Friday, January 23, 2009

If only...

For three or four months I have watched Gabriel get worse and worse. In October the psychiatrist at MHMR took him off clozapine, the medication that is the “gold standard” in treating schizophrenia. Within a week, I knew it had been a mistake.

I called MHMR many times, telling them with rising desperation that Gabriel was getting worse by the day. Sorry, I was told, the doctor is booked, the doctor got sent to another clinic on the day he was supposed to see her, the doctor is on vacation for 3 weeks. Meanwhile, the voices became unbearable, the hallucinations were frightening, he paced and laughed for hours on end.

I took him to the psychiatric ER five times. He told them he saw aliens who were trying to kill him (and that sometimes he thought I was an alien); they sent him home. He told them the voices were bothering him a lot; they increased one of his medications and sent him home. He told them he was scared because the mafia was trying to kill him; they put him in the hospital at his request, but discharged him a week later without changing his medication. He told them he sometimes thought about stabbing himself in the head to make the voices stop; they changed his medication, told me to hide the knives, and sent him home. He told them he saw assassins, the mafia, and Jesus; they admitted him to the hospital as a voluntary patient.

Yesterday I learned that they had gotten an Order of Protective Custody, ie, he had been committed. He says that the doctor told him he will probably be sent to the state hospital next week.

I am so angry! If only the doctors at MHMR or the ER had listened to us, if only they had tried to understand how bad things were, if only they had acted to get him back on track early on! We would have been spared months of pure hell AND Gabriel wouldn’t have regressed to the point that he has to be committed.

2 comments:

Elizabeth said...

Galen, I am so sorry about all of this. I don't have any words, really. Just sorrow and wonder at all that life brings us.

Jan said...

Oh Galen I know you must be devastated. You have tried so hard and worked so hard. I can't even imagine the frustration and anger you must be feeling. I'm so sorry.