Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Few Tid Bits

I've started reading a book that hubby let me get a few weeks ago. Yes, I'm a slow starter. I only wish I had started reading it sooner. Because of the neuropathy, and my long desire to be fit and trim, I have to change my eating habits. While attending college a couple years back, I had taken a nutrition class and was all gung-ho, but never followed through. Now I'm digging all the information back out and using it along with "Nutrition for Life: The no-fad, no-nonsense approach to eating well and reaching your healthy weight." Written by Lisa Hard, PhD, RD & Darwin Deen, MD. What I've read so far makes so much sense. I've hopefully talked hubby into reading it too, as the man only eats at night. He can't understand why he's so tired all the time and is so hungry at night. (Yes, I'm sitting here shaking my head).

To give you an idea of what this book is like, the following is the headlined contents, with each one having many categories. It starts out with assessing your health and lifestyle. This is where I am at and find it very intriguing. It's hard to put down. The next part is:
Food for Life
Elements of a Healthy Diet
Eating for the Time of Your Life
The Truth About Weight Control
Food as Medicine
The Food you Buy
& Food Analysis
In the very back is a list of Useful Addresses of various Associations that you can get good information from. I will try to get those listed on my side bar tonight or tomorrow. It is a 336 page book. It was only marked 16.95 at Barnes & Noble. You can never put a price on life. This book I can tell already is going to be well worth it and then some.

There are others that I've recently gotten or in the past that I will post about soon.

Also, the following is to sign up for Prevention e-Newsletter is you would like. Just go to http://www.prevention.com/. If that doesn't get you to the newsletter sign up, then try this: http://www.prevention.com/Newsletter

In the Human Active Outlook Mag. which a co-worker of hubby's loaned me, it had a great article on vitamins. Now my nutritional instructor had told us that if we are eating a balanced diet, getting the required amounts of the food pyramid, then we don't need vitamins. There are some vitamins that we can get too much of. Most aren't harmful, but there are a couple you need to be aware of. I'll have to look that information up again. But this article states the following.

"Women Wasting Money on Multivitamins that Don't Prevent Disease"
millions of postmenopausal women take multivitamins in the hope they will
prevent cancer, heart disease, and other conditions, there is no scientific
evidence they work." "Researchers recommend that women get their nutrition from
healthy foods such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains rather than taking
dietary supplements."
This is true no matter what. When we follow the pyramid, we are getting the right amounts of required energy, and nutrients that our body needs. The healthier we eat, the healthier we will be. But keep in mind, diseases are going to happen no matter what. So instead of pumping yourself with more vitamins than your body needs, and it's just going to expel most of the unnecessary vitamins from your body any how, why take them? For one, you don't need them, for another, it will save you money from having to buy them. But on the other hand, if a doctor tells you that you need to take specific vitamins, then by all means do so.

I have a lot more I want to share, but will end for now and will post more tomorrow.

Damron, D. CSA, Director. June, 2009. Live it Up! Health and Wellness Information from Humana Active Outlook.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Face Lift

Since there has not been a whole lot to write about lately, I'm going to turn this into a informative health blog. I myself have been dealing with various health issues along with other family members. I've come across some very good information that may be of help to others as well. I do encourage comments on what you think and especially any other information you can add as well.

First off, I came across an article in Jul. - Aug. 2009 Arthritis Today Magazine titled: "Don't Kill Your Pill." This article, written by Camille Noe Pagan talks about certain foods that can have an affect on certain medications. The best thing to do is discuss the issues with your pharmicist. You can discuss it with your doctor as well, but I've come to find that your pharmicist is better equiped to tell you what can counter act and what doesn't. The following are what the author has written:

Milk and yogurt can block iron supplements, antibiotics, thyroid hormones, and many others.
Apples, oranges, and grapefruit juice can block "disease modifying anti-rheumatic drugs," "a drug used for severe psoriasis and rhuematoid arthritis." They can also block beta blockers, cancer drugs, an osteoporosis drug, Allegra, and some antibiotics.

Coffee can block penicillan

Alcohol can block antidepressants, especially MAOI's, and SSRI's such as Prozac.

Now keep in mind that this does not mean you have to avoid these items just keep a good few hours between the consumption of the blockers and your medications. The following is a quote as to how long you should wait:

"In most cases, you can consume a potentially pill-blocking food or beverage
aobut three to four hours after you've taken your meds, but it's best to ask you
pharmacist, who can tell you for sure. Plus, [he]/she can check to see if other
medications or supplements you take might further affect how your body absorbs
your medicines."
You can find out more by going here.

Pagan, C.N. July/August, 2009. "Don't Kill Your Pill" Your health med watch. Arthritis Today Issue p. 56

Sunday, May 10, 2009

e.Lead To Write This

It came to me this evening the importance to stress some things of what not to do. I guess the wonders of Mother's Day made me look back and reflect on the past and the following thoughts came to mind. I was going to spend a quiet evening just kicking back, but I kept getting a tap on the shoulder and a quiet voice telling me I really needed to share.

Often times one tries hard to keep skeletons hidden in the closet, not wanting to air their dirty laundry so to speak. But then it hit me; sometimes it is good to share happenings no matter how bad or sinful they were in order to help others before it goes too far. Please remember, all of the past worldly/fleshly ways have been dropped for over two years now and we will never go back to that way of life. I call it our learning/growing phase.

