**Part 2 of 2, His First Episode
This was one of the hardest days I have lived and survived.
I gently suggest you first read Part 1 of 2 of this post first and then come back to this one, so you have the clearest picture of my hellish 24 hours on the night before. https://goldensons.wordpress.com/2018/10/05/the-first-episode/
This was one of the worst nights I’ve had in my entire life. We managed to get about 4 hours of broken sleep, my son and myself. Well we rested, no REM sleep for us. I had absolutely no idea back then, but I know now, that this was the 1st full blown Manic episode I’ve ever witnessed and survived.
Upon waking from one of the worst nights in my life, my first wishful thought, was that yesterday was just an awful nightmare, all of it. Then I looked over to the right side of my bed where my husband would usually be, and saw my 17 year old son Noah was there and finally appeared to be asleep.
After a long night of many paranoid awakenings, the physical and mental exhaustion began creeping into and out of my skin and through every strand of hair on my body. I was beyond tired, yet I told myself that I needed to do my best to close my eyes to try and get a few more hours of sleep while my delusional son slept. I knew I needed to have the energy to help us both when he woke. But, after just a few minutes, I accepted that my mind was not going to shut off with such a severe Crisis at hand. So I rolled out of bed and went downstairs to make breakfast and think. I knew I had to quickly come up with a strategic plan for Noah BEFORE he woke, which would be soon, very soon.
As predicted, Noah woke about 20 minutes after me and came downstairs to the kitchen and at first, he just stood there in the kitchen doorway stoically staring at me. I asked him if he felt any better. After a minute, he slowly uttered that he felt worse today. Not the answer I was expecting! This response intensified the fear and worry that was already piercing my every cell.
I took a good long look at him. He didn’t have to say it, I could see it clearly in his pale face that he looked horrible. His hair was standing up in every odd way possible and his skin appeared ghostly colorless. His green eyes seemed darker, almost black as he stared into an emptiness. He had no facial expression to hint his thoughts or mood.
At that instant all tiredness was replaced with adrenaline energy and I decided, without a doubt that I would somehow get my son immediate emergency psychiatric care.
Now, I already knew, from my attempt a few months before, that Noah was not willing to accept counseling or mental health services at all. I stood there for a few minutes in silence, flipping over the sizzling bacon as he just stood there staring. As I was internally organizing my words, I silently prayed that my words be guided by Gods light so that I could say the right words to delicately convince him to allow me to take him to a clinic.
I took a deep breath and then I told Noah that I never saw him this way before and that I was very worried about him, that I did not want him to feel these intense, uncontrollable feelings. I told him I loved him very much that he shouldn’t have to feel like this and that it hurts me to see him like this. I took a another deep inhale then I said, that I myself, did not know how to help him. That I wish I did, but I can’t and I suggested we reach out right away to professionals who could help give us advice or at least guidance as to why he was having these strong paranoid feelings along with trust issues. I very softly told him that maybe they could let us know what he could do to feel better. To my surprise, He quickly agreed with a head nod. Hallelujah! I won Half the battle. (I so naively thought!)
It was a Saturday, so I wasn’t sure if any clinic would be open or even able to help us. Out of desperation, I went ahead anyway and called an emergency mental health number. An agent answered and setup an emergency appointment for us to come there on that same afternoon.
Unfortunately things went array upon arrival to this emergency appointment. The clinic looked closed. As we walked up to the building, we could see that all the lights were off, all the doors were locked, and not a single soul was in sight. There were no signs posted to point out the location of the weekend emergency check-in anywhere on that big campus of buildings. Didn’t these folks consider patients in Crisis? That was the end if it for My son. He now wanted to leave immediately.
He Kept saying the place was sketchy and asked if I was trying to set him up. He was looking all around and talking very fast, not making much sense at all. He threatened that he would leave on his own if we didn’t leave immediately. I called the phone number from earlier but I could not understand where they wanted us to go as Noah continued to talk loudly at the same time. I could not listen to two people talking at the same time, so I couldn’t understand her at all and my focus was on my son who was verbally and physically threatening to run off. I was bewildered that these folks didn’t just walk out to where we were to help out. Surely she heard all the chaos on my end of the phone. I felt so scared and helpless. So I just hung up on the lady when I saw that Noah’s facial expression changed and he started backing away from me with a look of fear in his eyes. It was like he no longer recognized me or trusted me. Now he was loudly panicking. Then, as I walked towards him to calm him, he began running from me down the sidewalk and towards the street without any regard to approaching cars!
