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Good afternoon, today is Sunday, March 28, 2004 at 5:20pm. It is good to be back with you again after a very busy week. First of all, I would like to thank three persons, Diane, Chela and Nick for their very positive comments which were upbuilding to me. I am a very upbuilding person and I don't respond to sarcasm or negativity. I have enough negativity and hardship in my life and I refuse to give heed to it when I don't have to. I am on this site to help families and persons with schizophrenia and to share the experiences that I have with my father as well as my education which you will find under the title of the story. I am not on this site to tell persons what they want to hear and it really does not matter whether I receive comments or not as long as persons benefit from what they read. If it applies, that is good. If it does not, that is fine as well. Perhaps a marriage or a husband or wife story would apply to you. That is the beauty of the blog page. All of us are in differing circumstances. Again, I could be doing other things, as I am an extremely busy person, I am doing this for those who truly appreciate reading about schizophrenia, its symptoms and the situations that it causes, how their families and friends are affected and how they can be helped. I am not interested in losing my privileges of sharing my story on this site so I want to stay positive and encouraging.
My father and I are really having strained relations at this time which is causing me some additional stress. I recently decided to simply "let go." He is a very intelligent man, he knows what he is doing and I am not falling for the games. I called his therapist for "one last time" and the she is having the crisis team come out possibly tomorrow to make a home assessment to determine whether he needs hospitalization. Knowing my father, he needs hospitalization. The vocabulary of scandal, the people on the television looking at him, the odor that he can't get rid of, the taking of the shower, sending persons to the store, staying in the apartment, excessive amount of paranoia, someone's listening to the phone conversation, the puddle of water in the middle of the floor, and other forms of expression that he resorts to when he has been off of the meds for a significant amount of time has increased greatly. I simply cannot deal with him at this time. I cannot bear to even "look at him." He acts just like a child. I am not the parent; he is. So, he has made the choice that he is not going to take the medication; I have made the choice that I am not going to deal with him until he gets back on the meds on a regular basis so that I can deal with, reason with him and once again have a healthy relationship with him again. I will make sure that his brothers and sisters (my aunts and uncles) will help him. They can deal with him without their health being affected. Last year this time, perhaps I could have dealt with the matter; currently I am unable. I am spending the rest of the semester home because of a knee and hip injury and I am walking with the assistance of a cane. My blood pressure has elevated for a couple of days because I was stressed out ...No more. I lovingly thank my three college professors for allowing me to finish my assignments at home because they saw that for me to commute by train until May was going to be a bit much for me. So, even though I will be home, I will be occupied doing work for my Autobiography, Communications and Personality Psychology class. I will be going to the university four times in April to take exams and hand in remaining work. I do have the necessary discipline to sit at home at complete my college work. I refuse to let anyone or anything get in the way of the goals that I have set for myself at this point of my life, especially when persons have made their own choice and they are grown. I need the cane to walk, I have no one helping me, not one of my siblings so why should I stress over anyone else in this life? It is either me or another person. I am choosing me. My father has lived his life. And you no what else? He is going to get a blood test. Yes, there is a suspicion that there is a potential conflict because of the fact that there are young and scheming persons in the same independent living residence that are known to be ***** users. He is not going to know but I am going to ask the doctor to test him for *********. He is exhibiting signs, where is the money, the sniffing, the voice changes and the paranoia that goes beyond the usual paranoia of schizophrenia. I have no mentioned it to him, but I highly suspect **** use at this time. It is time to take care of matters. So, I am sure that tomorrow the Crisis Team will make the best decision. As for me, I serve God and He will help me deal with all matters, I release all situations to Him.
Just a thought on being positive-All of us can make it, if we are not being positive or don't know how to be, we can learn. If we are an optimist, we will have a healthy outlook on life. All of our statements can be positive, just hope for the best. I can, instead of I can't. I will, instead of I won't. Positive thinking takes practice. You have to do it everyday as often as possible whenever you can. By practicing positive thinking everyday, you create a state of mind where you are constantly positive.