When our children were growing up, my hubby and I were drinkers. Eventually our marriage became rocky off and on. We went through many a times where we talked of divorce. We never once thought of the affect it had on our kids in long terms. We saw how it upset them in the present time. We were dealing with the frustrations of Jay having problems that were totally not understood. We were going through the thought that we must be doing something wrong. I was bi-polar and did not know it. I was doing the yo-yo thing with weight. I would lose it, look and feel great and then gain it all back and then some and then lose it again, and on and on.

Of course my self-esteem was being shot to pieces. Little did I know that my constant battles and frustrations with that was hurting our kids. So here they were, watching their parents loving one another and we were enjoying a good family life, or so we thought and then the bottom dropping out of the barrel. I would drown my sorrows in alcohol. Hubby drank his problems away, or so he thought.

As time went on, the drinking became worse. Eventually the drinking was ugly to me, so we fought over his drinking. When the kids became teens it all started to fall apart. Jay was becoming hard to control, he started drinking and smoking at a young age, then got involved in drugs. Fights between Jay, hubby & I would break out often. A would hide in her bedroom. At one point she started drinking and experience drugs, but thankfully did not stick with it.

Finally I caught hubby with another woman. I knew for years this had been going on, but had no proof. I was afraid to be on my own, and stupidly discussed my concerns with the kids. For one, they knew something wasn't right, for another when asked, I did not want to lie to them. I hated lying more than anything, probably because I had been lied to so much.

Then I started drinking pretty heavily. I had thought of and started an attempt at suicide but stopped myself. I then went berserk and still think I had a nervous break down. We split up for a year the last time I had caught him with yet another woman. It done us both a world of good. But...by this time, the damage was done.

Jay was out of control, miserable, hated seeing us split up. Bless his heart, he poured himself into trying to help me and then became frustrated cuz mom was drinking her meals and cried herself to sleep and basically gave up on everything. A had lost all self respect. She was pregnant and only 17 and was due to graduate that year. Jay and his girlfriend were expecting as well. Oh and Jay had dropped out of high school twice, went to an alternative school and dropped out of that.

Eventually I had to move out of our house and found an apartment in Boise. A, Jay, her fiance, baby, and I were all going to live there. We started moving things. Then Jay and fiance had a party at the apartment as fiance was living there already trying to find a job. They both got drunk, someone slipped something in his drink, a fight broke out, Jay lost it and tore the place up. I was called and still living in Mountain Home and drove the 35 minutes in way less time to the apartment. By that point he didn't even know who I was. Someone had called the police and I had no choice but to let them take him. That was the hardest thing I've ever had to do.

That was a wake up call for all of us. Hubby and I eventually got back together and worked it all out. Our relationship has been stronger than ever. The drinking on the other hand kept up, but weekends only, but we had Jay living with us and he was drinking with us. We were both on anti depressants at this time and the two do not mix well.

Jay was turning around though, and both kids were doing so much better and much happier. We were getting our lives together and this made a world of difference in theirs. Eventually we had to insist on Jay seeking more help. He finally found a good place to go, got good help and has been doing better ever since, except when he feels he can do without his medication.

So the lesson here; believe me this was hard to share as it is embarrassing; but we learned and hope this will help others realize before it goes as far as it did with us, that drinking does not solve a thing. Sure it numbs you at the time, and if you drink all the time, well yeah, you forget sometimes, but you are only contributing to the problem.

When you let yourself go like that, you are giving your children the wrong messages. Not to mention that they lose self value. They watch us to learn from us. We are suppose to be their teachers, their mentors, not their abattoir's on how to hate life and themselves. That talking bad about yourself makes them start doing the same with themselves and can scar them for life.

I am happy to say, we have been alcohol free for over two years. We have no desire to touch the stuff again. It done nothing but cause problems for all four of us. Our lives were literally a living you know what. I mean you may as well be there, as it was not a good life. It's a crutch that leads you down the wrong path. It is evil to the very end. Now granted a single drink now and again may not be all that bad. We are alcoholics though and know that we don't dare drink again, as just one is all it takes and we do not want to go back to the old way of life. Honestly, I think our kids would lose all respect for us if we did.

Both A and Jay are doing pretty well for themselves. Of course we all go through our struggles. Hubby, Jay & I have given ourselves back to the Lord, well hubby for the first time, and let me tell you, hubby is an amazing man in the Lord!!! He is our rock in our family. He is filled with the Holy Spirit and is our leader in our house the way he should be.

Be sure to keep your own life in check, setting good examples, loving and teaching your children in a Godly manner. After all, we are their examples, their teachers. If we are behaving poorly, eventually that usually catches on and wears off on them. Keeping a positive attitude/atmosphere, keeping your life clean, living in spirituality, one can keep a much happier household, not to mention, God will let us know what's wrong rather that searching and searching and searching for the answers on our own. I thank God for never giving up on us and waiting. If He hadn't, Jay & I probably wouldn't be here today, and that would have been sad, as then we would never had the chance to know our Father better and stronger than ever.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Update on C

Well, I love how some parents just don't seem to care or get it or maybe they have a mental illness themselves. I had to take C's dad to talk to R's teacher. Turned out that his meeting was with the school psychologist. This was a blessing. R's report was great. However, P learned that C was not diagnosed with Aspergers! Grrrr. He has an auditory problem for sure. He has some symptoms of Aspergers, but it is not that. He has some symptoms of Autism, but it is not that. So we are back to square one with him.

