Today, I sit and reflect as I remember a meeting from 1983.
I was very surprised as Dr. Ruiz spoke to our little BAMI group meeting, on Mechanic Street, describing an example of his limitation as a doctor. (BAMI was the original name of Bluegrass Alliance on Mental Illness in Lexington, KY).
Dr. Ruiz: "The good looking, polite young man seated across the desk from me stated, he wanted to express his gratitude and say he was well and would not be needing further medication. He planned to get a job the next day and would stop by occasionally to say hi."
Dr. Ruiz remarked that the young man 'did' get a job the next day and 'did' stop by frequently, and he watched helplessly as his patient decompensated to the point of a mental health petition, (MHP) for commitment to Eastern State Hospital for treatment.
After the meeting I introduced myself to him and stated his patients story could be my son, Jim's, story. Dr. Ruiz did not comment.
For a year now, Jim has been receiving a required injection of a time-release medication. It has made an positive impact in spite the serious deterioration of his health after years of neglect. He now lives in an apartment and is visited 3 to 5 times each week by his case manager.Sunday April 29, 2012, after attending an Assisted Outpatient Treatment, (AOT) NAMI Family Workshop.
He attends NAMI social events, volunteers and enjoys time with his family. He is no longer trapped in his hellish hallucinations, too fearful to eat or be among those who loved him.
But just when you think everything is going great, you often get a big reminder of long term struggle that is mental illness.
On the drive home Jim shared the plan he is working on at this time. These were his thoughts:
- convince his case manager to help him move out of the ghetto apartment he lives in
- get rid of his case manager (non-threatening)
- stop going to the Toy Counseling Center
- call one of the lawyers on TV and to have his Social Security Benefits (Payee Program) put back into his name!
I invite you to join me, to advocate to change the mental health laws in Kentucky, so others like my son can be assured of a safe and meaningful life.
Click here: to view Faye's Story written in 2010
This is the 'ultimate story' of one mother’s struggle to get her son help. Read how an agreed outpatient order made a huge difference in her son's life.