Saturday, September 5, 2009

8 days


my youth group summer camp
used to be for 8days
this may surprise you
the event was called
classy yes
but I was shocked and surprised
how much could happen in such
a short time

this was not the experience
we had when we first went to visit Karen
after her first 8 days
at Meridell

not at all
First of all

we all went to Meridell for our 10 am appointment with our daughter's therapist
for the record
when we dropped Karen off
the week before
we got to meet her therapist
a teacher
some nurses on her ward
the intake director
and some business people
we did not get to meet her doctor
so I left him a message last Friday that we would be there on Thursday
then this past Tuesday
when I called after hours to the ward to ask a nurse how Karen's day went
the nurse said the doctor had upped Karen's medication
(not changed it, just increased it)
so I guess a phone call to us
was not necessary?

so I called and left him another message
asking him to call me
or have someone call me
just to let me know if we would be seeing him
or talking to him on Thursday

so, weds night
when we were in austin
and my husband and I realized
that we still had not heard from him
I left voicemail #3 on his line
wanting to know about Karen
her plan
her meds
and if we would be seeing him or talking to him

back again to the point
we get to Meridell
we spoke with the other 2 girls about all of this
Bethany was still very apprehensive about seeing Karen
since the last time they had been together
Karen was out of control and had hit her
I told Bethany that I was so scared too
I was scared that Karen was resenting us
I was scared that Bethany would never forgive Karen
and I was scared if Bethany did not see Karen, then Karen wouldn't know how much Betsy loved her

Bethany said she would see her
but would not hug her
and, if Karen was out of control,
then Bethany would not see her
good enough for me

so we were inside the waiting room
the therapist came alone
we explained the family situation
the girls liked the therapist, then my husband and I went off to meet with her alone

we told her how upset we were that the doctor had not called us back
I asked if she had heard from the doctor, and she had not
so we told her how we called him
we spoke about Karen's treatment so far
we spoke about our daughter was doing well
how she had given our little girl "homework" that most girls don't get for weeks
but that ours was intelligent enough to do it

because Karen is on the neuropsychiatric unit
they had to do a QEEG
but we had heard they had to repeat it
because it came back normal
and for her to have a neuro issue, it needed to be "abnormal"
although this doctor upped her meds as if it was
and was waiting for confirmation that the new QEEG would show
some abnormalities

the doctor called while we were in there
he said he wanted to talk to us at 11
the therapist said she would stay with us and he would come to her office
we talked more about Karen
we got emotional, about her progress
about her sisters, about the family
about how scary our home can be
the doctor comes in at 11
he walks in and says something about being sorry he didn't call back
I stayed calm
I just wanted to hear what he had to say
my husband let him know that we were not happy about his lack of response
I asked him about the messages I left
he started talking about her progress
but made some comment that it had only been a week
we talked about her depression
he then asked if she had ever had any times if elation
of happy episodes
I said no
surprised by this question
because this is something that had been asked by many doctors before
he said that is what Karen said
then I asked
have you read her history?
no he answers
he said he had not been given her chart
I was shocked!
I was outraged
I went ape shit,
My husband and I spoke in sections at this point
questions and comments
so you are treating her without knowing her past medications
her past therapies
her doctors notes
her reactions
you didn't ask for her chart?
what have you been doing for 8 days??

he said
he wasn't the one to do her original intake
because he was out of town
so that doctor probably has her file
yes, but, that was over a week ago
can't you ask the doctor for it?
he responded that it is not that easy

then my husband,
my smart busines minded husband
asked him why he had not taken the time to find her file
to ask for it
or look for it himself
he then asked
are you just too busy?

the doctor said that
he is
he has 31 patients
and some are sicker than our daughter
he just told us that he was too busy for our daughter
and that she is not sick enough for him to worry about
he made a comment about an emergency
I told him that she is our emergency

I saw stars
I felt steam coming out of my ears
we trusted the institution to do the right thing
for Karen
for us
for our daughter
for our family
I just could not see straight
at that point
the therapist told us
we needed a break
the doctor then left the room
I was sobbing
howling at that point
we wasted a week
I thought to myself
and probably screamed through my sobs
a week of therapy
a week of money,
a week of our daughter's life
making her miserable
hating it
causing her to possibly hate us
because we sent her there
there was nothing to do to console me
I said I needed to speak to someone about him
the therapist made phone calls
she paced the hallways
she got us in to see the CEO
when we left to go to that woman's office
our little girl
our daughter
our pride and joy
spied us
she was so happy to see us
I was a big blubbery mess
and could only blow her a kiss
I was still crying
we both told her we loved her
we knew she was on her way to get the new QEEG done

