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Sunday, March 31, 2013

March 18, 2013 - March 21, 2013

Parrish is asleep on the big white sofa in my living room, where he has been since noon.  He’s covered with a thick felt tie dyed blanket that looks as though it came straight out of the late sixties, and he has been up twice, both times to eat.  Only his buzz cut of graying brown hair is visible and he is snoring loudly.
He has a dreadful cold and chest congestion.  I gave him cough syrup and a decongestant at noon and then again at 4:00.

So, I need to fill in some of the blanks since my last post about my son.  

Last Monday, March 18, there were severe thunderstorms in our area.  There were trees down all over town, including the front yard of the boarding house. A large pine fell over the hood of a young woman’s car as she drove down the steep driveway.  She is unharmed but the front of her car is flattened.   The other residents' cars were in the back of the house and no one could get up the driveway.    She had no money for a cab, so she stayed over at the house.   Parrish gave her his bed and slept on the floor.  

He called to tell me about all the exciting events and insisted he did not want me to come and get him.  Things were chaotic there, but he seemed to be managing.  

It was Wednesday morning when P called, anxious and perseverating.  He said there were drug deals going on in the house and that people were coming to the door asking for “Fat Mama,” the landlady.  He said Fat Mama had dozen of bottles of pills, most of which she stole from her renters, using their medicaid cards and keeping the meds.  I knew she tried to get Parrish’s application, but he gave it to me to complete.  He said that Fat Mama told him she was going to open a Direct TV account in is name.  She told P to ask me if I would co-sign a loan application with her so she could buy a new truck!  I thought he was paranoid and tried to reassure him and went to fetch him.

We went out for a drive and I continued to try reassure P and try to convince him that Fat Mama couldn’t take out a contract with Direct TV in his name.  He has no job and no credit, so I let it go, though he continued to obsess over it.  He was so sluggish, he did’t want to eat and asked me to take him home so he could sleep.

The next morning, Thursday, Parrish called, saying he was in a bad place, that he was afraid someone would hurt him, that there were drugs everywhere and he was afraid “they” would steal his meds and his phone and his iPod.  When I arrived, he was standing in the street waiting for me.  He had a note from Big Mama asking me if I would use her food assistant card and give her the cash.  She tried to sell me her food card.  Hell, it could have been someone else’s, given her propensity for applying for them in the names of her tenants.  I balled up the note and threw it in my car trash can.  P said he woke in the night to find Big Mama “borrowing” his phone because hers was dead and she needed to make calls about the tree and other things.  He foolishly let her have it.  

Parrish continued to be fearful and insist that he needed to get out of the boarding house.  He said Fat Mama “borrowed” his phone because hers had been cut off by the power outage.  I called Parrish’s number and when she answered, I told her take the phone home and put it in his room.  (I later learned she did so only after using all of his minutes).  I brought him to my house to spend the day with me while I searched for a one bedroom apartment that is affordable and safe.  I learned that there is no public housing available in this town and that none of the facilities are taking applications until next year.  

I was frustrated and Parrish was anxious and didn’t want to go back to the house.  For as long as was practical, we stayed here and avoided going.  When it was nearly too late for me to be out alone in my car, I dropped P off with a stone in my stomach.  When I got home, I called his phone but it went straight to voice mail.  Of course it did.  There were no minutes left on it.

I didn’t sleep.  I was unsettled, wondering if I should have dropped Parrish at the house.  At 1:30, the thunderstorms rolled in with multiple lightening strikes and booming thunder. 

Belle panted loudly and wandering around the room.  There was no way to sleep through that noise.  Honey climbed on my stomach and shivered.  Then she jumped down and hid behind the toilet.  Now and then, she got on the bed, then jumped back down.  I did not make this up.  

There’s more......

© 2013 cjschlottman

Thursday, March 28, 2013

March 25, 2013 - Tough Decision

On Sunday morning, I drove to the motel and brought Parrish back to my house.  He was coughing and blowing and feverish.  He was amazingly calm and said he was terrified all night that the thugs from the “House” would find him and hurt or even kill him.

