Following on from my previous post when dad went crazy, spent time in hospital and then was sent home without psychological assessment…
Three days later he had lost his mind again. Mum and I went to get fish and chips as dad had requested them, and while we were out dad got himself shut out in the cold with no keys or phone.. Knocking on neighbours doors and talking nonsense to them. The man over the road apparently shouted at him that he was crazy, before another neighbour kindly took him in and phoned us to come and get him. He was so afraid and confused.
The next day at 5:30pm on the 19th we were watching the Apprentice when dad suddenly said “right that’s enough” and walked out. He went and grabbed a filthy bag of rubbish from the kitchen and took it into the bedroom with him. Then he shut mum in the bedroom with him and said rubbish bag. He would not let her out or me in. She had no phone or access to toilet or water. She called out and asked me to get help, and I don’t remember but I must have called 999 and my uncle who came.
Shortly after, four police arrived with two ambulance people. Dad was against the door holding it shut with his body. Without communication or warning, the police burst the door open, dad went flying, the television went flying, mum was screaming, I was crying and telling them not to hurt him.
Now with the door open mum was able to get out of the room. The police tried to talk to dad but he stared blankly into space. After a while, they told us that now Mum was in no danger there was nothing they could do. The ambulance people did not have the power to section him. So they said they would refer and they all left.
Dad then shut himself alone in the bedroom and pinned himself against the door to stop anyone entering. He is stronger than one might think! We could hear him doing things but couldn’t see what.
Eventually, after more phone calls, an out of hours doctor came at about 4 am. Doctor, uncle and I managed to slowly get the door open little by little. Dad just kept shouting ‘GO,GO’. That was all he would say. He was sitting on the floor in just his pants.
Doctor decided that yes he did need to be sectioned, but that would require psychiatrists who don’t work out of hours. It would also involve organising three professionals to all meet here at the same time to assess dad and sign papers. We were told it would happen first thing in the morning. Doctor left.
My brother and his wife tried lying on the lounge floor. I was on sofa, mum in arm chair, uncle was on an airbed in the hall outside the bedroom where dad was.
Suddenly dad was trying to get out of the window. We ran to stop him, he hurt my hand, the curtains and rail were ripped from the ceiling. My brother ran outside to try and stop dad from out there. Mum phoned the police again.
This time six officers attended. By the time they arrived, we had managed to stop dad getting out and had locked all windows and doors and hidden all keys. The police hang around a short time before leaving. After that dad pretty much spent the entire time pacing the hallway looking like a tortured zombie. Until the following evening.
No, it was not first thing in the morning that we heard from them. It was the evening. We felt abandoned by the world, like no help would ever come.
And so, at about 6pm on the 20th December (24 hours trying to get help, 36 hours with no sleep) my dad was finally driven away in an ambulance and admitted to a mental health hospital where he spent Christmas and new year. He spent three weeks there and mum and I visited him every day. It was the saddest Christmas ever. The hospital was amazing and staff lovely, plus I fell in love with a couple of other lonely patients.
They think he had a bad reaction to the steroids. He is now on olanzapine. He came home a week ago, and it is so wonderful to have him home. His chemo has been delayed, but it restarts tomorrow. Hopefully it will only get better from here. None of us ever want to go through that again..
I don’t know if I have described events well. I think it would be impossible for anyone to really understand what it was like unless they had been there. I know how much I love my dad, and I know I would do anything for him. I appreciate every moment with him, every smile, every hug, every bad joke .. Everything