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Monday, November 26, 2012

Jail Time 3

This is the third and final post of another series about my son, Parrish, and his schizoaffective disorder, alcohol and Ativan dependency.  It is also about me and how my son's illness affects me.
Scroll down to read from the beginning.

Tuesday morning I delivered Parrish to the bus station at 5:00.  Unbelievably, at 3:00 that afternoon, he was once more at my door.  This is the kind of thing you cannot make up.  Yes, he appeared to be impaired.  I should have called the police that moment, and for the sake if me, I don't know why I didn't.  Clearly I was not thinking like a sane person.  

He claimed Greyhound would not let him board the bus without a picture ID.  That was a bald faced lie.  He has ridden the bus numerous times without an ID.  I chose to ignore the lie and immediately went online to order a certified copy of his birth certificate and paid the steep fee for overnight delivery.  
I didn't know what else to do.  I was in a state of poorly controlled panic, desperate to remove Parrish from my space.  Unrealistic as it was, I thought I could take him to the DMV as soon as the document arrived and procure an ID for him.  Then, I thought I could put him on a bus and witness his departure. 

My judgement was clearly compromised, and I make no apology.  I, who have suffered an undiagnosed illness for months, was already anxious, confused and suffering short time memory loss.  I was having trouble just taking care of myself before Parrish arrived in Macon.

I had an appointment with my psychiatrist at 4:00, and since I can't drive, my assistant Sophie came to take me.  I told Parrish he had to go with us because I didn’t trust him in my house alone.  He bristled but didn't make a scene. 

Sophie and Parrish waited in the car while I was with my doctor.  When I left her office, the office manager told me Parrish had come into to the office, clearly impaired and reeking of beer, asking to meet my doctor.  She escorted him out the door.  

Parrish convinced Sophie to drive him to a convenience store "for a Coke."  When he returned to the car, he was stinking of beer.  

When we returned home, he became more impaired though I never saw him with alcohol.  He began to stagger and flail his arms, eyelids almost closed.  He was barely conscious and could not talk.  He became angry, but I didn't think his anger was directed at me.  When he began fisting his hands, I was uneasy, and a 7:00 PM I called 911. 

An ambulance arrived along with two police officers.  Parrish was charged with criminal trespass and resisting arrest.  The officers were convinced that he might hurt me, and they added "potential for domestic violence" saying that charge would assure a high bail.  

After the police took him away, I began searching for evidence of his drinking.  I was amazed to find an empty bottle of bourbon.  He drank every drop of the Lemoncello I brought home from Italy.  A full bottle of Scotch was half empty, and I found Ativan tablets that he obviously dropped when he was half conscious and reeling around.  I have no idea where he got them.  I found quart sized beer cans under the sink in his bathroom and hidden about the house.  He consumed all that alcohol when I thought I was watching him.  Like all alcoholics and drug addicts, he is a master of getting what he wants while flying under the radar. 

Parrish remains in jail, and he will be there until my brother and I go through the steps to have him committed to a state mental facility against his will.  I have not visited or called him.

My sense of relief cannot be measured.  Parrish has a roof over his head and food to eat and for now he is safe from himself.   

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Jail Time 2

This is the second of yet another series about my son, Parrish, and his schizoaffective disorder, alcohol and Ativan dependency.  It is also about me and how my son's illness affects me.
Scroll down to read from the beginning.

I called the police and Parrish was arrested for criminal trespass and taken to jail.  Stunned and stupefied, I spent Saturday and Sunday wandering around the house and wondering what to do.  I felt trapped, without options.  I had no plan.  And on Monday morning, I still didn't a plan.  
I made the decision to leave Parrish in jail until I could put together a concrete option that would be best for both of us.
On Monday afternoon, Parrish once again appeared at my doorstep, saying the charges were dropped.  There was liquor on his breath. The weight of the situation slammed me in my heart and I burst into tears, my hands over my face. 

I looked over his shoulder at a young Black man, and Parrish introduced him to me.  I do not remember his name.  He was kind enough to bring Parrish to my house.

