Saturday, March 08, 2014

Finding Strength To Move Forward

First of all, I talked to Thomas at length a few different times yesterday about his grandpa's ashes and about his illness. It was a very productive day but very draining. I want a day off but in another way I welcome the onslaught of responsibilities that keep being thrown my direction because it keeps my mind off of the loss of my daddy. Let me first tell you about Thomas and his grandpa's ashes.

During his appointment with Dr. N. Thomas expressed excitement about receiving something of his grandpa's. He clearly needs something to help him cope with his loss and to find some peace. I thought about my post about his grandpa's ashes yesterday and I thought to myself that I had made a mistake not inviting Thomas along to go pick up his ashes from the funeral home. I began a conversation with Thomas apologizing for not inviting him to go along. Surprisingly he wished he had been able to go. I then told him about how grandpa's ashes are at grandma's house now and asked if he wanted to go see them. He does. So I promised him that today we would go over there and see them. I described to him the urn and what it looks like and what its artwork symbolized. He thought that was pretty cool. I told him about how I didn't want to see the actual ashes but that when I finally did, I felt less freaked out. I told him that he could view them if he wanted but if he just wanted to see the urn for himself then he could. So, we will go to his grandma's today and see them. With that visit will come a gifting by my mom of one of his grandpa's favorite items that has a lot of history. For years my daddy worked outdoors in the cold and he wore a hat, the kind that has flaps that fold down over the ears. Thomas owns a cheap version of one of these and loves it so I think having grandpa's will be an amazing gift. I already have items of my daddy's and it helps me to know that I have them so I have high hopes that Thomas having this hat will be good for him too.

Next, and this is where I write at length, I talked to Thomas about his crisis that he had at work on Wednesday. Before doing so I had emailed his therapist about it and he had a bunch of questions so I thought I would sit with Thomas and gently ask him these questions. What transpired from the conversation was very interesting but very heartbreaking. I delved into the voice he hears and discovered that it is with him all the time. He says it had been getting worse but even worse still since his grandpa passed. He described to me that his voice becomes "gibberish" (his word) when he is in a conversation with someone in the real world and it becomes very loud making it nearly impossible to follow a conversation because he is trying inside to make sense of the voice and to carry on an outside conversation at the same time. I could actually see him disconnect from me at different parts of our conversation and I knew he was trying to field the inside and the outside. It tore at my heart to watch him disappear time and again. I also learned that it is much worse at work making it hard to talk to customers and to his boss or managers or co-workers. Not only that but it makes it hard just to do his job and keep focused on organizing product on the shelves. Honestly I feel like I am losing him to this voice and I am extremely worried. He had reported a better mood since the Latuda was added but beyond that the positive symptoms all have gotten worse. What's to become of my boy? After our conversation yesterday with him I think he is dangerously close to a hospitalization so finding a bed at a good place will be something I will look into pretty soon. He doesn't need to be warehoused in our local hospital, he needs a proper place where he can get therapy and coaching for how to manage his voice and to be around other's with schizophrenia so he doesn't feel so alone. I know the chances of finding such a place are slim to none but if ever I need my angel daddy to step in, it would be this time.

As for today, Thomas and I are going to meet with his manager. I have Thomas' blessing to use words like "anxiety" and "paranoid" and I have his blessing to talk about his voice and how it affects him. Thomas is desperate to have his boss know what he's dealing with and with his blessing, I plan on filling his manager in on the full picture. With Thomas calling in sick once and twice not being able to complete a shift in the last 2 weeks, I think his manager needs to understand what is going on with Thomas. Thomas trusts this man and so I will too. We did get Thomas' schedule yesterday and he works only one day next week so I am thrilled about that. I had talked to Thomas yesterday about cutting back his hours and very exhausted from what he's dealing with now, he agreed to do that. Thank God.

Thomas' voice is not critical, he only has one voice but that one voice is driving him insane. Honestly, apparently I've been in denial because I had hoped it wouldn't come to this point.

What happened?

I guess if I take stock of the last weeks and months, what happened is that he got sick, his meds aren't working, Thomas lost his grandpa and now everything is getting worse. There's every reason in the world for Thomas to decompensate but I guess that now clearly maladaptive side of me who likes to lounge in denial, can no longer do that. It's time for me to jump out of it and better face what is really going on with my son.

I am sad. Sad at the loss of my daddy and sad that my son is getting sicker. On top of that I have my own health issues rearing their ugly head so I am definitely being called upon to step up and take action. I'm tired though. Exhausted really but I march forward yet again with the saying in my head:

"You never know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have."

God, give me strength.

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