What A Difference A Diagnosis Makes

I supported a 16 year old girl during a mental health crisis a few months ago and then my youngest son during a medical crisis right after that. What a difference a diagnosis makes!

Both were brought to the emergency room. My son was taken immediately into a room to get his vital signs taken; the young lady was stripped of all her possessions and was told there were cameras watching her. She cried.

Both needed to report on their past history. During the first hour my son’s medical history was looked over and questions were asked and answered by his parents. The young lady and her father sat in a small locked room. They cried.

Both had a diagnosable disorder. During the second hour, my son’s medical history was discussed right away and the nurse wanted to hear about the events that led up to us being there. The 16 year old sat in a small locked room and cried.

Both needed to know that they were going to be safe and okay. During the third hour, my son was administered an IV and asked if he needed anything to make him more comfortable. The young lady sat in a small locked room and cried.

Both needed to be assessed and a course of treatment needed to be administered. During the next several hours my son was taken in and out of the ER to have tests done. It was determined he needed treatment and was being transferred to the Pedi ICU. The teenage girl sat in a small locked room and cried.

Both needed to get healthy so they could go home and get back into the game of life. My son was quietly and respectfully taken for a ride to the Pedi ICU. He was seen by several doctors and nurses and given all the support and treatment he needed. I was invited to help myself to the family kitchen area and make myself something to eat and drink. The nurse came in and made the pull out chair bed for me and gave me a nice pillow and blanket. The young lady was given a glass of water and after 10 hours in a small locked room, her insurance company determined she could get the help she needed. Behind the administrative locked doors came two EMTs and the doctor. They told her to jump right up on the stretcher, right in front of several other youth and family members so they could be take her away. After 12 hours of sitting in a small locked room, she was finally going to get the emergency treatment she needed. She didn’t cry, she ran out of tears. I cried for her.

What a difference a diagnosis makes!

—by Beth P., parent and family partner