The young man left, and I began to question Parrish. He told me the judge, whose name he didn't remember, was an acquaintance of my late husband.  The judge said he had a court full of real criminals and told my son to stop drinking and behave himself. 

Really, it's true.

Ever the strong one, I began looking for a bus to Ft. Lauderdale.  There was one at 11:55 PM (Monday) and I helped Parrish pack for his trip. I literally watched him almost every minute, and he was relatively sober when we got to the bus stop station.  I left him there.  

At 2:00 AM, Parrish was at my door again.  No shit.  He was.  I could not speak. This time he said the bus was cancelled.  Yes, he really said that, and yes, he had liquor on his breath.  

You may wonder where Parrish got the money for beer.  He is on Social Security Disability, and he they send his benefits by way of a MasterCard.  So now you know.

I called the bus station and made a reservation for the bus at 7:05 AM.  I stayed up, watching him all the time.  

At 4:30 AM, I could not stand it any longer, so I packed us in the car, and we went to breakfast at the Krystal across the street from the bus station. I bought a paper and we lingered over it.  At 5:00 AM, I left him at the station.  

There's more.....

© 2012 cj schlottman

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Jail Time 1

This is the first of yet another series about my son, Parrish, and his schizoaffective disorder, alcohol and Ativan dependency.  It is also about me and how my son's illness affects me.   

The first time I called the police was on Friday night, November 9.

At 7:00 PM, my dogs and I were lounging on my bed, they sleeping and I working a crossword puzzle.  There was a a knock on the door.  I took the decision to ignore it, thinking that would be the safest thing to do.  

The pounding became louder and more urgent. I left my bed and went to turn on the porch light and the spotlights on the corners of my house.  Then I peeked through one of the long windows that flank the door, clutching my phone which I had already set to call 911.  


My heart dropped into my gut and it began to roil.  My hands shook with anxiety.  I was still trying to overcome the damage from the last time my son showed up at my door.  That story is chronicled in my last three posts.

Reluctantly, I opened the door.  Why did I do that?  Parrish wore a sheepish expression and asked if I were going to let him in the house.  The last time he was here, before I put him on the bus back to Ft. Lauderdale, I told him he could never come to my house, never.  

Clearly, he did not make it to Fort Lauderdale.  

I let him in, saying, "You do understand that you are not welcome and that you cannot stay here?"  

"I had no place to go.  I've been at my fathers's for a few days, and he sent me to you."  

I knew about his stay in Brunswick, because he had harassed me per telephone from there.  In these calls, he donned his victim mantle and began his passive aggressive routine.

"Mother, I am your only child.  You are all I have. You don't know how much I love you.  I need your help and support." 

Translation:  "It is your duty to care for me.  You should let me live with you because life is so hard for me.  If you really love me.......Blah, blah, blah."

He finally reported that his father was going to put him back on the bus for Florida.  Instead, as you know, he ended up here. I will never know the truth, and I don't care.

Back to November 11.

I tried to call his father, but the son of a bitch, always a coward, left his phone off the hook.
I began researching the next bus to Fort Lauderdale, but there was not a bus until Saturday noon.  I made plans to put Parrish on it. 
Over the next hour, it became evident that Parrish was impaired. He is accustomed to drinking more than 24 beers a day.  When his speech became garbled and he began to stagger, I called the local EMTs, who came, bringing along two police officers.

It was an exercise in futility.  Parrish was not bad enough to go to hospital, and I was reluctant to press charges of trespass. I always, I thought I had the situation under control.  As the men departed, one of the police officers came to me, advising me to call again if I needed to.

Throughout this emotionally charged situation, I became more anxious.  A sense of foreboding slid down over my body and tightened like a vice, bringing with it waves of nausea and confusion.  I wondered how this came to be.  Once again I found myself entwined in Parrish's life.  I should never have opened the door.  Shaking and distracted, I stayed awake and watched him.  At midnight I went to bed, exhausted, emotionally bruised, and my joints aflame with pain.  I slept fitfully and got up at 5:00 AM. 

