Tuesday, January 31, 2012


Yesterday was a long day.  I left work and went to Mike's.  My other brother met me there and then Ron came too.  I was almost sure that the situation had escalated because of the psych. nurse.  She's a rather loud, fast talking person and she gets Mike excited every time she comes.  I had just talked to Mike right before she got to his house and he was settled down but then he told her he had suicidal thoughts and the @#$% hit the fan.  I'm sure she was only following protocol but it didn't do anything but get Mike worked up.  He was a real zombie when I got there but it was because he hadn't slept all night worrying about the doctor's visit.  The nurse wanted him to go to the hospital and I didn't.  I wanted him to go to bed and sleep.  I didn't think the situation warranted going to St. Anthony's.  Every time he is in the hospital they just dope him up more and it makes things worse.  Sometimes you have to just trust your gut and I think I know my brother pretty well.  

We didn't leave him alone the rest of the day and he slept at our house last night.  Butch is taking him to the psychiatrist today.  I think if Dr. T. agrees to back off the medication decrease for awhile Mike will settle down.  Mike is terrified that he will get sick and end up in the psych. unit again and I totally understand his fear.  This will have to be done very, very, slowly.

I'm definitely going to check out NAMI as suggested.  I think it would be good for all of us, my other brother, Ron and myself.  Yesterday I felt like we were all just about worn out.  

I have always said I wouldn't let Mike consume me the way he did our parents.  But it is hard because it's all he's known.  He kind of held everyone captive.  My dad could hold his own with him and he wasn't afraid to talk stern to him.  But that was a father/son relationship.  Mike's always had his bluff on me because I was always just a little scared of him.  I'm a very non-confrontational person anyway and confronting someone who can blow up at any second is scary.  I was always the peacemaker in the family.  But I have to change that.  Mike now looks to me the way he did our dad.  It is really weird since he basically didn't acknowledge I was alive until our mother died two years ago.

I really feel for my older brother.  He is 73 years old and two of his kids are severely bi-polar.  He's driving one of them to Kansas City on Friday to live with a girlfriend.  She's been homeless for the past two months.  His brother is schizophrenic and I won't even go into his wife.  Let's just say he didn't have enough crazy in the family he had to import some more.  (Now I'm just being mean)  It's not my place to judge anyone.  I just need to concentrate on my own behavior.

So, I'm waiting to hear how the psych. appointment went.  In the meantime I have a long day today.  Late night meeting and I didn't sleep very well last night myself.

Monday, January 30, 2012

The last one standing.

I keep learning that I don't know much about my brother's disease.  I find myself trying to have these rational conversations with someone who is irrational.  He is just obsessing like crazy about his medications.  He obsessed over a slow leak in his bike tire which resulted in him considering suicide.  Then he obsessed about the dishwasher installation.  It was a weekend of obsessions............. Ron spent Saturday with him getting the tire fixed, getting the dishwasher installed and getting bossed around by Mike.  He ended his day fed up to the brim.  

Mike is supposed to see his psychiatrist tomorrow and he is totally worked up about that.  He called me this morning and said he didn't sleep last night because he's anxious about the appointment.  It's like there is no way to win this war.  It's either the side affects or the disease.  

Then he told me he is working on his narcissism.  Really?  How's that?  He told me he asked how I was this morning.  Ohhh that's right...he said, "How are you before he started telling me everything that was going wrong in his world.  I guess that counts.

I just heard from Mike's psychiatric nurse.  She thinks he should see the doctor today.  Mike is telling her he wants to kill himself.  I'm at my wits end.  He consumes every minute of every day.  I have no life of my own anymore.  I'm feeling very resentful.  I just wish I knew what to do.

My father once told me "Don't be the last one standing."  I didn't really get it at the time.  NOW I DO!

Thursday, January 26, 2012


I'm beginning to see a pattern with Mike and his medication changes.  It seems it takes the first week after a change for Mike to relax and get comfortable.  The second week goes much smoother.  I am already seeing differences in his thinking.  He seems to be much clearer in thought.  The obsessive thinking is simply a symptom of schizophrenia and it may never go away completely.  I don't think that is a side effect of the drugs, it is a side effect of the disease.  

