difficult child is being admitted inpatient tomorrow

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by MyHrt31, Jan 26, 2009.

  1. MyHrt31

    MyHrt31 New Member

    Update: My 9 year old's psychiatrist has decided that because the lithium/abilify combination is still having no effect on his aggression/anger, that his best option at this point would be inpatient treatment where he could be observed 24 hours a day. This way, the doctors could try and identify a medication that might help him. I am a nervous wreck because this is going to be the first time he's been away from me. He is afraid to sleep alone and is even scared to go to the bathroom by himself so I am wondering how that's going to be dealt with there. (He's very dependent on me) I just worry that it will scar him, Know what I mean? Someone tell me I am doing the right thing :anxious: Can anyone tell me what to expect? Who decides when he gets to leave once I sign him in? How long is the normal stay? I bring him tomorrow morning....

    Also, I did try and find a neuropsychiatrist in this area but there are none. I called medicaid and they said there are none anywhere in this area that even accept medicaid (I am in the Lafayette, Louisiana area).
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2009
  2. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    I'm sorry- I know it's hard, but it will be ok- really. He'll be fine and in the long run, it will help him. Don't be shocked if he cries, but I think it will be good for you to detach a bit, too. This would be a good opportunity to get him out of the habit of sleeping with you, too.

    Look for a neuropsychologist- if you can't find that, ask for a psychologist that does neuropsychological testing, not just psychological/educational. This should be a Dr. as in PhD- not MD.

    Someone at the hospital should be able to recommend one.
  3. Janna

    Janna New Member

    Where he is going, psychiatric hospital?

    Our experience was a 7-10 day stay, hardly enough time to administer, wait out and monitor a mood stabilizer.

    The first day or so is hard, but the staff at the phospital have probably seen it all and is capable of handling the situation. Knowing ahead, you can prepare him, which is good. My son was 12, in the E.R. when we had to ship him up there, and it was a spur of the moment, very difficult transition for him.

    My personal experience is, psychiatric *short term* stays aren't really beneficial, unless you're getting something specific while there (i.e. neuropsychological testing). You cannot really diagnose, monitor, medicate (and wait it out to see) a CHILD no less, in 7-10 days. Some medications take 6-8 weeks.

    BUT, I hope you have a good experience. Really, I wish you the best. I'll keep my fingers crossed for your boy and say prayers :)
  4. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Sending supportive and caring hugs your way. I have not had to cope with this experience but lots of CD family members have and I don't recall anyone saying that they regretted the decision following the actual stay for evaluation. It must be difficult for you and I do think you should steel yourself for the probable crying, begging, hysteria. Naturally your difficult child will be unhappy and frightened. on the other hand your job as the Warrior Mom is to stay
    firm in your resolve to make sure he gets the best possible evaluation from the best possible sources. I will be saying a prayer for you both. DDD
  5. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    No advice, but wanted to send hugs and support.
  6. MyHrt31

    MyHrt31 New Member

    Thanks :sad-very: This is probably one of the toughest decisions I've had to make but its something I haven't done yet. I feel like if I try it, and it works great! If not, at least we gave it a shot. It is a psychiatric hospital. The Medical Director there is board-certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology in both general and child and adolescent psychiatry. I am assuming that is good? I know nothing about this stuff :confused: Hopefully he'll be able to do an EEG and a sleep study on my difficult child while he is there. I don't know, I am just hoping for a miracle at this point. Thanks for the support. I am sick to my stomach right now :sick: but I know it could be what he needs
  7. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    That sounds good! Tell them when you take him in tomorrow or call tomorrow and talk to the psychiatrist and tell him you'd like for them to do an EEG. This shouldn't be a problem and it is helpful in ruling out a few things. They'll do blood tests on him- I don't know if you want to prepare him for that or not. You should be able to visit and call often.
  8. MyHrt31

    MyHrt31 New Member

    I'll probably stay in a hotel close by the first night just for my own personal sanity, lol. The hospital is a four hour drive from where we live :anxious: I will definitely ask about an EEG. I did explain to my difficult child that he was going to be staying in a hospital. He isn't making a big deal about it at the moment. He's kind of indifferent, a little sad. I explained to him it won't be forever and its just to find the right medicine. I'm sure tomorrow will be another story :(
  9. Can you try any of the hospitals in the New Orleans area if you can't ge the neuropscyh? Perhaps out of Tulane? It's not next door; but through research at work; I know that the Children's Hospital out of New Orleans seems to have a good reputation and takes a lot of Medicaid.

