Help! Is this normal for a private Residential Treatment Center (RTC)?

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Baggy Bags, Jan 5, 2019.

  1. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Swot. I don't see how I wrote anything to disagree with.

    But I disagree with what you said, that son does not exhibit any symptoms of what could be neurological disease.

    See paragraph one of my post just above. Each of these can be a symptom of a brain issue. Son has displayed most. And the symptoms came out of nowhere. I cannot and will not say what son has or does not have.Nobody on the internet can or should. I am in no position to diagnose or rule out anything. Nobody is on the internet.

    Let us focus on helping this mother.

    I think the MD is suggesting an eeg. He needs to justify this to you based upon medical literature and a rationale based upon clinical signs presented by your son. This is not a fishing expedition .
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2019
  2. Baggy Bags

    Baggy Bags Active Member

    Biodad signed the papers to admit L. So, technically, I could go and say that I never authorized any of it, because I didn't.
    I gave biodad authorization to do so, but he also signed a contract saying that I needed to be consulted first, on everything.

    You both pose very good questions. Thank you. Definitely a lot to think about.

    A good sign was that this doctor talked to me for quite a while on the phone, no charge. And he said that if biodad didn't step up, that he'd see about getting a discount for us, which it sounded like he might do anyway. Also, he assured me that by Mexican law, even though biodad isn't legally the father, he said he was in front of a group of doctors which now makes him legally responsible to pay for L's bills there.

    Tomorrow I will ask him these questions.
  3. Tired out

    Tired out Active Member

    Baggy, Good luck. Very good suggestions here.
    My fist thought was also that it sounded like a money scam, but since you didn't sign anything to take responsibility for admittance, his biodad must have, therefore I would think financially it would be his responsibility. I don't know how things work in Mexico. Here in the US treatment would be given, insurance would be charged then co-pay would be billed. In Mexico do they have to pay upfront for tests?
    I would want the doctors credentials ( hopefully google search can authenticate or let you know if this clinic is a rip-off) If you want to post the name of the clinic (and or doctor) here I am sure there are members that will do some searching. We're an inquisitive bunch, probably becasue our difficult kids have lied so much we want proof.
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  4. Baggy Bags

    Baggy Bags Active Member

    The place is $3000 per month, food and everything, minus tests and medicine. How does that compare to the US?

    The tests he's talking about cost $400 there.
  5. Baggy Bags

    Baggy Bags Active Member

    As for biodad's financial situation. I know he has two pieces of land and is building a house on one of them. If he needed to, he could sell the other. I basically have him under threat that if he doesn't cover all of this, I'll sue him for 15 years of child support, which would be at least $50,000. So, hopefully he's smart enough to do the math. lol
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  6. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    $3000 a month sounds like nothing. I am guessing but I think a residential treatment center here would cost 10k. I will see what I can find.

    And $400 for tests--a fraction of what it costs here. A few months ago I went to a neurologist for nerve studies. With electrodes on my feet, legs. It cost almost $3000. It took him maybe half an hour at most.

    And the md is talking about a discount which would bring it down more.

    Baggy. Only you can decide but we're not talking brain surgery here. An eeg and MRI are routine. But I would ask about every single test and ask that he fax info describing the why's, the nature of each procedure and what is it's rational and any risks. That's called informed consent.

    Just checked. Cost of intensive therapeutic program here is 10-12k.
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2019
  7. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    The other side of the coin here is hope.

    Yes. With anything there is risk. But we can approach risk intelligently by careful thought and inquiry.

    There is also risk by being afraid to try. From doing nothing. Doctor seems to think L can be helped.

    He's not getting rich off this .

    How much more of this can you take? I mean. A lot. Look at the rest of us. We endure this ongoing. But if we were offered a way to deal with things, a possibility, most of us would take it, if it did not present risks to our child. AND we could afford it.

    The prices are like what co-pays would be here. The out of pocket.
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    Last edited: Jan 7, 2019
  8. Triedntrue

    Triedntrue Active Member

    I agree you need to ask questions. The psychiatrist my son went to also suggested an mri to check for brain damage but did not carry through. I don't know whether he said no or it was an insurance issue. My son is of age so it was not my decision to make.
    At 16 i would as Copa suggested write a list of questions so you can make an informed decision. If you are not satisfied with the answers can you ask for a second opinion.
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  9. Triedntrue

    Triedntrue Active Member

    I missed some posts before i replied but as to cost i pd a psychiatrist 2000 for an evaluation for court and that was a discount. There were no mri or eegs done and it was outpatient.
  10. Baggy Bags

    Baggy Bags Active Member

    10-12k per month!!! OMG.

    It's starting to really hit me that my son is very likely going to be coming home.
    This doctor is saying that they need to figure out if he will ever be able to take care of himself.
    Biodad has already said that he can't go back to his house.

    I guess if they take it down to $2000 a month and biodad can pay half, we could potentially do that until he's 18... but it doesn't sound like he can pay that unless I make him pay via a big, international child support case, which I just cannot handle on top of all of this.

