Friday, November 26, 2010

Interesting Thanksgiving

This Thanksgiving was unlike any Thanksgiving we have ever had.

About a month ago Kenny called me and said, "Mom..." in that voice your children have when you know they are going to ask for something. He went on to ask if we (hubby and I) would be willing to share our home on Thanksgiving Day with recovering addicts.

Well sure why not!?!

We ate traditional Thanksgiving Dinner on Sunday as my parents were going to my brothers for Thanksgiving.

Starting at 12:01a.m. on the 25th people started coming over for the AA 24 hour Thanksgiving Marathon Meeting . They were directed to our heated garage in the back where chairs had been set up and coffee had been made. There was a fire going strong in the fire pit with frozen plastic chairs placed around that I thought sure would crack when sat in.

As a mom I had to hold back with my ideas and thoughts since this was not my event. So when I was handed a frozen solid turkey in the early morning hours of the 25th I just smiled and said I would do my best to get it cooked. And, when the morning came I gave them a coffee cake and they left it out for the dog to eat I didn't offer to give them the other one I had bought for my family inside. Instead I said make sure it is all cleaned up.

I think it helped a few stay safe and sober.

I hope it did.


Still smiling after 24 hours

Monday, November 22, 2010

SNaP oUt oF IT!

What are you doing!?!
                                            You want to be treated like an adult then act like one!
Get over it!
STOP!
What have you done for me lately!?!
What the hell is wrong with you...

I was so angry at Kenny last Friday. He's been doing really well, but there are times when he does things that make no sense at all. He spent his entire paycheck in one day, without paying me what he owes me. Yep, I was pissed, big mean mama pissed. So pissed I called him at work and chewed him out pissed. Then I found out that he had dropped my gas lid and broke it when I tried to put gas in my gas tank and couldn't. Again with that really really pissed feeling! I have no strength in my hands so I am at the gas station yelling on my cell phone at hubby and son #3 to come to my rescue (the lid/handle was broken off, but the screw part was still in the tank with hardly anything to grab on to turn it). The man in the next stall heard me yelling and came to my rescue.

I knew when I yelled at Kenny on the phone he was upset. I even called his boss to give him a heads up in case Kenny started acting out. After I left the gas station I texted Kenny asking if he had broken my gas lid. I wanted him to know I was mad. Mad that things were done AND that he hadn't told me. He apologized for the gas lid. My text back to him "I love you but you are a butthead!" He knew things were okay and he went on to talk about what happened with the money.

So, this brings me to why do parents act and say the things they do. This is in response to at least two blogs I have read where the person with mental illness is angry at their parents for how they were raised and are still being raised even as an adult. I was going to write this post before the deal with Kenny on Friday.

I learned around 30, when I was seeing a therapist for some issues that I was having, that I had to let the past go or it would consume me. For me I didn't have to forgive or forget, but I had to let it go and live today. I also had to realize that my parents made some stupid mistakes, but people do that. And if I know different I don't have to make the same mistakes. I will never disown my parents or a family member. They are mine. I gave a talk at church once comparing my family to my tea cup collection, which I love. I have a large variety of teacups, some are very expensive, some are very old, some have cracks, some have chips, some are mismatched (meaning the saucer and cup aren't matching patterns but I got them as a set, so a set they will stay). These are mine and along the way I will add to my collection. I have my own collection I don't want your collection or your dust, or you chips, or your cracks. I know how to take care of  my collection.

What does that have to do with why parents treat their adult children with mental illness differently. Well not much but I wanted to share another view point.

Back to parents. I gave my son mental illness. I am mortified that I did this. Mental illness runs in my family and although I have dealt with depression for many years the thought of my son going through it deeply saddens me. BUT, I still get upset with him! I know what is happening in my mind, but I don't know what is happening in Kenny's mind. It scares me. It worries me. Yes, it embarrasses me at times. People know normal and they know crazy. The majority of the world lives with normal everyday, but only a few of us get to deal with crazy. We don't know how to deal with crazy and if we are not willing to learn then we will be at a great disadvantage. Parents and family members don't always know where to go for help. Parents depending on the era in which they were born just don't do crazy or therapy!

