Emergency Rooms and Rehab

I am upset (worried? I have a constricting feeling in my chest that makes me feel like I can’t breathe deep enough. The pressure and tightness lead to cutting urges; SIB is like letting air out of a balloon that is about to explode) because my friend went to the ER last night and then left against medical advice.

However, I’m grateful she continues being honest with me, despite knowing I worry. I know that isn’t the case with most people.

Tara_it is ok to be worried

She lives far away now; she moved a few states away last month. We met online in high school and ended up attending the same university, even living on the same dorm floor freshman year. We’ve accompanied each other in emergency situations throughout our friendship and I worried about her having no one close by for accountability… just like I worry about myself in a month… She was doing so well!

The ER nurse wanted to commit her, but the doctor let her go with some IV fluids.

She lost 20 lbs so far this month. That is extremely fast and despite starting at a healthy weight (she did great maintaining in her ideal weight range for a few months), that speed is dangerous.

She is one of 3 friends I think won’t forget about me, even when I’m a crappy friend.

I don’t know what to do. I asked Ginny for ideas, but I think I upset her because she had a close friend die from eating disorder complications. I suggested Skype during meals and my friend agreed to that. I also suggested a G-tube and there was no comment on that idea.

Does anyone else have ideas of how I could help?

 

In other news, I miss Ginny and the group of us that went to lunch Wednesday afternoons. Surprise: I haven’t eaten lunch on Wednesday since she left. I asked Iris on Ginny’s last day and she said she wasn’t interested in hanging out once Ginny left. She has been quiet lately, but that could be because I was also quiet last week when I was out of town and running around all day and evening or it could be because I was right and she is glad to not have to deal with me in real life or she is busy with the new job and I’m not a priority (which would be understandable, I’m sure I’ll be super busy once I move and have to get used to a new environment… the fear is that trend will continue once she is settled because I’m not good enough/boring/not as involved, ex. She isn’t around to tell me anecdotes about her family, so there is less to ask about).

My grandma is in rehab after hospitalization for weakness from atrial fibrillation and a glucose measurement of 500!! I didn’t know it could go that high. She has weeping edema and heart failure.

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Alexithymia Annoyance

Annoyance is the feeling, but I’m not actually feeling it. I just liked alliteration.

willow_fake smile

 

I want to cut right now and I don’t know why. I’m not thinking about anything upsetting. I’m not dissociating. I don’t feel depressed. I can’t identify any negative feelings, other than, “I-want-to-self-injure”. Lame.

I told my boss’ boss on Friday that I was leaving. That made me want to cut. I think I felt sad because I also felt like crying, but maybe it was anxiety. I’m not sure.

dean supernatural facepalm

Office Supplies and Good Byes

Feeling overwhelmed.

I’m checking out apartments this week, but I also have 3 exams and 10 hours of lecture to watch between now and when I return home.

I need to create and print my students’ work for the 2 days I am out.

Ginny is leaving and that means there is no BCBA for my students until a new one is hired. In the mean time, Claire and I are trying to fill the gaps. I don’t see how that is possible!

The thought of leaving my kiddos and my co-workers makes me sad. I’ll miss them.

Jessica moved a few weeks ago and I’m worried about her because she is struggling with eating disorder symptoms.

However, here I still have Ginny and Madison. Even though we don’t hang out much, I have the opportunity to and that option makes a difference in my mind. It won’t be an option soon.

I don’t want to be that person who lets their work slide when they decide they’re leaving, but I don’t have enough hours in the day to finish everything! I guess I need a new coping skill that involves problem solving instead of avoidance. 

 

was I my best - Copy NO!!

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I purged at work, for the first time in months or maybe even a year. However, I also took apart the tape dispenser, intending to cut, and did not. So, I suppose that is a minor win, sort of… The better option would have been asking to talk to Ginny, Ashley, or Claire again (we already talked as a group once in the morning, but I was still anxious) before getting to that point. Despite knowing that alternative was better, I didn’t want to bother anyone. They seemed annoyed or perplexed by my anxiety.

