Hospitalization #5, Day 1

Fear. Guilt. Anger. Overwhelming sadness. Emptiness. Hopelessness. Repeat.

I couldn’t do it. Two weeks home. That’s all I could take. The emotional and physical abuse was too much. Abuse – that’s a strong word for a nine year old’s actions, but whether he can help it or not, that’s pretty much what it boils down to.

We’re trying a different hospital this time. Still two hours away, but in the other direction. In a different state. Why does that feel so huge? I’ve never been in a different state than my son. We admitted him as an ‘acute’ patient, meaning short-term. The same seven to ten days you get anywhere else. But our intent is to transfer him to a ‘sub-acute,’ or long-term stay – anywhere from one to three months. We’ll talk to a hospital therapist sometime tomorrow to begin discussing his treatment plan and after a few days if the professionals there see that a sub-acute stay is necessary and beneficial and if the insurance company agrees to cover it, he’ll be considered a sub-acute patient. So basically if the stars align.

I’m so scared and sad. We only get to visit him once a week! We’ve never been away from each other for a whole week! And we only get to talk to him on the phone twice a week. The last hospital had four visitations per week and daily phone time. I hope he’s okay. God, please let him be ok. Please let us all be okay.

So in the meantime, if he can stay long-term, I’ve got my work cut out for me. I need to continue setting up plans with the school district for assessments and possible enrollment. I need to try again to get him approved for disability. I need to learn about dietary changes and change my shopping and cooking habits. I need to set up a backup plan of some sort, probably with a group home, in case things aren’t any better when he gets home. I need to catch up on the basic tasks of living that have gone undone for so long – laundry, cleaning, pet care, doctors visits for myself, home repair, grocery shopping. And aside from all that work, I need to make time to care for myself. Sleep in, see other actual humans, rebuild unmaintained relationships, paint my toes, read books, take long baths, maybe see a counselor. And if he can only stay short-term, I can at least take a few of those things off the list. Like take out the trash and grab a nap.

Luckily, tomorrow is a phone call day. I can’t wait to hear from him. And we get to visit Saturday. That’s just three days. We only got to meet two nurses while we were there, but they were so good with him. One, Stephanie, came in at the beginning when he was having such a hard time my husband was having to hold him down on the floor. Within two minutes and without laying a finger on him, she had him up off the floor, in a chair, talking animatedly about super heroes. When it was time for him to go back, he had his usual hard time with goodbyes and it took Stephanie probably about ten minutes of coaxing, but she was able to get him to willingly walk out of the room and halfway down the hall. Then he kind of panicked and they had to call a male nurse to “assist” him to his destination. Still, this is his fifth hospitalization and this is the first time he hasn’t had to be physically ripped away from our bodies and dragged off screaming. So, there’s improvement. Or something. I’m glad Stephanie works on his floor. I think she’ll be a good asset to him there.

I know he’s scared. And I know he thinks we don’t love him. That we don’t want him. If I could only convince him if the truth. That we love him more than anything. More than life itself. If we could trade our lives for his health and happiness, we’d dig our own graves and lie down in them with smiles on our faces. I don’t always respond in love because I’m human and my flesh is weak, but I do always love him. Always.


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Michelle
    Nov 05, 2015 @ 07:29:03

    You write about a horrific time with such grace. I see my son in your words and my love for him. And I see a picture of God’s love for us all. I pray that you get rest.


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