So, let’s just go over the last week. A week ago tonight Misty was still here on her visit. Seems like much longer than a week ago, but this is what the calendar actually tells me. A week ago we were sitting in the family room around midnight talking about how we should go to bed since we had to get up to leave for the airport at 5:00am. Then I hear a crash and my mom screaming at me to come in the other room. Daisy had sleepwalked out of bed and slipped on the tile, busting open her chin.
Instead of going to sleep, I end up taking her to the emergency room where she gets four stiches. By the time I get back home it is now close to 3:30am and I probably don’t actually make it to sleep until close to 4:00am. A whole hour of sleep before I am waking up again to take Misty to the airport and Ainsley to school, because of course, she had a field trip that day where they had to be at school by 5:30am. I swear….never a dull moment around here!
Later that afternoon Jerilyn goes missing. For those of you who know my daughter, I’m sure it is no shock that she was wandering around outside of the boundaries I had set for her. However, this time, there was no finding her. After over an hour of us looking she reappears. She won’t tell me where she was or what she was doing. Of course, we reemphasize why disappearing is dangerous and why it worries us.
I straight up told her that if someone had taken you…in an hour, you could be out of Phoenix. By the time, the cops would be called and they would start looking for you, you could be out of the state. “Doesn’t that scare you?” Her answer is “No.” Well, of course it is no, one of the more difficult things for autistic children to grasp is stranger danger.
Anyways, three days in a row of her disappearing for long stretches of time, and I start running out of ideas. If my eyes aren’t on her constantly, she can give me the slip. When I found her on Saturday I told her that I didn’t know what to do to keep her safe. I told her we may have to go back to the hospital. She immediately began begging me to take her in. Saying she had wanted to go for a few weeks.
Honestly, this is when I know that I know that Jerilyn has needs bigger than what she can handle on her own and what I can help her through. When your child WANTS to be an inpatient, you know that they are crying out for help. She came home, went straight upstairs, packed her bag and came down with a lightness in her step I hadn’t seen in a while.
I honestly still hadn’t come to terms with whether I was taking her in or not, I was trying to process it. It’s such an emotionally hard decision to make. Unfortunately, Daniel is in Florida right now and logistically it can also be difficult to have her in, because I want to be able to visit her but the other girls wouldn’t be able to come. A visit ends up taking 2 – 3 hours out of the day. Anyway…these are the thoughts going through my head.
Thankfully, my mom who was scheduled to go back to California on Sunday night offered to stay the next couple weeks, which would make it easier to manage. I decided to call the hospital. I was told there was a four-page waitlist…FOUR PAGES! There is really only one other hospital in town that can take in children, so on Sunday we made our way over there to go through the ER and see if there was a bed available.
After an ER doc heard what had been going on (BTW – her running off was not the only thing going on that would qualify her for admittance) he agreed that she needed to be admitted, but they didn’t give me the feeling they actually had space for her there. While waiting in the room, St. Luke’s Behavioral Health Hospital called me and told me that they were holding a bed for her. This was the hospital that Jerilyn was in last time and they are familiar with her history. They managed to figure out a way for her to jump the end of the four-page list to the top and secure a spot for her. Praise God!
So, a mere 10 hours after arriving at the first hospital that day, she was finally admitted. Yes…that’s sarcasm. 🙂 For now, she is happy to be there. They are going to readjust her meds and hopefully we will see an end to some of the behaviors that are putting her in danger. She will also get around-the-clock care and therapy, which I’m hoping help heal the broken pieces no one but God understands.
Keep us in your prayers. Bipolar is not a kind or gentle illness and I want the best quality of life for Jerilyn and our family.