Saturday, July 19, 2014

Ready4Life and family support.

The last couple of days seem to have flown by. Wednesday we received a phone call from Ready4Life. Thursday I meet with a family support worker from PACT and my daughter got a new tattoo. Yesterday was doctor appointments and the movies. Now it's Saturday, hubby is working, the kids are sleeping and I'm feeling a little sad (truthfully more then a little), as my daughter will be going back home to her dad's on Tuesday. I can't blame PMS for feeling a little choked up about this. Having her here has been wonderful and I think it has even done my son some good. They have been watching movies together at night and thanks to my daughter someone that they both used to know when they both lived with me about 6-7 years ago may be re-kindling a friendship with my son. This boy/man is in college and as far as I can tell doesn't do drugs or drink. Will have to see how this plays out as I know he asked my son about paintball.

I wasn't expecting a phone call from Ready4Life so quickly. When the lady called and asked me how my son felt about it, my response was basically: He is usually all for it when we are butting heads however he tends to back off from it when things are calm. I cautioned her that my son was on the other line listening as I heard the echo when he picked up. The conversation went better then I had anticipated. In the past when my son has been faced with this discussion he would state that there is no need as he is going to be moving back with his Nana or Dad. His Nana no longer lives on her own and despite my son's usual insistence that this is an option, it really isn't. They discussed what the program can do for him and set up an appointment for next week. A little while later I asked my son if he wanted to discuss this and he said no that there was no point. In case you are in the Halton, Ontario, Canada region this is their link:

My son usually sees one of his support workers Thursday mornings, if he is awake and doesn't cancel. Despite the fact that he had gotten up for school and stayed up all day, he still managed to stay up all night and hadn't gone to bed until 6 AM. When the lady first called we discussed her coming by at another time however when I realized that she was the family support worker that his nurse had told me about, I asked that she still come by as we really need this extra support. I didn't wake my son as I wanted a chance to talk to her, uninterrupted, about what has been happening. One of the first things I told her was that I am so grateful that PACT has brought her on board as even though my son's other workers listen to me and my concerns, we/I need someone who can help from a family support point of view. I told her about the Adderall, the (hysterical) laughter, irregular sleep pattern, the marijuana and filled her in on some of the family struggles. The laughter was still happening as of that morning when he spent several hours finding the thought of cow udders to be extremely funny. Ok maybe they are a little funny :) but not enough to warrant hours of seemingly uncontrollable giggling. Again I was thankful to have my concerns validated. She took note of the laughter and sleep and said that she would bring it up at their meeting later that day as there appears to be something going on. I talked to her about my concerns regarding my son's inability to communicate in a better way with his Nana, including my thoughts on their relationship (current and past) and Folie à deux, stating that my son needs help learning to express himself better or differently as this is not helping him. We discussed his medications a little bit. I still think that his anti-psychotics should have been upped after the Adderall however at this point I have no idea how to accomplish that without causing his ODD to act up. The last thing I want to do is interfere with the fact that he is being medication compliant, at least as far as I know.

I was asked if my son was still using marijuana. I said no however now I am not so sure. My son has a cigarette vaporizer that he got some time ago and hasn't been using it for months. I have been noticing over the past week that he may be using it even though I am unable to find the mouth piece which in itself is odd. He has been charging it and moving it around. Some time ago I read an article that teenagers are using these to smoke marijuana along with electronic or E-Cigarettes. You can even find videos on on how to fool people so they can't tell that is what you are doing with it. I guess since it releases the 'smoke' as vapor there is minimal or no smell plus it's vapor so more effective and less harsh on the lungs? I'm not sure exactly how they work and I do believe they are questioning the harmful affects of vapor/liquid in the lungs. All I know is why would my son being charging it and where is the mouth piece? If he is using it for weed then it only stands to reason that it would be kept out of my sight. I also think I heard my son opening his bedroom window the night that he charged it. I have seen my son cold and/or sweating and he doesn't think to open or close his bedroom window. Also a night that he stayed up all night and stated that even though he had taken his pills that he couldn't get to sleep. Lot's of red flags. I really wish that my past experience with addiction could serve me better in helping my son, as it's the marijuana in my home that is the straw breaking the camels back, metaphorically speaking. Regardless of how much I love my son I can not continue to support this behavior or choice. I wish I could make him see the damage that it is causing.