Next time, we will talk about Positive Thinking and your Health. I will keep you updated as to the status of my father. I am not sure when I will post again. Always, remember, that Schizophrenia is the Brain Disease, not you or your family member. Until next time, take care, be well, have a wonderful and peaceful day! (daughterfirstborn45)
Here is daughterfirstborn again. I most sincerely owe all of you an apology for not returning on Friday as I promised. We had a couple of snowstorms, some were icy and treacherous, which caused delays and unforeseen situations.
My father called me on Thursday telling me about the visit with my aunt and uncle which I am indeed grateful that they did visit him. They brought him fruit and plenty of food to keep him supplied. However, he is still in the state of paranoia. I mentioned to all of you that I was going to see the psychiatrist for myself on Thursday and that I would mention again that my father needs help whether that meant for someone to have him involuntarily hospitalized or give him injections as needed. This would be to assist him with the stabilization that is necessary. Also, for him to maintain his ability to function to the best of his ability. Of course, his age has to be taken into consideration to do what is best for all involved.
Since I am seeing a lack of cooperation among siblings as far as dealing with him in a sincere way, I will continue to ask my aunts and uncles for the necessary help. We must realize that you cannot change persons whether they are your family members or not. If they have not taken an active interest by now, they will not. Sometimes all that a person needs is encouragement for someone in the family who they seldom hear from. This is why I strive very hard to take care of myself physically, mentally and emotionally because I cannot depend on family to do anything for me. I have been dealing with bi-polar disorder on my own since 1990 and I have never asked for a family member to help me with anything. I take my own medications, when I had been hospitalized, I would only tell my father, because the rest of the family were simply not interested. So, I know what it is like to battle with depression, mania, and even physical ailments on my own. Even when I had major surgeries, I was on my own. I am telling all of you that if you cannot handle the state that your loved one is in at the time, let it be. Let them know that you love them; however they have to get the necessary help that they need. In the majority of cases, they know what they need. Case in point: my father knows that he needs to take his medication; he has the symptoms of paranoia that are plaguing him....he is being bombarded with the voices, wrong thinking, delusions, hallucinations, etc..and I do indeed feel for him..when he gets tired of dealing with it and it may be for many months, he will get the necessary help that is needed. I am not being plagued like my father is; to the contrary I do have my share of trials and situations that I am currently undergoing that I have to make some immediate decisions in the next 48 hours in reference to school. I may have to finish the semester at home as opposed to taking the train two days a week because of a knee injury that has worsened and affected my ability to walk. My right hip when I get up from a chair and stand up and attempt to walk is affected. My stomach is getting somewhat better on the new medicines. Tomorrow, which is Monday, I will be going to the doctor's office in the morning for my B-12 shot, and I have another appointment. I will talk to my father(I can only talk with him by phone right now) also. By the way I did visit him on Saturday and I will not visit him in person again until he physically goes either to the hospital for help or to the therapist and the psychiatrist and get his meds again. He cannot restart Abilify and Aricept on his own. He has been off of his meds for at least nine months. There is nothing that I can do to restart him back on them. I am not a psychiatrist, despite my knowledge of medications. I have a PDR and I am always looking up various medications that I and my father take and I know what Aricept and Abilify are for.
All of us can really appreciate this website that schizophrenia.com provides. Do you notice that on the home page ABILIFY is highlighted in the beautiful blue letters? It is a medication that works if the client/patient/consumer would just give it a try and see how it works. This website is one of the most thorough ones that I have ever seen since surfing the web. I also want to thank the owners of this site for allowing me to share personal information with all of you about my experiences of being a daughter of a wonderful father despite the illness that schizophrenia is. It is a brain disease. It is not a father disease. Always remember to appreciate the wonderful gift of life. Cherish each and every day. Get yourselves a hobby or something special to really look forward to when you awaken each morning. That is what I would want for my father. I wish he had something that he could focus on. For right now, all that I would want more than anything is for him to get back on his meds and then he could enjoy life again without the voices, paranoia, hallucinations, etc. All of those things are real to him, not to me. The psychiatrist and therapist are aware of the status of my father and will be calling him again tomorrow. .
I will call my father before retiring for bed for a few minutes.
So, until next time, keep hope alive. Focus on all of your good qualities and efforts, not on your faults and failings. Hope is powerful therapy and can do a great deal of good. Where there's a will there's a way. Keep up the willpower-the desire and the determination by contemplating the value of your goals and the rewards that will copme to you by reaching them. Obstacles will arise, but view them as challenges. Next time-we will talk about fighting pessimism.
