Friday, October 31, 2014

A Pin Prick of Light

The last few weeks have been challenging, to say the least.  Daughter has been rapid cycling.  She calls me multiple times a day, often times shouting or sobbing.  She has insisted that she has to move out of her group home immediately.  She has begged me to let her come back and live with me.  All this time, Psychiatrist was silent.  Her colleague said Daughter needed medication adjusted, but nothing was happening.  She had no openings in her schedule before Daughter's appointment on December 18. 

I was exhausted.  Beyond exhausted.  The toll she was taking on me with her drama was high.  Then I got a phone call from Case Manager.  There had been a cancellation and she had grabbed it for Daughter.  Daughter saw Psychiatrist yesterday afternoon.  Daughter sobbed, yelled, hid under her coat, hid her hands behind her back when Psychiatrist asked her to give her her hand, said (repeatedly) I was no longer her mother....  In short, she put on a show.  She is back on lithium, and has a prescription for ativan she can take if she wakes up between 12 and 2.  She has been going to sleep for a couple of hours, and then getting up and rearranging her room and such. 

Daughter told Psychiatrist everything was dark.  After her appointment, she told me she saw a pin prick of light.  I hope that will grow, and her mental state will improve quickly.  I ended up going into the office this afternoon.  I was going to finish my sermon, but instead ended up helping Administrative Assistant with folding letters that had to go out today.  In addition to the monthly newsletter and bulletin, we also had a couple of other big things going on in the office:  the stewardship material went out today, and bids were due today for major roof work to prevent future leaks from ice dams.  There is also a bazaar at the church tomorrow, and AA is on the planning team for that. 

The sermon will get finished tomorrow.  Everything that needed to get done today, got done today.  I will be at the church most of the day tomorrow, so I will take some time to go upstairs and complete my sermon.  Daughter called several times this morning, but eventually calmed down.  I can see her pin prick of light now, in fact, it may be growing.  I hope it's growing. 

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Positive Things

After all the challenges Daughter has presented in the last few days, I'm focusing on positive things today.  One of the biggest ones is that she no longer lives with me.  She is safe in her group home.  I'm grateful.  She is calling me a couple of times a day, trying to sound pathetic.  I listen between the lines and I know she is doing well.  Today she was cleaning and rearranging her room (again).  I think she keeps rearranging it because she is desperate to bring order to the chaos in her brain. 

Today I am watching college football while waiting for the delivery of a new bed.  I've been waking up with back pain at least once a week, so I went out and ordered a new mattress.  I bought a memory foam mattress, and the base is adjustable.  I've had the head of my bed elevated for several years to help with my sleep apnea and  GERD.  I had two raisers under the legs of the bed at the head of the bed.  It made it challenging to move the bed.  Because of the way the headboard was on my old bed, I couldn't lean on it.  It was challenging to read in bed, with the challenges of the bed and my bifocals.  Now, I will be able to do it. 

My old bed will go into Daughter's room, which means I'll have a double bed for guests. 

Tomorrow we have a drama instead of the sermon.  I wrote it, and we will be hearing from 3 characters in the book of Acts.  We practiced last Sunday, and I think it will be good.  The congregation loves it when we do creative things in worship.  I get bored so I have to mix things up.  Things are going really well at the church.  We continue to grow in so many ways.  I am grateful. 

Friday, October 17, 2014

Long Night

Daughter was at the church yesterday for her volunteer day.  She came in and got right to work, completing her tasks quickly.  She was cooperative, in a good mood, showing her sense of humor.  Administrative Assistant commented that it was good to have the old Daughter back.  I agreed. 

Shortly before I planned to leave to take her to supper, she informed me that she needed to eat right then, she was hungry and didn't feel good.  She checked her blood sugar, which was 63.  I got 00her some sugar to bring it up, and went back over her lunch-- what she'd had what her blood sugar had been, and how much insulin she'd taken.  She should have been a little high.

I asked how much insulin she'd taken.  Eventually she confessed to having taken an extra 10 units.  I gave her sugar, we got into the car and I took her to the ER at the hospital with a psych unit.  We got there a little after 5.  On the way she had been telling me that she wanted to die.  When the nurse told her to put on a gown and the doctor would come see her, she started screaming about how no man was going to touch her.  I tried to calm her down and she started spewing ugly things at me.  A number of ER staff members came running, and she was told she had to stop screaming.  Eventually she did. 

They fed her, since her blood sugar was only 73.  Then we sat.  The shift changed at 7:00.  A new doctor (female) came on at 11:00, and she finally saw a doctor and was examined.  They took a urine specimen and blood.  I filled out the petition to have her committed for 72 hours.  Some time after midnight an ambulance came and took her to community mental health.  I followed.  I filled out more paper work. 

