April 26, 2021

Lad update: Tuesday evening

Sorry this is longer than I intended. 

The arrangement:  if Lad wants help with his toll debt ($3,500, in case you missed that post. We gagged a little, too), then we requested he sign off on his hippa. We also required him to complete the bloodwork that the neurologist requested in July. 

Lad FINALLY got the bloodwork done in March. The head CT from July came back normal. 

The first time he tried to get his blood drawn, the order was too old, or something. That led to a rant by him at us, well namely -me, because I was home.

With Hippa signed, I called the neuro. Was he conducting a legit neuropsych eval? He wasn't. Long story short:  we got Lad to see a new therapist over the summer. He suggested Lad see this neuro Dr. for testing. We crossed our fingers hoping for answers, but since he's legally an adult - we were in the dark. Now we feel like that testing wasn't what Lad needed. Frustrating, and PRICEY. 

In early April, I called the neuro's office to set up a follow up visit. He was booking into late June. Come again? 

Why not ask our family doctor, Dr. B, to review the bloodwork? His office is where Lad had the blood drawn, because it was closer than the neuro. Dr. B was involved early on in this nightmare. He reached out to Lad when things were really hairy and suggested family therapy. Since Lad didn't live with us for 5 months, that didn't happen. 

I emailed Dr. B: 

#1. The neuro wasn't doing a neuropsych eval. 

#2. Lad's behavior has improved considerably - still have concerns. 

#3. If this was stress related and NOT a personality disorder, what happens the next time he encounters stress? 

#4. Would he meet with us, review the bloodwork, and hopefully urge Lad to get the neuropsych eval. 

Dr. B emailed back:  call his office, get appt for the last virtual visit of his day. Tuesday, the 20th at 4:45 worked for all 3 of us. 


Lad:  Big day, we're gonna find out what's wrong with my blood.

Me:  I don't think they're gonna find anything. Dr. B might suggest different testing. (me hinting, hoping he'll be open to what Dr. B suggests)

**side note: When Lad had the toll place call me last month so I could work my magic and get them to lower his bill, I shared with them that Lad was having 'issues'. They suggested we supply them with paperwork. 

I told Lad that if the doc felt he was struggling with something, it might help us in the toll battle. Sometimes it feels like we're playing Jedi mind tricks, taking baby steps. We prefer a doctor to come up with a diagnosis, but WOW - harder than one would think. 

Several weeks ago, Tank got in an argument with Lad and accused him of having a personality disorder. That got really ugly.** 


The virtual call happened an hour late. I had 15 minutes until I had to drive Curly to basketball 30 min away. Other drivers weren't available.

Dr. B:  bloodwork normal. Still Lad wondered what this or that meant. I was pressed for time. Wanted to get to the point. I asked Dr. B if he thought neuropsych testing was appropriate. I mentioned that while we've seen improvement, we want to be sure Lad doesn't run into similar struggles.

Coach informed Dr. B that when Lad came home Feb. 1st he admitted to us that he's always felt like everyone was out to get him. 

Lad felt blindsided. And I hate that. There's no easy way to get a doctor to HELP US. 

Lad:  I was raised to think everyone was out to get me, because that's how my Mom's always felt. 


My parents' favoritism stung. Plus, not gonna deny my middle child syndrome - my sisters are besties and my brothers are practically Siamese. Not the same as thinking 'everyone is out to get me'.  

I bolted from the room to drive Curly. I HAD ENOUGH. I called back, "Yep, always someone's else's fault." 

While in the lot at b-ball, I had to call a friend who works in my eye doctor office about a contact lens issue (silly story later). She could tell I'd been crying. I ended up sharing the saga through tears for over an hour. Of course there was no Kleenex box in the car. 

I had no appropriate photo for this post, but this is chipper. I've unearthed a non-scratched Irish music CD for the minivan. How does one NOT speed when jamming to this upbeat music?

Dr. B suggested family therapy. So we can sit and listen to Lad lie? Project? Blame? Coach and I have seen a therapist who specializes in DBT therapy, which is what we think Lad needs. We started this before he came home Feb. 1. Wanted to learn how to communicate with him, how to help him. Lots of talk about validation. What we really want:  have Lad work with that therapist. How? 