An hour with this lady and it feels like I barely touched the surface but it's a start and hopefully a good one. It was a comfort to have my daughter also sit in on this meeting as her take on things, seeing things as they are by being here and knowing what information is being passed on, I think helped to paint the bigger picture. Hopefully soon we can set up another appointment where she can meet my son. During some of our talking I mentioned the forum that I help to moderate and showed her the main page as it has a lot of information on schizophrenia. While it is a volunteer thing I sometimes lovingly call it my 'job'. She asked me if I would be interested in participating and helping with some support groups that PACT is looking into starting. I have wanted to be more involved for awhile now so perhaps this will be my opportunity to step out of my own comfort zone and give the support I would love to give to other people. Something that I am never to sure how to respond to are comments from people in real life, face to face, telling me on how strong and inspiring I am. Comments like: 'You seem to have your hands full.' Physically no. Mentally maybe. My son doesn't take up much of my physical time. I do feel for parents or caregivers who juggle family, work and broken systems. 'You seem to handle things very well.' or 'You are doing all the right things.' Most of the time however there are times when I doubt myself and wonder if I'm doing the right things. I find I hesitate before I get out that quiet 'Thank you.' Still I appreciate the vote of confidence and even more so coming from someone who has experience in all this.

My son eventually got up around 2 PM and went with my daughter and I to my daughter's tattoo appointment. My daughter has gone through stages of punk or emo? Sometimes I feel old! Mohawks, green hair, piercings and tattoos. I actually found her green Mohawk cute! Some piercings have been removed while some remain. I like her Monroe and I'm glad she kept it. Her latest addition is a cross tattoo in recognition of her new found faith in God. The lady did a really good job.

Yesterday we had a follow up appointment for my daughter's yearly check up to get x-rays done for the scoliosis surgery she had on her spine several years ago. Her spin was literally an S. Double major curves each around 50 degrees. I forgot again to take before and after pictures. She is healing nicely. She gained I do believe 2 inches as result of the straightening of her spine and ended up taller them me!

My hubby had an appointment to renew his Ciprelax which I of course attended with him. I sometimes wonder if I spend too much time reading and researching mental illness and other disorders. I think my hubby has ADD and perhaps Paranoid Personality Disorder. He agrees with the ADD but not the paranoia. I very well could be over-analyzing that one. I brought up to our Doctor that I think his anxiety may be a result of ADD and that he fits about 90% of the criteria. The Doctor didn't even bat an eye and fairly quickly said that it was possible and is putting in a referral to a psychiatrist as he doesn't diagnose these types of things. I will save the paranoia discussion for the pdoc ;)

We all went to see the movie Transformers: Age of Extinction last night. I liked it however I was a little disappointed but the ending made up for that. I think it's been 4 or 5 nights in a row now that I haven't had to take anything for sleep and I have been sleeping most of the night, only waking up a couple of times. To borrow one of my son's responses. Nice! It's been a fairly busy week so maybe that is helping to combat my insomnia. My downstairs neighbor has been behaving so I haven't had to take any sleeping pills either. We also went to a bookstore yesterday as I wanted to buy a book I read about. It's called Far From The Tree by Andrew Solomon. Winner of 11 national awards and USA Today states: "A masterpiece of nonfiction, the culmination of a decade's worth of research and writing... It should be required reading for psychologists, teachers and above all, parents.... A bold and unambiguous call to redefine how we view difference.' 700 pages should keep me busy for awhile. I used to read all the time... Romance and vampires ;) I also got a book called Awakening Your Psychic Powers...

We are a week late getting my son's monthly blood work done. I seem to be slipping a bit. I also realized yesterday that I had let our car insurance payment bounce again. Two months in a row. Time to get re-organized! Have to call the pharmacy and have them refill two of my son's prescriptions. I seriously worry about who will take care of these things or anything else for that matter if/when my son is out on his own. It's a scary thought. I think I have written enough for one day so I won't go into that now.


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