Wow, so am I to start crying now or rather stop? I have been wondering if this Mk as I call him, was for real. Could he be that secret angel I wrote about recently? I just stumbled on this post lyrics… and could I just sing speechless… to you both? Thank you both, soon my water will run dry because I must admit that I cry much more for joy until my headaches if you get what I mean.
I have blogged for years now. But I never met a man as gentle and kind as Mihran Kalaydjian. Because aside from the fact that he had been so generous reblogging my posts, there was this one very warm conversation I had with him.
When I posted my condolences to our dear Ajaytao, I made Mihrank cry that day. Although I was worried if I made him cry because I wrote bad; or I wrote something for Oscar’s (coz I do have the tendency for drama), but I was really touched with his honest sentiment. Coz Mihran never met Ajay, yet he shed a tear for him. He even asked me “Why am I crying, Aina?” I told him, “It’s because Mihran, you’re a gentleman with a very big heart and beautiful soul.” And so we were both crying in the end.
I am so excited for the winners who are probably going to have a goodread. My memoir is thrilling no doubt, but it is also insightful about another culture and a very difficult not to abhor plight. Thanks Sherrey for organizind this, hosting me twice over and teaching me just so much along the way.
Well, maybe not all of a suden but after say 15 or so minutes. Fortunately, I often work from home. I wouldn’t say any more here because I am still nervous and angry. Somebody trying to sabotage my work. I think to ere is human but it is mean to wish others that bad.
I however decided to tame my anxiety, nervousness and anger. I thought to start short videos on mental health. I quickly set up my webcam and did one short one. Hope you leave me your thoughts.
This morning, I have followed my usual early morning routine. Just as I do most mornings. Woken up, went and had a wash. I then got dressed, made a fuss of TJ my dog and then went and made a cup of coffee. I then collected my retrieved my morning meds from where I keep them all and along with my coffee came into my study.
I then checked my blood sugars, took my meds and sipped my coffee as I went through my emails. And having done so I then checked out this morning’s question set by one of my daughter’s in the “Questions To A Parent With Mental Illness” Challenge that she has set me. And I have to be honest here, the implications of this morning’s question hit me very hard…
I have a sad tale to tell. I knew a boy who lived a calm life. Intelligent he was though and calling meds wasn’t even on his timetable. But several years later, it seemed his life had been reduced to ‘call my meds’. He jotted more about it than he spoke about it. Well, he had to remember right? He feared what will happen if he skipped a single call or was even late to call by 5 minutes. His bedside alarm was always on because in the interval of those phone calls, he will be deep asleep. Those meds called, never left him time to write any other thing down. My unanswered calls usually got such a follow up mail:
“mama ayo (that was how he called me always) its me your brother. i am sorry I was asleep (he slept way too much for our liking). I heard your voice mail checking on me that you plan to visit … next week. thank you very much. God will bless you abundantly.”Gabriel Bebonbechem 21/04/2014 20:34
A Long way gone
I remember when that lad was still just epileptic. He started out with the one magic drug called Tegretol. Even then, I watched his mum try all she could to find alternative treatmemnts while his doses were reduced. He also got put on other meds to counter the side effects of the other meds. They however started to wean him off some of them, because the blood tests and all showed improvements. He was surrounded by Love. He could very well live his best without it reduced to calling meds.
He had no list of instructions nor what to wear when calling his meds. That was long ago before he got to living the AMERICAN DREAM.
America here I come
Oh, what a good but now drastic news. The lad got to win the lottery – sure to go live the American Dream. He dreams forever now, fortunately not in that America anymore. And so it came to be, that this guy went downhill, and had to take other meds. In America, I hear the SYSTEM is king, especially if you are a pauper.
The system surely pumped him up and the story got nasty. He broke the scale because he now weighed over the max. An incident occured and two versions popped up. But sure, you can never make any sense right? Especially when you are now a simpelton. The system said he was guilty of having stopped taking his meds, he said no; it was those meds that got the heart attacked.
The hospital stay was brief, he was a ‘good’ patient and learnt his lessons fast.
Henceforth, you call and we bring
He was put on assisted living to the extent that the meds would be brought to him. But, he had to call and he dared not forget the twice daily conversations with his earthly god? Were you lucky to talk with him thereafter, his appointments with the phone, could easily pop up. I knew the hours for those calls, he told me he dared not miss one of them. His brain became so wired and even chose a blue sweater to wear when calling or receiving the meds. He knew better than to ramble when he made the magic dial and so he wrote it down to hang up as soon as he called.
I got to see his journal when I went home for his burial. He barely knew how to write anymore. He however scribbled some of those points and am sure he could feel so bad his life had been reduced to that. Here are a few snapshots I took, make of it what you will.
Meds, Meds, Meds
This was an update he sent to us his family on May 22,2014 (I copy paste as was – and this was surely one huge effort)
I petit papa(gabriel bebonbechem mbiaoh) will meet doctor matthew geden
on may29 for my meds,then meet doctor habibi on june 2nd for my meds,and
the good news is my rent is paid till december this year.
Mama will come to me june3rd,my birthday is june6,
and Mama wil return June 15.Mama also plans to visit Pauline.
Gabriel Bebonbechem Mbiaoh
Gabriel Bebonbechem is now a united states citizen with a u.s. passport book.
