Foxy Mama's Blog

Stories, musings and ramblings from the front porch. Pull up a rocking chair and sit for a spell...


Monday, August 08, 2005

Tyranny from within…

I just realized that my blog is one year old today. Is it what I wanted it to be? I don’t know. I had never thought to have a blog so when younger sonny set it up and presented it to me a year ago, I didn’t even know what to do with it, let alone have a plan. I’ve enjoyed writing this blog…until recently. Here is where I thank you for coming over and being so loyal. I’ve let you all down lately, I know. A friend of mine sent me an email last week that said: “Geez! Y'know... I go ahead and bookmark your world-famous blog and check it most mornings and what do I see? No updates since July 24th! Boy, oh boy...”

He’s right. I haven’t written for awhile. I haven’t felt like it. Right now I feel as if my creativity has been sucked right out of me. It’ll come back one of these days I’m sure, but right now, well, I’m sort of nowheresville. Know what I mean? I can’t write when I’m feeling down and a lot of friends and family are wondering if I’m still alive and why don’t I respond to their notes? Maybe you’re one of those people. The thing is, I can write a long epistle but then you’ll just end up feeling crummy too.

Oh, we’ve had some good things happen lately, which I would have liked to have shared with you but then before I could get it down, a deluge of “other stuff” has come along to swamp and bury us. I will eventually get around to writing about some of the nifty stuff. We have celebrated (if you want to call it that) every holiday and special day for our family in one hospital or another, starting with last Christmas. I have never eaten Christmas dinner in a hospital before, let alone a locked ward. This year my older son has spent more than 5 months in a hospital. On April 7th, my 60th birthday he was admitted to the state psychiatric hospital and he’s still there now. It looks like it may be awhile yet before he’s released. It also looks like we may end up getting to know a lot more about electro-convulsive therapy before long. The future is not looking very positive for him or for us right now. It is a heartbreak.

My son is a handsome, sensitive and very intelligent man but in this case his intelligence is actually working against him right now. He has been diagnosed as schizoaffective, which is a fancy way of saying schizophrenia with additional problems. His case is complicated and his delusions are strong and elaborate. He is not responding successfully to any of the myriad psychiatric drugs, including the main one he's on now which was touted as the one which is different and would work where the others failed. There are no miracles here.

Schizophrenia is a chronic and severe brain disease which is classified as the most devastating and disabling of all mental illnesses by the National Institute of Mental Health. Sufferers often experience hallucinations and paranoia, and may have difficulty communicating with, and participating in, the outside world because schizophrenia interferes with the way a person thinks, speaks, expresses emotions, and behaves. It does not mean a split or multiple personality. The cause is not yet completely understood, and scientists are working to comprehend the chemical imbalances in the brain that may result in schizophrenia.

The hospital is an hour away…one way. We go up to visit on an average of every other evening. A minimum visit would take at least 3 hours of our day, although we try to spend more than an hour usually. This is particularly difficult for The Rock who must work every day and will soon be teaching chemistry classes at the college again 2 nights a week in addition to his regular job as a chemist. Occasionally, friends go to visit.

The hospital is a modern, efficient and very beautiful building with rolling landscaped lawns and looks like everything but what it actually is. The staff is friendly and efficient. The doctors and social workers, etc. are excellent. Every effort possible is made to try to construct some quality of life and dignity for poor, often forgotten, tortured souls. The people we’ve dealt with are patient, understanding and accommodating. They are special people. It is still a place of broken dreams and sad, dispirited souls who are unable to take joy from life.

My son is never alone. The people who inhabit his head hate him and shout at him and threaten him constantly. It is difficult for him to concentrate anymore. We have to compete with these “voices” or signals as he calls them, and often lose out to them as they are loud and aggressive and formidable opponents for his attention. He once told me I should tell you about his story and what is happening to him and what “these people” are doing to him. Alas, I could not since what is happening to him is a terrible illness and “these people” do not exist, no matter how much they torture him and render his life a hell.

I love my son and it is hard to stand by and watch him suffer and see his beautiful mind erode and his body, full of necessary drugs, become clumsy and unfunctionable. He is in a safe place and that’s a small comfort since several times he came close to harming himself irrevocably. It is a constant worry. He struggles to maintain but the fight is a tough one and he is being worn down. So are we.

So on this first blogaversary I thank you for stopping in and I’m grateful for all my blog-friends who have been so loyal. I have enjoyed getting to know you and I shall try not to treat you so shabbily in the future. I have taken respite in your kind words and sharing of laughter. At least now you know why sometimes there are big holes in my posting routine and hopefully, will not give up. We still have a sense of humor and try to keep that working for us. I do have so many good stories I’d like to share. And I will…


  • At 1:26 AM, Blogger terrina said…

    That's a bit of a mouthful, but I gather it's what Mr. Schmidt was driving at. To have freedom on a stable political basis, you have to have a homogeneous culture and society, composed of people who share the same values and beliefs.
    Find the latest news about Depression, Bipolar Disorder and Schizophrenia. Discuss Mood Disorders topics with members of the Health Community.
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