Saturday, May 26, 2007

And On a More Positive Note…

My last post left me trying, unsuccessfully, to chase the Black Dog away for the rest of the day. Cinnamon Swirls didn’t fix it, and neither did driving up and down the dual carriageway at 70mph with Craig David damaging my eardrums. But when I picked Mr Man up from his table tennis practice tonight, all my sadness seemed to melt away as I listened to him enthusiastically detail his evening.

Mr Mans table tennis season came to an end last month with his team finishing in second place in division two and with him just narrowly missing third place for the average number of games won. Considering he had two relapses during this time (one caused by stress and the other due to a medication change) I think he did amazingly well. Next season he will go up into the first division.

Last summer he didn’t cope so well once the season had finished as he had nothing to focus his mind on, but I’m pleased to say that now his club have their own dedicated premises so they will be able to stay open for the whole summer. A summer league has been organised, which Mr Man is taking part in, and the premises can be hired throughout the summer for practice.

I am amazed at how well Mr Man is doing at the moment. When I think back to the beginning of the season, he didn’t want to mix with players outside game nights, and he often didn’t want to go to practice nights either. When he did go he only stayed for about 45 minutes. He started going more regularly when he started losing games on game nights! After a while he increased his time at practice nights to an hour and a half, mainly for my benefit, so that I would have time to see a friend for an hour in between dropping him off and picking him up. He started chatting more with other players, and at the summer league earlier this week he even exchanged numbers with one of them! His new friend text him today, and they arranged to go to practice earlier than usual, so he was there for two hours this evening. His friend can’t make it next Friday though, so they’ve decided to practice together on the Saturday!

I know this probably sounds like nothing unusual to other people, but to me it is a real breakthrough. Mr Man hasn’t interacted with others as well as this since about 2001.

He played really well tonight. Now that he is taking Citalopram he seems to be coping much better with his anxiety, and no longer needs to use Diazepam, so his reactions are much quicker. Tonight he outplayed a premier division player who won 85% of his games last season! Not surprisingly then, Mr Man has been asked to help out with coaching, which he has agreed to (and seems to be looking forward to), even though the summer league is on the same night of the week, so it will mean being out of the house for about 5 hours on that night! I asked him if he thought he would be ok, but he didn’t seem worried, he just said “Well if I don’t cope very well I’ll just tell the bloke who organises it that I’m not very well, he’ll understand”. This surprised me as Mr Man doesn’t usually like to admit that he is unwell, in case people ask what is wrong.

He has also decided that he is ready to play in two leagues next season, which will mean more nights out of the house, and he has volunteered to redesign the club website, and to update it weekly, so he has lots of things planned to keep himself busy and his mind occupied.

I am so proud of him. He has shown amazing strength and courage.

19 comments:

papple77 said...

fair play to Mr man,its good that he is doing well.
Stumbled on this site a few weeks back,keep up the good work!

Mr Mans Wife said...

Thank you Papple77, and welcome to my blog.

I am just amazed by his recent progress. I never thought he would get back to living a normal life, but now it looks entirely possible. :)

Sandi said...

Hi there and great that Mr. Man is doing so well! It is so good that he has something to focus his time on.

I have decided to start "another blog" to detail my life with my husband.

Hope your readers will come around and visit me too! I sure enjoy reading your blog!

the link to the new one is http://myotherblogst.blogspot.com/

Mr Mans Wife said...

Thank you Sandi, and great news about your new blog! I'm so excited! I can't wait to read it!

I will get round to linking to you later this evening.

Slurry said...

that is so good to hear about MrMan, and am really pleased for the both of you!

Mr Mans Wife said...

Thank you Slurry :)

Catherine said...

Fabulous for Mr Man. I remember the post earlier in the year when you were writing of him not wanting to even go to the practices. What a change!

I was wondering if maybe he was overextending himself, but it is good that he feels he will be able to tell someone if he is not doing well.

Just from reading your early posts, one can tell how far he has come.

Mr Mans Wife said...

Thanks Catherine. I wondered if he was taking on too much as well, but as you say, it's good that he feels able to tell someone if he's not coping - that in itself is an improvement.

Alexis said...

congrats! not only for Mr. Man, but for you as well. It is good to hear that he is doing so well...you have a little less to worry about now and a bit more to enjoy. best of luck on the new meds!

Mr Mans Wife said...

Thank you Alexis :)

sassy said...

Just reading through your blog made me think of my son who also has schizophrenia. He plays for a disability football team and just like your husband in the beginning he wouldn't mix with anyone. Let alone trust them! Recently we attended an end of season presentation night (the 4th one so far) and I noticed the change in him towards the other players. Much more socialable and some of the players cheered him when he got up to collect a medal. I know exactly what you mean about the feeling of your husbands progress. It might not sound like much to some people but it is an enormous step to get as far as Mr Man has.

Mr Mans Wife said...

Thank you so much for your comments Sassy.

It's hard to put into words isn't it? I remember how proud I felt when Mr Man collected his trophies after his first season back; they represented so much more than simply winning games.

Do you mind me asking how old your son is?

sassy said...

Hi Mr Man's wife, my son is now 34 has been ill for over 12 yrs. It rips your heart out to watch someone you care about suffer the symptoms of schizophrenia.During that time I also had similar thoughts to yours, as in death would be better than this torment.
Now is a different story, although he is very much a loner in everything he does...which still makes me feel sad. His symptoms are not anywhere near as severe as they were, he is starting to live again now.

Mr Mans Wife said...

Sassy, that's fantastic news that your sons health is now improving, although it has taken a long time hasn't it?

Your son is actually the same age as Mr Man. In fact I keep coming into contact with 34-35 year olds with Schizophrenia just lately, which is odd. It makes you wonder if there was something in the water back in '72-'73...

uphilldowndale said...

Best news I have read in ages!

Anonymous said...

I am happy for you Mr. Mans wife...and very happy for him too!

Laurie

Mr Mans Wife said...

Thank you Laurie :)

And thank you Uphilldowndale - I'm sorry I've only just noticed your comment; my email notifications aren't always coming through for some reason.

Anonymous said...

I was traveling by and discovered this page. I have been married for only four months. We dated for five months. The man I married changed so quick it left my head spinning. I had no idea what was happening to our lives. He has a wonderful family, but the chose not to share my husband's illness with me, neither did my husband. I was about to call it quits when he went for help.I still didn't know what was going on until I started talking to the nurses and SS worker, and begin to look up meds on the web. I learned that he was sick with this desease. To be truthful I am not sure that I can handle it but I know my heart loves him. I will not desert him. Please if you have any advise PLEASE HELP ME! CHAVON794@aol.com

Thank you
Heart pain

Mr Mans Wife said...

Anonymous, I understand the fear and uncertainty that you are feeling right now. Everything is very new and intense at the moment, but things will settle down in time and you will learn to adjust.

After Mr Man became very ill I often wondered if our lives would ever be the same again. The fact is, all marriages change over the course of time anyway, but some more dramatically than others. The important thing is to ride the storm together. In time you will learn how to recognise early warning signs and how to avoid triggers, and it is entirely possible that you could both get back to a normal life.

I suppose my advice would be to never give up hope. Sometimes the progress seems slow, but try to compare to how he was at his worst instead of how things were before he was ill.

Also, ask if there is a carer support worker in your area - get some support for YOU. Someone in this role or a similar one will be able to support you emotionally and also help you with practical advice such as benefits.

I hope this helps. Best wishes to you and your husband.