Sunday, April 25, 2010

On Shaky Ground…

I made an emergency phone call to my father last night about 3am in the morning. 

“What’s wrong?” he asked. “It’s three AM in the morning.”

“My mind is racing, DAD!” I exclaimed frantically.  “I can’t slow down!!!”

“Can you drive?” he asked.

“Jesus Christ!” I muttered loudly and exasperatedly, and buried my head in my palm. He had wanted me to come and get some medications. I hung up the phone abruptly and rashly.

It was about four am when dad made it here.  He handed me some of my Klonopin as I furiously paced the floor in the den.

“Sit down and rest,” he said sleepily, yawning ever louder.  “This reminds me of the night Joyce wouldn’t take her medications.  She was doing the same thing.”

“Why have you stayed with mom all these years?” I asked with an extremely accusing and glaring eye. “Why do you continue to fool with me???  I am just crazy as shit.  Mom is nuts as well.”

“I stayed with your mother for her grandkids,” dad said in a candid moment. “I wanted my grandkids to grow up and know Nana, and to know me and Nana as a couple.  Broken families just weren’t allowed when I was growing up.  I don’t want my grandkids to experience that.  I’ve made sacrifices.”

“So you throw all these medications at me and mom to keep us complacent!” I accused. “Just so you can live with us!!!”

Dad sighed extremely loudly.

“Are you not schizophrenic?” dad calmly asked.

“Yes,” I replied. ‘I think so.”

“Don’t you think you need to take something to make yourself feel better?”

“That’s why I always drank beer and you cut that off you son of a bitch!!!”

“I am going home to sleep,” dad replied getting up in a huff.  “There is no talking to you when you get like this.  Your medications will take effect in about twenty minutes and you will sleep.  Go to bed!”

“No wait!” I said back peddling.  “I am sorry.  I feel better already.”

“Don’t you think your life is better with the medications?” dad asked with an air of pleading in his voice. “You have a wonderful life now that you are sober and medicated .  Maggie does so well.  You keep your home so neat and clean.  You are able to go to your meetings and you and your mom have a relationship now,   Hell, you and I even have a relationship now.”

“But they aren’t perfect!” I said, sighing, as I spoke of my medications and reclined back in my chair.  My medications were beginning to take effect and I was growing extremely sleepy.  “I will always have to deal with mental illness just as I will always be an alcoholic.  I will always have to take these pills and I will always have to go to those socially anxious meetings.”

“Just like a diabetic has to take insulin,” dad replied analytically.

Dad said he then looked over after a quiet moment and I was asleep in my chair snoring softly.  He said he was just about to tell me how well I do these days – that tonight was just a blip on the radar.   Within a matter of thirty minutes, my medications had taken effect and I had crashed.

“No more Wal-Mart!” dad exclaimed with a smile as he was about to leave.  “You and your mother have been wild and going constantly.  You two have been the dynamic duo.  I knew when you all come in the drug store the other day getting all that stuff that I was in trouble.  You and your mother are usually very quiet people, but something has gotten you both off.  You both are trying to do too much.  Rest today and sleep.  I will be back tonight to give you some more medications so you will relax.”   

13 comments:

Mary K said...

He's right about the meds. But you know that. :)
Brian has used the diabetic\insulin analogy with me. That was before I was diagnosed with diabetes, though. :p
Nothing is perfect. But we do the best we can, eh?

This IS The Fun Part! said...

What a horrible experience for you to go through. Obviously not the first time it's happened and maybe not the last. But - you recognized it and knew what to do about it.

And your dad is right about the pills. I wake up every morning and take 11 pills. They help control allergies, COPD, arthritis, PTSD, depression and anxiety. Every night I put on a mask and turn on a breathing machine to help control my sleep apnea. I don't like any of it - but I like it even less when I get stupid and quit taking them.

This is a necessary evil for many, many people. Just be thankful that science has found medications that help control some of your problems and mine. Without them, I know that my life would be much shorter and much more uncomfortable.

Um - may I say that I do not approve of Maggie's replacement for her pound puppy! I am deeply concerned by her choice of friends!

I hope you have a calm and relaxing Sunday.

Love ya,
Grannie

justLacey said...