124 green street-apartment507
united astates of america
Amlodipine Besylate 10 MG T
Vitamin B-6 50 MG T
Docusat 100 MG CAP
Oxcarbazepine 600 MG T
Olarzapine 20 MG T
Divalproex Sod ER 500 MG T (all as copied from his journal, now I can’t tell if all were taken together. Yet the last time I saw him, he had that medecine box partitioned into days and then morning/evening – at least 6 tablets each go)
We sure all know by now right? It’s been over a damn month now since he left that phone. No more meds to call.
Granny if I may call you so, I am happy to come your way. I guess 35 years will be deserving of a child or grandchild? which ever, I think I love your style.
So, here I am, a former caregiver to a bipolar diagnosed brother who left us at 33. It’s me the one with mental challenges – am those damn moods which swing or spin as if the own me. The one who has hit rock bottom over and again, lost babies and all – fighting for her sanity and escape from ever getting a medical prescription.
And so granny, I am fighting negative thoughts to the extent that I get up from sleep with a heavy face. You know the boxer of a victor who nevertheless got them dem good blows. I fight so hard and calm myself down as much as possible.
Just this morning, after one of those nights, I wanted to start off with the gym. I went to a nearby branch of my club – they had said they start operations on Sept 01 and they are still giving excuses for whatever. Sure I was mad, and I had to spend at least 45 minutes commuting back home, I took a wrong bus, got out next stop and didn’t know whether to go to my regular branch or go home, calm, work and go there in the evening. I survived and am at home with some magic music.
So granny, it is possible to erase or fight them negative thoughts, but it ain’t ever gonna be an easy fight.
Thanks for sharing
While trying to cope with serious illness in my family, I discovered that it was often my own negative thoughts that hurt me the most. After all, there was no reason to imprison myself. If I fell, I got up and subsequently, was being stronger than someone who has never done so. But, I had trouble with the fact that nothing would ever return to the way it had been before schizophrenia and then Alzheimer’s disease affected members of my family. The usual question, ‘why my family?’ did not help one iota. I had to accept the fact that each ending was really a new beginning to the next phase of my life. So, what have I learned? I have learned to expect less after my life failed to give me what I wanted. I had to expect less and enjoy more.
There were times when I was angry and I knew that I had…
This post has been on my mind for over a month now. I had some ‘low days’ while on vacation in Nice and finally got to identify this tendency of clinging on to the least hurt. I have even since then got worse days but I had already devised a plan.
Well, let’s start from the beginning as I share that particular incident which triggered my nerves and this post. In an earlier post about that very vacation in Nice, I hinted how I even dared to go into the swimming pool to take swimming lessons. It was a HUGE Feat for me and I was simply put – so expectant.
I needed to be reassured all the time, and I expected my Darling Darling who doubled as my swimming instructor to give me lessons whenever I wanted. I don’t know how to qualify my emotions, actions or reactions then, but some will wrongly call that ‘childish’.
It came to be that I got into the pool and waited for over 20 minutes while he played with his nephew. I was already depressed by then thanks also to my ‘feeling of not-belonging with the vacation clan’. I even wanted to leave because I really thought I didn’t deserve the treat after all.
The short of the matter is, because of that 20 minutes delay (which he struggled to explain was because he had to finish the game he had started since they had a deal), I lost my nerves and isolated. I clung so badly to that hurt and the remaining days were simply a ‘turmoil’.
Something must be done
This is why we have Psychiatrists, psychotherapists, therapists, life coaches, counselors, support groups, hotlines and much more. I simply don’t believe in medications helping out here. Maybe they are helpful in some extreme cases say of very poor mental health, to stabilize the individual. But, I equally know all ‘good’ treatments for mental illness involve some sort of therapy
Taming the Demon?
I found this pic quote captivating. Many a times, it all has to do with our HISTORY. Our environment. Our Childhood and much more. Anger and negativity may have been much of what we grew up in and around. We may even have fared or seemed to be coping just fine, but a volcano was equally preparing itself in our psyche.
Therefore, we have some HUGE efforts to make. Even the least one, may be HUGE for some – but each little one, matters a lot. I equally came across a self-help book on:
,written by a psychotherapist by the name Ugo Uche. I am yet to read it, but I hope it reflects its title. I however follow Ugo on g+, and have exchanged some musings with him. Why not give it a try maybe?
Dear gentle readers and followers, mindful or mindless of my own mental challenges (which I am fortunate enough to be taming so far), I am seriously working towards becoming a personal and emotional well being coach of reference and preference. I know you wish me luck and I do wish you well too.
If we could each weep for only one person by our side…! Well, I can only weep because mine is a wish and we know the saying that if wishes were horses, beggars would… Thank you Silent for this soulful poem.
Jill went up the hill and didn’t tumble down without sounding the big trumpet. And even when she rolled down, there were so many who had been alerted by her noise, and were all around to support her. Thank you Jill for sharing your story and advocating so.
I have been asked on many occasions why I tell my story. People ask whether one person can really make a difference. They ask why I share all this in a blog on the internet, why I have written essays, short stories as well as two books on the subject of mental illness in my family. They ask why I don’t give any medical information but, as I am neither a doctor nor a psychiatrist, the only information I can share is that from a mother’s point of view; a mother who lost her son, the way I lost our Doron to paranoid schizophrenia. I woke up to find schizophrenia lurking in corners, I ate dinner with schizophrenia and the last thought that flitted through my mind at night, was how to cure schizophrenia. My son, Doron liked it even less. It took over his whole being. The paranoia was the worst part…