I'm asking for prayer for C as he really needs a lot of help. His condition, what ever it is has been getting steadily worse. He's almost to the point of being uncontrollable. I have a hard time being with him and I love kids! He has a smart mouth, is argumentive, talks back, does things constantly he knows he shouldn't do, but when you get after him, it's as though he can not comprehend what you are saying.

Last week I had to drive him home with wet pants. He had been getting into constant trouble and then got angry and wet himself. Beleive me, that was not a joyful ride home. I think my husband is onto something. When mom was pregnant with him, she took all kinds of pills to try to abort him. Hmmm, sounds like this is what caused so many problems for the little man. My heart bleeds for him. I pray that somehow, someway, he can over come most or all of this. I worry about what he will be like as he grows older, as he is strong and loves to hurt others, or gets way to rough at times. You can try to get him to stop, but it takes a lot and his little sister is not that strong. Not to mention the baby.

For now C loves his baby brother, but what happens if jealousy sets in. See where I'm going with this. Fits thrown and pain inflicted on others now. Jealousy, yeah, that scares me. There have been times when he's hugged me and squeezed harder and harder when I told him to let go because my back was in bad shape. I would literally have to pry him off then he would sit there and laugh.

Anyway, I did not intend for this piece to end up like this. I'm not putting anyone down. I'm not trying to be discouraging, what I am doing is praying someone out there may have some insight. Has anyone else dealt with this type of behavior? If so, please share. If you would rather not comment on here then go ahead and e-mail me. Prayers are very welcome. He's only 7 and already in so disoriented. Thank you and God Bless!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Hell to all! It's been far too long since my last post here. That's simply because I had started my own blog for a bit, but that didn't last all that long. The blog was called My Life As A Schizophrenic. Which so happens to still be linked to from here, but no longer exists. So, I will have my mother remove that link here soon. There's nothing I hate more, than a dead link. I would remove it, but I can only post to this blog. No admin rights for me!

I now plan to contribute more here, now that I am no longer blogging on my own. I don't know if I will be able to offer much, but I will try my best. I am operating on less than two hours of sleep in the past two days. So, if this post gets weird or goofy at any point, that would be why.

As my mother has pointed out previously, my original Dx was Bi-polar Mood Disorder. Later down the road, my Dx was elevated to Schizophrenia. Some people would say that they suffer from the disease, but I say that I am living with the disease. Sometimes it controls me. Yet, for the most part, I control it. With medication to take the edge off and my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ taking care of the rest, I am generally a pretty balanced person.

That being said, I do have down days. Those days are absolute torture. I become withdrawn, paranoia sets in. Then come the delusions and hallucinations. Don't take this the wrong way though. I deal with these symptoms everyday, but my down days are a lot more severe. I never leave the house unless absolutely necessary.

I am going to talk about my medication quick then end this post. Currently I am taking: Lithium, Abilify, Zoloft, Welbutrin and Loxapine. My doc is going to take me off the Loxapine next month. One less pill to worry about. So far though, this is the best combination that I have been on thus far.

If you have any questions for me, please leave a comment and I will reply quickly. I may even give out my email address if you would like to talk more in depth.

Thank for reading and God bless

Friday, April 3, 2009


I apologize for not having written anything in here for so long. Much has happened since the last time I posted. I need to go back through and refresh my memory of past posts, but will write what is on my mind at the moment.

I’ve learned a bit about dealing with a child with Aspergers. For one, the worst thing a person can do is tell them they have it and then baby them. Yes, they need extra attention/affection, but there is a degree to it as well. My grandsom’s mother tells him he has it and tells his brother to go easy on him as he has the disease, which is basically telling the child that he can do as he pleases, “he has an excuse.” Now this is second hand information, so I’m praying this is not the case, but does explain his recent behavior and his brothers temperment towards him.

Since finding out about the disease, when his dad and my daughter do have him and I take care of him, it is very trying. He continually tells me, “Omah, I can’t help it, I have Aspergers.” I tell him that it doesn’t mean that he can do as he pleases and he argues with me saying, “Yes it does.” If I don’t give into him, he starts whining or crying. It’s become very frustrating, as there are times when I’m forever having to get after him, and/or correct him. There have been times he starts actually crying and asks me why I’m so mean, and what kind of a grandmother am I. It breaks my heart, as I know he’s frustrated as well.

But what do you do? When he’s getting it from one parent that he can as he pleases and doesn’t get reprimanded for it, then comes to us and does get reprimanded, he becomes a basket case, and who wouldn’t for that matter.

So there are basically two messages here. One has to do with divorce and children, which I’ll save for my other blog, but the other has to do with the disorder. When you find your child has a disorder, please, please, please, seek help for him/her. When you refuse to get the necessary counseling/help for a child, you are only hurting them more. Further more, when you baby them and protect them, you are hurting them more. Not to mention their siblings. It affects the whole household. You are doing no one any favors by ignoring the problem and/or pascifying the person.

I guess being a parent of a schizophrenic makes it easier to see that by not getting help, it worsens the problem. But, it also seems so blatent obvious that the child needs help. Also, I have a nephew that obviously had a mental disorder but my sister refused to accept it and claimed he was just socially slow. Now it’s been hard on both of them since he became an adult. I hate seeing her beat herself up for not accpeting the problem and trying to protect him all those years.

As you can see, the affects involve everyone. Not just the person with the disorder, but everyone involved with the child. The teachers have to deal with this as well. It’s not an easy task for them. Hopefully each child with a disability will have a teacher that is aware of what a child goes through and is compassionate enough to work with the kids, help them, and not just push them through the system. This happened with my nephew. Thankfully so far my grandson is in a good school and they are working with him. There was one teacher that was not doing as she should and was causing problems, but that was caught and dealt with quickly through an outstanding, caring program here that was started by a man who has a child with Aspergers.

