Tuesday, December 17, 2013

I Have No Words.....

In some ways this will be a tricky post to write because what started my day was a talk I had with Thomas. I learned so much about what his delusions contain and I can't talk about them here. Let me just say this, I have apparently been living in the dark about him because what he told me knocked me backwards quite a bit and I left a bit disoriented right now.

What I can say is that his job is causing him increased paranoia. He told me that when he started his job he was at a 0-1/10 in his paranoia and he is now a 5/10 and for him a 5 is incredibly high. He left work early on Sunday because he couldn't manage the paranoia anymore and he had to get out of there right away. All of the usual culprits that increase paranoia are there. Between the crowds of people shopping due to the holidays, him having to go outside in the dark and gather carts alone, and most importantly and most telling, the security cameras in the store are causing him a immense amount of paranoia and accompanying anxiety. He is suffering terribly and came to me yesterday a defeated young man and was desperate for some relief. He said he felt that his Geodon is no longer working and he's scared that nothing will ever work for him for very long. I told him that many people with schizophrenia suffer the same fate, discovering that a medication only works for a short time for them and then they find themselves quite sick again and needing a new medication.

What I can't say here is information about who he believes he is, who he really is (not who he is as my son but who he believes he is) and there are many other things that are very scary that I just flat out cannot even come close to figuring out how to help him with. I am completely dumbfounded but at the same time now have explanations for things that I have seen in him that I previously couldn't figure out about him.

With that said, let me move on to his appointment with his PNP (psychiatric nurse practitioner) Chad. We went in and I handed him the notes that I had taken while I was talking with Thomas earlier in the day. I also asked him if he had read the letter from Thomas' therapist and he said he had. He took my notes and read over them and set them down and turned to Thomas. He told him that he wants to put him on clozaril. Now, I am aware of this medication, I know it is considered a "last resort" medication and Chad even confirmed that to me. He pulled no punches with what he said next as he outlined the risks of the medication. He told us about the weight gain and the sedation and inevitably about the damage it can do to Thomas' white blood cells. In a moment I will never forget, he looked straight at Thomas and he said,

"The odds are it will be ok but (and here is where I lost it inside) it could kill you."

I looked at Thomas in that moment and watched as fear and something I don't have words for washed over his face and he said a quiet, "OK".

Chad continued to outline side effects and that since Thomas had reacted so strongly sedation-wise to his Geodon (apparently Geodon is one of the meds that usually doesn't cause much sedation) that in all likelihood Thomas would fight off serious sedation while titrating up on this medication. Then he asked Thomas,

"Are you on board with this?"

"Yes, I am." came a quiet voice from Thomas.

Then...as if what I had already learned about Thomas' inner world and his fight to stay at work wasn't enough...as if being told he could die if he takes this medication wasn't enough...Chad then informed us that he was leaving the practice and 2 others there would be going with him. He told me that the second opinion from a psychiatrist that Thomas' therapist had recommended wouldn't be possible here in the valley because there is only one and they are in his practice and they are completely booked into the forseeable future. He also looked straight at me and said with disgust,

"I wouldn't even recommend this person anyway and even more so this entire operation (which includes our one and only psych ward in the area)."

Now, I have heard there was some unrest in the practice but having heard Chad say he wanted nothing to do with the operation let alone that he was so unhappy there that he was leaving on January 3rd scared me to death. So now, not only was he about to throw us to the proverbial wolves by prescribing clozaril and not remaining in the practice to follow Thomas' progress but he was giving us nowhere else to go for help.

I told him that I would drive elsewhere to find help for Thomas and Chad recommended a doctor in a far away town in the same office as my psychiatrist and he said he would try to get him an appointment with this man but it would be hard because he can't really fill the doctor in on Thomas. was he kidding me??????? I then asked him,

"Can Thomas sign a release so that you can say everything you need to say to this doctor so that he will hopefully better consider taking Thomas on?"

That thought hadn't even crossed his mind (which scares me because c'mon, he's the professional here, it shouldn't take little ol' me to come up with that) so he pulled a release of information out and I made Thomas check every box on it so that there was nothing Chad couldn't talk about.

After that Thomas and I went out to the parking lot and I called my psychiatrist's office and asked for her and ended up leaving a detailed emergency message with the receptionist asking my psychiatrist to help us get an appointment with this doctor that Chad recommended. That is when the receptionist said to me,

"Oh, he's not taking on any new patients right now. He is booked."

