Wednesday, February 4, 2009

All things in moderation....

During this entire time with my mom, DH has been wonderful--helping out at home more, going to visit her when I am working, everything that you could imagine to help. So I warned him, "Don't put yourself under so much stress that your mental health is in danger."

He said, "I have to! She's FAMILY!"

Me: So am I, and so is DD. And we are going to suffer big time, if you have a setback.

DH: What do you mean?

Me: If you get so stressed out that you can't help around the house like you have been, or worse, if you end up in the hospital again, you are not helping anyone, and in fact, you are making a lot of peoples' lives more full of worry. Missing one or two visits with my mom is not going to make her better or worse. But it might be the difference between stability and instability with you.


Me: This is s signal to me that you are already not thinking rationally. Please use your common sense and try to understand what I'm saying.

Well...now he's stopped helping around the house. And he's been watching more TV. And not wanting to take his meds. I'm sure the stress of the situation has been part of it...but it's an "all or nothing" thing for him--either he devotes every waking moment to the crisis, or he doesn't. Moderation seems to be a harder thing to come by....and I guess with DH's illness, that's a big part of things, isn't it? If he could do "all things in moderation", well, then we wouldn't have much of an illness, would we?

My mom seems to be a little more stable. Nobody really has a good explanation of what might have happened. She's not crying so much, and she's getting braver about trying things at the nursing home (yesterday we did an exercise class, and it was fun!) and she seems more hopeful that she could possibly be going back to her apartment soon...I was comfortable enough to where yesterday I only spent about an hour with her and then I went home and did about eight loads of laundry, instead of worrying about her being there and scared and lonely...I think that if she does end up having to stay in the nursing home, that aside from not having her cat, it will be familiar enough to not be scary. Even in the exercise class, I saw several people I knew--who used to live in my mom's assisted living complex, but who have moved to the nursing home....so she would have some familiar faces....but of course I'm praying that it doesn't come to that....


Queenneenee said...

I feel for you. I have a 13 yr old son who is bipolar. It scares the hell out of me to think of what may become of him as he grows into adulthood. What if he doesn't take his meds. Mom will eventually not be in charge of the meds and he already gives me a hard time about taking them.

Mrs. Dreamer said...

I'm so happy and hopeful to hear about your mom. Extremely disappointing that you tried to prevent your husband's crisis, yet it didn't help.

You are an AMAZING woman!

Pann said...

Here's the thing: is it his personality to be All or None or is that the bipolar? Is it "that guy" or is it really dh, trying to help?

Not knowing whether it's oneself or it's the mental illness... oh, I know that fine line well!

:( or maybe :) or both....

perphila said...

Make sure you don't kick yourself for being open and honest with DH. It sounds as if you were as kind and straight forward as you could be. The all or nothing frame of mind is something I also have to deal with woth both Sean and now my son. I know how that feels. You know how DH behaved before the illness. Was he all or nothing before? If not than I think it's safe to say it's the illness rearing it's ugly head. With my son I have a lot of people telling me it just because he's 14. He's a teenager and deal with it. Stay strong.

Carol said...

Since I wrote this post, I've given a little thought to whether the "all or nothing" is a part of DH's normal personality. And I'm pretty sure it isn't.

In his natural state, he's very easy-going and flexible. And I don't think (based on what I remember), that the "all or nothing" part showed up until he got sick. When I first noticed the "all or nothing", I didn't realize he was sick at all. But looking back, in hindsight, I can think of a gazillion times when that was the case.

And the spending. That in itself is evidence (to me) that the "all or nothing" is not his normal state. When he is in a spending state (mood), he gets this tone in his voice, and he gets an idea in his head of something that he "needs" and there is absolutely no other way to go about it other than to get it right now. We saw this with the laptop, before I realized I was dealing with "That Guy" and not DH. DH decided he was going to get a laptop. I begged and pleaded with him to buy a used one, or to save up for it, or, at the very least, to wait a couple of weeks and see if he really needed one.

He came home with a new (charged on a credit card, of course) one the next day. There was no "in between" between the "I want" and "I get". I'm not sure that makes sense to those of you who aren't dealing with this, but it's pretty clear to me....before this sort of thing happened, there was a time when DH and I were saving for a new dishwasher together. We put all of our money into the "dishwasher fund". Then we decided we could maybe save up a little to go out to eat on, too. So we saved for two months so that we could go out to eat at Subway! The change is just so hard for me to accept sometimes!