    Good luck with everything; my difficult child's hospitalization was one of the best steps we undertook and wish we had done it earlier. If nothing else, it really established firm boundaries and took the problem away from being "us" to an "it" that had to be dealt with. Same as everyone, I'll keep you and your son in my prayers. I can't imagine doing this as a single parent - hang in there - answers/or at least steps in the right direction are in front of you. Hats off to you for all you are doing.
  10. MyHrt31

    MyHrt31 New Member

    Hello :D I've heard wonderful things about Childrens Hospital. His psychiatrist knows the doctor in Alexandria so she wants him to try there first. If things do not work out there, I would love to send him to NO. When you say "us" and "it", what do you mean, if you don't mind my asking?

    I am sad because this is going to be really hard. He's all I've got here. We're like this little team and I really want to help him "get better". We've been trying to find the "right" medications for the last seven years with no luck. Maybe there's nothing that will help him. Maybe its just going to take some really tough love. I am trying my best but I've got to start working again soon because my savings is running low and I also go to school so everything is just so overwhelming sometimes. I'm kind of glad that we are doing this now though because if we can get him hospitalized before I start working again, I'll be available for any therapy sessions or consultations they will need from me. Sorry for all the "poor me" stuff, I just have to let it all out, so to speak, lol
  11. Sagegrad

    Sagegrad New Member

    We just went through this with our 8yo. 2 visits in a psychiatric hospital over the Halloween/Thanksgiving Holidays. We were working towards residential placement at that point and we truly agonized over the decision. In my opinion, the psychiatric hospital stays did nothing but pave the insurance road for the Residential Treatment Center (RTC). in my opinion it was easier for the psychiatric hospital to overmedicate my child than truly look at the medications and since it was short term ,they (the hospital staff) knew they couldnt do anything and didnt bother trying. But our insurance wouldnt even talk residential without an emergency psychiatric hospital stay.
    6 weeks into Residential Treatment Center (RTC) and my daughter is doing alot better. The medications have been addressed and she is being weened off the unneccesary ones. And the ones she's on really are working for the better.

    Sorry I cant offer more, but please know Im right with you on this being a hard decision. Trust in your heart that you'll do the best thing for your child
  12. kathryn481

    kathryn481 New Member

    I know what you are going thru, I had to take my 8 yr difficult child, a boy, last thurs. to the psychiatric hospital due to increase anger and aggression mostly at school,some at home with sibs. and like the others said be prepared for cying and begging,mine did but you have to stay strong because in the long run it does pay off, this is his 3rd time in and each time he comes out at little bit better. D is a sweet sweet boy but can turn in second, his ADHD, ODD, Disrutive disorder and mildly retarded, he is adopted along with his 7 brothers and sisters ( not all from the same family) he has learned to be more independent, knows what medications he takes and why he takes them. I pray that you will stay strong.
  13. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I know this is hard but know you are doing the right thing. The first time my difficult child was hospitalized, he was 7. I think it was harder on husband and myself than on him. He actually did really well, the structure for him was really good. His first stay was 3 1/2 weeks which I think is unusual. His second stay was 3 weeks and his third stay was about 2 weeks.

    I hope the hospital stay is productive and able to help with stabilization. Sending gentle hugs your way.
  14. Janna

    Janna New Member


    Any treatments we choose for our children can be so difficult. Just making the choice to put kids on medications - I mean, think, you're putting a child on an *antipsychotic* - it's like, whoa.

    But, you have to know that if your son is not stable, if he's emotionally unbalanced, you are doing the best thing in the world for him. Because, really - imagine how he feels inside, what you may not know, and how he has absolutely no control over that.

    I hope you're able to find some peace with your decision. The psychiatric hospital could be the best thing in the world for him! It could turn out to be a bummer. Either way, *you* did what you thought was right for your son, because he needs help.

    I know I already posted, LOL, but I have so been in your shoes, cried and lost sleep over my decisions. But, in the end, I know I've done what I had to, and tried my darndest, and that, as parents, is all we can do.
  15. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Sending hugs and lots of support to you. Remember to call the local Ronald McDonald house to ask if you can stay there. They are really wonderful, and so helpful when you have to drive a long way to a hospital of any kind.

    psychiatric hospital stays vary depending on the type of psychiatric hospital. Acute psychiatric hospital's keep them for a MAX of 7-10 days. There are long-term phosps that will keep a child for longer. My son was in one the first time he went to a psychiatric hospital. He stayed for 4 months. We had some very severe, very drastic issues with violence toward others and he NEEDED to stay there that long.

