I apologize in advance for the long post...a lot has happened.
Here I sit at home again. It seems every measure we take to move things forward in this situation is met with a very hard, very painful concrete wall. I recently read Danielle Steel's "His Bright Light" which is a book she wrote about her son, who had bipolar disorder (also called manic-depressive) and ended his life at age 19. As I typed the second sentence of this update, it very much reminded me of their story. They experienced the same thing. They just kept trying one more thing, taking one more step, and praying that it worked, that it helped, and most of the time, unfortunately, it did not. Reading that book was a Godsend. It has helped me to realize the seriousness of this illness, some of what to expect, and just how hard this road will be to walk. Thank God I have my Savior to lean on, and a husband to stand beside me, and a network of support to uphold us in prayer and encouragement.
So, on to the update.
She adamantly states that she did NOT sneak out Tuesday night. However, from piecing together her text message conversation with Gina and Mandi, and another item of proof we have found (which we can not disclose at this time), there is no other belief we could take. We're not sure if she's having blackouts in her memory, or what. But we are 99% sure that she did indeed sneak out Tuesday night.
Cassie, Gretta and I sat in the office there and were simply at an impasse. Cassie was angry, sullen, uncommunicative, and insisting she did not sneak out and we were completely wrong in accusing her. I was absolutely sure we are correct in this assumption. Gretta was trying to mediate between us. She suggested that we draw a line, step over it, and move on, leaving Tuesday night in the past. I agreed, Dar agreed via phone, and so we did.
We moved forward with our plan to go to the Twins game last night as a date night, Cassie went to Felicia/Kris' with plans to spend the night and stay with them today while Dar and I went to work. The Twins game was awesome! A much needed break of fun for us. We parked by the MOA and took the light rail into downtown Minneapolis. Cheaper than parking downtown and dealing with all the traffic, it was a fun and new experience for us! The seats were awesome other than all the people who walk up and down the steps nonstop instead of planting their butts in their seats and watching the game. The Twins won, which was awesome! We saw Joe Mauer hit a homerun, which was very cool to see. We took the rail back to our car and stopped at Applebee's in Shakopee for a half price appetizer.
Got home about 12:30am and were just getting into bed around 1am when Felicia's mom called to tell us that Cassie had snuck out of her house. We were instantly wide awake, making calls, trying to find her. She did call us back finally and she was out walking. She said she’d gotten hot in the apartment and decided to go out for some air. Hmm…they live over past McDonald’s and she was at Minnesota Square park. That’s a heck of a distance to walk "just to get some air"!!! We picked her up, brought her home, talked for a bit before letting her go to bed and setting her alarm on her door.
Then it was time to decide what to do next. It was 3am, Dar was supposed to get up at 4:30 for work, and me at 6:30 for work. There was no way we would be even halfway alert at our jobs with that little sleep! Plus we needed to decide if we should bring Cassie into the ER and try and get her admitted for a 48 hour watch again, or what to do with her while we worked. Again, the county is encouraging us to try and make it through until court on Tuesday, but how are we supposed to do that when she keeps taking off? It just seems like things are picking up momentum and spinning out of control!
The first thing we did was pray and invite God (again and still) into the situation. We know that we can’t do this without Him and don’t even want to try. We know we need His direction and wisdom and guidance through this situation. We still believe He is in control of everything and nothing that is happening is outside of His ultimate plan and will for all of our lives. He is sovereign, He is holy, and He is good and we know we can trust Him with everything.
I truly feel He told me that He is allowing these relatively minor crises to occur to spur Dar and I on to continue to be assertive, even aggressive, in seeking help for our daughter. We believe that she needs to be put inpatient at a child and adolescent behavior hospital to do further analysis of her mental state. So we called New Ulm hospital (at 3am) to see if we could bring here there, even for a 48 hour watch to get us through until court. They were unwilling to accept her in their mental health unit and suggested we bring her into the local ER. Well, as far as we’re concerned, no member of our family will ever go to the St Peter ER again and we’d already tried that with Mankato. They do not consider her running off in the middle of the night to be a crisis, and so won’t accept her either.
So, frustrated, and without direction, we went to bed. Dar was going to sleep for a few hours and then get up and go into work late. I was going to call my boss and see if Cassie could come with me to work because one of us simply has to be with her every moment.
We slept very fitfully. We kept waking up to weird noises, cats, Cassie, truck driving by, every little thing woke us. Around 6:30am Dar woke up and called our case manager and left a message on her voicemail. At 8 I called and left a voicemail for my boss. At 9:15 I called her as we were still waiting to hear back from Gretta (case manager), who was in a meeting until 10am. Alena told me to stay home, be mom, take care of stuff, and to check my email as she had emailed a possible temporary solution that she and Peggy (the publisher) had come up with for my job. They are willing to let me come in, just for a week or two, at night and on weekends to do my work so that the work gets done. I get hours, but I can still be home with Cassie while Dar works, and then he can be with Cassie while I work at night. Last night we prayed for grace and understanding from our bosses, and He answered that prayer!
At 10:15 Gretta finally called back (case manager). Her suggestion was that we call and make an appointment for Cassie to see her regular doctor and hopefully he would be willing to prescribe a mood stabilizer or something to get us through until court. So I called immediately and got an appointment for 11:30 today. We went in and saw Dr Gazzola and he is going to try (I emphasize the word try) and get information from Dr. Serdy as well as suggestions from the psychiatrist that Cassie is scheduled to see in August. He’s supposed to call us either today or tomorrow with what he finds out.
He did say that it would be completely appropriate for us to pursue the inpatient analysis from a behavioral unit for Cassie and that we should discuss that with our case manager. (Gretta will say, again, that we need to try and make it until court…grrr). He said that if she runs again, instead of bringing her home, to bring her to the ER and that should qualify as a crisis to get her admitted at least for the time being.
So now we are at home, waiting for a phone call, babysitting our daughter. One blessing from today came from Cassie. We had to step out for a bit while Dr. Gazzola talked with her. She told us after that he said to her that she has really good parents who love her a lot to be handling all of this so well (his words, not ours!). She told him he was right, that we will do whatever necessary to get her help. What a blessing that others see our love and concern for our daughter and that she sees it as well! That helps us know we are on the right track and being good parents. We’re simply trying our best because we love our kids.
Some of you have heard of baby Gracie, who I have been praying for on Caring Bridge http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/graciejeanlockyer. Her mom wrote a journal update today that really spoke to my heart. I quote it here, changing their names to ours because it completely fits where we are at:
"It is true that while [Dar] and I have the wonderful honor and privilege to be [Cassie’s] mom and dad...this is a reminder that she is God's first, and every child we have belongs to Him. I'm learning that being a mother doesn't always mean cuddles and holding and being able to help your child feel better...sometimes it is releasing the child from your grasp and loving them from the distance...while giving them to God. Both are important...and that's the mommy I need to be right now. Pray for my strength in doing so. Pray also for daddy, too."