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LDRSHIP's avatar

What should/can I do in this situation?

Asked by LDRSHIP (1790points) October 20th, 2015

My mom recently came from the hospital. She was in ICU for a week unconcious, essentially a coma it was explained to me. I did not find out till 8 days later as I was in JRTC for training ( I did not receive a message even though my brother called staff duty). Nurse told me she is lucky to be alive, and explained to me that she overdosed. Supposedly heroin was involved. I hope this is not true, but my mom was a drug addict. I haven’t been around much since I left home, but from what I know and been told she has been clean for nearly 3 years. I do not know what to believe.

However, they did 2 brain scan/test, I forget the exact name of the tests. After she wakes up, eventually they take the feeding tube out and she slowly comes around. I am not sure what happened but after 3rd day – Doctor and nurse said she still needed tests and physical therpay. My mom on her own will ( I believe she is not mentally there) In her hopsital gown and socks. At this point the nurse says there is nothing they can do. She can not legally be held there.

I talked to the nurse and a docotor there some more, they said she should have been backer acted at some point. I also have been unable to get reports from the paramedics when she was found in the bathroom at my moms friends house, who is know in jail for reasons unknown. I was able to least get my moms belongings back.

Another issue she can barely get around right now, and mentally just doesn’t seem to be with it. Today for example she kept thinking tomorrow was halloween even after explaining it was the 19th of Oct.

All that being said I am stationed in another state and extremely worried about my family. My dad is no longer in the picture for many years now. It is just my mom, younger sister, and younger brother. These drug and mental issues that she has had are not “new” per se, its been on going issue since I can remember being a kid myself.

Will the military consider compassionate reassignment for my situation? I am currently on emergency leave, but I fear these problems won’t go away overnight. My younger sister is taking all this extremely hard.

I simply do not know what to anymore. Trying my best to support and be there for my family, but I feel unable to do so. Especially once I go back to my duty station.

There is more to be said, I suppose I am trying to keep it as brief and to the point as possible. Like I said this has been ongoing issue within the family drugs, addiction, abuse and such. Before this about 1½ year ago there was another huge issue.

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17 Answers

cazzie's avatar

You need to talk to your superior officer or at least your chaplain. It may depend on how old your younger siblings are and if Child welfare need to be called in if there is no other responsible adult around.
Your mother has suffered a brain injury due to her overdose. Probably due to lack of oxygen for too long. She may never recover. She may be considered reduced mental capacity now and this would constitute a family emergency just as much as if a car accident caused it. Get as much info as you can from the doctors and bring her back so the damage can be assessed and documented. This info may better qualify your need for further leave.

cazzie's avatar

I’d also like to add how sorry I am you are going through this.

LDRSHIP's avatar

@cazzie I talked to my OIC and he didn’t seem to know really what to do either. The doctors said so far nothing we seen. But they also wanted her to stay in the hospital longer.

I tried to convince her along with my other family which is only really my aunt and grandma to stay in there.

Tomorrow I am going to try and get all the medical documents. I really don’t want to baker act her, but maybe I should. Walking with her yesterday morning to get her hearing aids fixed she almost fell getting up the sidewalk curb.

LDRSHIP's avatar

@cazzie I plan on talking to the chaplain today. I wonder if I talked to the doctor there again if they would write something explaining my situation?

jca's avatar

You need to get forms filled out for extended sick leave (or whatever it may be called in your situation but I’m sure there’s something similar). In the US it’s called Family Medical Leave Act.

You need to talk to someone high up where you are not just supervisor, as he is probably not a bad person but obviously clueless.

_Seek_'s avatar

If you’re referring to the Baker Act we have here in Florida, that’s an involuntary 72 hour psychiatric hold for people who are presenting an immediate danger to themselves or others. It ends with being referred to a psychiatrist for further diagnosis and treatment. It’s a stop gap measure to keep people safe, not a solution, really.

I’m so very sorry you’re going through this.

Cruiser's avatar

Your mom needs professional help and I would seek a rehab center you can admit her to. If she refuses, then your options are limited. From what little you have shared, your mom is clearly not well and under the spell of the drug she is using. It also sounds that you love your mother and will do anything to help her. Sadly she is an addict and hard core drugs are a very powerful force that only your mom can make that choice to get clean again and a rehab center is the only real option to facilitate that end.