A therapist talked to her.  They called a psychiatrist in.  He talked to her alone, and then came and talked to me.  He said her medication needed adjusting, and he thought Psychiatrist was the best one to do that, since she knew her.  She has an appointment with Psychiatrist this Wednesday.  He suggested I bring her home.  I told him the last time she was with me, she broke into the pantry.  I dropped her off at the group home at 2:45.  I got home around 3:00. 

She is adamant that she can't live in group homes anymore.  She wants to move back in with me.  Not happening.  I hope that with a medication adjustment, she'll recognize that she is in a good group home and be willing to stay.  I hope.  For some reason, I'm tired today. 

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Power Struggle

Daughter was having a challenging day yesterday.  Case Manager demanded Psychiatrist come up with a plan for dealing with her if things get worst, pointing out Psychiatrist should have known she was being manipulated.  Psychiatrist refused.  Psychiatrist suggested sending her to a home that specializes in Borderline Personality Disorder.  We looked into that before, and Daughter is not eligible. 

Today seems to be going better for her.  Program is catching on to her manipulations.  She's been complaining of chest pain and pointing to a red patch on her chest that looks like she's been scratching it.  Putting a wet paper towel on it and not rubbing it for a while caused it to vanish.  Home Owner had suggested they could call 911.  I said absolutely not.  Daughter has to be vomiting (witnessed by a reliable adult) or have a fever before she is allowed to leave program.  I did offer them some suggestions. 

Daughter has not called me today.  I see that as a very good sign. 

Monday, October 13, 2014

The Latest

Daughter was discharged this evening.  No med change.  Case Manager is furious.  She said, "She snowed them.  She convinced the unit and Psychiatrist that she's fine."  I told her I'd been through this before. Daughter can put on a good show.

According to Daughter, Psychiatrist suggested she aim for independent living by her 28th birthday in March.  I hope that's wrong. 

Home Owner was down there for a med clinic appointment with another resident, so she's going to pick up Daughter and take her home.  That's good, as I want nothing to do with it.

Apparently part of the reason for the discharge was the problem they were having managing her blood sugars.  She has had at least one that was over 300.  That means if she begins to show her true colors again, she'll have to be in the hospital.  I hope if that happens there is a bed available here in town. 

Sunday, October 12, 2014


Daughter was in a better place when I visited her today.  She asked me to bring her some hygiene items.  She also wanted me to bring the  Skip-Bo card game, so we played that.  She's been doing some writing, drawing, and coloring.  In the initial assessment, she said her depression was "more than 10."  Tomorrow Psychiatrist will be in, so hopefully she will be able to make some adjustments.  Daughter said they told her people were usually there 3-5 days.  She said she anticipates it being 5 for her.  It was a pleasant visit.  She said Home Owner visited her yesterday.  She was delighted. 

My back is better today.  It has actually improved as the day has gone on.  My new bed (which will be delivered Saturday) came with a 40 inch TV.  For $100 I upgraded to a smart TV.  It wasn't in stock when I purchased it, so I went today and picked it up.  I was able to get it up and running.  It's bigger than my old TV, and much lighter.  Plus, I no longer have to cycle through all the inputs to get the TV to recognize my U-Verse. 

Worship today was good, and after worship we practiced the drama for next Sunday.  It went well.  We had to do some minor edits, but nothing major.  I think it will be good.  The congregation continues to grow, and I continue to love what I'm doing. 

Saturday, October 11, 2014

At Last

Daughter's planning meeting for the coming year was yesterday.  I was concerned going into it, as she was not in touch with reality.  Thursday morning she was furious with me.  She was telling me she was ready to live independently in an apartment.  I pointed out that she was still getting into food.  She insisted she wasn't.  I pointed out she'd been into food at the church within the last few weeks.  She informed me the church didn't count.  When we got to the church, she took off across the parking lot to walk home.  She came back before I had to go looking for her.  I sent an email to Case Manager warning her that Daughter wasn't in a good place, and I was concerned about how she'd handle the meeting.  Case Manager forwarded the email to the rest of the team. 

The meeting began, and Daughter gave her speech about wanting to live independently.  It wasn't long before she was shouting and showing her current mental state.  She was making threats.  We stopped the meeting.  Her psychologist was also there, and the entire team agreed that her medication was off, and she needed to be hospitalized. 

The meeting began at 10:00, we agreed to the hospitalization by 11:00, and it was 5:00 before it was accomplished.  It was a very long day.  She actually ended up at the mental health crisis center.  The closest hospital with an opening on the psych unit was over an hour away.  I'm fine with the crisis unit.  That means her psychiatrist will be involved and will see her. 