He said he felt safe for the first time in weeks.  I doctored his cold/flu and he lay down on the sofa and was asleep almost at once.  I began to mull over what I should do with him.  I can’t afford a motel, and as I have reported before, there is no available public housing in Macon.  

Parrish spent the entire day sleeping, only getting up for soup and the bathroom.  He coughed in his sleep and was feverish again four hours after his cold medicine.  I re-dosed him and he lay back down, again asleep in minutes.

After prayer and self-examination, I made the difficult decision to allow him to stay here.  Rosemary will understand, but most will shake their heads and decide that I have lost my mind and my resolve.  I’m okay with what any of my readers think of this decision.  I know you are there for me.

I reiterated the importance that he not show out or drink while here, saying I would have to drop him at Salvation Army if he did.  I have put him out before.  

Parrish slept all morning.  He was still sick and feverish but rode with me to fetch his Cymbalta from River Edge and to Drivers Assistance to get an ID.  It was cold and extremely windy and the line was out the door.  I decided to go today.  Back home, he slept all afternoon.

In today's mail I found a check from Parrish's father and stepmother, a very generous gift of $2500. made out to P.   There was a previous check, but that's another post.  His stepmother* found my blog and learned of our situation and messaged me on Facebook.  We have exchanged several messages over the last month and agree to leave the past where it is and move forward with a clean slate.   Her generosity will go far.  I have found a one bedroom apartment for P, and we will need furnishings.  Him having  adequate funds is a huge help to me and I am grateful.

 *  I have not yet asked her if I may publish her name

© 2013 cjschlottman

Sunday, March 17, 2013

March 15, 2013 - River Edge


It was Monday when the madness reached it’s peak. When I fetched Parrish to go to River Edge, the community health center for patients with behavioral disorders,
he was as manic as I have ever seen.  

He leaped into the car and began talking and shouting at the radio and laughing inappropriately and repeating my every word and perseverating.  

We arrived at River Edge with plenty of time for Parrish to be seen as a drop-in.  When he checked in, the clerk behind the glass said he didn’t have the required information to fill out an application.  

We thought that since P was treated there in October, having been referred by the Medical Center, that they would have his profile and could use the information.  Not so.  Since it has been over three months since he was seen, he is required to resubmit the documents that  prove he is eligible to receive treatment at the facility.

I dug into my file and found all the required documentation only to be told that it was too late in the day for Parrish to be seen.  I pleaded with the clerk, explaining that Parrish was in psychotic crisis, and that he was in dire need of medication.  He had two days left of the inadequate meds we got from the ER the last month.

The clerk, who had been aloof and hostile when P checked in, melted a little and slipped us in to see an admissions person.  The sympathetic woman there went out of her way to make arrangements for us to return the next day, Tuesday, for a nurse’s assessment. Such assessments are routine before the patient sees a doctor.  Parrish has an appointment with a doctor on April 11.  

The next morning, we presented ourselves for the appointment only to learn that it was pushed back to 11:00.  We went for coffee at Krispy Kreem and stood outside in the cold wind so P could chain smoke.  When we got back to the nurse’s office, I entertained him by helping him set up his phone.  It worked for a while but he got restless and loud and unhappy.

When we were ushered into the nurse’s office, Parrish’s mania intensified, and I was gratified that she could see the extent to which he is sick and in need of medication.  She obtained a record of his meds and had a psychiatrist write prescriptions.  

We left the assessment with five prescriptions and filled them at their pharmacy - four at $.50 and one for $3.00.  Yes, cj, there is a Santa Claus.  

It was two days before I could detect any improvement, but when P began to settle down, it was one of the most beautiful events in my life.  Yes, this is only the beginning, but we could not go forward with anything until he got medicated.

Yesterday, Thursday, three girls from his high school days picked him up and took him to Whistle Stop Cafe.  Earlier in the day we shopped for a few decent items of clothing so he would not be embarrassed.  He reported that he enjoyed the outing. 

