difficult child in hospital

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by STRESSEDTOMAX, Jun 6, 2008.



    Hi, everyone-

    I have had a whopper of a week. difficult child exploded on Tuesday and threw a heavy, metal three hole puncher at my head when I was locking the door to keep him in. I had to go to the ER and have three staples put in. difficult child was very remorseful but then continued as if it never happened. The next day we were scheduled to leave for NY for a pleasure trip with family. My husband is already there on business. After twenty minutes of driving to the airport, difficult child remembers that he forgot a FOLDER at home and demands that we go back. If I could have without missing the plane, I would have, but we couldn't. My older son and I tried to reason with him that if we went back for the folder and missed the plane, it wouldn't matter anyway. Nothing got through to him. We told him his brother would get the folder and bring it to NY on Friday when he was coming. Nope. difficult child then starts saying he is not going on the plane and I start thinking: I cannot believe we are actually going to miss this plane because of this kid. To make a very long story short, it turned into a full-blown explosion complete with kicking, screaming, cursing, throwing things, etc. I had my older son call 911 because I knew this would continue at home and I can't live this way anymore. I am at the end of my rope. We wound up at a behavioral health care ER and I let them admit him. I do not know how I got the strength to leave him there. I guess I just need so bad for someone to help us and him.

    He is doing OK-I saw him for an hour last night. He actually seems to be having too good a time. The nurse told me today that they are not seeing any of the behaviors that he was brought in with and that concerns me. I am once again second-guessing myself thinking that it is my and DHs fault and that he only does this with us but he has also assaulted his teacher and displays many other behaviors besides so rationally I know we can't be the cause. They have ordered additional psychological testing and the nurse said that should show alot. I hope it shows something because otherwise, it will be the same old you know what when he gets home. They did note that he needs constant redirection and tends to focus on everyone else. Also noted are some mannerisms such as opening and closing his mouth constantly, blinking his eyes, etc. Hopefully, this means something. Has anyone had any experiences like this? I would appreciate any and all feedback. Right now, I'm trying to enjoy the peace and quiet but trying not to get too used to it. I'm very disappointed about the trip but I was out of my mind to think we'd get there anyway. Thanks.
  2. mama2lexxie

    mama2lexxie New Member

    Oh Chris, I am sorry.
    Sending you a hug. Hang in there.
  3. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    He is honeymooning for sure! Have they required anything from him? Asked him to do anything he did not want to do? Probably not if he is having fun.

    When did the tenex start? Is that for the tics?
  4. Jungleland

    Jungleland Welcome to my jungle!

    Oh ya, he is honeymooning major! Aly did this almost every hospitalization to the point where I cringe when she has to go in because I can already hear the phone call from the psychiatrist:

    "Mrs W, This is Dr H, just wanted to update you on Aly's progress here in the hospital. We are seeing a scared, anxiety riden child who is not showing ANY of the issues she was admitted for. Therefore, we would like to discharge her immediately and are suggesting counseling...blah blah blah"

    Pretty "funny" since Aly has been in intense counseling since she was 6 years old!!!!

    Very frustrating, unnerving, mind boggling and makes me question mine and husband's parenting each and every time it happens.

    Also, usually upon discharge, Aly will blow out on the way home or very soon after. I honestly think she does best in a highly structured and controlled environment that we cannot possibly maintain in a family home situation.

    Hugs of understanding!!!


    He has been on the Tenex for about 10 months, give or take a few weeks that I took him off it. The psychiatrist put him on it to help the anger. He is also now on Lamictal 10mg. I don't know if either of these is even helping him. The nurse told me this would be evaluation'd in the hospital. As far as them asking him for anything, I'm not sure. Last night he was mad at not going home and refused to speak to my husband on the phone but I don't know if he's refused anything else. He seems to be cooperating.
  6. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    This seems to be very common. Kanga honeymoons like crazy. It took two years, but the docs were finally able to paint a pretty solid picture of her. Keep very detailed notes, two weeks after he is discharged, request a copy of his complete file. It may take a while, especially with one so young, but the better records you keep the more likely the docs will be able to figure it out.


    Hi, Vickie-

    That's the exact scenario that I am afraid of- that it will all start again when he comes home. husband and I are not the most structured, consistent people and it scares me that so much hinges on us being able to be that way. I never had to do anything except what came naturally to me with my other two children but difficult child is so different. I know that whenever I watch Supernanny she always has the families make a schedule and, hey...everything always turns out OK by 10PM, right(LOL) so maybe I'll try it.
    The other thing that I need to talk to a therapist about is if they are exploding and won't stop, what exactly do you do? I put him in his room and I now have a broken door. I have read The Explosive Child but lately, everything trigers him-he refuses to do almost everything we ask him to-how do u live with someone like that and stay sane?
  8. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    If anyone - including you - is wondering if these are only problems with you, show them the staples in your head. Nothing you could have done could have instigated that. Mouth popping and rapid blinking sounds more like some sort of Aspie type thing, but maybe it's a medication reaction thing?