No ones life is perfect and without times that are hard to go through. Mental illness must be exhausting sometimes as well as caring for someone that has it. We all do the best we can. Your dad's life has not been easy either, that is for sure. I think you have made such great strides and you do have much more time now that you feel pretty good. I am thankful for that and the fact that you are well taken care of. I am sorry for your mental illness as I know it holds you back in so many ways. Hopefully today will be better than yesterday and tomorrow even better.
On another note. We watched Avatar on blu ray this morning. It was awesome. I think you would love it. Perhaps asking for a blue ray player for your next Christmas or birthday will be better. Have you ever thought of trying a pawn shop? Maybe they have one for less.

Berryvox said...

Eww, I both hate and love the mind-racing thing. Hate it for obvious reasons. Love it because it's the only obvious warning to myself that I'm in danger of a break.

Beth said...

Nothing is perfect, not even for we folk who aren't diagnosed with a mental illness. You just do the best you can where you are with what you've got.

If that means taking meds so that you can have some peace and function reasonably well, then you do it. One day at a time -- not this "I will always..." stuff unless you've somehow come into possession of a crystal ball and can tell the future. I believe the time will come, hopefully in my daughter's and your lifetime, when the psych meds can be much more specifically targeted to your body and your illness, and you will be able to function without so much uncertainty and trial and error.

You have a disease. If meds will help control the disease and improve your quality of life, then be grateful. And remember that everyone gets frustrated or down now and then, disease or not.

Lena said...

You and your dad are having some intimate talks lately. That is a good thing, I think.

I am sorry for your hard times, Andrew. But in spite of them, you have come such a long, long way.

I hope tomorrow is a better day for u!

Summer said...

Maybe this will make you feel a little better...

I have RA and I have to take meds every day for it and a monthly IV infusion. These medications cause me other problems that I have to take medications for. I hate all of it.

Sometimes I think, hey, I feel good and I will skip a day or two of meds and then I pay for it. It affects me terribly and my family. I end up in the bed or on the sofa in a ball with a blanket and a heating pad and even more meds. And I hate it.

I don't know what the answer is for those of us with chronic health issues. I get angry sometimes, depressed and feel sorry for myself.

But...at least we have meds these days and don't have to suffer like those before us, years ago.

We're lucky, you and I.

o0625TaylorJ_Duraz said...

Better late than never. ........................................

Anonymous said...

Schizophrenia is more of an umbrella concept based on judgments about descriptions of behavior than a discrete disease whose etiology and dynamics are clearly understood. There is NO lab test for schizophrenia!! Particular cases of schizophrenia may spring from different intertwined psychosocial and physological " causes". Some radical psychiatrists such as Szasz argue that it is myth used to marginalise, restrain and stigmatise the odd, rebellious and oppressed ! Your over-protective father seems to have given up on you ever becoming a real man! "No more Walmart"?? Not inviting you to social events! Does he want to keep you socially isolated? Is he ashamed of you? OR is he afraid others will make fun of you and he wants to shield you from their derision? These are some questions you should ask yourself and him!Whatever, let your mind "race". Throw away those kiddie books and games- those things should bore and depress any intelligent adult- and think critically !! The sleep of reason produces monsters.

justLacey said...

Anonymous doesn't seem to realize that you find the effects of schizophrenia uncomfortable and are unable to function enough to be able to care for yourself long term if you are constantly suffering from them. Over medication is not good, but having your mind race and full of fear is almost unbearable as well. Do what you need to do for yourself Andrew as you are living the life and we are just outsiders.

Sharon said...

Anonymous doesn't seem to understand why your father made that remark about Walmart. The rest of us do. He's not trying to restrict you, he's trying to get you and your Mom to slow down when you both get into that frenzy. Your father cares deeply for you, so deeply that he drove over at 4am to make sure you're ok. That's what love is about. No relationships are perfect, ever, but you've got a better relationship with your parents than many people without mental illness and addictions have!

Mary K said...

Summer, I have RA, too. I think that depression and anger pretty much go hand in hand with chronic disorders. We want to function without the meds like everyone else. We don't like it when people make rude comments or act like they know what's better for us when we have to take pain meds.
And yeah. We're all lucky that there are meds out that that allow those of us with all manner of issues to live as normally as possible.

Rob said...

way to go, thats what i think