I wish you the best with your child/person you care for with the disorder, or any mental disorder for that matter. It’s not an easy task. It takes a lot of patience, love, and a compassionate heart. If you don’t have what it takes to work with your child/family member, then please, find someone who can. They deserve a fighting chance in life. They are human, no different from us. We all have our flaws. Not one of us is perfect. It’s just easier to see the flaws in some than in others. Above all, get the person help. Get the person into counseling programs that work. Do your background checks and make sure it is a legite company first. Putting them in an organization that doesn’t really care nor have the proper knowledge only makes the problems worse as well.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Aspergers Syndrome Checklist

The following link will take you to a check list for aspersgers syndrome. Click here to view the checklist. You will need to have Adobe Reader in order to view the list.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Videos of Asperger's

This is some what how our grandson acts. He does a lot of the hand flapping motion and gets all excited. Sometimes he gets so excited it's next to impossible to calm him down.

This is another of what he is like. Keep in mind, C. is 7 and does the same behaviors, hands in the mouth, always wiping/picking his nose, hands going, stomping his feet, goes from smiling to whining in a split second, druels a lot.

Some information/video about autism and how they are human beings and should be treated that way, not treated differently.

This is what eating can be like, but with a younger child, it can become very messy.

Saturday, February 21, 2009


I'd like to apologize for not having kept up with this blog. Life has been unusual to say the least. Jay has been struggling for a few weeks now. I had to take a short trip, and well, it's just been a tough time. I know this all is an important subject to tackle. I promise to try hard to get on her by Wednesday. Hope this finds everyone doing well.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Message on Abilify

Our son had started about three weeks ago on a different drug to replace Zyprexa. He had been gaining a lot of weight and started feeling out of control again. His doctor put him on Abilify. The first week he started to feel great, then a week later felt out of sorts again and went back in. His medication needed to be raised. He was back on track. Then it hit, he hit a very high peak and then dropped. He was having thoughts again. He wasn't hearing sounds and voices any more though. That is a blessing.

Of course the doctor couldn't tell him before it happened, as it doesn't always happen this way, plus you don't want to tell a patient ahead of time as they may start thinking they are having that experience.

Note: Those who may be schizophrenic and reading this, remember if you are just starting out on Abilify, this does not always happen, so please don't start looking for things. I was hesitant for writing this for that very reason, but also wanted to help others that live with someone or know of someone with this disorder to be aware and know what's going on.

Thankfully Jay knew something wasn't right and called his doctor. Come to find out, this is a normal reaction for some to experience when first starting out. He knew that he was possibly be going to head to the "Whacky Shack" as he fondly jokes about it. He was worried about that, as he hates being there. She was impressed that he was aware of the fact that there was a good chance of this happening.

Anyway, when a person is starting out on Abilify, there is a chance of them reaching a very high peak. It's important to get in when this is happening, as all that needs to happen is have the dose raised a little more to bring them back down and level off. And of course we need to keep a close eye on him. But, Praise the Lord, he is almost back to normal. We just pray this is the only adjustments he will need and will be good to go.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

From the Beginning

Well, I have to admit, I've come to a standstill on what to write and how to go about this whole blog. Perhaps I rushed into it without out planning it. But was led to write this blog. So I've decided to start from the very beginning with Jay, and go from there. Perhaps this will help some see something they took for granted in their loved one and be able to get help before it gets too out of hand.

Jay was born a happy child on Christmas Eve none the less. When he was born, I thought wow, He's a Christmas baby, God must have special plans for him. What a delight! He was bald for quite some time but had the pretties blue eyes. Then his blond hair grew in. What a handsome little boy he was. Always full of smiles. I don't remember him fussing or crying much at all. In fact his delivery was very easy. I can still see his sweet smile when he was little with his fine blond hair and blues eyes smiling. How lucky we were.

He went to preschool at Grand Forks AFB. He was loved by his teachers. He had such a great attitude and personality. Oh and he had a little sister with red hair and hazel eyes that came along 15 months later. She was a bit different, hard delivery, colicky, and fussy the first couple of months, then turned into a happy go lucky little girl as well. Although she did have the red headed temper. :)

Jason then went on into kindergarten at the base. He was doing well. His teacher loved him and talked about how helpful he was and well mannered! Yeah! We had a wonderful son that we were so proud of. We were so blessed to have two beautiful children; a boy and a girl. Life didn't get much better than this. They both were happy, well adjusted, well behaved all around good kids.

Then we moved to Germany. That is when things started to change. Just a few months after moving there, Jay started to change. He became a bit irritable. I became frustrated. One night he decided to take off on me. His dad was working 24 hour shifts out at the base. We were living in an apartment on the economy. I was scared to death. It was dark, and we didn't know anyone there, nor spoke the language. I called my husband and he came home and found him.

Thank God nothing happened, although it could have turned out a lot worse, as he told me recently that there was guy under the bridge where he had ran to. The Lord was definitely looking out for him. This is when he joined the cub scouts. We were praying this was the ticket to happiness for him once again.

After almost a year in the apartment, we moved on base. Jay went to school on base. We started getting calls from his teachers that Jay was being a disturbance during classes and was not getting his home work done. They told us that he was a good boy, and smart, but was just hanging out with the wrong kids.

