NOTE: I started this a couple of weeks ago and am finishing it today. It took a little different path considering the events of last week…it is very raw…but very comforting to write about it….
I have always subscribed to the belief that we only have a few things in life that we can absolutely call our own. Let’s face it, a rather morbid thought, we all come in to this life the same way and we all leave this life at some point. Everything else in between is a result of several factors and decisions. No, this is not going to be a treatise on nurture vs. nature or what side of the tracks you were brought up on…what it is are my thoughts on a few things that I know I absolutely have as my own: life, love, and family.
The kinky adventurous side of MrsL and I is on hold, for now, but we are still making things as interesting as possible. With two grown boys, hell who am I kidding they are grown men albeit it one is a lot more mature than the other right now, it is hard to be kinky. Plus, when you take into account I have been on a 48 hour prep phase for a colonoscopy with all that process entails I have not felt even close to horny since Saturday. Then add in another huge step backwards for 25 and his addiction on Friday…sex is a distant glimmer on the horizon. We both know it is there and we are striving to reach it.
So, back to my random thoughts.
Family: growing up on a small family farm with little to nothing but family I learned a few things. Your family will provide you with both the most intense pleasure and joy while also being the source of much hurt and disappointment. Don’t get me wrong; we had a roof over our head, food to eat, and all that comes with basically a single parent household even though my parents were both there. My Dad carried the family with his factory job because when I was 10 my Mom was injured at work causing permanent damage to her back and quickly fell in to a life long struggle with pain pills. I am the middle of three kids and knew there was more out there. I LOVE my parents and my siblings; however, I could never stay in that small southern town. However, they are still my family. My Dad has remarried since Mom left us and is happy for the most part. Unfortunately, my childhood house doesn’t feel like home anymore. I realize I should go see my Dad as often as possible but it just feels…different…and I can’t stay there more than a day or two. My older sister has an issue with pain pills and it would seem my younger brother is now following down that path. When you get stuck in my small southern hometown where all of the factory jobs have disappeared…life is tough and they have both chosen to give in.
Love: I honestly believe that losing my Mom was one of the life events that sent 25 down the path he is on. He was 13 at the time and had never dealt with death. Sure, we moved him around a lot as a kid with my job but losing his Granny was difficult. I remember reading an essay he was writing for his middle school English teacher about himself and seeing a line that really shook me to my core. He wrote that he hated losing things and how moving caused him to lose so much. He wrote about the loss of his Granny and how it made him never to want to feel anything ever again. The signs were there and we ignored them or turned a blind eye. Love keeps us going and gets us through tough times. I have never been through anything as difficult in my life as the events of May 19th!
Walking in his room I found him not breathing without a pulse and his lips already turning blue is a sight I will never get out of my head. The sounds he made as I performed CPR…checking for a pulse…finding one…then it stopping….MrsL on the phone with 911 begging someone to get here quickly….the 911 operator on speaker counting out the rhythmic pace of CPR…the sirens in the distance…there was such a cacophony of noise but it was silent as well. I could see color coming back in his face but every time the person on the phone told me to stop and check for a pulse it starting to fade again. I remember hearing a police officer ask me if I wanted him to take over and yelling at him NO…I was not stopping until the paramedics showed up. I could hear myself talking to him telling him he was not going to die on me and his Mom. I remember someone, a paramedic, telling me to stop that he had a pulse….and another paramedic pulling me away because I was still trying to perform CPR…hearing the auto injector of the first dose of the anti opiate medicine chirping as the paramedics applied it to his thigh. Hearing the folks in his room call his name out…trying to get him awake….administering another dose of the anti opiate. When he finally came to and sat up on his bed…the female paramedic asking him his name, date of birth, where he was, and if he knew what happened…his words still ring in my head: “Yeah, I overdosed….and almost died…” and when she asked him if he knew who kept him from dying he said “no.” She told him “your Dad” and all he could muster, through a haze of opiate induced stupor was “Oh…” It is all so raw…so fresh…so overwhelming! This is how I cope….I write…and have needed to write this…!
When I finally left his room his brother was standing there and greeted me with a bear hug. He kept me from collapsing from the shock. After I gathered myself, MrsL walked over and we all three hugged. 2o is so different. When he knew his brother was okay, not well but okay, he went back in his room and went back to sleep. We are taking him to a counselor soon just to get him to talk. He does a good job and is very well grounded, in most things, but I need to know that he is not internalizing. One of the officers walked out of 25’s room with 4 more syringes. We found out a few minutes later that 2 of the 4 had more black tar heroin in the cap on the needle. I subsequently learned that all 5 syringes, including the one he used when he overdosed had heroin and he had used 3 of the little bundles at one time thinking he could handle it!!! Thankfully the sergeant on duty showed up at the house and when the young trainee started to write up the incident and asked when he was to inform my son he was under arrest for possession the sergeant told him: “just bag the needles and heroin and write down DESTROY on the bag…this young man does not need anything else to worry about…there will be no arrest.” If ever there was a ray of light in a dark situation this sergeant was that light!
It took another 4 hours and 3 more doses of the anti opiate drug to get 25’s O2 levels back to normal before the doctors at the ER would release him. Unlike other antidotes where you are given a massive dose, this one is given in small increments to prevent sending the person in to horrible, painful withdrawals. When he was finally released he asked and we let him sleep in his own bed for an hour before leaving for the rehab facility. He was still struggling to stay awake on the ride and a couple of times, even though he had full color in his face, I thought he had stopped breathing again.
LOVE kept us going through that day.
FAMILY: Despite and through it all, family! As I grow older, I care less and less about “stuff”. Sure I enjoy my things, we live in a nice house in a nice neighborhood and I have a fantastic job. We take nice vacations and see other parts of the world. In the end…it is all just stuff. MrsL and my boys are my life. My Dad, 6 hours away, is still my rock, and my in-laws are amazing. I cherish my family. Sure I complain but they are all I truly have. Nearly losing one of them puts so much more in to perspective. Thankfully, I am blessed with people who can assist us through this emotionally and financially so even though this is tough….we will survive!
As an update: I spoke with 25’s counselor yesterday afternoon. He said he was doing well, cooperating, was being sincere in his efforts, and was truly being pleasant to work with. Great news.