When our daughter Angela first started seeing her psychiatrist Dr. Nelson, my husband was very concerned about her care and that we needed to know what drugs she was prescribed and bringing into our home saying that we needed to be in control because she was our daughter and in our home with us as her care takers.
Michael was very insistent about this due to a very traumatic past experience with a psychiatrist and his having had severe adverse reactions to multiple antidepressants that left him permanently damaged. These drugs include: Remeron, Prozac, Wellbutrin, Citalopram, and Trazodone.
The side effects he had from these were: anaphylactic shock, confusion, inability to stand or walk due to deadening of the right side of his head, paralysis of his left side of his body, irregular and racing heartbeat, permanent long term memory loss and short term memory problems along with severe hallucinations, loss of emotions, sexual dysfunctions, and an uncontrollable need to kill himself, all caused by these drugs! I to was very concerned because we all had to live through what he had gone through and what was done to him.
At an appointment with Dr. Nelson that Angela and I went to, she signed a paper that gave us the right to know about her care and what medications she was being prescribed so we could watch for negative side effects and be able to talk to her Doctor to discuss her care. I was glad that this was in place because I had to call him several times to discuss some reactions to the medications and other ideas about her care.
Things were not going good at home and Dr. Nelson put her on Saphris along with her Citalopram and an anxiety medication called Alprazolam. He also had her stop taking Trazodone and took it off her prescription list. I believe he did this because he thought it had been inappropriately prescribed by Dr. Kooiker and it wasn’t good for her.
He stared her on Saphris at 5mg. then raised it to 10mg. and she seemed to be better except that she was sleeping way too much and we were concerned that her Saphris dose was too high. Then her medical assistance changed.
Her insurance coverage through the county was changed to one that Dr. Nelson’s office didn’t accept. We were forced to find her a new psychiatrist, believing that she needed a psychiatrist to get her prescriptions refilled. Her prescriptions were running low and we were having trouble finding a replacement. We were also looking for someone in the area and we weren’t sure what to do. So, we discussed this with Angela’s counselor, Jennifer, who said there was one is Ostego only a few miles away. We called and found that it was Dr. Kooiker but at least they accepted her new insurance.
I was concerned because it was Dr. Kooiker which we had stopped bringing her to because Angela didn’t like her and I had just a bad feeling about her because Angela’s mental condition had gone from troubled to frightening under her care. We had originally transferred her care to Dr. Salmo who had refused to see her any more due to her being late for her appointments, and that is when she started seeing Dr. Nelson.
So before transferring her care back to Dr. Kooiker, we talked with Dr. Nelson and he assured us that all her records would be transferred to Dr. Kooiker. I thought it would be safe since all Kooiker was needed for, was to ensure that Dr. Nelson’s medicine regiment would be continued. So, she started to go and see her again, and I went with the first couple of times to make sure Dr.Kooiker understood what was expected of her so that our daughter was safe before letting her go by herself .
After Jonny’s death, although Dr. Nelson had assured me, Dr. Kooiker acted like what we had discussed had never happened and told us that Angela’s records, with the papers that we signed with Dr. Nelson about being able to know all about our daughters care and what medications she was on, had never been transferred to her.
When I had gone with Angela to see Dr. Kooiker she was defiantly told that we only wanted her to prescribe the three medications that Angela was currently taking. Then I went with my daughter to the pharmacist to pick up her medications after that appointment and Trazodone was not one of them.
After the autopsy reports about Jonathan’s death came in, Angela told us that at her appointment with Dr. Kooiker in December 2011, Dr. Kooiker tried to get her to pick up more Trazodone, but she refused. Then at her following appointment with Jennifer, her psychologist, she was told that Dr. Kooiker spoke to Jennifer about Angela’s care and Dr. Kooiker asked Jennifer to encourage Angela to pick up the Trazodone.
Angela said she didn’t need it to go to sleep and she hadn’t used it for some time, yet Dr. Kooiker told her she needed to fill it just in case.
Dr. Kooiker knew about our concerns that the Saphris levels might be too high because she was sleeping way too much. I can’t understand why she would go behind our backs and prescribe her any drug especially Trazodone again as sleeping pills.
We also were not informed by Jennifer, her psychologist that she had been talked into picking up the Trazodone and bringing it into our home.
Both Dr. Kooiker and Jennifer had failed to follow our agreements at a time when it was vital that Michael and I were informed of any prescription changes since our daughter was incapable of making decisions due to the memory problems she was having as she would go in and out of states of reality.
None of us knew that the Trazodone was even in the house until the coroner called about Jonathans autopsy and asked if he was being treated for depression.
Our son is Dead and dozens of lives have been damaged and permanently changed because of arrogance and disregard of proper care!
Written by: JaRae M. Midlo