Sad, Scared and Not Knowing What to Expect

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by jal, Aug 10, 2008.

  1. jal

    jal Member

    My 6 yr old difficult child was admitted for inpatient in psychiatric hospital Friday. psychiatrist is out of the country and recommended via e-mail. We are in the middle of a medication wash and he has attacked kids at daycare, running from the building etc. He called us 2 times Friday night wanting to come home (he has never been away from us but 3 nights in his life). We visited Saturday, he never called us at night and he never called today (we called him) - seemed to be doing ok. He is the youngest there. I am scared for safety (never having gone through this). He is at a highly respected pediatric facility. We meet with the team tomorrow. I am afraid that this will scar him, yet I know he needs help, I am shocked that he is not constantly calling (as he has high anxiety when Mom & Dad are not around). husband and I are scared to death and so sad for him. What shouldwe expect from this?
  2. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    been there done that but with an older child - I can imagine how much scarier for a 6 yr old. I am surprised your child was allowed to call you Friday night. Usually children that young need assistance to dial out of a facility and the phone is not accessible without permission. Maybe the first night they are allowed to touch base with mom and dad?

    My 11 year old had only been away from home overnight without a parent twice in his life. That was the hardest part for both of us. We were both told that neither could contact the other outside visiting hours.

    The 1st night really is the very hardest - as long as your son is doing fine during the visit Saturday and didn't say much today, I would think things are o.k.

    6 years old is young but he still should be able to understand that this is a consequence of his behavior. Tell him that you need to keep him and the day school kids safe.

    It is o.k. if he is a little scared - it may help him keep some behaviors in check. If he doen't like to be there, he may try harder to overcome this.

    The psychiatric hospital my son went to had units set up for age groups. He was the oldest in the 6 - 12 yr wing. The staff are very aware of each child's behavior and will keep their eyes open for safety issues.

    I absolutley know what you are going through. I am very protective of my son and to hand him over to people I had never meet was so scary. I had to trust that the facility would live up to its standards while my son was there.

    I think things will be easier for him when the weekday schedule starts tomorrow.

  3. jal

    jal Member

    Thank you Andy. He called during calling hours on Friday night-they could call up to 9pm. They dialed for him, but he knows husband's cell # by heart.
  4. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    That make sense then. Many times you need to dial "9" to get an outside line - kids may not know that.

    Did he ask to come home yesterday or today?

    Has he met any new friends there? (Can't take the friends home - aka contact on the outside - but nice to have companionship during treatment). Sometimes the kids do watch out for and help each other.

    Once when I visited difficult child, he was in the room with a couple other boys. As I came in, one said, "Hi difficult child's mom" I replied, "Hi difficult child's friend"
  5. jal

    jal Member

    Friday when he called the 2nd time he cried. Yesterday when we visited he thought we were sleeping there with-him. He said he was not staying there another night. He blocked the doors for us to leave (calmly, no crying) then staff convinced him to wave goodbye to us at a window and he did. Waved, blew kisses and turned around and left. He did not call last night (I called at 10pm to check ) on him and was told he settled with-a nurse who read him a book and he fell asleep and was OK after we left. Then we called him today and he said he was fine and said he had a better night and loved me very much. It is just an odd change from the way he normally is and he is not being given any additional medications. He is tapering his last of Abilify.
  6. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    {{{BIG HUGS}}} I can only imagine how difficult this is for your family.
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2008
  7. jannie

    jannie trying to survive....

    I know this is really really hard...sending you and your family hugs...medication washes can be really scary watching kids withdraw from medications, etc. He is in a well respected facility. They will watch over him as needed....Hang in there...
  8. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Jal, my stomach would be in knots.
    It must be incredibly hard to do the right thing intellectually and yet feel so distraught emotionally.
    Just a little longer ...
  9. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I know this is hard but I hope you can find comfort in knowing you are doing the right thing. My difficult child was 7 when he was first hospitalized. He didn't want to go, threatened to jump out of the car while we were driving (partially opened the door) but then did very well there with the structure they provide. He used to want us to visit but then would practically kick us out the door so he wouldn't miss any activities that might be planned.

    Sending gentle hugs for your hurting mommy heart.
  10. crazymama30

    crazymama30 Active Member

    I have not been there done that, but can only offer hugs and prayers. I cannot imagine what your family is going thru.
  11. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I am sorry this needed to happen, but it sounds as though it was necessary.

    The staff will be very aware of his needs. they are very experienced.

    Usually throughout the day they are very structured. Many of our kids find this to be very comforting and they feel safe because they know exactly what will happen at what time. I have heard from parents here that kids are often scared to come home because it is not as regimented/structured.

    If he is not calling, and when you visit/call he is not panicked/anxious, then he is probably doing fine. Often kids will not want you to leave (bar the door, etc...) but a few minutes after you are gone they are into an activity and just fine.

    Keep talking to him during the approved hours. Visit him on visiting days. Talk to the docs and STAFF. My son was much older when he first went into the psychiatric hospital but I made allies on the staff and learned what he reallly was doing and saying. This helped me make medication decisions and other decisions.

    I think I started it with a plate of cookies for the staff. Nothing major, they thought I brought 2 dozen cookies for my son (EEKS - that much sugar and he would have been meaner than a momma bear who's cub disappeared!). When I got them to understand the cookies were for the nurses and interns, they were just shocked. After that I got real info when I called. It was good because the psychiatrist on staff spent less than 10 mins a week with each kid!!! The nurses and social worker therapist were the ones who knew what was going on.

    Whatever happens, I know it hurts your mommy heart to have your baby in the hospital. Be kind and gentle to yourself, take time to recharge yourself and your marriage - even if it is just comforting your spouse in the evening.

    Sending gentle (((((hugs))))) for you and husband.
  12. been there done that, the first time my difficult child went inpatient was so difficult, I had to pry him off of me when I had to walk away as he was telling me he would never forgive me. He was 11. I can't imagine with a 6 year old. I have to say it really doesn't get much easier, other than he understands now that he needs the help (most days).

    Just know in your heart that it is necessary and it won't last forever. My difficult child has actually cut visits short because he wanted to go to the gym with the other kids and not miss out.


  13. jal

    jal Member

    Thank you all. He is still in psychiatric hospital, doing OK. He actually called us last night on his own (first time since Friday). We have another meeting with the team tomorrow. Now that his medication wash is practically complete they are starting him on 5mg of Ritalin. Stims do not work for him so they should see that quickly. He is very hyper there. I now his original psychiatrist wanted to do the wash and start addressing ADHD again, but this kid has trialed 7 different stims with-no luck. psychiatric hospital is in contact with-psychiatrist so we shall see.

    I feel guilty for enjoying the respite, but I do because it will be h*ll when he gets home as daycare has informed me that he cannot return until school starts. UGH! So much for the push for a para at daycare.