    That's rotten that you didn't get to go to NY with your husband. I hope that the hospital will understand that he is honeymooning - that shouldn't be a new concept for them - and will push some buttons to get him to show his true colors, if need be. M was a master at this. Thirty eight days in an Residential Treatment Center (RTC) and only one staff member got it. It wasn't enough to change anyone's mind, but disturbing that no one listened to her.
  9. Jungleland

    Jungleland Welcome to my jungle!


    I don't! I moved out! But that was after Aly broke my arm when I got in the way of her rage. We went round and round and round on that rollercoaster of walking on eggshells just so we wouldn't trigger a rage. But, with Aly, we never could figure out exactly what her triggers are, except for the word NO or a change in plans or a change in what she THOUGHT were the plans, etc.

    Supernanny is awesome, I just love her, but when it comes to true difficult child's like our kiddos, I think she would head for the hills in a heartbeat. We have tried schedules, calendars, reward charts, trips to the Dollar Store for good behavior...none of it works long term. I just get too exhausted of dealing with all of it and we do have a 4 yo we are trying to raise as well.

    I get what you mean about raising the older 2, and things were never like this! I would look at them with a stern look when they misbehaved and I would get an immediate "I'm sorry Mom". Not Aly, she lives for the challenge, I swear she does. She knows exactly what buttons to push that drive me over the edge and uses those buttons all the time.

    Don't get me wrong, there are soooo many things about Aly that are awesome. Her love of animals and little kids is her saving grace. If she is over here where I am living now, on my sis' horse ranch, for the most part, she is very well behaved. We let her get as involved in the animal care as possible. And she is excellent at it. She also is wonderful with sis' younger kiddos, has an enormous amount of patience when trying to teach them a new ball game or something. And she still loves to play with baby dolls, so it works out well in that respect.

    But, I was where you are so many years that I am now on medications for anxiety and depression just to cope.

    Aly will be 11 next week and I am getting more and more nervous about the teen years. My olders had a few issues, but for the most part sailed through pretty well. I am praying on a daily basis for the strength and patience I will need to help Aly through these next years.

    Feel free to PM me anytime. I get it!!

  10. Hugs to you. I was in the same boat with my difficult child when he was in the psychiatric hospital because he was honeymooning! Sorry you got hurt and sorry you missed your trip!

  11. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    I am so sorry you have to go through this! It is so hard to make that choice of hospitalization and then not to have the staff see what is going on. Like the others said, maybe someone will ask difficult child to do something that will set him off in the hospital.

    I know it would be asking too much but I wonder what would happen if you did not go visit or accept phone calls for a few days? Would that add enough stress to difficult child to start showing some of these behaviors? However, he is awefully young to ask that of a parent and I don't think I could do it myself.

    Also, maybe he will not like a staff member on the weekend crew and show some rebellion at that point?

    As with Aly, many kids can hold it in long enough to get home. They feel safe to throw the tatrums and anger at home so will wait if they can.

    Do you have the police report to show the doctors? They may only have the behavior from when difficult child entered the doors of ER - how did the police document the behavior. (or what ever emergency person answerring the 911 call). That may help the docs realize the seriousness of this (also show them a copy of your ER visit for stitches).

    I know that all though you are enjoying the peace and quiet and using this time to destress, it is still breaking your heart. I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers.
  12. Jules71

    Jules71 Warrior Mom since 2007

    Ohhhhh I feel for you! I have not had difficult child admitted but considered it on so many occasions. I think what has stopped me is what you are dealing with right now - none of the behaviors are present in the hospital.

    My son has lots of special things in place at school and those other staff that work with him think he is so great and cooperative, etc. I really think they think I am crazy. At least his teacher and I know the true way he is. I keep telling them - they need to get him in a sitation where they tell him NO or try to get him to do or not do something against his wishes. This is when the explosions happen.

    I too have holes in my doors from difficult child raging when he is put in time out. He throws things at me too and pulls my hair when I am driving, calls me all kinds of awful things. This has taken its toll on me - I now have anxiety like crazy, hyperthyroidism, and high blood pressure. I don't know how anyone can stay sane when you have to live like this everyday. I have really been trying to focus more on me and husband and taking time for myself. It doesn't happen very often but I try. A recent 2 hour visit to Urgent care for my sore throat the other night was actually quite relaxing. HA!