This continued on through 4th grade. He did have one teacher that loved him and felt there was something going on but couldn't put her finger on it. She tried hard with him. The rest of them eventually labeled him a bad child with parents that didn't care. Believe me, this was very frustrating. No one had any advice. No one suggested a possible disorder with him, nope, he was simply a bad kid that needed disciplining and a dad that was home more. What??? We spent a lot of family time together while there. We done a lot of family camping trips and always had a great time. So what was the deal with school.

Oh, and a big thing in school. It drove the teachers nuts, as it would take him forever to complete an assignment, and he would write so small that it was hard for them to read it. He was very, very articulate. This is quite common in bipolar people. Plus his dad is a huge perfectionist as well.

So here we were with a boy that was struggling through school, was starting to become a handful at home towards the end of our 4 years there. Was not well accepted in scouts after awhile because of his behavior problems. Thankfully his den leader was very supportive and tried hard with him. We were blessed with that fact.

We did however start to worry about our parenting skills, or should I say, I did. I thought, my gosh, what are we doing wrong? We have a girl who is doing outstanding in school, well behaved, involved in church--mind you the rest of us weren't at that time--and was not a problem at all. How could we have a child that is doing good if we are bad parents.

I will end it here now and do the next segment on our return to the states. This is where things really took off, but...not right away. This segment here is a warning signal to parents or of friends even. If you see someone starting to struggle and there is no real logical reason for it happening, this is a time to get that person into a psychologist. Get them checked and help then. What do you have to lose? Hopefully there is nothing wrong and they are just going through an adjustment phase. But it is worth checking into to make sure rather than putting that person and others involved through the torment that follows if you don't do anything about it. Not to mention that during this beginning phase, it is very frustrating to them as well.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Autism Information

My husband just sent me a very interesting site on autism. It really depicts what my grandson has started doing. You can read the information here and click on links to watch videos. There are other links as well.

This was an eye opener for me. I had no idea that aspergers meant pretty much autism. When picking him up from school yesterday, I was greeted by a one of his teachers. Unfortunately, there school is not set up to deal with this type of behavior. His main teacher has been rude towards him and us. Now this one is the same way. There is only one that has the patience with him. Believe me, I'm not putting the teachers down, as I know they have a tough job. What I do mean is, if you can't handle it, then let the parents know so they can get him into classes that can.

Anyway, the teacher was frustrated and irritated. She told me that Cee refused to do his work again and proceeded to yell, "I'm not doing it," getting louder each time until he had a full blown temper tantrum. She said it was the worst she had seen him yet. I just stood there and didn't know what to say, other than the parents are finally looking into the situation and he will hopefully get the help he needs soon. She then told me that they would be discussing that at their meeting with the parents today. He's failing once again.

So, his attitude continued on home. He likes to wear sports jackets with shirt and tie. When we arrived at home, he wanted to go outside. I told him to take his jacket off and wear his coat. He tried to argue, but this time I won with patience. Whew! But a little later, he had come in, snuck his jacket and went outside and put it on taking off his coat. He came back in to talk to his dad and I caught him. When I approached him, he took off. I finally talked him into coming back to me. I wasn't about to chase him. He started to stomp his feet, thrash his arms and scream at me. The whole way back to the house. I grabbed a hold of his hand and led him into the house and calmly told him that he could not wear it outside. He proceeded to throw a fit saying, I want to wear it." Finally with his dad standing there, I said, then it's up to your dad. His dad thankfully backed me up. He proceeded to get angry. I finally got it off him, and then quickly changed the subject and made it a game. He stopped throwing his fit, started giggling and we solved the problem.

An important lesson was learned here. It's very important to stay calm no matter what. Change the subject as quickly as possible and usually this will get their attention. It doesn't always work, but usually. They need a distraction when upset. It does take a lot of patience when working with an autistic child. I'm beginning to realize that my youngest grand daughter probably has the same problem. I'm hoping not, but she throws some horrible, horrible tantrums. Dealing with two of them in one household can really prove challenging.

So anyone with more information on how they work with this type of disability would be greatly appreciated. The more we share with one another the better the outcome for all. Especially since it cost $20,000 a week for a therapist! Now days, who can afford that? Insurance does not cover it. How are people suppose to get their children help at those costs unless they are rich? Okay, this is another subject, sorry.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009


Jay will be offering his input on here after all! Yeah. Although he's started his own blog on this subject, he will also post on here as well. Which will be a big help coming from someone that actually is schizophrenic. Hopefully he will be posting something soon. It is hard for him to do, so please be patient and keep checking back.

Aspergers Information Site

Recently I had asked for information on Aspergers Disorder. Heather had told me about Don. I went to his blog and asked if he had any information and he was so nice to respond and wrote an article on his blog here that explains some about how a child perceives his world around him. It is very good for anyone wanting information on this.

As Don explains, it only touches the surface, but...it is very helpful and a great start. It helps to understand how they see things. It also helps to know what their needs are. I would highly suggest taking the time to read his article. Anyone else having information to share would be greatly appreciate.

Don is a special education teacher. Those children are very lucky to have someone like him that is so interested in giving them what they need. If only there were many more like this.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Jays Back Slide with Medications

You may not have noted that Jay will not be hosting this blog with me after all. He is doing his own blog instead. When I get his URL, I will post it in the blog lists. So I will write what I have seen happen with him instead.

