If you are a new visitor to my blog, may I suggest you start at the beginning of our journey with Bipolar by visiting my archives

Thanks for reading.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Still Playing the Waiting Game

Not much new to report where Josh is concerned. He continues to be 'fine'.

He got all of his student aid issues resolved and has enrolled for fall classes. His grant money and student aid is conditional on him not failing any classes or getting any withdrawls or incompletes.

He is only taking three classes and his classes will be on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, they all begin at 12:30. This schedule should work well for him since he won't have to drive either direction during rush hour traffic and he can sleep in which is the schedule he prefers.

Right now his sleep schedule is completely topsy turvy. He goes to bed between 4-6 AM and sleeps until 3 PM or so. I pointed out that not only is his schedule upside down (which won't work once school starts), but he is also sleeping 12 hours some days.

"You know Josh, people who are depressed tend to sleep too much, you need to check yourself to make sure you don't feel like you're slipping into a depression."

"I think I'm fine, I'm not sad or having any dark thoughts or anything."

"OK, but you need to monitor that because now would be the time to address it so that you will be ready when school starts."

He has been very slow to address his job situation. He has typically been working less than ten hours a week and this week, they didn't schedule him at all. In light of that, he has submitted some applications online, but his money situation has now become dire. Last week his car battery died and instead of giving him or loaning him the money to buy a new battery, I let him figure it out on his own, my thinking being that a new battery would take most of his available cash and he would FINALLY feel a need to act on the job thing. That seems to have had the desired effect.

He went without a car most of the week until he got his paycheck. He jumped his car and drove and bought a new battery.

In general he has been very pleasant. Often he'll do dishes or other household tasks before I can even mention them to him. Now, don't get me wrong, it's not like he's tearin' it up around here, but I see improvement in that area.

He also agreed to clean the house every Friday in lieu of paying me rent and he has done a pretty good job with that. Sometimes he won't get everything finished on Friday, so he finishes up on Saturday, but he's at least doing it with a smile on his face.

He still spends too much time alone, but also sees his 'good' friends fairly often. They will all be returning to college soon, but so will he AND I hope he has a new job as well. School and work will fill a lot of his time and force him to get on a more normal schedule.

I feel pretty comfortable about his return to school. There is no way to know what might happen as the school year progresses. It's quite possible that Bipolar symptoms will appear and I can only pray that if they do, he will address them properly. I think not moving forward with school plans would be detrimental to him at this point, he needs the routine that school provides and to feel like his life is moving forward after having it all derail so badly during the last year.

He would like to think he's not Bipolar, but I'm not convinced he isn't. I expect there to be further issues down the road and it is impossible to say that if he's in a Bipolar state of mind will he still 'see' the need for medication. I guess we'll cross that bridge when we get to it.

It's very hard feeling like we are sitting on a time bomb, just waiting for it to explode, but that's what we're doing. There is very little that we can do to prepare for that eventuality. Josh isn't willing to discuss the possibilities very much, about the only thing we've agreed upon is to seek his therapists help if things go tits up.

I have missed the last several DBSA meetings due to other obligations, and I won't be able to attend tonight either, but hope to go back next week. It is very hard to sit in those meetings and listen to other people's horror stories when Josh is doing so well. It feels a bit like what survivor guilt must feel like. It's nice to know that the group is there though because I have a feeling I'll be needing their support again in the future.

Josh is doing well, but that doesn't mean he's 100% where he needs to be. I'm watching him closely, there is no part of me that feels like we're out of the woods or anything. I'm just trying very hard to enjoy this respite; I'm getting a lot done around the house and enjoying time with my friends etc.

Basically, I'm waiting for the other shoe to fall.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Why do they have to make it so hard?

Josh was referred to an Endocrinologist by our Primary Care Physician.

No one mentioned how difficult it is to get an appointment with an Endocrinologist.

I was given three names and checked with Josh's insurance company to determine which doctors were in his network. I then called to schedule an appointment.


You can't make an appointment with any of these doctors without first having a years worth of medical records sent to them so they can determine the urgency of care needed, but the real kicker is that once they receive the records, the first available appointment isn't until mid to late September.

This was the case with all three doctors I called.

It seems to me that they're going to need not only Josh's records from his Primary Care Physician, but also records from his IOP at the Stress Center back in January, AND his records from the Psych Hospital.

By the time they receive all that information, I imagine the September appointments will be filled and we'll be looking closer to October.

And in all of this, there is an issue with Josh's Student Aid for the Fall Term. We have to present documentation from a physician stating that Josh is OK to attend school in the Fall. The problem is that Josh isn't really under any doctor's care right now. The student aid office doesn't know that he has been diagnosed as Bipolar, they are concerned with the depression that caused him to fail out of last Fall's classes. This documentation needs to be to the Student Aid office by the 14th of July. We were hoping that Josh's Thyroid tests would come back and indicate an underlying Thyroid condition that we could state we were treating.

Josh and me have an appointment with his therapist, Peter, this Wednesday. Peter is willing to compose a letter that explains the situation; that Josh recovered fully from the depression, became sleep deprived that resulted in a manic episode, whereby he was diagnosed with Bipolar. But then it gets a little tricky. We are not treating Josh's Bipolar at the moment, so Peter is going to have to dance around a bit, stating that Josh is functioning well right now and will treat any further episodes, if they occur, as needed.

Josh has FREE money available this year, for the first time, and I hate the thought of him losing out on that. He has decided to start back to school in a very cautious manner, taking only three classes. While he hates taking such a light class load, he understands that he needs to avoid stress. I told him that he could catch up during the summer session, but that since we really don't KNOW what might happen; he could experience more Bipolar issues, that a cautious approach would be best.

Worse case scenario, I will have to pay for his classes this year and I hate to do that since I have spent so much money on his medical bills this year. I don't think it is in Josh's best interest to sit out the Fall Term. I feel strongly that he needs to 'get his life back' because it has spiraled horribly out of control over the last year. Some normalcy would be good for him and he needs to be working towards a goal and school would force him to get on a healthier schedule.

In addition to the medical issues he is facing, his employer (a national chain) is close to bankruptcy. He may not have a job for long and they have cut back every one's schedules to the point that Josh is working only about 10 hours a week. Jobs are hard to come by though, especially with the college kids home for the summer. Josh's older brother has been unemployed now for a year and a half and his unemployment benefits ended three weeks ago. His brother is in that first wave pool of people who were laid off, so there will be a glut of those people whose unemployment benefits have ended, who are aggressively seeking any available opportunities. Which means it will be even more difficult for Josh to find employment.

Added to my financial woes is the fact that for the first time EVER, Josh's brother has had to ask me for money, and I'm sure his needs will continue.

Right now everything, every aspect of our lives, is in flux and that's a very uncomfortable position to be in. Josh could experience Bipolar symptoms at any moment, or he could be fine for years. It's hard to know WHAT to do because nothing is a given, so we'll just have to take things as they come, deal with the issues in front of us each day and be frugal as hell because everybody is in my pocket right now.


Saturday, July 3, 2010

Not Good News

Josh's thyroid blood work and ultra sound all came back normal.


The doctor has asked that Josh see an Endocrinologist anyway. She is still concerned about his elevated levels upon admittance to the hospital.

Josh is NOT a happy camper.

Neither is his Mom.