My Baby's Gone!!

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by xlagirl, May 13, 2010.

  1. xlagirl

    xlagirl Guest

    Today was the hardest day! I had to check my 8 yr old little boy (my baby) in to the Behavioral Health Hospital for inpatient care!
    It was the hardest thing having to say goodbye to him and leave him there with strangers.

    I explained to him why he is there and told him it's not because he is a bad boy, but only because we need to get him well and adjust his medication. I told him that the doctors there were going to help him and that he would be come home very soon.

    I could see the fear in his eyes as I left. And I looked back and he was waving goodbye. I waved back to him and kept walking away. Then, all of a sudden I couldn't remember if I had told him "I love you". I started to panic!
    I asked my daughter if I had said it, cause I couldn't remember at all.... and she said that I told him several times. Whew!

    The nurse told me that he would most likely stay there for about 3-5 days.

    I am heartbroken, and so sad right now.
    I am trying really hard to hold it together and to be strong. I know that I need to focus on the "good" that could come of this, and not be so sad.

    Has anyone had a similar experience? How did you get through it?
  2. iloveturtles

    iloveturtles Guest

    I haven't been through it, but I will hold you and your family in my prayers.

  3. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member


    I haven't been through it, but I can imagine the wreck I would have been in had I had to do the same with my difficult child when he was 8. The one thing you can hold close is that this is something you are doing that is unselfish - it's totally for him - to make sure he gets the help he needs to move forward.

    The wave would have gotten me - sounds like he was trying to be brave.

    Hugs, you are doing the right thing by your son.

  4. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I have been through it and it is hard. It's true what you said about thinking about the good that can come out of it. If it helps any, many of our difficult children do very well in the structure of a psychiatric hospital. Take good care of yourself right now. You had the courage to do a very difficult thing because of your love for your difficult child. Gentle hugs to you and your difficult child.
  5. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    When I left my new 11 year old at a psychiatric hospital, he had never been away from home overnight without mom or dad except for one or two times. His anxiety level was out of this world. He had asked for extra help but I think we both thought it would be like a regular hospital where I could be at his side. When he found out I could not stay and worse yet, I could not call outside of visitor hours and he would not be allowed to call me, it took all both of us had to continue. I had to remind both of us that we had said we would do anything to get rid of the self harm thoughts.

    We had really not even considered this option until that day so I had to go home to tell my husband that difficult child was hospitalized. That was super hard also.

    difficult child asked that I stay close by overnight (we lived one hour away) so I got a hotel for overnight and drove home every morning to work. I don't think I would have been able to be overnight at home anyway without difficult child in the house. Being able to focus on my work helped me get through the days.

    He was hospitalized for two weeks. I cried so much those first few days/nights. I had a private office so could fall apart from time to time without interrupting other's work. I also had wonderful co-workers who would listen to me and let me cry on their shoulders. They were very supportive.

    My difficult child improved and matured in the psychiatric hospital setting. One day he said to me during a visitation, "Mom, do you know what I hate most about being here?" "You not being able to watch me grow up!" He was taking the tools that the psychiatric hospital was giving him and really working hard to get through his deep anxiety and panic attacks. He could feel himself getting control of his own life. Very cool!

    Keep reminding your son through visitations that this is for his benefit. For him to learn more tools to keep control and be the person he wants to be.
  6. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    HUGS! I can not imagine how much you mommy heart is hurting. We have very difficult parenting jobs. Not everyone gets that.

    We do!

    More HUGS!
  7. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    P.S. One thing we did when he returned home was to continue with his night time routine from the hospital. He had been there for 2 weeks and admitted on the first night that he was "homesick" for the hosptial. So, going to bed by following the routine of snack, bathroom duties, and lights out helped him get back into the home routine.