I was telling him today about a girl who has schizophrenia and how I had found her blog.  She wrote about her obsessive thoughts.  She also described hearing voices that told her she was a bad person and berated her.  I asked Mike if he understood that this is simply the disease and it doesn't mean someone is bad.  He seemed to appreciate hearing that his symptoms are similar to those of other people.

I was also thinking about the roles individuals play in a family.  Are we born with our personalities already decided?  Are our personalities acquired from our experiences?  I don't have the answer to that but I know that I've been a "caregiver" since I was a little girl.  My mother suffered from severe depression and anxiety and I took care of her.   I was the youngest child but the only daughter so mothering was my role.  It remains my role.  It comes naturally.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Words from my father

I found this writing in some papers left to me by my paternal grandmother.  She had saved clippings, programs and just about anything having to do with my father.  Among these items I found the following writing.  My dad was sixteen years old at the time and it must have been a class assignment or something though there was no grade on the paper.  What I find mind boggling is that when he wrote these words in 1931 he never dreamed of something like the internet.  He never saw it in his lifetime but I can only imagine the blog he would have written.  He would have loved it!
By Earl Simpson             1931 age 16

Across-the Y in Fourth Ward is where I was and am being brought up.  Over where boys and girls come under the simple heading of “kids”; a simple and unaffected group of people for neighbors, whose boys were my pals and belonged to my “Gang”.  At the youthful age of ten I was the leader of a small but clannish group of boys; we called ourselves “The Fourth-Ward Alley Rats” and were quite proud of the title.  My chief assistant in command was Roland Broom; with his muscle and my brain we managed to engineer several projects that still glow in my mind.  A cave in a road bank, a house in a tree, and a boat are my chief sources of pride from that line.  The cave has long since been filled in with tin cans and rubbish; the boat took her last voyage many years ago; just the other day I noticed a two-by-four running across two limbs and that told another story; memories linger on.

A boy is not a real boy without a dog.  I was a real boy.  My dog I called “Happy” and I think bespoke his name by not missing a wiggle of his tail for eleven years.  He was a small brown collie with the heart of a lion.  I’ve come home many a time with a black eye after a difficulty arising over the fighting merits of my dog.  I wasn’t very large, neither was my dog, but, even if I do say so myself, we put up some good scraps.  Yes, we got a lot of thrashings but we also gave out quite a number.  Happy fought his last battle three years ago; I buried him under a tree where he and I used to sit and comfort each other on melancholy afternoons.  I go down to see him every once in awhile; I’m not sentimental but I did love my dog.

I shall never forget that April night in 1927 when I became a Boy Scout.  Words cannot describe the pride with which I displayed my Tenderfoot badge.  I was an official member of a Troop for six years; I received a Second Class, First Class, Star, Life, and Eagle awards; I was a Patrol Leader and believe I got a lot out of Scouting.  I remember hikes, camps, and troop and patrol meetings.  I see patrol “dens” and the faces of all the fellows whom I played and planned with and called my pals.  Some day I hope to have a boy of mine in Scouting.

There are really two places which I call home, the house in which I live and the ice factory that my father runs.  As far back as my memory goes the plant is part of my surroundings.  The hum of the machinery, cakes of ice in the storage room, the ice cans, the fillers, an ice pick and a pair of hooks are all as familiar as the steps at my back door.  I rode on the wagons and trucks as a “kid” and learned the routes and the public we served.  I’ve worked as a peddler, a puller, a stacker, and as the engineer.  I have been book-keeper and a general handy-man for my father; I know the ice business.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Movie Date

Ron and I saw the movie, Extremely Close, Incredibly LoudSaturday and it was amazing.  The 14 year old actor, Tomas Horn, was just fantastic and it was his first acting job.  He was discovered after he was on a teen version of Jeopardy.  I read something where he said that he thought the experience was great but he would be glad when his life just went back to normal.  I'll be surprised if it goes back to normal anytime soon.  He was in every scene in the movie and playing the part of a boy with Asperger's Syndrome.  He portrayed it perfectly.  I don't know how he captured it so well.  Tom Hank's role was minor.  He was the focus of the story (being the father killed in 911) but his role was brief.  Sandra Bullock was the emotionally absent grieving widow.  Her role was brief also although it had a surprising twist at the end.  We really enjoyed this film and highly recommend it but be prepared that it is emotionally draining. 