    For a minute there, I thought things would work out for him in Mexico. He was going to start going to chef school in February. Not that I really thought it would work out, but a part of me was hoping.
  11. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    I don't understand. How is it that he will be unable ever to take care of himself?

    What am I missing?

    What is known now, in the matter of a couple weeks, that changed the trajectory if his whole life,?

    I am panicking here. Because this has been what I have been resisting: the knowing that my son cannot live as I've lived. That he will always be dependent.

    What does this doctor know, see, that I cannot?

    B. What do you know, feel that I cannot? I need to know. So I can help my son.
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2019
  12. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    The doctor is a quack.

    This son runs away and may take care of himself in a dysfunctional way but he does so. He socializes, eats, finds places to sleep and goes to the bathroom himself. He can talk, walk and is able bodied. He may not try hard in school but passed some classes.

    Never being able to take care of yourself means either severely low maybe infant IQ or physically unable to do things for yourself. And many in wheel chairs live on their own!

    My autistic son takes care of himself. He lives on his own.

    Get this poor boy out of there before this nutty doctor convinces you that he cant tie his own shoes and has a smiley face imprinted on his brain.

    I would be gone, kid in tow. Not all doctors are equally educated/skilled/competent. Sometimes "help" of the wrong kind makes one worse and it isnt free bad help! You can go broke for the bad help.

    This is a nightmare. Sounds to me like a ploy to indeed keep him there until 18 for the money not the need.

    Send him to chef school. He is not helpless.
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    Last edited: Jan 8, 2019
  13. AppleCori

    AppleCori Well-Known Member

    Have you asked the doctor why he is questioning that your son might not be able to take care of himself in a healthy way without assistance?

    Is this why he wants the MRI?

    It might be worth doing.

    Take this one step at time.

    Don’t step out too far ahead, right now.
  14. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    B. I remember when you came here. Your son was 15 I think. He was teaching art classes to children in your project. He was working on the weekends. He was beloved in your community.

    This was last year!!!!

    Please help us fill in the blanks.

    You seem to be collapsing in yourself. This doctors words seem to be robbing you of your confidence in yourself as a mother and your confidence that your son can grow whole. And I seem to be collapsing too, losing confidence i know anything even about my own life.

    I agree with swot and apple.

    First. I would accept the tests that are safe. I agree with apple here. Nothing is lost by knowing more. But DO NOT rely on this guy to define the situation for you. Get a second opinion. Apple is right. Don't step out ahead of this. Stay in the present

    But I agree with swot too. Disengage with this doctors authority. This doctor thinks his :censored2: doesn't stink. In fact he believes his :censored2: is beautiful and gorgeous and the second coming.

    What in the world is he saying that is making you crumble?

    Question authority!!!!

    Nothing at all is known yet that takes away your son's and your own capacity to write a meaningful story of your lives.

    Please help us by filling in the blanks. I am freaking out.
  15. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    Im not freaking out. I have been there. From age 23 to now I have been a mental healthcare client and I understand the pros and cons of the system.


    Ok so I have seen horrible psychiatrists vs. helpful ones. And I was always good about leaving the ones who didnt work for me.

    Psychiatry is not an exact science. Not yet. Not one person has figured out for sure what causes strange or difficult or dangerous behavior. Freud was proven wrong. Nobody has been proven right.

    Theories are everywhere. They change every few years. Doctors disagree on psychiatry, even psychiatrists.

    This doctor, like even the best most skilled doctor, can guess about your son but he can not tell you why he acts like he does or run a test and find out the why of anything.

    If an MRI showed the why of behavior, all mental health cases would get MRIs, PET scans, etc. But they usually are not done becaue dont know what causes these things. We dont know what to look for. These things may not even start in the brain. The nervous system? The gut some say?

    A good honest neuropsychologist I went to from Minnesota's esteemed Mayo Clinic told me "There are no blood tests for these things. We do our very best but Mayo Clunic is often wrong. Mistakes are made all the time. All.The.Time."

    Unless Son has a brain tumor, which is doubtful, his behavior and the reasons for it will remain a mystery. Every doctor he sees may have a different diagnosis for him and theory but no for sure answer.

    Guesswork, medications with guesswork and therapy can help but it still is not a definite doagnosis. I still dont know if I am bipolar ll. It seems to be the best guess they have decided upon and antidepressants help but it took ten years to find medications that helped.

    Psychiatry is in its infancy. If a mental health profesdional makes no sense about you or your child, he probably guessed wrong.

    Because Psychiatry is inexact never freak out when you hear a diagnosis or trait that makes no sense. Move on.

    I am much better. I am doing great. But it was a lot about ME and therapy and how much I wanted to get better. I am never going to br 100 percent. I am 65 and am almost positive they missed Aspergers in me partly because they didnt know about it at the time. Thats another problem. Limited information on mental health diseases. There will be new ones in five years that we never heard of. Maybe by then scientists will have a clue about the biology of psychiatry. Its not there yet.

