Thursday, March 27, 2008

One Week in Hell

The most difficult aspect about working with a loved one that is an addict is that they’re still your loved one. You still don’t want them to be in pain, you still want to meet their needs and you still want to feel like they love you, even though you’re doing things that you know are good for them but they don’t want done anyway.

I know that I told you what’s been going on, at least the board brush strokes of my life. One of the comments made by a well wisher is that I should seek help from her family. The joke of it is they have been helping, quiet a lot actually. The dynamic of the house has her mother and her sister living with us. Between the three of us we were able to sit down and speak with her about what we thought needed to be done and what we could do to help. It’s been full of fright, tears, misery and concern.

On Friday is when the fit hit the shan more than anything else and since then it’s been a recovery effort on our part trying to alleviate her fears and concerns, trying to work around a lot of her issues.

She spent most of that day sleeping it off. That meant that when it was time for me to go to sleep after a long day she went ahead and starting talking my head off non stop.

Of course when she got up from her day’s sleep she was upset that we weren’t up there more often, that she felt she could have died and no one came to check on her.

I like to think I’m patient but I have to admit that I dealt with it in a very sophomoric fashion. Instead of her really talking about what was going on she would focus on her sister and how she felt it was unfair that her sister got everything she wanted and how it was unfair that she was painted in a bad light. When I would try to redirect her she would throw barbs out that she knew would hurt, “You’re worthless” “I hate you” “Why am I even married to you” “you failed your marriage”

I listened to her go around in circles in her own head for three hours before I cut it off and had enough. I broke one of our cardinal rules because I was just so sick of hearing it. When we first got married we agreed that we would never leave the house when we were fighting. It’s a respect thing and I had held firmly to that until Friday night, exhaustion, frustration and rage got the better of me and I finally bolted from the house. I didn’t go far, I went about half a block in my car, lowered my seat, turned on my iPod and tried to drown out the sorrow I was feeling. About twenty minutes later I went back home to find that in that time she had pretty much wrecked half of my stuff in anger at me leaving.

She was inconsolable, she was angry, she was sad, she wanted to be held, she didn’t want me to touch her. She finally rested.

When I woke the next morning I tried to make things better. I talked with her now that she was more lucid, now that she was willing to listen as well as talk. I thought that the conversation went well. I tried to reassure her, that I was there for her and that we could get through this. Everything seemed alright until it was time to get out of bed and face the rest of the family. The insecurities found their way into her again and she refused to get up. I left her in bed and went to take care of the kids and give an update on her condition. I kept coming up to check on her and tried to encourage her to come down and eat something, be part of the family. She went back to blaming me for everything and saying that I wasn’t giving her the time she needed.

Sunday was the worst. Sunday she was completely lucid and livid. She was angry that we had gone through her stuff and taken her meds (We didn’t, there was NOTHING left to take) she thought we all hated her and she wanted us all to die. She felt like we thought she was worthless and wanted to die. She tried. Small cuts across her wrist testify to that desire in her heart and in her mind. She didn’t succeed however. We managed to get her in to the ER. She was dehydrated, her heart rate was elevated and she was in severe pain.

19mg of pain medicine through IV later, she felt better. She was more relaxed and released to come home.

Monday was another trying day. I went to work but my mother in law stayed home with her. For some unknown reason to me she went to her doctor’s office and told him that her medicine had been stolen. What’s more is that she tried to pin it on one of my close friends. What she didn’t know and I did is that if you are going to go to a doctor’s office and tell them that your medicine was STOLEN you must have a police report. She didn’t have it, she earned herself a black mark on her folder, a trip to a pain specialist and a threat from her doctor that if she ever pulled that stunt again, she would have a termination letter from him, which would also go to our insurance and also be considered another black mark.

When I called during lunch she was hysterical, she felt like she had let everyone down, that her doctor hated her and that she wanted to die.

Between then and now she went on a seventy-two hour manic episode. After being depressed all weekend, she perked right up and decided that there were several things that needed to be done around the house…non-stop…for 72 hours.

Today she’s on even keel. She’s going to a pain management clinic at some point in the near future, she seems more like herself. I still wait for the other shoe to drop.

Time will tell for now. I thank all of you that left a comment in support and ideas with how to handle the situation, also those who left their prayers. It means a lot. I will keep you posted as things to continue to move forward. I hope to be back to your regularly scheduled blog tomorrow.

