Hard to say goodbye
Childrens hospital care
An imperfect place
The hardest part in being a parent is seeing your child hurting and not knowing how to help them. We as parents want to do all we can for our children to protect them and keep them safe and see them develop and grow into healthy and happy kids. When our children struggle and have difficulties we have to find ways to help them so they can learn to adapt and overcome their struggles and function properly in their everyday lives and grow into responsible and respectful older children.
There seems to be much more pressure on our children today as they are having to grow up and mature at much younger ages. One such example of this is the technological demands on our children today. I didn't use a computer until I was in my freshman year of college at the age of 18 years old. Our children are learning computers at much younger ages as my son started learning the computer as a 4 year old in his BOCES special education class and was exposed to our home computer at the tender age of 2 1/2 years old. I never saw a computer during my formative years of education. My son has been using computers all throughout his school years and as an 11 year old he is accustomed to using the computer lab in his middle school where it is now just an integral part of his school experience. I never had access to a mobile phone until my mid 20's and it seems common practice for our children to have cell phones as teenagers.
Kids are exposed to so much more information than we were and with the explosion of the internet and the common use of home computers and cell phones they can learn just about anything and communicate with anybody instantly. When I was a kid I learned by researching and reading through our encyclopedia sets Americana and The New Book of Knowledge. Whenever I was studying or learning or just curious I would read through the 2 encyclopedia sets which proved very helpful during my school years in addition to my visits to the library with my mom. To make calls I used the old fashioned circular dialing phone. If I needed to make a call from outside it was by pay phone or a friend's phone.
I remember when I started school I felt it was the beginning of our formative years having to grow, mature and assume responsibility which was a bit overwhelming at times but I seemed to get through it with the help of my parents and teachers. I remember having some difficult times with growing up as we all generally do and I preferred to be alone at times.
As I see my son growing and having his difficulties I am reminded of the time when I was a kid and I can understand his apprehension and his fears. We all have to learn to face the world alone and that is not so easy and it really can be intimidating and cause anxiety. We as children need our parents and our teachers in our life to show us the way and we learn from them in how we relate to others and how we conduct ourselves.
We as a family have been through a lot and our son certainly has been affected as well. Our son has been diagnosed with autism, adhd and epilepsy and it is quite a challenge. We have to be attentive to his needs at all times and make sure he is able to function properly on his medication at home, school and in public. The hardest thing to experience with our son's conditions are his seizures and his meltdowns. He has had some real difficult times and it has been very emotional for all of us as we try to help our son get through it all. In all the years of our son's young life we have had many highs and we have had some lows but the hardest thing we had to face with our son was the day we had to admit him to the hospital because of his inability to control his emotions and his behavior. We had no choice as he had really started to get progressively worse and it was very painful seeing him in this condition.
As we were signing all the paper work with the hospital and providing the insurance information it was a surreal experience for me knowing that we were having to leave our son all alone at the hospital to get the medical care he so needs. It was emotionally very difficult but we had no choice and we want to do our absolute best for him to get him the proper treatment he needs. After we signed him in for medical treatment the hardest part was leaving him there and seeing him cry and hearing him ask us to take him home as he was fighting with the hospital staff. I never cried as much as I did when we had to say goodbye. It was so very painful for me and it just brought back memories long ago when I had to say goodbye to my mom at the very same hospital when she was being treated for her condition.
As we came back to visit him during the normal visiting hours it was great to see him as we could tell his attending doctor was working on stabilizing him and regulating his medication. We were encouraged and happy to see our son. We were only able to visit for an hour and leaving him again was quite difficult as he wanted to go home with us and we had to have someone hold him as we left. It was very sad to have to go but we told him we would be back soon again. As hard as it is for our son it is very hard for us as his parents too and I have had sleepless nights just thinking about my poor son and wanting to help him as best I can.
As we visit our son I can not help but notice that the ward he is in has so many children and they all are such great kids and it makes me wonder why they all are there. I see their loving parents visiting and I see the kids happy to see them. I feel for my son and all the kids there and I wish for my son and all the kids there to get the proper treatment so they can get back to their lives, their families, their friends and their schools. The hospital is a place for all these kids to get better and it is an imperfect place as I see some of these kids expressing their frustration and their anger. I saw one kid really lose it and I just felt so terrible and I saw my son react and he was scared. I know the boy needed help and that was clear and I saw all the kids turn to my son and ask him if he was ok since he seemed visibly upset seeing the other boy acting out. It really makes you realize that these kids are truly great kids and just need to have their medical needs addressed and be given the love, support and guidance they truly need and deserve. Our son is getting to know each of the kids and we find them very respectful when we visit and I just hope in my heart that all these kids get the help they need and make it because they are wonderful kids and it breaks my heart to see them at a low point in their young lives. It is so hard having to say goodbye but I always reassure my son that we will be back and that we love him very much and want him to get better real soon.
Edward D. Iannielli III
Children's Psychiatric hospital - Rockland County NY
- Rockland Children\'s Psychiatric Center
Children's psychiatric care facility-Rockland County, NY