In the meantime, you are assigned to JRTC training and you have a commitment to your military career that IMO you need to stay focused on. Best of luck to you.

LDRSHIP's avatar

I appreciate it and I do agree, she will do what she wants. I am more worried about my younger sister than anything.

When it was brought that she might move or somehow be separated from my mom she started crying, saying no loves her and what not. I reassured her that me and my brother are here for her, but its not the same to her from what I can tell. My thought is if I can get moved to them I can least physically have a presence and help.

The baker act was brought up by the doctor when I talked to them that day.

jca's avatar

How old is your sister? Maybe she can go stay with a relative or close friend during this time.

LDRSHIP's avatar

@jca In short no, it is a bit complicated with my family.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

1. Talk to the chaplain. Ask specifically how to get longer leave. Ask whom to talk to, and then talk to that person.

2. Take care of your younger siblings first. Use your leave time to figure out a situation that will work for them.

3. Now, you can try to help your mother.

I’m very sorry this is happening.

marinelife's avatar

@LDRSHIP Jake has prioritized your situation perfectly. Most important are your younger siblings. Your mother dug her own hole and now you are left to clean up the mess. Specifically, ask the chaplain the questions that Jake suggested. I am so sorry that you are going through this. Try to remember to take care of yourself too during this time.

Here2_4's avatar

I’m afraid I have no additional advice. Everything I can think of has already been covered by others. I just want you to know I am wishing a big hug for you. You must be feeling helpless, frustrated, and betrayed. Feel also that you are needed, respected, and valuable.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I am so sorry for you and your mom @LDRSHIP.

I can tell you that disorientation and confusion for the first few days, even a week, after hospitalization aren’t that uncommon. I had pneumonia. I was sent to the hospital for emergency surgery to drain my lung. The day after the surgery I went out. It was like a coma, but they couldn’t explain it. I was out for 4 days.
I was in the hospital another week and a half after that.

When I “woke up” so to speak, and got home from the hospital I found that I had lost virtually 99.99% of my memories of September and October, and half of November, when I was in the hospital.

While I was actually IN the hospital (which I don’t remember) I was acting so weird, wondering why my Mom didn’t come to see me, and that she needed me to bring clothes from my bedroom closet. Mom died in 2006, and the bedroom I was referring to was from my childhood. That all slowly cleared up after I was released, although I never got Sept, Oct, or half of November back.

She’ll slowly recover from the mental shock of it all, and slowly come back to “normal.”

Please let us know what you’re able to do.

cazzie's avatar

@Duthcess_III You problems can be traced to the use of anesthesia.
Rare but known side effects of anesthesia:
Postoperative delirium or cognitive dysfunction – In some cases, confusion and memory loss can last longer than a few hours.
Delirium – This can last for a few days after surgery. Occasionally, patients can become confused, disoriented or have problems remembering things. It can come and go, and usually disappears after about a week. This condition can be more common when patients are transferred to intensive care after surgery and remain there for several days.

His mother wasn’t under anesthesia. She could improve but probably not. A 2007 study noted that “brain disintegration becomes apparent very soon after an onset of chronic heroin abuse.” Brain damage also results from non-fatal overdoses and head injuries that are more likely to occur in an impaired person (especially polydrug abusers). Remnants of injuries that trace back to a lack of oxygen to the brain, either from these overdoses or injuries, are commonly found in long-term heroin addicts.

Dutchess_III's avatar

That makes sense, @cazzie. No one else, not the doctors, no one, seemed to be able to explain it. I’ve had anesthesia before, never reacted like that. No one could explain the coma I slipped into, either. That was the only thing I could compare to @LDRSHIP‘s mom.

But I think the trauma of it all had something to do with it, too, I think. I had been getting sicker and sicker for months. It got worse in Sept and Oct, and I know this because I pay the bills and I had gone to 3 different doctors and the ER in Sept and Oct. No one caught it until I was right at the edge. Doctor said a couple more days and I could have died.

I think it’s interesting that my memory from those two months is what is still missing. The months prior to that are hazy, but gradually get clearer the further away I get from the event.

Dutchess_III's avatar

At any rate, I hope you update us @LDRSHIP. It’s a stressful and scary time for you.

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