Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Wait And See

It has been a rough few days lately so I have been away from here. It seems I just don't have the energy left right now to manage too many things. I know that you have been wondering how Thomas is so I wanted to share a little about him with you.

As the days have passed he has improved some as far as his mood and what I attribute it to and that is the clozaril. We had a couple days there where he was being downright rude to me and was barely talking to me. It came to the point where anything that came out of my mouth about any topic elicited a negative reaction in him and I realized I was watching my son turn into the kid in two of his hospitalizations where he hated me and hated the world. The truth is, there came a point that I decided that I wasn't going to take it anymore from him and after weighing how much of his attitude was medication/schizophrenia related and how much was just a bad mood, I confronted him and told him that he can feel rotten and I understand that because of the meds changes but he just can't be rude to me anymore. Since then he has been more patient with me and has started opening up about what he's feeling again.

He seems to take his worst symptoms in stride yet they are the ones that are most disturbing to me. His vacant expressions, his flat affect and his lack of words for anything seem to go right over his head, at least as far as reporting that they are uncomfortable to him. It is those signs that break my heart the most. I hate seeing his spirit disappear. Physically the side effects of clozaril aren't as bad as I thought they would be, including the sedation, but he's quite disturbed by one in particular. When he stands up too quickly he gets dizzy and has to steady himself before he moves. The only warning sign on the side of the prescription bottle is a big blue sticker that says, "may cause dizziness" so that side effect doesn't worry me. At least not until it changed. Now when he gets up he gets the dizziness but then also gets a flash headache that stops him in his tracks and causes him to grab his head. They are extremely painful to him and they scare me to death. He says the worst of the pain passes within seconds but then he's left with a dull headache for a while afterwards. I worry that he's going to have a stroke though I'm fairly certain my worry about that is grounded in the symptoms of my dad's stroke when he had it.

We are quickly nearing the first appointment with Thomas' new psychiatrist which will be this Thursday and I am so nervous about what this man is going to want to do to help Thomas. He is known around the area as being someone who uses a cocktail of medications for schizophrenia so I'm guessing he might do that with Thomas. More upsetting than that is a couple of paragraphs in the copious paperwork I received to fill out for that first appointment that talk about how he sometimes uses ECT (electro-convulsive therapy) for psychosis and depression. Apart from writing this here now, I have shoved that very quickly to the back of my mind because I just can't face that that might be put on the table as an option. I am of the mind that if a person chooses to do that then I support it but when it's my own child, it scares me to death. I am not going to dwell on that though until we meet with the guy and see what he thinks about how Thomas is.

Beyond Thomas, my dad is doing horribly. For the sake of saving space I won't say much about that now but it has taken it's toll on me emotionally and physically. The slow, excruciating death of my dad's essence is painful to watch and I have been breaking down in tears a lot lately in random places as reality hits me about the fact that I may lose him soon. Between him and Thomas it has been so hard.

So, there you have it, a summary of life lately. Tomorrow is family therapy (which is causing my husband great anxiety as he has never been in therapy before) and I think the goal of that is to have one of THOSE talks about the truth about what to expect with Thomas in the future. Like my husband, I am anxious about the appointment but not for the same reasons. Nothing good ever comes of meetings with the therapist as a family in that historically they, more often than not, hold bad news. As in all things lately, we will have to wait and see. Life lately is a lot about "waiting and seeing" and I am at the point now where I want just to "see" and knock off all of this waiting around stuff. I want some answers.

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