Waiting with my son at a sketchy Labcorp site for over 2 hours…simply awaiting Doctor’s orders to approve the previously scheduled blood draw. Those of us caregivers on the forum know that Clozapine can be a life-changing therapy. But. Using Clozapine and getting refills requires routine labs to test for negative effects on the liver, and likely other stuff.
But the spike in Covid has caused several Labcorp locations to shut down due to staff shortages. So a slight delay in refilling his Rx turned into a 5 day lack of meds due to the blood draw drama.
Even after we found an open lab, we had trouble getting the orders faxed over (out of tonor). Our doc was on the phone but they wouldn’t take verbal orders. The lab closed. Patients and staff all gone. Locking up. ‘Maybe you can reschedule Monday…’ (another few days to delay Clozapine).
Then…An angel named Curtis, 50-year old lab tech, stayed after they closed and helped me get an emailed image of the lab order, logged back in, and against corp procedure, processed the order and did the blood draw. Thus ending a several day lab closure, cancellation and paperwork delay, including the final two-hour nightmare simply to get routine lab to continue the ONLY therapy that works with my near-manic son who really, really, really needs the Clozapine.
Because Curtis stayed late, past closing, he missed his bus. Next one was 1.5 hours later. So we gave him a ride home and bought him lunch. He strenuously refused but he and my son connected on sports and vaping. So he allowed us to show him some appreciation for his selfless act. He was definitely a blessing in our lives today.
So we’re back home. A lab result away from getting Clozapine Rx filled. (Hopefully today/tomorrow). Keeping our son distracted and using LEAP and CBT and ESPN to sooth him.
And that is my submission today for ‘Love is…’. In honor of the angel Curtis who took mercy on us and saved us yet another rescheduling and a few more days without a critical med.
So glad it worked out (so far!)
We had a hard time getting Clozapine this week also. They said the truck didn’t get to the CVS due to snow and sleet. Luckily the pharmacy tech found some on the shelves.
Sending positive thoughts!!
Love is keeping realistic goals and boundary’s with my son. I refuse to “coddle” him when he is med compliant -he needs to contribute to his costs clean his space work and be social…. It’s hard and has taken time to figure out what is reasonable.
People can be amazing. That lab tech sounds very helpful. I see kindness all the time. Just the other day, I was out with my brother who has schizophrenia, and on an impulse I took him into a florist shop to get a small cactus or something. The shop was quite upscale, not what I intended, but I didn’t know it until we got inside. We were bundled in winter gear, dirty from cleaning his apartment, my brother rough looking. (I don’t like writing that, but it’s part of the story.)There was a young woman, no older than 25, working there alone, who without pause took time off from filling some order to walk over to us, inquire respectfully what my brother needed and then walk through the store, talking directly with him one-on-one about houseplants, for about five minutes. This may not seem like a big act of love, but anyone who circulates in society with someone who is mentally ill has, I’m sure, seen countless examples of disrespect or reluctance to engage. Not this person. She handled the conversation’s twists and turns with real kindness. I thought about her all afternoon. I hope this thread grows. Thanks for starting it.
I’m glad angel Curtis was doing the extra mile to help you and your son in the critical hour when so many are more concerned about the covid and variants than about the obvious existent present issues.
Let’s count our blessings!
Hugs to you all and the special Curtis in your life! I love this stories of people in the medical field who go really walk the walk. Their extra help doesn’t get to be published but there’s plenty of good hearted persons
My son went to 7-11 to purchase a Gatorade and some snacks. He came up short about a dollar at the register. The clerk, sensing his panic, reached in his pocket and made up the difference.
People can be amazing; every act of kindness has a ripple effect.
My son was on clozapine fir 5 years
I found an amazing pharmacy that helped coordinate lab results and delivered meds to him wherever he was. It was such a godsend. Sadly he took himself off it 2 years.
Thanks to all my fellow warriors who continue to try and see the best in an obviously challenging walk. I love the story of the young lady helping in the plant store, the generous Gatorade clerk, and the pharmacy staff.
One more to add… my son, 20, 6’2”, 240, is moving out of our home tomorrow into an apartment nearby with a schoolmate/friend. Obviously we’re very anxious about how this will go. But are cautiously optimistic that he can began moving towards a quasi-independent life.
The boys needed furniture and on two separate occasions went out to buy an inexpensive table and chairs, and then a bed frame. In both instances, the seller met them and for whatever reason gave them the items at no charge!
In both incidences, we reached back out to the sellers (Facebook marketplace) to ensure everything was ok, and received very kind comments about our gentle giant son. Both sellers simply felt the need to share some love and pass it forward.
Let’s keep the love rolling!!
Five years of being on clozapine was very good! My son has been on a number of medications for a few years, 2-3 at a time, only to feel better and stopped, always thinking that he was ‘cured’ and he didn’t need the meds any longer; in the past when he was younger he would go without the meds for another 2 years to be deteriorated and start again the journey. With the passing of years he deteriorates much sooner when he goes unmedicated, last time it took only couple of months before we had to call the cops.
A friend that didn’t have any mental issues told me once that she was tired of her high blood meds! It made me realize that it’s not a wonder that individuals with mental health issues stop their meds, especially when they don’t have any insight at all.
I hope you can persuade your son to take his meds again, or that someone else has the gift of persuasion to be in his way and he listens.
I know that feeling!
My heart and prayers go your way Sandy1234.
Good news! (There is still occasionally good news!). My son who had recently quit his job as a kennel tech (after 4 months), has, after 3 weeks, decided to try again. He accepted a position at another dog care business. Smaller and felt more comfortable to him. The owner and manager were so kind to him. Of course I had to go in separately and meet them and check the place out.
God bless the kind-hearted souls who run their own small businesses. The owner had been doing grooming for 30+ years. So very kind and passionate about caring for pets. She is the perfect owner/manager for my son.
He starts tomorrow. Part time. And it’s close to his apartment. Who knows how long it will last? Nobody. But today is a good day. I’ll take the win.
So glad it was a speed bump and not a hard left turn.
I’m curious if you disclosed his diagnosis when speaking with the kennel owners. If so, how did they react?
Thanks! I’ll admit I’ve struggled with how much to disclose about my son’s DX - in ANY setting. His old friends. Our church (very involved for nearly 30 years!). Our community/neighbors who witnessed the parade of cops, drama.
Part of me wants to shout, “It’s all good! Turns out my awesome son has a brain disease which we’re all trying to battle through every day!” I’m so proud of him for battling.
But obviously, SZ has some scary misperceptions to most people. And we understand why. And it’s my son’s decision to share. So I’m constantly torn between his rights to privacy and my desire to help educate the world to be more loving towards my son! And more grace-filled with all humans struggling with mental illness.
Long winded answer, and clearly a larger topic, but in this situation and with prior owners/bosses, I’ve ONLY shared that my son has some learning challenges and would benefit from a bit slower, intentional approach to lead/train him in a work setting.
I’ve found, in 100% of the times I’ve done this, people that quickly seem to understand and perhaps jump to their own conclusions (oh he must be on the spectrum, or whatever). It seems they apply their own personal knowledge into my son’s situation. Regardless of how they perceive my limited facts, all have reacted with acknowledgment, and appreciation. And most have gone above and beyond if there’s a bad day.
Would love to hear other thoughts on this highly personal and certainly controversial subject of ‘how much to share…for everyone’s safety’.