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SD60 - Psych Ward?

JRI's picture

DH84 got a call from SGD yesterday that her mom, SD60, was in the hospital.  Had we received any messages? No.   Soon afterwards, SD60 called him, a wild accusatory call, why hadn't he responded, meanwhile yelling at the nurses.  I heard him say, "If you don't calm down, they'll put you in the psych ward".  We went to the hospital.

SD60 was a wreck, crying, rambling, confused, some guy is trying to poison her with cookies, etc.  A neighbor had called 911 after SD60 locked herself out of her unit and apparently her anxiety caused erratic behavior. This followed what sounds like a 9-day depressive period when she says she didn't eat, drink, sleep or take her meds.    In the ER, her blood test showed elevated heart enzymes so they had admitted her.    

She was accusatory toward DH84 for not responding to the hospital's calls (except we didn't receive any).  I didnt say anything, frankly, I was stunned by the shape she was in.  Finally, she asked what I thought.  I said, "You told me a few weeks ago you wanted to go someplace where they'd make sure you ate and slept.  You're here now".  She also felt neither of us respond appropriately when she calls with her depressive monologues.  I told her we aren't mental health professionals, all we know to say is eat, sleep, take your meds.  As we left, I told DH84, she's not in the psych ward but imo, that's where she belongs.  We drove home in stunned silence.

I woke up thinking how I could stay disengaged until I realized I couldn't.  Her 3 kids aren't responding and DH84 is her only relative who would help her.  And, his oncoming dementia means he has trouble figuring things out.  So, I figured out a plan to call the hospital for status, go to SD60's place to get her phone, pjs, etc.  Turns out, it was unnecessary, she was being released.  The doctor said her enzymes were down, it had probably been a result of her 9-day episode, heightened anxiety, etc.  We picked her up and drove to her unit.

SD60 seemed more like herself except very erratic.  She's usually a clean and neat freak but her place was disorderly.  She was fixated on finding her phone which she eventually did.  Then more drama with getting it charged and trying to restore her service.  In between times, she was calling and getting calls from SGD on our phones about a Wal-Mart trip today.  Something else was up, too, I couldn't tell what but my guesses surround drugs or money.  

After trying unsuccessfully to pay ATT by phone, we piled back in the car to drive off to an ATT store.   There, she realized she doesnt have ATT service so back in the car to Walmart to buy a Straight Talk card.  By this time, I was at the end of my rope so I said, "SD60, you need to calm down.  When you get home, eat something, take a bath, feed your cat and if you can get your phone working, that's enough for today.  You just got out of the hospital..  Forget shopping with SGD, take a nap".  I knew at the time I was wasting my breath but I couldnt help it.

The most chilling thing I heard her say last night was, "I cant go back and live by myself". The truth is, I almost agree she shouldnt live alone but I dont know what else would work.  She is so messed up.  The only thing that kept me going today was remembering the many times DH84 has been with me during my 2 bio kids' emergencies.  Any never complained or blogged to his internet friends about it.  Lol.





Tried out's picture

This sounds like my mother. I am astonished that the hospital didn't do a psych ward screening. There was an event like this that got her into a nursing home which was a godsend.

The thing you have to remember and stay firm on is SHE HAS KIDS who are going to have to step up to the plate now and take over her care. Her father is 84 years old and cannot do this anymore. But as long as you and your DH handle stuff for her they will let you. 

If I were you I would do a zoom call with all of them and lay out what is going on. And let them know it's up to them now because you are D.O.N.E. I realize your DH will protest but  you have to protect both him and you. And tell them if she has to live with someone it won't be you because if she does you are leaving. 

This is only going to get worse and I'm so sorry you are going through this.

JRI's picture

Yes, her kids are going to have to step up.  DH84 begged me today to text the 2 who are disengaged.  I did and got a polite thanks from SGD but no response from SGS.

Winterglow's picture

And that's your cue to step back. They think that you will be there to save the show only this time you won't. It's time they stepped up. 

Tried out's picture

grandkids instead of her kids?

JRI's picture

I probably wasn't clear, these are her kids, our GKs.

Tried out's picture

hasn't been charged in awhile.