 What? WHAT?!?!?!? Seriously?!?!? So there are no psychiatrists in my area that can see Thomas???? Who is going to follow up on his
clozaril? We're seriously going to start this very serious drug with no professional back up??

I left my message anyway and desperately asked the receptionist to have my psychiatrist call me.

Then we went to the pharmacy to fill the prescription. Within minutes the pharmacist tracked us down in the store and told us that they couldn't fill the medication because they aren't on the national registry and they had called another pharmacy in town that tends to handle specialized medications and they, too, are not on the registry and not only that but They don't know of anyone in the area that can fill the prescription!!"

Oh. My. God. Seriously?????

So now what? I got back on the phone with Chad's office and told them what was happening and Chad called me back a few minutes later and I explained to him what was going on and he told me he would call me back. When he did, he had found a small, obscure pharmacy in town that would fill it so in the darkness and coldness of the night I drove over to that pharmacy to give them the prescription. Oh my God you would think I was trying to buy crack or something the way they handled me and the prescription. Ultimately they told me they wouldn't fill it until they had Thomas' blood tests (which we got done after seeing Chad) and that they would call me tomorrow.

So here we are right now, a tattered flag hanging on by it's last strands in a hurricane and today I am beaten down but am in fighting mode. I have calls in all over this town and a town far from here trying to get my boy some help. My hope is that everyone will get back to me today. Somehow I don't see that happening.

As we were driving home after all of this Thomas sat next to me in the car and he grabbed my hand and squeezed it tightly and he said,

"I'm very scared mom."

And I said to him,

"So am I kiddo but we'll get through this together. I am not leaving your side for even one second ok?"

And he said ok and then quietly piped up,

"Mom, I don't want to die."

There it was. My worst fear, my saddest moment for my suffering son. He sees that he could die and he's scared but he's suffering so much from his paranoia that he's willing to lay down his very life in order to feel better. He is my hero and he is brave beyond comprehension and I will never ever leave his side.

Friday, December 13, 2013

The Otterbox Distraction

I spent my day yesterday leading up to therapy talking with Thomas about how he feels he's doing. I learned a lot and also got an explanation for one of his social media postings. What he had written, I felt, wasn't something I needed to be as concerned about after talking to him so as we walked into therapy and sat down I led with that, explaining it like T...homas had to me. I was met with a similar response to the email and his therapist reminded me that what had been written was very much of importance and part of the illness. I was so disappointed. As always, I try to look for more "normal" explanations for the things that I see and once again I was reminded that it wasn't normal after all.

I sat there listening to the conversation and questioning of Thomas, peeling the Otterbox case on and off of my phone. I needed something to do with my hands because what I was hearing I just couldn't assimilate into my emotional state. I had told Thomas that I had carried on an email exchange with his therapist and I told him what he might expect for session and I think that helped him to open up even more honestly about what's going on inside of his head. He confirmed for his therapist much of what I had said and went beyond that to explain where his paranoia level was and how much it disturbed him among other things.

It turns out that his paranoia was much further reaching than I had thought and he confirmed to his therapist that he felt that the Geodon he is on had taken it away for a few weeks but that it had come back with ferocity in the last few weeks. He went on to explain his triggers and how he couldn't stay away from them but very sweetly agreed that if I was around and noticed the triggers were around that I could remove him from the situation. This is what I feel so blessed about with Thomas. In one respect he is quite sick and when it sucks him in he rides the wave and apparently doesn't either know how to get off of it or isn't aware enough of what's happening to get off of it by himself. What is such a blessing is that when he realizes he's sick, he is amenable to me helping him. I know I'm very lucky with that but knowing that fact puts a great deal of responsibility on me for the maintenance of his mental health. I realize now that I will always be a part of "talking him down" and that while on rare occasions my worry and concern aren't warranted, more often than not it is very much needed and I do need to spring into action in some way, shape, or form. If only I could hold onto that in tough times and not start second guessing myself like I so often do.

Then came the toughest part of the conversation for me. Meds. I had already talked to Thomas about expecting a change in meds on Monday and he was fine with that surprisingly but his therapist took it one step further. He went back through Thomas' charts and went through all of the meds that Thomas had been on and repeated them all to us. Somewhere along the way I had forgotten just how many he has been on that had failed and I began to feel a bit hopeless about the situation. Then his therapist said it, the thing that as he said it I realized that while I know others have been through this, I guess I felt it really didn't apply to Thomas. Or maybe it was just more wishful thinking. He explained to Thomas that he will eventually end up on a cocktail of medications saying that it would take an arsenal of different antipsychotics to knock out the unresponsive paranoia and other symptoms. He said he felt that each one worked in different ways and since Thomas appears to be treatment resistant that it might take so many meds to get that under control.

