Hospital on the Horizon

It’s been a hard month, ya’ll. I haven’t blogged through it all because we got burned pretty bad by sharing details of our situation in an attempt to get help from a professional. So forgive me if I’m more vague in my sharing than normal. I’m angry. I’m more isolated than ever. And now it doesn’t even feel safe to ask for help. It doesn’t feel safe to trust anyone.

This month we have had two separate professional organizations recommend that we get Javan into the state hospital for about a six month stay. His behaviors have gotten so severe at times, and dealing with therapists and such can bring out his worst.

The first to recommend this course of action was the TBRI (trust based relationship intervention) therapist along with her supervisor. I had such high hopes that this therapy could help our family, but just like all the other therapies we’ve tried, they see Javan twice and determine that they can’t help him. These are the people who specialize in helping children with severe behavioral difficulties rooted in deep trauma, abuse, adoption, etc., but they can’t help my kid. That feels isolating.

The second people to recommend long-term hospitilization were with our local mental health authority, MHMR (mental health mental retardation), Community Healthcore. They had sent us to a psychologist to get IQ and adaptive behavior testing for Javan in hopes that if his scores were low enough, they could get us some services. I didn’t have much hope that the testing would work,but it was free to me so I tried it. Free doesn’t come around often.  Well, the testing went much worse than expected. Javan felt threatened by the psychologist from the moment he laid eyes on him. He was angry, destructive, violent, paranoid. The poor psychologist wasn’t able to ask Javan a single question. And Javan was so paranoid that he insisted I didn’t give that man any of our information either. He observed Javan for less than 15 minutes before graciously dismissing us. His report to Community Healthcore detailed the behaviors he saw while we were in his office, and based on that they recommended the long-term hospitalization. Oh, and they used the incomplete IQ and adaptive behavior testing from the school to determine that Javan doesn’t qualify for any services through them.

Did you hear me? Their conclusion, like everyone else’s, is that my son’s behaviors are too severe for him to function in the world, but they won’t help because he’s not low-functioning enough on the right scales. What the actual hell? None of this is right. None of this is ok. If you see a kid that needs help, you help them, dammit!

So I called his regular psychiatrist, Dr. Fulsom, the only blessed professional on the face of the planet who really won’t give up on us and an actual saint in my book, told him about some of Javan’s behaviors, told him about the recommendations, told him how much I don’t want to hospitalize my son, and he laid out my options for me as he saw them.

One, I call Dallas Children’s Hospital, who’s not in network with my insurance but I honestly don’t care about debt anymore, and try to get Javan into their two week intensive outpatient program. That option would entail Javan participating in an eight hour a day program while I receive parent training separately. We would hopefully get a room in the Ronald McDonald house, for free or very cheap, and it would have to be just the two of us since Dad would still have to be at work. Dr. Fulsom said if we try this and they determine Javan’s behaviors to be too severe for outpatient, which they almost certainly would, then they would place him in their inpatient program, which would be just like all the other 10 day hospital stays he’s already had. From there, Dallas Children’s could transfer him to the state hospital for a longer stay as needed.

Or two, we could put him straight into the state hospital when and I we decide to hospitalize. He said to tell them that Javan doesn’t respond to traditional medications. He told me that private long-term residential treatment programs would almost certainly reject Javan due to the severity of his behaviors, so the state hospital would be our only option for long-term treatment.

If I laid out Javan’s negative behaviors for you, the intermittent rage, violence, destructiveness, uncontrollable and very disturbing thoughts, making threats and then minutes later completely forgetting that he said those things, you’d say to get that kid in the hospital pronto. But his life isn’t just a stream of negative behaviors. In between all that, he wants to cuddle his Mommy and Daddy. He laughs until he can’t breathe watching My Little Pony or listening to me read Geronimo Stilton books. He plays on the floor happily with his Rescue Bots or Transformer  toys. He makes progress on important things like learning to punch his new punching bag when he’s angry instead of hurting others.

Who would cuddle him in the hospital? Who would make him laugh and relish in the sweet sound of it? Who would read him books or play toys with him on the floor? No one. He wouldn’t even have toys. No favorite soft blankets, no dogs to pet, nothing familiar. Nothing home. For months. Months of being safe and cared for, but not loved or treasured. How can I put a 10 year old through this trauma? How can I do this to my baby? He won’t understand. He’ll think he’s so bad that we don’t want him.

I mean, we do have a third option of keeping him home and going back to normal life after Christmas break, but we already know that won’t really work. We should have put him in the hospital multiple times in the weeks leading up to Christmas break, but we didn’t because we knew Dad would be home for over two weeks and school would be on break and we were just trying to get to this time. And it has been better having Daddy home and not having school. But not better enough for us to be under the illusion that Javan is well enough to handle life after the break. He needs help.

I’m so torn. I know he needs help. My mind knows. But in order to help his mind, I have to break his heart. I think I’m going to be sick.


9 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Joy Bancroft
    Dec 23, 2016 @ 09:19:06

    I can’t imagine what you’re going through, and I wish it didn’t have to be this way. But from afar, I love you and your son, and I’m praying for all of you, and I know God will take care of you, even if it doesn’t feel like it. Keep writing, even if you don’t put it on the blog.


  2. The Naumans
    Dec 23, 2016 @ 10:32:08

    I’m so sorry, Krista. Love to you all. Jennifer

    Sent from my iPad



  3. Velma Beale
    Dec 23, 2016 @ 11:18:54

    I read your posts and it breaks my heart. I am so sad for you and Javan, and at the same time (forgive me), so grateful that my boy is doing so much better now that he is older. I do sincerely understand your feelings and I have faith that you will do what is best for him and for you and your husband. You are so caring and knowledgeable and long suffering. I wish that those of us who follow your posts could reach out and give you a hug, but all we can do is let you know that you are not alone. Even though you don’t know us, we care. You are so strong! Hang in there!


  4. Joanne
    Dec 23, 2016 @ 16:47:26

    Krista, once again my heart is breaking for you. I don’t know how you do it. The problem either way, 2 weeks or 6 months, is there is no guarantee. I would give anything to be able to help you, do something, anything for you. Prayer is the only tool I have. I will pray for your family. And as a mom, I pray especially hard for you and what you are going thru. Prayers for Javan and japheth too. We love you all.


  5. Tabatha
    Dec 23, 2016 @ 20:54:02

    Dr. Daniel Amen, Reading your situation reminds me of reading his books and the amazing differences he has had in people who were basically written off by society.

    Playing for you…


  6. Lyndsay
    Dec 25, 2016 @ 20:20:35

    Krista, my heart has always been heavy when it comes to your dilemma. I pray for your family every day. If I can give one piece of advice stay away from Cooks medical. Trust me on this. Merry Christmas.


  7. WhimsicalGuide
    Jan 14, 2017 @ 19:26:55

    hadn’t seen an update in a while & figured it must be not good…
    hugs & strength sent your way


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