It has been a very long time since I did a post. This post , you may not want to continue reading.....it may become a 'woe is me' post...is that how you spell woe ? Have no idea and in my funk , I really don't care. You get the gist.
A month ago yesterday, Maya slipped quietly into a state of regression....again....after eight months of me watching every move, every action , every word, every sound, every look that came out of her, of being petrified of it happening again.........it did.
The first few weeks were filled with exhaustion as we took turns sleeping beside her...her on the living room chesterfield while us on the floor beside her.....believe me, when you're in your sixties your bones really protest over being on the floor. Sometimes she slept....usually it was in short naps and then she would be up again, talking a non-sensical talk....
During the day, after I made her food and encouraged her to eat, bathed her, dressed her, sat with her as she went back and forth between hysterically laughing or crying.....constantly telling her that she was okay....but she wasn't.
After the first two weeks, she seemed to be coming out of it....we were encouraged...but it wasn't without a horrifying incident .....Maya became violent...if you truly know Maya, you know that this goes completely against her personality altogether...Maya is one of the gentlest people I know. Even when people have treated her wrongly, she doesn't retaliate .....she forgives. This gentle soul turned into someone that we didn't even recognize .
That all changed one afternoon when I heard a 'NO' come out of her with such force that I've never heard before. That night , she poked at me, like she was testing the waters...not to hurt, but to see what my reaction would be.....
The next day, it got much worse, Don had gone to work and I was there with her......she started to escalate....when I would try to go by her in the narrow hallway, she wouldn't allow me to pass, when I would politely and in my most gentle voice, ask to go by she would scream no. Then she started the verbal abuse....she would scream that she hated me......sometimes she would come right up to my face, and in a low tone, angry guttural sound, forcefully say she hated me. She even went out on the front porch , in her bare feet..( it was very cold out) and screamed it to the neighbors.
In all this, I wasn't scared for myself but I was scared that she would start walking down the road in her bare feet, and I couldn't stop her. Maya is about eighty pounds heavier than me, extremely strong and towers over me in height. In this state , she did what she wanted to do. At one point, she wouldn't put her pyjama bottoms on after she had been in the bathroom, she refused. I was so emotionally exhausted that I started to cry and begged her to put them on. When she saw my tears, she immediately became contrite and put them on. It was at that point that I called Don at work and told him that she was escalating and needed to come home.
When he arrived, things became much worse . When he put his hands on her shoulders to try and stop her from going outside , she shoved him....hard...he went flying like a toy doll....unfortunately landing with his heel on my big toe, cracking the nail and causing it to bleed. Don called the police for help. After twenty minutes no one had shown up and since Maya had, at this point , become calm and docile, he cancelled the call.
We made the decision, with much difficulty, to take her into the hospital. We didn't want to but we had no idea what to do....we even at one point turned back, and came home, second guessing ourselves. We weren't home long when it became clear that we had made a mistake and needed to go to the hospital and get some help.
When we arrived, we told the emerg doctor that we weren't looking to have her admitted to the psych ward that she had been in last Christmas,....that we were just looking for some help, some medication for the aggression. He agreed with that but she still needed to see the psych evaluation team. We spent the rest of the day in that ward, while she was evaluated.
We left there at nine in the evening, two prescriptions in hand. I'm pretty sure that both scripts were administered when she was in the hospital last Christmas with poor results but they insisted that since the home environment is different that they believed that she would be fine .
For the first few days she was fine. In fact, she even went to youth group with Ben and Megan.....we were thrilled...until we picked them up and she was slightly confused and emotional....okay, that wasn't a good move...although leading up to it she seemed ready to go.....on her computer ( she always goes completely off her electronics ...computer, cell phone, iPod ....when this happens)....she even insisted on washing her hair! So, we agreed to let her go. It must have been too overwhelming because when we checked on her two hours later she wasn't doing well.
The next few days seemed to go well, she attended church on Sunday, sat with her friends....Monday and Tuesday went well...she was to go for a followup on Thursday. They had said to try her without the daytime meds and see how she did. I chose Wednesday to do that so I could tell them on Thursday what , if any reaction, she exhibited.
Wednesday morning I didn't give her the day time meds....the day went okay, a couple of things made me wonder but she still planned to go for her guitar lesson that evening. After her supper she went down to get her guitar and came up holding a tiny leaf that she was convinced had come through her window....she was in a panic. I immediately went and got her day time meds and gave it to her. She did not go to the guitar lesson , but spent the evening very quiet, the odd time emotional (crying) but watching television.
