Warning!

As many intelligent people, I have been scared shitless that the idiot commonly known as Trump would actually win the election.  Now that it has come to pass I’m even more terrified.  Just watching the people he is putting into key positions, and heading every major department.  I’m fucking horrified.  Every day is worse!

Supreme Court Nominee

National Security Advisor

Attorney General

 

Here is what you can do that might make you feel a tiny bit better.

Call the House Oversight Committee :  Call to demand that Donald Trumps financials be released and investigate any conflicts of interest.  We must make this call NOW!  We only have a few days left to make an impact.

 

Or if you prefer, donate to one of these charities in the name of your favorite asshole. They will receive a thank-you letter for each donation.

Human Rights Campaign (LGBTQ rights)

National Association for the Advancement of Colored People

American Civil Liberties Union

Protect the Environment

Anti-Bullying (which will need more support as adults and children learn to bully by watching our “President”.

I am scared and angry and worried for the future.  I’ve started a Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/LSJRevolution/ where I will post on ways to help ensure the safety and well being of the citizens of the US.  I hope to put up information on when, where and how to protest.  Join me in fighting against Trump, his growing circle of incompetents, his followers, and other haters.  Please!

RIP USA

I can’t understand the hatred in my country.  How could the Electoral College do this to us? How can anyone think that a misogynistic racist ego maniac and suspected pedophile is a proper choice for President?  A man who is backed by the KKK and the American Nazi Party?

I am afraid for the future of my country for the first time.  I spent yesterday in mourning. Crying most of the day just contemplating what will happen in the next few years.  Even should Trump end up in prison for one of his many crimes, we’d be stuck with Pence!  How can the VP Elect believe in the supposed value of conversion therapy?

Hillary might have been a one-term president, but she would never cut welfare programs as The Donald has suggested.   Dismantle Social Security, Medicare, and what ever other “social” programs they can possibly cut.  I’m really afraid I will lose the only source of income I have; Disability.  I barely make ends meet as it is.

And a “humane deportation department”?  Once he deports all Hispanics, who will work on the farms?  You think the old steel worker from Ohio is going to go pick lettuce?  After they send away Muslims, who’s next?  Jews?  Catholics?  Irish?  I’ve seen things on social media implying Trump followers would like to repeal the 13th Amendment!

I’m afraid of what is to come.

Petition

There are numerous websites that will help you prepare and disseminate a petition.  For better or worse, I picked the government run site, We The People.  I figure it might be safe.

Now, how to find a chunk of time to prepare and post it.  Today I:

  • walked the dogs
  • swept and mopped the kitchen and living room.
  • took Son to dr appt
  • took a nap, or tried to, I kept getting phone calls re my son.
  • did the dishes
  • cooked dinner
  • did the dishes
  • took dogs for a walk

Husband wants me to sit in the living room with him, but I wanted to get something accomplished today, but I guess I won’t.  Oh, I did accomplish something, I fired the therapist.  In a medication+? induced fog Son called her twice to change the time from this afternoon to tomorrow morning, then called to change to tomorrow afternoon.  I finally called her yesterday, and got everything straight.  We would be there on Saturday at 4:15.  She woke me from my nap.  Our conversation went something like this:

Me:  Hello

Doc: Who is this?  We had an appointment today at 1.

Me:  No, we changed it to Saturday…

Doc:  I specifically said I was coming in just for this appointment.

Me:  That’s unfortunate.  I’m sorry, but last we talked we confirmed Saturday at 5.

Doc:  No, no we didn’t.  Well I ‘m hardly surprised you’re confused.  All the phone calls.  Impossible to keep track.

Me:  Yes, I know yesterday was…

Doc:  So it was today, but what ever.  I guess I can do it Saturday. Ridiculous.  yada yada.

Me:  Fine tomorrow.  5PM

I already knew she was a ditz, but the fact that she can’t handle the inconvenience of a screwed up appointment makes me realize this woman is not going to work.  Meanwhile she is muttering and her tone is very snide and nasty.  She’s whiney, accusatory, and unprofessional.

Doc:    Mutter mutter, fine tomorrow, mutter, ridiculous, can’t even, mutter, inconvenience…

and just before she hung up on me

Me:  No.  You know what, No, we will not be there tomorrow.   I’ll find someone else.

And I went back to my nap.  (For 20 minutes, until the next phone call and I gave up.)

Now I have to find someone else.

