Friday, September 11, 2009

Visits

We have experienced different types of visits now to
See Karen
Flying in for a couple of hours with grandparents
Driving in to be able to take her to dinner
Waking up early the next day to have breakfast
with her at the residential treatment center

Phone conference calls
In town visits
Therapy sessions in the therapists office
And some on the phone
phone conference calls with psychologists here
psychiatrists there
all these doctors together

We are so lucky to have a dad who is a pilot
The ability to fly to see her and it takes
Less than half the time it takes to fly
we don't want to take advantage
but it sure is nice
and that Rayviator pilot
usually wants an excuse to go somewhere
although he did say
he would much rather fly to
College Station than Austin
too bad we didn't find a facility there

we are lucky the place is even drivable
3 hours
it is not fun
but it is manageable
we get to pass by our camp
going both ways
exit 318
I always see it
and it can make me smile
I wish I could pop in
see the sunset over the lake
while at the outside chapel
one of my very favorite sites in the whole world

I can't imagine
having to fly to see your child
having to plan that weeks in advance
having to worry about the weather
could keep me from seeing or talking to my daughter
I can't imagine having to go out only once a month
or less even
when you couldn't talk or see your child for 3 months
the worry
the anxiety
the thoughts that would continue in my head
I have enough problems with the hours that go by
the lonely hours I worry about her

One friday
My husband and I went down
to Meridell again for a therapy session with Karen and her therapist.

After changing her doctor
the new doctor had been doing
more extensive tests to determine issues with Karen
although she had scored "normal" on her original brain scan
the new doc wanted to recheck it.

we found out her new brain scan
showed some abnormalities
Karen's therapists actually said that this was good
because it explains why therapy alone can not help her
her brain is out of rhythm
because of this "cerebral dysrhythmia"
her depression is a symptom, rather than an ailment.

So, the doctor is going to raise her medication
and the therapist will be working on her to help Karen
learn better thinking strategies
try to break the habits
she has made in the last 16 years of dysfunctional thinking
this is not going to be easy for any of us
because our entire family
has been meshed in back habits too

She got a pass to leave campus
we went to dinner on Friday night
got her back in time for some evening activity
she was glad to be there.

and to sleep back at the treatment center
but then we were able to
take her to breakfast on Saturday morning

On saturday
we got her back in time to go to the cafeteria for lunch
we walked her there
and then the last 20 minutes of our visit was not very satisfying
she didn't like that meal,
and was bothered she couldn't get the vegetarian option

During these passes
we were told to have goals
work on some of these new therapy strategies
when she got upset by the happenings in the cafeteria
she got bothered by me reminding her about
"thinking errors"
goals
therapy
she ended up going into one of her emotional storms
telling me to leave her alone
that I am obnoxious
that she didn't love me
that she wanted me to get out of there.
it was not a pleasant experience
but none of the staff was close to us
to observe what happened.

during that visit
98% of it was fabulous
even though
the last 20 minutes
reminded us of the long road ahead
We are lucky
about twice a week we have seen Karen
dinners out have become more frequent
her sisters have visited too
it was so good
Karen and I went to dinner at the house
of a college friend of mine
that was priceless
a homecooked
steak dinner
being with new people
not getting too anxious
not getting depressed
and being able to play the guitar with the dad

when she had breakfast with her sisters
they fought
and she could ignore it

we decided to have a spa time
a massage time
a very relaxing time that she definitely enjoyed
as did I
I could go back now

She even made the decision
that she wanted to go to temple for services
somewhere different
but something similiar
and she wanted to do that
I was so proud
her dad went with her
and she got to stay in the hotel for the first time
she was thrilled

we do look forward
when the other girls
her father
and I go back down
and Karen gets to stay with us
in a hotel room
it is not like home
but it will be as close as we can get
to try to make this all work again
to talk about her feelings
to talk about our feelings
to apologize and forgive
and to move on

and then sleep soundly that night
well
I am not sure how soundly
because if we are all in one room
the snoring from both of the parents
might keep everyone awake