Sunday, October 31, 2010

Warm-up to Halloween

Whew boy it's been a busy week-end!  Got warmed up for trick or treat with lots of activities yesterday.  Activities=LOC (lots of candy).

Elle finally got the long hair she has been dreaming of!

I think Ava may just have been happy to be at home.  She is doing well.
Great Day Out...Warm Up For The Real Thing..TONIGHT!

Friday, October 22, 2010

3 Short Weeks Ago

I took these photos 3 short weeks ago.  It was the end of summer, the end of an era.  Since then my little girl in the green shirt has been hospitalized 3 times.  She is there now.  Again.

As she says, it's not fair.  She had been home only 2.5 days.  It was not her overt behavior that got her there this time, it may be her meds.  At any rate, she reported hallucinations and auditory hallucinations for two days in a row.  This is a new one, and I'm not entirely sure it's not another call for attention.  But since she told her teacher on Thursday the voice was telling her to kill herself, she ended up as admitted, again. 

That is when the hospital staff got to see the other side of Ava, and they were frankly shocked.  She did not want to be admitted and she put up a tremendous fight.  One of the nurses escorted me ahead, as she said, she thought it might get "hard for me to watch", but I think she meant ugly.  I informed her I had seen it before, it's what got her admitted the first two times.  As we were walking down the long hallway to the children's unit, the intercom came on "Code One---Assessments!  Code One---Assessments!" and since we had just left assessments, I looked at the nurse and said "is that her?" to which she ruefully nodded an affirmative.  Then hospital personell starting flying past us in the direction of assessments.

I wished I had a team of hospital personell at my house before she was admitted the last two times.  Then I remembered, I had, the last time, it took 3 EMT workers to get her strapped on the gurney, and the screams could have awoken the dead, and surely did wake up the neighborhood.  The last thing I heard that night before they rolled her into the back of the ambulance and closed the doors was a blood curdling "I WANT MY MAMA!"

But that was then.  This was now.  They put me in a seperate  office on the children's unit.   And it was about 7:30pm so they were in the middle of family visitation.  I heard them bring her in about 10 minutes later.  Well, I heard her, let me say.  She was still screaming "I don't want to go!" and they must have taken her somewhere that was soundproof because after that it was much harder to hear anything although I heard some intermittent yelling/screaming.  The floor nurses were standing around with their mouths open, 3 of them were standing out side the room I was in, and I could see them because the room had big glass windows.  They were saying "Oh my word!" and "I have never seen her act anything like that before!"  and on, and on and on.  I finally walked out there, and of course it took them a few seconds to realize I was her mother.  I said "This is the kind of behavior that got her here the first two times.  But this time, there is a problem with her meds, and she does not want to come in, and that's why she's mad"  One nurse said "But she is always such a sweet little meek little introverted thing!"  I just looked at them, and they moved off.  And I don't care what they thought of all that.  It is what it is.  The nursing supervisor flew into the room and asked if they could have permission to administer a sedative, that she was very aggressive.  I said yes but don't give her a pill, she probably wont take it, she said no, it would be a shot.

The nursing supervisor came back in a little while later and she was still out of breath.  I could relate.  We went over some formalities, and then she said I needed to go, they did not want Ava to see me, as that would continue to upset her.  So I left.

I don't cry alot, but I do seem to weep.  As difficult as it is, I have to do the hard thing in order to have a hope that she will get better.  I hate to have to restrain her or have her restrained, and yet her behavior sometimes demands it.  She hates restraint more than anything, and I get the feeling this might go back to  probable sexual abuse.  The nursing supervisor did ask me about that again, and I told her it was very likely, so she might have had the same thoughts.

I have to give Ava credit where it's due.  In her short hiatus at home, she was very motivated to control her anger and work with the tools she had been given.  One of Ava's issues is manipulation, and the lying that comes with it.  It seems to be twisted very deeply into her pyche.  It was probably her survival mechanism in Haiti, and it probably served her well there.  Because of this, I have my doubts that the hallucinations were real, but maybe they were real for her.  She was using terminology to describe them that she had learned at her previous stays at the hospital.  These were words she would not have known/used before.  So it's just a big enigma, but when kids on meds start talking about killing themselves, you can't afford to mess around.  You just can't. 

Sorry for the downer, people.  I hope things will be looking up for us soon and I can write a happy post. Previously the staff there have told me that she is totally able to rehabilitate, it's just going to take alot of work on alot of fronts.  I needed to hear that, because sometimes it gets so hard, you just wonder if it will ever end, and what is going to happen; with her, with the rest of the family, with me.   In the meantime, I'm leaning on the Lord, and if you are the praying type, I ask for your prayers. 

Thank you.

Monday, October 18, 2010

A Song Almost Heard---Passing It On

Courtney shared this from another blog.

As for me and my family, we are in these trenches. Where it will all lead, I don't know, but sometimes it just helps to share.

