Thursday, August 22, 2013

"Stage Mom"

I had to laugh the other day when I was in Thomas' meds appointment with him. Let me first say that often the reason I go in there is because Thomas asks me to or when I ask him if I can come in he agrees. He always tells me that he forgets things and he's glad that I'm there to help him remember. We've never had a problem with me going in unless the meds doc himself kicks me out, which HAS happened a few times.

The other day though we were talking about all of Thomas' symptoms trying to sort things out between the dehydration episode and the increasing/morphing delusions. We had a real round table discussion going and I felt like I was being heard and Thomas was getting a voice.

Then it happened. While in there, I was reminded that one of the reasons that we had been given a 3 week appointment as opposed to a 6 week one was because we were watching not only his delusions but also what seemed to be a creeping depression. Towards the end of the appointment I spoke up and I said,

"I forgot. I just wanted to let you know that he seems to be doing better depression-wise. He seems happier and I haven't seen some of the low moods and agitation that we've been seeing previous."

His meds doc didn't miss a beat, seemed to almost wave me off and he turned to Thomas and said,

"Is that how YOU feel Thomas? How are YOU feeling? I know what mom SEES but what do YOU feel?"

I wanted to sink through my chair and disappear. I realized that I had somewhat overstepped and instead of asking Thomas if his depression was better I was so busy talking about what I had seen. There are limits to the usefulness of my opinion and I think I reached it in that moment. Thomas, of course, said he felt much better but I was left wondering if I had gone one step too far. I'm kind of guilty of that in other areas of my life. Sometimes my motto seems to be:

"If a little is good then a lot is better."

Well, not in this case and I found myself relegated to the proverbial corner and a scarlet "O" slapped on my forehead for "overprotective", "overinvolved", "over the top". Effectively I had become a stage mom, so busy running the show that I hadn't stopped to consider Thomas' thoughts in this instance.

Really though, I have a sense of humor about it. My heart is in the right place. Thomas has never hissed at me to shut up and the meds doc still returns my frantic phone calls in between appointments so all is well. I'm still new to the game and while I've been working for my degree in psychology, somehow that knowledge escapes me when it comes to wording questions correctly and letting Thomas, or others, speak for themselves in these sorts of situations.

Here I'll stay now through the next couple of appointments, hunched in my chair, communicating the necessary information but not being a "stage mom" orchestrating the show is going to be my "homework" for the time being.

Wish me luck. It's not in me to keep my mouth shut. It hasn't been since he got sick and until I feel like everyone is being heard, it will probably remain in me.

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