my friend won’t be going inpatient

Hi everyone,

Yesterday I wrote about my friend Jess struggling with self injury. It’s been a tense weekend of seeing how she’s doing and waiting for the psychiatrist to decide based on observations from the nurse’s and caseworkers and the situation in general whether she needs to go to the hospital or not. She is very reluctant to hospitalize which I suppose has positive and negative aspects. She trusts the caseworkers and nurses here and one huge plus of living in a place like this is that in a crisis there are solid resources if not as good as they could be. For example the observation rooms, rooms directly off the nurse’s stations with the door open while not perfect ensure that the resident is not alone and no one knows what’s going on like they’d be in the room we have. We do have groups on weekdays and staff 12 hours seven days a week that are caseworkers. They can also get ahold of Dr.s easily.

I had come to terms with knowing that if she needed to be in the hospital for whatever reason she needed to be but it was also pretty hard on me. She’s my only friend in this whole building. It seems like other residents I have connected with have moved out. She and I do do everything together and because I’m blind she helps me get to meals and things. Though we do our own separate activities we spend a lot of time together.

I did get through two hospitalizations of hers so know I can do it with staff support. However one was when I had the full support of Jonathan, and now he doesn’t talk to me at all. And the other I had Edith. She’s on vacation til Wednesday. So it would have been hard. But if she needed it she knew I wouldn’t want to stop her.

The plan now is to have her in her preferred observation room on the sixth floor. She’ll be in there until everyone is sure she can be ok in this room. Her caseworker is also looking for therapy for her which is very much needed. I just hope they can find something good either DBT or art therapy or something she’d really feel comfortable with. Medicaid is so limited.

So that’s the plan. It’s good to know things are settled one way or another. And I’m happy I totally didn’t freak out on her about just how much I really didn’t want her to go inpatient. I’ve been trying to be as supportive as possible. We did get to go out to the store after dinner. And she is allowed to spend ten minutes or so every few hours coming down to visit me. Which is good.

Would love to know people’s experiences with being able to get DBT art therapy or just good quality therapy on Medicaid. It seems so impossible. One of Chicago’s biggest mental health centers is closed. Which doesn’t help

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