Monday, November 28, 2005

I couldn't give many details earlier today about Kyle's day, so I'll try to catch up.

First of all, he was able to sleep last night. Kyle really doesn't sleep much, if at all. I suspect it was the Seroquel, it did the same thing to me. But today he got so manic he had to leave. His heart was racing, he couldn't concentrate, he felt caged. He witnessed an epileptic seizure. He then saw a girl develop an allergic reaction to a medication that caused her throat to swell almost shut, it was life threatening for her but she ended up OK. He had another man make a pass at him. It was, in all, a horrible day for him. I understand why he walked out.

He was walking distance from his grandmother's house, so he walked there. She took him back to get his things, and the people there helped him get counselling and psych appointments lined up. So the end result wasn't all bad. I'm willing to let him come back home provided he doesn't miss a single appointment. Which will be difficult, the appointments are in a center that's in the worst part of our town. Kyle doesn't drive, and I'm not sure how we'll get him there. I don't want him taking the bus in that neighborhood, so we'll have to figure this out somehow.

Sometimes I get very judgemental, and it's hard not to with Kyle. I have to remember the Purple Dogs, and try hard to put myself in his shoes. He faces devils, demons, and challenges every day that we can't begin to understand. As parents, Karen and I try to do what we can to help him along. This was one of those things. It didn't work out like we hoped, but maybe it will be better in the long run. All we can do is go day by day - that's all Kyle's capable of doing anyway.

Re-posted from Living With A Purple Dog.

Kyle walked out of treatment today. They gave him Seroquel and Depakote, and one of them made him so manic he had to leave. He said his heart was racing, he couldn't sit still or concentrate, and he had to get out of there. So he walked out. I can't get him to go back.

This isn't good, because he now feels depressed, and like a failure.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Kyle called today and talked to Karen, as I was at work. He had his first psych consult, and guess what? Manic Depression. Finally a diagnosis that makes sense. I don't know if he's BP 1 or 2, Karen didn't think to ask him. They prescribed 2 things, Seroquel and one other. I think that's great for him, I didn't feel like drinking at ALL when I was on Seroquel. They impressed on him how important it is that he stays on his meds, as he told Karen that he understood that if he missed, he's basically starting over again. And that's pretty close to true. He's motivated, he's glad to be there, we really hope this sticks.

Kyle has had several screenings, and has NEVER been diagnosed bipolar. But for anyone who knows him, it's as clear as the nose on his face. He is incredibly intelligent, and is quite adept at telling people what they want to hear, or what Kyle wants them to hear. But you would think a mental health professional would be able to see through this, especially with our input and history. But none of the psychiatrists he's seen has diagnosed him until today.

We're all excited that things are turning around for him.

Yesterday I was outside trying to get Christmas lights up, and the trash collectors came. Someone else had taken the cans to the curb, and when they dumped them I heard the unmistakable sound of numerous bottles being dumped. I knew immediately that my 21 year old bipolar son, Kyle, was drinking again. I don't know how many beer bottles were in the trash, but I'd guess 20 or so. It made a lot of noise.

About 2 weeks ago we told Kyle he needed to stop drinking and get treatment if he wanted to continue living with us. He left for a few days, then came back and promised us he would comply with our demands, but did NOT want inpatient treatment. He said he was job hunting, and didn't want to miss calls. Against my better judgement, we gave in. And until yesterday, we had no evidence he was drinking again.

We sat him down, and told him his options. He either went into inpatient alcohol treatment, or he left. Period. He flat refused. My wife is more insightful, and saw a fear of incarceration. He has been in jail in the past, and he appears to have a strong fear of incarceration since then. Kyle said he needed counseling, but not detox. My wife floated another option, inpatient psychiatric treatment. He didn't shoot it down, we were getting somewhere. By late afternoon we were at the center. At the center they said they were concerned about alcohol withdrawal, but were willing to talk to him. They generally only take someone in crisis, but when they started to talk to him all the emotion and anger from his attack a few months ago surfaced. A few months ago he was attacked by some kids he asked to leave his apartment, and was beaten to within an inch of his life. Here are some links about that attack: Link 1, Link 2, Link 3, Link 4. When that anger and emotion surfaced, they realized he WAS in crisis. Neither my wife or I understood that until now. They admitted him, and he'll be out probably Monday.

