Hello gorgeous creatures,
Dear beautiful humans,
We begin tonight’s update with this clip from The Muppet Show. Go on, take a moment to watch it. You won’t be sorry. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1MnX1wT7BRU&t=7s
Okay, so, I was saying. This song isn’t just the soundtrack to Isaac‘s life because he is obsessed with it and watches it constantly, but also because it is a fantastic description of Isaacchimself. Oh, the windmills of his mind! Even if he seems calm on the outside, this is what is happening on the inside.
Well, it’s another exciting day in Isaac-land. Today started off with a weird conversation with his new psychiatrist. I say weird because it started out good, but soon she started saying things based on her observations that I completely disagreed with. That’s a new development. So far everything any of the medical professionals have said have felt spot-on. This was really unnerving. I tried to express my disagreement, but she told me I was misunderstanding her, and I probably was. We will have the chance to meet with her in person tomorrow and I’m optimistic that we can get ourselves onto the same page. Between the two of us, she is definitely the mental health expert. I am the Isaac expert, though. Then again, everything I’ve tried has failed, so maybe it would be good to give her ideas a fair shake.
Today I went to visit Isaac with my parents. When we entered the unit, a nurse let me know that Isaac was having a really rough day. Sure enough, when we got to his room, we found him in a bit of a sour mood. His bedding had been flung everywhere, which I actually found kind of adorable. His possessions are extremely meager there at the hospital, so he’d pretty much flung everything he owns. He wasn’t crying or screaming, though. At least not when I was there, and not that anyone reported to me. So I guess “rough day” is relative.
Dear wonderful people,
Hubby and I met with Isaac‘s psychologist today at the hospital. We had a good talk about what is happening there at the hospital and what to expect time wise. The tentative timeline right now is that Isaac will come home next Wednesday, Aug. 2. That would bring his stay to a total of 2 weeks. Of course, that is all just a guess. But it gives us some idea of what to expect. Before today, we had no idea whatsoever!
The criteria for coming home has less to do with getting “well” than it has to do with being “safe.” Once he is no longer dangerous to himself or others, he will be ready to leave, even though we obviously have a very long road ahead of us.
Among the many interesting things we discussed with the psychologist, we talked about whether or not Isaac even wants to get well from his psychosis. The hallucinations he sees and hears are very mean to him. They bully him and force him to do awful things and yell really bad words at him, etc. He spends all day, every day fighting with them.
And yet… he misses them when they’re gone.
At the end of our meeting, Isaac was brought in to join us. As if on cue, the first thing he did was talk about how much he misses Gettany (she is an unreal person who lives in a window in our house and she is terribly mean. She doesn’t leave our house, so she’s not with him when he’s not at home). He drew a picture of her for the psychologist and said, “Sometimes Gettany is mean to me, but she loves me very much! I miss her!”
We also asked him about who (of his hallucinations) is there in the hospital with him. Herron, who I mentioned yesterday, is there. That’s not a a big surprise. But Isaac explained that there are people everywhere he looks. There were a whole ton of them in the little office we met in. When the doctor asked him if he wants to stop seeing and hearing all these unreal people, Isaac said that he is sick of Herron because he’s been following him around for so long, so he’d like to get rid of Herron. But he would actually like some of the others to stick around so he can get to know them a little better.
By the way, the names Herron and Gettany are weird, for sure. But, according to Isaac, these are the names they introduce themselves with. They also spell them for him so he can get them right. Almost all of the names of his hallucinations are weird like this. (It actually freaks us out a little more when they’re named normal things like Joseph or Elizabeth.) (For the record, there is a Joseph and an Elizabeth. Joseph is the toilet paper holder in the hallway bathroom and Elizabeth is a window in the front room.) (Both of them are horrible people. Except that neither of them are actually people…)
I went back later this evening to see Isaac–I decided that the first appointment didn’t really count as a visit, since it was very brief and done in the psychologist’s office. Isaac had had a bad day since I’d last seen him. He’d lost a lot of points for not following directions and he was really frustrated with himself and the people around him. He was also sad, because some of the kids he’s gotten to know there at the PPH are going home tomorrow. It had been a rough day.
