Sunday, August 14, 2011

Thank heavens for mental health advocates

I insisted that DH call his worker at the program that had gotten him the job, and explain what had happened.  She wasn't surprised, I think that she was like the rest of you, kind of surprised that it took this long to happen....but she made a couple of  phone calls and got him his job back--for the most part, anyhow....

But just barely--I don't remember if I've explained how the attendance thing works there, but if he's late or misses work on a weekday, he gets 1 point; if he's late or misses work on a weekend, he gets 2 points, and on really really busy days, like Mother's Day, if he's late or misses work, it's 3 points.  When he gets to 8 points, they start cutting his hours back (he loses 8 hours per week), when he's at 9 points, they cut his hours even more than that (16 fewer hours per week)  and when he hits 10 points, he's done--fired.  Right now he's got 9 points.

I'm not sure if the mental health worker can help him when he reaches 10.  Actually, if they were as strict as they should be, he's probably got more like 20 points right now, because they didn't give him points for the days when he showed up for work but had to go to the E.R. for his back pain, or had to go home for whatever perceived health problem he was having that day.

And I think it would feel really weird to go back to work after that, when you had "quit" and then you're back, but DH is so relieved to still have a job that it doesn't seem to bother him.  I'm really relieved too, because it really helps DH feel like more of a contributing member of the family....

Unfortunately, he still has no insight into the fact that his behaviors may cause him to lose his job--I just can't imagine that, but it's true.  I tell him all the time that drinking water or diet pop instead of sugar-laden pop could make a big difference, as when he drinks the sugar pop, his blood sugar gets high and they often end up sending him home.  And he's had numerous referrals to physical therapy for his back, but he doesn't bother to go, instead he keeps going to the doctor, hoping that someone will prescribe him some Percocet.  But he won't take any action that might require any type of a change.  I finally, one day, came right out and told him that, that he was going to lose his job if he didn't start making some changes to his lifestyle.  He "tried" to change to diet pop for 2 days, then he was right back to sugar pop :-(

There have been a lot of times lately where, although I have never thought divorce was/is an option, it is looking more like a possibility than ever.  How on earth am I going to spend the rest of my life with someone like this?  I just don't know how I'll do it.  But when I start fantasizing about being "on my own", I realize a) I absolutely can't afford to do anything right now, and b) there's still a little bit of hope there, that things can get to a point where I can feel ok with them, although that hope is dwindling.

DH has an appointment with his pdoc on Monday.  I'll let you know how that goes.


Miss Kitty said...

You're right, DH has no idea how lucky he is. And I'd feel funny too if I were hired back but still had 9 of 10 points. But then again, there were days long ago where I led my life/thoughts much like DH leads his, and would've been clueless as to why my life kept taking the turns it did. For me, I had to screw up one time too often before I realized it was time to change. I guess bipolar's one of those illnesses where "off balance" feels like "I'm gonna rule the world!" so often that it's tough to realize one needs one's meds and therapy and a new, clear vision of life. The receptionist at Division II University (where I used to work) had a major bipolar episode last year, over the course of a couple of weeks; she was very lucky not to have been fired, the episode was so weird/inappropriate. As part of the brief inpatient treatment program, she had to face her alcoholism and finally start AA as well as heavy-duty meds. I worked with her for six-and-a-half years, and know that she often didn't think anything was wrong; this is just how life is, and how we all operate. :-(

My thoughts and prayers are for a wake-up for DH, for clear seeing. AND--most of all--my thoughts and prayers are with you. I'm glad to see that you're still sane, because you're wondering how to make your life better even though it doesn't look like there's a way to do that right now. ((((hugs)))

perphila said...

DH is very lucky to have your love and support. You are also correct that unless he does something about his behaviors nothing will really change for him. He really does have a long hard road ahead of him. I really do feel bad about his situation. No one should have to have to go through such struggle. It is a good thing he is seeing his pdoc soon. I only hope that his pdoc is pushing him for therapy. Meds help. They are the start but without therapy I really don't see DH getting anywhere. Even with therapy the "old" DH is gone forever. Hopefully with therapy that could also help him take the steps he needs for other things with the rest of his health like, PT and using less sugar. It is about changing behaviors. DH is lucky he hadn't self medicated with drugs and alcohol with his bipolar. In a way he did I suppose with cigs and sugar. It could be worse. Ask the pdoc about Dual diagnoses. Although DH isn't abusing drugs, the cigs and pop addictions can create a lot of the same behaviors.


Thinking of you. Good luck!

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry you're stuck in the role of caretaker. Who takes care of you?

Anonymous said...

Wow, you seem like such a nice & overly descent lady. This guy is drowning you, and it may even help him if you leave. You have done more than enough, an given him many chances. All the best to you!

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