Well, the day started early with Aramis' scheduled appointment to see his psychiatrist.....basically to check in and see how the Seroquel is working for him. So far, it's working great. I am a bit hesitant, and communicated so with the doctor as to singing it's praises, as Saphris was "great" in the beginning too. But this medication appears to have a better impact on schizophrenia, and Aramis is thrilled with it. I must admit, he's different, completely different. He told the doctor that "it makes the schizophrenia go away", so that is testimony enough for a parent. 

Sadly, he's lost ground in academics, but he's thrilled as he can actually "see" his hands now.....hmmm, wonder how much THAT interfered with handwriting?! The amazing thing is that he is articulate now, so we can actually hear from him as to how he is feeling. He's sweating a great deal more, actually soaking though the sheets and pillows at night, and the pdoc confirmed it's a result of the Seroquel. Hence, he needs water constantly, and the loss of fluids will add to the leg aches. 

Dante happened to come in as well, and the doctor exclaimed in shock: "You're not kidding, your kids start growing at 9, literally, they hit the growth period and begin entering their teens early! Look at him, he's huge!" Yeup, and the attitude along with it. I don't mind, as this is how my family is, how husband progressed he can't remember. Our family matures fast, whether we like it or not. 

Good news is that the standard dose of Seroquel is 600mg, and Aramis has hit the success point at 150mg, which permits a longer period of time to be on it with minimal side effects. He's sleepy, but not terribly bad, as the night terrors made him far sleepier. He can focus at school work, is eager to talk with people now, and no longer has a flat affect. 

It was nice to see the doctor so pleased, as it made me realize that he really is "in this" for the benefit of his clients, who the majority are children. Aramis is comfortable with him, and has been through ehll, so it's a good relationship for him to be initiated into the psych world with. All's good so far......but keeping those fingers crossed. I try not to let him see my hesitancy, and I do think he's oblivious to it.....as he told the doctor that I "watch him all the time and he feels safe". Well, he was told that's what good moms do......okay, so he's not feeling like he's surrounded by bubble wrap. I'm just cautious, after all, I'm the one who takes him to the emergency room and has to fight the monsters all day. I'm so glad they have moved out, as they were really starting to become an irritant. 

Dad wanted Dante off of his Citalopram, and as it was a low dose, I agreed. Nope, within two weeks he was back to his old self, complete with tweaky anxiety and will soon cycle into depression. Soooo, long story short: Dad's wrong and he's back on his meds. Sometimes I think Dad wanted one son who didn't need meds.....but the reality is that Dante faces adult onset schizophrenia as well. The earlier we stay aware of his challenges, the better his life will be. 

He's asked tonight if he can return to public school, and I agreed. I told him we would watch how his attitude is, and that I would permit it. I think it's a grand idea, as his IQ is so high, and he needs stimulation from a public school environment. It will also permit me to work more closely with Aramis. Fortunately, Aramis still believes all of his delusions regarding what occurs in public school, so he won't be eager to return. He could benefit from some 1:1 time, and Dante will be more than likely enrolled within the gifted programs. He will need his meds to maintain though, so that's an area that must be ensured on my end. 

I was standing there at the pdocs counter, when I realized that I haven't seen my doc in three weeks, and I'm frazzled. So, I asked if she had an opening, and fortunately she did. I'm glad, as I really needed to just touch base and talk. Separate what is husbands "problems" from my own, and remember to take care of myself. Dang! That is such a hard thing to remember at times!!!! She was delighted with the book, and was more than shocked that I was willing to write it. Well, it took twenty years, but it's done, that's all I could say. But the session was great, and I was reminded of many things I had forgotten in all my busy-ness with the boys and life. 

We actually laughed at some of the things that I was doing, as she would ask me: "Now, would you handle a client as you did your husband?" Uh, no, I wouldn't be manipulated to satisfy their emotional issues. I would stand back and wait for them to manage the challenge, and the reinforce THAT behavior. Duh.......I don't tolerate this scenario with Dante.....so she kept asking why I do so with my husband? That led to childhood belief systems as to what a marriage consist's of, which was extremely beneficial dialog. I left feeling like so much was sorted out and appropriately divided again.....at least in my mind, and that's where much of this starts. 

I took a long bath and a nap later, and hey! Guess what? It's good to take care of yourself!!! The doctor said that they've been waiting for a book like the one I've written, and can't wait to read the second one, as that subject no one has addressed. That was encouraging, as she ended with: stay focused on your writing, don't quit that.....as well as taking care of the boys, but most of all: take care of yourself. So simple, and something we tell each other daily, yet easily forgotten with ourselves. 

I came home to the fantastic news that an organization that provides speakers to improve awareness of mental illness has decided to put me on the short list of this next years speaker list. I have more steps to do in order to fully qualify, but all the same, that was exciting! Also sold another book, so the day ended on a very good note overall. 

I'm still loving TX....but it's cold (to me) right now. They tell me it will change soon enough, and to be careful what I wish for! Okay, well I also love the humidity, and apparently the tornadoes decided to bypass us and hit Nebraska. Strange, strange things these tornadoes....I prefer earthquakes.....now THEY make sense to this California girl! 

I'll end on a comment that this therapist reminded me of, that another therapist had told me long ago (when feeling very much like I did today) "Girl, it's time to reach in that back pocket of yours and pull out your backbone." 

We both had a good laugh over that.....and sometimes, that's just it. Stand up straight, and start taking care of yourself. It's so easy to fall back into the old messages of neglect and abandonment that we start to do it to ourselves. 

Have a good evening everyone......I've already scheduled tomorrow morning as a "sleep in" day!!! Been a long time since I've done that........

Sweet thoughts out to you all.....


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    Shelly Dowen-Johnson

    I am currently traveling with my husband across the United States, due to the nature of the work he does. 

    I am the mother of two boys, one who has recently been diagnosed with Early Onset Childhood Schizophrenia (Schizoaffective Disorder). 

    It appears the Dowen family gene sequencing contributes much more than the darling dimples both boys have inherited!  But, as always, with love, tender care and support....we will thrive! 


    June 2012
    May 2012
    April 2012