“Our mobile crisis service does not ‘get going’ until 1:00 PM,” says the pleasant, yet detached, voice on the other end of the call. I can’t help but see a tinge of irony in this. In fact, our son’s crisis has been going since 10:00 AM.
“Alright then, will you please send a clinician to our home at 1:00 PM to evaluate the crisis situation? I am certain we will still have a crisis on our hands.”
“Sure!” chirps the operator enthusiastically. She spends a few more minutes asking about our home situation, who lives there, and who is currently keeping the child safe. Thank goodness for my hubby doing the safety thing downstairs while I ineffectually call for help.I cannot fathom how people are able to call for help when they are alone.
The farthest I’ve ever gotten with one of those calls (while holding a screaming Mary, frantically clawing at my face) is to say “Hello, we could use assistance–” Before I am abruptly cut of by the crisis worker who says something helpful along the lines of, “Ma’am, we cannot hear you over the screaming of your child. Could you please step away or call back when the situation is more calm?”
Anyhow, starting last night Carl has been experiencing intermittent explosive outbursts about every 3-4 hours. He just started at his intensive outpatient treatment. We are very hopeful that this will help him. However, we’ve changed meds again and the resulting days have been nothing short of disastrous. Almost everything is broken in his room. He’s chucked his air conditioner out of the window. He is repeatedly screaming “F-ck you!” at my husband.
Carl’s forehead is starting a nice yellow bruise from where he picked up the coping skills box and smashed it directly into his head last night. Spoiler alert–that isn’t actually how coping skills boxes work. He would have had better luck actually opening the box and using the tools inside…
His knuckles are raw and red from punching the door and maybe other things (he can’t remember.) His entire room is trashed. One pinky finger looks a bit swollen, but he’s got an ice pack now. I have the bizarre notion that his brother needs to practice a proper punch with him when they are using the boxer-grade punching bag in the basement. That would be a better way to channel punching, or at least to prevent further injury.
At this point all we can do is wait until the next fit of rage hits. My sweet boy doesn’t actually want to be this way. When he is calm he lets us know that his medication isn’t working and he can’t stop once he starts. Carl is so different from Mary. He doesn’t threaten us or punch us, or at least he hasn’t for several years.
I don’t know what is going on. His puberty hit later than Mary’s so maybe old trauma stuff is coming back up. Maybe this is what hormonal changes look like in our children? Maybe he really does have an underlying mood condition that we haven’t given enough thought to. After all, he isn’t like Mary. He’s so different. He is the most mentally stable child out of the sibling group we adopted.
Some questions remain. Should we bump up his treatment to the partial hospitalization level? Should he go inpatient again to be safe while his meds are changed? Should I join the witness protection program? Should we consider sending SOS smoke signals from our house?
I am not sure about any of this. All I know is that I have Luke by my side. We will just have to tread water in this crisis until the Emergency Mobile Psychiatric Service crisis worker arrives. I hope he/she has some practice dodging air conditioners…
**Names have been changed to protect the privacy of those involved.