Parrish was awake and incoherent, staggering and falling into the glass top coffee table, breaking Poppy's glass thermometer, cutting his face.  

It was Saturday morning and I called the police.

© 2012 cjschlottman

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Why I Have PTSD - 3

This is the third of a series of posts about my son, Parrish, his addictions and his mental illness.  These posts chronicle his latest crisis, how it affects both of us.  The series starts here

When I arrived at emergency, Parrish was already in a treatment room.  His hands and were restrained  in order to stop him from pulling out his IV and taking off his oxygen mask.  He struggled to get up, arching his back and thrashing about on the stretcher.  He knew me, I think.  It is hard to say.

Although his blood alcohol was only 260, he had so much Ativan on board, the MD was considering incubating him and putting him on a ventilator.  He took me aside and explained what was happening.  I could only say to him that I trusted his judgement.  Blood gasses drawn on admission revealed that he was not circulating enough air.  This was due to his depressed lung function.

The MD said he would get another set of blood gasses before he tubed Parrish, and when they came back, they were slightly better.  So we dodged a bullet.  

(While I was waiting to see what would happen, Marcy, phoned to check on Parrish. When I said what was happening, she told me that, while he was in Fort Lauderdale, Parrish was intubated three times in recent weeks in Ft Lauderdale - all for alcohol toxicity).

The medical people were pumping him with phenobarbital, and he finally calmed.

The MD sent me home to rest with the assurance that he would admit Parrish this time.  He promised not to dismiss Parrish in the shape he was in.

So, I got some sleep for a change.

On Tuesday, when I called the hospital, I learned that Parrish had been admitted to a general care floor.

Sophie and I went to visit him, and like always when he is sober, he was cogent, oriented, and for the most part, appropriate.

On Wednesday, Parrish was transferred to the psych floor, where he remained until Monday morning.  Sophie a and I drove him to the Greyhound station where I bought him a ticket back to Ft. Lauderdale.  Determined to see him get on the bus, we endured an hour and half of waiting.  

There is a chicken wing restaurant next to the station.
Parrish proclaimed himself hungry and went to get a snack.  Sophie, ever vigilant, walked out to the sidewalk and watched Parrish walk to the gas station on the other side of the wing restaurant.  She got him in her line of sight, and saw him buy two to beers, walk outside and slam both. 

He stopped at the wing restaurant and returned to us.  The aroma and the heat of the wings completely masked the smell of beer.

We sat and sat, waiting for the bus.  It finally arrived, and Sophie and I stood outside until we saw the bus turn onto the Interstate ramp. 

I learned later that Parrish was arrested twice on the way back to Ft. Lauderdle   Police in Orlando pulled him off the bus and charged him with public intoxication.  They did not take him to jail, instead waited for him to sober up and put him on the next bus.  He was arrested again in Fort Lauderdale and taken to hospital where he was admitted to the psych floor.

There is no hope for Parrish.  He is too sick both in body and mind to recover now.  I lost him long ago.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Why I have PTSD - 2

This is the second of a series of posts about my son, Parrish, his addictions and his mental illness.  These posts chronicle his latest crisis, how it affect both of us.  The series starts here.

At the end of my previous post, it was Monday, and we  had been back to River Edge. The nurse there had created a plan for us.  We just had to wait until Wednesday to get Parrish admitted. 

In addition to his alcoholism, Parrish is addicted to Ativan.  When we left the hospital, his MD handed him a fistful of prescriptions, including 90 Ativan tablets at 2 mg each.  

I had the prescriptions filled, planning to keep them and dole them out.

Parrish demanded that I give him the drugs, asserting that they were legally his property. I turned them over.  Parrish has never been violent with me, but he has with others, and in his condition I didn't want to take a chance.

When we got to my house, he seemed to be doing well.  I found an AA meeting not far from here, and I insisted that we go together.  We had small plates for supper, and at 7:00 PM we got in the car and left for the meeting.  

As we approached the meeting place, I realized that Parrish was impaired.  It would be more accurate to say  he was gassed.  His head was rolling around on his shoulders.  His eyes were hooded because he couldn't keep them open.