The team is also becoming more aware of the power of her PTSD.  Psychologist suggested they go for a walk.  Daughter said she couldn't handle the traffic noise.  Psychologist pointed out how little it takes to trigger her PTSD right now.  House Manager also had her eyes opened, and told me she commended me for parenting her. 

When I left her at 5:00, I hadn't had supper.  I stopped at a Mexican restaurant on the way home.  I'd planned to go to the mall to get my hair cut and a new battery in my watch yesterday, so I did.  I also stopped at the grocery store.  It was almost 8:00 when I got home.  I missed the Children's ministry at the church.  I had called and warned Administrative Assistant, and told her what I planned to do with the story.   We had a conversation the day before about Daughter's mental state, and were both concerned about how she'd handle the meeting, so I don't think she was surprised.

By the time I got home, I was exhausted.  Today my back is hurting.  I have quite a bit I'd like to get done today, but my back is interfering with those plans.  This is the second time in the last week I've had a sore back when I woke up.  I have a new bed coming on Saturday.  Hopefully  that will help with the back issues. 

Daughter has called several times, and seems to be doing well.  They have just begun taking type 1 diabetics.  I picked up her home meds and med sheets from her house and took them back, but it didn't include her insulin scale.  I emailed it to them, and got a phone call from the nurse, who was freaking out over the insulin scale.  It was different from anything they've used before. 

Daughter's insulin is based on carbs and blood sugar.  I had done all the calculations and laid it out for the carbs she gets at her meals and her blood sugar.  The nurse said it was too complicated and asked what she should do.  I suggested they ignore the calculations and use the numbers I'd come up with for various blood sugars.  She said that would work.  I was surprised she hadn't figured that out on her own. 

Last night Daughter told me she was basically on her own in terms of figuring out the carbs for her meal (she does have a little book she carries that gives her carbs).  She told me it was a lot of work.  I had the impression she was beginning to see why independent living is not a good idea.  If that's all she gets out of this, it will have been worth it. 

I'm pleased that her med needs are finally being addressed.  Psychiatrist had been informed of the issues but had not ordered any medication changes.  Hopefully she will now. 

Saturday, October 4, 2014


Daughter has been manic this week.  She's desperately trying to escape the chaos in her mind.  In a 24 hour period she had the following plans: 

  1. To get engaged and marry current Boyfriend.  They have not been out on a date yet.  They have been talking on the phone.  I expressed surprise that she was ready to have sex.  She informed me she planned to adopt, so they wouldn't need to have sex.  I suggested  might have other ideas.  She said when he talks about sex she takes the phone away from her ear and then changes the subject.  
  2. She wanted to move into a nursing home.  That would make her happy forever.
  3. She wanted to move into an apartment with 2 friends.  They could learn how to help her with her medication.
She sent a long email to Case Manager about the last plan, and also said she wanted a new Case Manager.  CM sent it to me and asked what I wanted her to do.  I told her I wanted her to remain as CM and for Daughter to remain in her current house.  I said I thought we needed a medication adjustment.  CM emailed the team, asking them to provide Daughter with extra support.  She asked Nurse to talk to Psychiatrist.  I haven't heard what Psychiatrist said.  I'm still not allowing her to spend the weekend here.  It's been another week when I've hung up on her when she got too ugly.  I'm so glad she's not living with me.  It's still tiring to deal with her when she's like this, but it's definitely easier by phone than when she was living with me. 

At the church, things are going well.  I missed a meeting the property guys were having to make a decision about fixing our ice dam problem.  One of the men was concerned that I wouldn't be there, as he was concerned it might be a contentious meeting.  I gave him some suggestions about dealing with it.  My understanding is that the meeting went well.  They came up with a unanimous recommendation.  It's expensive, and we'll be borrowing money from our endowment to pay for it.  The board also endorsed the plan unanimously via email. 

The nominating committee has the nominees for the board for next year.  Last year they really struggled to come up with names.  This year they completed their task with one meeting.  All 6 nominees will be serving for the first time.

Treasurer closed on  a condo closer to family this week.  He's keeping his house up here, so they'll be going back and forth.  We've found a new treasurer, and I also have someone who is willing to take on leadership of the mentoring program in the local elementary school that he started 14 years ago.  I will miss him, and am glad they will be here at least part of the year.

One of our newer members was in to talk to me this week.  She shared with me that her mother had committed suicide, and she had always thought of that as an option for her.  She said since she's been coming to the church, she is no longer thinking that way.  She really loves the church.  I'm grateful to know we have made a difference in her house. 

Our September average attendance was the highest it's been since I arrived 4 years ago.  There continues to be an energy and excitement in the congregation.  It's nice to have things going well at the church when Daughter is being challenging.