I had last given my testimony to what happens when you go off your medications. I will share Jay's side now. It is a mistake to go off of medications without the aid of a doctor without a doubt. Jay had decided to take a leap of faith and go off of his pills. He felt he was ready for it, and in complete control. Big mistake!!!

At first all seemed well when he stopped his medications. He hadn't told us he was doing it. I finally realized and approached him about it and asked him if he was taking his medication. He finally fessed up to it. I asked him to please get back with his doc, but he refused. He was unable to see the changes in himself. I tried reasoning with him, but by that point it was too late.

Eventually he became moody. His mood strings were like being on a roller coaster. He was indecisive often. One minute he would seem happy, the next just blatantly mean and cranky. No patience what so ever. It's hard to live with someone like that, but when you've lived with the ups and downs, and you love your children, you learn to deal with it. We did get in a few squabbles though.

This went on for a while until finally he agreed to go talk to his doctor. By this point he had become so paranoid. He was going to hang foil over his windows, do something to his door, and make himself a foil hat to block out all the enemies. He was terrified. He didn't even trust us any more. When he sat and told us later on what he had been going through, we were shocked.

So as you can see. From both of us, we've experienced what it is like to go off your medication cold turkey and not be under the care of psychiatric doctors. If you feel you can make it without taking medications anymore, Please, Please, Please, reconsider this step. Talk to a physician first. It could mean your life. A person can suffer a heart attack when going it alone. You can anyhow, but at least you are under the care of a physician.

Jay knows what it is like to go off of them, on them, off again, back again. It totally messes up your systems. Each time the effects worsen. Your disorder worsens each time as well. Suicide is high here on the list as well. Jay had made that attempt once a few years back when he went off his meds on his own. It's frightening for them, and ever more so for us who are watching. Hopefully Jay will write more on this subject on his blog, as it is a very important message to hear.
Thanks to all of you. Much love and blessings sent your way.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Lesson Learned

Well, we learned a very important lesson today. When you see a loved one slipping, or having a bit of a set back let them know that you see it. Jay had a bit of a slip, but it was fairly minor thank heavens. He will right all about it I'm sure. Thankfully he was able to get in and see his doctor today. He seems to be getting back on track already. Yeah!!!
We also decided--his idea!--to keep a journal of how he is each day--each one of us will do this--to see if we can connect anything to what may be setting him off. So as you can see, as long as you stay on top of things, you can go on with a fairly normal life.

Aspergers Syndrome

We recently found out that our future step grandson has apergers syndrome. I had never heard of it until now, but do know about autism and ADHD (attention deficit hyperactive disorder) which is a combined disoder that makes up aspergers.
I've always known there was something wrong, and finally his birth mom took him in and had him checked out. I'm glad he is finally getting some help.
As stated, this is all new to us. So if there is anyone out there that can give us some tips on how to work with him and help him, it would be greatly appreciated. I've started researching and found some great information from it. I'm going to add a link to the side bar where I have gotten my information from so far. Anyone knowing of other good reading material on this disorder, we sure would appreciate you sharing it with everyone. Thank you!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Comments Section Changed

I apologize if anyone has tried to comment. I hadn't paid close attention to the selections. It has been fixed so that comments can be received with word verification. Comments are very welcome, just keep them appropriate and nice. Thank you.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Delima of Ending Medications

I'm going to give you two accounts as to what can happen when you go off medications for mental illnesses. This post will deal with my account. The following post will deal with what happened with Jay (not his real name for obvious reasons).

Not all that long ago, I had decided to talk to my doctor about going off the paxil which I had been on for a few years. I felt like I had control and would be able to handle it. I was gaining so much weight which is one of the side effects of paxil. I would get shaky, break out in a sweat, and eventaully get to the point where I couldn't function from being so hungry and then gorge myself. I hated it!

I talked with my doctor and she agreed to give it a try. We had a back up plan if it failed. I was going to go on a more natural medication called cymbalta if I had any problems. I was to contact her immediately if I was experiencing any problems, as when one comes down off their medications it can have drastic effects. You have to be weened from the medications. Just stopping them can kill you. My sister almost lost her life. She felt like she was having a heartattack and rushed to the hospital. You simply can not just stop it.

So she slowly brought me down from the paxil. I felt funny in the begining which is normal. I had feelings of diziness often. I tried real hard to ignore that feeling. At first all seemed great. I felt like I was on top of the world. I felt like it was going to be okay. I took a leap of faith, believing that God would take it away.

See, where I went wrong is I did not pray about it. I did not ask for help with it. My family saw me changing, but I did not. Then I began to realize something wasn't right. I was no longer able to pray, I couldn't read the Bible. This was all literally taking place. I began to panick. One day I just cried and cried, and didn't want to be around anyone. I felt alone, I wanted to isolate myself from the world. I became angry with my husband. He was flustered. It was cold that particular morning. I thought to myself, the enemy has control of me. If I'm consumed with the devil, then please Lord take me now. Get rid of Satan and take me now.

I grabbed my I-pod and ran out the door. I thought, I have one shot left at Salvation. I walked and walked, getting colder and colder, having a hard time breathing, my lungs gasping for air. I didn't care. I wanted to hear God speak to me and if He didn't then I wanted to die. I had no coat on. It was dark, and I was alone, unable to hear His voice. My life was over. I didn't want to go on any more.

I made it back home, sat in a dark room and cried and cried, thinking of what would the grandkids think, what about our kids, my sisters, parents, husband? How could I leave them like this? But then how could I put them through living with a devil woman? My head was spinning. I couldn't stop crying. I felt like life was totally out of control.

