Tuesday, September 06, 2011
This morning at about 10:30 a.m....my left arm went completely numb from shoulder to fingertips quickly followed by pretty severe pain the entire arm, again right down to the fingertips. I broke out into a clammy sweat.
I thought, is this a heart attack?
I argued with myself for about 15 minutes. I looked it up online. Mentally I went through the training I'd had as an EMT.
And I took myself to the ER. Six hours later - and god only knows how much $ later - I was let loose. No elevated cardiac enzymes, so likely not a heart attack...but set up with a stress ekg nonetheless to rule out a cardiac problem.
Probably anxiety - which the doc was quick to point out did not mean it was "all in my head" LOL. That anxiety is a very real physical condition.
yep, you bet it is.
I had six hours of laying there, with bp 175/125 for a good part of it, to think about better care of myself. I can't unload all my stress, or my worry. I've been doing the best I can to make the best choices available to me. Still, obviously, not enough.
Part of me felt silly for going to the ER. but a bigger part knows that women too often pooh pooh their cardiac symptoms... So in the end, I'm glad I went.
Tuesday, September 06, 2011
While Mike's diagnosis not a fixed thing...it gives me some way to explain to people outside the house what's going on. I usually just say "bipolar" because people understand that to at least some degree. "possibly psychotic" brings up feelings of fear in people. Psychosis is a spectrum...not just one thing. Bipolar is at the low end of the psychotic spectrum....and schizophrenic disorders are at the opposite end. We don't yet know where mike falls in that spectrum...but bipolar is the term I use so that people have some understanding and don't automatically go to that place of fear and stigma of mental illness.
This was a difficult weekend for Mike and it escalated into being a very difficult weekend for all of us because of his illness.
Right now, learning to recognize that he's sliding downhill is best figured out in retrospect.
in retrospect, I should have given more credence to how wound up he seemed mid week about school - and the school district having dropped the ball on his entrance to the therapeutic day school....meaning school starts this week and we have no idea where mike is going to school. That is the kind of thing his anxiety can't take. he was wound up, but seemed to be able to be calmed down. Looking back, that was the first of little outbursts that were a clue we were on our way to a Big Outburst.
I think it's different for every person with mental illness, all I can tell you is with Mike...the first sign is he becomes unreasonable. Unreasonably fixated on someting - usually that something isn't right or is unjust in his eyes. One time, it was that the center portion of the couch that folds down to a table had to stay down. We had more people than we had seats, and when we put it up, he put it back down. I kept putting it down and he got more and more irritable and anxious. I said "WHY does it need to be down mike? We need the seat!" and all he could tell me was "it is supposed to be down!" i thought he was being a butt...turns out he was so fixated on it he blew apart when confronted over it.
A week later in his therapists office, he didn't remember it and was frankly embarrassed he'd made a big scene about it...said "well that's ridiculous!" and yet he'd done it.
Often after an "outburst" he doesn't remember what he said or did. And the things he says or does....are awful. Last night, he was screaming in my face, literally 2 inches away, calling me vile names and trying to get me to hit him, I suppose so he would have an excuse to hit me. The worse it's ever gotten was for him to shove my partner...but I always worry that he's going to lose all control. As he's literally screaming in my face, I was thinking, "this is it. I'm going to have to call 911". This is the therapist's suggestion for when this happens and he can't get control of himself.
i've never had to do it yet...because I've worked really hard to get him to calm down. The only thing that kept it from happening was his little spitfire of a sister, all 5 feet of her, came boiling into the room and told him "GET OUT! GET OUT NOW!" and he whirled out of the house and was gone for a good 20 minutes. if she hadn't come in and broke the tableau... I was reaching for the phone.
Of course, he's no where to go...so he stormed back home to his room soon. After 2 hours in his room (sleeping, usually he's exausted after such an event, hell so am I!) he came out, still in a foul mood, but not talking and not trying to start stuff.