The line that got me the most in the film was when this young boy said, "I tried so hard to be normal".  I lost it because it made me think about my brother and how hard he has tried to be "normal" all his life.  It made me think......if my brother were "normal" he wouldn't be Mike.  He wouldn't have all the unique, quirky things that make him who he is.  I would only wish he could be Mike without the fears and obsessions associated with schizophrenia.   My biggest wish is that he could have peace.

Mike's weekend started leveling out on Saturday and he had a great day with our other brother and Ron.  They all got together to watch basketball.  There were no problems until last night when he called to say he had a pill missing from his med planner.  Ron and I drove over but the pills were fine.  He's just anxious about them.  I hope he does well this week.  I need to call him....he missed his 8:15 call-in.

Thank goodness.........all is well.  He had just walked to Subway to get his daily sandwich.  They know him well at Subway!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Mike's Fear

Decreasing Michael's medications is going to be a long and tricky process.  He is extremely anxious about it.  He's having trouble expressing his fear but what I've been able to figure out is he has an irrational fear he's going to die if they decrease it.  I try to assure him that his psychiatrist is very knowledgable and that he won't do anything that would put him in harms way.  I can have this conversation a hundred times but he goes right back to his obsession.  I guess the best we can do is try to distract him as much as possible.

I've been keeping a daily journal about Mike so that I can share it with his doctor.  Mike can't express himself and his memory is so bad he wouldn't remember the struggles he has had through the week.  The doctor will either use the information or just dismiss it.  I just want to do all I can to help him receive the best care possible.

I told Mike last night how much I admire him and how he has taught me so much.  He just cried which made me feel bad.  But he told me he needed his tears, that it was a release for him.  I get t hat.  Sometimes a good cry really lets us get out the feelings we have bottled up so long.  Mike needs to hear that he is a good man and that his disease does NOT define him as a man.  He is a man who has schizophrenia.  He's a man who has worked hard to be a good person inspite of his disease.

Ron is with Mike this afternoon watching a ball game together.  This gives me time to get some chores done.  We are going out for a movie tonight. 

Friday, January 20, 2012

Unexpected Surprise

I have been married 8 months now but I still haven't gotten my name changed on all my accounts.  Yesterday I called Uverse to see how I needed to go about changing the name.  The young man who assisted me was so pleasant.  He took care of the name change and then said he wanted to review the account.  I thought, here it comes, a sales speech to get me to increase my service.  But no, he just said, "I can take $5.00 off your monthly fee for you."  He didn't even explain why he just did it.  No sales speech, nothing!  I have to say I was impressed. 

I figured I was on a roll so I called the gas company but they gave no discounts.  I hope I didn't turn off my gas service in an effort to change the last name.  I guess we will know if our feet get cold tonight.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Brain Waves

How do I make my brain think like a schizophrenic?  I try but his brain jumps around like an ant on a hot rock.  I'm answering one question and before I can finish a thought he has moved on to something else.  It's like talking to Flash Gordon, he's all over the place.

Yesterday was a day of obsessive thoughts.  He obsessed about his medication and told me he was having suicidal thoughts.  All this was going on while I was trying to work.  I had an unusually busy day yesterday and I was juggling everything while I had a phone attached to my ear.  This is such a "normal" routine for me I become completely unaware of who is around at the time during these conversations.  It must really sound odd to the outsider. 
"Now, why do you want to kill yourself"? 
"Because you think you might have missed a pill?"
"What are you afraid will happen if you missed a pill?" 
"You'll die?"
"So, you'll just kill yourself instead."

