Monday, March 29, 2010

A Good Start to the Day…

“Good morning!” dad said over the phone a minute ago.

“What are you doing?” I asked.

“I’m drinking me some coffee, eating a microwaved honey bun, and watching CNN,” he replied.

“I called to ask you about that NAMI meeting,” dad then said. “Me and your mother want to go with you.  I am not making any promises with work and all, but I do want to go.  I want to hear what other people have to say about mental illness.”

“Thank you,” I replied. “That makes me so excited!  I am more likely to go on a regular basis if you all get involved.”

“I want you to talk to your brother and sister as well.  There have to be some cutting edge studies on mental illness and schizophrenia you can get involved in.  I want you to try some new medications.  I will call your brother and sister tonight and ask them to inquire about them.  They have contacts in psychiatry.”

I thanked dad and hung up the phone.  I am leery of different medications, though, and the thought of being a guinea pig for said medications and studies scares me.  Most medications for schizophrenia have such terrible side effects.  I will try to keep an open mind about the matter and see what my brother and sister say.  It will be so interesting if they get involved with my mental healthcare.


Joy Heather said...

Its great that your Dad wants to get to know more about Mental Illness...i hope your Meds are proven to be helpful..and that there are no side certainly can do without that dear.

Beth said...

GREAT about the NAMI and your family becoming involved! That is what it is all about: supportive involvement and de-stigmatizing mental illness.

There are many new meds out there for schizophrenia (and we've tried most of them separately and in various combinations, and are still trying to find a solution that works consistently). But NOTHING is going to 'cure' it or 'fix' it permanently. At least not at this time.

The meds successfully control the symptoms in the ideal scenario, at least most of the time, and I can't imagine that your doctor would change much if what you're doing is working. Hopefully he will explain that to your dad.

And yes, there are side effects to most psych meds, some of them more manageable than others, but it depends on the individual. My daughter has restless legs on Geodon which requires another medicine which also has side effects, for instance. Zyprexa made her gain 25 lbs. -- there's a joke that you gain 10 just filling the prescription. Abilify increases her anxiety.

So far -- and this is more than a year -- nothing works all the time. Her meds change some every month as we keep working to find the right mixture. It is frustrating and so hard on her. And me, watching her try to make it work.

I hope that the people at NAMI will be supportive and informative for all of you, and I think this sounds like a good step.

justLacey said...

Gosh I am almost as excited as you are about your parents going. I would be leery too of changing meds. I have a migraine med I use that works pretty well at stopping them. I figure of its working, why change, but it is incredibly expensive without insurance and unless Obama steps on it, I won't be able to afford it much longer. There is also Topamax which is used for epilepsy and you have to take every day for prevention. That kind of turns me off because I don;t really want something I have to take every day. I was interested though it trying Botox injections for prevention. They are supposed to work really well in some people and the effects can last for 6 months.