When we drove our son up to the inpatient hospital he was okay. I don’t think he could comprehend what was about to happen. Upon arrival, they informed us that they were running behind schedule. This would turn out to be a huge problem. Our son would get so overwhelmed that he would have major meltdowns. We were there for over 5 hours. During that time, my son cried, dry heaved, screamed, grabbed me and begged me not to leave him. He kept crying saying “Mom, don’t leave me, I can’t do this without you. I need you.” It killed me. It was so painful. I felt absolutely horrible. I just didn’t know what to do. I pride myself on always knowing what to do.
I went to visit my son everyday. My heart went out to the other children on the ward. I would go days without seeing another visitor name in the sign in logs for the children. I realize other families have responsibilities and children. I just thought I would see more visitors. Every time I went, “E” would beg me to take him home. He had great difficulty participating in the groups they did. Each day before I came “E” would call me crying asking me when I was coming up.
Finally after ten days he was released. From what I understand people are released when their insurance runs out. We questioned them, (the doctors) about this once they told us that insurance was not going to pay. They assured us he was fine. I didn’t quite believe them. However, I saw no indication my son was improving, so we decided to take him home.
The doctors advised us that “E” has an eating disorder. I have for years tried to get my son to alter his eating habits. He doesn’t eat fruits or veggies. He has sensory processing disorder. Food and dress are his biggest areas of problems. If you try to force him to eat he will vomit or gag the food. He will also just not eat at all. If his food has spices he cannot eat them, the spices must be taken off. His food cannot touch, he needs separate plates and utensils. I had tried for years to get his food issues fixed to no avail. So when they said he had an eating disorder I thought, ” finally”! They then sprung on us a new inpatient program.
They said that he would have to go to a three week in patient eating disorder clinic. I resisted a bit saying I thought it would be outpatient. My son is only 11, how is he going to handle three weeks? The doctors told me he was very sick. They said his BMI had him ranked as malnourished. I guess anything under 15 qualifies for that. So within a few days I drove him to the new facility.
The intake was so long, my son cried and screamed and begged not to stay. While this was a much nicer place than the lock down facility, it still wasn’t home. In addition, all the kids there were so much older than my son. He’s 11. The next youngest was 14. His roommate was 17. It was another day of mental, physical, and emotional exhaustion. While leaving him at this facility was slightly better than the lock down facility it is a lot for a young child to deal with.
Unfortunately, the next day I came down with an illness and could not go to visit him. He would call me daily in tears and crying begging me to come visit him. I really wanted to. The illness I had would be detrimental to kids in an eating disorder clinic. I couldn’t risk passing this along to others. Then six days later I get a phone call…..