Thursday, March 06, 2014

Crisis Intervention

For myself, yesterday was hell from the beginning to about 5:30pm. The day included visiting my mom's lawyer to handle my daddy's affairs, a long drive to get to her office and by evening's end I couldn't even breathe anymore, let alone move, so I had to stop everything I was doing and go lay down. I had been going along fine for a day and then my daddy's death caught up to me. This is so hard. It's just so hard...

Consequently because I was out of commission, my husband took Thomas to work. Thomas had had a decent day and seemed pretty upbeat about going to work so when it was time to take him to work I let my husband go ahead and do it since I was down for the count. When I did get up around 6:30pm I asked my husband how Thomas had faired going to work and he said that Thomas had seemed really good. I settled into my evening in front of the T.V. and then the call came in.

I answered the phone and it was Thomas. He was in a panic and told me that he was slurring his words and felt dizzy and nauseated. He had taken his meds all together which hadn't concerned me much when he did it because he had done that a couple times before so I thought he would be ok. He wasn't. I raced to the car pulling on comfortable clothes because I figured we would be spending the night in the E.R..

I got to Thomas' work and pulled up to the front door and watched him as he walked out to the car. He was a little unsteady on his feet and the panic grew even larger inside of me. When he got in the car I questioned him about his symptoms and while I could hear a little slurring of words and he was reporting some concerning physical symptoms, my worry dissipated a little bit and I continued to ask him questions about what had transpired at work. As it turned out, the larger problem wasn't the (yet another) scary medication interaction but instead, he had an episode, or rather a huge spike in paranoia and anxiety.

When I got him home I monitored his blood pressure which dropped quite a bit over an hour's time but then recovered. I went into his room later and talked to him about what had happened. As it turns out there had been too many people in the store and he had become quite paranoid about their (to him) dangerous presence. He had also become fixated on the security cameras and both of those things swirling together caused what I considered a crisis episode for him. I sat and talked to him about that and about his medications and I watched his eyes shift away from me a couple of times and he disappeared from our conversation. I finally asked him,

"Are you hearing voices right now while we're talking?"

He looked at me, kind of embarrassed, and admitted that yes, they were taking his attention away from me and the conversation. He had never done that before, never admitted that to me and I knew that because he was admitting to them that they must have been bad. There he sat in front of me boiling with level 6 paranoia and voices consuming him. I couldn't believe this was happening. Had all of the last few days since my daddy's passing caught up to him?

We talked a while and I told him that working 3 days a week just didn't seem to be right for him and he agreed but he wanted to be able to make some money to be able to go over to the little convenience store by our house and get snacks. He also wanted the ability to pay for a model that he wants to build. We also talked about him moving out and he seemed to come around to my way of thinking that he is not yet ready for that. I told him,

"What happened tonight was a crisis situation Thomas. That said, had you been in an apartment alone or with a friend, what would you have done?"

He didn't know.

I told him to put moving out out of his mind and he agreed that was probably a good idea. The night's paranoia and voices had scared him (and me too) and we agreed he was not yet stable enough for anything other than just trying to get through a day. I asked him if he felt the medications were working and he said that he felt they were because his mood was better. I asked him, though, how did he feel the medications were doing with helping his paranoia and voices. Obviously he felt, especially because of the spike in paranoia, that they weren't working for him and then he said,

"Mom, the voices are getting worse."

My heart sank. With all that was going on with my daddy I had, yet again, taken my focus off of Thomas and in doing so had missed the signs of him getting sicker. This is how it always happens and now, here I am again. What happened here? What happened to everything. Last week at this time my daddy was alive. Last week at this time Thomas had come out of therapy and it had seemed to me that he was doing ok. Now here I am, my daddy is dead and my son just had a schizophrenic crisis and on top of that is reporting that his voices are worse. What happened?!?!?

So, today we see Dr. N., thank God, and we will let him know what happened last night and about the voices. Honestly, I am so tired. I am just so tired. I imagine we're looking at yet another medication adjustment and coupled with that I will continue to find a way of living without my daddy. Life is really testing me right now, testing Thomas, and I pray at some point we're going to pass and be able to get on with it.

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