Battles and Decisions

Well, he’s been home two days and I’m feeling exhausted, terrified, and insecure. His very first day home, I had to call my husband home after lunch because of violence toward me and severe defiance and to be honest because my defenses are down. I’m out of strength for this. I always thought that if we ever did have to hospitalize him, that’d at least give me time to recharge my batteries. I didn’t know that instead of using all my energy caring for him, I’d just be using all my energy on travelling and coordinating with doctors and I didn’t expect the emotional exhaustion that came with all the stress of worrying for him while he was away. Regardless of the causes of me having to call my husband for help, I felt like a total failure of a mother for not even being able to handle my son on my own for one stinking workday. Regardless of the extreme and unimaginable support and understanding of his bosses and coworkers,  I still worry that I’m taking away the job stability that he’s worked so hard to earn because I’m too weak to make it at home on my own. And regardless of how very much I want to do the right things to help my son reach the highest level of stability and happiness possible, I still don’t know what those ever elusive “right things” are.

He had a somewhat better day today.  I was able to get about two thirds of a day of schoolwork done with him, although nothing that I try has made reading or math palatable enough for him to agree to do those subjects in quite some time. Part of what made it a better day today was that I didn’t choose to fight many battles. He’s not going to do reading or math? Fine. No tv until he chooses to cooperate. That didn’t motivate him to do the work by the way, but I just figured I wasn’t going to win that one. He’s still doing little hurts to me and the dogs, like pulling the dogs’ ears or pushing his chin into my arm really hard, but no big hurts.

We took him to his regular psychiatrist today and he showed his very worst behavior. He was angry, violent, loud, mean, hyper…you get the picture. The psychiatrist adjusted his medication dosages again, but strongly advised us to get him into a long-term psychiatric hospital. One that could keep him for a month or more, take him off of all of his medications,  get a baseline for unmedicated behavior, and do trial and error with new medications until they find the right cocktail to stabilize him. He absolutely thinks it would be too dangerous to try taking him off of all medications outside of a hospital environment. We’ll check with Dallas Behavioral Hospital tomorrow to see if they could do this type of inpatient treatment there, but most likely we’d have to put him in Meridell, which is outside of Austin and much farther from home. We could put him there IF it’s in-network with our insurance,  but how on Earth are we going to visit him at all when he’s so far away? And the worst part is, if Dallas can’t do it, and Austin doesn’t accept our insurance, our last option would be to put him in a state hospital (in San Antonio,  I think) where we would be forced to give up guardianship for the length of his stay. Ya’ll. I can’t. I can’t do that.

For now,  we’re going to try to keep him home, try the higher doses of medicines, and keep praying. I’ll try not to choose any battles I don’t absolutely have to, for fear of pushing him into a rage that would lead to hospitalization. I’ll try sensory activities – playing with him with the eight pounds of dried beans I bought today, water play, sand play, playdough, jumping off of furniture, and anything else I can think of.  I’ll keep trying the color system that we’ve borrowed from his time at the hospital. I may try a chiropractor that claims to be able to help with problems like Javan’s, even though he’s over an hour away and even though regular chiropractic care didn’t help in the past. I’ll try.

But I’m so, so scared. I’m tired and my heart aches and I don’t see an end to any of this. Will there ever be an end to his pain?

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