Long Awaited Update

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Calgon_Take_Me_Away, Nov 11, 2008.

  1. Calgon_Take_Me_Away

    Calgon_Take_Me_Away New Member

    So it's been several months since I posted. To recap, I was trying to get difficult child into a residential treatment facility, the state approved and he was admitted on Aug 29 ~ 2 weeks after his 9th birthday.

    Two weeks later I accepted a job at a residential treatment facility for boys with- criminal behaviors and mental illnesses. (of course not the same one my son is in) I must say I enjoy my job, as trying as it can be. But I can also approach it from 2 point of views: 1) on a professional level and 2) as the parent of a child in a residential facility. The clients are recognizing that I'm not biased ~ if they have positive or negative behaviors, I'll call them on it ("Thank you for doing such and such" or "That was unacceptable. What should you have done instead?").

    It took my difficult child 5 weeks to start letting down his barrier. It started with lying, covertly instigating peers and manipulation of others. In the past few weeks, he's started defying staff in addition to the above.

    He's been on two home visits. The first one went very well. The only issue we dealt with was him asking if he could have a cookie cause he didn't get one and me reminding him that he already had his two (as I watched him take two cookies). The second home visit he was sneaking Halloween candy in his pillow case to Nana's and then took some upstairs and ate it during the night (even though husband put the candy on top of the fridge).

    It took him a while, but he's started writing letters and calling home on his call night. In the beginning I was calling him twice a week, but when he wasn't reciprocating, I told him that if he didn't call on his call night, I wouldn't call him either; if he didn't write, I wouldn't write. Needless to say, he started with calling and then a couple weeks later started letter writing.

    We've had one family therapy session and another is scheduled for next week. In the beginning I was seeing him every week, but it for dr appts. His allergies flared on Day 4, Day 5 he perf'ed his left ear drum (not infected but from the excess mucous draining into his ears). So it was pediatrician and ENT appts. We've attended his school music program, PT Conferences. I had told the facility that I will be present for dr appts dealing with- ears, allergies and upper respiratory, but they could deal with- strep throats and pink eyes.

    His glasses have been broken 3 times that I know of since Oct 13. I raised cain over the first time because no one seemed to know anything about it except that they were broken and repaired. I told his therapist this was something I felt she needed to know about so that he can be held accountable for his actions (if he was the one that broke them). Also explaining that if your child were in school and came home with- broken glasses, wouldn't you be asking questions? It took 3 weeks to get any answers and even at that it was 3 possibilities. Since I work in a similar setting, I know what we're told about clients getting hurt or possessions getting destroyed and I put it to his facility as such. If a client or their possessions are hurt, where was staff? If staff were present, it wouldn't have happened. There are 10 boys in this "dorm" and they aren't allowed to go out of the dorm with-o staff escort. They also aren't allowed in their rooms whenever they feel like it. So I've raised concerns that either they've never had a parent ask about or feel that most of their clients' parents don't give a rats butt about so there's no need to document it.

    I asked his therapist at the facility: "I'd also like to know your honest opinions on difficult child's progress. What is psychiatrist saying? Or is this something we'll talk about at his quarterly meeting on Nov 20?"

    She completely didn't answer. Didn't respond with- we'll talk about it at the quarterly or next family session or answer it. So I called her on it and told her she skirted around it. I also told her what he said about their individual therapy session on Sat. That didn't make her happy.

    She responded with:
    Never did difficult child or I discuss promotion to Level IV. Skipping levels is not how the program was designed. They are in an order for a therapeutic reason. difficult child is not ready for discharge by the end of the year. That is his goal, not mine. It is not realistic. I asked difficult child where he saw himself in six month, i.e. “the big picture”. I also told difficult child that he needed to inform you about his glasses, which he did not do. I did not skirt around my opinion of his progress, but this is something that is typically discussed in a family session face to face, not via email. difficult child had a rough morning on Saturday. He continues to lie, instigate, manipulate, and antagonize. He is also starting to show his defiance to authority at certain times. I have been in meetings all day today, and I am leaving for the day because I am very sick. I apologize for the confusion or the lack of communication.

    I am very well aware what difficult child is capable of and I'm not in denial or I wouldn't have voluntarily placed him in treatment. I am not physically there to "read" him as he's telling me things over the phone. So I ask questions to those that are.

    Now, all that said, I started getting sick on Oct 21st. Started with- an itchy burning throat with- coughing, 2 days later I lost my voice on top of it (dr said I had the "crud that's going around"), a week later it was in my sinuses and now I have pneumonia (went back to dr yesterday). Three weeks today ~ whoopee lol So I've worked 2 days out of the 9 scheduled and dr said I'm off another week. But honestly, if I had a desk job I could have done it ~ but when you're dealing with- the possibility of physical restraint and needing vocals, I am a safety hazard for myself and the clients because physically I'm drained real quick and if I can't holler for help, I'm in trouble. I've kept in communication with- my supervisor, she knows I've gone to the dr, she hears my lacking voice, my coughing and has told me not to worry about my job because she'll back me up. She just wants me to get better and be back to 100% before I return too early and get set back.

