Four Police Encounters in Three Weeks – Part Two

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Four Police Encounters in Three Weeks – Part Two

This is the next installment of Recollections where I am catching up my son’s story from last summer. These four encounters occurred between hospitalizations one and two… between June 19th and July 13th. You can read Part One here.

Just two or three days before DS was to go back in the hospital the second time, I took little brother and sister with me and left the house. We just had to get away.

DS was washing his clothes a great deal in those days. He felt that bad guys were getting in the house and putting narcotics or methamphetamine, you-name-it, in his clothes, his bed, on the floors, and everywhere. Despite our frequent reassurances that this was not true, and also trying to explain to him that these kinds of drugs are not absorbed through the skin, he was very anxious and very busy all the time trying to get rid of the “drugs.”

While we were out of the house, I received a telephone call from my teenage daughter who was left home with DS and was sounding rather upset. She said DS had called 911. While he was on the phone with 911, she had shouted at him to stop it.

(I actually think this part is kind of humorous.)

I told her to relax, and for her future reference, do not shout in the background of someone making a 911 call, unless you really want the 911 dispatcher to believe it is a very serious situation that needs every police officer in the county.

I told her when the police showed up, simply let them know that DS was discharged from a mental hospital two weeks before, then shut up and let DS talk. I was too far away to get home before the police got there, but if they wanted to talk to me they could call me.

Sure enough, about fifteen minutes a later an officer called. He assured me that he had had mental health training as a law enforcement officer. He told me DS was reporting narcotics in the laundry detergent. He asked a few questions about whether DS was on his medication, when and where he had been in the hospital, and so forth. I guess it was information for his report. He suggested DS was ill enough to be in a hospital now. I was very much inclined to agree, but DS was pretty much in the same shape he was in when he was discharged, so I wondered if the hospital would take him back. DS did not want to go to the hospital, so that was that.

The last police encounter of the four I am covering happened on Friday the 13th of July, which just happened to be my twenty-eighth wedding anniversary. DS woke up early, agitated as usual, perhaps even more so. He was cleaning the bathroom and going back and forth in the house without his shirt. It was unusual for him to be without a shirt… he was usually modest to the extreme, so it reminded me of that movie Sixth Sense, where the mentally ill young man in his underwear shoots the doctor.

DS was nagging me as usual about not doing enough housecleaning and not washing my sheets frequently enough. At one point he declared that I was stoned and needed to be taken to the emergency room. I thought, “here’s my chance.” Even if I had to pretend to be the patient when we first got there, once we got a doctor in the room maybe DS could be admitted again.

The only problem was DS would not let me drive “under the influence.” (I did not think it was funny at the time, but now I see what a comedy this situation is.) I certainly was not going to let him drive. I called up my mother and asked if she could drive us. She lives forty-five minutes away and takes care of her own elderly parents, but she said she would try to get away or send my Dad. My husband is home at the time, and we agree that he will babysit little brother and sister while we go to the hospital.

I get off the telephone and explain about the ride. After a few minutes DS starts to get impatient. He declares that the situation about who will drive needs mediation, and he is going to go to the neighbors to get it. He leaves the house.

I get myself in a bit of panic now. Where is he going and what is he going to do? I yell for my husband. He runs out of the house to find DS. I call 911. I say something like, “Um, my paranoid delusional son has left the house just as we were going to take him to the emergency room. I am not sure where he went. My husband is out looking for him.”

In very little time at all, it seems like there are at least two or three police cars, a fire truck and an ambulance parked in front of our house. I really did not mean to involve so many public servants, but I guess they were thinking they might have to conduct a search.

My husband had corraled DS in the neighbor’s yard. He brought him back to our yard and had him pinned on the ground. After standing around and talking to the half dozen officers and firemen encircling us, I think DS agreed to an examination in the ambulance. After he went in the ambulance for about ten minutes, we were informed that they will be taking DS to the emergency room. My Dad arrives and we go together to meet the ambulance at the hospital. After sitting in the emergency room with DS for thirteen hours, he is transferred to Wellstar Behavioral Health in Austell, Georgia. It is his second hospitalization in 2007 for schizoaffective disorder.

Again, I felt the officers and emergency personnel treated DS with professionalism and kindness.

At this point in my life, to my closest friends, I was making this observation: the measure of how difficult of lives have become can be counted in the number of police officers we have had to meet this summer.

Explore posts in the same categories: Mental Illness, People Who Help, Recollections

One Comment on “Four Police Encounters in Three Weeks – Part Two”

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