It's Raining Cats and Dogs...

Ah yes, the etymology of the phrase "it's raining cats and dogs"... There are a 
number of versions running around on the internet. I like these two:
The first: with 16th century European peasant homes frequently being thatched, 
animals seeking shelter from the elements would fall out during heavy rains.
The second: that drainage in 17th century Europe was typically poor so they would, 
during heavy rains, disgorge any of the animal corpses that had accumulated in them.

So... To take up where I left off. After our 9 hour visit to the ER, we took 
Yelena back to the ER the following Friday. Her return to the ER was also recommended by our in-home therapist and our family partner's concern 
for Yelena's safety and our safety. My husband made a list of everything 
that had happened in the past two weeks and it was quite a formidable list. 
Our family partner wrote the list down. This is the list:

    List of Inappropriate Behaviors:
  • Stole $15 worth of chocolate covered strawberries that belonged to the girls
  • Stole other food that belonged to the girls
  • Dug in flower beds after being told not to
  • Scraped moss off of rocks after being told not to
  • Kicking the car with karate kicks
  • Spit food out, threw salad on the ground and stormed up the street
  • Brandished a knife (threateningly)
  • Brandished a large spatula (threateningly)
  • Broke a knife
  • Stole $75. in $5 dollar bills and a leather jacket
  • Stole another student's notebook in school
  • Left the house twice without permission for 6 hours and refused to get in the car 
  • when I went out looking for her.
  • Barricaded me in my bedroom, took her baby pictures out of their frames and 
  • tore them up and ripped up the book I was reading.

Unfortunately, we got to the ER on a Friday evening of a holiday weekend and 
Yelena's ER visit turned into a SIX DAY STAY IN THE ER. It still blows my 
mind to think about it. Totally inappropriate. They kept moving her around 
from room to room and finally ended up putting her in the area with locked 
doors and guards.

Then began a totally fruitless daily effort to try to get her out of there: emails 
and phone calls to everyone we could think of. We were told that there would 
be no CBAT beds for two weeks. Her therapist from school said that April and
May were the worst months for hospitalizations with kids. Amazing. Yelena had
a great time. She stayed in bed, watched TV all she wanted and had her meals delivered to her. She had a group of Child Life Specialists who brought her 
games, art materials, a portable DVD player and videos. 
And this went on for six days.

On Wednesday, I was told that she would be moved to an inpatient hospital 
about an hour south of us. Also, aside from being an impossibly far distance to 
visit regularly, it was a hospital with a lousy reputation. I hadn't hear ANYTHING 
good about it. My husband and I were on the phone all day (not unusual) - back 
and forth between each other, the ER, the agency that was looking for a bed, the psychiatrist. I was told that she had to go to an inpatient facility as the 
psychiatrist in the ER would not allow her to go to a CBAT. I called the 
psychiatrist and was given a very short and smug reply.  She essentially told me 
she was too busy to talk and I asked her, please, to just listen to me for a 
minute and she said no. She called me back a little while later to tell me that my daughter was going to an inpatient facility. I was furious. She was not able to 
hear me. I asked to speak to her supervisor and she said "I'm not sure" and 
I said "What? You're not sure of what? You're not sure who your supervisor is?" 
She said "No, I know who my supervisor is. I'm not sure you can talk to her." 
The attitude and bad vibe she was giving off was unbelievable. I begged her to 
consider a CBAT instead of in-patient but it all fell on deaf ears.

I called the agency that was looking for the bed and asked what would happen 
if I refused to sign her in. The woman told me that if I refused, they would 
probably would file a 51A against me - which is effectively telling the State of Massachusetts that we are abusing our child. It's what everyone seems to 
threaten me with when they are trying to force me to do something I don't 
want to do for Yelena. Something that I don't think is in her BEST INTEREST. 
The State of Massachusetts and I seem to disagree about what is in Yelena's 
best interests.

My husband called and told me it was too late, she was already in the 
ambulance on the way to the hospital.

A NOTE ON IN-PATIENT HOSPITAL PROGRAMS vs. CBAT PROGRAMS (Community Based  Acute Treatment):     
In hospitals, you cannot be forced to do anything. You don't have to take a shower, you don't have to wash your hair or brush your teeth or change your clothes or wash your clothes. You can watch TV all day if you want to. You can stay in bed all day if you want to. You can use the telephone as much as you want to call anyone you want and anyone can call you. There is very little to no therapeutic work done with patients.       
A CBAT is a highly structured, and monitored therapeutic milieu and crisis stabilization program where there is a very specific schedule that takes into account all of the above. As a parent you specify who can be in communication with your child and who they are allowed to call. They have regular exercise and school work. Males and females are strictly segregated. To my mind, the CBAT is much more highly structured (which Yelena needs) and far more therapeutic.     

There was a basketball court opposite the door to the hospital wing where Yelena was. I asked her if they ever went out to play basketball (which she loves) and she said no. They were confined to a small courtyard that the adult patients also used. They ate meals in a cafeteria with adult patients. None of those things are appropriate for Yelena. She told me that the adult patients used the courtyard to smoke cigarette and crack (no, I didn't ask her if she knew what crack was because I know she has no idea.) Yelena called me about 20 times a day while she was there - for no real reason I think but just because it was something to do. I didn't answer ALL the calls...

They released Yelena from the hospital on Wednesday. 
She is scheduled to start a partial hospitalization program on Tuesday for 2 weeks. It covers her for the vacation between middle school and high 
school but leaves us with a number of days with no plans for her - not a good condition under which to release 
her from the hospital.

I spent most of the day with her today which is my day off from work. I feel 

like there is a kind of institutionalization setting in. She is now spending 
more time in hospitals and other programs than she is at home. 
She said she was really tired and needs to rest (?) I said: 
you have been resting for two weeks, you need to get out an do a little activity. 
I told her that her in-home therapeutic mentor is coming tomorrow. She said: 
"Oh no, I just got out of the hospital. Give me a break.You can't make me 
get out of bed tomorrow." I said "She's coming at 11 and what happens after 
that is between the two of you. We went shopping and she 
refused to help bring the groceries in from the car and help put them away - 
she made herself a sandwich instead and sat down to eat. She learns a lot 
about how to behave from the other kids in the hospital and they are not there because their behavior is exemplary.

She is graduating from 8th grade on Wednesday. Her 

teacher said that all of the kids get dressed up in really 
nice clothes. I have been asking about what she wants 
to wear and asking to take her shopping. She says she 
won't wear a dress. I have suggested a number of things 
and she just says no. She only wears dirty baggy jeans 
and old T-shirts. I think I want her to get dressed properly 
for once so she will not feel out of place and be embarrassed 
but I really can't protect her from that and she needs to find 
out for herself. 
She is wearing bras that are about 2 sizes 
too small and she refuses to go with me to get new ones. 
Ok, I am going to leave it alone. 
Not one more word out of my mouth. I swear.