At every turn, I try. This doctor? That test? Hope for this. See if he'll agree to that. Set up boundaries and insist he respect them. Take a few steps forward and then encounter a set back. 

We told him we'd help him deal with his tickets, but he never gave us the ticket or court date. Now the court date is next week. Guess whose fault it is that we don't have a plan in place, or a lawyer? Mine, apparently. 

Believe me, he's so much better than he was. Not tormenting everyone. Functioning. Still, his perception is off. Not accepting responsibility. Doesn't recognize his need for help. Daily life is fine, some unpleasantness, but we don't feel like prisoners in our own home as we did over the summer. It's when we attempt to introduce help that we still believe that he needs that he bristles.  

I wish we'd cancelled Dr. B when he was going to be SO late. The rushed appointment caused more harm than good. It's ALMOST IMPOSSIBLE to get all 3 of us to be available. I hated to reschedule. 

Hoping family therapy works (first, finding a time that works, then hoping the therapist has x-ray vision and can see truth, etc.) It's my only hope, Obi Wan. (not literally, because he's our son, and we'll keep trying till he gets the help he needs).


Nicole MacPherson said...

Oh Ernie, I'm so sorry. I had been wondering how Lad was doing. I really hope family therapy works for you. It's just so difficult when you feel like you're giving it your all and nothing is working. Big hugs. xo

ccr in MA said...

While I'm glad the situation isn't as bad as it was, I'm so sorry there are still these struggles. Best wishes to you all as you go through it.

Ernie said...

Nicole - Thanks. It's frustrating. Something is up and why not find out what that things is? *Sigh*

The good news: he's now selling cars at a dealership that's MUCH closer to home. NO TOLLS. Still selling Mazdas, which he is familiar with. I suggested he ask the owner (who I babysat since he was 3 - yes, I'm officially old) if he needed a sales guy. Initially Lad said no. Then my sister in law told me that I should push him towards that. I explained there's NO PUSHING, but I did tell him that his aunt thought it sounded like a good idea. Anyway, I'm closer to this family than the other car dealer (this owner's cousin) and I don't want things to run amuck. Lad decided to have me call. The owner was like SURE. Lad loves it there. Crazy about his manager, not to mention they pay better per car and better hours.

Ernie said...

ccr - Thanks very much. I'm still hopeful that he gets himself straightened out.

Martha said...

Being new here I hadn't heard about the struggles, but I am so sorry to hear what you are going through. It all sounds so difficult and heartbreaking. I hope you are able to find something that will help soon!

Suzanne said...

I'm so sorry things are so rough. Even though it may not feel like it, or it may feel small, you are making forward progress, which is GOOD. Hang in there.

Ernie said...

Martha - Often my posts are light and fun, this topic is weighty - but so, so much better than what we dealt with over the summer. I wouldn't wish it on anyone. 3 big things: ending college early (graduating from home), girlfriend of 1.5 yrs broke up with him, and not having a lot of direction/worried about a job search. Lad is 22. Has ADD and has always struggled a bit socially. It all came to a head over the summer. He didn't like the expectations we laid out early September and moved out - sort of. Had no positive communication with him for 5 months. It was a very distressing time. He showed up Feb 1st at one of Curly's b-ball games. Things have been better since he came back, but we still hope he finds his way.

Ernie said...

Suzanne - This is true. We are being more consistent in pointing out when he is not 'owning' his stuff. Hoping he starts to recognize that everything isn't someone else's fault. We've been through worse, and we hope for more progress.

Pat Birnie said...

I'm glad things are a wee bit better, although you have a long way to go. As momma of a big family myself, I know the challenges just never end. And I know how it weighs on your heart. Sending you all love and hoping for some progress.

Charlie said...

This post is the definition of unconditional love. He bats you down, but you still get right back up and keep fighting for him. Sending lots of prayers and positive vibes your way for a smoother journey going forward

Kari said...

