Saturday, February 01, 2014

What Happened To My Son?

I'm so tired.............

Last night I posted little things, a lot of little things because I was in a battle of sorts with Thomas. Let me say this. I read all of your replies to my postings and took them to heart. I thought I'd take today to explain to you what happened.

Thomas has pretty much stopped eating. Sometimes I can get a little something into him but like the other day with the meds interaction, he hadn't eaten all day which I think contributed to his symptoms. Then yesterday he was struggling terribly and when I woke him up to go get his hair cut it began as he refused, yet again, to eat anything beforehand even though he had time.

Here is the problem. For a few weeks now he had had what he labels "time anxiety". Whenever he has an appointment to be to, hours beforehand, he begins to worry about getting there on time. Over the hours his anxiety goes from a 0 to 7 or higher and all other things fall away and it's all he sees. His whole life becomes, in his mind, about being on time. I have tried multiple times to help him, to promise him that I will get him to where he needs to be, and any number of other tactics and none of them work. His therapist has tried all sorts of strategies to help him and none of them have worked which brought us to trying the propranolol in addition to the lorazepam along with the clozaril, all of which were supposed to alleviate his anxiety. Well, as you know, that combination of meds almost ended up in the possible death of Thomas so we are now back to trying to just cope with the symptoms. We are failing miserably.

What happened last night was all generated because of anxiety about being on time to work. Earlier in the day my mom and I took him out for a burger, only part of which he ate. We packed up the rest of it to bring home and he agreed happily to eat it for dinner that night. I think I even brought it up once more during the day about how good it would be for dinner. Well, he had to be to work at 6pm. At about 4:20pm he came out of his room and asked for a tortilla. I told him that since it was time for dinner that I thought he ought to just go ahead and eat his left over burger. His reply,

"I just want the tortilla."

The conversation that ensued went something like this:

"Thomas, I want you to eat your burger or something else to soak up the meds you took because we don't want a repeat of last night."

"I just want the tortilla."

I pause and assess his state of mind.

"Thomas, please, you were excited about your burger, I think it would be good for you to eat that so you'll have energy for work and so it'll soak up the meds."

"I have "time anxiety" mom and I only have time for a tortilla before work."

I pause and look at the clock. It's almost 4:30. An hour and a half to go before work. Plenty of time to eat this piece of cheeseburger and still relax.

"Thomas, you have an hour and a half. Plenty of time to eat. Why don't you come in here and we'll watch the show you like on the DVR and you can eat with me and we'll hang out together and watch TV while you eat. You'll see, you have plenty of time."

"I don't want my burger, I want a tortilla. It's all I have time for."

"Thomas, I need you to eat something more than that because you took your meds on an empty stomach and you need more than just a tortilla to help balance them in your system or we are going to have a repeat of last night."

"Never mind, I don't want anything."

It was then that he walked away to his room, extremely angry and obviously hating me. I tried to figure out how to get a decent amount of food in him because I was starting to panic because he had all of his meds just sitting there on an empty stomach. I was terrified that we were going to end up back in the bad place of the night before. Finally at about 4:40pm I went into the kitchen and got a tortilla but I also put 2 slices of cheddar cheese on the plate and made a little paper dish with some baby carrots in it. I was going to get him to eat come hell or high water because I was not going to be taking an ambulance ride that night. I gathered it all together and brought it to his room and opened the door and approached his desk. I said,

"Here is your tortilla but I put some cheese with it and some carrots so that you would have a balanced meal and your meds wouldn't be floating around in an empty stomach. Where should I set it on your desk?"

I began to clear a spot and he was soooo angry with me and he said,

"Here, I'll just take it."

As I left his room I asked him if I could keep his door open so that I would feel like we weren't so far apart and he agreed. My reasoning behind that was so that I could be sure he ate.

In the end, he ate what I brought him. You would think I would consider it a victory of sorts but all I could feel was that I had been drug through an alternate universe where there was no rational thought and life was chaos. Also in the end, he made it to work early. He had time to come out of his room and sit with me and watch a little TV before work and all of that stuff about "not having enough time to eat" was for nothing. He had fought me tooth and nail (and I guess you could say I fought him too) for basically nothing.

As he left for work last night his anxiety was sky high and he was dizzy and having a hard time staying steady and he was worried about the way he was feeling because he thought he might have the same problems as the night before. In the car on the way to work I talked to him about how he's been doing. I asked him if he felt taking a leave of absence from work was a good idea. He did. We talked about how that would work and I promised him I would get his job rehab specialist on the case on Monday when she would be back in her office. I said to him,

"Thomas, correct me if I'm wrong here but it seems to me that you are getting worse. I feel like the schizophrenia isn't getting better and I feel like this anxiety is wrecking you and making it impossible to enjoy life. This is no way to live kiddo and you shouldn't have to deal with this."

Dead silence.

"Kiddo? What you do think about what I just said?"

He told me that he agreed that he was getting sicker and that he felt horrible. He said that he is tired of all of the symptoms and that he wanted to get better but that the meds just aren't working.

As we drove the last couple of blocks to work I promised him that I would do everything that I could to help him. I promised him that his doctors care a great deal about him and want him well so all of us together were going to make sure that he was on the right path very soon. When we got to work, he got out of the car in silence and I told him I loved him and he told me he loved me back. I sent him off to work a very sick young man and prayed that he would have a good night.

Now, before I close this posting, I want to say this. It dawned on me last night that his "time anxiety" has now crossed over into "delusion" territory. Where before I could help him reason through it (which is why I tried last night), last night was a confirmation that something has finally clicked over in his mind from "simple" anxiety to full-on delusions. I posted about my frustration about fighting with him because I was still me trying to reason with what used to be a reasonably healthy mind but I have since come to realize that he is now completely delusional and from this point forward, getting him to eat, getting him to feel safe about getting to work on time, will no longer be an argument. I will say something once and then I will have to leave him to himself to work it out. I no longer have any mom power over him and it's evident now that he no longer has rational control of his mind.

I'm losing him. Day by day, hour by hour I am losing him to this illness. I am heartbroken as I watch him disappear and I pray that his doctors will find a solution very soon or this all will end in a hospitalization.

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