Strange Apple's Blog

Archive for July 2010

At 8.30am this morning I was on the phone to my Mum trying to work out what was going to happen with L’s psych appointment.

Mum was happy to go with him, but L said he didn’t feel comfortable talking in front of his Nan. I was asking my Mum if she’d go with him and just wait in the waiting room, to give him moral support and get an update from him afterwards while it was all fresh in his mind. Again, Mum was happy to do this, as long as L would be OK with it.

During our conversation, I received another call. It’s was Dr K’s receptionist letting me know that we’d have to postpone the appointment because Dr K was sick. Wow, lucky I hadn’t taken the day off work. So after all that, I’d tormented myself about being a bad Mum for no reason.

I finally read Broken Open on the train yesterday. I cried. I guess other people had talked it up a bit, it wasn’t the revelation I expected, but maybe that’s because I’d already done a fair bit of reading about bipolar. It was still an interesting read though.

Of course, L’s next psych appointment is on a Friday and I have already asked for the following Friday off to take C to an appointment. Again… guilty mother complex, but given that it’s in a month’s time, and also late in the afternoon, I think I can swing the time off.

L and I had a decent talk tonight. It started out with both of us being frustrated with each other for not “getting” the other person’s meaning but evolved into a fun conversation where L was imitating our English family members’ accents. I love him. No one can make me smile like he can. We both have a warped and inappropriate sense of humour, and it cuts me to the quick when he’s a total arsehole to me.

Gee, what a note to finish on. 😦


*sigh* new job. Busy Busy. Haven’t updated because I come home from work and be a good mum.

BUT tomorrow I am not being a good Mum. I’m sending L to the psych on his own because I don’t want to say to my new boss “hey, there are some personal issues and I need to take time off” or “my son has recently been diagnosed with bipolar and I need to attend his psych appointment with him” – I have no doubt that in future I’ll be able to do this… but right now? No, I can’t.

Hey, my son broke his thumb, I need time off. Yeah, I’ve done that. But, hey, my son has a mental illness and I want you to think about that everytime I mention him to you? Not yet.

Bad mum.

Talk more over the weekend.

On Tuesday nights, my younger two boys and I have dinner with my parents. Sometimes L attends, sometimes he doesn’t.

We never quite know what we’re walking into. Will my Dad be sociable? Will the dog bark and make my Dad unreasonably angry? Can I have a conversation with my Mum and a glass of wine without my Dad intervening and telling me all the things I’m doing wrong in my life? What gems of wisdom will my Dad impart? I should point out that as my Dad gets older and his health further declines, sometimes I am told that he is proud of me and that he loves me. Only when he is feeling particularly mortal though.

Tonight started out well enough. L said he was feeling ill and didn’t come with us. I cooked schnitzels and had a glass of wine while Mum and I chatted. Mum had cooked a vegan roast for A. Dinner was lovely.

C told me about how he “dobbed” on Poppy to Nanny. When they were out driving earlier, Dad had done a u-turn where it was clearly sign posted that no u-turns were allowed. Dad found this funny, C has him wrapped around his little finger. If anyone else had pointed this out it would not be funny at all.

As the boys cleared the table and went into the kitchen with dishes, dad said to me “he’s a worry, isn’t he?”

I thought he was referring to L, but thought I’d check. “Who worries you?”

“A, he worries me with this gay persona he puts on.”

Gay persona? Does he mean the leather jacket? The skinny leg jeans? The vegetarianism? I’m at a loss. Of course, I was gob smacked and just kept clearing the table and made a quick exit to the kitchen to wash up.

Well, I love my son. All of him. Although his haircut is a bit weird. 🙂

Oh, and L, I know you’re reading, I love you too and always will.

I rang the Psych’s office today and was not very nicely told that I was ringing the wrong place, and that as L is a patient at one set of rooms, I should ring those rooms and not the office I was ringing. Lovely. I gritted my teeth and explained that Dr K had asked me to ring at *these* rooms because we were working on getting the Lithium levels stable, and he only works at the place we see him one day a fortnight. The ever so lovely receptionist/office administrator/bitch huffed and puffed and said that they had no blood test results for L.

