Sunday, August 7, 2011

Picking up The Pieces

Our family has been through some pretty difficult challenges this past week, and I figured that now was a good time to jump back in here and get back to my blog that I've abandoned for nearly a year. Who knows what new roads are ahead for us, but I feel the need to bring our latest challenge here and preserve it - so that hopefully one day we can look back and say that THAT was what life was like... THAT was what we overcame... and so that other families facing autism puzzle piecesimilar challenges will know that they are not alone. They will know not to give up hope.. even when things are at their very worst.

We had to do the unthinkable last week - we committed our 9 year old child to a mental health hospital. We left him at the children's hospital psych ward last Monday night, and turned his care over to strangers and let go of every bit of parental authority and control we had.. It's a well respected facility, but still, this broke our hearts to be forced to do this. He really got out of control so much so that he became a danger to himself and to us. He asked us to take him, so he recognized that he needed help. He said - during a lucid moment on the way to the hospital - that he is afraid that he can't control himself. Then he sobbed all the way to the hospital - but quietly so we wouldn't hear him. He looked so sad, small and scared as we told him goodnight that first night, and knowing he'd not be coming home with us, but he tried to be brave. It was devastating.

We visited him every day, and slowly he replaced the broken, depressed little boy, with one who was happy and more confident and in control. We visited him every day for dinner time, and we also had 2 family counseling sessions while he was there. Dallas now has 2 shiny new diagnoses: PPD NOS and reactive attachment disorder (RAD). The previous DX of bipolar I has been changed to mood disorder NOS, and they now added a new med - Celexa, and discontinued the Topamax. They believe that side effects of the Topamax he was on were causing some behavior disturbances. He was in the safest place to try this, so we agreed. The therapist also used EMDR therapy to try and get him to work though some of the grief and trauma issues. I am glad he was in the hospital for that. It was a very emotional and painful process for him.

They also worked on behavior goals, anger management, nutrition and self care skills. All in all, it was a very painful, but at the same time, a positive experience for all of us. But most especially Dallas. We are extremely proud of him. He faced a lot of his demons head on - alone - and he met the challenge. He finally came home today and we are so happy to have our son back.

This road to healing is not going to be a stroll down Easy street, but now we have more tools to rise to the challenge. I am so very proud of my son.



E said...

You are an amazing and brave mother. May God's peace be with you.

RyanDallasmom said...

Thank you so much for your kind words.