    You can ask your son's psychiatric hospital staff what the routine is for night and be ready to implement it if you feel a need to.
  8. Fran

    Fran Former desparate mom

    been there done that. It was one of the lowest points in my adult life. I couldn't stand the pain that comes with knowing you somehow failed your child.
    Add that you are leaving him in a locked ward magnifies it even worse. I had the added worry that what would it mean if it was known
    that my son was in a "mental" institution? I guess it's the failure plus the fear of the unknown that hits us so hard.
    I kept repeating to myself that this is a good thing. He isn't there to be punished, he was there to be helped.
    I hope that you start to see progress. It's the start of a more intense intervention for your child that may make the difference between an
    independent functioning, law abiding adult and a "car wreck". Find the positive and know that good mom's do whatever they can to help
    their child. What anyone else thinks is a far second.
    Hang in there. You aren't alone. It is much more traumatic for you than difficult child.
  9. jal

    jal Member

    been there done that too. My difficult child had just turned 6 and was in for 3 weeks. It was the most upsetting, scary thing we'd ever been through. The first night there he called home crying, he'd never been away from home except one or 2 nights with-his grandparents (and that used to cause anxiety). He had to be there to be safe because he became unstable during a psychiatrist monitored medication wash. The psychiatric hospital stay gave husband and I some much needed respite and the result of the stay helped us to get difficult child stable. We also then got access to wrap around in home services for our difficult child at no cost to us through our local Child and Family Agency (CFA). We also became involved with voluntary services through DCF. They coupled with our local CFA and offered respite, mentoring and also helped to provide funds for our difficult child to go to camp in the summer. We partnered with them for about 1 yr. We completed the in-home and voluntarily left the DCF program as difficult child improved and remained stable.

    This is a very heart wrenching time for you, but it also time to take care of you. Hopefully, your psychiatric hospital will work with you to find programs or people who will help once your child is released. The CFA was in our back yard and we didn't even know it. At the time, the school never told us (even though the SD had been awesome in working on IEP's and granted every request we'd ever made, etc with us) and other local agencies never recommended them either.

    And I agree with what Fran is much more traumatic for you than difficult child...After the first couple of nights our difficult child stopped calling us. We visited every other day with him the whole time he was there. Once in a while he mentions it "when I was at the hospital"...but he never speaks negatively about it. The only negative that came out of it is that before he went in he would eat quite a few different veggies (broccoli, cauliflower, green beans, carrots, etc.) and when he came out he wouldn't touch anyone of them. To this day he'll only do green beans...They definately didn't make him eat his veggies there =)
  10. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    Another one who has been there done that, has a closet full of T-shirts.

    I think it's perfectly okay to be sad. This isn't what we want for our kids and certainly grief is normal. in my humble opinion, now is the time to give yourself some TLC. Your son is being well cared for by folks who know what they're doing. Hopefully this will be the beginning of positive forward movement in terms of his treatment as well as supports for your family once he comes back home.

    As to how we got thru it here, a *lot* of tears on my part, a *ton* of support from the good people on this board and from my hubby, and hanging on to the thought that in spite of how hard it was for me to place my son in the hospital, it was without question in his best interest and very necessary.

    Many gentle hugs to you.
  11. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    I never regreted any of Kanga's psychiatric hospital stays. I have regretted the times I did not take her. She spent 20% of her 13-year old year in a psychiatric hospital.

    (((Hugs))) I hope they can balance out his medications and get him home soon; but don't expect too much from such a short stay, it will be more of a boost for the continued outpatient treatmet.

    And GET SOME SLEEP even if you need to call your doctor for some sleeping pills - get at least 8 hours per night. And take your easy child out for some bonding time.
  12. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It


    I know it is hard. It is also the best thing for him and the whole family at this time. Do all you can to try to refresh yourself and rebuild your strength while difficult child is gone. Sleep, do things with the other kids that you cannot do when difficult child is there, talk with the other kids to see if they need help dealing with difficult child's behaviors and if they are scared of or hurt by difficult child. With difficult child not there to retaliate you may learn some things.

