Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

Just crossing fingers and praying


#1

My husband gets out of the hospital tomorrow. The last 24 hours have been topsy turvy. He was given a roommate who tried to start a fight with him. It didn’t get beyond words that I can tell, but my husband was furious last night and had told the Dr that he wanted to kill the guy. The Dr apparently told my husband given what had happened that was understandable (WHAT?!) so when I go today I hope one of the chatty nurses are on duty so I can find out what happened. It must not have been too bad bcz if it had been my husband would have had a 24 hour escort and he did not. He was transferred to a new room.

He’s very frustrated that he wants help but there is no inpatient help available and they want him to go to some groups at our local VA. That’s a waste. He has been before and it was not helpful. He found a friend in the hospital though, that lives in our town and has agreed to take him to meetings with her. Yes, you heard that right. With her. She must be 10 or 15 years older than us because of when she served. I’m a little freaked out by that but I can’t show it. Gotta have faith, I guess.

Anyway, I can’t see that much has changed in the week he has been there. Still no medications. The only real improvements that I see are that he seems to have accepted his delusions about me. I’m sure he has them but he has able to move past them while in the hospital anyway. Another improvement is that one of the nurses (he is friendly with the staff and the nurses love him) told me that she can see a huge HUGE improvement in his functioning this stay and the last stay. The last improvement I see is the one that makes me feel weird… finding the local friend who will take him to meetings. At least he kind of almost has a plan.

I’m so worried about tomorrow. Since substance abuse is a big part of his picture, I’m afraid that he will go buy or get drugs when he gets back. That sends him down a delusional rabbit hole. He says he is not interested in that, but he said that last time. I don’t want to be his mother and quiz him “where are you going?did you buy drugs?” Etc etc. He has severe chronic pain as a result of his military career- he’s mentioned about 100 times how the narcotics helped the pain and now it’s killing him. Strangly, the VA has talked to him about medical marijuana but we don’t live in a state where that is possible. I’m not sure why on earth that would come up with his Dr when he wants to go to rehab for narcotics. His earlier involvement in the VA left him addicted to opiates, so you can see why I’m scared.

All I can do is hope and pray. I have such high hopes. Sorry this is so long…again…


#2

I can see why that would be distressing but take it a day at a time. As for the medical marijuana, some vets wth PTSD are getting relief but with the current schedule there can’t be proper research. The pharmaceutical companies are one of the biggest lobbyists against legalization. Hang in there. Meanwhile take care of yourself.


#3

I mentioned on another post, but I’m reading & re-reading & trying to learn how to use the techniques in “I’m not sick, I don’t need help” - I’ve seen it recommended on this site & Mom2 mentioned there were videos on this site as well.

It sounds like the PDOC telling him that under the circumstances it was understandable falls in line with the book’s recommendations & could be a good thing.

As for the female friend, I have to admit I’d feel a little weird about it too, but at this point, he really, really, really needs a friend, and hopefully a positive influence, and all male/female relationships don’t have to go down a romantic path. Maybe it will be a good thing?

I mentioned on another post that I freelance write as a 2nd job for the cannabis industry. I’ve read that the VA is loosening up on medical marijuana in legal states. I actually know an ex-military person in Scotland who uses it exclusively for their PTSD and has gotten off an incredible high dosage of valium using it, and a lot of people do use it instead of opiates for pain. The problem is finding the right strain, etc. I don’t live in a legal state either, but if you guys go down that path, you can PM me if you have any questions you think I might be able to answer. Most of my knowledge is just from reading and talking to people online, but I’ve spent years doing it. I don’t think it helps everyone, but for people it does help, it’s pretty good.

Also, you probably know this, but the narcotics trick your body. Because the brain wants more & more opiates, it sends false pain signals out to the body when it doesn’t get what it feels like is enough. I’m sure your husband is in great pain.

My son had some dentistry done & they had in their paperwork that they had stopped giving out opiates. For pain, they recommended taking 2 tylenol & 2 motrin to start, then in 2 hours, take 2 tylenol, 2 more hours take 2 motrin, and keep alternating. I was like, yeah, right - but it really did work. I recently had to have a root canal with a specialist & was talking to him about it because opiates make me feel very sick. He said they had a lot of double blind studies that proved it worked.

