Jerilyn is still inpatient at the behavioral health hospital. Today makes three weeks. There are a lot of agencies and people involved in her care, and I’m encouraged to know they are sending representatives out to check in on Jerilyn. The inpatient psychiatrist decided after the first week, and after taking Jerilyn off all of her meds, that he was then going to release her.
You may interpret this as good news. It was not. His very limited view of Jerilyn consisted of two meetings with her, one in which she refused to even speak to him. His future outlook for us was bleak, stating she would be in and out of psychosis throughout her life and that we would need to accept she would require 24-hour care.
It is extremely frustrating to me that a psychiatrist can have such an arrogant attitude when he has had such limited interaction with a patient. Not all psychiatrists are like this, but those who aren’t, are in the minority, at least in my experience.
Once he told me they were releasing her without any med to regulate her mood disorder, I made a couple calls and apparently all the different agencies, including DDD and Magellan, came down hard on the hospital. All of a sudden, they stopped talking about releasing her and instead we got approved to start a new medicine.
The thing about Jerilyn is when she is in a new environment she has a “honeymoon” period where her behaviors are better than normal and she stays fairly compliant. Unless a hospital is willing to wait it out, they won’t see what we see regularly. After two weeks in, the “honeymoon” was over and she became non-compliant, refused to take meds, and ended up having a major meltdown where she kicked a few holes in their walls. Yep. Honeymoon over. Reality has hit.
We have another big CFT meeting on Tuesday that will be held at the hospital itself. Jerilyn has been approved for a RTC (Residential Treatment Center) by Magellan and this next week will probably consist of meeting with any of the four RTC’s in the area willing to consider taking on Jerilyn. I’ve been told, by others involved, the likelihood of any of them accepting Jerilyn is very slim, based on her high level of need. If this turns out to be true, we may be looking at out-of-state options.
Although Jerilyn has said once or twice that she wants to come home, she most often is saying she wants to live in a hospital. I struggle to understand why anyone would want to live in a hospital but my best guess for Jerilyn is it is where she feels safe. She needs the intense structure a hospital with a constant 24 hour rotating staff can provide. Also, the “real world” has a ton of moving components all the time, which can be tough for anyone to handle, but Jerilyn’s capabilities are limited and there are too many uncontrollable factors out here. Those uncontrollable factors such as a
sisters who aren’t perfect,
the need to wait her turn, or
the desire to be treated like a teenager even though she is mentally and emotionally a small child still.
Either myself, or my sister, Kim, have been visiting with Jerilyn at least every other day. It’s challenging since this hospital won’t allow anyone under 13 to visit, or even sit in the waiting room, which means that I have to have someone here watching Ainsley and Daisy so I can go see Jerilyn. Visiting hours are only from 6:30 – 7:30 pm, but with travel time it takes about two hours. Both my brother and sister have dogs/cats so I can’t drop Daisy off there. Sometimes, I really wish I was still in Florida with my awesome supportive friends I could always count on. I feel like an island out here in Arizona. Ironic isn’t it….I actually lived in Fleming Island, Florida….but this Arizona desert is my island since I so often feel alone. I especially want to get out there to see Jerilyn as frequently as I can since we don’t know if the next chapter for us includes an out-of-state placement.
I’m going to ask you to please keep praying for the right placement for Jerilyn. One that can handle both her physical and behavioral health issues with love and compassion.