There it was, the jump into the deep end where Thomas and I would be once again swimming for our lives with the bottom of the pool too far away from the bottoms of our feet to find our footing on. And so there it was, stated out loud for all of us to hear, the truth that I work so hard to deny. Yet again the words "treatment resistant" were thrown out and along with those came "meds changes" and "uncertain future."

I was drained and Thomas looked a bit defeated and at the end of the session I slowly clipped the Otterbox case back on my phone and gathered my things and my boy to go home. I had written those emails a worried, but apparently in denial mom, and I came out of the session with confirmation that we are now headed into another round, another episode, another meds change, and another fight for Thomas' sanity.

Sunday, December 08, 2013

Why I Stay (Part IV in a series on families affected by schizophrenia--"A Crack In The Foundation")

I know for some of you (and often my mom too) it's not easy to understand why I stay with my husband. My mom always tells me she loves him but he's got some qualities that are maddening. Nobody is perfect, including me, and so I cut him some slack. What I haven't told you are the reasons I stay and it's those things that keep me where I am.

While he doesn't have much und
erstanding of schizophrenia and how it manifests in Thomas even though I've tried to explain it a hundred times, he has these amazing moments when it comes to Thomas that I can't deny. Last year when Thomas was suicidal and the police showed up, I wasn't home, but he was. After the police left he sat with Thomas and held him and talked to him about how tough life can be sometimes and the two of them cried together. He remained with him until I got home and then we sat and talked as a family and along with me, encouraged Thomas to go to the hospital to get some help. He was there when I wasn't and had stepped up in a big way. He had every opportunity to make Thomas' life more miserable and instead found a kind of love and support for my suffering boy. Even in our worst times as a family I remember that.

When Thomas had his psychotic break in May, it was my husband who got up and found him trapped in his room. He came and got me and was so scared for Thomas and helped me help Thomas find the courage to leave his room and again go to the hospital. He was there in that moment and I was grateful for that.

Where he fails miserably is in sustaining that compassion. Let's face it, he fails miserably when it comes to sustaining anything emotional. He is a very closed off man, very very rarely even in touch with his own inner feelings, and it is in moments like the other day with the punching bag incident that he somehow, for reasons I still haven't figured out after 13 years of being together, finds those emotions and it becomes bigger than life and Thomas (mostly) and I pay the price as he unleashes everything he has squashed down for weeks or months at a time.

Thomas will always be the target of his outbursts because what my husband wants more than anything is for he and I to begin a life where just he and I can live without worries and just be together. He abandoned his own children for that reason and it's not surprising to me that he does the same to Thomas. It doesn't make it right, it doesn't make me happy but I understand that about him. We both had a different life planned for ourselves and schizophrenia came in like a wildfire and left the landscape barren. We are simply trying to rebuild a life with the new rules in place.

He's insensitive when it comes to Thomas in every day life and even stumbles with me a lot of times but he also does so much to contribute too. When times are tough and I can't get going to maintain the house or cook our meals, he does those things for me and Thomas. When Thomas wants Burger King and he's had a rough day, my husband will brave the 15 minute (yes, 15 minute) drive through time to get Thomas his triple Whopper with the exact ingredients on it that Thomas likes. He installs Thomas' air conditioner in his window every year and makes sure it's secure and Thomas feels it's secure so that he'll be certain that nothing and no one can enter his room from the outside. He takes the time to teach Thomas how to set up the entertainment center downstairs showing him step by step where each wire goes and why it goes in those places. 95% of the time when Thomas is sleeping in because he's had a late night and needs to sleep all morning, he is quiet around the house making sure not to disturb him so he can get his rest. When Thomas was having a tough time in junior high with his peers, my husband sat with him and told him stories from his own childhood in junior high relating stories to Thomas about how he, too, was bullied. I could go on but I've taken up enough writing space.