 

 

 

Making Slow Progress

Spent most of the day going over Son’s meds, writing down the dosage, which doctors prescribed them and which do what.  Another part of the day was spent combing through GP’s who are accepting Medi-cal patients.  So far it’s a bust– it’s like being rejected when they say they won’t take you on.  You can only take so much of that in a day.  But after all was said and one, I got Son set up with the Rheumatologist, the Psychologist and the Psychiatrist.

It’s hard with Son being on these strong drugs with nasty side effects.  You can’t tell if the slurred speech and confusion is because of the meds or because Son took something in addition.  I have no proof Son is lying when he says he is taking nothing but the prescribed stuff, but Husband doesn’t believe it at all.  Every time Son falls asleep or slurs his words, Husband confronts and accuses him.  I don’t know if that is right or wrong, but I dislike that approach.  But I’m afraid Husband is right, and Son has added something herbal to his regimen.  He doesn’t have the same symptoms from one day to the next, and he was doing much better last week!

How am I supposed to keep him sober while I do all this stuff.  And I do it because no one else will.  How much effort should I put in?  Shouldn’t I do everything I can?  Or is this too much?  I only know it’s wearing on me this week.  I need to set up a couple of doctor appointments for myself that I just haven’t had the time to take care of that.  It’s amazing how tired you can get just slogging through crap like this.

 

 

I Hate Medi-Cal

Today I want to rant about Medi-Cal and how dreadfully wrong they are.  There is so much red tape and garbage to slog through that few doctors take the insurance–the hassles just don’t make it worth their time.

I found one group in town that takes the insurance and Son and I went there two weeks ago to see a “doctor.”   Upon leaving, I picked up her card to see she wasn’t a doctor, but a Nurse Practitioner. Don’t get me wrong, an NP goes through a lot of schooling, and nearly equal to that of a doctor, but I felt mislead that she did not make that clear during our visit. And that she didn’t specialize in psychiatry, but epidemiology.   Leaving me confused.

I don’t know what they discussed or whether she asked him about what drugs he was currently taking or knew about his alcohol use.  I was only in the room with them for a minute, just introductions.  I did not like her vibe/aura at all.

That night Son had a terrifying paranoid episode, and could not speak sense, but gibberish.  If you asked him (for example) what color the sky was, he’d answer, ‘I don’t have a banana, but you gotta get out of here.’  Sort of scary stuff in the moment when you don’t know if he’s had a psychotic breakdown caused by drug/alcohol abuse, or is schizophrenic.  Four hours in the ER where they did nothing for him, we took him home, where he drank some more and got even more agitated.  Cops were called and they took him back to the same hospital, this time admitting him to the psych ward.

It turns out the NP prescribed Rexulti and sent him home with samples.  When we left the office though, son was angry and didn’t answer my questions, so I knew nothing of this at the time.  When we got home he took his first dose with the other meds he is on (baclofen, welbutrin, and gabapentin).  I looked up drug interactions, and it looks like that was a bad mixture made worse by  the all the rum he drank.

So he ended up in two 5150 lock ups in ten days (he admitted himself on the second one.  He had to tell them he was suicidal, or they wouldn’t take him.)  The doctors there declared him to be bi polar and put son on Depakote and Seroquel.  Both serious medications with major side effects, including the increased risk of Type II diabetes, liver problems, and even personality changes, among the many.  Son needs to be properly and closely monitored, he needs to have periodic liver enzyme and other blood tests.

We still have to find him a new MD as well.  His last doctor dragging his feet on everything from ordering blood tests to referrals to a neurologist.  This is the third or fourth GP he’s tried.  It seems the worse the insurance, the less qualified the doctor, or perhaps less experienced or more overworked.  Whatever the cause, finding the right doctor has been tought.

As for a psychiatrists none I have contacted will accept the insurance.  (For anyone who isn’t sure: psychiatrists are the ones who are trained to diagnose and then prescribe and monitor your meds.  The psychologist is the one who talks you into mental health. MDs can also prescribe antidepressants, etc., but they do not specialize in mental illness and really should not be expected to take on someone on antipsychotics.)

I didn’t plan to take son back to the NP, but it doesn’t look like we’re getting much of a choice.  I only hope she can monitor him properly.  I don’t have much confidence in her.

As to a therapist, I did find three, two of whom answered my call. Son and I visited one on Friday.  She’s quite ditzy and I don’t have a lot of confidence in her, but told son to try her out for a few weeks and see how it goes.  If it’s not a good fit, we can try one of the others.

And somewhere in all this I’m supposed to have a life of my own.