    Chances are that difficult child will like the routine of the hospital. Many of our kids do. Hospitals are really great with kids, making sure they feel as secure and safe as possible. Hopefully they will find medications that help and they can start some changes that will turn things around. Take advantage of the break in any way you can.
  13. xlagirl

    xlagirl Guest

    Hi all,

    Thank you for all your support and words of wisdom. It really does build my confidence up when reading your experiences. I do not have a very good support system of my own. My family just doesn't understand mental illness at all. As a matter of fact, my step-mother's reaction to the news of my difficult child going in to the psychiatric hospital was "maybe they can figure out what's going on with him, and fix him". LOL... yeah right! She also asked if they were going to look at his brain to try and figure out why he is like this! ((sigh))

    Ilove turtles - Thank you for your prayers! :)

    LittleDudesMom - Yes, the wave did get to me. And your right! He was trying to be a brave little soilder when I left.

    WipedOut - Thanks for the HUGS! I'm glad that I have your support. And I really do think that he will like the structure of the psychiatric hospital.

    Andy - My boy is the same way, he has never spent a night away from home except fr a couple times at grandma's house when we lived back in Oklahoma. He hate it when we even leave the house for more than an hour. His home is his safe zone. He is not like other kids as far as being away on activities. He doesn't even like to play outside. We can never even plan a day trip or weekend trip with him. He hates it and he has so much hostility and anxiety. He will just keep saying "I wanna go home, I wanna go home".
    I bet that was so hard for you with leaving your difficult child at the psychiatric hospital for 2 weeks. Gosh, I hope they don't keep my son in that long. ((shivers))
    Good Idea about finding out what his routine is while in the psychiatric hospital, so that I can continue some of it at home to make the transition better. Thanks!

    BusyWed - Thank you for the hugs! =)

    Fran - OMG! You hit it right on the head........
    I have incredible guilt right now, just feeling that I have somehow gotten weak or failed him. I can't help thinking that I could have held on a little longer... or been a little stronger. Honestly, I have been thinking about this day for a couple years now. I KNEW this day would come. I had no doubt about it, so it was no surprise. I just didn't know when it would happen. I thought...maybe when he was a teenager that I would have to put him in a psychiatric hospital, but never intended for it to be at such a young age.

    If I take a step back and look at the past few years. I have really indured more than many parents would be able to take or tolerate I think. My teenage daughter and I have really went through a lot of verbal and physical assault from him. It has been an emotional roller-coaster. And after each episode over the years, there comes feelings of failure, guilt, saddness, and fear. When I say fear, I don't mean I fear my son... but more like I fear for his future.

    I'm not sure if any of you have seen the HBO documentary movie "Boy Interupted"? But if you haven't, please go to YouTube and take a look.
    When I watched that show, it made my mouth drop open! I could not believe how much that little boy was just like my son! It was like watching my son's life as a boy and a teen play out right in front of me. It showed me the path that I believed my son is on, and what his grim future could easily be.
    In the movie the boy always talked about death, and killing himself. Then at the young age of 15, he took his own life.
    It scared me to death! Thinking that my son could be just like this boy. Because my son always talks about death,, and killing himself too.

    Jal - wow, your son was in the psychiatric hospital for three weeks? That must have been so hard. I'm curious why he had to stay in so long at age 6.
    The therapist from the psychiatric hospital called me this morning to talk about my son, and he did mention about the followup out patient care called wrap around that you mentioned. That sounds really great! My son could really benefit from those services. So I am really looking forward to the additonal support that we will get once he comes home.

    Slsh - I really like that "A positive forward movement". I am going to use that! That is the best way to think of this. Thanks! ((Hugs))

    JJJ - I will try to get some needed rest! I do have my sleeping pills ready! And thank you for your encouragement!

    SusieStar - Thank you for the Hugs! You had a great idea... i think I will take my daughter out for a much needed night out while my difficult child is in the psychiatric hospital. We have lost a lot of our bond over the years as the focus was always on my son and his behavior problems. Great idea!