I absolutely HATE his insensitivity and I'm resentful when I can't get through to him but just like all of us, he has many good qualities too. Yesterday's posting won't be the last one about my fight to defend Thomas to him but I write about those times because it is my hope that someday we won't have fights like that and that someday he will accept the fate that has been given to us. ALL of us. My heart and soul will always be focused on Thomas and Thomas will ALWAYS be my first choice and if the time ever comes that I am through with the B.S., I will not hesitate to ask my husband to leave for good. One of my very best (and sometimes perhaps worst) quality is that I have hope and I have faith in the human race. I believe change is possible for anyone and I will never let that go. It's why I'm here. It's why I created this page. It's why I write. So many people told me there was no way I would succeed at changing people's minds about schizophrenia but I have since learned that I have done just that, changed minds and taught compassion. I have watched some crumble in the wake of this illness but even more so I have watched many step up and stand strong and I believe the same is possible for my husband someday.

So I stay. I stay with him, I stay with you, I even stay with the ones who have tried to bring me down and I will fight until there is nothing left to fight for and then, in the end, I will leave knowing I did the best that I could.

Saturday, December 07, 2013

The Punching Bag Bomb (Part III in a series on families affected by schizophrenia--"A Crack In The Foundation")

You'll probably hear stories like this out of me a few times before all is said and done but since I received so much support yesterday from you, some of you shared similar situations, with my tweet about being over dealing with my angry husband, I thought I would share what happened with you.

After having a hard therapy session with Thomas and learning about his fear of what might happen if he releases his anger, I wanted (as I said here) to get him a punching bag to release his anger on. Well, I came to my husband yesterday morning and I asked him about getting one. He initially balked at the idea a little bit and I told him that I would pay for it with my money thinking that would calm him down since he didn't have to put out ANYTHING to make this possible for Thomas. What ensued was yet another round of fighting about Thomas. You name it, he came up with it to be mad about.

It began with the punching bag. I told him how Thomas has a great deal of anger inside of him and he needs an outlet so I was getting him a punching bag and he got mad and told me that Thomas had gotten enough gifts from me for Christmas and that I should stop spending money on him. Never mind that I had told him that Thomas needs an outlet, all he could see was that I was pouring more money into Thomas, a kid he thinks needs to move out YESTERDAY, and he launched into a whole thing about how Thomas is 19 and shouldn't be getting many Christmas presents anymore, that he is getting old enough that he should be buying his own things and that it is our time to use the money for other things.

Let me clarify something for you. When I divorced, it was written in my decree that I should receive a portion of my ex-husband's retirement proportional to the time that I was married to him. The idea being that had we stayed married I would have benefitted from that money and now that we were divorced, I had a legal right to the part that I had earned while we were married. It's a law and my lawyer took advantage of every law there was in writing up a divorce because my ex-husband had cheated on me with my best friend. I didn't think I'd ever see the money once he retired because he lives in another state and I didn't have the money to hire a lawyer and enforce the decree. Miracles do happen though and when he retired, my portion started coming to me in monthly payments. I made a decision then and there that since Thomas had been abandoned by him and since child support had stopped because Thomas had graduated high school, that I would slate that money for his care in whatever way it needed to be used. It has paid for hospital bills, therapy bills, meds, an air conditioner for his room (that his step dad refused to buy using some excuse that wasn't valid) and a new bed (again that his step dad refused to buy him even though Thomas had the same mattress for 14 years). That money also paid for Thomas' Christmas this year. Not one cent came out of "family" money. Not one. The punching bag? Was coming out of that money too. My husband wasn't going to have to pay for a cent of it so I didn't see the problem.

I was wrong though and as I said, he felt I had spent enough and from there the argument turned into how Thomas should be out on his own at this point, that he should be contributing to the family, that he sits around all the time, that he does nothing for himself, that I do everything for him (neither of those last two being the least bit true). I was angry and couldn't believe we were here again. He wants Thomas out of the house yesterday and I don't see where that is possible anytime soon. I explained to him that Thomas had met every one of the goals we had set for him and that he was now gainfully employed (one of the steps towards independence) and that we were working towards the next goal. My husband works 5 days a week, 14 hours a day and misses out on a lot. He doesn't see that Thomas does get up and contribute to the family, he doesn't see that Thomas prepares his own meals most times, he doesn't see most everything that Thomas does but there he was sitting in judgment of him and I and finding every reason to blame everything on willful young adult behavior and not understand that Thomas is home because he's sick and needs protection right now.

It'll be a timeless argument. He will say he wants Thomas out of the house, that he doesn't want another cent spent on him, that Thomas is somehow a burden to him and round and round we will go. I brought up, like I always do, that Thomas is sick, that these are his symptoms which I listed, that a lot of his behaviors we have to look past, that schizophrenia is a lifelong illness and all were shot down using the argument that Thomas needs to "grow up and move on."

