Today: a “discharge meeting” with City Hospital’s psychiatric team, and the case managers for Ben who come in with an alleged treatment plan. The hospital’s Chief of Psychiatry informs me that Ben’s self-talk is now so strong that he shouts back at his voices at times, and it has taken three tries for a group leader to get Ben back to reality. He is decompensating. The meds he is willing to take are not working. We knew that.
Ben’s new case manager, who had supervised (ha!) the transition from supported housing to independent apartment a month ago, does not look me in the eye. Not once.
Thankfully, the Doctor rejects the caseworkers’ new treatment plan for now – because Ben is simply not ready for it. I breathe a sigh of relief, and together we all work (well, mostly the hospital staff and me) to see what we can do now, while Ben is still in the hospital, to adjust his meds. This is not easy due to the confines of state law, but it does help that I am conservator. What also will help is the way we, as a united team, choose to phrase things to Ben. I remind them that too many options is never a good thing. The simpler the better.
We go to Ben’s room. He is asleep, and right upon awaking he seems like his “good self” – sweet, happy to see me, coherent. The meeting itself goes well, mostly because this Chief of Psychiatry has beautifully executed the conversation with the simplicity we’d agreed upon, and with utmost respect for Ben. Remarkably, presented with only two possible choices, Ben agrees to at least add some Clozaril to the meds he is currently taking. He feels validated, and a part of the plan, and yet we didn’t give him enough options to confuse the issue.
It’s a step. I’ll take it. It’s the best news I’ve heard in weeks. I can breathe again – for today.