Thursday, April 8, 2010

More sad stuff

I took my dad to the psychiatrist at Veterans today. It is right down La Paz from their home, so it is little trouble; however, I would have liked to be home grading papers since the Center was crowded and bustling most of the time I was there, and I couldn't get any grading done today.
The psychiatrist is a pleasant man, like someone I might know in synagogue or in the choir. He has sympathetic crinkly eyes and curly brown hair, graying at the temples. His book shelves are not impressively packed with hardback leather volumes, but rather old paperbacks, mostly, like ones I might have on my own shelves, worn and battered, obviously much-read.
I took my dad to see him because bipolar medications are a delicate thing. My dad's recent fit of boredom and desperation merited a trip to see if the cocktail needed to be re-stirred. And the doctor decided that he was going to cut one of the medication doses in half because the dose he is on can make bipolar episodes speed up. He then tested and tweaked to see how fast my father would plunge into a depressive state. He asked my dad how he felt watching my mom go downhill mentally. He was more depressed than I have ever seen him, even so much that he said he would kill himself if it were not for his sudoku puzzles.
It wasn't just mom's mental deterioration, but his own, and his own utter helplessness, unable to do anything anymore, even button his shirt, that had him in so much despair.
So the doctor dismissed us, after leaving my father in a dangerously depressed state. I thought that was rather reckless. Yes, he learned what he wanted to, but now what? What are we to do until the medications arrive?

2 comments:

marly said...

Bothersome, all right. I've not heard about an approach like that before... In the meantime, a little gardening, some tea, and a puzzle? Sigh.

Robbi said...

In my experience, they all do that, to some extent. But after gingerly poking, they step back, having learned what they wanted to. My dad's demeanor, his slumped posture and frown, was enough to tell that man anything he wanted to know. He needn't have pursued the issue.