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Welcome to my blog. I hope we can help each other endure the pain of the addiction of a daughter or son.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Got the Keys

Beth and I went to sign up for the new apartment. She was neat and clean. Her hair was blown dry and loose over her shoulders. She was nice to the apartment manager and me. Her pupils looked normal, her speech, coordination and driving were good. She did keep her foot drumming in constant motion.

Then I noticed a big bruise on her hand where she used to shoot up. She saw me notice and said that the trunk fell on her  hand. Yikes!

Look at my hand Mom, there is no hole in the bruise. There would be a hole there if I were shooting up. I wish the scars would fade.

I just said OH and changed the subject.

Don't most addicts shoot up someplace that can be hidden? She used the most obvious spot on her body.

Friday, September 24, 2010

When it rains it pours some more!

Wed: 7:30 in the  morning.  I was hit by an SUV while I was stopped at a stopped sign.  This pushed me into the intersection and jostled me around pretty good but I feel ok. The car is not driveable.

I worked all morning but had a big headache at 12:30 so I went home to sleep. Got up at 3 to take Beth to see an apartment in a nearby town that is subsidized. She could rent it for one third of her incom e. It was adorable and in a decent neighborhood. The woman from HUD told me that Beth is first on the list and it is the first time in 10 years that there has been an availability. If felt like the hand of God to me but Beth hated being in the country.

I dropped Beth off at her place and proceeded to meet my girlfriends. We cleaned house for a friend of ours who was recentlly diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. I cried when I got home as she looked so bad. The doctors say she has a good chance but oh my.... she looked bad.

My son cooked meatloaf and it was ready when I got home. He is a good cook. I went to bed at 8 and slept through the night.

Got up at 6 in the morning and decided to stay home to get xrays and take care of the car. All of that went well. I got all my estimates , a rental and got my car in the shop on the same day!

Had a big fight with Beth. She kept talking about what the 61 year old man said. I asked where he was right now and she admitted that she had moved him into her apartment on a trial basis. That hit my last nerve.
I said that I was really pissed that she moved him in without fully going over all the pros and cons with her father  and I. I told her that he is to move out immediately because I am  cosigned on that lease and I do not want him there. I cosigned and pay the utilities for her not for him. Get him out now. Your Dad and I will be over to check.

I told DH and he called her too. She called us back later that night to say that he was leaving in the morning and that even he thought that she should take the other apartment. All her friends say that it is a very rare opportunity. (I am glad someone is talking sense to her but why do I work my petutty off   and she believes her friends?) She then had a calm and reasonable discussion with DH. He explained how this would give us peace of mind because we will not always be here to take care of her. He said that it  is good that she wants to help others but she should help without bringing them to live with her. She needs her peace and stability.

She sounded resigned and not all oppositional defiant as she frequently gets. I went to my parents house for a  short visit to find my lost  calandar. We were just relaxing when I got a call from my son saying that DH was having another shaking and fever spell. The last time was on labor day when he  was hospitalized. I was determined to take him to the U of Penna. ER but when I got home he really did not look too bad. He had a slight fever and chills but did not look at all alarming like before. We determined to wait and see. Sooo we all got a somewhat  anxious night of sleep. He actually went to work in the morning. He did get another blood culture and perscription for Augmentin in the afternoon. Current diagnosis is sinus infection.

I  went back to work this morning to face a long day of putting together reports for an audit on Monday. Hmmmmm...... typically I can say your lack of planning is not my emergency but in this case it was my boss who did not plan so it was my emergency. This pile of work was assigned on Friday morning. It did not come in on the 1.5 days that I was out.

The day went by like a flash and then I started the weekend. TGIF for sure!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

DH Knows

so, I told DH about the plans Beth has to move in this older man. He had the same reaction I did. He is so sick with eye bleeds, bad back, surgery scheduled for foot and eyes that I did not want to tell him. He may or may not do anything about it. We could stop paying her cable bill. We could even stop paying the electricity. That we do with our money. I could refuse to be rep payee but I do not think that I will.