I heard my husband come down stairs and thought, please don't find me. Leave me alone. I can't see you right now. He came in and asked me what was going on. All I could say was, "I don't know. I'm scared." He then placed his hand on my shoulder and started praying out loud. I cried even harder. Then low and behold, I saw this big hand reach down and saw myself literally being pulled out of this deep dark mirey cess pool. He hadn't left me!!!

I reached up and he said, "Child, I never left you. You never came to me. You never asked me what you should do. I placed doctors there for you all for a reason. You must see your doctor and get back on medication. It's okay to accept help. There is a reaon for everything. Now go child, and always remember to come to me first. Don't try to do it on your own. I love you."

I can not begin to explain the feeling that gave me. It was beautiful. There was hope. I made the appointment and my husband went with me. Thank heavens. I had a hard time telling my doctor, as I had become so emotional. My husband, bless his heart stood by me every moment of the way. He never gave up on me. Had this happened before we came to the Lord, we probably would not be together, and I perhaps would not be alive. I'm now on Cymbalta, which I had requested. I absolutely love it.

I've learned to never go it alone. Never just go off the meds on your own (I had tried that before as well), and to be very cautious. When you go off the meds and back on and off and on, you continue to make the sypmtoms worse. We learned this with our son. It's not worth it.

I had said at the begining I would write about two situations. This turned out to be longer than I thought it would, so I'm going to make them two seperated posts. In fact, I'm going to try and get my son to talk about his experience verses coming from myself. He has so much to offer for you all.
There is so much to share and tell right now, that my head is spinning. So I must take a break and think this through. I really want to start at the begining and walk you all through the experieinces we have had with our son and what to look for. The signs that can be confusing are all so important. They are NOT TO BE IGNORED!!! Trust me. So many want to think it's too embarrassing, or awww, it's just all in their mind, or they are just bad kids, and on and on the excuses go. It can cost you the loss of a child. A child that can go on and live in society with no threat to society.

Stigma and Society: A Mother's Plea

I was talking with my son last night and told him about the start of this blog. I took him to the link from Amber and asked him if he would be willing to listen to the part of the voices. He agreed as he wanted to see if what he experiences is like others. We didn't get far into when he said to turn it off. I have to admit, I was worried about it bothering him and perhaps being too much. I wanted to know if it was what he goes through.

As we talked, I learned more about what it's like for him. The voices were like what he hears. What an eye opener that was. The only difference was he wasn't able to hear what they were actually saying, it was muffled, which is a blessing.

Despite the fact that he is on medication that is working wonders finally--it's taken years to find the right "cocktail" (that's how it's described for the mixture), that he needed to get him on track--he still on occasion hears the voices again. They aren't as bad as they had been, but when he experiences this, it wears him out and the next day he has a real hard time staying awake, feels drained, and has a hard time focusing and functioning.

For those of us that don't experience this type of thing can be thankful that we don't have to live like this. It's very real. They aren't making this stuff up. It's a real life experience that they live with on a daily basis.

I have had people tell me that it's all made up, they make themselves think these things, that they use it as an excuse to get out of having to work and live the easy life, what they need is a swift kick in the pants to get off their lazy butts. It burns me to hear these things, as they have no clue. They only hurt those suffering from the diseases more by talking like this way.

I can tell you that it drives Jay nuts. He wants to live a normal life. He wants to be able to hold down a job, but his phsychosis creates a fear of people for him. He is improving bit by bit, but can not handle being around a crowd of people. On occasion he is able to cope, but far and few between times. He wants to work like everyone else. He hates getting assistance, as he feels he doesn't deserve it. He's struggling and trying hard to get somewhere in life.

This is a true and real delima that schizophrenics deal with. They can be really hard on themselves thinking "they" should be able to control it. Often times they will go off their medications thinking they don't need it anymore, or they should be able to make it go away on their own. Not the case. We as parents living with him can testify to the fact that by going off the medications only makes things worse. I'll do another post on what happens when doing so.

I just ask that society starts to open their eyes to mental illness. Realize the delimas they go through. Realize that it's very real. Realize that it is hard on the individuals to go through life feeling like failures, feeling worthless, feeling like a burden. I'm just thankful we were able to get ourselves to get information concerning what was happening with him. To realize that it is a disease that occurs in the brain ceptors that we can not control.

We must stop throwing stones at these people, as we only make matters worse for them. We cause them to withdraw into themselves even more. If we want them to become beneficial members of society, then we need to except them for who they are and work with them. Pushing them away isn't the answer. So please, I beg you as a parent of someone who watches what happens to a loving person keep tucked away because of the stigma society places on those with mental illnesses, stop the stigma, be kind, and accept them with open arms. They need us!

Please go to the link I have posted on the prior message. When you go to the site with the pictures with audio, click on the second link, it explains a few things and then plays the voices that they hear. You will be shocked. It's not an easy thing to listen to. Thank You.

Friday, January 23, 2009

More About This Blog

Although my son and I deal with schizophrenia (him) and bi-polar (me), I am open to information and discussions on any mental disorder, as I want to learn about each one. Feel free to bring any type to the table. It’s all about helping one another through something that isn’t so fun until you learn more about them and how to live comfortably with them. Any one with information (accurate) they want to share, please do. Let’s spread the wealth of information, support, and love to one another.

More Help

I’ve recently met a woman with a great site that has pictures with audio on schizophrenia that is very beneficial to those that haven’t a clue as to what they go through, or are trying to learn about it. It helps one understand the problems they face and live with.

