Update on Doug November 2013

I haven’t written in quite a while. Honestly it’s not because I have nothing to say, it’s just that I couldn’t remember my password and couldn’t figure out how to find it.   With the help of sweet hubby, Craig, I’m back in the saddle.

Doug is doing pretty well.  I hated the place he was living in in Greensboro.  They were nice enough folks, they just didn’t seem to have any day time activities for their residence. Every time I’d speak to Doug, no matter what time of day, he’d tell me he was sleeping and going back to bed. This concerned me a lot. I brought him home for a week for his birthday in July and noticed he’d gained a lot of weight.  He wanted to sleep and eat, sleep and eat.  Although he was pleasant and the visit was without drama or incident, I was left feeling anxious about his general health and his lack of energy and drive.

Some time in August I called Lake James Lodge, which is where he’d last been evicted. I spoke to the Director there, a nice young man named Rhett.  I just came right to the point. “Rhett, any chance Doug can move back there?”   His response threw me off guard.  “OH HELL NO!!”

“oh’  I said, shrinking.

“And I’ll tell you why.  He wants to call you five, six, up to twenty times a day and if we don’t let him use the phone he throws a tantrum. My staff’s not capable of reeling Doug in when he flips out like that and I’m not going to put them at risk.”

“Well,”  I said “I can certainly understand that.  He’s got his own phone now, so he really wouldn’t need to use….”

“He has his own phone?”

“Yes. We got him one of those government cell phones.”

“Well, heck yeah he can come back here. I like Doug. He’s a good kid and he never really caused us any trouble other than a few fights he was in, but hell, everybody here gets in fights now and then.”

And so it came to pass that Doug was able to go back to Lake James Lodge. I’ve warned him that he doesn’t get 3 strikes. They’ll send him back to the Greensboro place at the slightest sign of trouble.  Doug hated it in Greensboro so he’s being very cautious and trying hard to keep his behavior in check.

I drove up there in early October. He’d lost weight and looked really good. His speech was much clearer and his conversations were intelligent and intelligible. He made sense!!!   We went out to lunch. He was actually able to sit and relax in the restaurant rather than sit there paranoid and ready to leave right away. He seemed almost normal. After lunch we went shopping for a few things he needed.  The entire time I was with him I was amazed at how pleasant and easy he was to be around.  We went back to Lake James Lodge and sat outside talking and laughing together for an hour or so.  I noticed the palms of his hands were broken out terribly with a very read and oozing rash.  I took him inside and had him show his hands to Rhett.  Rhett immediately got the med tech to look at them and told us they were going to take him to see a Doctor.  Rhett said he’d let me know when that appointment was to be.

Doug and I went back outside to sit in the sun and enjoy the garden.  After a while a man came out and introduced himself to me as Doug’s therapist.  He said other than being a therapist he was also an EMT and wanted to look at Doug’s hands. He agreed it was important that Doug see someone as soon as possible.  We both, the therapist and I mentioned the possibility of MRSA.  He told me Doug has been doing well. He’d weaned him off a lot of his medications and was quite pleased with how well he was doing on the clozaril.

When Doug had visited home in July I had to give him his medications each day. It broke my heart at the amount of pills I was handing him four times a day.  He asked me several times “Mom, can we just skip the resperidol?”   I wanted  to agree, but told him that he’d have to take what was prescribed.  I bothered me giving him so much drug.   So I was pleased to be told that most of that has been taken off his list now. The therapist even said that he thought Doug might be completely off the resperidol by the time he comes home for Thanksgiving. He also told me he was off the depacote completely and off his anti seizure medication.

It was a very good visit.  I thanked Rhett again and again for allowing Doug to come back to Lake James. As I was leaving the med tech let us know that they’d decided to take Doug to an emergency care facility that day to have something done about his hands.  I was relieved that that were staying on top of that situation.

A week later Doug and I were talking on the phone. The cablevision was temporarily down at Lake James and he’d wanted to see a Duke football game. I was telling him on the phone what was going on with the game, when I heard a girls voice calling Doug’s name.  I said…. “Doug, answer her honey, see what she needs.”  Doug did not respond.  I kept hearing the girl calling his name louder and louder.  He wouldn’t answer her and he was no longer answering me.  Then I heard her holler, “someone call 911, he’s nonresponsive.”   She did not know that I was on the line and could hear everything.  I heard her explain to, evidently, another staff member, that Doug was sitting on the bench talking to his mom on the phone when she noticed he was having a seizure, so she started across the parking lot towards him when he dropped the phone and collapsed. She said by the time she got to him he was completely out and she could not get him to respond.  I kept listening, shaking, freaking out, yelling at the top of my lungs for someone to pick up the phone and clue me in. Of course, his phone, lying on the sidewalk, was the least of their concerns. I listened to the same voice explain to the EMT’s when the ambulance arrived everything she’d already said.  I hung on the phone until his went dead.  I immediately called Lake James and they said as soon as they knew anything they would call me.

The Doctor at the hospital called and told me they were starting Doug on some anti seizure medication. I then remembered about his therapist telling me they’d weaned him off most of his meds included his anti seizure stuff.  Well, there’s that.  He’s back on the anti seizure meds they’d just taken him off of.

He’s doing very well now.

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