Andrew spent the day down at the hospital today, since we didn't know when (or where) Big Guy would be transferred. The psych unit at our hospital can only keep kids three days. The social worker called me to say there was a bed at the Hospital at the End of the World. After ascertaining that the place was accessible by public transportation (we don't have a car) I googled the name to see what I could find.
I found that it was an adolescent unit.
Oh. Right. Big Guy is now too old for a pediatric ward. That means we're on new turf. You see, big-name mental illnesses get up and running in the teen years, and that makes an adolescent unit substantially more intense. Given Big Guy's tendency to get traumatized by the behavior of others, an adolescent unit did not seem like a great idea.
The doctors agreed that perhaps we needed a different solution, and decided to postpone the transfer until tomorrow.
I went down to visit Big Guy this evening, and we spent some time -- good time -- trying to define the exact shape and size of the problem we are trying to solve. We talked about situations he thought he could handle, and situations he was sure he couldn't. We discussed how determination to keep one's actions under control is essential, and how brain chemistry can turn down one's emotional rheostat and override even the strongest effort. We talked about the need to build strength gradually.
In the end we decided that right now Big Guy can handle home life. He cannot handle school, and he certainly cannot handle the school bus. (I am not sure any of us could handle that bus ride.) But where does that leave us? It leaves us with a problem the shape of something called partial hospitalization. So that is the solution we are pursuing.
There is a program like this on the hospital grounds, only a mile from our house. We would bring Big Guy there in the morning, and pick him up in the late afternoon. He would be at home for supper and sleep here, in his own bed.
Now we just have to get Big Guy in there. If you need direction on where to direct your thoughts and prayers, this is where to aim.