She is a mentally ill adult with a powerful addiction making a bad decision with impaired judgment. She has never been one to respond to consequences since she got bipolar. I do not know if you can understand this but negative consequences just push her deeper into the muck. She embraces her bad decisions even tighter.

I remember when she was about 2 years old. She was fasinated by a beautiful snowball that was mostly ice. As she held it in her bear hand it began to hurt. She clenched her fist tighter and tighter. I was sure that when it hurt enough she would have to let it go so I waited. She cried, then she threw herself on the ground, then she started to kick and scream but she never let it go. In the end, I tried to prie it out of her hand but I could not get her fingers open. My husband was stronger so he took it away but by the time he could it was no more than a tiny pebble in her little hand.

I went to a NAMI meeting last night and heard some hair raising stories. It all comes down to that you take the drugs away from a mentally ill person , they are still mentally ill. Many many people look like they are mentally ill just because they are doing drugs. When they stop the drugs they are normal. Many many other people are mentally ill and addicted. When and if they stop doing drugs they are still very erratic in their judgement and behavior.

I know that my daughter sounds like she is doing drugs and she may very well be doing drugs. I also know that her illness creates bizarre behavior for her and for others that have it and never touched an illegal drug. When I first heard that she was addicted I was actually happy. I thought that if it was addiction and not mental illness then she had a better chance. I was convinced that she could and would be well as soon as she was abstinent. I did everything I could think of to encourage, force or beg for that to happen. I sent her to multiple rehabs and doctors, paid for halfway houses, refused to pay, refused to let her in my house for years at a time. Nothing helped. She only got worse.

This path allows the family to detach. She has shelter. She can choose to use her food stamps for food or drugs. I do not try to keep her even from hunger. I think the choice between food and drugs is appropriate. I do not think that abandoning a girl who has been gang raped to the streets is appropriate. I do not think that putting a girl with bipolar disorder and PTSD on the street is healthy for her or the others that she might harm in the mental states that ensue.

Oh well, like I said, I heard a lot worse at the NAMI meeting. I heard of perfectly sober 50 year old men attacking their mothers and not being allowed in the mental hospital. It is very hard to get into a mental hospital. That is why the prisons have become the mental hospitals. There are 5 times more mentally ill in the prisons than the hospitals because we have shut down most of the hospitals. Families are distraught and afraid. They look for help and get very little. The mental health system is broken. It is a wonder that there are not more tragedies like Virginia Tech. Families are left to cope without mostly on their own but they can not.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Pros and Cons

She is still talking about moving in this man with liver cancer. Now the story goes that he has a good prognosis as they caught it early. He is taking some kind of non narcotic pain killer that starts with k......

I told her to list the pros and cons. She will do what she wants  not matter what I say. Opposing her just causes her to hide it from me.

She said that helping him gives her a sense of purpose. She said maybe she could help him find another place but she really wants to have him at hers. I said, it can give a wonderful sense of purpose to help others but you could help him better if he were not living with you. You need a place to recharge and have peace. We all do.

I do not want this man taking advantage of her nor her taking advantage of him. 

I did not share this with my husband as it might not ever happen and I keep things away from him as long as I can as he is in poor health.

A couple of you have mentioned the pain killers that this perspective roommate must have access to. Yep, I thought of that right away.

just another tricky day

Saturday, September 18, 2010

You want to What?

Beth plans to have the man she took to surgery move in with her when he gets out of the nursing home. He will pay half the rent. They are not romantically involved. I do not think it is a good idea. I told her the road blocks.

a. the place is too small
b. she is not emotionally strong enough to  nurse a dying man
c. she does not know him well enough or know how erratic his behavior might be.
d. she does not know his full medical history and prognosis.

She said she will find out about all of this stuff and get back to me. Now he is not dying according to her. I told her that liver cancer is very serious. Chemotherapy is very debilitating. Many do not recover. I also told her that she does not need a roomate to cover her expenses. We will continue to give her work even in the winter. (She thought we would not give her work in the winter ).

