Adventures in Psychopharmacology

So my mother is in the hospital again. We had to admit her last week due to another urinary tract infection, for which she is being presently treated.

Over the course of her admittance, the doctors also determined that it might be a good idea to vacate her psychiatric medications to determine whether her confusion was being caused by the antidepressants that she has been taking for the better part of the last 40 years.

This was a BAD IDEA, and myself, my uncle and two aunts (I had a bit of a “posse” with me after her admittance) all implored the physicians to not stop her psychiatric medication…

But they did so anyway. As a result, over the weekend, my mother became psychotic.

I don’t really want to get into details about her episode online, but it is a great understatement to suggest that both my mother and the nurses taking care of her had tremendously difficult weekend experiences.

As of Monday afternoon, the psychiatrist on staff was resuming her medication, but mom was still not herself. We are hoping that as she resumes her medications, her psychiatric symptoms will ease, but that’s going to take some time.

In the interim, she’s still being treated for her urinary tract infection, but the psychiatric crisis caused by her lack of medication is of current precedence.

I have no idea what’s going to happen in terms of being able to blog over the course of the end of the Red Wings’ season, beginning of the Grand Rapids Griffins’ playoff push, or the lead-up to the World Championship. I wish I could be doing that stuff right now.

Right now I am dealing with mom’s acute health issues, and I am needed there.

Life is not beautiful right now


After a month’s worth of progress and setbacks, my mom’s health has reversed course, and her levels of confusion and falling have returned to pre-hospitalization levels.

My aunt and I are physically and mentally exhausted from trying to keep the mom’s struggles quiet, and trying to take care of her on our own; we are likely headed to a neurologist to determine what’s going on.

Like any caregiver, I’m upset, I’m heartbroken over mom’s struggles, and I’m scared regarding what happens next.

I really don’t know what will happen in terms of my return to blogging. I miss doing my job very, very much, but my life revolves around taking care of the mom right now, and it feels like that priority is swallowing me whole these days.

Fun times in familial medical land, part 4: mom is back home

Hey gang,

My mother returned home from what was a 32-day stint in the hospital and then rehabilitation approximately a week-and-a-half ago.

The aunt and I have been adjusting to having mom back home, and we’ve been very busy with her post-stay follow-up care (there’s quite a bit of it to help reduce hospital and rehabilitation facility recidivism).

Mom came back with a walker, which we are learning to accommodate, and we’re having “grab bars” installed in the restroom and are ensuring that mom gets some physical and occupational therapy to learn how to move around in a safer manner.

As soon as I can take a breath and get mom’s care sorted out, I’ll get back to work. I miss the work and I miss the community of readers on the blog, FB and Twitter, and I hope all of you are doing well.

Fun times in familial medical fun land, part 3: Rehabilitation stint

My mother has been discharged from the hospital and has spent the better half of the past two weeks in a rehabilitation facility in Novi.

Mom’s kicked the Urinary Tract Infection, but she needs physical and occupational therapy to prevent falls at home, and she’s been working very hard to learn how to use a walker to help her lack of lower-body strength.

I’ve spent most days at the rehab facility spending time with the mom, so I’ve barely had time to do more than bookmark the day’s hockey stories, and the Bye Week was a big help given that I missed a couple of games when mom was in the hospital.

We are hoping that mom can come back home in a week or two, and in the interim, it’s just the daily grind of trying to visit when possible and navigate the health system when I’m at home.

I still plan on returning sometime this season, hopefully before the trade deadline, and I’m really sorry for the inconvenience that this has caused, but right now, mom comes first.

Fun times in familial medical land, part 2


My mother’s been in the hospital for the past week, and she will be transferred to a rehabilitation facility as she begins a third course of antibiotics to treat a severe urinary tract infection.

An ambulance took her to the ER last Sunday, and my little 2006 Pacifica may very well know the route from South Lyon to Novi (and back) by itself now. The aunt and I are a little worn out, but are soldiering through.

It’s hard to concentrate on the little things like “self-care” right now, so my return to hockey blogging has been delayed a bit. I’m sorry for the inconvenience–I miss covering hockey very much.

A biopsy is still on the radar for the mom. It’s been delayed until early February. I’d imagine that she’s the most tired of all of this rigamarole, but “Old Fart Shit,” as my Uncle Paul calls the medical complications of aging, takes no prisoners.

A hockey-speak familial medical update

We’re into January, and I’m sure you have some questions as to my whereabouts, but I have a slight problem in affording you a full update: the mom has yet to…declassify her situation…so what I can tell you is very limited.

As a result, I’m going to do my best to explain what’s going on in hockey injury terms. So:

Mom has an upper-body anomaly, and we spent the latter half of December dealing with that anomaly. She’s had over seven hours’ worth of imaging thereof…

But her specialist wants to determine the anomaly’s composition, and as such, the mom’s having a diagnostic procedure next week.

The procedure’s result will determine how the anomaly is treated, so that’s yielded a fair amount of anxiety for everyone.

That’s where the family is at. We spent half a month ferrying the mom to doctor’s appointments; now we’re en route to the big day and big diagnosis.

I will inform you of the status of the return-to-blogging eventuality when that’s possible. Right now, the familial medical adventures are taking precedence.

Fun times in familial medical land


I had hoped to make my return in short order, but my family is experiencing some health complications that require me to focus on taking care of the mom for now.

Mom’s dealing with a health issue that requires some extra imaging (next week) and then a biopsy (soon after) before we know what we are battling.

