Thursday, June 7, 2012

"I don't need to be in the hospital"

I received a phone call from Toots' psychiatrist, Dr. S., at about 11:45 this morning. She filled in more of the story.

Seems Toots says she fell in the shower the other day. The staff didn't hear her fall, but they found her sitting on the floor of the shower stall complaining of back pain. (I let the doctor know that she has sat on the floors of showers for years, just letting the waterfall run over her for many minutes.) She was examined by the hospital pediatrician, who said she would be OK and offered her pain medicine. Toots didn't like that. As I have discussed before, her pattern for the last ten years is, with any pain real or not, to loudly and repeatedly insist on being taken to the nearest ER.

The most striking incidence of this behavior was five years ago, at my dad's wake. Toots claimed she had twisted her ankle running around outside, and was lying on a sofa moaning and groaning and insisting on an ER run. We have two doctors in the family - one a pediatric emergency specialist - and they both examined her and pronounced that she'd be fine with an ice pack and a little rest. Nothing doing for Toots. She kept complaining,louder and louder. Finally, Lew took her out for a ride in the car, which did not satisfy her but calmed her down a little.

Back to current events. Dr. S. observed that Toots seems to express her emotions through complaining about pain. True, doctor, we've been seeing that for a very long time. During the incident last evening, when she punched a staff member in the face, she was restrained manually. One of the people doing the hold had to twist her arm behind her back to get control. Today, she has been complaining about pain in her wrist. Again, she was examined by the pediatrician, who determined that it was not serious. She was offered ice and pain meds, which she refused. The pediatrician and the hospital's Medical Director agree that she does not need to go to the ER now, and on top of that, in her current mental state she is not safe to leave the hospital with staff.

Nevertheless, Toots kept insisting that the staff call me to take her to the ER. Dr. S. told her that she and Toots would call me at home together, during the lunch hour. I told Dr. S. that I absolutely would not take her, especially since they feel she is not safe.

This may be getting a mite confusing. Anyway, Toots and the doctor called me at about 12:30. I got an earful about "I don't need to be here, I need to go to the ER, I'm in a lot of pain, Mom, why don't you ever listen to me instead of to them?" She said that she bit the staffer because he had told her "Shut up." Hey, if that's the worst thing he said to her when she was raging, he has more strength of character than I do.

I tried to keep my voice as calm as possible and told her that it was NEVER okay to hit someone in the face. Since both doctors felt she didn't need to go, I was not taking her. (I didn't remind her, but I have vivid memories of Toots in a rage, attempting to grab the steering wheel, put the car into neutral, and run me off the road. Not gonna go there again.)

Her response was to hang up on me.

Oh, Toots. How can you think that you would be able to function in the outside world on your own?

No comments:

Post a Comment