I berated myself for trying her without her daytime meds and the next day, when we went for her followup appointment at the psych ward, I was sure that they would confirm this. I was surprised when the doctor didn't...in fact, she said when things settled down that I should try it again!
The next few days were a fog....she was back on both meds......I even gave her them together at night to ensure that she would go to sleep...no, I didn't overstep on this, the pharmacist said they could be taken together because they each dealt with a different form of anxiety.
On Friday night, she really wanted to go through with the plans she had made, long before she regressed, with her boyfriend and her youth group to attend a performance of Aladdin in Toronto. We were unsure of this but she was quite upset at the prospect of not going, and we thought that it might make it worse for her if she didn't. We couldn't get an extra ticket so Don took Ben and her to the theatre and waited at a nearby mall in case she needed him. The youth pastor was aware of the situation and did text Don before intermission to say that Maya was asking for him. Don went to the theatre and saw her and gave her a daytime med since she seemed quite anxious but then she willingly returned inside for the second half.
The next day we had a scheduled trip to Petawawa to visit our son Paul and his fiancée ....they had just moved into their first house. Originally, it was just suppose to be Don and I but we couldn't leave Maya so we took her too. It was a whirlwind trip...twelve hours of driving in less than 24 and staying overnight in a hotel, but parts of the trip went well. Maya had the odd meltdown , but the scenery was very wintery and beautiful for the drive and it was good to see Paul and Sara and their new house. Sara's parents were also there and we all sat and discussed upcoming wedding plans.
We returned home on Sunday evening....we were quite tired out but glad we had made the trip. I think if it had been just Don and I, I could have easily convinced him to make a ( huge)detour on the way home, via Parry Sound to help celebrate grandson William's fourth birthday but it was better that we came straight home. This was the first birthday of William's that we have missed. :-(
As we drove it seemed that Maya was telling us about various hallucinations that she had been having of late. That got me to remembering that the night medication , when given in the hospital, ended up giving her hallucinations , after she'd been on it several days.
It dawned on me that maybe, just maybe it wasn't the LACK of the daytime meds the previous Wednesday but the build up of the night meds in her system that caused her leaf imagining. That night Don felt that we shouldn't give her the medication, so we didn't. In the following days, she still talked of some hallucinations but not as much and we figured it was just the meds leaving her system.
Last week, Maya kept asking when she was going to get better. I didn't have an answer for her, since this was going on much longer than the other episodes. Sometimes, she seemed in quite a fog, and quite discouraged that she wasn't getting better.
In the previous episodes I had only kept her on the meds for the first few days and then let her own responses bring her out of it....at this point, except for the few hours that one day, she had been on the daytime meds for two weeks.
I made the decision to try taking her off the day meds to see if she could come out of this.
The next day , Maya had a consultation appointment to see an oral surgeon for a tooth that needed pulling. I wasn't sure if she'd get through the appointment without the need for the medication but I thought I'd try. I took it with me just in case. Except for having to convince her over and over that the dentist wasn't going to pull the tooth that very afternoon , she did quite well.
At this point, we are taking one day at a time....compared to a month ago she is doing a lot better. She still isn't well enough to leave on her own unattended, or to attend her activities. I still have to lay out her clothes for her and prepare her foods but you can, at times , have a 'regular' conversation with her.
The only 'medication' that she is on is supplements and vitamins. When she was at the hospital two weeks ago, they did tell us that they had been in contact with a program that saw Maya last spring...they were going to refer her to a Dual Diagnostic clinic but so far we haven't heard anything from them.
One day at a time....that's all we can do...some days are more difficult then others, some are more discouraging then others....but that's all we can do. Mental illness is an insidious disease that attacks for no apparent reason....we have no idea why...Maya has never used drugs or alcohol....her lifestyle has been fairly innocent.....we'll probably never know why.
Added on Thursday, December 12, 2013
.........on Tuesday night, Maya started showing some 'normal' behaviour.....she actually went down to her room on her own, and put herself to bed......up until that night she always insisted that one of us come and 'tuck her in'. The next morning, I had to wake her up because we had to go out. When she came up she didn't have the vacant look in her eyes, she was focused and conversing normally...I was optimistically hopeful.
Wednesday went well, today was even better...I pray it continues.