Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Days Without Medications... Or... The Conflicted Caregiver



The Young Prince, out of the necessity that his poor body couldn't take it anymore, has been off his psychotropic medications for most of the Month of December now by Doctor's Orders.  The careful slow detoxing process of reducing them down until none were being taken has finally been successfully accomplished. No more withdrawals is a relief, but Emotionless facial effects are becoming more the norm and I know reduced affect display is symptomatic of the disorder.  His now often flat affect is something I will just have to be wary of since it can disguise true Feelings or a lack thereof of any at all.




 As his Caregiver I have felt very conflicted... on the one hand I'm as jubilant as he's been that he no longer has to take large amounts of strong medications to manage his serious mental health issues.  On the other hand his serious mental health issues are no long being managed by medications and so we maneuver this minefield of behaviors cold turkey.  Because we have to since the alternatives were physically becoming too grave to risk the serious side effects of anymore.   Choosing the lesser of two evils is always a bitch...




 As my Nanna used to say, this places us between the devil and the deep blue sea... which I didn't even know was a 1930's era Song, I just knew it was a place I didn't care to be.  Because choosing between a devil or the deep blue sea just seemed like facing either would be exhausting, scary and potentially life threatening, you know?   I have a finite amount of energy and stamina so treading water and fighting devils is something I'd rather avoid.  But avoidance isn't an option, it's one or the other choice... if one can call it that... since I feel Choice was taken out of the equation a long, long time ago in a land far, far away.




He's doing way better than I ever expected him to and I confess that has been a huge relief and something to definitely rejoice about.  However, it has not come without some major adjustments... such as he barely sleeps anymore, among other things.  And by that I mean he could be up eating and rummaging thru various parts of the house at the most ungodly hours imaginable and any hour could be a brand new day for him!  Or, he might not come out of his room except under Protest and with the countenance of a Grizzly being forced out of hibernation too early.  Or animated to the point of me having to help him land his balloon lest it drive the rest of us insane!




And the amount of destroyed objects coming out of his room have escalated and the re-cycle trash is often now filled with them.  Yesterday it was his Musical Keyboard... this day it was a very large foam Demon prop of the type Spirit Store sells for Halloween that he previously thought was way Cool, begged to have and wanted as decor, but now had been hacked to shreds... clearly in battle his own Demons had won that particular confrontation and release. 




 A mutilated Demon looked even more grotesque than it had before... I didn't even ask... I just asked that he try to resist and refrain from hacking any more objects to shreds... especially the expensive ones... Thank You.  The Man just Calmly stuffed conquered Demon in the recycle bin.  So much for recycling an expensive Demon by hawking it in the Showroom, Yes, Oddly stuff like that Sells well, but clearly not in this shape!  *LOL*   But, it did beat him cutting or mutilating himself... been there, done that... better it be this hideous prop I never was fond of anyway, good riddance.   Now it's just the unseen Demons we battle daily.




I've retrieved dishes from the rooftop after he's just chucked them out the upstairs window because he didn't think they could be adequately washed clean!  Little Sister ratted him out only because he'd previously chucked one of her mini dolls out there on the rooftop too... far enough she'll just have to wash down in a rainstorm or have the Solar installation Guys retrieve her for us.   I asked how Dolly had ended up on the Roof, he couldn't say for Sure, so we had a Come To Jesus Moment about no more things flung out of windows upstairs... or even upstairs windows being opened... lest I flip the Hell out.




 I am coming to terms with bizarre behaviors now being the order of the day and something we'll just have to roll with and monitor carefully.  I've learned to laugh about the absurd rather than screw myself into the ceiling about any of it.  It could actually make great Comedic fodder, after all... you can't make shit like this up!  *Smiles*   Though I would like to Believe that my Come To Jesus talks with him sink in deep enough they will be Obeyed, it's unlikely during Psychotic Moments he'll have presence of Mind to have a modicum of Obedience.  Deciding consequences for disobedience during a Mental Health Episode or simply because a Child has the Illness is one of those Parenting dilemmas not easily resolved.  School Administrators never quite 'Get' that Fact.




I am trying to ignore unbrushed, unwashed tangled locks and him peeking at me thru hair hanging across his face.  Of clothing ripped to shreds in the most bizarre places that you know are not accidental and he can offer no explanation of.  Battles about general hygiene for a Sixteen year old with SMI have to be addressed diplomatically and with great compassion that it can be hard to establish consistency for him or even a desire to Care.  I take it one day at a time and see where it all leads us since this will be the new 'normal' for he and I in his daily living and coping with the changes that have and will continue to occur and evolve.  We discuss it all candidly and openly when he's willing and able to.  Tho' sometimes I'm the confidant and sometimes I'm the perceived enemy and have to just back off.





Over the two generations of raising seriously mentally ill children I have learned to be an adept Reader of the Eyes.   I pay very close attention to the Eyes, they are indeed the Windows to the Soul and are of particular importance to pay attention to when dealing with the tortured Soul.  Because it gives you some crucial lead time to recognize pupil dilation indicators before an episode or incident pops off!   To be forewarned it to be forearmed, my Reaction time is now instinctively and subconsciously pretty damned instantaneous!