All this while I type on my computer and shuffle papers on my desk. People must think I'M nuts! 

Every morning at 8:15 he calls and every morning at 8:15 I hold my breath.  Is it going to be a good day?  Or are we going to ride the schizophrenic roller coaster?  Sometime after the 20 - 30 phone calls for the day I will come to a conclusion. 

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Michael Update

I took Mike to his psychiatric appointment Monday and it went well.  Mike had the best two weeks he's had in over a year.  His optimism was high and he didn't have any problem with reducing his Thorazine.  He had only one episode when he got a little anxious over his med. planner and I had to go back to his house and make sure it was OK. 

Dr. T. lowered his dosage of Thorazine again from 3 x daily to 2 x daily and he lowered the Trihexyphenidyl from twice daily to once daily.  Mike seemed OK with all the changes.  We had an enjoyable trip and went to lunch.  

On Tuesday morning I got a call from Mike and he told me hadn't slept.  He said he called our brother at 1am and told him he was having suicidal thoughts.  I guess it just hit Butch's last nerve and he must have yelled at Mike.  So Mike was upset with Butch.  All I could think about was I can't lose Butch's help with taking Mike to appointments.  I just can't do all of it by myself.  If Mike gets too paranoid about Butch he won't go with him.  So I did my best to defuse the situation.  I had Mike call his psychiatrist himself to tell him what was going on and he did.  Dr. T. then called me and just said that Mike should take his Thorazine at bedtime and that it will take awhile for him to adjust to the changes.  Mike seemed reassured and did just fine last night.

His psych. nurse has started coming again and she will take over the med planner duty.  I'm still hopeful that things are going to get better and that his thinking will improve.  He will probably continue to have difficulty with impulse control.  He's always had a problem with it.  I just hope that he remains sweet and doesn't go back to being mean and demanding like he was before all this happened.  The meds have made him much sweeter.  If that happens we will have to have a come to Jesus meeting because I won't let him abuse me the way he did for so many years.  I may have more leverage now because he knows that I'm all his has.  Mom and Dad are gone so he knows I'm it!  Gives me a little bit of leverage I hope.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Yes ma'am!

Do you remember the first time someone called you ma'am?  I think I was about 30 or 32 when the sacker at the grocery store called me ma'am.  I about died.  I was sure I was over-the-hill and my youth was just a faint memory of the past.

Ron's daughter called recently to report she had just been called ma'am for the first time.  She was having about the same reaction that I had.  We teased her a little and welcomed her into the over-the-hill club.  I told Ron after we hung up that I have passed the ma'am stage and have entered the sweet little old lady phase.  Now I'm called "sweetie" or "darlin" or other sweet old lady terms of endearment.  Young people hold doors open for me and act like they want to carry my parcels.  Frankly, I LOVE it!  So far I haven't felt the least bit offended.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Everything I know I learned in therapy!

Following my divorce in 1978 I spent about six years in counseling.  I was fortunate enough to find a therapist that I felt very comfortable with and trusted completely.  Initially I didn't seek counseling for myself but for my children who were having a difficult time adjusting to the divorce, or so I thought.  What I learned was that my kids were fine, it was me that needed adjusting.  So began my six-year journey of self-discovery.  

The first year I spent the majority of my hourly sessions crying and working through my feelings of rejection.  Everything was centered around mourning the death of my marriage.  What I learned in that year was how to identify what I was really mourning about....it wasn't the marriage as it really was but the hope of what I wanted it to be.   I was grieving the loss of hope.  Once I was able to learn the difference between the two I was ready to move on to focusing on myself and what I wanted in the future.

The following year I had my counselor's support as I tentatively began to open myself to the idea of dating.  I was able to talk about a multitude of feelings this evoked.  It took me to places I wasn't even aware of and how these experiences had impacted the way I acted in relationships.  I hadn't realized that being molested as a little girl actually impacted my ability to be intimate in a relationship.  Why I never connected the dots is still a mystery to me.  But we were able to go back and work through some ugly residue left over from that experience.  There is a time to look to the past but only if by doing so you can change the future.  Otherwise just keep moving forward.