    Bags, if you think this guy is right about your son, give him a chance. If you think he is wrong, I would trust my Mom intuition. I am very very sorry that you dont have more mental healthcare choices near you and I wish you and your son the very best.
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2019
  16. Baggy Bags

    Baggy Bags Active Member

    Thanks so much, everyone.

    One thing that has my hands tied is that biodad can no longer have him in his house, which means that there is nowhere else except back here with us.

    I am TERRIFIED of him having to come back here, but now there is NOWHERE else.

    The doctor was hinting at giving him the kind of medication that would stop him from being violent, so that he doesn't kill me.
    But that makes me think that he wants to sedate him to the point where he is no longer dangerous, which sounds VERY sedated.

    Because, really, what else can we do? We can pay for him to be there, where he can't kill me or himself.
    Or we can try having him here again and pray he doesn't kill me, or himself.

    The doctor thinks he can't take care of himself because he will just impulsively do these crazy things, and then not know what to do because he never made a plan, he just did the thing.

    My son is incredibly capable in some ways. He could work in the kitchen 12 hours straight to bake stuff he'd sell at the market, where he'd make tons of money. But he can't keep his room minimally clean. He'll let plates with rotting food pile up under his bed, among his things, stuff will rot and be destroyed, bugs... To top it all off he's anaphylactic, so he's gotta be "awake" enough to self-inject in the case of a bee sting or he could die.

    If he would "let" us help him out, we could set him up with his own food business and leave him a Bed and Breakfast set up, with other people running it, even keeping an eye on him after we die. We are very involved in the community and so many people love him. So that doesn't scare me so much as him not letting us take care of him, not being able to afford long-term a place like where he is now, and either having him here against his will (because of the violence/stealing/lying) or having him on the streets where he has already proven that yes, he can stay alive and even get jobs (until they catch him stealing) but would eventually end up dead or in jail because of the stuff he does.

    So, in a way, it's in his hands. He can choose to come back here or stay in a center like that as long as we can pay for it. I gave him that code phrase for us to go get him whenever he says. So, for now, there's nowhere else anyway, unless he decides to come home. It's kind of more in his hands than in mine at this point, unless I force him back, and that just wouldn't end well.
  17. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Baggy. I am as confused as ever. Maybe more.

    What about diagnosis and treatment?

    You are already thinking about when you are dead. What about right now?

    What kind of info are they giving you to make you believe he cannot be helped? Please. look at the posts and answer our questions. He is 16. What is making you assume he cannot be helped? There are all kinds of treatments, supports. There is no reason to give up hope.

    I don't know whether this is you, or the MD or the two of you together but you or he he the two of you are making this into a catastrophe.

    What is happening NOW? What did he tell you, this MD to make you go into this space?

    Read apple. Read swot. Try not to jump into the future .

    Why are you assuming your child cannot be helped?

    I can't deal with this if you don't give us information. It's too triggering for me. Swot and the others will stay with you. I'll check in as I can.
  18. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    If you are scared that he come home he cannot come home. He needs to be contained until he is helped.

    It is not in his hands. It is in yours. You've got to keep it together.

    You've got to make a series of judgement calls about what to do. One step at a time.

    Did you speak to the MD today? Did he explain the tests? Did he explain what his hypothesis is on what's going on?

    I would not pull him. You have a playlist on this thread. Stay focused, one step at a time. If you tell us what's going on we can hold your hand through this.
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2019
  19. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Why would the MD give L heavy medications? What about a diagnosis and treatment?

    Heavy medications you could have done a year ago.

    L needs a diagnosis and treatment. What's going on with the tests?

    Why is L calm, loving and reassuring now? There is something about being contained in this setting that is helping him. That's good information. It gives me hope.
  20. Baggy Bags

    Baggy Bags Active Member

    I talked to the doctor today and he asked me to write L's bio so that he has all the information.
    He didn't say that he thought Lucas wouldn't be able to take care of himself, but that they needed to figure out if he would be able to, and that it seems to him based on L's impulsivity that he might not be able to. The tests are to rule out something structurally wrong with is brain, if I'm understanding correctly. It's hard because it's on the phone, long-distance, in the same language but different accents and different words for things. So, I'm trying to make communication happen more in writing, but so far this doctor seems to prefer the phone.

    I asked the center to send me the description of the tests and what they are for, but they haven't responded.

    L was loving the first night we talked, but cold on the second night. Now I have to wait until Saturday to talk to him again. But I feel pretty reassured that he is not being mistreated there, so far anyway, because he could have used the code for me to go get him, and he didn't. And the thing is, I think he will prefer to be there, even in less that optimal conditions, if his only other option is coming back here. He has said that he will never come back here, and now he has burned all his other bridges and he knows it.

    I have read all the posts and hope I've answered all the questions. Know that I'm very much taking all the advice to heart.