Thursday we took Nicholas to the emergency room at the University of Michigan.
The aggression had become too much and he needed help. We had to restrain him that morning and it was a particularly difficult episode. It was also a difficult decision to take him there and perhaps have him admitted to the hospital.
While waiting to see a doctor Nick had an episode in the waiting area. Security guards had to help hold him down. They put him on a gurney and strapped him down with wrist and leg restraints. It was the saddest day of my life.
They wheeled him into a small room with no furniture to speak of and nothing on the walls, just a camera in the corner, and Nick strapped to a gurney like an animal. A nurse gave him an injection and we waited and cried and told him that we would never leave him.
Then we were asked to leave.
The medication made him fall asleep and he lie there with is coat half off and his arms and legs belted to the bed and he stayed that way until he woke up. Once he woke up we were able to go in and see him but he could not be unstrapped.
I'm sure he was confused and scared but we did our best to make him feel better. I found some melon and salad tomatoes on the salad bar in the cafeteria, loaded up a plate and fed him. He was starved.
While he was sleeping we talked with a doctor about the possibility of in patient treatment, they found a bed and we decided that it would be in his best interest to try and get to the bottom of his condition and find the right intervention to help him be happy and healthy.
The bed at a local hospital fell through and we were informed that there were no beds available in the entire state of Michigan for Nick or kids like him.
After he had recovered from the medication he was able to be unleashed by a small army of security guards who asked if they were authorized to use force if he "went crazy."
The restraints were removed and he sat patiently on the bed and waited to go home.
We were now on our own to find a place for in-patient treatment. It is both daunting and frustrating. Those hospitals that had open beds were to "acute" to take Nick. Others discouraged us from in-patient care. Most had absolutely no idea what to do with an autistic teenager in trouble. None were helpful or comforting. Such is the state of heath care for autistic children, or anyone for that matter, but that is another story for another time.
Since Thursday we have changed medications and added a Beta blocker to his regimen. Despite our best efforts we have not found a hospital that will take him, but we have put that option on the back burner for now anyway. As of 1:39 PM today we're doing o.k.