 

 

Addicts and Police

When you look back through history and see just how much alcohol people ingested through the ages, the truly remarkable thing is that we have any sober people at all.  We know at least the tendancy toward addiction is genetic.  How many of you have an acoholic in your family?  I have nearly as many addicts in my family tree as I have family members.  It would be easier to say who in my family does not have a drinking habit? (Me.  By the way.)  I’m hardly a history professor, but I’ve read enough to know that very little water was drunk through the ages due to our penchant for polluting it.  Thus, alcohol.  You gotta drink something, right?  Everyone drank beer, ale, wine.  And so we have drunk through the eons. Surely the desire for alcohol never wanes.  Just look at Prohibition and The War Against Drugs.  I think that desire is  trait handed down through your family tree.  Anyway, that’s my theory, and I’m sticking to it.

That being said, we need to expand the federal, state and county run health departments to include being notified when an addict or apparently mentally disturbed individual gets involved with police.  If you live with an addict (I hate that word) or a person with mental illness (hate that phrase too) long enough the police will become involved eventually, whether in the form of a DUI and a night in the ‘drunk tank’, an arrest for theft or dealing, or worse, having the police take that often unwilling person you love to a mental health facility.

Each of these places treat the addict the same.  The police bring the addict to the hospital, in handcuffs.  and having the nurses behind bullet proof glass doesn’t exactly fill one with a sense of security-it’s impossible to smuggle in a notebook, let alone a gun.  The medical staff is over-worked, under-paid, and often un-kind.  The food is lousy, the exams by the doctor as brief as 2 minutes.  And then they sit, or walk.  Twice a day for 15 minutes they are allowed onto a tiny cement patio.  There are a couple of rusty benches, a few plastic chairs.  If the ward is full, it can get crowded, smokers and non-smokers shoved together.

Sorry, but WTF?  These people are not employees who are required by law to be permitted two 15 minute breaks.  These are ill people.  People with problems.  Granted certain restrictions must be imposed, but They must realize that for some addicts, their healing is vastly improved by pleasant surroundings.  Not stark walls, full of dents and large dirty smudges, and bullet-proof glass.  They have a small common room with a 12″ TV that no one knows who controls whats watched.  There are old magazines.  It must be where doctors’ offices send their old magazines.  Offering other diversions include the latest fad, coloring books (which I attest do give you some ’empty brain’ time). The only items provided are the nubs of crayons, apparently a donation from the local pre-school.  It doesn’t seem wise to have 30 bored psych patients.

The only hurdle, of course, is getting the decision-makers to admit this problem exists and finding the funds.  Think what a boom this would create.  We need thousands of new nurses, with new certification requirements of a specialty in psychology.  We must form an independent entity, call it: Psychological and Addiction Assistance.  This entity would oversee the training of peace officers.  Creating a  Sub-Police (for lack of something better).  I’d think a force equal to 1/3 of the police force of each city.  They will be trained to intercede when notified by police.  The police will also need some additional training on learning to recognize they are dealing with someone unstable.  There should never have been an incident like the death of Kelly Thomas at the hands of Fullerton police.  There should never be another one.

We ask a lot of our police.  We hold them to a higher standard, yet they are just people like the rest of us, just trying to make the world better.  That’s why I suggest the DEA be re-trained on not arresting addicts.  I agree, there is some good the DEA does, but they should concentrate on the Cartels, not pot farmers.  Come on, how hard is it to find a 30 acre plot of cannabis?  Shouldn’t they work harder to find people like El Chapo, and spend less time busting 65 year old hippies in Northern California?

Slogging Through Info

My most challenging activity is trying to sort through the pages and pages of assorted sites dedicated to the advocacy of addicts and the psychologically ill.  Go to the “How You Can Help” page on most of these sites and it’s all about fund raising.  Join a walk, have a bake sale.  I don’t want to raise money to study the fucking problem.  And why should it cost money to try to move a bill through its paces?

Of course, it always comes down to money.  That’s why so many addicts and the mentally disabled people are either without insurance entirely, or only getting care through ERs, county-funded (make that underfunded) facilities and crap insurance like Medi-Cal or Medicaid.  No one wants to put money into funding proper training, adequate support, and sufficient insurance coverage for what society has apparently decided are ‘throw away people’.  Like the poor, mentally ill people and addicts are treated like they did something to deserve their current situation.  Just like poor people should work harder, an addict should just quit using, Mrs. Conservative Christian Republican says.  (Actually, that was real advice given to my son by an MD.)  What people don’t seem to realize is that without help the addict is quite unlikely to achieve sobriety.  Just like without our help our poor are dying on the streets for lack of care.