My husband ran into that asshole dr
Dr Byron Stone
the douche
he ripped him a new asshole as I walked by
I called him an asshole to the CEO's assistant
then we walked into the CEO's office
and relayed what just happened to us
she is not a doctor
only a businesswoman
my brilliant husband
knew that
the smart man,
he told her that this situation needed to be rectified
or he would be writing letters to Dr Joel Holiner
medical director of Green Oaks
who sends patients to Meridell
who helped send our daughter there
who recomended this insitution
and to Dr Graham Emslie
Karen's psychiatrist
who is nationally known in research about medications for adolscents
and also head of child psychiatry
at Children's hospital in Dallas
to tell them to never refer another patient to the facility
because of this treatment
to our daughter
and to us
to our whole family
and then he looked at her name tag
it said Universal Heath Services Inc
the parent company of Meridell
he could write them also
to tell them just how we were treated
and how we would expect a refund

the woman gave some lip service
and that is what jmy husband said
it was lip service
then my wonderful partner said he wanted Karen with a new doctor
that we were coming back on Sunday
and he wanted it done by then
I swung my head around
and said-Sunday?
*I* want it done today
I would not leave the facility
until I knew that Karen had a new doctor
or I was taking her home

The CEO said that it is highly unusual
to change doctors
I told her I didn't care
she said she couldn't make that decision alone
she needed to speak to Dr Stone
and the Facility Medical Director
I said we'd wait,
I was sitting there ready for her to get on the phone
but then the therapist took us
we found our daughter
she saw her sisters,
My husband and I went with the therapist
and Karen to talk for a bit
then the 5 of us
our family
our broken little family
who was trying to heal
we all went together to lunch in the cafeteria
the food was gross
but the girls had fun together!
Karen got a coke with Lucy from the vending machine
Bethany got cheez its
she wouldn't get a drink
because the cups were styrofoam
and she is trying to be very green
a vegetarian too
but she'll eat fish at least
the therapist came back
she told us they were meeting
she said when we were done to go to the family visiting area
we had a package in the car for Karen
Daddy went to get it
I took the girls
to a little room in the visiting area
we laughed that it looked like a police interrogation room
Daddy returned
we gave her some t-shirts
we bought her in florida,
new orleans
and wal mart
it was a good time

then we went back up the administration
to see what we could find out
at this point, it was about 1:30
we needed to leave at 2:00
to get to Bethany's hair cut appointment
she was starting high school the next day
well, Bethany started whining
we told her it would work out
the therapist said that she was waiting for the medical director to come talk with us

the doctor showed up
so my husband and I went with the doctor to the therapist's office
thus letting Karen, Bethany and Lucy sit alone for awhile
which scared me
it had not been done in a looooong time

we went in to talk to him
we told him the story about Dr Stone
the sad fucking awful story about that man
how upset we were
how disappointed we were
how we trusted this environment
and our daughter was mistreated

he listened
he asked a lot of questions
and then he explained the other unit at Meridell
it is called the Bunkhouse
and it is more social and peer driven
it would be harder for someone like Karen
because she would have to open up and trust others
but since her QEEG had been normal
it did make more sense

we were never given a choice when we applied her
we were told because of her aggression
that she had to be placed in the neuropsych unit.
doc said,
given her history
it did make sense then
but now they know more

the therapist felt it was a good move for our Karen
then they told us
they had actually been considering it anyway
(so we made it happen sooner)
good news for us
Karen actually had a "friend" from Green Oaks who was in that unit
we wanted to know more
we knew
we had to ask who would be her doctor
and the medical director said
he would
he would do more tests than the neuropsych dept
he would do more behavior tests
and the rorshak (you know, the ink blots etc)
and other scene description that shows a lot of insight into their thinking

he then asked if we trusted them enough to make this change
we said we wanted to keep her same therapist
and as long as dr stone was not near her
we were willing to try

we all got up
shook hands
and then went out to get our daughter
we brought her back to the office
we explained the situation
she was excited
she heard they had more privileges
she was excited to see her "friend"
she had heard good things about bunkhouse
she was EXCITED!

we left her with lots of hugs and kisses
even from her sister Bethany
who had said she would not do it
I had tears in my eyes

we did get to talk to her that night
she sounded tired
but good
now she has 3 roommates
but her friend was in trouble and couldn't be talked to
she had a Goodbye Group therapy with her old unit
and a Welcome Group therapy in her new unit
she said the new unit was more welcoming
and she said the girls were more around her age and nicer

we couldn't have asked
for anything better
at that time
sleep would actually arrive that night.