    Thank you all....
  14. jal

    jal Member


    3 weeks was a very long time and not always the norm. He had became unstable during a medwash so when he went in they had to complete the medication wash which took the rest of the week. (We had been titrating down on 2 medications under psychiatrists care). Then our psychiatrist consulting with the psychiatric hospital wanted to try a stimulant again. This played out over a few days (during his second week). Once that did not work we went on to finding a combination that would work, so that's how he ended up there for that long.

    The wrap around really helped and the things he learned then have stuck with him. My son also attends a therapeutic school which helps. He is very smart, athletic and sweet, but has high impulsivity, hyperactivity and can have very physical rages. The rages though have really subsided in the past year, I think due to gaining a little maturity. He will be 8 in 2 months.

    As said before take these few days to take care of you and easy child. Just a little bit of down time can do wonders to recharge your batteries.
  15. Momslittleangels

    Momslittleangels New Member

    I am sorry you had to go this direction, but just know that you are doing this for your son. My daughter was 16 when she went in and even though I had reached that final breaking point with her, I had mixed feelings. Part of it was relief that she would be somewhere else for a week and then I felt guilty. He is in a place that can monitor his behavior and get those medications in balance.

    Enjoy the few days you have with your daughter - - - your son will be back soon enough and hopefully in a much better place emotionally. HUGS.
  16. xlagirl

    xlagirl Guest

    Hi Jal,

    Okay, that makes since about the medication wash at the psychiatric hospital. I wonder if they are going to do that with my son too. He gained around 65 lbs. on the abilify and they were really concerned when I told them that. They did tell me that they would NOT be giving him the stimulant (Focalin) while he is in there. So I am not sure how that will effect him just stopping that abruptly.
    They did say that they would call me for approval before starting him on any new medications. That's really reasurring to me.

    Excuse my stupidity, but what is a Theraputic School?
    My son is in non-public school for the emotionally disturbed, and Autistic children. Two seperate programs.

    You also mentioned that your son's rages have subsided and that it may have something to do with his maturity. I think that is wonderful!
    For some reason, it is the exact opposite for my son. The older, more mature he gets the more aggressive and defiant he gets.

  17. xlagirl

    xlagirl Guest

    Thanks MomsLittleAngels~!
    It's so quite in the house last night and today. Although it's very calming and relaxing, I can feel there is something missing... my little special guy~!
  18. Tiapet

    Tiapet Old Hand

    hi Xlagirl,

    I'm glad that you finally made it over that hurdle you were struggling with since your thread here:
    when you first were questioning about putting your son in the hospital.

    I described then what it was like but I will repost what I went through here and add some more to it for you:
    "My oldest difficult child (who is now 18 and more easy child like then anything) was 6 years old when I first had to place her inpatient for the first time. I knew NOTHING of what I know now. In fact I knew nothing period really and was just beginning to learn the ropes via this board. It was THE hardest thing I have EVER EVER had to do! I didn't want to and couldn't face putting her in the hospital with so many fears and reasoning why NOT to do it. But the simple fact came down to, in the end, she was homicidal and suicidal and the day I did it, she was running away in a rage and gave my father a heart attack because he chased after her because she was running down a highway not thinking where cars were. I should have made the decision sooner I know now but I hesitated out of fear and being scared for her. I can honestly tell you it was the BEST decision in the end I ever did because after that things started moving along in a positive direction. We got a proper diagnosis for her (unlike what we had before) because they could evaluate her better then just in an office and do all the testing that was needed. They could do a medwash safely (take her off all medications) and begin trialing something that we could at least start out with (of course over time that would change a bit as she grew).

    She was not raging when we did it (and I know it may not occur for you like this). We waited for the next day when she was calm and took her on a ride and brought her to the place. She waited in their special room while we did paperwork. When the time came the transporters told her she had to go with them. Of course she did not like that, was afraid (didn't like to be away from us). She cried, kicked, screamed, etc.. I heard things I wished I hadn't but knew I had to endure. They ended up carrying her with her arms and legs flailing (4 of them to properly hold her). I cried for 48 hours and couldn't function it hurt so badly. I still hurt to this day but now know that I did the right thing. We did have to hospitalize her again but it never was like that either. I'm not telling you this to scare you, although it might. I'm telling you this so that you might see the reality of what "could" be so you have a heads up and can be prepared and know that it WILL be alright and that there are others out there that have felt what you are feeling and have gone through it."

