Saturday, January 11, 2014

Another Day, Another Dollar

I've said it before and I'll say it again now and will say it a thousand times in the future and what that is is that I am very proud of Thomas. This young man is suffering terribly right now and I am amazed every single time he gets himself ready for work and goes. Perhaps the clozaril will be his saving grace some day but for now it's not doing a whole lot for him. He is on only 200mg which according to his new psychiatrist is not a therapeutic dose (300-450mg apparently is) and for the next 2 weeks at least his dosage will not change. Also according to the psychiatrist, clozaril can cause anxiety and may very well be the culprit of Thomas' exponentially increasing anxiety. What troubles me is that that darn anxiety fuels the paranoia and most likely (at least in the past) fuels his delusions but quite honestly I'm a little afraid to ask him where he is where his delusions are concerned. Selfishly right now I just cannot take another worsening symptom, not to mention I'm so tired of everyone being sick in one form or another around me so I'm only focusing on the anxiety and paranoia and trying to help Thomas cope with those two things.

Here's the deal. His anxiety about work, about getting there on time and about the paranoia that greets him at the door, is through the roof. He is now completely dependent on his anti-anxiety medication which, by the way, doesn't really touch his anxiety which is very sad. His anxiety about getting there on time starts a good 3-4 hours before he has to go and it ramps up from there. He even begs me to get him dinner by 3 or 4 when he doesn't even work till 6 because he doesn't think he has enough time to eat. I try to rationalize with him and tell him he has plenty of time and I beg, in return, for him to trust me to make sure he gets there on time and bless his heart he tries but fails every time. I have tried so hard to use my clout as a mom who's been there for him his entire life, to reassure him that I won't let him fall but even that doesn't hold weight for him anymore. So needless to say he's a wreck and getting worse.

Then at work those damn security cameras are increasing his paranoia exponentially also. As we drove the long drive home from his psychiatrist the other day I asked him how he felt about remaining at work and he sounded so beaten down about it but he insisted he wanted to keep working. I still refuse to force him to leave because he wants this for himself and a part of me wants to let him live his life as much as possible in case there comes a day when he can't anymore. I want him to be able to look back and say, "yeah, I worked and I made a paycheck and I built my own computer with the money I earned." So every night he goes to work and faces down those cameras and fights a valiant fight against their probing "eye."

Beyond work he is improving in that he is not sedated anymore. The slow titration on clozaril has made all the difference where that is concerned. He's still pretty much a zombie with little glimmers of the real Thomas every now and then but for the most part he's become a bit of a shell of his former self. His main complaint about the side effects has been the dizziness, headaches, constipation, and occasional drooling a lot at night. All in all, compared to starting the Geodon, I think he's doing good. Since we're waiting to see what the psychiatrist does with his dose in 2 weeks, at least he won't have to deal with more sedation in the mean time. That anxiety though, there has GOT to be something for that.

So as I said, I am very proud of Thomas. Schizophrenia and anxiety are kicking his butt right now and somehow he's finding the strength to go on fighting it. I have had crippling anxiety myself in the past and I finally gave in to it so each day Thomas fights through it to the end, I consider him my hero. I worry about how the anxiety will cement the delusions and paranoia but we can only work with what we have and right now that's some lorazepam, bravery, prayers and immeasurable strength on his part.

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