Saturday, January 31, 2015

Surprising Dr. K.

I had to laugh the other day during Thomas's therapy session because Dr. K. was a bit scattered and because of that he missed some of the things that Thomas and I were saying. This man has A LOT on his plate because he does both therapy and also works for the state. I always forgive him missing what we say because of that. However, he missed the good news but was surprised and delighted when he finally got it.

I did get called into this session this time which made me happy. Let's face it, I am used to being a part of it now and I like to be in on the reports and the plans for Thomas's recovery. We first discussed Thomas's plans to branch out and do something away from home that would get him socialized. Apparently last time they had talked about Thomas either joining a model train club or taking a class. Dr. K. had pulled up on his computer our local train club and lo and behold they were going to have one of their once-a-month meetings this coming Tuesday. Thomas actually wants to go to it! For as long as I can remember he has loved trains, Thomas The Tank Engine being his first. I really wish I could find a picture of him with his set to show you guys. Anyway, come Tuesday, Thomas will be at a meeting about model trains and I am surprised that he's actually seriously thinking of going.

Dr. K. and Thomas also talked about Thomas taking a college course. This wasn't received as well by Thomas. The more we talked the more it became evident that Thomas didn't want to take a class. His reason was because he felt he had to choose between having a job or taking the class. I told him he could do both because one class wouldn't overload him but he disagreed vehemently and explained why.

He feels that doing both would cause him a great deal of stress and he's worried about his stability. First let me give him kudos for recognizing that he wants to hold onto his stability and that he recognizes his limitations. He went on to explain with a shaking voice and fear in his eyes that he can still remember his senior year of high school (that's when his schizophrenia reared its ugly head in a big way) and the amount of stress he was under and that all of that had culminated in a week long hospitalization with him almost missing his graduation ceremony. He's still sufficiently scared of that time in his life and it's apparent that he doesn't want a repeat of that. So, I backed off of encouraging him to try to do both work and one class and I felt terrible for him because he those memories are still so fresh.

Then it came up that Thomas had walked to and from work. This is where Dr. K. missed the boat. We had told him Thomas had done that walking and he totally missed the fact that Thomas had also walked home IN THE DARK. I kept looking expectantly at him waiting for his response to that fact and he said nothing. Finally I made a point of saying to him with emphasis,


Then it happened.

"What?" he said.

"Yes, HE WALKED HOME IN THE DARK." I repeated.

It was then that he sat back in his chair kind of collapsing and he was in shock. It was so much fun because I could see that he was truly surprised and excited for Thomas. Then he ran Thomas through a battery of questions:

"When you walk home in the dark do you feel like you're being followed?"


"What if a police car drives up behind you? Does that scare you?"


"What if a police car drives right behind you really slowly, what would you think? Would you think he's after you?"

"No. Because I'm not a criminal. I have nothing to worry about."



Dr. K. was completely dumbfounded and I was smiling from ear to ear because it had been such a fun surprise to reveal to him. We talked a little more about that and then I was excused from therapy.

I retired to my chair in the waiting room and texted people and played games on my phone. During that time Dr. K. came out of his office 3 or 4 times to talk to me. I will talk about some of that in another post but one of the things he really wanted me to do was to be sure to support Thomas door to door as he went to this model train meeting. Before leaving the session I had stated matter-of-factly that Thomas would be just fine walking to it. He needs the exercise and it's not that far from our home. However something must have transpired in session (I'm thinking that Thomas was anxious about doing this completely alone) and the new plan was for me to be with him, at least drive him to and from the meeting.

Beyond that, the other reasons Dr. K. emerged from his office 2 more times, I will write about in the next couple days. There are new concerns about Thomas's physical health and that needs to be addressed.

In the end, for the most part, the session was A LOT of fun. It was so much fun to reveal that Thomas had comfortably walked home from work in the dark and Dr. K.'s reaction had been priceless. We are all impressed by Thomas's changing mental health and as time passes I can't wait to see what happens next.

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