****Spring break is over and the university opens tomorrow. I will be back either Tuesday evening or Wednesday morning unless I get some extra energy from by B-12 shot tomorrow. I don't want to ever let any of you down. I feel it is important to write to you and share because your life is important to me and I don't even know you. Have a good night! 7:41pm NJ
I recently came across some information which will encourage you today. This information is taken from European Psychiatry 2003; Volume 18:285-289.
As a result of the availability of effective antipsychotic medication and the trend to reduce hospitalization periods for schizophrenics, relatives play now a very important role in taking care of them. Actually, more than half of the patients with chronic schizophrenia live with their caregivers. This obviously means an increased burden for them.
A study now confirms that caregivers of schizophrenia patients are confronted with different types of their behavioral disturbances such as nuisances, threats, or even physical aggression. This is often worsened because of abuse of alcohol or illicit drugs. This burden impacts negatively on the relationship between patient and relative. Yet, a healthy relationship is very importqnt for the outcome of schizophrenia.
Relatives need to learn how to copw with this burden. Family support programs are needed here. Also, relatives should be considered when deciding if hospitalization is needed. They further should be told to maintain their own social life and leisure activities, as these are beneficial to their own mental health. This will help to maintain a well-balanced relationship with the schizophrenic family member.
Well, it is good to visit with all of you again this evening, it is almost midnight, this is one of my late nights. I will sleep late in the morning. I am still on spring break. This is one of the fastest weeks to swiftly past by. I did check with someone about my father tonight and he was seen. So, I know that he is not in the hospital. I also found out that one of my uncles did visit him today. So, despite the fact that I have not spoken to my father since Saturday, I know that he is still alive. I will check later today (it is now midnight) with the psychiatrist and the therapist if they can do something about getting him some help by calling him and getting someone to come to his home. He needs to see a treatment team again before he can go back on Abilify and/or Aricept. We see the same psychiatrist and I have an appointment later today, so I will touch basis with Dr. B. My father realizes that he can call me if he wants, however he chooses not to, and I am not going to play telephone tag with him. He can call some of my other brothers and sisters if he would like to do so. No, I am not bitter, I refuse to get any sicker than I am at this given moment. In my last entry, I told all of you how many things that I have to go through. I also mentioned that I was seeing a GI (stomach doctor on the 15th which was Monday. I am on two new medications in addition to the other medication for other ailments/conditions that I have. So, I am interested in reducing my stress. This whole week my stomach (colon ) has been spastic and has been really symptomatic. I want to return to school next week, only two days a week, 30 minutes each way is the travel time by train. If I can just hang in there from the first class beginning at 8:00 am and the last class ending at 12:50 pm, I will be just fine. If I can let a few more stressors go, I will be just fine. If my father will resume on a regimen of taking his medications, once again I will be just fine! For those of you who are taking care of a schizophrenia patient/consumer and those of you who are diagnosed with schizophrenia, here are some websites that would really help you in addition to this one. Also, you will get a free newsletter as an email and there are so many facets to visit on these two websites. The first one is www.psychiatry24x7.com and the second one is this: www.healthyplace.com. You will find both of them infomative just like www.schizophrenia.com. I will be back to visit all of you on Friday to let you know how my father and I are doing whether we are conversing or whether we are not. I am going to see if my uncle observed any unusual or strange behavior with my father on his visit with him yesterday. Well, I must go now so that I can sleep well and remember: it is so wonderful to have support from family, friends, persons like myself that you don't really know and websites to go to where there are persons like you and I that we really don't know that are willing to share their stories . Until next time, (daughterfirstborn) PS: Friday, I have three appointments, so I will not post my entry until the evening, don't worry, I will be back-I will not forget you good people! DON'T STIGMITIZE-ENERGIZE, DON'T LABEL, YOU ARE ABLE......