There it was then, the punching bag that Thomas so desperately needs became the bomb that set off yet another argument about how HE thinks Thomas should be. I'm so sick of it. I keep Thomas' illness away from him as much as possible, I ask him to do so little as a dad for Thomas (I'd given up trying years ago), and I pay for everything Thomas-related so that he doesn't have to worry about a thing and what do I get? Yet another argument in the kitchen about how HE thinks the world, our family, and most especially Thomas, should be.

Friday, December 06, 2013

Broken Glass And Hard Drives

It's interesting how therapy starts as one thing, with one goal in mind, and somehow turns into a whole other thing. This meeting with Thomas' therapist took a turn once again like it did a couple weeks ago and we ended up in different territory. One thing is for sure, his therapist is concerned about his hours at work and felt it was a good idea that we got them cut back. In that session I learned that Thomas doesn't want to work anything beyond 5 hours at a stretch, this being a bit of a surprise since I thought if they tacked early hours on (like starting at 4 instead of 5) that Thomas would be happy to work them. He isn't in the least. He knows his limits too which made me proud of him because it is those limits he needs to protect himself when it comes to this illness. He doesn't want to quit his job (or lose it altogether) but too much at once or too many days in a row, he agrees, takes it's toll on his sanity.

Where we ended up though was tapping into Thomas' reservoir of anger that he holds inside of him. Who can blame him for being angry after all of the bullying, after losing his biological dad to a nasty divorce when he was 5 and then also a horrible break-up with a girlfriend he loved with all of his heart, to name the biggies in his life? Of course he has anger but what's sad is what he does with it. His therapist likened it to doing some shuffling in his brain where when he feels anger from something pop up, he shoves it away somewhere and replaces it with other thoughts or activities. That's all well and good and I think a lot of us do that but my concern for him isn't necessarily that he does that but rather that he feels like he has a lot of anger crammed down inside and he's scared about what might happen if he were to let it go in the fashion that he wants to.

He told us a story and reminded me about when he broke up with a girlfriend a couple of years ago. He had found out that she was cheating on him. Naturally he was angry, in fact he was in a rage, but what was so difficult about the situation was that I could see he needed to put that anger somewhere and all he felt he had was to pace the living room. Then it struck me. I had computer parts in the garage that needed destroying so I took him outside, handed him a big heavy hammer and told him to pulverize it. Needless to say he reduced a hard drive to little pieces and in doing so he was able to release some of that rage and hurt. That is just what he needed then and said yesterday he needs now.

Often when he's struggling with anger I take him over to the big glass recycling bin and I have him throw glass across the bin to the wall on the other side as hard as he can. I find that even for myself that helps. There's a certain kind of release that can only be found in reducing things to nothing, especially pretty bottles, pickle jars and whatever other glass receptacle we have stored in our recycling bin for such an occasion.

Again, that is good, between hard drives and glass there are places for him to release his anger but his therapist brought up a really good idea. It was one I had before but somehow it had fallen by the wayside. A punching bag. A big, life-sized, heavy punching bag that he can wale on to release his anger. I get it, I've been in rages before with nowhere to let it go and often have taken it out on myself most times but since he's deftly packing it all inside of himself and releasing none of it and is scared about what might happen when he does, I think a punching bag is in order for this house.

So, that is our plan. We are going out shopping today for a formidable foe on which Thomas can get some therapy that he can find no place else in his life. I can see the potential for serious destruction in his life elsewhere if he doesn't find a constructive way to let it all go and like the hammer and hard drive, or the glass bottles at the recycling bin, it is my hope that this punching bag will give him what he needs to get through some pretty tough times.

Thursday, December 05, 2013

Cruising Along

Things with Thomas have been cruising along at a reasonably steady pace. He worked several days in a row and had yesterday off. He was a homebody and was kind of a man without a country so-to-speak because he seemed a bit lost yesterday. Actually, he's been a little bit lost for days. I'm thinking it's because he's so tired from work and I still think that tiredness and the chaotic schedule are taking their toll on him. Yesterday he retreated to his room to take a nap too. This is an almost daily occurrence now and one that concerns me a little bit. For a couple years he has stayed up long past 10pm and didn't need a single nap the next day to recover and now naps are an almost daily necessity. I can't help but keep an eye on him. I don't think anything too big is happening but it's these little things that are making me sit up and take notice.

