On a good day, parenting will test the integrity of your character. On a bad day, parenting will test your will to live. Parenting children with trauma histories will cause you to test the integrity of everything and everyone you thought you knew, for the rest of your life.
~J. Skrobisz

Monday, September 26, 2011

Mom, I don't have my Pajamas

Most of my readers agreed that Sissy's rage that cut short her overnight therapeutic leave was not a fail but most likely a win. the general consensus is that her behavior will show medicaid that she does indeed need more time in the hospital before she transitions home.

I wish I could be as optimistic. Yes, the chances of approval for another 30 days of residential are improved, but by how much? I can't say. So, as ever, our life hangs in limbo as the rest of us await our fate. I understand that sounds selfish, but at this point, that's how it feels.

The supervisor at the hospital told me to do everything I could to get her to calm down so I could transport her back safely. I followed all of their therapeutic suggestions from ignoring her screaming, providing a white noise, rubbing her back once she was safe to offering her a bubble bath to soothe her nerves. Although she did settle down it was clear she was going to have her feathers easily ruffled at the slightest infraction of perceived injustice.

I explained to her that I would be returning her to the hospital that evening and she just blandly replied, "OK." Followed quickly by, "I want to take the lyrics to my music CDs back with me." I sent her off for a bath leaving her packed back of clean clothes in the bathroom. She shouted at me through the closed door, "Oh mom, I forgot to tell you! I didn't pack any pajamas!"

I paused before replying. Seriously? I thought. This child knew she was doing an overnight, knew all of her pajamas were at the hospital with her and she didn't pack any? Any ordinary parent would think their child had just been careless and forgotten. But with my daughter, I don't know what's intentional, what's manipulation, what's "normal" and what is her mental challenge. It just stops me cold and stymies me. I responded the only way I knew how, speaking back through the closed door, "Um. Remember? I'm taking you back."

"Oh, right." was all she replied.

After finishing her bath she noticed her basket of unused, mostly never opened, toiletries in the bathroom. "oh, I forgot I had this stuff." Then glancing at me to gauge my reaction said, "all of my stuff got stolen. i don't know why people keep taking my things. They just go into my toiletry bin and take it all."

I didn't flinch. I simply said, "Well, there's three things of deodorant, two of mouth wash, a face wash, hand soap, hand sanitizer, hair bands and head bands ... it's yours. Take it if you want to."

"oh, no. It'll just get stolen again."

Opting to push the envelope just a little I offered, "So, you have no deodorant because yours was stolen and here are three more. You don't want to take any?"

"Oh," she hedged, "well, *hee hee*, actually, i forgot, I have one more at the hospital."

I just straight faced said, "well, whatever. Take them or don't." She grabbed the hand sanitizer and shoved it in her bag.

The drive to the hospital was in silence. She watched a movie and complained that the screen was jumpy and bouncing around from the jostling of the van on the road surface. I suggested she put the screen in her lap.

Twenty miles out she said to no one in particular, "*sigh* I wish I could have stayed overnight." I said nothing.

Ten miles out she said, "mom, what's self-mutilation?"

Really, this kid can try a woman's patience.

The staff was waiting for me when I pulled up, I filled out a survey in which I made sure the hospital knew that they had also screwed up her medication. Had I not been on my toes, I would have double dosed her lamictal because the nurse put it in the lithium bottle. And where was the lithium you ask? Not provided.

Yesterday when I returned home, making sure to take my time so I didn't have another panic attack, WG tackled me at the door with an enormous hug. All I could think of was my quilt project waiting for me in the garage so I went straight to it, AB close behind begging to learn. So I taught him.

Not bad for someone that has never used a machine or ironed before!

And now I will finish my coffee and call the family therapist at the hospital to debrief her. That should be fun.


beemommy said...

Sissy knew she couldn't handle an overnight. That's why she chose not to pack pajamas...I'm surprised she packed anything at all. I'm glad for the family and for Sissy that everyone could sleep more comfortably. hugs to you my friend, I'm so sorry

Acceptance with Joy said...

wow. I'm sorry.

I do pray this gets you more long term solutions... but I know, the system fails people.

Love the little guy's desire to learn to sew like is wonderful Mama!

abrianna said...

I agree 30 more days is not nearly enough, but it is still better than nothing and 30 more days of peace for your family is better than having Sissy home now.

I know it's not much encouragement, but it is all I've got.