View Full Version : My First Experience In ER

05-06-07, 09:24 AM
Well it finally happened.......

My 15 year old was dx in March with Bipolar, had an episode that landed him in ER.

Funny because I was just talking to him earlier today, after he came from a friends and admitted he had been drinking, but only 4 beers...and he asked me why is it that I am not high (pot) but I have cotton mouth and feel all "high" and happy mom? I said, well that's called "hypomania" dear. You are cycling. And in a few will be "mad" and dark again. He said, uh huh and walked out. I sighed...and went back to "life'....

Later that night, we got a call from my sister in law who wanted us to go watch a Pay per View fight..and hang out. We never do crap I reluctantly agreed. Nice to get the younger kids, and us to out. Keenan, said he was headed to the movies....and we chased off the 'trouble" makers who were still lingering around. He seemed "okay"..but something kept eating at me, and I tried to talk myself out of leaving several times. But saw the looks on my little one's faces..and thought geez, how much of this do they have to endure..they deserve fun..seeing cousins, playing, eating barbecue..Reluctantly...I hugged my 15 year old..making me promise he would "behave' (a waste of time, btw with an unmedicated BPD child)...hugged him and got in the car.....

Let me just say..when I got the call at 2am ....I wanted to kick myself....hard. I should always listen to my instincts. I am sure I felt it coming. Being intune with his cycles now, like my own. I feel like more like his siamese Bipolar twin now... than his mom.
His friend said..he was on the phone..(stupid girls , want to strangle all teenage girls now) said something he he put the phone down was quiet for sometime, and off he went....down to the basement...throwing things,,,by the time his buddy got there he was throwing a butcher knife at the wall...then he said he was talking him down..he just plopped on a pile of clothes..pulled the knife out, and sliced it across his arm....they took him to ER..they sent him home..said they couldn't do anything (no parent there to authorize treatment, and this was not a life threatning wound? So his friend..(the only one with a brain) got him back home..say the cycle wind up again..and called 911...ergo the "stay" in the ER..and the call to me...and here we go..a new chapter in the "life" of the Bipolar Brady Bunch.......:faint:

I guess it finally took me getting diagnosed, getting regulated, to stop long enough to track his moods with mine for a stupid light bulb to go off in my head.....took me showing the doc that, and the fact that I have it dx him in about 30 seconds.:eyebrow:

Now buckle gets better.

Now take a 15 year old, now at the height of his Bipolar...and mix in a complete breakdown of the, law, peer groups...and then throw in the newest experiement of alcohol and we have the perfect recipe for diaster. :mad:

Me in the emergency room with my 15 year old...8 stables in his arm from a rather "bad" cutting experience.(he has been cutting for a few months, but minor cuts,,,this time he got a knife, dad just sharpened, and admitted,,got more than he bargained for) I got hear about his incessant rambling and cycling rage, then got to experience it first hand in ER. I have know met face to of the worst sides of Bipolar in my child. Not fun. :(

I have spent the last month fighting wiht him to take his meds. He started then stopped again. Wanted to have Prescribed meds..and mix it wiht his bought kind. Which was explained to him , as a BIG NO NO...:eek:

Well 3 weeks of it went by...and each time he attempted to self medicate,,,it turned out badly. I followed up each time by stating the obvious. Um that self-medicating thing,,,how's that working for ya???? :soapbox:

I have been reading a very good book...I mentioned it somewhere else in here....( the up's and down's of raising a Bipolar child, A survival guide for parents) yep...

Like my experience in my dx with both ADD & my own BPDII..this book has made me go AHA many times...and also brought me to tears so many times...I need tissue by me now. Because I see me...because I see him..because I see it all. And while it gives me hope, it makes me see my past and see me in many of the stories. It makes me sad, my mom couldn't have had access to that book when I was a child. Put Bipolar child in the dictionary and there I am and he's next to me....geez. It makes me hopeful that I have the information now...and I can still do something, but wish I had , had it years ago......And it makes me realize this is not going to be easy. It never has, but I guess I just put the blame on myself that I was just a crappy mom. Now the reality that my kid is "sick" really comes home. And that reality doesn't feel much better than thinking I was just a crappy parent.