Let's hope this is the event that turns things around for him.

Cross posted on Living Bipolar (Living With A Purple Dog) and Bipolar Support.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Better news? At least we hope so.

Kyle (my 21 year old bipolar son) called my wife yesterday, and asked to come home. He said he stopped drinking, and would follow our rules. We of course, welcomed him home. He is job hunting, and asked not to do inpatient treatment. He said he'd do outpatient, or AA, or whatever else we asked, including psych treatment. We were excited to hear this.

But last night, I heard him yelling. I wasn't sure if it was inside or out, if he and his girlfriend were having a fight, if he was just manic, or what. But I'm worried he was drinking again. We'll have to look at that, if he was drinking he's out again.

I really hope he's found the motivation to turn it around.

But IMO, it's critical to get him in for psych treatment. He needs to find a med he can work with. I try to tell him if he finds the right med he won't feel like drinking all the time, and it won't affect him negatively like all the past meds have.

This has been cross posted to Bipolar Support and Living Bipolar (Living With A Purple Dog)

Friday, November 11, 2005

After a couple weeks of relative normalcy, things are sliding quickly with Kyle. Not his health, he's almost fully recovered from his attack. I don't want anyone to think badly of him, he's a wonderful kid, fun to be around, brilliant, witty, creative. But with ALL the baggage of a young person with serious bipolar disorder. He has always drank to excess. Well, he's taken it to a new level. He now drinks, virtually every night, until he passes out, and wakes up almost every day in his own vomit. What brought this to a head, we set an appointment for him to continue the paperwork so he can get support. Rent, food, education assistance, so forth. He didn't come home the night before the appointment. The next morning, my wife went looking for him, and found him, passed out, at his friend's apartment, with vomit everywhere. This apartment is leased primarily by a kid who's struggling to survive, and to keep visitation rights of his young daughter. And there's my son passed out with vomit all over the house. If the other kid's caseworker had shown up, it would be all over with respect to visitation of his child. My wife woke him up, and made him get into the car. My son was belligerant, swearing, and so forth, and finally my wife stopped and made the boy get out. She drove away.

That night, he showed up at our house at 3:00 AM. He was impaired, but functioning. I heard the microwave door open, so I woke up the wife and we had a talk with him. We told him our rules for remaining in the house:
1. Inpatient substance abuse treatment as soon as we could get him in.
2. Inpatient psychiatric treatment when he got out of detox.
3. Any meds prescribed taken without missing a day.
4. No alcohol or drugs in our home.
5. No minors around him when using alcohol. His girlfriend and ALL his friends are minors, and we worry that he is making money by hosting parties for minors. He is getting the money to drink somewhere.

If he refused, we would give him 24 hours to pack up what he wanted, and he was to leave. We would file a restraining order to keep him out of the house, because when we've kicked him out before, he's always snuck back when we were at work or asleep at night. He's even broken out windows to get in.

He consented, until we woke him up early the next day. We found an opening at a local, highly respected treatment center, but he refused to go. He stormed off, and we haven't seen him since Wednesday morning. Neither has his girlfriend, she's as fed up as we are.

So, other than that, life's just peachy.

Now, every time I've posted something like this about my son, I get many emails and comments about this being the best thing, you have to show him who's boss, you have to make him learn, and so forth. But remember, folks, this is mental illness we're dealing with. And one of my flesh and blood. He's not perfect, but neither are any of us. I love him dearly, and want nothing more than for him to live a long, happy life. I couldn't care less if he's "successful", or rich, or anything else. I want him to live a life where he's happy, healthy, and others don't get hurt. Outside of that, I have no wishes for him. So this HURTS. And it will likely hurt even more before it gets better.

And one more thing. This is my only outlet. This and my wife. There is no one else I can discuss this with. I'm only really close to family, and my wife goes ballistic if I tell anyone in my family about this. She says they judge him, and she gets SO angry about that. She even gets angry when I blog this stuff, saying that people will know, family will find out, and judge him unfairly. She's not embarassed, she just gets angry when they don't treat him as well as our other kids. Well, a person can only hold so much in, and this is getting the better of me.

If this post is deleted in a day or two, you'll know the wife got hold of this, and won the argument.

This is being double posted on Bipolar Support, and Living Bipolar (Living With A Purple Dog)