I tried to get him into the meeting, but it became clear to me that he was getting worse, his drugs of choice - beer and Ativan - hadn't fully kicked in.  I said nothing, pretending everything was okay.

Once we were back at my house, I had him eat something else and he went to bed, saying he was tired.  I hung back on the deck, drinking decaf and smoking.  I wondered if this crisis would be the one to send me over the edge.

I wept into my hands and tried to disappear.  Not only could I not disappear, I was suffering all the symptoms of my "syndrome" that no one can name.

This event exacerbated my memory loss, my compromised fine motor skills, and my tenuous balance.  It affected my judgement.  

I felt exposed and in danger.  I felt as though I were bolted to the chair, trapped and waiting for the next crisis.  When I did get to my feet, it was a struggle to make my way to my room.

It was 11:00 PM, and I looked in on Parrish.  I was rolling restlessly around the bed, and he was awake.  I reminded him that the security system was armed and not to go outside.  I had been in bed 30 minutes when the alarm sounded. I found him coming back through the deck door.  Scolding him was not an option.  He was too impaired to reason with.  

I put him back to bed, encouraging him to stay there.

At midnight, Parrish banged on my door, exclaiming that he needed me to help get "all those people" out of our house.  He was clearly having hallucinations, and he was reeling around, his trousers were wet with urine.
Again, slurred speech and hooded eyes  

I called 911. 

I tried to get him to go back to bed, but he wouldn't stay.  Instead, while I was getting dressed, he staggered around the house crashing into the shower door in his bath, knocking items off tables, falling into my bathroom where I was getting ready to leave.  It's a miracle he didn't hit his head.

The ambulance arrived, and after some discussion, the EMTs strapped him onto a stretcher.  I searched his room and found he had taken approximately 60 mg. of Ativan. (Which he stole from me).  I also found several empty beer bottles. 

Yes, he had found the key to open the utility room in the garage.  I had it hidden in my underwear drawer.  I suppose he did all that while I was on the deck.

The ambulance left for the hospital, and I followed a few minutes later.  I had to take time to reassure my frightened dogs.

There's more.......

© 2012 cj Schlottman

To follow from the beginning, click here.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Why I Have PSTD

On Thursday, October 7, Marcy's son dropped Parrish on my door step.  Marcy is Parrish's girlfriend and was on her way to Ohio.  She didn't want to leave him alone in Fort Lauderdale.

It was about 11:00 AM when Parrish stumbled though the kitchen door.  He was staggering.  His fly was open, and his khaki's were soaked with urine.  He could talk only in slurs. 

My personal assistant, Sophie, was due at 11:00, and she walked in the door before Parrish's "ride" left.  She helped me get Parrish in the car, and we drove to the emergency room. 

Parrish's blood alcohol was 435.  That level would mean death for most people.  While we were waiting on his blood alcohol, he admitted drinking 24 beers a day.  Amazingly, his tox screen was negative for street drugs.  The doctors and nurses started IV fluids.   

On two separate occasions, the MD asked Parrish if he wanted to be detoxified.  Both times, Parrish said "Yes."  So we left him there to be treated.

At 4:00 AM, the nurse woke me out of a restless sleep, telling me that Parrish had been dismissed with a blood alcohol of 189.  She had no idea why.  I didn't have a backup plan and sought advice from her.  She suggested taking him to the the public treatment center, River Edge, and advised me to be there when the doors opened. 

Parrish began having signs of DT's.  With some difficulty, I got him into the facility.  As soon as the nurse saw him, she directed me back to the hospital, explaining that the facility was not set up for detox.  

By then it was noon on Friday.  We went back to the hospital, where Parrish was admitted for observation and detox. He was admitted to hospital, where he stayed until Monday at noon.  

We went back River Edge.  The admission nurse said she would fast track him into the facility, but he would need a TB test and should come back in three days.  If it were negative, he would be admitted.

To be continued.  Writing is very difficult because of my short term memory loss. I lose my words and have to stop frequently to remember what I was going to write down.  Yes, it sucks

© 2012 cj Schlottman