Turpin 13 and “Legitimate” Restraint

I work with kids and adults (up to 21) who the public schools cannot handle because of their level of violence or self-injurious behavior. I’m talking about a 6 year old who detached a retina in one eye through head banging, a boy who broke his own leg kicking through a wall, a 19 year old who knocked a teacher out, and another who threw a pair of scissors at someone’s head with enough force that they stuck into the wall. In other words, they are truly a danger to themselves or others.

We use quiet rooms. If a kid is at risk of hurt themselves in the quiet room (ex. choking themselves with something), we go in and hold them until they are no longer trying to hurt themselves or others. We are only allowed to hold a kid for 10 minutes and then we have to try to release them because of worries about nerve damage. If they are still unsafe, we have to try a new hold to decrease the likelihood of nerve damage. In training, we heard stories about accidents where kids were hurt because adults utilized restraints incorrectly. I’m scared to imagine the level of nerve damage these kids might endure. We have video cameras everywhere and we must document every instance of restraint, even if it is 5 seconds long.

Also, regardless of whether a kid is in the middle of banging their head against the wall, if they say they need to use the bathroom, we have to let them use the bathroom.

A co-worker used to work in a psychiatric hospital and they had similar rules about chemical and mechanical restraints.

There is no feasible reason to restrain someone for long lengths of time, ever! Many of my students have intellectual disabilities; that also is not a reason to restrain for long periods of time! Plus, they aren’t learning coping skills in restraint. It is our last resort when we can’t keep them safe any other way. If we just kept them in a locked closet all day, they’d never learn to deal with disappointment safely. We would never see progress. Kids are violent because they don’t know how to handle their emotions or get what they need in another way.

It is impossible these restraints were “legitimate”. In fact, we had one little boy who came to us after CPS found him in a similar condition (naked, chained to a bed in his own waste). The government oversees and approves our use of restraint, but his parents were put in jail despite claiming they had no other way to keep him safe. Restraint should never be used as punishment or as a way to make things easier on parents or staff. It is only allowed in acute crisis situations.

I’ve been following this case for days and it makes me sick. It makes me more ill to think people even entertain the idea that this treatment could be acceptable if the kids were disabled.

Edited to add: No one I work with (or have heard of) enjoys restraining. It is a risk for both us and the children we’re trying to help transition to a less restrictive environment. I’ve gone home and cried about my kids. I celebrate days where no one needs restraint to stop injuries. I’m disgusted that anyone would enjoy restraining another human being, especially their own children.

Never Too Late

today-is-never-too-late-to-be-brand-new

I look at this two ways:

  1. Each day is a new day and you can start over with a clean slate.
  2. No matter what already happened today, you can still start over from this moment forward. After all, a day is 24 hours. You can restart your 24 hour stop watch at any point. I like this thought process because often when I mess up, I give up. For example, if I eat something I wasn’t planning to eat, I say, “screw it!” and binge.

I’m Failing Them All

My boss always pushes hands on activities, but the only reason we have the kids in groups is so they can handle a group educational setting after transition. Therefore, maybe it is okay to lecture.
 
I HATE THIS. I HATE THIS. I HATE THIS.
 
What I am being asked to do is impossible (teach such variant grade levels in one class (1st grader, 3rd grader, 4th grader, and 5th grader in Group 1 and two 5th graders, an 8th grader, and a 9th grader in Group 2) with some only coming 1 or 2 days a week, while others come to all 4 classes/week), but I still feel like I’m failing everyone.
A few minutes after typing this, I started venting to Ginny anyway because WordPress was acting up and wouldn’t post. Yet, in talking to her, I felt like such a depressing, annoying, burden. So, I lied and said I had to go to dinner and I’d talk to her later. I cried for a minute, then I stopped fighting. I smashed a light-bulb and used its shards to cut. It was on my arm too!! That means my mom will notice. She’ll be so upset. FAIL.
I guess sleeping to cope only works for so long before you blow up with behaviors.