Thursday, October 30, 2014

Anxious Birthday Lunch

Yesterday was rough here in the "Thomas household". We decided to have an early birthday dinner together as a family since my sister is here. Thomas didn't want to have it because he worked last night and his fear and anxiety told him that he wouldn't make it to work on time. We rescheduled the dinner from 3pm to 2pm and then finally to 1pm to accommodate his ...growing anxiety. Once the time was settled on, he was settled on it but came to me wide-eyed and over the top anxious anyway and I felt terrible for him. I'm not sure all of what was going on was just being late for dinner. He also started the new meds combination yesterday and I suppose my telling him to watch for any changes probably made him nervous too. He's so sensitive to everything and my insistence that he stay on top of his feelings and side effects might have caused him more anxiety than it should have. I felt bad but I wanted to be sure that if things got worse he would tell me without hesitation.

As we waited to leave for lunch his anxiety got worse and worse and he finally came to me and said he took a lorazepam. That is now 4 in 7 days. Not good. His everyday anti-anxiety buspar isn't even touching his anxiety anymore. I went in and sat on his bed and talked to him and he had THAT LOOK in his eyes where he appears that he isn't present in his body and he's not listening to me. I held his hand and talked to him about his anxiety and tried to calm him down by explaining that lunch would only take an hour and then he'd be back by two, leaving him 3 hours before work. It didn't work.

We left the house and went downtown and, of course, there was no parking anywhere near the restaurant. With each block we circled he became visibly more anxious, I'm sure, certain we were never going to find parking. When we were finally standing out in front of the restaurant he was dying to go inside and sit down but I wanted to wait for my mom and sister to find parking and meet us. Finally Thomas couldn't take the anxiety of waiting anymore and he headed into the restaurant alone. Dan and I immediately followed. We sat down and waited and looked at our menus. Thomas quickly settled on a bacon cheese burger and was anxious about my indecision and preoccupation with finding my mom and sister. I could tell he just wanted us to order and be done with it.

Finally my mom and sister arrived and sat down and we ordered. I watched Thomas's anxiety go down as we did and I was thankful for that. The food came and we all started eating and then Thomas verbalized to all of us that his fry sauce was good. This prompted my mom to keep reaching over and dipping her fries in his sauce. I watched him watch her doing that and I knew she was making him crazy. I know he has a "thing" about germs and I think he was worried my mom was ruining his fry sauce. Poor kid.

When the meal was over the waitress asked if we wanted dessert and my mom piped up rather loudly so that others in the restaurant could hear that it was Thomas's birthday and I looked straight at Thomas who now suddenly had to be afraid of being singled out and sung to by the staff of the restaurant. I reach across the table to hold his hands and wait for the onslaught.

It never came.

Thank God.

Instead a big slice of dark chocolate cake came out and was set in front of him and the waitress wished him a happy birthday.

As we walked from the restaurant I could see that Thomas's anxiety was lower and I knew it was because we were finally done eating and headed home. At home I asked him how he was feeling and he smiled and said he only had a little anxiety left. So we had succeeded in getting in a pre-birthday lunch.

Before work the anxiety returned but he didn't take another lorazepam hoping, instead, that what he had taken would be enough. It seemed to be and he got out of the car at work and went inside seemingly okay.

It was an extremely rocky day for Thomas and I felt horrible for him. I wish I could figure out the source of his newly worsening anxiety. He felt it long before we were going to tweak meds so it's something independent of that but for the life of me I just can't figure it out. Hopefully the change in his antidepressants will somehow help that.

We will see.

(Side note: Thomas's 20th birthday will be on Saturday so we will celebrate it here on the blog/page on that day. He's a bit in shock he'll be 20. It must be hard to turn 20 and know that you aren't in the place in your life that other 20 year olds are. I'm trying to play that down and just keep him happy about his upcoming birthday.)

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