destabilizationphone callsworry

Four Days

Chrisa Hickey4 comments1582 views

My New Year’s Resolution – well, let’s say goal, because I hate the connotation of what “resolution” has come to mean – is to blog at least once a week, preferably twice.  This first week back into the swing of work after the first two weeks in a row I’ve had off since I was in high school threw me for a loop when I got back to the office.  But it’s Saturday, and even though I should still be trying to get through my work email inbox, I’m blogging, because that is my goal.

Work being a whirlwind not withstanding, it’s been a quiet week.  In some ways, too quiet.  During the 18 months now that Tim has been in residential treatment, we talk to him on the phone, on average, four times a week.  Some weeks more, some weeks less, obviously, but typically, four.  One of the things we like about ODTC is that they let Tim call us whenever he wants.  Some days he calls after eating breakfast, before school.  When he is particularly agitated, he’s allowed to call me, because, for reasons I still don’t understand, I’m usually able to talk him down off the proverbial ledge to be able to process his agitation and anxiety with his therapist.  He calls in the evening, between dinner and whatever after dinner activity is planned.  He calls so often that, on average, at least three of the four calls are Tim calling us, rather than us calling him (works out this way because when we call, we usually call when he is in therapy or some activity, and we end up leaving a message).

Last night I remarked to Tom that we haven’t had a call from Tim since Monday.  This is notable, and slightly alarming, because in the past, when we haven’t talked to Tim on the phone for more than three or four days, it’s because he’s destabilizing.  And, since his case worker called to ask me about Tim’s hygiene when he was home (lack of hygiene is a common sign of destabilization) because his hygiene at school is starting to decline, I am a bit concerned about the lack of communication.  Tom, who is the more optimistic of us, hypothesized that it might be because they are starting basketball practice for the upcoming season.  Let’s hope that’s what it is.

It was too late to call last night when I realized that four days had gone by without a call, so I’ll be calling tonight to see how he’s doing.  I hope Tom’s right.

4 Comments

  1. Always, I hope for the best and am hoping Tom is right. But even if you are right and don't feel like doing the happy "I'm right" dance, at least you know what's going on, that he's safe, and that his destabilization was at "school" rather than over the holidays. And, as usual, you and Tom can support each other over the normal feelings of concern.

    And as far as your goals for the new year… I like it. It's always good to get this inside look into your lives, as a family, a person, and about Tim. Hang in there!

  2. I saw your note at Hatewatch cautioning people to not to jump to conclusions regarding the sanity of Jared Lee Loughner. I suffer from bipolar disorder. Over the past two days, I have had to reach out to fellow sufferers who are now despairing of what people will think of them. There's an excellent article at Slate that you might enjoy: http://www.slate.com/id/2280619

    Thank you for standing up for us. Sometimes my liberal and progressive friends need a bit of teaching on the subject.

  3. I'm over here from Hatewatch, too. My first thought on hearing this, was, they are going to say he was a crazy guy, if you pardon my using that word.
    I wish you all the best with your son and hope all goes well for him and you.

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