Next Monday, March 17, Parrish will be evaluated by a court-appointed psychologist who will testify before the court as to Parrish’s fitness to take care of himself.  After that, the court will set a date for the hearing, and I should have guardianship by the first week in April.

A happy note:  Last spring, I planned a trip to Aix-en-Provence with Zona Rosa but was forced to cancel because of my illness.  Yesterday, after 10 months of trying to get the trip insurance company to pay, I found a check in my mailbox for $3,700  Yea!  Some good things are beginning to happen for me.  It makes the drama easier to tolerate.

© 2013 cj schlottman  

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Emergency Meds 02/13/13

When I was fully awake, I called around and see if I could get a psychiatrist to see Parrish.  It was a long and frustrating endeavor.  They all slammed the door in my face the moment they learned that Parrish is indigent.  My last call was to a shrink in the same building as my therapist.  The receptionist was kind and sympathetic.  She advised me to call the “Life Line” at one of the local hospitals. 

I made the call.  A soft spoken woman advised me to take P to their emergency room.  She said the ER doctors would check out Parrish to ensure he is not suffering a physical event, and if they gave him a pass, a psychiatrist from the psych hospital would come and evaluate him.  All the while we were waiting, Parrish was becoming more manic by the minute. He was walking like a race walker and went in and out of the building to smoke.  

It was a while before everything was worked out, but the shrink wrote that P is schizophrenic and in crisis.  He gave him some prescriptions to tie him over for 30 days.  

We went directly to the pharmacy and filled the Lithium and Trazadone.  There was a script for Risperidal, an antipsychotic drug but because of the cost ($7.30 a pill), we decided to try the other drugs and see if they would be enough to keep him halfway sane.

His symptoms were softened, and we had hope that he would be able to make it until he sees the doctor.  We should have filled the Risperidal from the beginning.

© 2013 cj schlottman

In summary.........03/10/13

I am so behind on posts, I have decided to make this one a summary of the events that occurred since February 13.  I may edit out some minor details, but I want to keep it as concise and unwieldy as possible.  This is a month’s work of information.  You’ve read much of it before.  I am trying, without much success, to rearrange my posts so they are easier to read without being confused.

Between February 14 and 20, Parrish was, at intervals, psychotic, dissociative, manic and distracted. When he is manic, he can walk for miles and remain hyperactive.  He went to the club and tried to charge merchandise to me.  When the young man from the shop phoned to get my permission, I made sure he understood that P did not have consent to shop with my number. Later, he had no memory if being at the club.

We went the next day to fill the Risperdil that the ER physician wrote. Since he had to make it stretch over two weeks before seeing a doctor at the public health psychiatric facility, Parrish spread the doses over the days.

Over the following days and weeks, Parrish continued to have a multitude of severe symptoms. He walked the four miles to my house several times, and each time I drove him home. He took Risperdil when he recognized that he was becoming manic, but it was not enough or the proper dosage.  He continued to perseverate and his behavior was inappropriate much of the time.  He was so manic on the day I took him to the Social Security office that I had to constantly tell him to lower his voice. He bounced up to grab the door every time someone approached it.

I came home exhausted in the same way I am exhausted every time I spend more than a few minutes with him.

I continued to see my Psyciatrist and my Therapist.  They get credit for keeping me centered enough to deal with all the chaos. They have encouraged me in my petition for guardianship of Parrish.

Last week, Parrish gave me his debit card into which his SSI is deposited each month. I see this as progress.  He remains sober and attends meetings.  If he drinks, he will no doubt find himself back in jail.

Because he was in jail all of February and received his benefits when he should not have, he got no money for March. I will keep the card and when there are funds available, pay his rent and dole out an allowance to him. 

We are on a roller coaster that is breaking down. Parrish’s disease is spiraling him into more madness.  Tomorrow morning, we have an appointment at River Edge.  It is my fervent prayer that a physician there will make some much needed changes in his medicine and set up a treatment plan for him that includes an inpatient stay.

© 2013 cj schlottman