Livingoutloud's picture

I'd talk to her doctor and psychiatrist and see if they could start thinking about assisted living type of accommodation 

that's how DH's ex behaved. She drained OSD's resources and made her life he$$, SD took her in but it went sideways. BM refused to seek proper treatment though. That was a main problem. But she'd call erratically random people, call OCD all times day and night, demand, show up at her door.

Then she told YSD who was estranged from her  for years that she is dying so YSD flew from out of state and turns out BM wasn't dying  but "fake" marrying (wasn't real marriage because she'd lose alimony DH and I was paying), some dude she just met. OSD said it was her drug dealer. She ended up in psych ward several times but she'd just leave, one time she walked out in her gown walking around her town in the middle of the street. There were also drugs involved. Horror she put SDs through. 

 You can't make them seek real help or follow doctors orders. There is literally nothing one can do. Sad. 



JRI's picture

SD60  has many doctors, including a psychiatrist and therapist.  Imo, the therapist is a waste of time since SD60 lies to them, like she does to everyone.  The psychiatrist is just good for meds.  Her doctors seem to be a revolving door, I don't know if she gets rid of them or vice versa.

Your DH's ex sounds like a piece of work.  At least SD60 isn't the BM, or maybe it's worse this way.  I can't see our situation ending well.  It's hard to look into the future but I can't see her getting better.  On the other hand, she just called, said thanks, went thru a reputation of the whole thing, said she's taking it easy.  She's always been able to heal quickly and sounded like her old self.  I could tell she was ready for a nice, long recitation of things but I said I was wiped out from everything today and was zoning out.  These people dont realize how draining they are.


Livingoutloud's picture

How tough. Yeah BM ended up dying 2 years ago and not of natural causes. It caused lots of havoc too. 

it often doesn't end well. I admire your strength. 

my OCD sadly is also piece of work but she has been stable last few years. Her BM's death was a bit of a push for her in a positive ways but we will see if it lasts 

hang in there 



Exjuliemccoy's picture

Does your city or county have an adult protection services agency? Perhaps they can help SD. 

I believe that's what happened with my DH's late sister, Druggie. She ended up in an adult group home for a while, BUT - that was because no one in the family would take responsibility for her. Hospitals have social workers on staff to help find resources for such people. Next time, DON'T pick SD up.

Things may have reached the point where paying for her apartment is no longer in anyone's best interest. In fact, it may prevent your SD from getting the care she needs. 

JRI's picture

After reading the replies, I told DH84, its time for her kids to step up.  Next time, we arent going, I'll notify them and if she stays in longer, that's the way it will be  I thought he'd rebel but he looked relieved! 

CajunMom's picture

At this point, all I have to offer in advice is to contact a social services program for her, as ExJuliemccoy mentioned. See if they can give her some help. Another option would be a psyche stay, voluntary or a  forced 21 day psyche stay, provided you have enough proof for it to be done. With that placement, she will definitely get the services to help her. I also do not see her apartment as a viable living arrangement anymore.

It speaks volumes when your own kids don't want to get involved. Imagine the trouble your SD has given you all these years. Her kids were apparently given much trouble, too. And your DH's enabling of her all these years has done no good for his child. How sad that she has NO ONE but an 80+ year old parent that she can turn to. 

I can see a similar situation happening with DH's oldest daughter. She's still not married or has a SO...actually, I think she's been on two dates her entire life.  One thing I know....our home will NEVER be an option for her.


JRI's picture

I will call social services, thanks, everyone for the suggestions.

I'm with you, CajunMom, whatever happens, she won''t be living here.  Been there, done that.  I'll leave before I live with her again.   And, yes, the 3 kids got much more of it than I did.  But that's their mom and they're going to have to come to grips with it.

Kaylee's picture

There comes a point when you have to just bow out. SD60 is not your responsibility, and nor is she her kids responsibility either.

I think she needs to be in a sheltered facility/supervised group home/assisted living - whatever the term for it is.

Honestly, she is beyond redemption, sadly.

I'm glad your H seems to be realising that this is the case.

JRI's picture

Diring this whole event, I was surprised how he held the line when she whined about our "lack of support".  At one point, she said, " You should xyz, you're my dad".  He said, " No, you're an adult, you should handle that".