I hope you all are able to find a time that works for family therapy. It sounds like he's doing better though, so that is a positive. Sending you all hugs.

Ally Bean said...

What a situation. I can understand how you feel about being the one who's blamed. At some point things that happen to you are not your mother's fault, but how do you get this kid to figure that out and accept it? No answer, but the family therapy sounds like a step forward. Sending good thoughts your way.

Gigi said...

Sending hugs. I am happy that things are a bit better. Family therapy sounds like a good idea. A good therapist, I think, would be able to redirect Lad when he starts laying blame at others feet.

SUZ said...

It feels like he's made some major progress, then just the littlest thing will set him off again. I bet it feels like walking on eggshells and that is NOT a fun way to live.
Praying that family therapy will work. I really wish I had some good insight or anything that could help. I mean, I know you're not asking for our help, but you know. We want to make it better for him. And you.

I wonder if you forced him to listen to that lovely Irish music for days on end if he'e drop to his knees and do whatever you want. I have a feeling, it would work for me. :)

Ernie said...

Pat - You are so right - if it isn't one thing, it is something else. When Tank told him he might have a personality disorder, part of me thought WELL, THAT'S OUT THERE NOW. I gotta believe that he notices when he feels icky/anxious or whatever. Maybe he thinks seeking help would mean he is weak? The saga continues.

Ernie said...

Charlie - Thanks, it's interesting how I can be SO frustrated or hurt by his choices or words but a few hours later I'm plotting out how to move him from whatever it is he is stuck on. Yes, unconditional love. He can boil my blood, but at the end of the day I just know he can get better and be happier.

Ernie said...

Kari - Yes, a time that works and a therapist who can meet us at that time. That is the puzzle that will be interesting. I do hope that hearing a therapist frame things out will help. Thanks for the hugs. ;)

Ernie said...

Ally - Yes, at some point it would be nice if he would recognize that all 'oops' do not point back to his mother. Just today he drove to pay his ticket because Coach decided (once Lad finally showed him the ticket) that going to court was not necessary. His APPLE MAPS sent him in the wrong direction. He called me to say he was in a neighborhood and not at the courthouse and it was our fault. I now correct him when he says these things. Hoping one day he gets it. Good thoughts welcome. Very much appreciated.

Ernie said...

Gigi - Thanks and yes - we saw a definite improvement when he returned in Feb. We are able to point things out to him, like HEY IF YOU DECIDE TO STAY AT A FRIENDS OVER NIGHT, JUST SEND US A TEXT SO WE AREN'T WORRIED. Still hit or miss with that, but he at least sees our perspective. I am banking on a therapist who can call a spade a spade. They aren't all created equal, so hoping we land one that helps us sort through this.

Ernie said...

Suz - I've been surprised LATELY that even when things hit the fan (when Tank told him he had a personality disorder and when I asked Dr. B if he would recommend an evaluation) that Lad has left the house for a day or more but that he has come back and hugged me and said that he loves me. I really think those months on his own were tough and that he doesn't want to go back to that again. I also think he recognizes that he needs us (or at least our funds) - hello, TOLL FINES. I'm confident that we will get there. It's just a matter of finding the right combination of here's how we can help and this is what you need to do.

Incidentally Lad LOVES traditional Irish music. He plays the bodhran, an Irish drum (it rests on his knee, turned to the side and is played with a short drum stick in one hand) and often blares music like this from his phone or in his car. It gets 'me blood pumping, so it does.' - that sounds better in my faux Irish accent.

Bibliomama said...

It is so difficult and draining when your child is hurting and either can't or won't allow productive help, and it affects the whole family. I'm glad there's been an improvement, but I get how exhausting it must feel when there's no easy effective fix in sight.

Ernie said...

Ally - Very well said. You nailed it. He does frustrate me so much, but then I look at him and remember that he is not well. I do so wish we could just have a chat where he said, YES I DON'T LIKE FEELING THIS WAY. WHAT SHOULD I DO? Ed is due home next week. He has his ducks in a row and things seem to fall in place for him, so his presence will probably irritate Lad. It's always something.