And sitting in my car in the parking lot of ER at 3am...I broke down..and I thought, this is FOREVER....this is not going to go away. My child could have moved down 6 inches and lost his life. That is scary....and I just want to fix him. I just want to put a bandaid on it and make it all go the scary monsters in the closet I assured him weren't there...until he believed me. i want it to go away. But i know it won't ....ever.

And I saw my once chubby faced, toe headed cherub....beg me to let him go home while sitting a locked down white room of ER..where the door locks, and the bed is bolted down, and there is a video camera behind plexi-glass...then I saw him go from a sweet teary eyed child to a monster full of rage and ramblings ..spitting out expletives..about how @%#$ing stupid liar doctors , police etc are....that he was not getting drugs that made him drool and he was NOT STAYING THERE.... and if he got out, he was doing it right next time..and never talking to me again....then when he was done...going back to the quiet cherub the span of about 4 hours....I watched him cycle at least 3 times...and back again.....I was dumbfounded...Geez how can you miss this? How could anyone?

I sat and thought this sucks....and watched them staple his arm...ask him if he wanted to kill himself anymore or anyone else? And i thought this is crazy and this sucks...and this is my !@$#ing life? OMFG..I don't know if I can do this....

.And then at the end... my son don't want to be like this anymore...and I DON'T EVER WANT TO COME HERE AGAIN. I have to do something different, don't I? I looked at him and said have to do something different for the REST OF YOUR LIFE....and that is a pretty big commitment, even for someone my age,...but it's the only way you will NEVER EVER EVER , have to come here again. And if you don't , places like this will become your second home.

He was quiet for awhile, and said okay mom, I'll try it your way. It has to be better than this. Yup...just about anything is better than this kiddo.....

He's sleeping now...looking like a sweet cherub again..and I"m sitting here...thinking god I don't want to EVER be here...writing this again......

05-06-07, 10:01 AM
Awww sis poor Kee, and poor you! How long ago did you decide he was just gonna have to go the tough-love route to get this through his skull?

And here I was, griping that Space (who is poorly medicated IMHO) can never, ever seem to shut up for 30 seconds! :faint:

05-06-07, 10:35 AM
Wow, Hope! I'm so sorry! I can only say we are here for you, I have no idea how to handle something like this and I'm sure you don' want advice anyway, unless it is from someone who has been where you are.

I hope things can get smoother. Let me give you both a BIG HUG!

05-06-07, 09:52 PM
Wow, Hope, hugs, lots of them. How hard this must be. Oh how I hope your son really really really hit reality square on and things will improve for him and for you. It must have been so bad for you and him. I never want you to have to write anything like this again either. Maybe a bit of a roller coaster but no more derailing? Sometimes teenagers have to literally hit a brick wall before they see what is really going on. He sounds like he has so many fears and anger about this diagnosis and meds just remind him of it everyday.

All I know is that he needs to see himself and taking meds not as weakness or making him a freak or a nutcase, but just someone who happens to be a really cool young man with incredible gifts who happens to have BP and ADD. I pray he can see himself without labels-and become-you know what I mean here, a real boy! The man he wants to be so much and is so afraid will never be because he is "different" in a teen world where kids want to be different but need to be like everyone else.

To you-all I can say is I am here whenever you need me and we all here on the forum will support you-cry with you and do anything we can to help. I wish I had a band aid too and could kiss and make this all better.

Now I need to call my daughter and really work on re-establishing a relationship with her. Seeing you work so hard with your son and making headway-and being open and sharing this journey really encourages me to reach out to my 23 year old and see what happens. You are strong and doing a tremendous job in a tough, tough situation with a child you love so very very much. I truly admire you.


05-06-07, 10:07 PM
Hey sis Michelle went through some of the same stuff. You could be the perfect parent but he would still be bi-polar. Please don't blame your self I mean you don't blame our mom for your bi-polar? She did the best she could at the time and we both know it so will he. Honestly teens and bi-polar man that is some rough stuff to go through.