First of all, let me apologize to all of you who see typos when reading my entries. I have vision problems and even though I check my spelling, sometimes I may miss a word or two. I am in the process of learning how to go back again and edit over again my errors. Please be patient and understanding. I deeply apologize for any misspellings. I will work very hard not to misspell any word. Thank you (daughterfirstborn)
Now, to go on to today's entry. It is Sunday afternoon. I went to service this morning. Yes, the only way that I am going to endure this trialsome period in my life is to have God always with me. I spoke to Father a few days ago and he emphasized that he was doing some phone calling to the my brothers and sisters, mentioning that he had not heard from anyone. I let him talk, talk and talk. I had to remind him that he was the one that was isolating himself, sending people in the building that he lives in to the store, when he is called, he does not want to talk which means possibly the voices are telling him that someone is listening to the conversation, and that I called his brothers and sisters to let them know to please call him because I get highly upset when he starts to complain about the very symptoms that exhibit themselves because of not taking the meds. Now, when I called him yesterday which I am starting to dread doing-it is starting to become like a chore; like a toleration of sorts, he did not feel like talking. I told my father, listen if you don't feel like talking, let me know now, and call me when you feel up to talking. The reason that I said this was because I called him to see how he was doing and if he needed to go to the store and he is giving me one word answers and gave me the vibes ( I know the vibes) that he did not care to be bothered) so I bluntly replied to him that if he did not want to talk, to call me when he wanted to talk. Now 24 hours have passed and I have not heard from him, and I just have to leave him and his issues in the hands of our loving Creator. What can I do? My hands are tied. Let me just give you a briefing of what daughterfirstborn has to go through each week: I am a full-time college student majoring in Psychology, I am working on a book to be released in 2005, I write poetry, I have my own poetry website, I go to a few websites like www.bipolarhappens.com and www.bipolarworld.net for encouragement just like some of you enjoy this website, I go to a lot of writing websites, I just finished a photography course with an A average, I go to counseling each week for Sexual Assault counseling for myself for being sexually abused as a teenager, I go to see a psychologist every week for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder among other issues, I have a dysfunctional family that have never been supportive of me and my efforts(I am on my own) and I am almost 46 years old, I have to deal with an injured right hip and both knees, which means that I have to continue to see the specialist for my knee and hip. I guess I have to find the time again for physical therapy. Now, this week I am on spring break (March 15-19) and tomorrow I have an appointment with the gastroenterologist (stomach doctor). I know that stress has a lot to do with irritable bowel and this is why I was telling all of you that my plate is full. This week I am going to reduce my college load from 4 classes down to 2 classes. I don't like it, however I must if I want to get better. I will concentrate on getting my stomach better this week, withdrawing from 2 classes (last time I will make that choice) I will change my diet, my medications my lifestyle, my sleep pattern-whatever it takes for me to get back on that train 2 days a week to the university without worrying about how my spastic colon is going to react-when and where. Stress is a killer and a lot of persons in the age category (late 40's) here in NJ where I reside are dying suddenly sometimes of a heart attack because of excess stress, tension and aggravation. I refuse to die when I don't have to. I am not going to let my father put me six foot under. The reason I mentioned my father is because HE has been suffering and battling with schizophrenia/bi-polar disorder for more than 35 years. He is tired of dealing with it and I am tired of dealing with it because of his not cooperating with what he has to do. I am not telling him that I am tired of dealing with it. He is a completely different person when he is taking meds and making his monthly appointments. He tells me that he loves me, calls me daily when he is taking his meds. He laughs, we have good conversations, when he is taking his meds. He is a 69 year old shy, quiet man, when he is taking his meds. To the contrary, when he is not taking his meds, he fears the police are after him, he is afraid to go out of his apartment, he fears he has an odor, he fears people are talking about him, he thinks there is water on the floor, he will say that someone has been in his apartment, he fears that someone is listening to our conversation, or he gets confused. Remember, in an earlier entry, I mentioned that he has a form of dementia. Dementia is a form of memory loss. We won't go there, because I have said a lot today and I need a nap. I have a mental illness or challenge as I would like to say of Bi-Polar disorder and I have to see the psychiatrist on Thursday to get more medication. I am tired now. I must take a nap because I am in a lot of knee/hip pain. I will take the phone with me in the event that Father decides to call me. Won't that be a good thing? Until next time.....Love to all of you...take meds if you need them..think positive if you are a family member dealing with an ill family member...don't give up...(daughterfirstborn)
This has been one heck of a weekend. My father is calling all of the siblings and they just don't uinderstand the illness. However, all of them are getting a brochure from me this week to understand the illness better and to understand why he has strange behavior. Once again, his behavior is strange to us and normal to him because he is not taking his meds. I explained to one of my sisters that he does not mean any harm by his actions; to him things seem to be a reality, but we know that they are not. My reason for giving them the brochure is not for them to take care of him, but for them to understand schizophrenia as a whole and its impact on a family and the individual. The person with the illness really feels like they do not need the medication or either they do not like the way the medication makes them feel. They could also be using or taking something else that is known to conflict with the medicine that they do not want to give up.
