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Monday, August 8, 2011

And the Merry-Go-Round Starts up Again

August 8, 2011 - Monday
What next?  Last Wednesday, Parrish called to tell me he had been mugged the night before, and that he had spent the night in hospital, having scans and blood work and all that.  He said the mugger hit him in the back of the head and took his wallet and the $5 in it.  He said his head hurt, but he assured me, “Mama, I just want you to know I’m all right.”
It could be true.  It could be a ploy for attention.  He made no mention of the hassle he would endure to get another wallet and a duplicate ID and transportation pass.  He could have been drug shopping at the ER.
On Saturday morning, he called to tell me he was in Westchester Hospital with pancreatitis.  He said he had extreme pain just under his left ribcage, “right where my pancreas is.”  He told me they were doing scans and more lab work and that his liver enzymes were “through the roof.”  He said his pain was almost unbearable, and that he was getting pain medicine.  “And I swear, Mama, I have not been drinking or doing drugs.”
Yesterday, he phoned to say he had gallstones, and he didn’t know whether or not they were going to take out his gallbladder.  He again reassured me that he was fine, and for me not to worry.  I asked him to have is doctor call me, and he said he would.
Later in the day, he phoned to say he would be discharged this morning, that his enzymes had miraculously come back down and the pain was going away.
I have no idea where the truth lies, and that is one of the reasons it’s so hard to deal with Parrish.  I can’t count the number of times he has cried “wolf” over the years.  I used to rush to his side only to find out that he was okay.  He probably thought I would hear the word “pancreatitis” and jump on the next plane to Miami.  I did go down last year when he had a real spider bite that could have killed him.
I did not hear from his doctor.  I never do when Parrish gets into one of these situations.  It seems that when I ask to speak to the doctor, Parrish magically improves.
Can you way passive-aggressive?
With his history of alcoholic cirrhosis, he is at greater risk for developing pancreatitis as well as pancreatic cancer - a particularly debilitating and painful way to die.  It is my guess that he already has chronic pancreatitis.  (I do not believe that he is not drinking or drugging).  This disease can lead to an entire menu of abdominal problems.
I have often thought that I would outlive my son.  It’s just about the most terrifying feeling in the world.  He is already lost to me to drugs, alcohol and mental illness, but dead is something altogether different.  I force myself not to think about it, but when he landed in hospital with “pancreatitis,” it bubbled to the surface.  
It just occurred to me that I continuously grieve the loss of Parrish.  Thank God I am still in the denial stage, else I would be more a raving maniac than I am.

© cj Schlottman

(Later in the day............discharge diagnosis: chronic pancreatitis).


Sue said...

From what I read in your posts, I think you do a remarkable job of mothering Parrish. Somehow you manage to care and support him in healthy ways without allowing yourself to be pulled into the craziness. (I know. I know. You're not perfect at it, but who would or could be?) The main thing is that you are always doing your best to figure things out and make adjustments as you go along.

Hang in there, Mom. You are doing all you can do. And that is enough.

Hugs to you.

Linda @ A La Carte said...

I know you know he is crying wolf again but a Mother's heart can't help but worry and want to help and protect your child. You are doing the best thing you can. You can't save Parrish so you must do the best you can to save yourself. Lots of positive thoughts coming your way.


Judie said...

CJ,I hear what you're saying about Parrish crying wolf to get attention. It's hard to know what is true and what is not, but even though he is mentally ill, he is still an adult. It is interesting that all of this cropped up since your trip down to see him.

Has he made any more mention of moving to Atlanta??

Dazee Dreamer said...

oh man. That is truly heartbreaking. But I understand you have to get to the point where you don't believe him. It's just like the little boy who cried wolf. Very smart thinking about having him have the doctor call. Better yet, ask him what hospital, so you can call there yourself to speak to the nurses station.

My heart goes out to you. You are in my thoughts and prayers

Laoch of Chicago said...

Ugh. A couple of years ago my brother had acute pancreatitis and was in the hospital for many months and almost died. It really is a nasty affliction. Good wishes to you and your son.