You going maybe it was the right thing to do. Dave and Darious had they been there when this happened may have been in the wrong place at the wrong time. They really didn't need to see that and well they didn't.

You know how to get me so ring if you need to rant rave or cry.

I wish I could make it all go away but I haven't figured out how to make that happen. All I can do is be here for ya. . . .medicated or un-medicated . . . love ya.

05-07-07, 02:32 AM
hugs, hugs, for all of you..
I have no wonderful words of wisdom, but you are all in my thoughts and prayers
and with a Mum like you, I'm sure he'll do just dandy :-)

05-07-07, 09:07 AM
Thank you everyone. ;)

This was one of the most eye opening experiences in my life, in regards to this disease. I am happy that I never went that far...but I did come close many times as a teenager and adult. I always said he went farther than I did.

I am happy to report we had a quiet evening. I shuffled most of the other's out of the house...we sat and chatted. Made some plans to divert that type of aggitation again. Including me talking to the "teenager" that drove it over the edge with his mouth, jokes, and telling of other's ....he is one of my "lost boys" and if he does it again, out he goes on his butt.

We both dosed up with meds last night..and off to sleepy land. Today I begrudgingly came to work...and I kept him home. He was depressed a little but not aggitated,,told him take it easy , handle his business today and tomrrow we start it all over again. :p

I will keep you all in the loop..all the doctor's, case workers. probation officers have been informed...I told the probation officer (in my fax with a copy of the ER release) if he dind't like that I kept him home, tough call me and I'll be happy to give you and the judge an ear full. No calls as of yet. ;)

It's wonderful to have a good support system, even if it's in writing over a forum..I know people care about us...and sevearl of you personally understand what this is my wonderful sis! :D

Talk to you all soon...and hopefully it's just to keep you up to date...and not another post on ER and psych wards...:eyebrow:

05-07-07, 11:26 AM
Ya know what sis? I have absolutely no qualms whatsoever about hospitalizing Space if she gets out of hand. I know her BP started much younger than mine did, and I know how bad mine can get!

Glad to hear you and Kee are doing better today, let's just hope that Space does not come home wide-open manic like she has the last several weeks :faint: I need some peace and quiet!

05-07-07, 04:26 PM
I am so sorry to hear that you had to go through that experience Hope. As someone who isn't a parent, I can only begin to imagine how you must have felt.

If you ever have any legal questions feel free to contact me.

05-09-07, 12:52 PM
Thanks Wish....things are ok for now. He had a small episode last night...but nothing I just have to pull my head out and I will be okay...

I will keep you in mind for the legal..stuff..that's what do too...but two heads are always better than one..right....and you are not so close to probably will think clearer!

Take care....


05-09-07, 06:28 PM
That's good hope. I'm glad to hear that. Hospital visits always seem scary to me. Hospitals aren't really known for having a cheery or happy ambience.

05-10-07, 08:57 AM
True enough, Wish.

But I hope for him it was just crappy enough to scare him into taking his stupid meds...we have 6 whole days of Lamicatal in him. Yipee! No drinking. I have made plans for my other lost boy to leave end of the month. No other bad distractions needed.

Keenan has a full assessement with a drug/alcohol abuse doctor, who can make the decision to put him in intensive out patient therapy , which includes a "school" enviroment geered for kids like him. This would be wonderful! And he has another visit with our PDoc coming up soon. He should have 3 weeks of meds in him by then...
His attitude is better. We are all making a concentrated effort to work with him in a more calm way. It's hard for dad. ..but he's coming around. Not that I gave him a choice.

We have our next case manager's meeting Friday. I am encouraged, knowing our worker thinks there is hope for Keenan after working in his field for 16 years. Said there are signs he wants to get better. Sometimes that is all you need to have when you are Bipoloar, right??? And of course lots of patience with the often nighmare rollercoaster of we are all aware...