Also, always remember that the older a person with this brain disease gets, the worse that the disease gets and the risk for suicide gets greater. The reason for this is because sometimes they feel like they simply cannot go on living this way with this disease and sometimes they feel like they are a burden to their families. Suicide, though is a selfish act because it leaves behind grieving family members and also the person who committed the suicide did not think of how his or her actions would affect others. At that time all they are thinking of is getting out of their misery. For example, Spalding Gray, who was just found in the river after being missing for 2 months, left behind two sons, ages 11 and 6 and a dear and loving wife. He had Bi-Polar disorder, nevertheless, he attempted suicide after that car accident he was in. He was a very successful actor-writer, however his illness took over. It is the same with schizophrenia, which is a deeper, brain disorder and is much more difficult to deal with and to treat. Spalding Gray's mother at the age of 52 had committed suicide. She also had Bi-Polar disorder. What I am trying to say is this: It is important to realize that no matter what your disorder may be, you can live with it. You can accomplish many things and do whatever it is in life that you wish to. However, you must continue to take your mediciane and cooperate with the medical experts entrusted tp your care. I, like Spalding Gray have to deal with Bi-Polar disorder each and everyday. I continue to do the things in life that makes me happy. For example, I do very well in college, activities, I write poetry and I recently finsihed a photograophy course. That's my hobby. I enjoy candles, dolls, music and dancing. Keeping this blog page to encourage those with schizophrenia and their family members to keep going even if you are depressed some days-it will not last forever, there will be better days. This helps me to keep hope alive. As I am typing this, I could be watching television, but I prefer typing this to help someone who could be feeling down. I have been feeling down today myself until about 2:30 and I did not get out until 3pm. I felt better. It is 10:00 pm and I am getting tired but I had to share some things wiith all of you. School work is piling up; yet spring break is near. Back to my father, I will not let him interfere with my life, yet I will help him when I can. If he needs to go to the store and I am available, I will take him. I do have a responsibility and obligation before the Creator to love both of my parents and do what I rightfully can as long as I able physially, mentally and emotionally. However, if I am unable for some reason, then I cannot for that moment or period of time. I cannot enable or be a co-depependent as long as another person or family member can take care of themselves first. So, my weekend ended and on Monday, I found out that confusion on my fahter's part still existed, due to not taking medication. Is it my fault? Emphatically, NO! It is Tuesday. He called 6:30 this morning and left a message. I called him today; have not been able to reach him. I tried a few minutes ago; no answer. I will try one more time before 11pm to say goodnight and find out how his day went. No talk about medication on my part because that is when I get upset and start raising my voice and then he plays the role of a child that is tall and he gets upset and hangs the phone up. Oh, well! Always remember: you cannot change a grown person and the serenity prayer: In my next entry, I will share some positive quotes with you and also let you know how my father is doingt....(daughterfirstborn)
It is truly a blessing when we live to see another year. My father, despite not taking his medicine, turned 69 yesterday. I hope between the age of 69 through 70, he sees the need to take his mediine. I did go by and see him today, spent quality time with him and I had a couple of appointments to go for myself to keep me going. I cannot help my father unless I help myself. For those of you who have some form of schizophrenia, please take your meds regardless of how you personally feel about it. Discuss your feelings and side effets with your doctor. Get your excercise, even if it means to take a walk. I encourage my father to do the same. Always remember:Schizophrenia is a brain disease, not you! Goonight! I have a 6:30 train to take and it is 1:00 am in the morning. I care for all of you and I want to share. See you in a few days....A daughter in New Jersey ( I am learning a lot about schizophrenia not only from the experiences with my father ; also at the univeristy in the psychology courses. I have to help my father more, dementia is getting worse)