    Hang in there! Keep us posted.

  13. Bugsy

    Bugsy New Member

    Hi there,

    I have not been on in a long while but I HAD to take a moment to give you support. We are in NC also and we had to hospitalize our son on March 6th. It was for severe impulisivity. Totally out of control (not violent, but extremely dangerous.) It was by far the WORST day in my life and believe me we have had many horrible days.

    He stayed in-patient for 1 week and then in out-patient (8am-4pm week days) for 2 weeks.

    I have to say (knock on wood) it was very helpful for him. He was also 6 at the time and did not like being there but learned a lot about control and we were able to trial medicines in the safety of the hospital. He has had bad reactions to countless medications.

    My son also took tenex for a long while, stopped way before hospitalization. We tried it again to prevent hosptializing but it made him ANGRY every time we trialed it. I kept telling the first dr. and he just said to keep upping it. With every upping he was angrier, nastier and more unhappy. The second dr (current) listened and saw for himself.

    This psychiatrist felt it was good for my son to understand there are consequences when you are out of control (even if you can't help it). He felt it was helpful for others to observe his behaviors and reactions and like I said to trial medications more safely.

    I hope, pray, wish, cross my fingers and toes, etc etc that I will never have to do it again, but I know it was the right thing and he is doing so much better now.

    Keep strong and remember what may stink for us may be the best for him.

    Bugsy's mom


    Bugsy's mom-

    Would u mind telling me where your son went?


    Thank you to everyone who responded to my post. I never realized how much having this board could help me. Also, today I learned so much about this "honeymooning" concept-I'd never heard about it. difficult children therapist did mention this today.

    I spoke to difficult child tonight-I'm seeing him tomorrow. He sounded sad and tired to me and he is asking to come home. It breaks my heart but I do know this is the only way and if I have doubts about that, I'll remember when I'm cleaning my head wound tonight. Thanks to Wizend(?) for reminding me of that.
  16. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    To add to that thought, and thoughts about "honeymooning", I hope that you can get someone on staff to get him to talk about not only how he feels about having hurt you so badly, but why he did it. I know it can be difficult to get a 6 year old to stay on topic or open up sometimes, but something along the lines of "Why did you throw it?" (I was mad) and "Could something like that happen again if you got mad at mom again?" They'd have to couch it in terms that wouldn't get the standard "yes/no" "I know it was wrong and I won't do it again" response.

    They know it's wrong and they know what the right response when asked about it is. But do they know that it's not the only thing that they can do when they get that cussed angry at you?
  17. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Many gentle hugs to you. The physical violence is just so wearing. And, yes, my difficult child has honeymooned all three times he has been in the hospital. The first two times the psychiatrist on staff understood that. This last time, the new psychiatrist didn't get it at all.

    I know it's hard but he's where he needs to be. Please take some of this time to recharge yourself.
  18. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It


    I am so very sorry. THIS IS NOT YOUR FAULT. No way. Just isn't.

    The mouth thing and blinking could be either stimming (repetitive motions like hand flapping that some people find comforting) or be a sign of seizures. PLEASE push for them to do an EEG (a sleep deprived one - they show MUCH more than the other kinds of EEG) test for brain activity. It will show many kinds of seizures. Rage and outbursts can be seizure related.

    Honeymooning is VERY common. Esp if he reacts mostly to one person and of course that person is not there. In this case it sounds like mom gets more of his rages, so maybe they need to see his reactions to mom?? My son could honeymoon for months.

    When my difficult child was inpatient I went in to a therapy session and pushed all his buttons. I knew the things that made him angry (being held accountable or pushed for reasons past "I dunno" for why he did things were the real big triggers for him) and made him angry so they could SEE.

    I am not sure if it would work for you. We were in a long term psychiatric hospital and they KNEW me.

    I hope they can help you. Supernanny and her skills are great for pcs. The stuff she uses can help, but they are not going to fix a difficult child. Not for long anyway.

    Take time to recharge yourself as much as you can while he is in the hospital. This is a hard thing, having a child in the hospital, esp for mental illness. It is what he needs though. I know you probably feel like a bad parent for leaving him in a psychiatric hospital, but the opposite is true. You are doing exactly what he needs, and that means you are being a good parent.


  19. Bugsy

    Bugsy New Member


    I don't think we are supposed to post specific places so i am going to private message you.

    Bugsy's mom
  20. Sheila

    Sheila Moderator

    Oh, gosh! Hugs

    Hope he doesn't honeymoon too long, but it is a common problem.

    Any chance what you are seeing is tics related to stimulant medication or perhaps Tourettes?