Friday, February 07, 2014

"I Love You Mom"

Amazingly Thomas had another good day yesterday. I could hardly believe it. I have got to say that I will never get tired of that bright-eyed boy looking at me and talking to me. I feel like we have been under such a dark cloud for weeks now and finally, finally the sun is peeking through.

Just as in the day before, he came to me a few times and asked for meals and snacks. This has been one of my biggest worries because he had almost completely quit eating. That's not to say he didn't eat but it was really down to the minimum and every ounce of food was a fight. He even came to me for dessert last night (chocolate chip cookies) but emerged from his room shortly after disappearing in there with a mouthful of cookies and spit it all into the trash complaining that they were too rich. I can imagine since he hadn't really had a lot of sweets in a while.

The big event for yesterday was therapy though. I wondered how that was going to go. I got called in to it with him and I was happy to go this time only because I wanted to report the changes I had seen in Thomas. As usual the therapy took a bit of a dark turn for me because his therapist went into territory I had not been in in a while. He began questioning Thomas about his voices and Thomas confirmed that they are still there. I was so disappointed because for some reason I thought they were gone but they aren't after all. You see, he has one voice that talks constantly that keeps up a running commentary about what he's doing.

"You're walking into the waiting room."
"You're sitting down."
"You're waiting for Dr. K. to come out."
"You're thinking about texting you friend"
"You're texting your friend."
"You just shifted your sitting position."

And on and on they go. Dr. K. asked Thomas how intrusive they are during a conversation with someone else and Thomas said that about 50% of the time they distract him from the conversation and he loses what people are saying and basically has to disengage from the conversation. Knowing this explained a lot about Thomas' behavior in conversations and just in life in general. Frankly, with that going on all the time--and it is ALL the time--I don't know how he functions. He takes it in stride, though, just like he takes everything in stride. Sometimes I wonder if the reason he does that is because he's been sick for so long that it's become the norm for him and he doesn't think it should be any other way. That in and of itself makes me sad because I think about all that he's missing in life because this illness has taken over so much of it.

Then we talked about his anxiety and bless Dr. K.'s heart, he was trying to hard to come up with strategies to combat that. I know that I sat there thinking to myself,

"That's not going to work. That's not going to work. That's not going to work."

So I can only imagine that Thomas was thinking the same thing. If only Dr. K. was there when Thomas was actually locked in to the anxiety so that he could see how impossible it is to get Thomas past it. Thomas also reported that his dose of lorazepam that he takes to combat it just flat out doesn't work. I was surprised to hear that since all this time I thought it had been working since he takes it every time he has work. Knowing that now, I realized I need to come up with some different strategies for dealing with Thomas when he's anxious. I have a few things in mind and since he works tonight, I'm going to give them a try.

After the session Thomas went to the bathroom so I walked back down the hall to Dr. K.'s office and looked him straight in the eye and said,

"That anxiety of Thomas' is impossible to get through. Impossible."

His response,

"So, the things I suggested aren't going to work are they?"

I told him they wouldn't and he looked so defeated. I felt terrible but felt that he needed to understand and see the determination in my eyes when I told him that to be able to grasp the truth about what Thomas goes through.

Then last night Thomas and I were in the kitchen and I was cutting pills and I gave him a new, higher dose of his Latuda and I told him that I wanted to keep an eye on him closely since this drug also drops blood pressure. He agreed to let me monitor his blood pressure and then he fell silent. When I looked up from doing what I was doing those bright eyes of his met mine and he said,

"I love you mom."

I was over the moon as it hit me that I hadn't heard those words from him in a while, not like this. Not with genuine love behind them. Then he asked,

"Can I have a hug?"

I didn't even hesitate and went to him and hugged him so tightly. I said that I was so thankful for the "I love you" because I hadn't heard it in a while and he told me that he didn't realize that but that he had never stopped loving me. I didn't want to let go of him, I didn't want to step outside that moment holding him there in my arms with his "I love you mom" echoing through my mind and heart but I did. He then took his pills and disappeared back in to his room. As I watched him go, I thought to myself that I now had some semblance of peace with his departure because I could now see in his bright eyes that he was ok and that he really and truly loved me.

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