We sat on his bed and played a game of Spot It. He beat me solidly (he always does). I started to shuffle the cards for a rematch and he told me that he didn’t want to play again and, in fact, could I please just go away. He was very calm and polite and I told him that yes, I would go away. He gave me a great big hug goodbye and I left. It was all very strange. But I was grateful that he was polite and also that he verbalized what he wanted.
So, maybe we’re making progress. Maybe we’re not. Maybe a little of both. Who knows? But even with his rough day, he was calm and verbal. That’s progress for sure. And we’ll celebrate any progress we can!
It was a strange Sunday morning. I am accustomed to Sunday mornings being full of chaos and drama as we prepare for church, and then more chaos and drama as we attend church. But today it was eerily quiet. Mads gave a talk, so she sat on the stand. Nugget passed the sacrament with the rest of the deacons. Bud was at the door (I should ask him what they call that–when you sit at the door to hand out programs, let the deacons in and out during the sacrament, and open the door for those coming and going for whatever reason… “Door Boy” doesn’t sound sufficiently respectable… haha).
And, of course, Isaac was elsewhere.
Hubby and I walked in and picked out a short row (we usually need a long row for our clan) and we just…sat together. And listened. And while the messages today were lovely (especially Mads’s!), sitting quietly was very…strange.
We are surrounded by lovely people at church. Lovely, loving people. So many embraces and expressions of love for us and for our little guy. Isaac has wormed his way into the hearts of so many.
Let’s just say that I made the right choice not to wear any eye makeup today.
I was able to take many messages of love and good wishes to Isaac when we went to visit him after church. Hubby, Mads, and Nugget came with me. (Bud had another commitment today.) Isaac wanted a complete rundown of who was at church today (the summer months bring a pretty sparse attendance in our congregation). He asked about lots of people and was very pleased with the messages we passed along. He’s grateful that he hasn’t been forgotten about. He’s delighted and maybe a little astonished that people are interested in him and his health.
We played and laughed and had a great time during our visit with him. A nurse heard screaming and came in to check on Isaac and found that our noises were all silly and happy. The kids stole my phone and started taking a bunch of selfies. Isaac ran out into the hallway to find his favorite nurse so he could show the pictures to her. I’m grateful for the relationships he has with his siblings, but I’m also grateful for the relationships he’s developing with the nurses and staff at the PPH. The shock of being there and not being able to come home seems to have worn off. I like to think this is an important step in the healing process. He can shift all the energy he used in fighting his situation to working on getting better.
I asked him about “Herron” (his primary hallucination–a non-existent “friend” who bullies him constantly and follows him everywhere). Herron has been a part of our lives for 3 years now. He used to come and go, but for the last year or so, Herron is “with” Isaac 100% of the time. I’ve been trying to understand if Herron is there with Isaac in the hospital. Isaac seems very hesitant to talk about him. I’m guessing that yes, Herron is there, but Isaac doesn’t want to tell me because he’s trying to be all well, and he knows that if Herron is still around, I will know he’s not well yet.
Sorry, kiddo. I already know. You’re not well. But I’m delighted with all the good behavior and the positive mood!
Hubby went back to visit Isaac again this evening and found him still in good spirits–happy and funny. Hubby is visiting him as much as possible right now because pretty soon the realities of work will come flooding back and he won’t be able to see him very often. I love that they’re both eager to get all the quality time together that they possibly can.
Tomorrow morning is our big meeting with the psychologist, psychiatrist, and social worker. Hubby and I have been looking forward to this meeting since Isaac‘s arrival at the PPH. Hopefully tomorrow is when we’ll get some idea of how long we should expect Isaac to be there and a full understanding of his treatment plan. Hopefully we can begin to understand what the criteria for coming home is–and then what happens next.
We will keep you posted as we learn more. Thanks, as always, for your love, time, prayers, kindness, and everything else. Thanks for being our village.