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.

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