I ran after him after a short distance, I got him to stop running by letting out a worried scream that only another mother could replicate. I told him to listen to my voice, my words. I reminded him that I was his mother, his real mother and I brought him here to help him not hurt him. I wanted to cry tears but I couldn’t. I was in total shock. I pleaded for him not to run away but to let me help him. He was glaring at me like I was a complete stranger that he wanted to believe. After he stopped running. I reached out to touch his arm, to console him, to reassure my poor boy that he was safe and that I was indeed his mother. He yanked his arm away from me. Looked at the street and said “I’ll run”. That’s when I lunged to hug him and he started running again into the street and almost got hit by a passing car!
I chased him a little more, about a quarter down the street from where we parked. I was terrified and did not know what else to do, when I finally began crying tears and lowered my voice to a calm, gentle tone, Noah responded, he stopped running and said he didn’t like this place and that he would come with me if I would take him to a different place. I quickly agreed and said that we could leave together. I told him that if he can walk back to my car with me and get in, then we would leave right away and find another place. Unfortunately, the only other nearby place I knew of was an Emergency Psychiatric Clinic for adults and do I drive there with hopes they could get us to the right place.
While driving to the second clinic, Noah was looking around frantically back and forth. He made statements that my driving worried him. As I drove down one street at about 45 mph, he said my driving made him very uncomfortable. He then said, ” I have to go now”, then he suddenly opened my car door on his side and almost jumped from my moving car out onto the expressway! I screamed and told him that I would slow down and that we were almost at the new clinic. He closed the door and his eyes. I prayed, I prayed hard to just let me get him to the clinic safely.
At the Adult Emergency clinic, he wanted to wait outside in the courtyard instead of in their lobby because he didn’t trust those people.
After about 10 minutes, we were called in to talk with nurse. When asked why we were there, I told her that Noah was having trust issues and possibly paranoia. That he wants it to stop. I didn’t want to say the wrong thing as it took me hours just to get him there, so I told her she would have to verify what I said with Noah himself. She then asked Noah if she could talk to him alone just for a few minutes. I stepped outside, but waited In front of the long window of the room where I could see them both. Just a few short minutes later, I saw Noah jump-up to stand over the Nurse who was sitting on the couch across from him. She came out to get me right away. She told me that during their short interview, Noah got aggressive and said he thought she called him desperate and he did not like that at all. She told me she was placing him on a 5150 hold because she said he was unsafe to others. Her words echoed into the midst of my surreality and froze time for the next few minutes. I felt a weakness all over my body and I thought I was going to faint. I stood there alone feeling crushed and heartbroken, yet somewhat relieved because I wasn’t sure if so could keep my own son safe.
I was told that he would be safe there for a couple of hours while he awaited transfer to the child psychiatric unit and that because he was angry at me, I might be a trigger and they suggested that I contact his father right away and then I should leave and go wait at home for a telephone call with updates.
I was extremely sad that I would be leaving alone because we both expected to go there to get some helpful guidance and now I had to leave there without my son, who’s delusional fears of me “Setting him up” became his loudest thought.
I called his father, who came out to wait with Noah until he was transferred. He got transferred about 5 hours later to the pediatric clinic where we originally started earlier. His father told me that it was pretty traumatizing for Noah to be in the adult Psych ward.
Noah stayed overnight at the children’s clinic for observation. He was given Hydroxine antihistamine and Avent used to treat anxiety. The next morning, the staff called me to tell me that he seemed fine, that he ate well and slept through the night. They told me they drug tested him and he came up positive for only one substance, THC. Well, Noah managed to convince their staff that he was completely fine and asked them to release him under the agreement that he would attend a religious outpatient counseling program. This did not happen!
In time, the inevitable happened!
I will never forget this frightening experience ever. I am grateful my son is well and now, two years later is receiving treatment.