I haven’t been posting much in the past few months, because, well, I feel increasingly awkward writing about my 29 year old son like he’s in kindergarten. “Chris’s first day at school, Chris tied his shoelaces today, etc. ” For crying out loud, he’s 29 and “mommy” should take a back seat, even if Chris isn’t the driver of the car. It just isn’t seemly on my part, at my age, to be so involved in being a mother to someone Chris’s age. Chris still doesn’t drive a car, BTW, as his problems came on just as he was taking young driver lessons. Hopefully, he will eventually decide to learn to drive and I can actually climb into that backseat.
However, I’m determined to show to parents and interested parties what the journey has been like, from the mother’s point of view, and the journey continues, as it does for all of us. We still need to be find support for our situation when most of us aren’t in close physical contact with relatives of those with lived experience. So, here goes.
The goods news is that Chris had been meditating for over a year, is involved in his amateur theatre work, continues to take voice lessons, and has a girlfriend. That takes a lot of the heat off me. My job has been to increasingly encourage Chris to take the lead in his own health and to speak up for himself. Maybe I’m way off base here, but I wonder how many 29 year old males are really motivated to get curious about their own health and research what to do about it? “I’m tired of doing all the legwork, Chris,” I whined last night (for the umpteenth time). There are self-help groups all over the net and YOU should be involved in them. I shouldn’t always have to draw them to your attention.” This last statement was uttered because Chris still occasionally struggles with hallucinations when he is alone during the day. And, being alone during the day with most of your activities skewed to nights and week-ends is a breeding ground for paranoia.
Another interesting development is that Chris and Dr. Stern are working on switching his medication to one (Risperdal) that affects fewer neurotransmitters than his current medication, Abilify. Abilify affects seven neurotransmitters, while Risperdal affects “only” four. Perhaps one reason Chris was recently not successful getting off the Abilify than he might have otherwise been if he were on a different medication, was that more neurotransmitters were implicated in the withdrawal. But, handling the meds are between Chris and Dr. Stern, and the switch is something they have apparently been discussing for a while. He’s been on Risperdal before. It was the medication that he was given when he was hospitalized for the first time. Chris said, and I agreed, that not one of the drugs he has used was particularly effective, but there you are.
Ian and I are still waiting for the day when Chris will work towards getting a university degree or announce he’s taking some course of action/training that will lead to employment. He tells me he is quite afraid of sitting in a classroom, which is odd, since he seems to have no trouble being on stage or singing solos in church. This is the big frustation point for us as his parents. We, of course, want him to move on to independence and self-sufficiency.