While I’m finally starting to feel (ab)normal again, the next two-to-three weeks will determine how much of 2019 I spend blogging from medical facilities.

So, for the next two-to-three weeks, I’m going to be ferrying mom back and forth to Beaumont in Royal Oak as we figure out what the New Year will bring.

No “thoughts and prayers” needed yet. The aunt insists that the mom and I focus on “one thing at a time,” so right now, we’re worried about getting to Thursday’s imaging appointment, and then we’ll worry about the rest.

After that, in the words of noted philosopher Spike Spiegel, “Whatever happens, happens,” and part of that not-too-distant future will involve me blogging again.

A short health update

Among the many supportive comments I’ve received during my hiatus due to anxiety attacks and depression, it was suggested that I keep my updates to a minimum until I returned. So I went quiet for a couple of weeks.

Regrettably, my recovery has taken longer than expected due to persistent symptoms of anxiety compounded by depression. I haven’t quit and I haven’t given up on getting better–I’m just trying to get back to enough of a semblance of health that allows me to work.

For me, dealing with anxiety and depression are daily battles, even when I’m at my best. I still have to fight through symptoms of both illnesses to get out of bed and function every day.

I’m not at the point where I can fight through my illnesses to the point that I can work, not yet, anyway. While I’ve spent the last three weeks going to bed hoping that I will feel OK enough to grind out a day’s work, I’ve spent the last three weeks in significant pain, and the pain hasn’t let up.

As soon as I can fight through it, I will get back to work, and I will work very hard to return to providing a one-stop shop for Wings news. In the interim, however, I am doing my damnedest to recover and heal. I am sorry for the interruption in service, but I’ve been a bit of a mess lately, and I’m trying to sort it out.

Thank you for your support and readership. I’m hoping that things will get back to more regularly abnormal ASAP.


Red Wings-Hurricanes quick take: Wings need more TEAM effort as Canes surprise Detroit at home

The Detroit Red Wings attempted to earn their second win of the season while battling the Carolina Hurricanes on Monday night.

The Red Wings struggled to generate a shot in a 1st period in which they were out-shot 21-6, they struggled to generate any offense in a 2nd period that they were out-shot 15-6, and scored a goal but gave up an empty-netter in a 3rd period in which they out-shot Carolina 9-3.

Long story short, Detroit was out-scored 3-1 in a hard loss to take despite the disparity in shots and attempts (69-42!). Andreas Athanasiou scored the Wings’ only goal at even strength, the Wings blew 4 power plays and Jimmy Howard was a stalwart in stopping 36 of 38 shots. The Red Wings’ players displayed good qualities at times, but the team did not coalesce, and because the team struggled to consistently force the Canes onto their heels, Carolina won fairly handily.

This little video sequence, provided by Sportsnet, may summarize the Wings’ night:

Continue reading Red Wings-Hurricanes quick take: Wings need more TEAM effort as Canes surprise Detroit at home

Recovering from anxiety attacks: feelin’ funky, slowly sorting stuff out

Different people react to anxiety attacks or depressive episodes somewhat differently, but the gist of what I’ve felt like over the past couple of days is simple: I feel like I got hit by a loaded dump truck’s worth of neurochemicals, and my body went into “Safe Mode” for the last three days.

As every Windows user knows, “Safe Mode” kind of sucks, because you can’t really do anything to be useful or of use, and having had two severe anxiety attacks over the course of a week, I was in serious-ass “Safe Mode.”

I’m starting to feel better today, if better is feeling all prickly, fuzzy-headed and slightly dazed. I really got “zapped” by a couple of wall-sized waves of chemicals over the past week, and it’s going to take some time for the effects to fade.

Regrettably, this is part of what my neurochemistry and wiring signed me up for, and as frustrating as it was to come back from physical illness, only to have my mental illnesses flare up…

Shit happens, man, and even if you’re in my situation (see: I have insurance, a therapist, psychiatrist, medication and a supportive family), the shit can still hit the fan in terms of anxiety and depression symptoms flaring up.

All I can do is dig out now, and over the next couple of days, I’ll do my best to return to getting hockey content out there. For the present moment, I’m not very useful, but I’ll try to at least catch up a bit.

I will say that the Red Wings hit on one of the major “boo boos” of the past 50 years in finally deciding to retire Red Kelly’s #4 despite the fact that he split his career and Cup wins between Detroit and Toronto. Kelly was one of the NHL’s first offensive defensemen, and it’s time to put #4 in the rafters while he’s still around…

And no, it is not surprising that the Red Wings are 0-3-and-2 to start the season, especially with an 8-2 loss to Boston highlighting the schedule of frustration.

Detroit was socked with injuries on defense and a schedule of teams that absolutely destroy the Wings on a regular basis, and the Wings have three more really hard games against really hard-to-beat teams in Montreal (in Montreal), Tampa Bay (in Tampa Bay) and Florida (anywhere) before the team finally heads home on the 22nd.

The Wings obviously need to play a lot better, but this is also what learning on a green, green blueline tends to look like, and hopefully Saturday night’s loss will serve as a wake-up call for a team that was playing just well enough to lose close games previously.

In any case, I would like to thank you for your support and your readership, and I apologize profusely for the inconsistencies of content due to health issues.

I can always look after my health better, but there are times when mental illnesses sneak up on a person, and all one can do is battle through as best as one can and recover as necessary. That’s part of battling a mental illness–you can be in a “best case situation” like mine and the shit can still hit the fan, and hit it repeatedly.