She also has a blog that talks about various items on the subject. There is also an article to read.

The following are the links to visit. They are well worth checking out. The first one is the pictures/audio; the second one is her blog; and of course the third one is the article. Hope this helps.

http://www.gaining-insight.com/ http://gaining-insight.blogspot.com/ http://timesunion.com/AspStories/story.asp?storyID=750776&category=LIFE&BCCode=LIFE&newsdate=12/17/2008

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Brief History

I'm going to start this blog with a brief history of what has happened so far.
Our son was born a happy child with no problems. He was the promise of a bright and cheerful future. Until one day the life of a happy child changed. Gone was the constant smiles, the upbeat happy little boy we once new.

The boy before us changed. He became irritable, agitated at the world, and at times hard to control. Our first thoughts were he's just going through a phase. Then came the question as to what we had done wrong. We became frustrated ourselves as teachers were complaining about his behavior, his disconnection to school, his lacking in participation. But they all had one thing to say, "He's a bright young man with great potential, he just won't apply himself."

Unfortunately at the time, we were stationed in Germany. No one had any ideas for us. He was labled a bad child at school. We were labled as bad parents who didn't know how to control and discipline our child. The longer this went on, the more frustrated we became. The more frustrated we were, the worse the sitution became.

Finally we headed back to the states. He seemed to have improved some, but not enough. This continued on up until 7th grade. He started getting into trouble at school. 9th grade he ended up having to do community service when he was caught smoking. He dropped out of school in the middle of 10th grade. We finally talked him into going back. The school prinicpal was awesome and willing to work with him. But this did not last long. He had two strikes against him. The third dropout he would not be allowed to try again.

He then tried the alternative school. This started out really good, but did't last long. At one point between the 1st dropout and going to the alternative school, he came to me and said he needed help and no longer wanted to live. I had a feeling it was a mental disorder a while before this came about, but his dad was in denial and said no way would he put him through that.

I took him to see our family physician who was wonderful, contacted Intermountain Hospital and asked to have him seen there. Our son was committed to there for a week while they checked him and diagnosed him as being in the middle stages of bipolar. He seemed so much better by then. The down fall was he was always groggy from the medication. When his dad saw the change in him he was so happy that we had gotten him help. He seemed to be normal again!

Let me tell you, if you aren't watchful and real careful, chances are, they are going to end up right where they were. He did not stay on his meds. His friends talked him into not taking them. He would lie to us by saying he was taking them, but I knew better. We ended up back at square one. Eventually he became suicidal again, and back to Intermountain we went. By this time he had become Bipolor with schizo effective tendencies. Oh, and before this trip to Intermountain, he tried H.S. one last time. This did not last long at all. Before we knew it, he had dropped out again.

By this time he decided he wanted to move out. He had a job with a car dealership, detailing vehicles. Eventually he quit going to work, hooked up with a gal who was pregnant. He was drinking and doing other illegal things at this point. We didn't know what to do, as he was now an adult. Our hands were tied. We tried talking to him, but to no avail. He would act like he was listening and cared and then do just the opposite.

One night the tough love came into play. He had been partying with friends at an apartment our daughter & I had gotten--my husband and I were separating--and ended up out of control. Apparently something was slipped into his beer. Of course with a bi-polar combo, this can create a volatile situation. He started busting up the place. I was called and rushed out there. I tried to calm him down, but to no avail. The police showed up and I had to have him taken into custody. That was the hardest thing I've ever had to do.

This was his wake up call. He started getting his life under control. Joined a group therapy through Intermountain that was to help him find some self respect and stop all the garbage he had been doing. Wow! What a change, there was hope for the future after all!

Soon our bubble was busted, he became suicidal again. This time I took him to St. Al's hospital emergency room. They were fantastic. They had him committed to one of their mentally ill facilities. What a difference in him. He was placed on different meds. He seemed so much better. It's been uphill with some back sliding here and there, but nothing really serious.

He has since been put on SSI, as he is unable to hold a job no matter how hard he tries. He has a hard time being around people. So he is living with us. He has a hard time sometimes remembering to take his pills which causes some problems. This is why we decided to keep him with us. He's been grateful to have the support, but on the same token would like to have his freedom. He has a lot to learn and deal with first. He is working on becoming a private computer programmer. We sure hope he can pull it off. It would be good for his self esteem.

Since his dad & I have been back together, life has been looking up. We all recently--a little over two years ago--quit drinking and smoking. Every once in a while our son will give into pressure and start smoking again. Thankfully that phase does not last long. We have become church goers as well which has been a tremendous help to us all. We have become dedicated Christians. Our son is doing much better. He has moments where we worry, but he comes through it. He still has a very hard time being around people. Even at church. Hopefully someday he will be able to get past all that.

I too am mildly bi-polar which I found out a few years after our sons diagnosis. Thankfully mine has stayed controlable. At one point I had hoped to go off the medication, but ended up very depressed and no longer wanted to go on living. Once getting back on medication, I improved greatly. Thank the Lord!

So that is the jest of things in our lives. We have been through a lot. I'm hoping to reach out to those parents who are living with children of mental illness and are experiencing a hard time comprehending, understanding their child, and wondering how they are ever going to get through it. I'd be happy to discuss situations and perhaps be able to help in some sort of way. Also for kids if they feel they need to ask questions and/or just need someone to talk to. I'd be more than happy to listen and perhaps be able to help in some sort of way. Good luck and God Bless!