Friday, February 21, 2014

A Day Of Doctors

Yesterday turned out to be a very long day. We had to be up early in order to get Thomas and I to our appointments with our respective psychiatrists and then have lunch at Thomas' favorite restaurant and then make it home in time for Thomas' therapy. The roads were icy and slushy, there were huge gusts of wind and it was raining. A bad combination of weather to be driving a great distance in. In the end, though, it was worth it and we all came away with something to think about.

First of all, I saw my own psychiatrist. We have been on a hunt for a medication to help my bipolar and we settled on Seroquel. Having just woken up and feeling calmed, I would say we found something that works for me. Thank goodness as I needed something to calm my racing brain and help me sleep.

As for Thomas' visit with Dr. N., it was amazing. Once again Dr. N. took a full hour with Thomas and we went over everything and discussed the next step in his treatment. Upon reviewing 2 weeks worth of blood pressure/pulse rate readings, Dr. N. felt that decreasing the clozaril was still something that needed to continue. I'm getting pretty settled with that idea now but still feel desperate to find something to get Thomas back on his feet. Dr. N. is increasing the Latuda though and stands by that his ultimate plan is that the Latuda alone will eventually be enough to hold Thomas. He said that normally they can increase the Latuda very quickly but because Thomas has the clozaril in his system that he has taken a conservative approach to the titration so we'll have to wait a little longer for it to take full effect. Since that is the plan than that is what I have to prepare for. On top of that, poor Thomas is dealing with extreme and dramatic (to me) drooling at night. It is very striking to see his pillow and bed each morning and I do a lot of laundry to keep ahead of it. As per usual, Thomas seems to take it in stride so it is my heart that breaks for him. We were going to try to add a medication to stop that however what can be added understandably (because it dries up the salivary glands) also causes constipation which Thomas is already fighting from the clozaril. I've got to say, I might be more supportive of the clozaril if it had worked but instead, for Thomas, it has caused only heartache from all of its side effects. For once with these antipsychotics I would say, for Thomas, that it's just not worth it just because of the side effects alone. I am hanging onto my faith that we'll find something for him that works and maybe Latuda is it. We shall see.

Next came therapy. I can't tell you how stressed I was about having to face his therapist face to face after our whole email exchange this last week. I spent most of my day summoning courage to face him and finally decided that I was going to handle it like I do all other things in my life and that is to hold my head high, keep my confidence strong, and pray that things work out for the best. Needless to say, as I sat in my chair in the waiting room that is right in the therapist's line of sight as he comes out of his office, I prepared myself for just exactly how I was going to act. As he emerged he looked directly at me and smiled and said hello. I've got to say that a part of me was a little bit stunned at such a warm welcome but I was then ready for our meeting. Again surprising to me, I was called into join in the therapy. I felt certain that I was going to be edged out of therapy because of my "behavior" but instead he chose to continue to include me. So, it seems, all of my preparation and prayers worked and I joined them for a meeting that proved, yet again, to be a pivotal meeting in Thomas' treatment. There is so much to tell you about the meeting but I will save that for tomorrow's posting since this one has already gotten long enough.

All in all, the day went well. We made it back and forth from all of our appointments safely, we had fun with my sister, and I learned a lot more about Thomas' thinking and beliefs. Wow, I've got to say, learning about more facets of how this illness manifests in my son never ceases to knock me back a bit. I have to wonder if these sorts of revelations ever stop. Thomas lives with so much that is hidden from me so he's, for all intents and purposes, ok with it. I, on the other hand, am still in the process of learning and acceptance and grief.

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