This morning Marsha spoke to the psychiatrist at the hospital and she reported that Avi was becoming depressed and he is getting very obsessive. Of course he is depressed that he is not home and obsession over going home, but it seems more than just that. For example, today he learned that his roommate will be leaving the hospital and he is obsessing over that and how he does not what to be by himself in his room (this, despite not really liking the other boy). The doctor felt that Avi should be put on a small dosage of Prozac, an anti-depressant. We have some concerns about Avi being on too much medication, but we are going along with this for now. If Avi can get over this depression/obsession about going home, perhaps they will be able to make real progress.
As I think of this, I realize how Avi is totally fitting into the model put forward by Elisabeth Kubler-Ross in 1969 where she describes five stages of grief that people will go through to deal with tragedy. It starts with Denial, and this was perhaps the shortest part for Avi, because it is hard for someone his age to deny what is happening. He did not think he should be at the hospital but he does understand that he needs help, so this stage goes by fast.
Anger is the second stage, and that is where Avi has been for quite some time. As I have said, Avi has only two negative emotions, and that is anger and sadness. So he has been mad, to use his terms for quite some time at the hospital. Bargaining is the next stage, and perhaps when Avi was doing a little better for a few days, he was, in his way, bargaining to go home. If I am good, I can go home. As soon as he found out that this did not work, he slipped back into anger.
The fourth stage is depression, and this is where we are today. He is beginning to understand that he is not coming home so quickly and he is getting very depressed. The final state is acceptance, and I can only hope that he will make it there soon, because that may be when he will be the most open to the help that he can get at the hospital.
Tomorrow night we will be visiting with Avi. Since we cannot go on Wednesday they have given us special permission to come on Tuesday. I am already dreading telling him that he is not going to be coming home with us and that he will miss the Seders. This pains me, but it may be the only way to get Avi through. We discussed with his case manager about his coming home just for the Seder and then I would drive him back, but she suggested that that could be even worse. He would be home and then have to go back. And we might end up not bringing him back, so that was a bad idea. She suggested that we can bring him some food from the Seder, so we may bring him some Chicken Soup with Matza Balls. He really loves this and perhaps it will help.
I want to add in my thanks here to everyone who has written me since I began these updates. I have gotten comments like I am courageous for putting this out there for all to read and that I write so stoically about a subject that people have trouble just reading. Courage, I don’t think, has anything to do with this. Writing this blog has become for me very therapeutic. The ability to sit and think this out and write it down has helped me in ways I could not imagine. As for my stoic writing, I don’t think I could handle the alternative. I have to keep things together for the rest of my family, so in truth, I have no choice.
God willing, Avi will be home sometime next week. I hope people are continuing to keep Avi in their prayers. For those who can add his name for Mishaberakhs on Shabbat and on Pesah, his name is אבי בנימין בנ מירים רבקה Avi Binyamin ben Miriam Rivka.