I've already left an email, a voicemail and a text for his therapist and the country program he's in...I WILL be helped today, thank you. his medication needs to be adjusted, which I suggested last week because of the stress of school starting and they pooh pooh'd me a bit and said well, if it DOES get worse, we can up it then.
Hello. Listen to the mother here.
I did not overeat over it. I thought about it, but knew immediately that binging wasn't going to help. I had a wine cooler (and before anyone needs to share that turning to alchol in times of stress is bad, it's the only alcoholic beverage I've had in months - so keep that to yourself) and a hot bath.
Today I feel sad, but firm. I will be helped, Mike will be helped. I will continue to advocate and fight for him...and I will continue to learn how to better see when he is going down hill and learn what it takes to help him avoid the Big Outbursts, if at all possible.
if you know someone who has a teen with problems...don't share your advice or parenting expertise. We've heard it...and frankly, it doesn't apply to us. What applies to us is living day to day with a child we love, who can be a time bomb of problems. Don't critisize what the professionals suggest we do..and don't tell us that "all that kid needs is to be put in his place!" You have NO IDEA. Give us parent of a mentally ill kid a hug, buy us a coffee, and offer support without judgement.
We'll be eternally grateful.
Monday, September 05, 2011
Yes, Terry55, I did stay in my jammies all day Saturday and quilt...and even part of Sunday! Finished this quilt top... now it will 'rest' while I find the border/backing fabric I want. :)
it's been good. I've taken a nice long nap both days...today I sorta have to hustle tho. Not bad, but..yeah. Laundry, chores, stuff.
Enjoy your Monday off, for those who get it!
Friday, September 02, 2011
In fact, I commit to everything!
that's the problem. Too much "I can do that!" lead to a week that was so chock full this a.m. I got up exhausted and crabby. With Jodie visiting her family in Louisiana - the running of the house, multiple appointments for my son, things that HAD to get done on top of my usual crazy schedule of work and dance and I've way over done it this week.
Again. Someday, I think I'll learn. Maybe. Possibly.
So I have made sure to keep tomorrow as clear as possible...I have a cupcake order due which will only take me about an hour tomorrow morning...then I'm quilting. All day. I may not even get out of my pjs all day! If I feel like it, I'll do some dance, but I'm not scheduling it or feeling guilty about it either.
Tomorrow will be a Real. Day. Off.
I've heard of those....let's see if I can pull it off!
Wednesday, August 31, 2011
That title there? That is me trying to convince myself that I'm thrilled it's "Wednesday already!" as opposed to "crap, it's only Wednesday?" which is how I really feel, LOL.
School doesn't begin here for another week...and yet I'm already putting on my armour and butt-kickin' gear to deal with the school district and my son. Last year, a process I was told would take 60 days took closer to five months...and the last chapter of the school year was to hear, "oh, I guess we didn't quite do everything correctly...so we'll have to see about getting Mike into the therapeutic day school in August when we return". Now, the last week of August, they tell me "um, gee, guess there is a big process we have to go through...and they aren't really taking anyone new right now...and um, how about we just go with a half day at regular high school?"
Last year, I tried to trust them when they said X, Y and Z was going to get done. When the ball was dropped repeatedly, I learned that if I don't keep gentle steady pressure, NOTHING will happen. Period. Nothing. So, of course the meetings they told me would happen 2 weeks ago never happened, and school starts next week and they have no plan whatsoever in deaing with my kid. My kid who can NOT at this point be successful just thrown into regular classes.
So, the lessons in how to advocate for my special needs kid continue. The biggest one has been learned: Do not assume or trust that they will do what they say they will. These are not horrible, awful people. Not at all. They are people who are overwhelmed, underappreciated, etc. It is simply a lesson from the Universe for me to speak up, to keep bringing Mike to the front of the to-do list for them, etc.
Not a run day, so I'm going to do a bellydance boot camp style "warm up" - focuses on strength with pilates, good old fashioned crunches and push ups (UGH HATE THE FREAKING PUSHUPS!) and stretching.
Woo hoo it's Wednesday ! whoop whoop!
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