    Put your request for the sleep deprived EEG, sleep study, Occupational Therapist (OT) evaluation for Sensory Integration Disorder (SID), neuropsychologist testing ALL in WRITING. If possible get a signature on an identical copy so you can prove that they got the request. Not sure you can force them to do the testing, but it will take away the "we didn't know" excuse.

    The first couple of nights will be hard. It is probably a good thing to try and help him become LESS dependent on you, and more independent. learning to comfort yourself, and to do things for yourself is very freeing, and it really builds confidence. You could use this psychiatric hospital visit to start with that. Also, look up what it means to be "enmeshed" or "'codependent". Parents and kids can do that, and it is not good in the long run for either of them. Star could tell you a LOT about that.

    I hope this visit isn't traumatic, though the first time you leave him probably will be. But overall our kids usually do very well at the psychiatric hospital because the extremely structured atmosphere there is somehow comforting to many of our kids.

    Hugs to all of you,

  16. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts

    The others have let you know what to expect & what possible tests (if available to difficult child) will help.

    It may take more than one hospitalization to get your difficult children medications right & he stabilizes.

    Take the time while difficult child is in the hospital to recharge. You'd be surprised at how well difficult child will do & how well the staff handles things. The first time wm was in the hospital I was a little hurt at how easy it was for him to "forget" his fears & get into the structure (i.e. fun) of the setting.

    Soooooo......take this time to recharge yourself. Don't spend your entire time at the hospital. In fact, most psychiatric hospital's have limited visitation schedules.

    Sending positive thoughts for a good outcome.
  17. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    MyHrt, I know how nervewracking that can be. And a 4-hr drive! I would stay nearby, too! That's a long drive.
    I am glad you are asking for an EEG. That's one thing we never got when our difficult child was in the hospital and I regret it. Once they're in there, you need to do as many tests as possible because you may not have the opportunity again.
    You will meet with-the soc wkr several times when he's in there, and generally it is with-him in the rm. They try to be as open as possible with-discussions.
    He will do very well. These places are very structured and organized. Most kids thrive on the routine.
    Many hugs.
  18. jal

    jal Member

    Many hugs being sent to you. The first time my difficult child was hospitalized he just turned 6 and he was there for 3 weeks. My difficult child is also recently diagnosis'd as Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD)-Aspergers with-anxiety. He was before being treated as bipolar/ADHD. husband and I cried when we left him. He cried too, not understanding why he was really there. We were doing a medication wash and he became unsafe. This child had never been away from us except for a 5 day vaca husband and I had when he was around 3. He got so that he stopped calling us every night and just went about his business there. He got comfortable. Little kids (for the most part) adapt to their surroundings. I was afraid it would scar him too, but it hasn't (they are so resilient). Once in a great while he will refer to "remember when I was in the hospital" or "why did I go to the hospital?", but he never reflects on it as a negative experience. It will be OK, and you know what you are doing is best. Good luck to you and your child.
  19. You asked for more info about "When you say "us" and "it", what do you mean, if you don't mind my asking?"

    "Us" refers to all the people that bug and cause problems for difficult child - it was always someone elses fault (still is-but he is learning to stop and listen no matter what he feels like). We could never get anywhere with this mindset.

    "It" refers to the anger issues/bipolar (that is how difficult child describes his problems). Just before he was hospitalized, he camly told me he was sick of dealing with the anger issues and wanted to know what he had to do so it did not happen again. difficult child was on the verge of psychosis at this time. Now it's the anger issues fault - but only he can solve it. We can only give him tools.

    I had the kid psychiatric hospital docs were wondering why he was in the hospital (they actually checked him aggressively for child abuse). I think I could better explain this today. He had fallen over the edge - but he was still holding on with one hand; but he couldn't do it much longer. The hospitalization made difficult child deal with some of his emotions and he could no longer hide - we finally saw first hand just how irrational his thinking was; and how very good he is at hiding it. You may find that you have to help the psychiatrists in this area if they can't see it.

    I've got you and your son in my prayers that you find healing and stability soon. Listen to the others; take this time to recharge a bit. You've done a fabulous job raising your son by yourself and making a future for both of you.
  20. I wanted to offer you a hug. I know how you feel. But yes you are doing the right thing. difficult child will be fine in there, it might be tough the first day or so. When my difficult child went in the first time, it was so hard for me, but when I went to see him the first time, he was ok. He has been inpatient repeatedly over the past 1 1/2 years including a 3 1/2 month stay in Residential Treatment Center (RTC). You have been given some good advice here, just remember to recharge yourself while he's in there.