He goes back to Juvinile Court the 29th, for a "probation" violation. I have both barrels loaded and ready. He will be in full compliance by the time I get him there. Randy his case manager said they will NOT put him in a juvinile home, not for regular kids. He said we have enough ammo to fight this one. Don't get me wrong, I don't have an issue with tough love, ergo the full psych work up last weekend, and the "padded" room. But we JUST got the diagnose that has been long over due, which explains many things about my son and myself both. Never mind 15 years of not being treated has led to the expected ODD behaviors. But WE just started in a positive directioin, it's too soon to give up on this kid yet.

We are getting the referral to Art Therapy soon. I told Keenan he has to complete 4 full weeks of mediction and no drinking before I will have them send it over. Crossing fingers this will entice him..he is soooo pumped about it. And we are looking at working with the Horse Therapy program as well. Now I want to do this too..LOL.... He was excited about it as well. I have had a long love affair with horses...little Texas girl and all. He has naturally taken on my love of horses. Our trip home last year, out at the ranch and spending the weekend wiht the horses, was a wonderful experience, he actually was happy , listened to direction, cared for the horses...(chores OMG, no grumbling) and I saw him laugh and smile like a kid again. It would be good for him. It's intereseting how it works for these kids, teaching them to rein (teeheehee) in their outbursts...and remain in control for their "partner" the horse.....

So thanks for all your encouragement and kind's not easy, but it's a little easier knowing there are other's who understand..and who care!

Hope :)

05-10-07, 11:36 AM
I do think that if you're not properly medicated for bipolar, it is near impossible to control it.

Horse therapy does sound fun!

Does insurance cover animal or art therapy or do you have to pay for that out of your own pocket?

05-10-07, 12:35 PM

The group I work with called Pep Connections is a "government" funded program, designed to work with families in "crisis" who have kids with disabilities, esp Mental Health. They work to bring together the Courts, Schools, Doctors, and all available resources in the communities to work to keep these kids "in the home"... (he is at risk of being removed) ...

They have connections ....
Art Therapy , and all other available therapies. There is also a "rock" climbing school avail..sports, karate etc.

They really work to find what kids like, and work on their strengths...positive renforcement to earn things, rather than "the standard disciplinary actions" that don;'t work well for these kids.

The hitch is , they are free unless you miss more than 2 without notice...just like regular "therapies" they charge you for the visit if you don't cancle timely. If you miss too many, they kick you off the program. This is why it's so important to make him "earn" it , have him leveled out on meds....and "use" it as a very important "reward" system.


05-10-07, 02:57 PM
That sounds like a great program hope! I'm glad that there are some resources out there because often it seems like there aren't enough.

Some places have instituted mental health courts. They have been created in response to the number of people with mental illnesses who have been charged with a crime. The focus is to provide treatment to certain mentally ill persons who have committed instead of just locking them up in jails where they get no treatment and often their condition deteriorates. I think that this could be a really helpful thing for people who have untreated mental illnesses.

05-10-07, 06:55 PM
Agreed. That is why I am going with both barrels loaded to this "normal" court. I don't expect my son to get away wiht everything. There is a time and place for accountability. But this early in the game,...they are NOT going to hold him accountable for not being able to function in a normal mainstream schools....etc. They will be in for a full battle if they don't give him some type of extension to "build" his meds, and tap out all the resources available.

05-16-07, 09:45 AM
Quick update since I am at work

Keenan is actually making some progress. We are over the 2 week mark on 25mg and getting ready to start the 50mg soon. He has not missed a dose and we are seeing some subtle changes. He has handled some situations "smarter" than in the past. One example that shocked me was ...the other night one of the other teenagers was really ticking him off, and he came upstairs asked me for one of this seroquel's (which he hates) to knock him he would not pound on this kid...and took his art paper and pens down stairs to "draw" himself to sleep.

He came to me the day after my little one broke his leg and said Mom if you need to go make a couple of runs I will be happy to sit in here with him and watch movies or play games so you can get a break and get out of here?
I teased him and said who are you and where is my son? He NEVER offers to help out with his brothers.

