Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Layering On The Meds

I wish I cold figure out how to write like Parrish sounds.  It’s almost a different language, so thick and slurred is his speech.

“The Gateway van is broken down, but I have a ride to the hotel.  Don’t worry.  I will call you from there.  I need you to bring me my cashmere sweater.”  

“You’re leaving tonight?
“Oh, yeah.  I gotta get outta here.  This guy’s gonna give me a lift in his truck.”

“Okay, Darling.  Just call me when you get there.”

That was last night around midnight.  He’s not supposed to use the phone after 10:00.

At 6:13 this morning:

“Hey, Mom.  We’re leavin’ for London at 10:00 and I don’t have enough clothes to take.  Could you send me my jeans and khakis?”


“Yeah.  I’m pretty excited about it.”

“Why are you going to London?”

“I’m not sure.  I just know we’re going, so please send me some clothes.  I’ll call you when we get there and give you the address.”

“All right, Son.  Call me from there.  I love you.”

And he rang off.  Still groggy from sleep, I shook my head in an effort to wake up enough to tap into my feelings about what I had just heard.  I took a Xanax, then took Honey out.  Before I could feed her or make a cup of coffee, the phone rang.  It was 6:24.

“Hey Mom, howya doin’?  Listen, we’re not goin’ to London after all, so don’t worry about my clothes.”

“Why aren’t you going?”

“Shit.  I don’t know.  They change plans around here all the time with no ‘splanation.  I could use a little cash though, just to buy a Coke or a snack.” 

I know there are no vending machines at Gateway, and I know caffeine is banned, but I didn’t see anything to be gained by pointing out that fact.

“Okay, Honey.  Tell me how you’re feeling this morning.”

“I’m fine.  My mania’s under control so I should be getting out today.  Since the van is broken, you’ll have to come get me.  I gotta go.  I love you.”

“I love you too, Darling.”

I sat and sipped coffee and smoked and worried.  There are so many more questions than their are answers, and I am wearing down and wondering where we will go from here.  At least for now, he’s hospitalized, but the fact that he is so delusional and confused, so much worse than he was a week ago, is more than troubling.  I can hardly make myself write it all down.

At 7:02, the phone rang once more.

“Hey Mama.  Howya doin’?”

“I’m good, P.  How are you feeling?”

“I’m having anger issues.  These people are accusing me of peeing on the floor in somebody else’s room!  You know I don’t pee on the floor, and other patients are coming in my room and throwing my stuff all over the place and stealing from me.  I want you to lodge a complaint against the people who run this hell-hole.  I mean it!  You have to get me out of here and sue these people.”

“Could you be a little manic and maybe not thinking straight?”

“Hell yeah, I’m manic, manic and mad.  I can’t stay here another day.”

“Why don’t you go back to bed and try to take a nap?  Maybe you will wake up feeling better.”

“Okay, I’ll try.  I’ll call you later.”  

I continue to sit and stare and smoke.  I want nothing more than to go back to bed and sleep until this time tomorrow.  What I really want is to hide in the bottom of my closet with a soft blanket and suck my thumb and drink vodka straight out of the bottle.

Later - 1:45PM

P called about 15 minutes ago and said he is being dismissed, that he’s on Geodon now and it would have to be administered by injection.  He wanted my assurance that I would give him his shots.  Knowing that he would not be dismissed on parenteral drugs, I agreed to give him his shots.

I called Gateway and talked to the nurse, relayed to him my conversations with P earlier this morning.  He assured me that no one had accused P of peeing on the floor and that no one had been in his room disturbing his things.  He didn’t have to tell me that the London thing was a delusion.

When I asked about his medicines, I learned that he is not on Geodon.  He is still on Zyprexa, but The Doctor added Cogentin and Haldol to his regular meds.  The Cogentin is for Parkinsonism but is sometimes used to counteract the side effects of other medicines.  

It seems like piling on to me.  And, it gets better.  There are serious drug interactions with Cogentin and Haldol.  Taking into account that Zyprexa alone comes with a long menu of possible serious side effects, one has to wonder how P’s symptoms will ever be alleviated. 

All of these meds cause extreme dry mouth and slurred speech, and they can all cause confusion.  Isn’t he confused enough?  

He just called again to make sure I’m coming to get him.

Copyright 2014 cj Schlottman

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