The GOP of the past 15 years or so is responsible for there being more poor, more mentally ill without care, and more homelessness.  Why?  Because every bill that comes along designed to help people is watered down or destroyed by their manipulation.  Why?  Because they have decided that those with are not obliged to help those without.  Mostly it’s because there is NO MONEY to be made in helping people.  What we have is a political system favoring the rich and powerful, with laws designed to help them avoid paying taxes that fund programs like Welfare, Medicare, Medicaid, food stamps, and the Affordable Care Act.

So here I am trying to figure out how to try to impliment change.  I’m still trying to filter through all the various groups involved in trying to make policy changes.  I guess I kind of get why there are so many websites and groups, and other pages since each of us has their own ideas on how to accomplish change, but if we could pool our resources and our energy toward changing laws to reach complete reform it would seem to guarantee success.  I know it will be slow.  Evolution is a slow process.

NAMI

Change.Org

State of Mental Health in America

Dec. 17, 2012 Washington Post article on mental health care

May 12, 2014 USA Today article on mental health care

Care For The Mentally Ill

When will there be no stigma or restrictions regarding mental health.  My son just spent 7 of the last 10 days in a mental health ward.  He acts no different.   Still surly and angry, which I have come to understand can be part of BPD (bi-polar disorder).  Unfortunately, that is very hard to take.  I’ve never handled the anger of others well.  Get mad at me and I just want to run away.

The docs sent him home with lots of scripts, including Depacote, but I’m not sure what else.  He’s not very talkative right now, except to complain to me about his dad.  Somehow Son blames his dad for most of his problems.  It’s really hurt my husband deeply, to think their once very close relationship has come to this.

Frustrated?  OMG!  I don’t think I could feel more helpless.  We are unable to get Son to do much to improve his situation.  I have begun the necessary paperwork to get him on federal disability.  Now I have to find him a new GP, a therapist, and a psychiatrist.  Because if I don’t do it, it will never get done.  I’ve been on the phone every day the last two weeks trying to get him into a 30 day program.  I have left message after message, but never received a call back.  My last call, yesterday, I thought I was making progress, as I finally got a name (though they gave it so fast, I didn’t get it, but I did get his extension, which is helpful.  I’ve left him a message.  You know, if they don’t have the space, fine, just let me know and I will try elsewhere.  Almost NO ONE takes a patient with Medi-Cal.  The plan is absolutely worthless:  Poor quality care, lousy doctors, horrible office staff, red tape, ridiculous rules, and the docs don’t get properly paid.

I thought I found a psychiatrist last week.  The office staff and website all refered to her as Doctor, but she is a Nurse Practioner .  I think labeling her Doctor is misleading.  I asked her about her education and I find out her masters degree is in epidemiology!  And you know what else?  In California it is nearly impossible to check up on a Psychiatrist.  If you’re a lawyer you’re a member of the State Lawyers Association, and usually, a member of the national lawyers association, both of which can be easily accessed by the lay person if you want to know what their specialties are, make sure they are properly licensed.  But you cannot do the same for psychiatrists.  That most definitely seems quite wrong.  Especially when that “doctor” prescribes a drug (in this case Rexulti), but doesn’t mention any side effects.

He took one of these pills and his regular meds and a lot of alcohol, and by midnight he was hallucinating and speaking gibberish, he was paranoid, and angry, and just plain out of control.  So we took him to the ER where he sat for 5 hours during which time, nothing was done.  Why?  Because they could not make sense of what he was saying.  They would not speak with me about what had been going on.  All they wanted to know was whether he was suicidal, and because they got a “no” they just released him.  At home about an hour later, things got worse and we had to call paramedics, but since we didn’t know at the time what he may have taken, the police also arrived.

Why should I have to call the police?  They aren’t trained to recognize psychiatric problems, they just treat everyone like a criminal.  I specifically requested paramedics, assuming they were trained at least minimally in psychiatric disorders.  But they never even spoke with Son.  So I had to watch the police manhandle my poor boy and take him back the hospital to be placed on what they refer to as a 5150.  Basically it’s a 72 hour suicide watch.  It was a horrible place, where he got very little help, but when we got him back he was able to converse.

Then two days later he checked himself back in.  He came home today.  He has been drug and alcohol free for about 10 days, but his mood is still black.  He is quick to anger and always yelling.

The thing is, if he’d cut himself, or had cancer, or had appendicitis, he would get immediate and appropriate care.  But because he has a mental condition, nothing is done.  I am so angry with this broken medical/insurance system in this country I could scream.  Why is it we have to wait for bi-polar individuals to totally lose it and hurt someone before anyone intervenes?  And then again, it’s the police.

Why are mental illness and addiction treated as crimes?  How do we change that?  Finding a solution is very hard, but I’m trying.