Continued from 4/24/19
Looking at Joey’s pictures, now, I cannot stop crying. He was such a happy little boy at home, away from those who tormented him at school. I’m convinced the traumatic experiences he had at the hands of other kids and teachers, contributed to the crisis and hell he is in today. If only I had a re-do. I would have been more assertive and demanding when Joey was bullied at school, when he cried every day and begged me to let him stay home.
I used to complain and whine to the school over incidents regarding him being teased and bullied but, looking back, I needed to do more, and I feel so guilty for that. His 6th grade IEP in school even diagnosed him as severely depressed and in the high risk category. Now, I feel I owe to him the opportunity to find peace, success, and happiness in life — things he’s had very little of.
The hardest part is accepting my roll in all this along with the feeling that others in his life — like teachers, counselors, police, social workers, the justice system — all need to accept their responsibility for failing him as well. My son is paying the ultimate price for being born different from the norm. It’s not his fault. We all have failed Joseph, and many others like him, and I’m so frustrated because I cannot figure out what to do to help him.
Drugging until compliant is not the answer. I’m not saying “no” to all drugs used — just that they’re abused by the system because its easier that way. The drugs administered to my son weren’t meant to be used long-term, nor in the combinations used. Some of the combos were on the very dangerous spectrum of drug interactions. When I confronted the doctor at the jail about it, he informed me that he knew what he was doing and asked, “Where did you get your info?” I told him, “From the FDA's drug interaction website.” Some drugs cause pancreatitis, which my son contracted four months after leaving jail, and it almost killed him. He spent six months hospitalized, is still suffering from necrotizing pancreatitis, and has spent a major part of the last three years in hospitals because of it.
Doctors should know this, yet administer these drugs anyway. I was told by Joseph's case manager at his insurance , “I’m not authorizing a surgery requested to remove dead tissue from Joey’s pancreas because he has, maybe, a year left to live, and no surgery will stop that.” That was over two years ago and Joey finally had the surgery eight months ago. That’s how long it took fighting to get the surgery approved.
As late as last week, I had to ask the doctor at Patton Mental Hospital (Patton State Hospital is in San Bernardino, CA. It’s an old "insane asylum" built in the mid 1800s) to look into the Zyprexa Joey was prescribed because I was concerned it contributed to pancreatitis. The doctor had no clue and, within two days, she stopped prescribing it.
You must be thinking I am bitter and angry, and I guess I am. In all areas of my son's life, I feel he was short-changed and that all of us, who could have helped my son, have failed him miserably.