He stayed with her for a few days before her surgery and she called me very distraught from seeing him in pain. She was also twisted about his sons not helping him. I said that it is great for her to help others but do not move them into her space. She needs her space to calm herself and to be her own space. She said that she would not put him on the lease. If the land lords object he will go.

I hope she rethinks this odd plan. I also told her that if he was an electrician all his life that his disability payments would be much more than hers so that his proposal to pay 300 per month was really very little. He earns more than her, comes with a lot of baggage but would pay less.

She was irritated at my comments even though she brought up the subject.  I tried to put this advice like have you considered this and this and this.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Blood Infection

DH was in the hospital with a blood infection. I am so glad that I took him in and that they admitted him. He has been doctoring for a couple of months now for a mysterious fever and terrible chills that come and go about every 6 weeks. Three doctors saw him , ran some tests and had him schedule to come back in a few weeks. They all saw the rash on his legs.

His last attack was very severe. He was not very responsive, seemed dazed and was shaking violently. I called the answering service and said that he looked alarming to me. I emphasized that his kidneys are very week, he has elevated white cells and has not even been given antibiotics. A bad infection could kill him and we know he has some kind of infection. I see him getting worse and worse and it scares me. She gave the go ahead to take him in. She had not seen him before but her partner had.

On the way to the hospital I called my brother in law who is a doctor. He said that blood cultures should be taken in fact should have been taken long ago and that he should be on intervenous antibiotics. The ER Doc was amazed that this had been going on for so long. He also said that the rash on the leg was celulitis which is an infection of the skin that could spread through the blood to his organs. They cultured his blood, put him on intervenous antibiotics and admitted him to the hospital for three days. His white cell count had skyrocketed.

What we learned......... Take care of rashes persistently until they are completely cured. Ask for blood cultures and antibiotics if an infection is present. Go to the hospital while the symptoms are severe so that they can see for themselves what is going on. This mad a big difference. No one really paid a lot of attention until they saw it.

Three doctors failed him but the fourth and fifth probably saved his life. 

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Life Goes ON

Beth borrowed my GPS a few days ago. She had to take a sick friend to the hospital a few hundred miles up north. He needed a life saving operation and no one in his family would help him. He did not even have money for gas to give her for driving. She used her own money earned from cutting grass to help him out.

I imagined that this man has his own sad story of addiction or alcoholism that left him all alone in his dire illness. I told Beth, he must have done some really bad shit to have his entire family bail out on him in a life or death situation.

She said that his parents are dead. He is in his sixties. He worked as an electrician for many years and helped his family. Now, he is sick with cancer in his liver and kidneys and she not his family found him some kind of charity help.

Even though I have my trepidations about this relationship, I think that it is a good thing that she is feeling some compassion for another human being. This is a mere aquaintance of hers but she used her brain and energy to find him help. She brought herself out of her own misery to actually give this man a chance to live a little longer.

I was not enthusiastic about lending my GPS. I told her that I wanted it back the next day and that if I did not get it back I would deduct the price for replacing it first from the  work she already did for me and second from her government checks. Then I worried....... not about the GPS really but about the fact that I gave her an item that was worth a couple hundred dollars that could surely be traded for drugs. There was a time not long ago that the GPS would not have lasted more than 5 minutes in her hands.

She did not defend herself. She brought it back the next day.

How can I be so proud of her and so suspicious at the same time?  I note some progress and I even enjoy it but I know that she has a long long way to go. I pray that God takes care of her and forgives us both for the injustices and heartaches we have inflected on each other without  the intention to harm.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

AA Has Helped Millions But IT IS NOT THE ONLY WAY OUT

Most of what we hear about recovery is from AA. I love AA and Alanon. They have come across some universal truths.

I have seen many people recover using their principals. I have also seen more than a few people recover or at least stop using drugs/alcohol without joining up. Interestingly, these people are using many of the 12 steps anyhow. 

I have great respect and well wishes for all the addicts in recovery no matter how they got to their recovery.

God Bless all of us who still suffer.