Schizophrenia: The Perspective of a Father & Brother-in-Law

June 3, 2008

Life Does Go On Whether We Like It Or Not

Ever stop and think about those words? Yours truly does frequently. In our life on earth there are situations we can control, and those we can't no matter how hard we try. I have been guilty of trying and have met with little or no success. Sometimes things happen and we have no explanation. Our behavior is affected by what goes on around us, one of the assertive rights states a person doesn't have to have a reason for his or her behavior. My wife seems to forget this quite a bit. She has a lot of issues to deal with and as of this writing has yet to do so. They are too many to name. Oh, well, moving right along, I hope all is well with whoever reads this and till next time, aloha.

May 28, 2008

A Misdiagnosis

Well, I found something out recently, my son does not have schizophrenia after all, it is bipolar disorder along with multiple personality disorder, how about that for a one-two punch? Anyway, my son recently started another job, this time working in security for me, after one weekend I think it will work out fine. He seems to be catching on very well. As for what else is going on we painted my late brother-in-law's room and removed the carpeting which had become worn, stained and burned with cigarettes over the years, it sure looks different.
We also have been keeping up the yard, it sure looks good. As for myself I am hanging in there trying to shake an allergy cough, and my wife is still the same, moody as hell and hot and cold in the way she behaves toward my son and I. Life is sure hard sometimes, we just need to hang in there and eventually things will work out. Till next time, ciao.

May 12, 2008

It's The Middle Of May

Hi everybody, yeah, it's the middle of May almost and there's a few things to write about. I celebrated another Mother's Day with my mom yesterday by taking her out to lunch with other family members to a downtown restaurant, despite the rainy and windy weather, an enjoyable time was had by all. As for other goings-on, things have been pretty calm, my son is still trying to find employment and we have appealed his disability claim after it had been turned down. In regards to myself, I have my usual aches and pains, but nothing I can't handle. Life does go on and each time I think I have it bad I just see others a lot worse off than myself and realize it isn't so bad. As for my wife I think she is finally going to get some help with her mental health. There is always hope. Till next time, auf wiedersehn.

May 1, 2008

Since The Last Time I Wrote

A lot has happened. My son is in counseling and he recently got a 90-day supply of his meds and we are very pleased with that, he is still trying to find a job, he goes online frequently and out in the community to look. It can be very frustrating, I try to keep his spirits up. The real world is tough, hard and cold to everyone. For years I have been telling him this and I'm not sure if he understands it or not. I have decided not to appeal his denial of disability because it would be fruitless, he was found capable of doing some work, just not former jobs. My mother and others are urging me to appeal but I have made my decision because it would be a hassle with the paperwork involved. More later, aloha.

April 15, 2008

Hello, Everybody, I Am Back

Well, this is not my last entry, good to be back and writing again. Last week I took my son to the family health clinic here in my hometown and he is on the way to getting quality healthcare once again, yesterday he went and talked to a mental health pro and hopefully things will turn around for him, he is trying again to find a job and is online a lot doing same. If my wife would just back off of both of us things would be a lot smoother, I went last week to the doctor for a physical exam and all is pretty good for a 51 year old white male which is me except my hypertension needs to be brought under control, I found out today from one of my sisters that my mom is so concerned for me she is afraid I might die and I am going to definitely do something about that right away, today I go and get my meds to that effect. I don't think my spouse realizes how hard she makes it on me sometimes, she just doesn't get it as they say and she never will in my opinion. I don't know how much more she wants or expects out of me, I am on top of our financial situation, I am helping my son and trying to be the absolutely best I can be at anything I attempt but it never seems to be enough for her, sometimes I just feel like telling her to f***k off. Oh well, I think I have vented enough for one day, more in the next entry, in the meantime, ciao.

April 11, 2008

Well, This Might Be My Last Entry For A While

With just three of us in the house now, there really isn't much to write about except about my son, I am trying to get him medical care and help with his SSI claim and we are just in a holding pattern. As for the brother-in-law' former room it has been turned into a gathering room and storage area, it still smells of cigarettes due to the fact the carpet has been burned over and over and is beyond cleaning stage. Anyway, that's all for now, when I think of anything worth writing about you'll see it in this space. Take care of yourselves for you are all you have.