Merry's picture

I hope your DH has turned a corner with SD. I can sort of understand him helping her with the ordinary stuff of life (rent, bills). I don't agree with it, but understand it. He loves her and his financial help is the way he expresses it. DH and I argued over him paying car insurance for SS, but eventually I came to see it as something DH could do for his son.

But this bigger stuff -- where will she live, what kind of psychiatric or other help does she need, etc. -- is beyond him to figure out. Your DH can do only what he can do, and SD's kids need to face reality.

JRI's picture

He's still responsive to the financial and car things but I see him delaying and dragging his feet on the emotional issues.   And, he is good at foisting any of that off on me, or anybody else who would take it on except everyone else dodges it.

Thumper's picture


I feel awful for you and your 84year old husband. 


JRI's picture

The Steptalk support has been a big help, Thumper.

CLove's picture

I thought mine was rough! So sorry you are going through this JRI. Hopefully the grands will step up, and if not hopefully she an get some social services.

I think the part that worries me is she sounds just like SD22 Feral Forger in 30 years. Also, - the fact that you are losing DH to dementia. Sending you (((hugs)))

JRI's picture

I hope I'm not being too pessimistic but it does sound like FF is on the same path.  I kept thinking of my mom all weekend, she went thru a similar path with my deceased sister.  Watching a "kid" unable to cope, watching them make stupid mistakes, watching the illnesses, watching the mental deterioration and depression.  I'm seeing DH having to go through it and me, too, except I dont love her like a parent does..

caninelover's picture

Sorry both you and DH had to go through that.  Agree with others - it's time both of you stepped back and let the chips fall where they will with SD.  At 60 there really is no hope she'll get 'better'.

JRI's picture

When we went in her place, I was dismayed.  It was so dark and uncharacteristically messy.  She's always been so proud of how she keeps her place, likes to decorate, put stuff out for each holiday, etc.  She also seems to have lost the ability to prioritize.  Just in the time we spent with her, she kept reeling off so many things she needs to do, important things like prescription refills, followup doctor appointments for serious issues, a malfunctioning toilet, messed up bank account, just to name a few. .  I dont know how she's ever able to cope.  I asked if she ever made lists, that would capture the "to dos" and help her prioritize.  But I know from long experience that she doesn't listen to me or anybody else.  Yesterday, she accomplished the phone situation and "said" she would eat and rest, or maybe she just said that to placate me.  I was tempted to call today to say, " just get your prescriptions refilled today, that's all" but I know it's a waste of breath and she will do what she does.

Noway2b1's picture

This is a lot and I just feel so bad that with everything you've been through it just never stops does it. I appreciate your advice (and listening ear) so much and just wanted to publicly tell you. 

JRI's picture

Steptalk has really been so good for me, I'm so glad I found it and wish I'd had this for all these years.

GhostWhoCooksDinner's picture

God, JRI... every time I read one of your vlogs, I'm just dumbfounded that this chick is 60 -SIXTY!- and you're still dealing with her BS. I'm so sorry- you and your DH deserve peace at your age!

JRI's picture

She came here Tuesday, was her old self, she was cleaned up, hair styled, etc.  Today, DH got a call from her, crying, sobbing.  I could tell it concerned a cardiologist appointment tomorrow where they want her to bring a family member.  He was trying to dodge it, "Why don't you call SGD1?", "Why don't you call SGD2?"  He was quizzing me about our schedule.   He is getting hard of hearing, in addition to the oncoming dementia and handed me the phone saying she wants to sleep here tonight.  I was thinking no way, I'm paying $ monthly to keep her and her drama out of here.

I got on the phone, she was crying and sobbing.  "He said you guys don't have time for me!"  " My anxiety blah blah!"  "My panic attacks  blah blah!"  I said, first of all, calm down, self-regulate and speak louder.  Dad will be there at 1 tomorrow.  More hysteria.  I said Dad will be there at 1 tomorrow.  Bye.

Afterwards, DH said, "I wonder if I should call SGD2".  He did and urged her to stop by after work to check on her mom.  That seemed like a good step forward -starting to slowly transition SD's issues to her kids.  I know SGD2 and what she thinks.  This will be interesting.

DH seemed quiet toward me.  I said, "I hope I don't sound unsympathetic but you know how she is.  Two hours from now she would be bouncing around like usual".  I'm losing my tolerance fast, guys.