can keep her out that would be best long term. If her reactions right now though are about the same as if she was in the hospital then maybe she would be better there? I dunno. It's a tough call and neither is a great choice.

Miz Kizzle said...

I wonder if your daughter wouldn't be better off in a group home where she could get training for her future life? You've got A LOT on your plate. Just caring for your mom is a load. Add the job and your husband's illness and the animals and the house repairs and the bills and you have more to deal with than any ten people could easily handle.
I don't mean that you should "get rid of" your daughter but she doesn't seem to be making progress.
Sometimes a stint in a residential facility helps kids like DD get a better perspective on life.
I also wonder if the facility where our mother lives is able to provide the care and supervision she needs? Maybe she would be better off in a facility that is better able to serve Alzheimer's patients.

Miz Kizzle said...

Sorry for the typo. I meant your mother, of course.