April 2, 2008

Not Many Words to Write Today

Last week some of my relatives began the process of cleaning out my brother-inlaw's room, just a week after we buried him, some would think that was premature due to his just passing about two weeks before. I guess their reasoning is to get it over quickly and put the room to another use. Who knows. More later I guess, until then peace and remember life is precious so enjoy every living moment you have, it could be your last.

March 27, 2008

As They Say, Life Goes On

Six words with such a profound meaning in this year of 2008. Last week we buried my brother-in-law, a very
emotional experience, it all seemed surreal. Bobby is at peace with God, and is reunited with his parents, and
what a reunion! He has no more, worries, health problems or concerns. We should all be as fortunate. He will now watch over us in the same manner as we did him for so long. There is one brother left and he will handle the afterarrangements, whatever they are, I don't envy him, it's a tough chore. We'll see how it all pans out, as for the rest of the story, till next time, Sayonara.

March 24, 2008

What Will My Son Do Now?

Last week my son was turned down for SSI, the specialists examining him agree he has a mental illness and
felt it was not severe enough to disable him so they determined he could work at a non physical job or one that would not tax his mental state. We are deciding whether to appeal, my mom is urging us to do so but I haven't decided yet. My feeling is if two opinions by medical pros agree why would a third one change anything? His age(25) was cited as a factor. His work experience is lacking, due to his overprotective grandmother who passed away in 2004, she held him back because he was living with her then. When she died as aforementioned he had been working at a fast food restaurant but was let go because in their words, he did not meet their standards. He tried college for awhile but was unsuccessful and has run up a lot of debt, we are deciding whether to urge him to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy. More later, adios muchachos.

March 17, 2008

Now We Are Down To One

At approximately 1:15 a.m. on Sunday, my brother-in-law Bobby passed away at the Louisville Veterans Affairs Medical Center. He had been ill with cancer for some time, apparently longer than we knew of. He was 64 years old, and had had schizophrenia at least 30 plus years and his life was anything but normal. He really didn't take care of himself as well as he could have, due to his affliction and his unhealthy habits. He was also paranoid and trusted only his brother. Needless to say, we are all saddened by his passing but realize he is no longer suffering and is at peace. Maybe we could learn from this that once again life is short, so make the most of the time we have in the world and enjoy it. Till next time, and by the way, Happy St. Patrick's Day!

March 12, 2008

When Someone Close To You Is Dying

I have been writing this blog since November 2007 and I am about to do something I never thought I would. My brother-in-law is dying, we think of cancer, all tests point to it, we got the news two days ago in mid-afternoon, and we are devastated, it makes me think of all the past phone calls I have received concerning death of relatives. Beginning in 1967, I answered the phone when an uncle died, four years later my grandfather, five years after that my other grandfather, thirteen years after that another uncle, four years later a grandmother, the following year, 1994, my dad, three years after that my other grandmother, and now my brother-in-law, who by the way, is named Bobby. I had not revealed his name until now. Sometimes I wonder if I am unlucky or just in the right place at the wrong time. Well, now we have to make plans when he will pass and he will, unfortunately. I know of no one that has lived forever except in spirit. It makes you wonder about your own mortality, the VA is doing all it can for him, mainly to keep him as comfortable as possible, he is just a shell of his former self. I haven't seen him in nearly a week due to the fact I have been handling chores around the house. I have been getting my son's affairs in order for him and trying to comfort my wife to the best of my ability. Maybe someday I will be rewarded for my efforts as a human being, though I don't think I am that great a person other than someone who has always tried to to his best and give his all. All I have ever wanted for my efforts is an occasional "Thank You". It never hurts for you to be acknowledged, if that sounds vain, no apologies. This is my blog and my thoughts. Till next time, peace..

March 7, 2008

You Never Can Tell What Happens Until.....

