Suicide Attempt: Day Two
It was past midnight when my daughter texted that she couldn’t sleep. When I told her to sleep in my bed with Nana, she said she was afraid to wake her up. A text was sent to my mom and she went and got her granddaughter to comfort her through the night. I wished I could be everywhere.
Around 4am my husband and I switched places. I tried to sleep but after an hour I gave up and returned to my son’s bedside.
In the morning, his potassium was still low but it was clear he was on the mend. A psychiatrist came to see him so we had to leave. When she finished with him, she found us and took us to a room to chat. She asked if we thought he would make a suicide attempt again and I couldn’t honestly say he wouldn’t. We agreed he needed to be monitored on the mental health unit.
The transfer would take place once he was medically cleared so we waited throughout the day for that to happen.
Not Yet Medically Cleared
By mid-afternoon we learned he would have to move to the medical ward first because he still required an IV. My husband left to relieve my mother. By suppertime I had moved with my son to his new room on the medical ward.
When we moved to the medical ward, I was confused by the presence of a young woman. She didn’t introduce herself when we entered but eventually asked me to confirm my son’s name. I asked her who she was and she said she was a Personal Support Worker assigned to watch my son. Logically I know this is a valuable system, but on an emotional level I was devastated. The hospital doubted my ability to ensure the safety of my son. Worse yet, they had good reason to feel that way. He had already made a serious suicide attempt under my care. It was humbling.
Knowing he needed observation was one of the worst feelings
My son returned to sleeping off the effects of the aspirin. I chatted with the PSW and faced my first of many awkward moments when she asked why he was in the hospital. Night came and hid my tears. Having moved past the “why”, I was now crying because my son’s pain was so deep that he felt like he had no way out but to die. I needed to find a way to ensure he didn’t feel that way again.
I thought about a note I had found on my pillow about a month before. He said he was sad and that he wasn’t going to pass his classes at school. I talked to him about it the next day and looked over his grades and assignments. We made sure he completed the upcoming assignments. I went to the school and spoke to the principal about his coming semester that was going to be very challenging. Memory failed me on whether I told my son about that meeting. I wonder if he knew I had spoke on his behalf; that I was in his corner.