Schizophrenia: The Perspective of a Father & Brother-in-Law: Author #14: November 2007 Archives

Author #14: November 2007 Archives

November 29, 2007

Why I Am Writing This

My talent for writing goes a long way back to when I was in radio school in 1982. As part of the course we learned to write speeches, commercials and newscasts as well as produce them. In the bygone days of radio, the announcer did it all. It's this invaluable training that has prepared me for writing this blog. What amazes me is when I put pen to paper and later transfe it to the Web the works just flow, evidently it's all so natural. Who'd a thunk it? Putting my thoughts into the written word is a great way to pass the time as well as being relaxing and very theraputic. Living with two people with the same illness is a life-changing experience. How do I describe it? One word: unpredictable, it can be described in countless other ways: frustrating, aggravating, irritating, and debilitating. This illness ends careers, breaks up families, and who knows what else? You want to know how it affects me? Easy. My wife has become so upset at times she has told me I can leave whenever.
My son at times wants me to take him anywhere,and I have told her if she doesn't back off, I may end up in the hospital. I'm doing all humanly possible to help all involved cope with our situation and believe me, it isn't easy.
She needs to try and understand my point of view, my shoes are not that easy to fill, try balancing a marriage, career and hobbies, blending in caring for two loved ones afflicted with schizophrenia. Anyone who can do that with any degree of success I salute. Till next time.-30-

November 29, 2007

Yet Another Entry

Hello again, friends, recently my son spent a week in the hospital where he was diagnosed with the illness we write about, as well as being bipolar and having multiple personalities. He is on meds and is showing improvement which is very positive. What he is fighting now is boredom, he lost a job recently and it has been difficult for him to keep one, it could be related to his illness. As I write he is out looking for part-time work and hasn't given up. I'm going to help him find volunteer work. He has filed for SSI and is going to try for Medicaid and food stamps. For at least the last year and a half he had drifted from place to place even staying a while with one of my sisters. He had only been there a few months when he moved on again, staying with a coworker. My sister had let him take over a car payment and the vehicle then his so-called "friend" trashed it, inside it was worse than a sty. Then he became involved with a 25 year old woman also with a mental illness, they cohabited for a while, then his illness took over and she takes out a DVO against him for incidents he can't recall. It was dismissed this week when twice she failed to show up in court. As long as he has no contact with her things should work out. He lost the car too. It is definitely a work in progress. Now about my brother-in-law. Currently he gets his medical care from the VA. Somehow I feel they aren't doing enough for him, of course his affliction probably has everything to do with it. When he was healthy according to my inlaws his room was spotless as was his garage, and his personal hygiene was exceptional. Funny, though, he doesn't shower regularly, but has no odor. He could use a haircut. Mental illness affects so many parts of life, I can speak with the voice of experience, one of the other parts of living schizophrenia affects is eating and drinking, my brother-in-law is diabetic and should be watching his health, well, you wouldn't know it, he eats and drinks anything he wants except alcohol which he doesn't, and has trouble sleeping, my guess is excessive caffeine. In my opinion he is a walking time bomb and we are just waiting for him to explode. He doesn't take care of himself and his illness interferes with it. All he can do is hope someday his long nightmare will end, and he will be in a better place with no worries of sufferings, the Almighty will welcome him for he is a good man. Till next time. -30-

November 27, 2007

Another Entry

I managed to complete my first blog entry, it was for the most part painless. When you cohabit with someone who is schizophrenic every day can be interesting. You can be relaxing in your family room or be surfing the Internet when all of a sudden your brother-in-law comes out of his room fussing and making little or no sense whatsoever. On occasion this has bothered me and you know what? It is so petty for me to feel that way and I will act like that no more. What I will do is use more sympathy, compassion and understanding because there are some things he has no control over, such as hearing voices. He has said they drive him crazy, when I worked at a forensic psychatric hospital in 2006 during training one of our exercises was listening to a tape made by a person who is schizophrenic and who is living a full and productive life. At first impression of the recording I wasn't. As the tape progressed, my ears were opened. It must be a living hell. My son told me the other day he has heard voices but they talk real fast, my brother-in-law has conversations with the ones he hears. My wife suggested the other day she didn't think my son is schizophrenic, quite a statement from someone not in the medical profession, she added she thinks he is lazy and isn't that bad off. Maybe she needs to take another look, possibly at herself. Possibly she has a hard time understanding my frustrations and her way of dealing with them is to take out her feelings on the closest person available, me. Lately, I have been fighting back by becoming stronger, and writing is one way of dealing with it. Where I acquired the ability to express my feelings in the written word goes back twenty-five years ago when I was in radio school learning to be a disc jockey and producer, in class we had to write speeches, commercials and newscasts. It was great training and is still is with me to this day. Why else am I writing this? Anyway, keep your head up, keep the faith, till next time. Later.

November 24, 2007

Coping with a brother-in-law and son who have schizophrenia

I've never had a blog, much less a journal, I had a diary about thirteen years ago when I had issues at home, they being with my spouse. Fortunately, they were resolved. That was 1994-95, and my world has been turned in various ways but none like the present. I am living with two loved ones who are afflicted with this illness. My brother-in-law has had it for at least thirty-five years, my son was recently diagnosed. A few weeks ago I read a nineteen page article about schizophrenia and were my eyes opened! Before I was enlightened about this sometimes debilitating illness I didn't know much about it other that how I had seen it portrayed in the media, especially television and movies. My brother-in-law is 64 years old, my son 24. Needless to say this illness knows no real age restrictions. Until recently my understanding was based partly on what I had heard rather than seen. Once you get around it and have hands-on experience, your eyes are opened, and boy, have mine been. To understand this affliction means having a sympathetic ear and relaxed manner in dealing with it. Go into it expecting to hear anything from threats to hearing a conversation with someone that doesn't exist. There's no count on the number of times I have been around my brother-in-law and have heard him mumbling incoherently or talking loudly and complaining about something making no sense at all. He can't even remember what he talked about. And don't ask him to stop, BIG MISTAKE! And don't ask what is being talked about, BIGGER MISTAKE! I was enlightened rather quickly having been threatened with bodily harm on one occasion. Mostly I have feelings of frustation more than anger, it is really hard to deal with sometimes. This blog will be a great help to me and hopefully others. My son is a different case. His mother and I divorced when he was only six and that was a traumatic experience, and I believe it affected him and is still doing it to this day and it has taken almost twenty years to achieve the correct diagnosis. No telling what and how this illness has affected him all these years what with relationships, schoolwork and even personal hygiene. One amazing thing is he is very computer literate and with the help of meds he should lead a good life with proper care and support, there is a lot of work ahead.

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This page is a archive of recent entries written by Author (#14) in November 2007.

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