Sorry for like a know-it-all - I have a bad habit of repeating all the info I’ve absorbed. Hopefully, there’s something helpful in there.


#4

You are not a know it all at all. It’s very helpful. My husband was told by his VA MD about the medical marijuana and even low dose ketamine for PTSD treatment and saw some preliminary VA studies with great results. One of my fears is that the VA gives out opiates like candy for chronic pain, which is why he had to work to get off them a few years ago. The outpatient groups were not helpful and really didn’t address any underlying causes. He didn’t have access to a pdoc at that point, so there was no one except me monitoring him or catching the delusions early enough to address them or start treatment when he might have been receptive.

He doesn’t seem to be a candidate for any inpatient program at this point… the mental illness disqualifies him from the PTSD programs and I think the substance abuse programs… but addressing the PTSD would go a long way toward treating the SZ or delusions or whatever his actual diagnosis is. He seems to fall between every crack. It’s interesting to me that even without meds, his delusions decrease when he is in a therapeutic environment, which says to me that self medicating is really having a negative impact. I read somewhere on this board a really powerful post where someone was saying that recovery from substances was as hard or harder than dealing with the SZ.

It is going to be a long road. Now he is ok but tomorrow when he is out is another story.

I say this a lot, but this board has been my salvation. I have learned so so so much. I have watched the videos and read but I forget to put it into practice. I better study up before tomorrow!


#5

It’s really hard to put it in practice - I’m a “I’m right, you’re wrong” kind of person, so I thought it was just me.

I can read through it, talk to my son immediately after, and still can’t do it all - can’t even remember everything. But, I guess with practice, I’ll get it. I can see where it would work with lots of things, so I just keep reading it over & over & over again - it’ll click one day.


#6

You are so right. Practice makes perfect.


#7

I hope for the best for you and your husband.

Just to let you know, if a person really does have schizophrenia, both marijuana and ketamine dramatically increase psychosis, often for extended periods of time beyond a “reactive psychosis” from drug use.

For some reason, these substances interact with the brain much differently and way more negatively if a person has a psychotic disorder.

I realize what your husband does and what his doctors do is not up to you, but I wanted you to know that if his reaction is extremely negative to either substance, it might be part of his illness.


#8

That’s very true - I wasn’t complete with my other answer, and now I feel irresponsible.

Marijuana is very bad for my son. I think it’s great for people that it works well for, but it’s like any other drug - not good for everyone and everything. I can’t tolerate it myself - makes me paranoid.


#9

I think marijuana is keeping my son from recovery.


#10

Great advice. My son has to have wisdom teeth out and I dread keeping him from smoking and off pain killers.


#11

When you have anything removed keeping it iced down is key too - at least for the first 24 hours.
I’ve found that those old fashioned ice bags you can fill with ice work better than the frozen peas or anything else.

Our oral surgeon is a big believer in listening to music through the whole procedure too - he said it tricks your mind & body into thinking nothing has happened.

So ice and ibuprofen/tylenol first - pain meds as a last resort. But, with wisdom teeth, it’s going to hurt.

Maybe try a nicotine patch for the smoking? Our oral surgeon also said dry sockets aren’t really the problem with smoking - it’s that the smoke keeps things from healing.

We’ve seen him for nearly 30 years for various things. Love the guy & we’ll be real sorry to see him retire when it gets to that point.


#12

Thank you so much for the advice. I will follow it.


#13

Oh, believe me… I’m scared of really any substance for him, esp. if administered by the VA. We’ve had such wacky experiences over the least few years! Given his issues, treatment for 1 issue impacts the others. If he “just” had PTSD that would be different. Or just psychosis. Instead, he’s a mixed bag! :slight_smile: I just meant there are treatments for some of his issues, that directly oppose others- ketamine negatively impacts psychosis, but may help ptsd… but he has substance abuse issues!

I have to laugh because if I don’t it’s SO overwhelming and seems hopeless. I do know he’s going to do what he’s going to do. Whatever that is.

But I welcome any and all ideas!