The last example was yesterday...his case manager met with him and said Keenan said everyone at the house was getting on his nerves, and instead of flipping out , he got on his bike and rode for an hour , hard and fast until the anger subsided...again a decision he made on his own to make good choices rather than let the building episode take over. These are the early signs of meds working. These are decisions he has NOT made in the past.

I asked him about his decisions and said do you think it's because of the medicine Keenan? He said Yep. You were right Mom..I am starting to feel better....( I am writing this on the calendar) ....TG....he acknowledges the medicine is doing what I said it would. And is giving him incentive to continue with it.

We have a myriad of appointments to take care of before his court date the 29th on his "probation" violation. I hope this recent progress will go in his favor with the judge and they will give him more time to get leveled out on meds and take advantage of the programs , including alternative schooling, that he needs.

More updates to follow.

Hope :)

05-16-07, 09:48 AM
Whew! I am sooo glad to hear this sis! Yay for all of you.

05-22-07, 09:20 AM
Well a couple bits of good news to report. Keenan is still taking meds and has started the 50mg mark. Bad thing is , I believe he is still drinking ....I havn't caught him ...but I checked with a couple of sources that I told I would kill if they dind't tell me ....they said he is but it's only a beer or "sparks" as they call them now and then. It's not like it was, but it's drinking all the same.

We have now added another program to the "many" he has going on, he is now seeing a very well known psychologist Dr. Bob...who works with youths who have "mental" or behavioral issues, and have the duel diagnoses of "substance abuse"...We met with him last week. He is a very nice man, very soft spoken and kinds of lulls you. Keenan signed a contract with him , it's a "honesty' contract...he has to tell the whole truth but it's all covered client/dr privilage. He told him the only thing he will tell us if is Keenan threatnes to kill himself or someone else, everything else is just between them. I hope this helps Keenan talk about some of the issues he is going through.

We had a meeting with the school for an explusion, and after I blasted them about not doing his testing for an IEP (counsler there told me he didn't qualify because he wasn't LD , what a bunch of BS) and in light of his other issues, they cancelled the expulsion and stated for the rest of this year, about 10 days he can sit in his Science teachers office an do his work and if he gets aggitated he can leave early. He is averaging about 3 hours before he is done. Then we are putting together the testing for the IEP, they will spend the next 10days putting together an intensive program to help him next year. What a surprise. So that went well.

Keenan has only had one episode since his last big one. Which was last night, he was fighting with his friends over a stupid girl...and I didn't hear anything (he stays outside in a van that we are giving him after he gets his license) and I guess he was loud and saying he was going to kill himself, the police were at my house again...shame they know us by first name "sigh" ...they are patient when it comes to these things since they know the situation. but I am sick of seeing them at my door.
Hopefully if I can get the next 2 weeks of pills in him, he will do better. The drinking is a huge concern for me. I was hoping that once he started feeling better on his meds, the need to self medicate would stop. But as we all know this is very common for BPD's.

He meets with his psyc doc this Thursday and we will see how that goes.

TG my meds are working or I would have to hide in my bed for weeks! A true testament on why we SHOULD take our meds everyday! Sanity is now my regular companion! Yipee!

More updates as they come!

I hope this finds you well,


Hope :)

Our greatest glory consists not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.
Oliver Goldsmith<O:p</O:p

It does not matter how slowly you go so long as you do not stop.
Confucius <O:p
The man who removes a mountain begins by carrying away small stones.
Chinese Proverb<O:p

05-22-07, 01:21 PM
I sure hope this new plan works out for Kee. It sounds pretty good to me! :)

05-30-07, 08:16 PM
Short update while I can steal the computer away from teenager's and the little dude with the cast, who now lives on the computer....

Good news to report on the Keenan front!

