It seems that David’s mental health has been declining since before the Christmas holiday. Today was just another example of how far it has gone.
David had school, and there were no negative reports that I am aware of. After he finished
Around 7 pm, I went into my office for a conference call. Mom got ready for bed, though she doesn’t actually go to bed until later. This is all done to show David that it is time to get settled for the night.
Only, David didn’t settle. He ramped up.
By the time I finished my call at 9:15, he was rapidly declining.
I had asked him a question about a substance that was on his laptop in the kitchen, then went over a few things for him. Reminders about what is allowed and what is not allowed. He needs daily and sometimes hourly reminders of most things. The executive function portion of his brain is damaged.
That resulted in him getting very disrespectful.
So I said, you need to be nicer if you still want to go to the dance on Saturday.
He heard “you aren’t going to the dance on Saturday.”
Of course, this made me the worst parent ever.
I can live with that.
Meanwhile, he was continuing to escalate his symptom progression. We graduated from being disrespectful to punching walls, throwing heavy items like books and water bottles, to tearing the bathroom door from its frame. His state
He made threats of self-harm.
So we called 911.
I don’t like using the police department for mental health care. That is not their job. yet it is.
They couldn’t get him to deescalate. So they asked what I wanted to do.
Ultimately the important thing is David’s safety. So I asked them to transport him to the ER for admittance.
Three hours later, I am home.
David is still in the ER. He is spending at least one night there in the ER. Why?
Because there are no adolescent beds available on this side of the state of North Dakota. The nearest one is on the eastern edge of the state.
There is very little funding for beds for care of adolescent age people. Rather than fund care at an appropriate level, we just cut to the bones any spending and study mental health care further.
I blame the North Dakota Department of Human Services and Insurance Companies for this mess. I blame the North Dakota Legislature. These are real lives we are talking about. The impact is huge!
So now, in the morning, he will be transported via Emergency Medical Services to the Eastern side of the state of North Dakota.
Rather than being at home, receiving appropriate care, he is sleeping in the Emergency Room.
Do you know, he has been home for 54 weeks this stretch. That is a record for David. He deserves to be at home receiving the care he needs.
Tonight, my heart breaks for David. For his mom and I. For all of those who battle daily with mental health issues.