Around this time last month, I was all sorts of cheeky. My son was hospitalized for mental health issues and I couldn't stop making jokes, looking at the lighter side, and distracting myself from what was really going on.
Now, a month later, it's time to go back. After spending the month of February in the hospital, things still aren't right. He's going back today, and today I feel numb about it. I'm not sad, not angry, not anything. It is what it is. I hope this time around I don't try to mask how I feel. Numb is better than in hiding, I guess. So I'm making progress.
To be quite honest, I feel like the whole hospitalization last month was a failure because I didn't fully participate in the process. I spent so much time trying to figure out what kind of face cream the psychiatrist was using instead of actually listening to her, that maybe I missed some things. Or maybe I didn't press upon her what our needs were. Maybe that's why he has to go back now.
Only, that's not entirely true. I did tell them what was going on in our house, and I think they refused to listen to me. I hate hospitals and doctors because of that. Are there any attending docs that actually listen to their patients? Any?
The family physicians and pediatricians have to listen. Otherwise word on the street is "Dr. So-and-so totally didn't listen to me, and I'm switching doctors!" I can't switch the doc assigned to our case in the hospital. It's their call.
So we're going back. To a different hospital. At the suggestion of my son's psychologist at school. I was happy that he helped me to think straight. Getting a second opinion makes sense by me, my husband, his therapists. Something is still not right with my son, E-Niner, and we need to address it.
He no longer sleeps through the night. He no longer really sleeps. He's vigilant. Waiting for something to happen. For a sound to come. For someone to move. And then things do happen. Fish tails appear from nowhere. Ghosts start climbing our stairs. Characters from video games float in his room. And there are sounds he hears that no one else can. Either that, or I get slapped in the face, kicked in the back, bitten on my leg, screamed in my ear. So pick your poison -- hallucinations or aggression. All of it sucks. And none of it involves any shut-eye.
Last night, both my husband and I slept in his room. Both of us were there, and it was still not enough comfort for him. It's as though I need to crawl into his body and sleep for him. If I could do it, I would. I hate that physics limits us. Shit. I'm getting cheeky again.
I'm cheeky and I'm pissed as all get-out. Not sure why anger hasn't hit me yet in this way, but I'm pissed. I'm pissed that all this baloney takes away from ME, personally. Yeah, yeah. I did my grieving that my son has a mental illness; I got mad about it; I spent a long time in the Land of Not Fair. It took time, but I accept it. I'm willing to do whatever it takes to make his life as full as possible.
I sit here though, and realize, that "whatever it takes" means a TON of self-sacrifice. I'm resentful about that. Pissed-off. I think about where my life would be without ADHD, Anxiety and Psychotic Features. I see that person happier, feeling successful, feeling like an awesome mom. I could go to the grocery store on a whim. Hell, I could go to freaking FRANCE on a whim. But now? Now, I can't even make it out on a Saturday night around the corner without getting the phone call to "Come quick!"
I'm going to be absolutely honest here -- you are all very nice people and everything -- but I am actually really pissy that my entire social life for weeks on end is ONLINE. Yes, I've said it. Hopeful Parents and my own blog are where I go to party these days. Woo-Freaking-Hoo! If you could see me right now, I'd be dancing on the bar.
It's too bad virtual wine has a full bouquet of...NOTHING.
I want my life back. I want to be able to schedule a dentist appointment, as I did today, and not have to cancel it for the fifth time in a row (I kid you not) because of a crisis. I'd like to be able to schedule time to go to the gym, and not have it contingent upon whether I get a solid two hours sleep in a row at any given point during the night. I'd like to be able to carve out an hour each day to devote to writing. I'd like to be able to do my singing lessons again -- and my acting classes. I just want to be me, and I feel so squashed!
It's a choice, I know. I could disengage and do my own thing. But that would feel so much worse. I love my son more than dental appointments and sleep and the arts. I love him more than any thing and I maybe even love him more than myself. I must, otherwise how could I continue to allow my interests and passions to fall away? But I'm still pissed about it.
And maybe, not so numb anymore.