We had a great meeting last nite. I mailed out a donation to Abington Presbyterian Church since they don't charge us for the room. I also gave Nelson the custodian a homemade pumpernickel cuz he is super-helpful, esp when he cranked up the heat last nite. Their digital heater didn't work. They spent over a $1 million on their recent renovations.
I asked the group to pull their chairs into a smaller cozier circle for the first part of the meeting. We had a record number of family members - around 15. Murray does a superb job leading the Fam Member Group. I call all the leaders the next day to find out what went on. One of his newcomers came over to me after the meeting, shook my hand, and said 'I can't tell you how helpful this meeting was.'
I really enjoy them. I always take notes cuz the next day I spend the morning doing follow-up phone calls. I called Mimi (all names are fake) and told her that Eli, our pharmaceutical dude, said the most powerful antidepressants in his opinion are the new Pristiq (an SNRI), which is a variant on Effexor, and Cymbalta.
I wanted to get this important news out esp. to a California friend of mine whose lust for life is low.
Looking now at my notes, wrin on a free pad from my printer, reading Memo from School District of Hatboro-Horsham, I see I jotted down Dylan's name. Sent him a thank-you note for coming out to see us all the way from Lancaster! Murray said he should ride up with Barb who lives there as well. I'll have to send out another email about that. Lemme jot that down right now. Where's my frickin pen?
At the start of the meeting an undiagnosed unmedicated woman arrived from the depths of Philadelphia. She'd been there the previous meeting where she was clearly hearing voices and laffing to herself. She was very intense looking as it's difficult to contend with voices in your head.
I took her aside and told her she needed to see a doctor. Did anyone ever tell you that? I asked. She said no. I said, Come and sit with us and we'll help you and make sure you see a good doctor.
She looked mortified after I said this. I patted her on the shoulder and said it's important I told you this. Other people didn't dare say it. Please come in and sit with us and we'll take care of you.
After half an hour, after I'd started the group, I realized she'd left.
I asked Eli to lead our small group. He's a treasure-trove of information and kindness. We had some supremely depressed individuals. I try to hook up 'buddies' for people and succeeded in getting Stan two male buddies who will look in on him. I am ecstatic! I gave Stan a loaf of pumpernickel bread.
Ada had an enormous group that lasted until 10:30. Likewise, many connections were made in her group. Henry volunteered to help Miriam with paperwork to save her house from the banker vultures. Thank you Henry!
I have many spies who tell me what's going on in the group. I MUST KNOW! As Helen, our Mall Queen, said: Ruth knows everything. I LOVE WHAT I DO. Clearly I'll have to make a killing in the stock market or I'll never reach my goal of being a millionaire. It would be great not to worry about making money, just love.
And of course there's Charlie. A brilliant young man who once suffered only from suicidal depression, he began hearing disturbing voices in recent months. Lawdy, lawdy. Charlie has a terrible psychiatrist. Nice man, of course, but doesn't know how to medicate the voices away. Lights - camera - action! C'mon. It can be done.
Well sir, Charlie didn't attend the last meeting but his wife did. I called over to her over the heads of the large group. "Eva, how's Charlie?"
Well sir, Charlie took an accidental overdose of a hypertensive b/c he was having extreme anxiety with his voices which dictate he do truly outrageous things. He thot the hypertensive would help. Uh-oh. His pulse was so low they had to rush him to the ER where he was put in the ICU.
They took him to UPenn. And then, and then, they took a look at his psychiatric symptoms. Let the trumpet sound. At last! At last! This is what New Directions members have been begging Charlie to do all along.... see a good psychiatrist as well as get tested for any physical ailments that have you doing these outrageous ritualistic activities that are driving your family nuts.
Eli suggested that he see a certain psychiatrist while he's in the hospital. Ah, I said writing it on my pad. She's good. She's very very good. Internationally renowned.
I brought the name into the family member group and proudly handed it to Eva on my School District of Hatboro-Horsham piece of paper with the following name writ large: Raquel Gur, MD. And I pronounced it the correct way. Rhymes with Moor. I saw her speak at the Glenside NAMI meeting.