Another little blip on the radar has been his steadily declining appetite. It's gotten to the point now that when I try to get him to eat something, he often gets mad at me. I don't know what's going on there either but it's starting to bother me. Little things like tiredness, wandering aimlessly around the house, sitting huddled in an easy chair, blankly watching TV, not reacting to comedy shows, loss of appetite, naps, not showering as much, forgetting pills, among other things, I feel add up to something bigger that I just can't seem to put my finger on. I'm worried but I'm trying to stay backed off and just keep an eye on the situation.

Luckily today he has therapy. I've already asked him if it's ok if I sit in and talk with his doctor about his job changes and the other symptoms I'm seeing. He is quite agreeable with that so I'm not going to hesitate to say my peace. I want the doctor to know what's going on so he can either tell me I'm worrying too much or he can make a note of the changes and hopefully do something to help. I'm feeling pretty alone and helpless right now trying to sort out if there is anything to worry about here. I feel like we've got a bit of the domino phenomenon going on here and while only a few pieces have fallen I can see out further into the puzzle and it's going nowhere good as far as I am concerned.

I will put it in the good doctor's hands today and see what he thinks. I would like some answers, hopefully I'll get some today.

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Job Update

After seeing more concerning changes in Thomas over the last few days I went ahead and made the call over to Thomas' job rehab specialist. She wasn't in at the time so I left a message which ended up being a good thing ultimately.

While I waited to hear back from her she went straight to Thomas and called him. I had asked Thomas if he would be willing to her call her himself but he had said that he was too scared to talk to her but with her calling him, he opened up and told her what was going on with his hours. Then she called me back.

We talked for a short time and I let her know that I was very concerned about the change in schedule and its effect on Thomas and she told me she would call over to his job and do what she could. When she called me back later in the afternoon she was mad and explained to me the experience she had just had with Thomas' manager. Bear in mind that I am open enough to understanding all sides of the situation, including the employer's, so I listened to her tell me about what had happened.

She asked for Thomas' hours to be cut back and the employer basically pushed back. He said that Thomas had been hired to work the 8pm-4am shift originally and Thomas had agreed to that. He said that after changing him from the shift he was hired for to the one he was on after that he was making accommodations for that. He's right, Thomas had agreed to the graveyard shift in his innocence and lack of self awareness but his job rehab had fought for the better hours. His employer then became upset that she was asking him to cut back the existing hours. This is where she began to firmly fight for Thomas, pointing out that they had agreed to keep Thomas at the 5-10pm shift and that they had steadily changed it. She's really stuck between a rock and a hard place because she can't reveal his disability but she did the best she could without revealing too much information. Then, while I was on the phone with her, Thomas got a call from his manager and had been asked to come in early and work a 5-10pm shift instead. It had worked and Thomas was thrilled.

It turns out that schedules come down from the corporate office and that his manager really wasn't supposed to change them. Plus, Thomas had been hired to work holiday hours which meant working late--even to midnight which was their plan eventually. Thomas' job rehab specialist told me in our conversation that she felt that Thomas might lose his job as a result of all of the schedule changes. I understand why that is and if Thomas were to lose his job, he and I both would hate that but he can't work the late hours without suffering. I asked the job rehab specialist what she would do in my situation and she told me that if Thomas were her kid she would be fighting for the same thing and she felt I was doing the right thing. She was extremely concerned for Thomas after having talked to him and her backing up my concerns was validation.

I had a long talk with Thomas afterwards about the potential consequences of this schedule change. I explained to him that he might lose his job and he was ok with that. I told him that I had seen a "disturbance in the force" with him and he agreed that there were things happening to him including increased paranoia and hallucinations, not to mention the tiredness that just didn't seem to leave him even after sleeping 12 hours and taking naps during the day. What I had witnessed happening was true and he confirmed it and as a result I feel better about having made the call. I was pleased with him for standing up for himself when she called him and I am pleased that his schedule for this week has changed from the original 6-11pm to 5-10pm.

He and I are braced for him to lose his job but if he does, I plan to help him get back into the program that got him the job in the first place. Most importantly, Thomas admitted to me that he felt changes going on in him and realized that was the effects from the tiredness and missing doses of pills. He understands that he has this illness and that he must strike a delicate balance between sleep and meds and eating and he now understands what can happen when you don't keep that balance in check. We'll have to see what comes to pass with the job but ultimately, in the end, what we (Thomas, me, our family and the job rehab specialist) want is for Thomas to stay healthy.

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