difficult child's First Inpatient Stay

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by neednewtechnique, Jul 11, 2008.

  1. neednewtechnique

    neednewtechnique New Member

    Okay, I have to again apologize becauase I have been away so long, but this week, I really need everyone so here I am. My oldest difficult child, the 13 year old, was taken to an inpatient facility for the first time on Wednesday night. She is a cutter, and had a very bad incident on Wednesday in the evening, bad enough that we had to rush her to the ER, and they checked out her arms and she didn't need any medical treatment, thankfully, and then they had a psychiatric on staff who evaluated her and recommended her for inpatient care, but since the inpatient unit at the hospital we went to has inpatient psychiatric services for adults only, they sent her to a facility that came very highly recommended to us, but the facility is an hour and a half from our house! I guess there are only a few in this area and the closest one is at least an hour away anyways, and he thought that this place was worth the extra half an hour drive. It was very upsetting, especially since they would not even release her to allow me to drive her to the facility myself, the psychiatric from the ER and the facility director thought it would be best to transport her directly by ambulance. She was scared and upset that she could not go with me, but I followed the ambulance the whole way there, and by the time we arrived at the facility she was calmed down and she had a really nice conversation with the EMT who rode along with her in the back to supervise her.

    They started a full battery of psychiatric tests on her last night and her psychiatrist at the hospital has opted to take her off her medications and try using Seroquel (25mg) for her. I don't know much about it because she has not taken that when she was with us. She took it a few years ago before we got her (150mg), but when DCFS took her from her mother, her guardian and their team would not approve for her to stay on it, so they took her off of it.

    He is questioning whether it is actually Bipolar, he knows she has a mood disorder, but he said that he is really considering just an not otherwise specified diagnosis instead of Bipolar.

    I have talked with her nurse and her therapist there several times over the last two days, and things seem to be going well. She is participating in all the activities and she is cooperating with her treatment team, so that is very good news.

    It was one of the hardest things I have ever done, and I had to resist the urge several times to just grab her and run back home before they took her away to get her ready for bed. I miss her terribly, but I get the impression that this facility is very good and I am confident that this is where she should be, so I am dealing with it the best I can.

    I have been able to talk to her both of the evenings that she has been there, and I am excited to get to go see her tomorrow. She said she misses everyone.

    I think we are lucky, she has found a really good friend here in our new town though, and this girl, although a little annoying because she has called me 15 times a day for the last two days to make sure my difficult child is doing okay, but she really cares about her and she wants to help any way she can.

    I hope that she gets what she needs from the program and I know that it won't fix everything, but I think it will be a good start. I just wish it wasn't so hard. At first I was afraid she would hate me and think that I was shipping her off somewhere because I could not deal with her, but she really seems to understand that this is what she needed and she seems to be okay with the whole thing. I still feel bad about sending her away, but I knew that I could not help her and that she needed someone who could.
  2. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    Oh how hard! When my 11 yr old son was placed in psychiatric hospital last fall, I stayed in a hotel room per his request. I don't think I could have gone home without him there. Home was 1hr away so I would get up, drive to work (which was very theraputic for me) and then drive back for visitation and another night at a hotel. I didn't feel like facing home for atleast one week.

    The lack of communication is the absolute worse. When my difficult child learned he could not call me whenever he wanted to (and I likewise could not contact him), he looked so broken and I knew he was ready to back out (as was I). But he knew he needed the help and pushed past his fears so I followed suite.

    You are going through a nightmare - upsetting I know is too mild of a word - and though you may sometimes feel scared, just remember that she is safe and in a place to learn coping skills. She will have follow up plans in place before discharge - this is a very good first step.

    Day by Day, actually hour by hour and tears unending. My difficult child told me he cried the first night. When I replied so did I, he smiled and gave me a hug - he knew we were in this together.

    Your nightmare will turn to a bad dream for a long while but if she is really ready to learn to be healthy, that bad dream may one day turn to a bad memory. It may not be easy, but it is possible - I am sending you strength to do this - You just have to.
  3. neednewtechnique

    neednewtechnique New Member

    To be completely honest, I was admitted to a psychiatric hospital when I was thirteen, I was there to be treated for an eating disorder. I don't know if it is better or worse for this situation that I have been through this, so I know what it is like. When I think back on my experience, I don't really think of it as a bad memory. I am able to remember all the uncomfortable things I had to do there, but I realize now how much they helped. It is my hope that she comes away with the same memories. I appreciate the support and I know that things will be okay. Since I have two other small children, staying close by was not an option, but she seems okay with me being an hour and a half away and coming for visits on the weekends when I am off work and I am able to make arrangements for her siblings.
  4. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    The stay itself would not be a bad memory - just the event leading to it. The behavior leading to the decision to go to the ER, the fear of what was going on. Those are scary memories. You may have had a better handle of what was going on then I did, but going through ER and following an ambulance was a level that I did not have to be on - those are heartbreaking in themselves.

    Actually the stay needs to stay as a supportive memory. My difficult child was glad he went to the psychiatric hospital but states he doesn't want to go again. The memory of those days are ones of where help was found, they actually are good memories.

    Your experience is helping you through this. You do know what your daughter is going through and that is the best help of all. Your experience will also help her.

    My experience comes from working at an acute behavioral health facility that treats the most acute and chronic people. I only saw the very worse life that my difficult child was headed for. It saddened and scared me to no end. I have since learned that my facility only treated a small percentage of behavioral health and that many people have these medical issues and still have happy and healthy lives. I now have hope that he may get through this on a good life road.
  5. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    How heartbreaking and difficult that was! But you know you did the right thing. She is getting help.
    You are so young to have all of this on your shoulders.
    I wish you strength and courage. And lots of great phonecalls and visits with-your difficult child. :)
  6. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    I'm so sorry you family is going through this, but I absolutely without question think that it's the best thing for difficult child right now. If she's cutting to the point of potentially needing medical attention (or really, cutting at all in my book) then she needs to be evaluated. It sounds like the folks at the hospital are doing the right things - evaluation, tweak medications, and I'm sure there will be just tons of talk therapy.

    It is standard procedure to transfer via ambulance, always. Boy, I've done those long drives chasing the ambulance. A couple years ago we had to do tolls and they ended up getting to the hospital well before me - I was a mess. But like your daughter, thank you also seems to do well on these trips - I think it's the 1-on-1 with an EMT and ... well, to be honest, being in a vehicle has calmed thank you since he was an infant, LOL.

    A gentle hug to you - I think the hardest part about our kids being admitted isn't so much that we're having to admit them, though that's really heartbreaking - it's that our kids are in such a state that they *need* to be admitted. You didn't send her away; you are making sure that she is getting the help that she needs so she can be safe at home with her family.

    I hope they come up with some good strategies for her to start using post discharge, and that this is ultimately a positive experience for your family.

    Again - many gentle hugs coming your way.