Wednesday, July 11, 2012


Sorry for the delay. Busy week.

So, we are up to last Wednesday evening. We all had a good time. Apparently.

Our guests left, and I did a little cleaning up. I was so tired, I lay down for a short nap. Now I get a little fuzzy on the timeframe here.

Around seven, L. woke me up and said he was taking Toots back to Children's Hospital. She was anxious to go.

A short time later (7:30?) he woke me up again and said that Toots had just told him she went into his bathroom and took 22 Wellbutrin. (Remember what I said in the previous post, and don't be judgmental that we left meds in the medicine cabinet.)

Quiet panic ensues.

Toots is sitting in the front seat of L's car, not too responsive but awake, with clammy skin. I sit with her while L. calls Children's Hospital, and is told to take her immediately to Big Hospital ER. We determine that, since he has to work in the morning, I'll be the one to stay at the ER with her overnight. He and Toots take off for Big Hospital. I throw a few things in my tote bag,make sure The Ninja is all right (good thing he's old enough to stay by himself), and head out to Big Hospital.

When I get into the ER, Toots has had blood drawn and been given activated charcoal to absorb the medication. She has already thrown up and defecated all over the room, and the smell is something else. The staff are cleaning up her and the room. After they finish, L. leaves and I take over. Because it's a suicide attempt, Toots is also on one-to-one staffing. The aide and I sit with her, and she throws up three more times and uses the bedpan twice, with accidents. I'm glad it's not my job to clean things up here. They are also repeating EKGs periodically, as her first EKG showed QT prolongation (an abnormal heart rhythm).

Toots isn't talkative, but she does say a few things over the course of the evening. She tells me and L. that she took the pills because, during the water fight, her brother aimed the hose at her private parts and it made her recollect being raped at the age of four. She also tells me later that she didn't take Wellbutrin, she took some round tan pills, that were in a white bottle with a white cap with a white and blue label. When I convey this to L., he looks in his medicine cabinet and finds two supplements that meet that description. The next day, when he comes back to the hospital,he brings the supplement bottles, and she says they're not the right ones. Later, we find another bottle, his blood pressure medication, that meets her description but the pills are reddish-tan and long caplets rather than round. She says those aren't it either. So, we still don't know and probably will never know what she took.

But I'm getting ahead of myself. Around one a.m., they take her up to the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit. From there, it's a bit of a blur. The nurses get her into bed, re-hook up the hydrating IV and the monitors, caution me that she's to have nothing by mouth. We spend the rest of the night with the one-to-one aide, watching TV, having EKGs done periodically, having her vitals taken, etc. Toots doesn't vomit anymore, hallelujah, but she does have more bedpan accidents. Toots finally gets a few hours of sleep. I lie down on the pull-out chair, but don't fall asleep.

Around 6 a.m, I go down to the Starbucks in the lobby for a large coffee. At some point, I meet with the attending doctor and the residents, who all look about Toots' age, and tell them about her extensive psychiatric history, self-harming, current inpatient status at Children's Hospital, etc. etc. They are sympathetic. I am told that, because of the circumstances, we are going to have a psychiatric consult and a social work consult. Not that they're really necessary, since she is an inpatient receiving psychiatric and therapeutic care.

L. goes into work, but around noon he takes the rest of the day off, and comes back to the hospital. I go home exhausted and sleep for hours. L. stays, and meets with a child psychiatrist and social worker. We had kept in contact with the nursing supervisors at Children's Hospital, and the Big Hospital staff talk to them also. The doctors decide that they will keep her for observation until the evening, and arrange ambulance transportation for her back to Children's Hospital (needs to be an ambulance, since it's a hospital-to-hospital transfer). And that's what happens, around 7:30 p.m., just about 24 hours after the incident.

Although L. spoke with Toots' psychiatrist at Children's, we didn't hear from Toots for about 48 hours. Turns out she was sleeping most of that time.

Since then, she hasn't wanted to talk much with us about what happened. Can't say I blame her. I know she is discussing things with her therapist.

When I went to visit her on Sunday afternoon, she said, "Mommy, I want to come home." I ventured to remind her that on her last visit home, we'd had a significant problem. She said, "Oh, yeah, right."

I guess we are never going to be able to think that she's really doing "better."

After I typed that line, The Ninja came into the room and said that he was going over to his friend's house in the next block. I told him to put on sunscreen before he left. I got all kinds of BS about how he was only going to be outside for two minutes. When I told him to just do it, I got more flak about how I didn't tell him to put on sunscreen on July 4th. I said I wasn't perfect and not always perfectly consistent in my behavior. I got more flak.

I wasn't like this as an adolescent. I'm sure I wasn't. I'm so tired of it. And he's only fourteen.


  1. Eurgh. Yikes.

    A little lost for words here so just wanted to swing by and leave some supportive thoughts. You have my admiration and my sympathy.

  2. Hi, Becca - thanks for your kind words! Like everyone else, we're just muddlin' through.