Monday, February 02, 2015

Leaving Mental Illness Behind For Physical Illness

After being kicked out of therapy on Thursday I was surprised a few times by Dr. K. reemerging several times to speak to me in the waiting room. I'm a little unsure why I wasn't kept there in the first place. It seems that the two of them talked about Thomas's pressure in his chest and how it used to be associated with a delusion about him feeling like there is something evil inside of him trying to get out. We've solved that, as far a the delusion goes but now we're still left with the pressure. To recap, we all, Dr. K. and I, just recently learned that the pressure even exists but now that Thomas is stable and the pressure is still there, we are left wondering what it is.

Well, I guess I wasn't really wondering about it much. I guess I wasn't taking it seriously. I guess I just didn't think that it was really anything.

That is until two of the times Dr. K. came out of his office.

First he came out looking distracted and worried. He told me that Thomas still felt the pressure and he wondered if I had taken Thomas to the doctor to get it checked out. He asked me if Thomas had a doctor. I told him that Thomas sees a nurse practitioner and he shook his head and expressed that he didn't feel that was good enough, that Thomas needs a REAL doctor. He stood before me in the waiting room and I tried to think through what he was saying and how I was going to respond. Thomas has always seen this nurse practitioner and she has been awesome and instrumental in referring Thomas out to places more qualified to care for him. I had no doubts about her but now, with Dr. K. in front of me, I didn't feel like she was enough. He stalked away from me back to his office and barely got the door closed and he came out again and told me that he was very concerned about this pressure in his chest and guessed aloud what it might be, perhaps an ulcer, maybe his heart. He didn't really know but when he mentioned Thomas's heart I "stood up and took notice." He went back to his office and left me in the waiting room reeling and trying to figure out what he had just said to me. What am I supposed to do?

You see, my dad died of a heart attack. My dad's dad died of a heart attack. Heart disease runs in our family. It's nothing to fool around with considering our familial history. But was this an emergency? Could my boy be a ticking time bomb? Could he have a heart attack? Could he die in his sleep like Laura Pogliano's son but with heart related problems?

I suppose if I had been approached in a less dramatic way I might have not had the worries I do now but Dr. K.'s insistence that Thomas see a doctor really scared me.

After therapy I began questioning Thomas all about his chest pressure issue. It seems that it's always there, it gets worse with exercise, it's accompanied by pain in his stomach, the pain he feels radiates to his back sometimes. It makes it hard to breathe. His heart does a lot of flip flopping. The pressure feels like it's coming from the inside trying to push out and so much more.

We got home and I pulled up one of those symptom checkers on my tablet and ran Thomas through another line of questioning asking him to help me check boxes that pertained to him. Let's just say he checked a lot of them and most of the results of the test came back with answers related to some kind of heart issue.

Oh God.

Oh no.

And here we all had been, for years oblivious to this pressure because Thomas equated it to a demon, and only now do we see that this is an actual physical ailment and it's in need of checking.

I realize Googling things to find out if you have some kind of illness isn't the smartest thing to do a lot of times but I think in this case, it's the best thing I could have done. I now had a call to action and I immediately called his nurse practitioner. I explained to the receptionist what was going on and she said that Thomas definitely needs to be seen. Terrific, someone else saying there could be a problem here.

Enter from stage worst nightmare, my every reason to worry about Thomas, my fears of losing him




So to say I haven't slept well since therapy is an understatement. I feel like a new mom with a new baby who wants to go check on him to make sure he's still breathing. Every time he doesn't wake up at his usual time and sleeps in later than usual, every part of me wants to go into his room and shake him awake.

Needless to say, Thomas has an appointment tomorrow. I am going to have him fast so that they can take every blood test under the sun. I want everything covered. And, while I'm making my list, I want an EKG done too and maybe to begin with, a chest x-ray, though a fancy MRI would make me feel the best. I want to know what's going on with him and I want to know yesterday.

This illness never ends. It's so sneaky and cruel with it's delusions and hallucinations and now I'm on a whole new level in that because of it, it hid a potentially serious health condition that had I not had a random talk with Thomas one afternoon a couple months ago I would never have known about it.

Thank God his appointment is tomorrow. I don't think I can wait another day to have SOME kind of answer to this.

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