On the First Day of Summer Vacation

A week ago last Thursday, I awoke not to the sound of an alarm, though I am quite alarmed. I awoke to the sound of a person with intestinal issues in the bathroom down the hall, not a new sound, instead a very familiar sound that has persisted months too long unchecked. How does one insist that another adult sees a doctor when that adult is averse to seeing doctors? I suppose one could wait for another health issue to arise, like blindness.

And so that is how I finally insisted that my thirty-two-year-old son see a doctor, or at least let the doctor see him. After having chicken pox last summer and refusing medical attention then, my son has experienced hearing loss, chronic bowel issues, a fungal infection, and eyesight loss. Last Monday, I accompanied him to an appointment with a general practitioner, who referred us to five more doctors, including a psychiatrist. I was able to schedule appointments with the ophthalmologist and the dermatologist within the month of June, the gastroenterologist for July, the ENT for August, but for a psychiatrist, we are currently on a twelve-month waiting list. I literally laughed out loud on the phone when the scheduling assistant disclosed the timeline. This is just one of many problems in the US for seeking mental health help.

So, on the first day of my summer vacation, I headed to the island for fish tacos and fresh air, the sun and the sand and the sea. The waves rolled in and retreated, rolled in and retreated. And that is life. Situations come and go. We inhale and exhale. We live and die. Everything is a cycle. In four hours, I drove there and home, and I promised myself another trip tomorrow, four hours, there and home.   

62 thoughts on “On the First Day of Summer Vacation

  1. Thanks for being there for your son Crystal. In an era when many could use the services of a mental health professional, we find they are in woefully short supply. Beach therapy sounds like the way to go for now. Wishing you both the best outcome. Allan🤗🤗

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  2. Sending love, hugs and prayers 🙏🏽. I am shocked at the length of the waiting list. What can one do in such a situation.
    Some beach time and fish tacos sounds good.

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      1. Will keep Drew in prayer. I may not know exactly what he needs but the Lord does and I pray that the Lord will meet him where he is at and provide in all aspects, mentally emotionally physically.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Sending you good vibes, Crystal. With the stress of caring for an adult child, I’m glad that you took some time for yourself. Self-compassion is so important. I hope your son feels better soon and continues with the doctoring.

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  4. I can relate too much unfortunately. I hope I can have your patience, and remember to breathe. I have the amazing support of my wife and remind myself to daily count my blessings first. I had a wonderful situation of answered prayer when my father’s wallet got returned, he lost it and with his health he found it especially stressing. My aunt said there was no chance but our prayers were answered.

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  5. Crystal,
    Have you thought about a digital appointment. I would hate for you to wait a year for a psychologist visit. All of my visits have gone digital since Covid. He stays home and talks to her on the phone with an app they have. Just a thought.

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    1. Hi Shay, I appreciate all thoughts. I’m pretty sure we can find another appointment. The bigger problem is non-compliance. The last doctor we saw (Oct. 2020, after seeing one unsuccessfully for five years) said, “There’s nothing I can do if he doesn’t want help.” 😔

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  6. I need to take a page from your self-care playbook, Crystal. My 26 year old son won’t commit to treatment for his bipolar disorder. He mistakes his mania for enlightenment, and when he’s depressed he’s pretty much a ghost to everyone he loves. Wait one year to meet with a psychiatrist?! What country is this, anyway?

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    1. I feel really lucky to have such a close escape, David. Take care of yourself. Continued prayers for your son and your family, too. There’s nothing simple about treating severe mental illness or trying to help an adult who doesn’t want help (at least in my experience). Wishing you your own calming, mini-getaway!

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  7. Oh, Crystal, thank goodness Drew has you. Especially now, when his needs are greatest.

    The challenges you face are formidable, but then, so are you.

    Naturally, it’s best to look after yourself, both for Drew’s sake, and for yours. That’s why respites you find, such as that which the beach and tacos offer, are crucial. Drew’s situation is the big picture, and so is yours. Strength in one supplements the other. Hope and prayers for the day when experiences like Galveston Island receive all your attention again.

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    1. Keith, you are a wonderful cheerleader when a girl needs some cheer. Thank you! I’m going to try my best to make it to the beach once a week, all summer. Today I might even go a little wild and have a cup of Tom Kha with today’s catch. 🐟

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      1. You’ve advised yourself well, Crystal. Your knowledge benefits me too, as Tom Kha just made the list. Thanks for that! 🥕🌶🥄🍲

        What’s the purpose of you having such an expansive mind, if not to use its strength to improve our time here? Yours, Drew’s, mine…by extension, everyone’s. It’s your instinctive function as a mother and as a teacher.

        Meanwhile, start dreaming now of that coconut broth! 🥥🦐😋

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      2. Yay for Drew going with me to the beach last week. Boo for me missing out on my beloved Tom Kha. I gave Drew a choice for lunch, and we ended up at McDonald’s. 😂 There will be more trips! And other Tom Khas. Happy to inspire!!

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  8. I remember wanting to drive away from it all when I was taking care of my Mom, the appointments, the chemo, the doctors, the physical therapist, the trips to the pharmacy…to leave it all behind for a while and enjoy some tacos is an awesome plan. I’m wrapping you in such sweet love my friend, hugs, C

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    1. Running from problems is my specialty. Today before I left for the beach, I asked Drew again, and suddenly he wanted to go. There and home in under four hours. I hope the outing did him some good. 🤍

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  9. I’m pleased that you were able to get the appointments with the docs that you did, but ONE YEAR to see a psychiatrist? That seems incredible and unhealthy and many other adjectives. What a country we live in. Your taco place looks wonderful, though.

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  10. You’re an awesome mom and heartfelt prayers for a full and complete recovery for your son! It’s actually criminal for there to be such an outrageous timeline to receive mental health services…

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  11. Crystal, I am praying for you and your son. May the wisdom of these doctors bless him with improved health. I appreciate your comment about our grossly imperfect mental health system. May your summer continue to bring you more opportunities to recharge and refresh.

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    1. We revisited the general practitioner today and actually saw a different doctor. She was not happy about the 12-month wait time and had other options for us today. So, I’m feeling hopeful, and I’m leaning on the power of these words:

      “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’”

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      1. Amen! Behold the hand of the Lord. Crystal, my prayers continue for your family. Holy Father, your plans will continue to unfold for those who are patient and waiting.

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