Crisis Point

Things with Liam are really bad.  Really, really bad.  He is becoming more volatile and angry.  He is becoming more and more verbally and physically abusive.  It all came to a head the other day.

Once again we were fighting about chores.  He has to do the dishes and pick up after himself.  That is basically all I ask of him.  The problem is that while Serenity and Liam are supposed to switch off weeks doing dishes, he bargains with her.  He’ll agree to do her dishes if she lets him play on her gaming system.  He agrees to it, then resents me for it.

Instead of doing the dishes, he chose to rage at me about it.  He was breaking things in his room, screaming obscenities at all of us, then finally puffing himself up to be physically intimidating when I told him he needed to stop.  He went outside and punched a hole in my laundry room wall and kicked my scrub bucket to pieces.  He was heading toward Shane when I called 9-1-1.  Shane and I were both terrified and I knew I needed help.

The police arrived and one talked to Liam while the other talked to me.  Since Liam had damaged property, they wrote him up as an “unruly child.”  This would mean that he would have to go before the judge.  This was complicated by the fact that Liam told the officer he was talking to that he wanted to hurt himself.  The officer didn’t tell me exactly what Liam said but he was concerned that Liam was considering suicide.  He told me that I could either take him to the hospital or they could take him in their car and I could follow.  By this time, Liam had calmed enough that I could talk to him.  He told me himself that he wanted to just be gone and that he wanted help.  He told me that he would prefer to ride in the car with me.

Serenity stayed home with Shane as I had no idea how long this would take.  This is the same hospital I’d taken Shane to twice already when he was threatening to hurt himself and others.  This is the same hospital that admitted Bubba only after I told the ER doctor and the psychiatrist that if they sent him home, I was afraid he’d hurt me.

This is the same hospital that, once they found out the Shane was on state insurance (that they don’t accept for peds psych), said the wasn’t a threat to himself or others and told me to take him home…twice. I walked in there having no hope that this hospital would help Liam as he had the same insurance.

We got there and waited in the ER to speak to a doctor who would determine whether or not to call for a psych consult.  I knew the drill.  Liam’s care rested solely with the resident who walked in the door.  After talking to Liam alone and both of us together, he said that he saw no reason for a psych consult as he didn’t believe Liam was a danger to himself or others.  I was livid.  He talked to Liam for all of three minutes and determined this when I’m telling him exactly what Liam had said and done?  I looked at this very young, inexperienced man and told him to give us our discharge papers immediately as I had to do the work to get my son help since he was absolutely unwilling to do so.  He condescendingly told me that he had to talk to his supervising doctor first then Liam could be discharged.  I told him he had five minutes because I had work to do.

The supervising doctor walked in the door five minutes later and told me that I basically was over exaggerating and the Liam was just a rebellious teen.  I demanded his discharge papers because I was walking out the door.  Oh, and if Liam hurt himself, I’d be letting him know.

The next day, a Friday, I came home from work at lunch and starting calling all the mental health professionals listed on the insurance’s website.  I had seven names to call and only 30 minutes to find my son help.  Call after call resulted in me hearing, “I’m sorry.  We don’t accept that insurance any longer.”  The last call was different.  I was on call #7 and I was in tears.  The woman informed me that the doctor I was trying to reach had left the practice and there was no one else there who took our insurance.  I told her my story as I cried.  She asked for my phone number and said that she thought she knew someone who could help.

I thanked her, hung up, and headed back to work.

About 30 minutes after I got back to work, my cell phone rang.  Thankfully, I wasn’t on a call so I could turn my phone off and step out to answer my cell phone.  It was a doctor.  He said that he couldn’t personally help me but he’d made a call to someone who could.  He said if I didn’t hear from this person by 5:00 pm that I should call him.  He gave me his personal cell phone number and told me that my son was going to get help.  I thanked him profusely and fought back tears.  I had to get back to work.

I was walking across the parking lot at 5:03 pm when my phone rang.  It was a woman telling me that Liam had an emergency intake appointment on Monday and an appointment with a psychiatrist on Tuesday at an agency downtown that serves low-income people who have state health insurance.  I told her we’d be there for both appointments.  I sagged against my car in relief.  I just had to get through the weekend.

I texted my boss and told her what was going on and she told me that we’d work it out so that I could have the time off that I needed to get Liam to his appointments.  One would require that I take an extended lunch and one would require that I leave work early.  Thankfully, I have the most understanding boss in the history of the world.

We got through both appointments and Liam was diagnosed with severe depression and anxiety attacks.  He was given two meds, one was an anti-depressant and one was something to help him with the anxiety attacks when they happened.

Finally, Liam was getting the help he so desperately needed and I had hope that things would get better.

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