We are now 6 weeks into meds, 5 days left of the 50mg and we start the 100mg. His episodes are further and further apart, and not as intense. He is able to catch himself most times now and opts for the bike rides, walks to Lake Erie, and the punching bag...and he can actually come talk to me when I ask him to tell me what's wrong. He can talk about things more rationally now...and seems to benefit from just talking about things...These are a very very good things...;)

He is going to therapy once a week. He is not drinking...he is back in school. We are pending a full evaluation, including his testing (IEP in the works) and a very large creative plan for him next year. He is participating in his Pep program, no issues. He just went to court Tuesday for his "probation violation" and the judge, after hearing all the news, gave him a re-evaluation date of July 23. At which time they will see if he is in compliance with taking his medications, participating in all his programs and they will make a final decision, to remove him off probation or extend it. Or if he's not in compliance, send him to a facility specialized for kids like him who don't behave and take meds. He came very close to it this visit. If he hadn't made marked improvements, and been taking his meds, the judge was prepared to bounce him to a "state" facility to get him leveled out on meds. I thought Keenan was going to pee his pants...sigh. ...this was a good thing..because now he knows they mean business.

We have removed one "lost boy" from the house. He was trouble, not doing as I requested, and causing constant drama that sent Keenan off like a rocket. Aaah , all gone. This makes me appreciate just MY kids. The other "lost boy" is here. He is no problem..and helps watch my little turbo crutch kid while I am working.

So we are doing better. We had a visit last week with his psych doc, and he asked me if I noticed if the meds were working..and besides the fact his episodes are leveling out,,,something that made me, as his mom notice was just ...the littlest thing He asked what was it?
I said almost every morning now, he comes upstairs says good morning mom, and kisses me on the son hasn't done that in ....geez I can't remember when? Maybe when he was about 11? It makes me want to cry...and I tease him..OH no Mom cooties...but he has no idea how it melts my heart..every time he does idea....

Hope you all are doing well!


05-31-07, 05:37 PM
Congrats Hope! glad to hear the good news. "Turbo Crutch Kid"? ROFL.

05-31-07, 06:16 PM
Number 1 Hyperactive Hobbling Crutch Kid, sounds like a great slogan for a new Tshirt for David.

Glad to hear about Kee...because SPACE WENT ON LAMICTAL TODAY!!! Just call us the Family on the Lam now :).

At Heart
05-31-07, 11:12 PM
Hi JustHope,

I am very sorry for your experience. I have to tell you that I have witnessed what you described an uncountable number of times (have been a charge nurse at an adolescent inpatient psychiatric acute care facility for years). If you ever want to talk - I would love to help if I can. I know you don't know me - but I have an incredible amount of compassion for both children/adolescents who have to live with this disorder, and the parents who have to cope with their children. PM me any time.

I wish you both the best,

At Heart

06-01-07, 12:08 AM
Thanks so much for joining us here in Co-Ex At Heart :) the members of the ADDF Cycling Team (our cute name for we bipolars) appreciate all the help and support we can get.

At Heart
06-01-07, 11:35 AM
Hi Crazy Feet!!

I think that people with bipolar disorder have an exceptionally hard burden. I remember the first time I really worked with a girl in a manic phase who kept calling me "Nurse Wratchet". All of my coworkers were laughing so hard because nothing could be further from the truth. I simply wanted to get away from that particular patient who appeared to like my perfume and invading my personal space (lol). After that experience I never wore perfume in a psychiatric facility again. :rolleyes:

I have met soooo many talented and special people who are bipolar (one was an opera singer in his last year at University - who was invited to go sing with Pavorati).

I have also met many dual diagnosed people, kudos to anyone here who is managing to cope and lead a healthy/happy life with more than one brain chemistry problem.

Thanks for making me welcome.

At Heart

06-01-07, 12:04 PM
ARRRRGH----invading personal space while manicky...:faint:...Space has a tendency to do that! Its soooo hard to tolerate some days, no matter how much I know that she does not mean it.

As for talented and creative, The ADDF Cycling Team and their children are fabulous, talented people :). You just gave me a few ideas for new threads though, I think I ought to quit posting in Miss Hope's thread and begin those myself. Hope to see you there, and thanks so much for the encouragement!