Help Them! Nicely! Give them a book to read. If they do internet give them a site to look at. They are stressed. They are scared. They are worried. They feel bad and they just might not know how to deal with it appropriately for you. Have you (the one reading this with mental illness) ever had to worry that your child might kill themselves, have a drug overdose, harm themselves or others, drive while under the influence or in an unstable state? No, we don't get it. We don't want to get it! When we get it it makes it so real.

Kenny is my baby. My little boy. I gave birth to him. He was in my body. NO I DON'T WANT HIM TO HAVE MENTAL ILLNESS because I know he is hurting and I can't stop it.

So however your parents react to you try to remember that first they are your parents and I truly believe that the majority of them love you very much and wanted you from the minute they knew they created you. Second, they are acting how they were taught. It might not be how you think but it is the way they think; it's not right or wrong, it's different. More than likely if you asked them I bet they would say they are scared and saddened.

And we know for fact that a lot of times those emotions of scared and sad can come out as anger, confusion, and frustration.




Tuesday, November 16, 2010

For Your Info...

This article just popped up on my google page Can Mindfulness Help Manage Pain and Mental Illness

In Session - Session One

Winter/cold season is not my friend. I have a low immune system so I get sick easily and I also find myself wanting to sit and do nothing when it is dreary outside. Yes, I have depression too!

I will finally be writing about the 3 sessions I attended at the NAMI conference. They were more technical than I would have liked but I did learn some things in each session.

1ST SESSION - "METABOLIC SYNDROME, MENTAL ILLNESS, AND SHORTENED LIFE SPANS: COULD YOU BE AT RICK?" presented by Benjamin Chan, M.D.

Seriously is it not bad enough that someone has mental illness and needs to take medication, but now we need to worry if the medicine will kill us! Geeze Louise!

I didn't know what Metabolic Syndrome was so this class was helpful.

Okay, so I learned that Thorazine was the first "typical anti psychotic" medicine on the market to treat mental illness. It was great at first and was prescribed to everyone. BUT, the side effects started happening; one of which was Tardive Dyskinesia. So at the time Thorazine was the drug of choice even though it blocked a lot of the good things from the body which is need to live a long healthy life.

In the 1990's Atypical anti psychotic medicines were developed. These were thought to be better, but again severe side effects such as a loss of white blood cells that help fight infection were linked to some of these medicines.

Another negative side of any medicine is that they use them in "off label use". This is when they are made for a certain purpose but doctors prescribe them for another problem.

So what did I learn? The most important thing I learned from this class is to get Kenny to the doctor for a complete physical!

He needs to be monitored for the medicine he is taking.

What should be monitored:
  • Weight
  • Blood Pressure
  • Fasting Blood Sugar
  • Fasting Lipid Profile
The worst medicine offenders for Metabolic syndrome in individuals with mental illness are (listed worse to least worse according to Dr. Chan) -
Clozaril and Zyprexa
Seroquel
Risperdal Invega
Abilify
Geodon

TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Mom Moments

Grown don't mean nothing to a mother.  A child is a child.  They get bigger, older, but grown?  What's that suppose to mean?  In my heart it don't mean a thing. 
Toni Morrison, Beloved, 1987

Friday, November 5, 2010

"Sunsets and Hurricanes: Is There Peace in Chaos?"

This keynote presentation was given by Brian Miller,Ph.D. at the NAMI Utah Annual State Conference on November 4, 2010.

These are my notes from his talk: (If they post his original talk on line I will link up)

One of the first things Brain said was something like this - NO! THERE IS NO PEACE IN CHAOS! then he asked if there were more refreshments because his talk was through.

But of course he went on...

He explained about his in-laws buying property in a hurricane zone. Every time a hurricane happened it would wipe out everything and then there would be a few follow up tropical storms and then there would be a sunset. And they would start to rebuild.

He said -
A hurricane is a hurricane, it has a beginning and an end.
We need to have patience - when we are caught in a crisis we believe there is no end, but there is.

Mental Illness moved us into the hurricane zone and we can't sell and get out.
We may or may not have a hurricane season ever again, but we have to realize we might and get more tolerance.

We can't see around the corner, we don't know what is going to happen next. So we have every reason to hope we can survive the hurricane season. One can prepare for a hurricane.

The most important movement you can make toward peace is something you create.

“Peace is not something you wish for; It's something you make, Something you do, Something you are, And something you give away.”
Robert Fulghum

“My therapist told me the way to achieve true inner peace is to finish what I start. So far today, I have finished 2 bags of M&M's and a chocolate cake. I feel better already.”
Dave Barry

Peace is the deliberate adjustment of your life to reality.