    So that's been the past 2 1/2 months in a nutshell. Now I'm off to read other posts and bide my time sick at home.
  2. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    Wow, you have been going like gangbusters, haven't you! It's good that he is showing his true colors in the Residential Treatment Center (RTC). Unfortunate that communication isn't better, but it sounds like you all are on a level playing field, anyway. Hopefully, someone will find the rulebook! ;)

    I'm not sure I'm reading the last part of your post in green correctly. Is some of it her and some of it you? I think I've got it right, but not quite certain. Don't let her being stuck in her ways get to you. I understand both of your points of view. I hope you will feel better soon!
  3. Calgon_Take_Me_Away

    Calgon_Take_Me_Away New Member

    Sorry about that ~ I was trying to get it back to black and my font, but the highlighting and changing wasn't wanting to work with- me for some reason .... maybe because it was cut & paste? I tried correcting it, didn't mean for it to go green (as it was in the email) or my picking back up to go big and in another font. :faint:

    Anyway, her email is the paragraph that starts with- NEVER. I start my talk back up when the font goes to bigger green.
  4. Calgon_Take_Me_Away

    Calgon_Take_Me_Away New Member

    I guess I also failed to mention how everyone else is adjusting to this major change.

    easy child 1 had some attitude changes the first week. A few peers commented on her attitude and we talked about it. She said in family therapy that she missed the fighting with- difficult child the most lol Go figure! When he was home for his first home visit, she said itwas weird because he was being so good (opening the doors for others; yes, thank you; no, thank you, etc).

    easy child 2 said he misses difficult child sleeping in their room ~ they've shared a room for 4 years and now he's "alone" in his room with-o difficult child. He's also made comments about how he wants to be bad and be sent to Residential Treatment Center (RTC) because he misses difficult child and wants to be with him. difficult child told easy child 2 that he won't want to end up in Residential Treatment Center (RTC) because it's not fun.

    Both easy child's have willingly started helping out more in the house. With me being sick the past 3 weeks, a little more has been put on them. For example, easy child 1 will empty the dryer and switch the laundry over and I'll start a new load. I did a sink of dishes to her 2 sinks of dishes (big pans/plastic containers). Now when I'm back to normal, I have so much to catch up on. I work my whole 40 hours in 3 days (Sun 15 hrs, Mon & Tues 12 hrs each and then team meeting for 1 hr on Wed) so I have 4 days off in a row.

    I haven't had a migraine or stress headache since difficult child was placed. Amazing how much energy and patience they take out of you. As I mentioned previously, I have a job now. I couldn't trust difficult child in others' care whether it was his behaviors or their enabling his behaviors (was he going to kill their animal or start a fire in their house).

    husband says it's less stressful because he would come home from work and I'd complain about difficult child's behavior.
  5. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    It is cool how the easy child's miss their brother. I am glad you have found a job you enjoy. I hope you get well soon to get back to your new life.

    Remember that while you are getting to know the Residential Treatment Center (RTC) staff, they are also getting to know you. Try not to take communications personally, I am sure the therapist is trying to give you info in the most professional way possible. Give her a chance but also send the message that she needs to give you a chance. I think by what I am reading that it will work out, you both will soon learn to understand each other.

    I am picking up a lot of positives that have come about in these past few months even through the challenges. I think that having the stress lifted since difficult child was admitted is helping everyone.

    I hope the good things continue.

    You are correct in asking for answers about the glasses. Very frustrating having them break so often so soon.
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2008
  6. Calgon_Take_Me_Away

    Calgon_Take_Me_Away New Member

    Thanks for your comments Adrianne.

    Several times the nurses have told me they can transport him to his dr appts ~ I understand that, but at the same time, allergies and ears are things I have been dealing with- his whole life. I have the knowledge about him that they lack ~ and also according to the nurses, mom can get things done that they can't. For example, during his flare season our allergist said to increase his nose spray to twice a day ~ their dr wouldn't give them permission to do that so when I took him to their dr, I said this is what we needed to do and he approved it. He also gave them a bottle of phenergan with- codeine to keep on hand per my request. His ears are just another battle. He doesn't feel them full or hurting and doesn't know they have even perforated until pus is draining from them. He's had 3 sets of tubes and a 4th surgery to repair the hole in the left eardrum. He'll flatline every school hearing test because of the scar tissue from perforating and tubes.

    I'm the type of person who doesn't like candy coating reality. Tell me like it is because I also plan to do the same. If his behaviors weren't good at home, I'll tell you so. In the Residential Treatment Center (RTC) parent handbook they say to feel free to discipline your child as needed ~ well you can't do that if you don't know what's going on.

    Last night his dorm supervisor called to see what kids were going home for Thanksgiving. I mentioned according to the therapist, his behaviors haven't been too good. He replied that for difficult child, they were bad behaviors because difficult child came to Residential Treatment Center (RTC) keeping his barrier in tact for 6 weeks and his behaviors aren't constant. For other kids in the Residential Treatment Center (RTC), they came showing their behaviors and are a constant. I told supervisor that the home visit would depend on difficult child's behaviors, but to plan on him coming home so they can get medications ordered. I told difficult child last night as well that if he couldn't keep his behaviors in check, then he wouldn't be coming home for Thanksgiving. He replied, he'll be good so he can come home.