A Song Almost Heard

Friday, October 15, 2010

We Will Be Victorious

One problem I have with picking up blogging again is that I don't know where to begin.  So much has happened.  So, I will just begin where we are. 

Ava is currently in a behavior treatment center in Atlanta.  This is her second hospitalization in 3 weeks.  How in the world did we get here???  All I really know is that she has some very deep issues, and it is going to take alot of time and treatment to work it out.  I did go back and republish some of my private posts that I wrote 9 or 10 months ago.  As difficult as that behavior was to deal with, this has been 10 x worse. The strange thing is that for the most part, her "episodes" have been pretty dormant since that time.  A few instances here and there.  But what I see now in the midst of her completely breaking down (and acting out, sometimes violently) in front of authority figures such as teachers, principals, policemen and hospital workers is a child crying out, begging for help. It's not obvious with her anger and agression in the way, but I know she is not like that 98% of the time, and the contrast is startling.  I can't help her all by myself.  She needs, and is getting, a team.  Her barriers to acceptable behavior are increasingly being torn down.  What is left is an angry, sad, confused young girl, who is in addition, about to hit puberty. (But really, when people ask me if that could be her problem, I ask them if they have ever seen a woman go that ballistic over PMS, and they have to concur they have not.  No matter how bad it gets.  However, I concur that it could be a contributing factor) 

 She does have a diagnosis.  It's PTSD and depression.  I have a meeting with the hospital doctors today, so we shall see what else they have to say.  She will likely be released over the week-end.  Not sure she is ready, but I doubt they will keep her.  Too many kids need those beds.  When I go there, I see she is not, by far, in the worst shape.  She is not suicidal, nor homicidal, although she can get very aggressive in the midst of her episodes.  I just don't want her to get in that bad of shape, and untreated, it could happen easily.

What happened to our kids down there?  I know there were (major) issues at the orphanage that were covered up.  But some of our kids came into that place with problems, and I am not sure if she was one of them.  Elle and Stevenson were in the same circumstances, and do not have the same issues.  They have issues, of course, and I'm positive both suffered from abuse.  But they seem able to cope, to go on and be happy.  Not sure that Ava's age is the entire factor here.

At any rate, the way forward is intensive therapy, medications, and positive reinforcements such as support from extended family and other confidence builders.  It's going thru these layers inside her bit by bit.  The anger has to be dissipated in order to deal with the saddness.  Abuse issues have to be dealt with as well, which, as her therapist says, could make everything worse before it gets better.  Of course, he said that before we got into hospitalization mode.  I hope it gets better, soon.   Yes, I'm stressed out, but so are the other kids, including Lucas.

I took a demotion on my job earlier this year.  They did not take my money away, and I still have PLENTY of responsibility, but I have alot less stress, and I have much more support from the team I am working with when this stuff happens.  My boss does not freak if we have a doctor's appointment.  My boss and I are on the same page when it comes to what is really important in life.  We're both serious about business, and I want to please him, but neither of us worship our jobs.   

I do find that creating and promoting my jewelry is a great stress reliever.  It makes me excited and motivated.  Believe me, I need that right now. 

Pink Hearts and Flowers
And so, this is life right now.  I can't sugarcoat it, it's too stressful.  But I will say I refuse to give in to this evil.  We are going forward, and we will be victorious.  Victory may not look like what I thought it would 18 months ago, or a year ago, even.  But I will not give up.

Monday, October 11, 2010

How To Cope

Some of you may be aware that we have been seriously struggling lately, mostly with child behavior issues that have become severe.  I honestly do not know where all of this is going to lead, but I pray for a positive end result, and intend to start blogging again regularly.  I do not plan on cesuring my remarks, as I am so past that stage or my ability to do so.  That said, I'm still a private person by nature and do not plan to bore you with every excruciating detail.  Nor is my intention to hurt anyone.

So much has happened that I feel I will have to start with the present and work backwards.   One of my goals thru-out this ordeal of late is to get my life back.   Oh, I realize I will never get my old life back, that is not what I mean.  I mean to maintain my semblance of self, and get back parts that are essential and have been shoved aside.  Because when you live in crisis, this can happen very easily.  But I know it is healthy to maintain myself.  It is my only hope, for me, and for my family.

One major thing that I have been working on for almost a year now is the launching of my jewelry site.  Seriously, it has helped me tremendously to have this goal and work towards it, although I had to put it aside for huge chunks of time.  It has kept me focused and happy, and I plan to continue and expand my role.  But for now, I would just like to welcome you to Juxta-Pose.  I also have a blog (of course!) that links directly to the studio, but also talks about the content.  You can get to the Juxta-Pose blog with this link, or in the side-bar. 

Thanks my friends and I look forward to more communication in the near future.  I know you must be anxious for news of the children.

daily scripture