I am so glad you decided to read about the pickle I have gotten Crystal into. Although I am desperate for Crystal, please know that I understand how difficult this situation is for those not involved, and will hold no grudges to any family or person who chooses not to involve themselves.
I understand that many families really did not know how to react to my initial email regarding Crystal's needs; therefore chose to keep silent, pending more information...just speculating. It has also been brought to my attention that many SMA families more specifically just may not know how they can help. After many discussions and attempts to reach out to "Anybody" for help, I have decided to try to give everyone access to all information regarding Crystal's needs, including all the whys, whats, hows, etc., so that any potential "helpers" can shake some of their worries and make a decision (yes or no) with confidence versus so many doubts.
So here is the complete story:
Foundation of the problem:
Since I, Crystal's mother, was 12 years old - I had been suffering from Chronic Depression only clinically diagnosed approximately 5 years ago. This chemical imbalance, left unrecognized and untreated, caused many problems within my own life and certainly interfered in many ways with my abilities to grow and mature, gain strength and self confidence, thrive for a positive lifestyle, etc. As I began having children (now having 5 children), I realized that this state of mind was affecting my children as well. With no motivation, primarily negative thoughts, procrastination, and many many days of crying and sleeping, I really was unable to address these issues properly. However, I stand firm in my beliefs that I met the needs necessary for my children to be mentally and physically strong themselves. Additionally, no body else ever questioned their care.
November 2000 - 1.) I recieved an unbelievable gift from God: Motivation, care, drive, strength, confidence, Relief From My Depression, Guidance (heckst a slight shove may be more appropriate wording), and an inner drive they made me a "Super Mom." I enrolled in college majoring in psycology, as I had always dreamed of being able to assist the emotional and mental needs of others. In fact, no matter where I have gone or continue to go, I even today seem to attract those in need of "talk therapy," and I have managed to somewhat patch their problems. 2.) Crystal was diagnosed with severe SMA type II. Instincts told me to quit work, continue school, but drop down to part-time and change my studies to a field in which I may obtain work at home in the future. This lead me to medical transcriptioning. 3.) I believe that it is with the Lord's assistance that I was able to complete my studies with a GPA of 3.69 (with ADD that was diagnosed at a later time), as well as doing an outstanding job at researching and understanding not only SMA, but the direct needs of my daughter Crystal.
March 2000 - I finally made a clean break from Anthony, Crystal, and Nicholas' father and became a single mother of 5 children, one of which did live with her father, leaving me 4 children in my home to care for, plus the extra stress involved with having a child with SMA!! I began to experience even more "coping" difficulties as a parent and shared my concerns with our family physician, who did his best to treat me through samples and advice, but without me having any insurance this was a difficult task. The children were fine though, as again their needs were being met!!
December 2001 - We moved out of Goodwill Family Center and into a home of our own. Because of all the ambition I had, we were actually set up for a healthy life and were very excited. Unfortunately, just when I got Crystal's protocols set and in place I lost my drive. I regressed back into being depressed (clinically and chronically), about the same time the doctor's office stopped being supplied with Celexa samples and my only choice was to switch to Lexapro, which did not help. By this point, our family physician had already diagnosed me with having anxiety issues, as well as chronic depression and our lives began to get quite stressful. Although, I did not know what could be done without having insurance, my survival techniques were managing to keep us all bonded emotionally as a family and the children; however, nothing further was done about my diagnoses (lack of insurance to pay for treatment). For every way that I was not your "ideal parent," I hurt and was worried, split in two: Are they okay? "Of course." or Will they grow up alright? I continued to see errors that were "hurtful," mostly emotionally, to my children and thought I needed guidance (therapy) to help correct these flaws in my parenting, but could not afford it.
During the middle of 2002, I felt as though I had to try something and began therapy and psychiatric care through a facility that charges according to your income, but I just do not have that kind of money. All was going fairly well until I got scared of a debt I could never ever repay, as my bill had added up to over $400, so I quit attending these sessions.
September 2003 - finally a break, I thought. My ex got in some serious trouble and went to jail, sentenced to prison, and I lost over half of my income ($530 a month). This made me eligible for Medicaid according to income. I was sooooooooo happy and excited! First thing I did was call the doctor's office to set up an appointment. At this appointment, I actually did a silly dance for my doctor, flashing my Medicaid card claiming, "Now you can fix me!" I asked that he prescribe me all the medications that he already knew that I needed, and I asked that he refer me to a good therapist and psychiatrist, so that I may recieve the proper care and hopefully some coping skills for my diagnoses since medications really do not take care of these issues alone.
My attempt to get medical help backfired and hurt my children even more than I ever could have!
November 21, 2003: (the night my 3 boys were removed from my care) It was on this day that I met with my therapist for the first time since I asked for the referral from our family physician. Ironically, they did not remove Crystal stating, "She has 10 hours per day, Monday through Sunday, home health aide services, which leaves mom with very little to do for her, plus, "We do not have the capabilities to be able to meet her needs."
In other words, during my first therapy session, my brand new therapist determined that my children were in seriously risky environment and needed to be removed immediately. Hmmmmm...the only knowledge this woman (professional woman that is) had of me and my children came from me, Jacob (12 years old at that time), and Anthony (5 years old at that time). This behavorial institution basically held me and the 3 boys "captive" until the police department could show up to take the children. Anthony accused Jacob of some pretty big "naughties," so they hauled Jacob to a correctional facility. Thinking that was all, I tried to gather my younger boys to leave, and they stopped me and basically dropped a bomb on me not caring about my feelings anymore and said, "Your other boys with be going to foster care and we need you to go tell them they are going to play with new friends." They expected no tears and big hugs for the other two boys, which I did, and then quick as light they were gone and I was released, racing home to Crystal. Kelly, Crystal's home health aide said that the police had already been there checking on Crystal because they were told there was reason to believe that there was a child with special needs left there all by herself!! OMG
I awaited patiently all weekend, because the boys were taken on a Friday, to talk to somebody, anybody regarding what the heckst had just happened on Friday. I understood the seriousness of Jacob's "possible" offenses and for the protection of the children in my own, Jacob needed to be removed from the home, but I was unaware that the therapist had reported to Child Protection Services a "case" claiming me to be an unfit parent. I found this out Monday late afternoon. I was appalled!! One hour visit, knowing only what was said during that visit, this therapist had the balls to come to such a devastating opinion, knowing also that I had ADD and it is common that folkes with that diagnosis tend to ramble and "not make sense." Grrrr!!
Again, Crystal remained in my home, but they did order her to be ward of the courts (just paperwork I thought). Attorney says comply, comply, comply...that is how you will get your children back
Okay, crying break...this hurts!! I will continue the details tomorrow!