Hi, everyone, been a few days since the last entry, a few things to share, among them my son lost another job, it sure has been frustrating for him, at least he did get income tax refunds and we will use them wisely, I am getting him some medical help, the brother-in-law has been in the VA hospital twice in the last week, and is still there as I write this. It's been very traumatic for and on us, that's putting it mildly, the sister-in-law is oblivious to all that is occurring with her younger brother and that grates on us as well, especially my wife. As for myself, I am taking it day to day and keeping the faith, sometimes we all need divine guidance, prayer changes things, believe me. Easter arrives in two weeks and with it new beginnings. May you have one. Aloha.

February 28, 2008

Just When You Think........

How often have we spoken or thought those words? Just when you think things may go as you anticipate a monkey wrench gets thrown into the machinery. Here's what I mean: The other day we found out the brother-in-law had an MRI on his lower back at the VA hospital, some of the images didn't look good to the medical team examining them, one of the docs wants to do a bone marrow test to determine if he does or does not have a blood disease or cancer such as leukemia. When we heard about this we were disturbed to say the least. Finally some concrete things are happening, we just hope it isn't too late to keep him with us. It sure has been a pressure situation on all of us except the sister-in-law who doesn't, excuse my language, give a shit. She is in her own world and appears to have shut us out and is only in contact when it suits her. I wonder how she would react if her brother left us? Hmmm. Something to ponder. As for the son he is looking for another job currently, he wants to work in tech support. I hope he makes it. Ciao.

February 26, 2008

I Wonder About My Son

If any of you out there are fathers, you ask yourself that question frequently. I have been lately because my son has been spending a lot of time away from home lately at a friend's apartment. He says they have been writing songs or at least trying to, yesterday I got a call from Social Security Disability inquiring about his claim for benefits and was on the phone at least twenty minutes or so. It could be he feels so bored at home that he is more comfortable away. Who knows? I don't know what is in his head. He wants to work again and wants me to take him to a prospective employer on my next day off and I said I would. My wife and I are wondering if he just wants the money associated with working but doesn't want to work for it. She still doesn't believe he is ill enough to draw disability. I think I am going to have real problems with that thinking. Makes you go hmmm. Oh, well, till next time, ciao.

February 22, 2008

The Latest And Greatest?

Well, someone finally realized the brother-in-law needed help with his health, his doctor at the VA admitted him this week and has scheduled an MRI and will try to get him to quit smoking by using nicotine patches, we feel this is the greatest of his problems. He can't get out of bed to move around without assistance, it looks like he is going to be in the hospital for a while. We are all hoping he will improve. As for the son he has been spending a lot of time at a friend's apartment instead of looking for another job, we are frustrated with his seemingly lack of incentive to improve himself. We feel if he is successful in drawing disability he will never work at all. As of this moment we are in a holding pattern. Sayonara.

February 20, 2008

A Couple Days Off

That's what I have and I am going to take advantage of them and recharge my batteries by doing some different things around the house like yardwork, that's always a good way to blow off steam. As for the coming week, Monday I report for jury duty at the local courthouse, that should be interesting, a chance to get away from work and home and see how a different part of the world lives. As for the situation around the house it is the same, the brother-in-law we had to take to the local VA hospital emergency room and all they did was some blood work and a urinalysis for his sodium count was so low allegedly he could go into a coma and even die. Talk about pressure, that is about as bad as it gets, we are so frustrated at the VA's supposedly lax attitude toward helping him that we are about to get our local US representative in Congress involved and the fur will fly then, because when the Congress gets involved things happen and rather quickly most of the time.
As for the son he is still trying to figure out what to do, I think he takes it day to day as I have been doing. Till next time. -30-

February 17, 2008

Day To Day Living

That's what I have decided to do, live each day one at a time, sometimes it isn't good to plan ahead unless what you have going on is a regular occurence. Of course, you can't make plans when you deal with two schizophrenics for at any time they could do anything and you wouldn't see it coming. Here's a good example:
The brother-in-law can be sleeping one moment and in the next he could be going to the bathroom, lighting up one of the three packs of cigarettes he smokes daily or drinking the pitchers of tea he makes frequently. It's no wonder he can't sleep for all the caffeine he consumes, I can't drink his tea for he makes it so strong it stains plastic tumblers and glasses. He makes it the way his mother taught him but the one difference is he uses more tea bags than she did and not enough water. The way I make it is with a coffee maker and the proper amount of bags. What a difference. Lately his health has been really going downhill, it wouldn't surprise me if he ends up in assisted living, it's getting so he can barely care for himself anymore. He can barely walk and his speech is slurred. We still feel he hasn't found the right medical team to care for him at the VA. As for the son he is still determined to find another job preferably full-time and more money on the hour too. There's always hope, as for the wife, nothing new to report. Later. -30-

