Hospitalization #5, Day 12 and Discharge Day

The rest of Saturday and all day yesterday were uneventful, so Javan got to come home today! When Nurse Stephanie called to tell me he was being discharged, she was so excited and amazed at the changes in his mood and behavior. She said, “He’s like a completely different kid! He’s being respectful and pleasant.” Yep, that’s my kid! She said they still had to give lots of encouragement for him to take his medicines, but it was nothing like before where he would actively swat the pills out of the nurses’ hands and run away. So she reminded me that the most important thing we can do for him right now is just get him to take his medicines.

He was, of course, ecstatic when we arrived to pick him up. He was dancing and singing and kept repeating, “I can’t believe I finally get to go home!” And a mere five minutes of minimal paperwork later, we were on our way. We stopped by Books-a-Million to reward him for his improved behavior with a book. He had good behavior in the store, but was overwhelmed and had unusual difficulty making a decision. Then he said his legs were getting tired, so we got the $3 bargain book we’d been thinking about and headed out quickly. I don’t know if it really was physical weakness or sensory overload or a combination, but whatever it was he was able to verbalize calmly that he was done and ready to leave which is pretty great.

He didn’t sleep on the way home, assuring us that he’d already taken his thirty minute nap at the hospital, but he did get kind of sleepy at times. We talked a lot about his experiences there and were able to get pretty decent responses. He says he didn’t like the nurses there because they were all mean except for Stephanie, Sheniqua, and the other nurse who looks just like Sheniqua. He did like his therapist, Mr. Contrel. He passionately disliked his roommate, Walter, because Walter called him hurtful names and jolted him awake for fun. And he made friends with another boy who was friends with Trey, but Javan was not friends with Trey. He made best friends with a girl, and her friends were his friends too. One day when he was “crying in the chilly wind” (yes, he’s a dramatic storyteller), his best friend and her friends felt his forehead and said they thought he had a fever and told the nurse, but the nurse wouldn’t let him go back inside. He liked the food at Riverside better than he’d liked the food at Dallas Behavioral. All in all, he said if he had to go back to a hospital in the future, he’d choose Riverside. Two things struck me as amazing during all this discussion.  One, that he made friends. And two, that he referred to roughly half the people he mentioned by name. Wow!  Those are phenomenal social strides for my boy!

We try to always have some sort of surprise at home for him to look forward to when he gets discharged. Something to show him we were thinking about him while he was gone. Today his surprise was a DIY crash pad that his Weebo (grandma) made for him. My husband and I helped, but she put the real legwork into it. What is a crashpad you say? Here’s the article where we got the idea: DIY Crash Mat. And here’s an article about how crash mats can help kids like mine: Crash Pad Benefits.

Here’s a picture of all the pillows we made to go in it:

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The final product, placed beside his loft bed for optimal crash effect:

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He loved it! He jumped and crashed until he was huffing and puffing with exertion and then had us drag the crash mat into the living room while we watched tv. He’d be laying on it, as comfy as could be, and then suddenly jump up, run a few strides away from it, and yell, “CHARGE!” while he went in for another crash landing.

He was happy all afternoon and evening. This is the first time he’s come home from a hospital and had a good day at home. I’m so thankful to God, to the hospital doctor who didn’t give up until he found a solution, to the counselor who really invested in our son, to the nurses and staff who cared for him physically, socially, and emotionally, and to our family and friends who cared for us in the same ways.

Above all, I’m at peace knowing that there is hope.

Edit: Javan asked me to remove his pictures from this post, so I’m sorry if you missed them.

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