After we got the news that Janey would be going to Bradley Hospital, we started packing up the room and getting ready for the call that is was time to go. We were told it would be a few hours, probably into the afternoon before we went, which was fine. Janey wasn't having a good day. Maybe just the change in the mood and the moving around of the stuff in the room upset her. She was screaming a lot, very agitated---not happy. Our "sitter" for the day was the same one we had had on Sunday. On Sunday, she had been one of our least favorite sitters. This day, however, after we took a while to talk to her, we found her to be a wonderful woman---warm and understanding and interesting. It taught me something I need to be taught over and over in life---that first impressions aren't always right. She told us she was praying hard for Janey. I am not much of a prayer, but I am a huge appreciator of people praying for me, and I was touched by her saying that.
As the day wore on, it was apparent that Janey's discharge was taking longer than anyone had said it would. Finally we were told there was some kind of hold-up with the insurance, but that it would be taken care of and we shouldn't worry. Well, I worried. A nurse once again checked with the referring department, and they said it wasn't the insurance, it was that they were waiting for a call from Bradley, and she suggested I call Bradley myself. I did, and they said it WAS the insurance---that they had not yet gotten the authorization. I told that to the Children's Hospital people, and they said not to worry again. I decided to call our insurance myself. That was not a fun call. The department that deals with our particular brand within the brand closes at 4:30pm. I called about 4:35, and although the woman I reached was very kind, she said there was no way at all she could access those records. I told her we could lose a placement we had been desperately waiting for, and she was very upset, but I don't think sincerely could do anything. I started calling every number on my card. I finally reached someone who might have been able to help. At that moment, a nurse found me and showed me a wonderful set of numbers--the authorization had come through.
The next wait was for the ambulance to take Janey to Rhode Island---about an hour's drive. It's a little unusual for people to be moved medically from Boston to Rhode Island. Usually it would be the other way around. So it took a while to get the ambulance. In the meantime, Janey was very upset. At one point, she suddenly lunged at and bit the sitter. The sitter was great---she said it was nothing, that Janey was sick and we should not worry about it. But word got out and the nurse in charge told the sitter she had to go report the incident to the hospital police and then go to the workman's comp office. The sitter tried to say the bite had not broken the skin and there was no need, but the nurse insisted, so the sitter left and I never really got to thank her. She was the last sitter we had---I guess since we were leaving, it was no longer considered necessary.
Finally, about 8 o'clock, we got an ambulance. The EMTs were wonderful. EMTs must be a special breed of people---they always seem great. Janey was thrilled to be leaving the room. She got onto the gurney very willingly, and was happy and alert almost the whole long trip to Rhode Island. I saat behind her, so she couldn't see me, and I did have to reassure her several times that was there. But overall, the ride was great. We arrived at the hospital about 9.
My first impression of the hospital, in the dark, was that it was much bigger than I pictured---all kinds of buildings. We were ushered into the admitting lobby. A security guard checked us for metal and took my bag to inspect. We didn't mind that at all---it kind of felt reassuring. The lobby was lovely---a gorgeous room, and we were met right away with lots of people. There were a lot of preliminary questions to be asked, and paperwork to be done. Janey was mostly happy, although she did bite herself a few times and once lunged at Tony, so it was seen why she was there.
One funny moment---I guess to certify that Janey was being admitted voluntarily, since she is 10, if possible they wanted her to sign a form saying she was there willingly. Janey can make a "J", and occasionally write the rest of her name if she is in the mood. We got the form and explained it to her---I am quite sure she didn't totally get it, but she took the pen and made a big "J" all over the paper. And that counted. Janey's first signature of a legal document! Thanks to all the teachers who taught her to write the J!
After a bit, a nurse came to take Janey to her ward. We stayed behind for a bit, signing a lot more papers. We learned a bit about her ward. It holds in total up to 18 kids, in two wings. Right then, there were 16 kids including Janey. And were were told that at the current time (even then at night) there were SIXTEEN milieu therapists. Milieu therapists was a another new term for us. Here's a definition---Milieu Therapist That is an amazing amount of hands on help! We were starting to realize we might be in a very good place.
We went to say goodnight to Janey in the ward after that. She had been given a room, her own room. It has a nice bed and a comfy chair, and a bathroom next to it. We were told someone would stay outside her door until she fell asleep. She was happy and excited. When we said goodnight, she waved dismissively and said "goodbye!" She has never been one to have a hard time separating from us, which in this case was good---we were able to leave without breaking down much.
The ride home continued the theme of the week---being stuck. We had a nice drive for the first 45 minutes or so, although we were both beyond tired. Then---nothing but brakelights. Something had stopped traffic on Route 95. We sat totally stopped for over an hour. We finally turned off the car and just waited. We called my sister in Colorado to see if she could look on line what was happening, as we don't have any smart phones, just dumb phones. She figured out the problem was something to do with downed wires. Finally, traffic started again and we finally got home about 1 am.
We slept very soundly last night! Now we are about to call to see what time the hospital wants to meet with us today. We are going to meet Janey's psychiatrist and start working on a plan as to what happens next. I am feeling hopeful, but still---overwhelmed, nervous, scared, stunned. I think she is in the right place, and I think we are on our way, but it's going to take a while for me to be able to really feel less than on full alert. It's been an experience so far like none in my life, like no experience I ever expected to have in my life. And it's a journey that is going to continue.