February 15, 2008

Living With Schizophrenia Can Be A Living Hell

Hi, everyone, I'm back after a hectic week. Last weekend we donated the duck we had been caring for to a wildlife refuge, he is doing well, my wife got very emotional for she had become attached to him but agrees he is in a better place. My son lost his not quite part-time job and is trying to decide what to do next. The brother-in-law's health is failing and we don't know what to do other that monitor it the best we can. As for myself I had an MRI the other day due to pain in my left shoulder and arm, I got a referral from my doctor for some counseling and I am deciding whether to follow through, I probably will. I tell you life with two sick people really wears on you and having a wife who is moody as well doesn't help either. The best way to deal with it is one day at a time and have faith in the Almighty. More next time. -30-

February 7, 2008

Expect The Unexpected

Living with two schizophrenics presents a challenge each day, especially when you live with two that are forty years apart in age. One has appeared to give up on his health possibly because he is just tired of the struggle and figures he has little time left on earth while the other, my son is trying to find his health and get a life for himself. And, you might say, where does this place me? Square in the middle being pulled by all sides including a wife who has issues affecting her that somehow reach me as well. Recently we acquired a new furry friend, a cat who looks like one of our others and he is just a delight, we call him Little Bear , he just looks like Harry, our long hair, only younger and strangely enough, acts like him in so many ways, it's kind of surreal.
And of course, we still have the duck who makes a habit of attacking everyone in sight by biting, we have found him a home, just a matter of time until he makes it there, and I will be very pleased for he is causing me a lot of stress, just recently my anti-depressant was increased and it is already showing results and it has only been about a week, goes to show you how the mental state of mind can be affected by positive thinking. Now I have to work on the wife, she is showing signs of breaking down though she will not seek help, I'm just about ready to give up on her. Oh, well, more next time, goodbye.

February 1, 2008

Happy February To All

Hello fellow bloggers, here we are the first day of the second month of 2008, January seemed a blur to me, How was yours? All in all January wasn't too bad really, I left third shift after six months, returning to first, I'm still adjusting to the change, it's been three weeks. I began work January 14th at a new post as a security officer and as I said the other day it was the week from hell. How would you feel if after just one week the boss told you you were no good? Wouldn't it make you question your ability as a person and your own self-esteem?
I did and don't remember the last time it happened. Whatever happened to encouragement in the workplace, appreciation for doing your job, and simple thanks? It went out the window, the name of the game now is downsizing, outsourcing, and doing more for less. It's enough to break a person down, stress can literally lead
to illness, even death possibly. Yours truly has hypertension and we know what that can lead to untreated. Maybe I would be better off in the afterlife, at least there would be no pain or suffering anymore, but I'm not lucky or unlucky or foolish enough for that to happen. It makes me wonder what schizophrenics go through daily, it has to be hard just to cope with stresses healthy folks would consider normal, a certain amount of stress is good for you, it can make you stronger, can motivate you to success, look at the great world leaders of the past and present: Look what they went through: Wars, depression, famines, drought, internal and external crises, all of these made them stronger. I live with two schizophrenics and every day is hell on earth, both are unpredictable, I am married to a woman who is at times unstable, she doesn't want my son with us but realizes she can do nothing about it(caught between a rock and hard place) and of course yours truly is squarely in the middle being squeezed like a vise, maybe I should have been a magician, hmmm. My son is finally going for a psych evaulation on Feb.7, then we should know what may be really wrong or right with him, he is having this to determine eligibility for Social Security disability, we only hope for the best, as for the brother-in-law, his situation hasn't changed, we have pretty much given up hope , and finally as for my wife, she is close to losing it, the other day she had a fit and went on a tirade and threatened to walk out, that threw up a red flag. Figure it out. Bye. -30-