Look at the bones of your crisis, what can be changed, what can't be changed.
1. You are in a hurricane zone
2. There may be more hurricanes so build your house between hurricanes, build your docks so they float, use removable fencing that can be taken down before the hurricane.
(I took from this to talk with your loved ones, family, friends, doctors, therapists, and make a plan for when the hurricane strikes. What will help you survive the hurricane, do you need to just sleep or do you need a punching bag, what works for you)

Know when a tropical storm is emerging
1. Identify early warning signs for the hurricane.
2. Monitor frequently (daily?) against early indicators.
3. Define what you will you when the hurricane threatens
4. Mentally rehearse keeping panic in check "this hurricane will pass"
5. Remember the hurricane is not the way

HURRICANES MUST BE RIDDEN OUT
AND
NOTICE THE SUNRISE WHEN IT APPEARS

"Go with the pain, let it take you.... Open your palms and your body to the pain. It comes in waves like a tide, and you must be open as a vessel lying on the beach, letting it fill you up and then, retreating, leaving you empty and clear.... With a deep breath--it has to be as deep as the pain—one reaches a kind of inner freedom from pain, as though the pain were not yours but your body's. The spirit lays the body on the altar."
Anne Morrow Lindbergh

Brian also highly recommended reading the book Crazy Like Us by Ethan Watters.

I will be posting more information I got more the conference, but right now I have a sick child. Hopefully this is just a gust of wind!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

My Feather's Were Ruffled!

I grew up respecting and trusting the police. I taught my children to respect and trust the police. When Kenny was arrested in July I lost a ton of respect and trust for the police. Don't get me wrong what Kenny did justified him being arrested. It was what happened afterwards that made me lose respect and trust. It was the lies and false promises made to Kenny and myself by police that flat out floored me! We are not the only ones that have dealt with this. A lot of people arrested are given false promises by police in return for information. What I didn't know was that police can't promise you anything in regards to your case. Once they have written the report and handed it over to prosecuting attorney's it is out of police hands. They can suggest things to the attorney but the attorney does not have to listen or do anything that the police say. Another thing I learned is that if you are not the arresting officer and you promise the moon to the inmate or family member that promise cannot be upheld if the arresting officer and prosecuting attorney aren't on board. Police can recommend charges but can't impose them.

So yes I look at police much differently now.

Today I was at the NAMI conference. There were a lot of police officers there. I think it must have been due to the fact that Duane Cardall was a keynote speaker. Utah has plans to develop a statewide CIT program and again I think this has to do with the tasing of Brian Cardall. So I think the officers were there to learn, but I don't think they all wanted to be there. Today during one of the sessions the speaker was talking about the side effects of anti-psychotic medicines, one of which is Tardive Dyskinesia. One of the officers next to me started mimicking the symptoms! I was appalled! During the last session one officer was right next to me and he was writing on his conference evaluation. His hand writing was so large I could read most of it. He was complaining about Duane Cardall and how police were victims too!

Victim's of what! If he feels like he is a victim he shouldn't be a police officer! I hope that these two officers are never called out on a case where someone with mental illness is involved because I saw their true colors today. They didn't come across as caring about individuals with mental illness and they seemed like they would be bothered by people with mental illness.

I feel like I am fighting a losing battle when it comes to advocating for my son. My feather's were ruffled today.

Monday, November 1, 2010

He Makes An Ugly Girl!

Kenny is always doing things last minute. He is definitely a spur of the moment type of guy. So Saturday night he came to me and said I don't have a costume for Halloween so he was just going to dress up as a girl. He asked if I had a wig. No! If I had one I would wear it to cover up this limp mop of fine hair on my head. But... we did have a wig out on one of the mannequins we were using for a Halloween display.

He got the wig, got a shirt out of my closet, and then asked me for a bra. I don't know any 21 year old men that would want to wear their mother's bra except for Kenny. He also wanted full makeup. When Kenny is in his funny mood anything goes. He knew his friends would flip.

I enjoy these times with my son. I would have liked to have seen his friends faces when "Kendra" walked in.

He changed the hat to one that fit better and he made me even out his eye liner!
Lily LOVED having another girl in the house!
Yep, that's my boy!