Nurse Kelley Sez: No Easy Answers

by: Nurse Kelley

Sun Feb 17, 2013 at 17:24:28 PM EST



Shortly after the massacre at Sandy Hook, I heard from a lady lawyer with a story to tell about trying to get inpatient mental care for her severely ill, very young son. It must have been extraordinarily difficult for her to write, but she wrote it and shared it with me several weeks ago. It is today's offering for KosAbility at the GOS, and it's too good not to give y'all a link.

http://www.dailykos.com/story/...

Nurse Kelley :: Nurse Kelley Sez: No Easy Answers
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I read the diary over at the orange place. (2.00 / 18)
It is stunning to see that even folks with good jobs and good insurance struggle to get the mental health help their child needs.  

She should write a book, I think. (2.00 / 17)
One commenter, a therapist, said this:

Like many friends, I retired early because I was burned out dealing with insurance and managed-care companies, many of whom had decided around 2000 to stop paying for one of the major services I provided -- evaluations of ADHD and learning disabilities in adolescents.   They based this decision on their opinion that these were "educational" rather than medical problems, just after the mounting evidence proved conclusively that they stemmed from neurological abnormalities.  

I find that shocking. Insurance companies have GOT to go.

"Do your little bit of good where you are; it is those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world." ~ Desmond Tutu


[ Parent ]
A powerfully moving story, and so well written. (2.00 / 15)
Thank you for encouraging her to write, and for sharing the link here.

I keep thinking of a comment a friend of mine once made re her son ".....when he's in jail I don't have to worry so much about him hurting someone." Sadly, her efforts to find the right treatment for him were not as effective as the diarist was able to be.

Love is the lasting legacy of our lives


Interesting study on link between autism and folic acid (2.00 / 13)
The Journal of the American Medical Association has the results of a Norwegian study looking for a relationship between autism and maternal use of folic acid supplements. I don't know if this free link stays up for long, so grab it while you can if the topic is of interest:

http://jama.jamanetwork.com/ar...

"Do your little bit of good where you are; it is those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world." ~ Desmond Tutu


Very powerful story, Nurse Kelley. (2.00 / 5)
It has to be a parent's worst nightmare to have a child who is emotionally disturbed and who you can't get help for. $1,000 a day? Who the hell could afford that? But who would not want to do every damn thing they could?

I hope that her story and others like hers are heard by people who make our laws. People who can't take care of their kids need help from the government. And when we don't help them we do so at our own risk.

Words have meaning. Our words will reflect what is in our souls.


I appreciated the story and this (2.00 / 4)
mother's tenacity as an advocate. I'm sure she's a great lawyer.

I do have a slight quibble with tying it to Sandy Hook in that the Lanza mother and son involved did not think they were mentally ill. The son obviously had problems, but the mother was armed to the teeth and taught and encouraged him to shoot. The problem goes back to the availability of guns and our gun culture.

The problem with mental illness is that unlike illness in another bodily system, lets say the lungs, the organ needed to correctly perceive illness is the organ affected. It is very tricky to deal with. Also, while some mental illness is chronic, some isn't, just as some people have chronic lung problems and others may get a bout of a chest cold.

Our entire health care system needs to me more holistic and gentler on so many levels. We have great emergency care, etc., but don't do well with prevention and looking at the body as a whole system unto itself, which it is.


Thanks for reading it, freedapeople. (2.00 / 3)
The tie is to the national conversation that came about after Sandy Hook, not to the Lanza family. Laws were proposed requiring all gun owners to pass a "mental health screening", as if such a thing exists, is reliable, is constitutional, is available to large numbers of people, and is affordable. RoCali told me her story about trying to get help for her son and, knowing things are even worse today than they were when the related events occurred, I thought it was an important story to publish.

Your statements about mental illness bear repeating:

The problem with mental illness is that unlike illness in another bodily system, lets say the lungs, the organ needed to correctly perceive illness is the organ affected. It is very tricky to deal with. Also, while some mental illness is chronic, some isn't, just as some people have chronic lung problems and others may get a bout of a chest cold.

As an aside, I have a quibble with your stated belief that emergency care in this country is great. If one has a visible and easily diagnosed problem like a cut or a broken bone, any competent ER can help you. They may or may not diagnose a heart attack in progress, especially if the patient is a woman. I could write a book about bad experiences and outcomes people have had at American emergency rooms, with enough material left over for Volume 2.

"Do your little bit of good where you are; it is those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world." ~ Desmond Tutu


[ Parent ]
if one felt inclined (2.00 / 1)
to write something that might be viewed controversial, is that permitted here? i've seen trigger warnings on other sites.  is this practiced at The Motley Moose?  what i have in mind isn't explicit or gratuitous, but a perspective on the Lanzas (mother and son) and events in the time frame immediately prior to Sandy Hook.

Twitter Doesn't Make You Martin Luther King


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