Monday, October 1, 2007

9600mg of Ibuprofen and Radiohead

There was an actual interesting event in my life today. It's going to take a little bit of explaining so strap in and enjoy the ride, it will be worth it.

I work for a company named Chrysalis. This is a privately run organization for the mentally handicapped. In order to be in the program, you must have an IQ less than 70, or be court ordered into it. Chrysalis sets three or four mentally challenged individuals up with an apartment. They live a mostly normal life, going to work and just plain living. I work as a staff at one of these 'houses.' House 3 to be exact.

I've worked at the same house for one year. Three guys live there, Dwayne, Steve and Mike. Mike just entered the program about 6 months ago shortly after getting out of jail. He's 45 and is handicapped from a serious car accident. He is a pretty fun guy but has some serious mood swings. Steve is about 35, was born handicapped and is the most pleasant guy to work with ever. He's so calm. He loves to make dinner for his roommates and has never created any problems with roommates or staff. Dwayne is 21 and is the highest functioning of the crew. Because he's so smart, he manipulates, steals and lies. He's pleasant about half the time and impossible the other half.

Dwayne has a history of stealing credit and debit cards. Earlier this year, he had strict money guidelines that said he was never allowed to hold his own money, all purchases must be made under staff supervision. Even then, he managed to get around the rules. He threw constant fits to his guardian about his lack of freedom concerning money and finally, Chrysalis gave in and allowed him the privilege of handling his own money. Since this point, he has stolen literally thousands of dollars and we the staff are powerless to do anything. His most recent crime involved stealing his boss's credit card. Over the last week, he's spent about $800.

He was finally confronted with all the evidence against him today. The detective assigned to him told him that because of his criminal history, they were pushing for two counts of felony fraud. This terrified Dwayne. He finally admitted to me and my manager that yes, he had stolen the card and used it to purchase several things. Of course, he tried to push the blame off to another, but he actually confessed. Because of this, staff was told that under no circumstances was Dwayne allowed to go to any stores or have any friends over.

Being so terrified, Dwayne needed his support group so he called his girlfriend Lindsay (a former Chrysalis resident who had 'graduated' the program and now lives on her own). She had already been questioned about the credit card and was furious with Dwayne that he had gotten her into trouble as well. Dwayne, being rejected from every side, became hysterical. I've never seen him so upset. He was bawling on the floor of the kitchen while talking to Lindsay. He was literally hysterical and threatened over and over that he was going to kill himself.

Dwayne's behavior plan included strict suicide watch. He's not allowed to have any sharps in the house at all, meaning knifes, scissors, etc. Some how, he managed in the last few months to acquire a large pocket knife, and all though staff has known about it, they haven't managed to locate and confiscate it. After screaming at his girlfriend, he ran upstairs to his room and locked his door. I tried to talk him down as much as a could. He finally came out of his room to call Lindsay again.

At this point, he told me he had taken 12 pills of something he had found in his room. I ran to his room to find out what he took. It turns out, they were 800mg pills of prescription Ibuprofen. I called my manager and he told me to follow exactly the plan outlined for this situation in his record book. The book told me to call poison control, which I did. The man from PC told me that although the dose wasn't lethal and wouldn't even seriously make him ill, they are required by law to send an ambulance due to the suicide threats.

The man from poison control transferred me to 911 dispatch. They asked for my address and a myriad of other details. I gave them the address as 329 N. 800 E. I stayed on the phone with dispatch and she told me the officers were pulling up to the house. I didn't see anything... Then I realized that the actual address is 329 N. 800 W. Oops.

Soon enough, I could hear the sirens coming. Dwayne was really stressed he was going to jail. He was crying so hard and just grabbed on to me anyway he could. Finally, the fire engine (what?), two patrol cars and an ambulance pulled up. Dwayne did not want to be separated from me at all. I spoke with all the appropriate officers, gave them my information and then followed the ambulance to the hospital.

There, I sat with Dwayne in his room. I had to give the doctor a detailed account of his previous suicide attempts which was unbelievably awkward (the things he did were unbelievably horrible). I had planned on hanging out with my sister tonight so I asked if another staff could come and stay with him for two hours while I went to dinner. I was replaced and went to dinner. I was assigned to spend the night with Dwayne in the hospital if the social worker assigned to the case felt that he was still a danger too himself. I was heading back to the hospital at 11pm when I got a call saying that Dwayne had been released and I didn't need to go. I went to the house, talked to Dwayne and came home.


Now, on a completely separate, completely not serious note, let's talk about Radiohead.

Radiohead has finally announced the release of their 8th album. It's called 'In Rainbows.' Radiohead, being as progressive as they are, they are trying a completely new business model. It's called, 'pay as much as you want.' Radiohead head is releasing two new products. The first is a digital download, available from in ten days. This is downloadable at any price. Radiohead is asking fans to pay what they feel they should. This includes the option of downloading it for free!

The second product is a 40 British Pounds ($82) box set. It includes the digital download on CD, an extra disc that includes more new music, and two 2x12 vinyls. Of course I'll buy both. I just love Radiohead so much it hurts.

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