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imgresOn Saturday night – around 8-ish my son Charlie announced “I am out of pills.”

“Which ones?” I muttered from the couch, under a blanket, in my jammies, fully engrossed in a great movie.

“All four of them.”

This is similar to the time when in third grade he told me “I need a pair of black pants and a white shirt for tomorrow.” It was 8:45pm on a Thursday.

It is similar in the way that I got up and scrambled around. I was NOT going to be the only parent whose kid doesn’t have the prescribed outfit for the third grade holiday performance.  What? And have all the other moms judge me for being an uncaring slacker mom?  No way. I would cobble something together.

Charlie may have gone to school in a pair of my pants that I managed to tailor to fit his small frame — using a staple gun — and the white shirt may have belonged to his sister – but he represented the family well and my reputation as a mother was intact.

It is similar in the way Charlie waited until it was almost virtually impossible to help him.

But who am I kidding. It wasn’t like that at all. Without his psychotropic medications Charlie was going to get progressively sick, nauseated and unstable until he could get his meds.

It didn’t matter that the next morning Joe was taking me away for 3 days to celebrate my birthday. It didn’t matter that at age 18 Charlie should be more responsible; that he should always keep his prescriptions refilled. All that mattered was the my son got what he needed. His meds are more important than anything else we keep stocked in the house.

The scrambling began.  I searched backpacks and pockets. I scoured cupboards and drawers. I explored all the pills his sister Bridget was no longer taking (see Another Day, Another Diagnosis) to see if I could cobble together something to get him through the next few days.

On Sunday when I should have been packing for my romantic get-away I was calling the pharmacy for refills. By Monday rather than strolling the beaches in Monterey I was sitting in the hotel room frantically calling the psychiatrist’s office, the pharmacy, the doctor, the pharmacy again, the psychiatrist again, and texting with my daughter, “Mom, Charlie is not feeling well at all.”  Charlie was not answering my phone calls.

When I was trying to have a romantic cocktail on the wharf I learned that Charlie wasn’t eating or playing video games.  (a sure sign that he was not well)

By Tuesday morning, ready to cut my trip short. the psychiatrist and pharmacy finally got the prescriptions ready.  Bridget raced to pick them up. Joe convinced me to stay and to try….try…. to relax. I did, in my way.  But holding it together for my kids is just something I do.  And I do it well.


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