 And to know when Euphoric or Dysphoric Mania is setting in and they're getting Sick has become second nature.  Since Mania is tricky and devious... so not always easy to recognize and can be camouflaged on purpose.  You have to recognized the Dark Places early on to avert full blown Crisis and keep communication Open and 100% if possible, they have to be able to tell you anything... and you have to be able to handle the Truth.  Living reactively isn't Ideal and so I attempt to be as proactive as I possibly can manage to be. 




I find myself more hyper vigilant because his days without medications aren't as numerous as his years medicated were so I don't always know what to expect now with him... so I expect the unexpected.  Instinctive Parenting kicks in and this is not my first rodeo with the un-medicated Bipolar or Borderline Personality Disorder Child or Adult, so I'm not without tonnage of Experience in dealing with days... even Years without medications.   I have no Degrees or advanced Education about these illnesses, just Hard Knocks Life in the Living of it daily for what sometimes seems like an Eternity.  You learn not to expect much Real Help from the Medical Community, where there is no Cure there is usually a level of general Apathy.




So Yes, right now I am indeed the Conflicted Caregiver... where you sit on that proverbial fence some days of knowing you should do something... and yet also knowing there is nothing that can be done... and trying to have equanimity about it.  We are mostly doing Fine and I'll take Fine... and we'll deal with crossing those other bridges on the far side of Fine when we come to them... and try to stay equanimous enough not to burn any of those bridges behind us.



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Blessings from the Arizona Desert... Dawn... The Bohemian  




8 comments:

  1. "You learn not to expect much Real Help from the Medical Community, where there is no Cure there is usually a level of general Apathy." That's the truth! You amaze me with your ability to cope well under great pressure. Love seems to be a strong incentive.

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    1. Love is indeed the best Medicine, coupled with Laughter and heavy doses of Faith and Trust that God has my back. Looking forward to a New Year, aren't you? Virtual Hugs... Dawn... The Bohemian

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  2. Have a 9 year old granddaughter that has exhibited behaviors since she was two. I don't think it's an anxiety disorder, but children and testing for them is very hard to diagnose. It has been such a struggle and I feel so bad for you having to deal with it. You must be made of steel and love is the thing that keeps you going. Can't believe they made him go cold turkey, but I have heard of it being done.

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    1. Well, they actually weaned him over the coarse of about a month but with being on the meds since aged 7 he was not without withdrawal symptoms that were still pretty brutal during The Process. But he is doing so much better than I really anticipated so I have great Hope that he will be able to manage his illness with the superior intelligence I know this Child possesses. He is at a Genius IQ so he's quite an Old Soul intellectually and that really helps, he understands so much about his diagnosis and has profound Wisdom beyond his years about it. I pray your Grand-Daughter is able to get an accurate diagnosis, Princess T is 11 and at the stage where we know a medical diagnosis can now be made, prior to age 9, unless the symptoms are so profound {like Young Prince's were by age 7} they hate to label a Child with a Serious Mental Health diagnosis... lets face it, all kiddos are a bit weird as they develop *winks*... and most just turn out okay as they mature and blossom into young adults. Sadly, is not the case for the two I'm raising and I recognize that... but helping them to manage their own Care is crucial since I am not an immortal and won't be around forever to Care for them. Virtual Hugs Donna... and Prayers for your Precious Grand-Daughter... Dawn... The Bohemian

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  3. You always say, Blessings from the Arizona desert...and I send you back blessings and patience and wisdom and all the things you need to cope and more blessings, again. Sandi

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    1. Thank You Sandi, it is received Gratefully... Dawn... The Bohemian

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  4. I am in awe of your strength and stamina, and I'm also very angry that you are having to cope with all this. I don't know who or what I'm angry with. I feel so helpless. All I can do is send you cyber hugs, and all the Blessings and Healing thoughts that my beliefs can bestow.

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    1. Lesley all of the bestowing of your beliefs and healing energies are Gratefully received my Friend. I have replaced Anger with a sort of resignation that it just is and once you embrace the misery without all of the negative feelings rising up all of the time then you can experience a lot more Joy in spite of it all. We are still Joyful, still Grateful for all of the Positives and the Good Days... and is sustains us thru the darker ones and dealing with a System that is sorely lacking in being able to provide every Need, but is far better than so many Countries that have no System in place at all for those with profound disabilities. Virtual cyber Hugs back at ya my Friend... Happy New Year... Dawn... The Bohemian

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A life touched by God always ends in touching others. - Erwin McManus

I will love the light for it shows me the way, yet I will endure the darkness for it shows me the stars. - Og Mandino (1923-1996)

For creativity to flourish one should try to look at everything as though it were being seen for the first or the last time. - Quote from "A Thousand Paths To Creativity" by David Baird

Is what I'm about to say an improvement on silence? ~ Galen Pearl