Friday, August 23, 2013

What's Best For Thomas

Yesterday was Thomas' regular therapy appointment. His therapist always asks me what was talked about in the medication appointment so I wrote everything down that was said. Here I was getting ready to go into another appointment with yet another doctor with a list of things I had observed.

It was rather cute because as Thomas and I sat in the waiting room, he saw me rifle through my purse and pull out the bright yellow scrap of paper that I had written notes on. He gave me a wry smile and asked,

"Is that about me?"

I had to laugh. He knows me so well. I told him that I had written down what we had talked about in the medication appointment and I handed the paper to him. He held his hand up refusing it and went back to texting.

His therapist came out and asked, as he always does,

"Mom? Any updates I need to be made aware of?"

I waved the paper at him and told him that I thought we all should talk. Into his office we went and I took my seat in that maddeningly low, squishy chair that I always feel like I'll never be able to get back out of. Here I was again, nervous, because I was going to tell him all of the things I had witnessed. We got down to business and I began at the top of the list and went down. It all went really well and Thomas was very forthcoming and backed up what I was telling the therapist. We worked together on the things I brought up and several times when I thought the therapist was pushing Thomas to give information in front of me that I thought he might not want me to know, I squirmed in my seat because I consider his therapy time, for the most part, his private time free from my prying eyes and questions.

At one point in the session Thomas' therapist made direct eye contact with me and asked,

"Melanie, I sense some self-consciousness when you're in here. Would I be interpreting that correctly?"

Yes he would and I told him he was right. I said,

"The thing is, I feel like this is Thomas' time and that there are things that he might want to keep private from me so when I sense we're getting close to one of those things I want to be sure he feels free to kick me out of the room so he can speak freely."

His therapist turned to Thomas and asked him if he wanted me out of the room and Thomas said no. Between the two of them they assured me that if Thomas wanted me out of there then I would be made immediately aware and I'd be out of there. That wasn't the case today.

I also told him that I just wanted to be sure that I wasn't overstepping and not giving Thomas a voice. To that he said,

"Melanie. I think Thomas and I would agree that having you here is helpful. Right Thomas?"

He nodded and said yes.

"And what we want here is what's best for Thomas and I think that it takes all of us to be sure that he is getting the best."

I don't think a mom could hear anything better than that come out of the mouth of the therapist treating her schizophrenic son. It got better though. He told me that if he ever made me feel like I shouldn't tell him all that I was seeing then he apologized for making me feel that way. It really was a liberating moment after the visit on Tuesday with the meds doc not to mention all of my concerns about the emails I send to Thomas' therapist letting him know the things that I see happening.

So, yesterday was productive in a hundred ways which included making sure that I, too, had a voice. Thomas and I learned a lot in the appointment apart from the exchange I'm writing about here and we're looking down some new roads in treatments and yet again Thomas' therapist and I were made more aware of Thomas' inner workings.

This is a crazy journey. The craziest. But when Thomas and I got in the car and he turned to me and smiled and said he loved me I knew then and there that yes, we are all doing what's best for Thomas.

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