Tuesday, December 11, 2007

We're all stocked up on crazy here!

It has been a long night. The evening started with my mother just stopping by for a visit. We talked for a good hour and I fixed us some pizza for supper. Mom was just starving.

Soon, there was a knock on my door. I opened it and Joyce almost fell into my house. She was resting her head on the door.

"Something's bad wrong with me," she said as she came inside carrying her medications.

Me and mom both tried in vain to get her to take her nightly medications. She would raise her voice and say we were out to hurt her.

"I know y'all think I am crazy," she kept saying over and over very loudly to the point it scared Maggie.

My father finally got involved and we got her home, in her pajamas, and in the bed. I had managed to convince her to take her anti-psychotic, Risperdal, earlier. It took awhile for it to take affect as it will make you very sleepy.

"You come over and get in the bed in my spare bedroom if you get scared," I told her, holding her hand.

Me and dad left when she finally turned off her bedroom lights. I turned off the TV, locked the backdoor, and Dad and I escaped back to my house.

I now know how it feels to be on the other side, the flip-side, of someone with mental illness. It is exasperating as you try to talk some sense and reason into a mentally ill person. I have a much greater empathy tonight for what my ex-wife and family went through all those years I wouldn't take my medications.


shy_smiley said...

You're right, Andrew. It's tough being the "sane" one on the outside. I treat my mild depression with a low dose of Lexapro; my sis treats her more severe depression with Zoloft. When she was pregnant and off her medications she suffered numerous panic attacks and I spent many hours with her in the emergency room. As exasperating as it may be to the "sane" one on the outside, you know firsthand how scary it is for the one with the mental illness. The voices, the paranoia, the aggitation... it's all very real to you. You're blessed that you've experienced both and that you can process the experiences.

Hope you're having a great Christmas season (otherwise). And snow in Alabama? We've got a Severe Winter Weather Advisory here in Tucson, with significant sno accumulation forecast as low as 5000 feet elevation. May be a snow day tomorrow!

AlabamaGal said...

I've been on the other side too and I know it can be difficult to hear the words "trying to hurt me" when you are trying to help the one you care for but it is part of the territory. It was part of my life as a child and growing up to be very aware for signs of the illness and to calmly and lovingly try to be there through the storms of mental illness. My family member hasn't been hospitalized in years. I am proud of her but if she were to revert back to those resistance days, I'd be there.

My thoughts are with Joyce.

Claudia said...

you are a good friend andrew

Anonymous Boxer said...

I've been the caretaker in my past and it IS hard at times.

Joyce is so lucky to have you and your family there to help her.

You're a good man - you helped her today. That's more than a lot of people can say.

Kelly Jene said...

I agree with AB. You did a good thing. I'm glad she has you to understand. Not everyone would understand and be patient and try to help.

Take care friend.

justLacey said...

Joyce has been a Godsend in many ways. I know times are difficult with her now, but she will come out of it eventually. Why doesn't she get the Risperdal injections?
You have proved yourself a good and true friend.


YOu are truly showing of the Christmas spirit-of the giving nature and kind urges that you extend to those in your life. If awards could be given out on thinking of others, you definitely deserve it!

What a long night, but I sense a night that will stick with you for your lifetime when things get patchy for you-
this was so warm to read.
My heart goes to Joyce.


Cheryl said...

I'm so glad that not only were you there for Joyce, but your parents too. They saw you as the caring friend that you are, and they as caring human beings. I hope Joyce can get the help she needs.