Then I rang the GP’s office and the receptionist there looked up the blood test results for me. Lithium levels 5.1. What?!?! Remember, we are aiming for 0.6 – 0.8. Tentatively, I asked “do you mean 0.51?” and the receptionist said “oh yes, that’s what it says. Doctor has written no action on the results.” Well, that’s probably because Dr I (the GP) thinks that Dr K (the psych) has it all in hand. He probably doesn’t know that Dr K is guarded very well by an obnoxious receptionist.

Anyway, I’ve sent a fax to Dr K letting him know the results and asking if L should stay on the same dose. Hopefully I’ll hear from him tomorrow.

I did a bit of reading about the tremors, and apparently it is more common when Lithium dosage is increased quickly (L’s dose doubled last week) – so I hope he can just stay at the same dosage for a bit and see how things go. I’m really concerned about the effects this will have on his exams. Actually, I’m not concerned about the effect on his exams, I care how this will affect L. I don’t want him feeling like this will be another set back.

The boys go back to school tomorrow. I’ve sent an email to the nice Vice Principal and will see what that brings.

4 more days at my current job. 😀

The lack of updates this week can be put down to me having a very stressful week at work. I start my temporary job in a week’s time and am madly trying to make sure everything is up to date before I go. Also the minor (ha!) matter of the under performing staff member has just been doing my head in.

But things are looking up. I’m on the down hill run, one week to go. Under performing staff member – gone. Not a very pleasant experience, but an essential one. My boss actually complimented me today *shock* and thanked me for persevering with the staff member. I have mixed feelings about the situation, I’ve never been unable to improve someone’s performance, so it felt like a bit of a personal failure, but I know I shouldn’t feel that way. I did everything I could. You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink.

Lots of stuff to do next week. I’m cleaning up my office as if I’m never going back, and to be honest, I hope I won’t. It’d be nice to score another job during this 6 month secondment. Outside my organisation would be even better. 😀

L was supposed to have his Lithium levels checked on Tuesday. He finally had it done today. It will be interesting to see what they are. He’s had a rough week, his sleeping patterns are totally screwed. I tried to get him to take a Seroquel last night, but he refused, so when I left for work this morning he was still wide awake not having slept a wink all night. My Mum took him to have the bloods done. She’s an angel.

I hope he doesn’t need an increase in Lithium, his hands are shaking and he goes back to school next week. I’m expecting that he will need an increase though. Might have to google more about Lithium, or starting on Lithium to be precise. I’d like to know if the shaking hands will settle as his body gets used to Lithium, or is this just something that has to be put up with? And I suppose I should talk to the school on Tuesday (first day back) – because he’s having trouble writing, and they should also be advised of the medication he’s on.

I had a big ranting post planned earlier in the week, but couldn’t get my head together enough to post it. I was at my parents’ place on Monday night, and Dad told me to take back the book about Bipolar that I’d lent him. His reason “I’ve read enough books on depression and it can’t be that different”. Yeah, thanks for the support Dad. Thanks for trying to understand. My sarcasm is showing, isn’t it?

Off to bed now, it’s Soccer Mom Saturday tomorrow, gotta be up early.

Well, blood results are in and the psych is doubling L’s dose of Lithium. If I was a more organised person, I would post what his Lithium level is and then I could use this blog as the reference point I’d intended 😉 but instead, it’s written on a post it note and is on my desk at work *sigh*

Well, it was nice while it lasted.

He’s still taking the lithium, but he’s back to the dramatics, wanting to argue with me, ringing me at work with *ideas* and moving furniture around. Will ring the psych tomorrow, I have to check on the blood test results anyway.

I’m so tired. Work is shit. There’s a pretty awesome job that I should apply for and I just don’t have the energy to do the application. I’m all “woe is me” tonight. Someone slap me.

On the positive side of things, I borrowed Broken Open by Craig Hamilton from the library and so far my Mum has read it and now my Dad is starting it. I (we) have a world of support from my Mum, so it’s not at all about educating her, but my Dad is a different matter entirely. He’s making an effort and I hope he can understand what L is going through instead of being so judgmental and unhelpful.

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  • strangeapple: I don't like to fail, and I feel like I've failed. I think that's what it is. Big knock to my ego. I saw a psych the other week, she made sense, p
  • strangeapple: Holy fuck, I had a doctors appointment this evening that I didn't go to. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck.
  • corymbia: I do the stiff upper lip thing too. Was worried I was slipping into bona-fide depression last week, but as is usually the case with me... the bad stu