In the end I felt I had been given tools that would help me as I moved forward in my life.  I finished all my work and I'm grateful I was finished before I turned 34 years of age.  I've continued to use the tools and strategies I learned and I believe I gained a much better understanding of myself.  I learned that happiness is not dependent on anyone but yourself.  If you are unhappy then change your circumstances, don't wait for someone else to change.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Wherever Your Path May Lead You

                       That Ribbon of Highway

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The Immaculate Deception

It was Christmas time and I had just come home after a rather hectic day at work when a rather indignant seven year-old met me at the door stating very emphatically that she was NOT going to be exploded by her teacher.

“Exploded?  Do you mean exploited?”  I asked taking a wild guess.

Julie continued, “She wants us to wear matching dresses and to say a poem.  I don’t wear dresses and I’m not saying a poem with HER.” pointing accusingly to her twin sister.

Poor Jamie, she looked as bewildered as I felt.  Somehow she was a major player in this drama only she had no idea why.

 “My teacher said she would give me a zero if I don’t wear a dress and in the Christmas program but I’m NOT.” Julie said emphatically punching her hands deep into the pockets of her jeans, her long hair cascading down her back.   She was a tomboy and would rather be boiled alive than forced to wear a dress.

Jamie quickly jumped in and explained that their teacher wanted them to wear matching dresses and together recite a poem in the school Christmas program.  The program was to start in an about two hours but Julie had decided to protest what she considered to be the exploitation of twins.

As a single mom of two I had learned long ago to pick my battles and this was just not a battle worth fighting.  I decided instead that it was an opportunity for my daughter to learn one of life’s biggest lessons. For every action there is a reaction.  If Julie didn’t participate she would get a zero and that my friend is what we call consequences.   I advised my daughter that it was definitely her choice whether to wear a dress or not but that she would have to go to the program and explain her position to her teacher.  I then instructed each of the girls to get ready to leave for the school.

While the girls were getting ready I gathered what little wits and patience I had remaining.  I was so tired that I wasn’t sure if I would have the energy to deal with Julie’s protest but decided I had to give it a try.  I made a quick phone call to my mother to remind her of the program and to let her know we’d meet her at the school.
It wasn’t long before the girls emerged from their rooms ready to go.  Jamie in her red and green Christmas dress her soft curls held in place by matching bows and Julie wearing a t-shirt and jeans with a comb stuffed in her back pocket.  Her hair was a tangle of curls. We all got in the car and drove the three blocks to the school while Julie sat the backseat with her arms folded defiantly across her chest. 

As soon as we got to the school the girls scattered to the music room.  I quickly located my mother and we went into the auditorium to wait for the program to start.  It felt good just to sit down and take in a deep breath.  I decided not to tell my mother about Julie’s standoff with the music teacher afraid she might not agree with my decision to not fight this battle. 

Soon the auditorium lights dimmed and the curtain opened.  Jamie walked to the edge of the stage and recited her poem without a hitch.  She looked so sweet and ladylike that it was hard to believe she was the identical twin of her slovenly sister.  As soon as she exited the stage my mother asked, “Where is Julie?   It would have been so cute if they had recited the poem together.”

The curtain opened again to the entire third grade class standing on bleachers ready to sing songs of the season.  I scanned the faces looking for two just alike.  I quickly found Jamie on the front row but no Julie.  Of course I wasn’t the only one looking for her.  My mother rather loudly asked, “Where’s Julie?  Isn’t she in the program?”   

“I’ll explain later.” I whispered.

I had resigned myself to the fact that Julie was indeed getting a zero in music and that no resolution had been reached between Julie and her teacher.  Then the children finished a rousing song of “Here comes Santa Claus” and the curtains closed. 

