Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Part II: Descalating at the hospital

The rest of the night is perhaps best told in the email I sent to the social worker. I have changed the names:

Dear Diane,
At 10:30am Frankie arrives in our room to say that he has sliced up his clothes and stabbed his pooh bear and does not feel safe. I ask him where he would feel safe. He says he doesn't know. I tell him that if he doesn't feel safe the only place I know to take him is the hospital. He shrugs.

I put on clothes. Hubby calls the main Agency number to leave a message for whoever has brown word duty tonight. The supervisor and I play phone tag. I take Frankie to Our Small Town Medical Center Emergency Room. While waiting he calms down and starts sounding more like himself. We talk about Socrates, the evolution of society, and Arnold Schwartzenager. It occurs to me that he doesn't, or no longer, needs to be here but deity-condemn it, we have come this fricative far and I am not going to let him think he can push the "I'm a danger to myself" button and not understand where the hot place that goes. Fortunately he asks about what they will do in the emergency room. I tell him that may send him to “Tri-County” Hospital. He tears up and says the last time he went there "he never came back." I tell him that David went for two days and he came back.

We have a bizarre conversation where he wants both to be reassured that if he goes there he will be able to come back and clearly express to me that he wants to go back to The Town From Whence He Came where the air is clean and there is plenty of manure to shovel and schools that would teach him.

At 11:30 or so we finally get into the ER. He gets over-sized snap and tie pj's, a cup to pee in and a vampire to take his blood. We tell our story to the nurse.

At 1:00am the emergency room physician comes in and talks to us. We tell her our story. She says she will get someone from psych down to talk to us. The nurse brings us blankets. Frankie generously says that I need more sleep than he does, and I need to drive, so I can have the bed. He pushes the two chairs together and we sleep.

At 2:00am the psychiatrist comes in. She asks about his meds, his past history, the diagnoses I could remember having been on his chart. I tell her that everyone is aware that he has diagnoses that don't normally go together and that he has an appointment at The City Counseling Center for a full neuro-psych evaluation. Frankie tries to explain his behavior. I tell her I would describe it as manic, but that he seemed to have deescalated back to his regular self in the waiting room and that I did not feel unsafe taking him home if she agreed. First though I ask Frankie if he understood that he did not have the right to stay home alone and would have to earn that back. He said yes. I asked him if he would promise not to play video games for one day so that I would feel safe. At first he said that he would promise not to play them unless he was calm to begin with. I said, that I really would feel safe if he could promise not to play them at all for one day.

I knew it was a request he would view as unreasonable and frankly I wanted to know if it would wind him back up. He seemed to sense that his freedom hung in the balance and he said yes. The psychiatrist said she would wake up the town child psychiatrist and see what he thought and then she would tell us.

We tried to sleep for another hour, which was difficult for me because Frankie kept whining, "When can we go?" and I kept whining, "I don't know."

Then at 3:00 o'clock in the fricative morning a nurse opened the door and said in the sweetest possible voice, "Are you two still here? You can go home now." So we signed something. I think it said something about them not being responsible if he murdered me in my sleep, or maybe it just said we left at 3:00 in the morning. [I now think it might have said that we agreed that he would be getting appropriate follow-up care.]

Frankie was very happy. As we left he said, "That was a lot of fun. Let's never do it again."

I agreed.

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