The Daily Prompt April 10, 2014 says ~ Tell us about a time when you fought authority and took a stand against “the man.” Did you win?
One of the struggles with epilepsy is that people don’t understand the condition. Unfortunately, because of that the person with the disorder is not only victimized by the disorder, but many times by the general public as well.
My fiancé had been on medication for his epilepsy for eight years. He had tried every epilepsy medication on the market and even underwent several trials. None of them did anything to control his seizures. So Steve had decided he wanted to get off these liver damaging and very expensive medications. Steve tried several times to talk the doctor into taking him off of them. Every time the doctor would just blow him off. So Steve decided to take matters into his own hands and just stopped taking them. Little did we know, we were in for a roller coaster ride.
Within about forty-eight hours Steve was pacing the floors twenty-four hours a day and was not sleeping at all. For three days I tried to get Steve to go to the hospital and he repeatedly refused.
On Friday October 28, 2011 we had fifteen kids ranging from 18 to 21 years old here getting ready to go to an Insane Clown Posse (ICP) concert at the Water Street Music Hall with our son. One of these kids had borrowed my van to go get pizza for them before leaving for the concert. I started to notice as the noise picked up Steve was getting more and more agitated. Then suddenly he snapped as he dropped to his knees on the ground beating on the floor yelling “make it stop! make it stop! make it stop!” Then he started yelling at the kids to shut up or get out.
This was completely uncharacteristic for Steve and as a result everyone in the house was crying and screaming. All of these young people knew Steve well enough to know this was not like him and they were scared. We was to the point where something needed to be done whether he wanted it or not and my van was gone.
Anthony called 911 and I told all the kids to crowd into Anthony’s room until we got through this. After about ten minutes of waiting I went out by the side of the road and waited for the ambulance. I was completely surprised when a police officer pulled up. As the officer jumped out his car and bolted past me I asked “I called an ambulance why are you here?”
He stopped in front of my house long enough to say “I just have to make sure everything is okay before the ambulance can come. As soon as I verify every thing is fine I will call them in. They are just around the corner.” I was fine with that and I certainly understood so with a certain amount of relief I stopped long enough to just take a breather. By this time, Steve was pacing the floors but with all the noise in another room he was not yelling anymore.
It was just a few seconds when I heard the police officer screaming at Steve “sit your ass down and shut your mouth.”
I was already headed in when my son come to the door and said “Mom you better hurry this is getting bad.”
When I got inside I saw the cop screaming at my fiancé and making threats of arrest if he did not start acting appropriately. Steve would set down for a few seconds then stand back up and he would say “I know what I am doing is wrong, but please try to understand I can’t control it.”
I stood there next to my son as I tried to intervene and talk to Steve when the cop come up and stuck his left index finger in my chest and his right index finger in my son’s chest and yelled at us to get our asses into the kitchen while he dealt with this asshole. Shocked, Anthony and I looked each other in the eyes almost as if we knew we were getting ready to do something the other person may not approve of when we both looked at the cop and simultaneously said “No, I am not leaving his side.”
I sat down in the dining room chair and waited for the cop to deal with Steve as he continued to verbally abused my very sick husband to be. Soon enough, I come to the conclusion that I was on my own this cop was not going to bring in an ambulance. I knew the only way to control Steve at this point was to sedate him. I asked the cop to bring in the ambulance again and give him a sedative and the cop refused.
I got up to get my shoes so I could be ready to take Steve to the hospital when the cop turned around and yelled at me again “I told you to set your ass down!”
Surprisingly enough it worked when I looked at the cop and said “You will not intimidate me and my family. Get your ass out of my house. I will get him to the hospital myself.” It was that moment when I looked in the doorway where Anthony stood right next to a State Trooper. I have no idea where he had come from or how long he had been there but he was there.
The cop looked at the State Trooper and said “I can’t control these assholes they are all acting like a bunch of idiots.”
My son stepped in and said “He is sick, we called for help and you have only made the situation worse.” The cop said nothing to my son but walked up in front of him and stood on his toes so he was looking down on my three hundred pound six-foot tall son.
Anthony stood up on his toes so they were eye to eye as he looked at the cop and said “Leave now!” The cop left but not without throwing as many insults at my family as he could as he walked out the door. By this time, my van was back home.
I was now left with a sick man and had few options to how I was getting him to the hospital. I looked at him and I said “either you get in the car and head to the hospital with me or I am getting all the boys to help me carry you out.” I then went to the bedroom opened the door and said “I need all the boys that are willing to help”. I stood there and waited with six boys on my side Steve finally decided it was best for him to go to the hospital.
It was not until I got to the hospital I realized what was going on. We had just got Steve into a room and the doctors were trying to talk to him when I felt a hand grab me by the arm and drag me from the room. It was another cop. With a look on his face that said I am your friend he said to me “I want to help you. I know you are going through hell, but we need to know what he is on.”
I looked the cop straight in the face as I said “Carbotrol.”
“Hun there is no prescription drug we know of that will cause this kind of actions. Are you sure he is not doing something you don’t know about?”
“You learn something new every day don’t you. No way is he taking anything else. Now I really have to get back to him.” I responded and walked away.
I did not see the cop again that day. The hospital gave him the Carbotrol against his wishes to verify it was the cause of the problem. Steve did calm down and they sent him home with a diagnosis of “Carbotrol withdraw” and instructions to continue the medication. Steve refused to take the medication and the cycle started all over again the next day.
This time when I called the cops three of them showed up and all let me handle the situation as they supervised. They did gently tell Steve if he did not go willingly they would need to do a psychiatric arrest. They then followed us to the hospital got Steve sedated and let the hospital handle it from there.
This went on for ten days. Steve refuse to take the medication in his manic mind it was poison while the hospital just kept making him take it. Eventually, we did get him through it. Two weeks later when Steve was back to the wonderful personality we loved so much, I was on the phone talking to the Chief of Police.
I felt like I was treated like your typical trailer trash. There is a lot of trouble down here where I live, cops circling through here several times a day. My family was not even given the benefit of the doubt and that cop acted very inappropriately and I was not going to lay down for that. I did not care that they thought we were on something that was illegal they could have gotten that information from the hospital when it was all over. There was so many what ifs that could have happened and that cop was not going to do anything to help my family. I was angered beyond being sane myself.