    She spent 2 weeks there. We didn't get to see her for the first couple of days as they did some testing and work ups but then we did get to see her everday (if we wanted to- we couldn't do that because of distance and the limited time frames for visiting hours, just wasn't logical for making the trip). However, we could call anytime we wanted to check in with the staff regarding getting updates on her. The first time we saw her she looked a little horrible because she was on medication wash out and the second time wasn't too much better (phsicallly) because she was on the wrong medicine combination and she was a little bit like a zombie but still functioning. But the third time she was beginning to be very different and much better! They provided schooling there for her as well (they get all that information upon check in). They had daily activities with them as well. This place is a rare one too as they actually had a swimming pool! She LOVED that! Honestly, when we saw the place it looked like a skiing resort more then a Pschy hospital/residential facility (it had both). Most places are just the hospital and this is a rare find. She was nothing like she was when I dropped her off. She wasn't crying when we saw her and she wasn't asking to come home even. The only thing that bothered her was the food but that is because she had a food allergy and she was highly restricted in diet and she was ending up eating a lot of beans and rich (which she really doesn't like).

    I really am glad to see that you were able to get your son in. I believe you are going to be better off and get a head and have a better time of it when he comes out with a firmer understanding of what is going on with him. He waved good bye to you. That is totally awesome!! :) Just keep coming back here and venting, crying, talking it through. We'll be here for you with lots of love and understanding and {hugs}.

  19. Valentine

    Valentine New Member

    I to have been there done that and still doing it... My 14 y/o is like 3 hours away from me in a PRTF and I have to say that was one of the hardest things I have ever had to do. I miss him soo much and I talk to him almost every day. He has been gone since January but wasnt making enough progress so he is in for another 60 days. I will go up Monday and move him to a place that is like an hour away so I can be more active in his treatment. He talks all the time about wanting to come back home and how he loves us and I have no doubt in my mind that he loves us. He got sent there because he was having homicidal thoughts towards us and even described what order he would kill us in. They have diagnosed him as Bipolar and he seems to be doing better BUT before he can come home we need to make sure he can handle it.
  20. jal

    jal Member


    Our son attends a program within a mainstream school (out of our school district (SD), paid for by the SD including transportation and ESY, extended school year services). This wing has programs for autistic children, physically impaired children and children with-emotional/social issues. I say therapeutic as he receives individual and group counseling. He also participates in a therapeutic horseback riding program (through the school). When we originally did his IEP in K he was labeled ED, after much extensive testing by SD it was changed to OHI. husband and I have been at this since before difficult child was 3.

    Focalin, being a stimulant, is in and out of the system quickly. It is great that the psychiatric hospital said they would check with you first, as ours did with-our difficult child. We gave his psychiatrist the OK to try the stimulant, as husband and I knew it wasn't the answer, but would allow staff to see what we saw everytime psychiatrist wanted us to try it at home. Our psychiatrist kept insisting BiPolar (BP) with-ADHD. But I don't see the BiPolar (BP) even though husband's mother and aunt are.

    Our difficult child is also very advanced in math too and somewhat obsessed with-video games too. No depression, but there is anger. It has lessened over the past year (his obsession with video games) & the tantrums as I mentioned before. He has an above average high IQ and tests at a 3.3 grade level and reads very well. But impulsivity and frustration get the best of him at the worst of times. Even though he is out of district, we keep him involved with the district kids through soccer (fall and indoor) and baseball. Our biggest breakthrough was the use of Prozac. It opened him to the world of learning a year and a half ago.

    And if I read your name are no longer in LA, but my brother and his wife live there!

    Hugs. Believe me, I know.