The auditorium suddenly darkened and a single spotlight began to shine on the center of the curtain.  Slowly the curtain opened to a choir of children softly singing, “Away in a Manger”.  The spotlight focused on Mary and Joseph looking adoringly at the Christ child.  Mary was wearing a blue sheet that covered her hair and wrapped around her entire body.  It was a second or two before I realized that due to an immaculate deception this angelic creature was no other than my tomboy daughter wearing a t-shirt and jeans beneath her robe with a comb stuffed in her pocket. 

Monday, January 9, 2012

The 21st Century

Ron and I made to the movie Saturday night to see "We bought a zoo" and it was really good.  I highly recommend it.   Just a good wholesome family movie.

Today we purchased new cell phones and a dishwasher for Mike.  That was an adventure.  We took Mike to Sears and he interviewed the clerk for about 30 minutes on what kind of Indian he was.  It was an interesting conversation.  Thank goodness Ron had more patience with him than I did.  I felt my blood sugar taking a nose dive and had to go find something to eat.  I left Ron in charge of Mike and they managed to complete the transaction.

We got new phones so we could start texting.  We had to change our phone plans as well.  When I called my daughter and told her I could now text she said, "Thank goodness......you are now in the 21st century".  Ron's daughter was just as elated.  Good grief........I guess it's the new mode of communication.

Monday has arrived way to quickly.  I have to gear up for another week and my heart isn't in it yet.  

I've been thinking a lot about chronic depression, anxiety disorders and other emotional challenges and how all or some have affected so many members of my family.  It seems that my dad and I are the only ones that were not impacted by such afflictions.  My dad was a fun loving happy guy all the time.  Even with the responsibility of taking care of my brother 24/7.  Mike was with my dad every day and I can't remember one time that my dad complained about it.  He tried once to set Mike up to live alone and when it didn't work he just accepted the fact and Mike moved back home.  No complaints were heard. 

By nature I'd say that I'm a happy person.  I don't suffer from anxiety or depression.  I'm afraid I don't handle the stress of caring for my brother as well as my dad did.  I try to vent any frustration I'm feeling here and then leave it.  So far this method seems to work.

I was telling my boss this morning that I felt as if I was a little harsh on the phone with Mike.  She said, "If that's harsh then I'm a sadistic bitch when I talk to my husband."  She assured me that whatever frustration I was feeling was not evident on the phone call.  That made me feel better.

What really gets me is why did I get the genetic roll of the dice that I did?  Why, when every other member of my family has such challenges?  Guess I shouldn't question it but just be grateful!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

I married a keeper!

I'm a litttle down in my back today so my dear, sweet husband was up early this morning doing the laundry.  He cleaned the kitchen and got the grocery list and did the shopping.  He even called in my prescription  and picked it up as well. Now he is with Mike watching a basketball game giving me time to just take a long hot bath.  He's is honestly the kindest person and so very thoughtful. 

I took my medication and threw in some extra arthritis pain reliever and I'm ready for that hot soaking tub.  If I'm better this evening we may catch a movie.  I've been wanting to see the movie about the guy who purchased a zoo.  It looked pretty wholesome and tame.

We are going to have a pretty quiet weekend.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Clinging Vine

Have you ever had issues with static cling or static in general?  I remember when I had carpet in the living room and we actually had to get up and change the channel on the tv. I would get the be-jezus shocked out of me.  So, I made the kids change the channel.  They would actually scoot across the carpet in their socks just to see if they would light up when they touched it.  Doesn't happen now with wood floors and remotes.

Many years ago I went in to work and had no idea that I had a pair of panties stuck to the back of my skirt.  Thank goodness a co-worker was nice enough to tell me or I would have been sporting that look all day.

Another time I went to the doctor and as I was perched on the exam table I looked down and noticed something sticking out the hem of my slacks.  I became entranced by the foreign object and while the doctor continued talking about my diagnosis I started pulling on it.  It kept coming and coming like a magician's scarf trick.  It was a pair of panty hose!  I quickly wadded them in my hand and stuffed them under my butt!    