Monday, March 24, 2008

The Loss of Laughter: True Story, Swear to God

I’ve hemmed hawed about doing this post for about a week now. I actually have something similar already written on my computer somewhere but the events of this weekend have made that one seem like a lie.

When I started this project I did it in the hopes that I could keep talking about a game I enjoy and well, to be open and honest with the readers. The Bible basically calls for us to be like windows, transparent and clear. To have no hidden shame and to be truthful with one another, even if it sometimes hurts to the core.

I’m married. I have been for close to six years. We’ve had ups and downs like every relationship has. You can’t enjoy the good times in a relationship if you don’t endure the bad times. I can’t say that I’ve always been a good guy. During the first year of our marriage I almost had an affair but I think part of me wanted my wife to find out and I left enough of a trail to figure it out. Since then I’ve tried my best not only to make up for that but also to let her know that she’s loved.

My wife is not of the best health, frankly it seems that neither of us seems to be anymore, however she’s had several hospitalizations in our time together. Not long after I proposed and a week before I was to finish my course work in Seminary she fell very ill and was hospitalized. I was frantic and I stayed with her each and every day of that hospitalization, it cost me my final term in school, I still haven’t finished it.

I worked at a company for four years after we got married with a group of people that were almost like family. They understood when I had to take time off for her. I ended up working half days for almost six months after she had a terrible time of it. We can’t have kids because she had to have a hysterectomy not long into our first year of marriage. Our dreams of having children were snuffed out.

Our lives have been filled with trials and tribulations. Still somehow we’ve found the laughter. I’ve found the laughter, it’s something my mother said would be the end of me, I always found everything amusing. I always made light of a situation and tried to laugh it off. It’s part of my personality. It’s part of who I am and I love it.

I can’t find the laughter today.

For the last week my wife has been in a self induced semi-coma. She had been complaining of anxiety. To that end her doctor gave her a medicine called Ativan. Ativan is from the root family that also has a med called Valium, much more common and well known. The downfall is that it has the ability to make someone incredibly groggy and violent.

This was not the first encounter we’ve had with this medicine. A couple of years ago a different doctor prescribed it with much the same result. I managed to talk her out of taking the medicine and switching to something else. This time, they gave it to her following an ER visit. She thought that it wouldn’t result in the same situation as last time.

When we went to see her doctor this time I pleaded with her to ask for a different medication to try and help her with the anxiety. She didn’t listen and asked for the Ativan anyway. During this tough time we’re in she’s thrown the accusation that this is all my fault for not having spoken up to the doctor and tell him not to give it to her. I do hold myself to blame for some of this but I don’t know that it would have been my place to undermine her in front of her doctor, I don’t know.

Because of the pain she’s in, she has a high dose of pain medicine, 120mg of Oxycontin. If you don’t know what that is, it’s what Jack Osbourne went into rehab for. It’s a very strong med and it’s HIGHLY addictive. She was taking 120mg, three times a day… I found out that she went through a month’s worth in one week. After having taken them all she then said that we had stolen them from her.

My weekend has been filled with grief, torment and misery. My wife whom I hold dear has told me that I’ve failed her and worse our marriage. I don’t find any joy right now and I’m trying guys, I’m REALLY trying. I can’t even begin to express just how heartbroken I am right now, I’m crying at the drop of a hat like some hormonally imbalance 30 something year old guy.

Drug addiction is a scary thing. We watch it on television and we hear about how some actor/actress/singer/model is going through it and will be all the better for it and it feels like it’s something far away and foreign, something that could never touch your life.

We are wrong.

More and more Americans are falling into this cache of addiction and mostly it’s not illegal, it’s just that we grow to tolerate the medicines we do have and need higher doses or more of them.

I am afraid. I am mortified. I am sad. I am lost. I am wounded. I know that I can help my wife the best that I can but I also know that it may not be enough. I know that I may lose the war. That I may help her back to health but eventually she will see me as the man that put her through hell because I tried to help her with her addiction.

I have no laughter at this time. I know this will pass but there is still more storm to weather. I will try to do the Pox thing, though it seems that my free time is going to be tied up for the foreseeable future. WoW is not as fun at the moment as it once was. And writing seems the only way that I can communicate how broken I feel about this without having to show just how broken I am about this.

I have no more words right now.


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