Hospital Stay #3, Days 8-9

I don’t have the emotional energy to put down many words tonight. Things just aren’t going well. We got a call last night from a frazzled nurse who couldn’t get Javan to take his meds. I had her put Javan on the phone and I handed my phone to my husband. When it comes to convincing Javan to do things he doesn’t want to do, Daddy is the best. Javan wouldn’t even begin to hear his father’s words. He was so angry he just couldnt listen. He spouted nasty words over the phone until we had to just give up. I’ve never heard him talk to anyone on the phone like that before. I know it tore my husband’s heart to hear it, even though he knows that’s not really Javan. The nurse called me back about an hour and a half later to let me know that he did finally consent to taking his pills.

Fast forward to our visitation this evening. He entered the cafeteria at a dead run for our table happily shouting, “Mom! Dad! Uncle CJ!” and passing out happy hugs. But he very quickly turned angry. He was threatening to hit, trying to bite Dad’s face, and just acting ugly. He couldn’t sit still at all and every time a nurse would walk by he would get in her face and act threatening. They soon moved us up to a private visiting room for the remainder of our time together. He was still angry and still aggressive,  so much so that we nearly had to leave before visiting time was over. The nurses had to take turns supervising us because of his behavior, a precaution they haven’t had to take before. They said he’d been like that pretty much all day.

Even in the midst of his worst behaviors, the nurses sought to encourage him and make him feel worthy. They talked about what a great speaker he was and how they could see him being a great asset to other autistic kids and people when he gets older. They praised his passion for his service dog and told him how great he could be at helping other autistic people understand and benefit from service dogs when he grows up.

We also tried to talk to him about a misconception that I’ve been wondering if he had. It turns out, he did have this particular misconception but was really too revved up to hear and understand our explanation concerning it. We tell him he needs to take his medicines to “get better.” He’s been refusing his medications because they “won’t make him better.” Knowing how autistic people can often misunderstand common phrases, we asked him what he thought we mean when we say the medicines will make him better. My suspicions were born out when he affirmed that he thought that it meant it would make him good enough for us. As if he just isn’t good enough for us the way he is and needs medications to be acceptable to us. We reassured him that he will always be good enough for us and we will always love him. But we don’t like seeing him not feel good and we want him to feel better. To get better means to feel better.

I wonder if I’ll hear from his hospital psychiatrist tomorrow and what his take will be on these weekend behaviors. I wonder if he’ll be any more open to communicating with Javan’s regular non-hospital psychiatrist. I wonder if he’ll take note that Javan had already been tried on one of the drugs he just introduced,  Prozac, and it didn’t work. I wonder if he’ll ignore the nurse’s notes and just make his decisions based on his own observations of his limited time with Javan.  I know Javan’s case is up for review tomorrow. Will he makes adjustments requiring more hospital time? Or will he say Javan seems fine to him and discharge him? Find out in the next installment of Hospital Stay #3.

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