I can't count the number of times I've pulled a sweater over my head to have my hair stand up like a science experiment.  Or just when you think you are about the hottest looking thing at the party your husband lets you know your skirt is stuck to your back only about 3 inches higher then your  fanny.  

All the above examples are why I have this in my desk drawer.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Collecting or Hoarding?

I have found the greatest motivator to cleaning house and getting rid of accumulated junk.  I just watch a marathon of "Hoarding Buried Alive" and I'm ready to empty every closet and drawer in my house.  Sometimes I can't even finish an episode before I'm up and throwing stuff away.  I realize the cases depicted on television are extreme  but I can also see how as we age and become physically challenged things can pile up.   Every time I open a closet it is the stuff that is hidden in the back of some pile that really makes me question why I've kept it in the first place.  Is it the old out of sight out of mind mentality?  

What's really had me thinking lately is how new physical limitations change what we do.  I've come to realize that getting out the familiar Christmas decorations has become harder and harder.  I'm not physically able to do it anymore.  So, do I sell all my decorations in a yard sale or do I keep them stacked up in boxes for my kids to deal with some day?

When Ron and I got married we had to combine households.  Fortunately, he had a huge estate sale and had already eliminated the need to find places for furniture etc.  But the things we did try to merge filled up every empty nook and cranny in the house.  I realize after 8 months of marriage that we do not need 50 towels....we aren't that dirty.  So it's time to clear out the linen closet.

The next big project is to get the family photos under control.  I didn't have that many photos but Ron came with 4 huge Rubber maid tubs of pictures.  Most of the people in the photos he has no idea who they are.  But he has a sentimental attachment because they belonged to his parents.  His daughter will probably have no attachment to them because she doesn't know who they are either.  So that's a project that still needs to be tackled.

Ron is a collector.  He sold the majority of his collections in the estate sale but he has that collector mentality.  If there is a series of things he has to have them all.  He has collected everything from Santa's around the world to Nascar model cars and coins.  Me.....I collect nothing but dust.  As a single mom I didn't have the extra income to collect anything.  We worked under the rule of  "If it doesn't feed you, clothe you or provide shelter, you don't need it."

So, I'm still trying to simplify my life.  Decluttering is part of my intention so I don't end up an episode of Hoarding..........

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Hope is on the horizon

Yesterday was a long day.  I had my regular doctor's appointment and after an EKG and the regular blood work all is well with me.  Then on to Mike's appointment with his new psychiatrist, Dr. T.

Mike met with Ray again before his appointment with the doctor and they had a good conversation.  Mike really responds well to Ray.  They talked about guilt and Mike's overwhelming feelings of guilt and remorse for things that have been so exaggerated in his mind.  All in all it was a good session. I'm so thankful we found Ray.

Then we met with Dr. T.  The first thing he asked was "Why is he on all these meds.?"  

Uhhhhh "Because the psychiatrist prescribed them."  I replied.

"I'm surprised you can even talk Mike with all this stuff in your system."

I said he barely can..........

So, the rest of the visit we talked about Mike's medication and how he needs to be weaned off a lot of it.  Dr. T. said he will function again and feel so much better.  

Mike was a little apprehensive of course because he is so afraid of having another psychotic episode but we were assured his medication will only be reduced to the lowest level that will still maintain his mental health.  The doctor also indicated that some of the physical side-effects Mike is experiencing will go away as well.  The problem with his eyes and even the choking sensation are being caused by a medication that is drying out his eyes and his mouth. 

The first medication to be reduced is the Thorazine which is an old psychotropic drug.  It can cause a lot of side effects.  He started with reducing it by one dose per day.  Then we will go back in two weeks and he will probably reduce it again until he gets off it completely.  Dr. T. said it may take 6 months to get him off everything he wants to eliminate.

Mike said, "There's hope for me."  

Dr. T. answered, "You bet there is hope for you, you will be a new man."

It's amazing what a little hope can do.  We are all cautiously optimistic that Mike will regain his independence!  I am praying so hard.