Wednesday, August 31, 2011

On my way Mom

I'm on a train from NYC to CT, having flown into La Guardia this morning. Amazingly, despite what the doctors said , my mom is still hanging on. She was given last rites & taken off the respirator, but she still breathes. If she hangs on another 1 1/2, I'll make it to see her again before she passes. I'm praying she's waiting for me

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

terrible week....

This is pretty incredible....but again...not about D....amazingly.  Today, while at work/school, setting up my classroom to begin the school year, I got a call from my older brother in CT. where my mom lives....that my mom was missing, 91 yr. old mom.  Of course, I was quite beside myself, they searched for her, and I waited for another call back.   Finally, after 2 hours,...I got another call, and learned that she was found, in the hospital, in intensive care.  More on the specifics later...but the bottom line is that she was unconscious, had a brain bleed....and she was sedated and on a respirator.  She now (at 10 p.m. at night) was just given last rites, and I'm planning to either drive up there from where I live in Virginia, or fly up tomorrow.  I'm waiting for a phone call to see if she survives the night.  She is not expected to, according to the doctor.  Obviously....this is so so terrible....I can't begin to describe how much so.  I was just there and kissed her good bye at 6:30 a.m. on Friday morning....before I left to drive back to Virginia.  I did not think that it would be the last time I heard her voice, or kissed her cheek.  I am so so so sad....and it all feels surreal.  I don't know how else to describe it.  I just had to post this.

    My mom was found at 6 a.m., this point, I don't know yet who she was found by.  Apparently, she got up out of bed, changed her clothes (wasn't still wearing her pajamas),...and went out for a walk (?)   The doctor said that she must have had a brain bleed that caused her to fall...not the other way around...there was no evidence that she'd hit her mark on her. So, she was taken to the local hospital, then, because of the status of her brain, was transferred to Yale New Haven Hosp..  While they kept looking for her,...driving up and down streets, etc....someone called the local hospital and was told that yes, an elderly woman, a "Jane Doe" was admitted, then transferred to Yale.  The fact that my mom was laying on a street....a "Jane Doe" like a knife in my heart.  I have been tortured today by that image, that thought....and feel so guilty that we hadn't yet changed her situation that someone wasn't with her 24/7.  I'd just said that last week to my daughter...."I don't think that Grandma should be alone at all now....we need to change things so that she's not alone at all"...but I hadn't/we hadn't acted upon that yet.  My mom has been living in a house that's right behind my brother's a guest house, on my brother's property.  She's had someone that comes in every day in the morning,...for about 2 hrs., and then someone later in the day, for the same...and my brother and even his daughters(at times)/my nieces come in during the day, intermittently.   My brother said good night to her at 9:45 last night and then she was gone this morning at 9 a.m..  Why she would have got up and been out walking at 6 a.m. is beyond me....not at all what she normally does. In fact, in recent times...she sleeps 'til 10 a.m. at my house recently when she visited...when I'd wake her up.   It sounds funny,...but the fact that she hadn't made her bed this morning tells me that maybe something was already going on. I swear...she always always gets right up and makes her bed immediately....before a cup of coffee, matter what. 

   I feel like I'm rambling.  I have so many thoughts and feelings going through my head right now. I can't believe this is happening/has happened....and that I'm here in Virginia and all these people (my brother, his wife, my nieces, her caretakers) are all there with her and I'm NOT.  I feel like my heart is breaking.                     I do know that I'm so glad that I just recently went up to CT. to get her and flew her back down here with me...and spent over a week alone with her,...before a lot of other people came here to attend our daughter's engagement party.  Later on, I drove back up to CT. with my daughter and her fiance, so that they could visit with our extended family there...and stayed with my mom at her house and spent time with her again.

   No matter what day or time I'd call my mom....which was frequently...she'd answer and say, "I was just thinking about you."    I just was never ready for this....whether she's 91 or not.   : (

Sunday, August 28, 2011

my sweet girl, Jessie

  wow...I have been sooo remiss on posting...and have soo much to say...but can't get into it all now. Just will say that D is clean and doing well,...yaay.  

   Meanwhile though.....we had to put down the best dog anyone would ever know, today,...our yellow lab, Jessie.  Jessie was the sweetest, most wonderful dog we've ever known....I really can't do her justice here.  This is very awful,...and I guess you won't get it unless you're a dog person. But Jessie is the dog that our kids grew up with....that we picked up at 9 weeks old and the 3 of them argued as to who would hold her in the car on the way home. Our oldest(daughter) won that one....if you knew her,'d know why, LOL.'s amazing how difficult and painful this is, was so hard to have to decide it  (she had cancer) and even worse to go through the actual experience. I really don't think I can remember seeing my husband this heartbroken.  : (        She was., as I said....such an amazing dog.  I feel her in this room with now...and can't believe that she's gone.   I will know it tomorrow morning...for she was the first thing I saw and reacted to when I awoke each day,....since she wanted her morning Milk Bone.  My heart is breaking.  

    Thanks for "listening"   I'll get back to regular posting soon...............

Monday, August 8, 2011

That Smell

 This was written on Sat. night....but interrupted.  The daughter and fiance are here now ! : )

     It's something how one small thing can trigger the memory of painful times.  Our daughter and her fiance are arriving tomorrow, to visit for 2 weeks here at our home...and then another additional week up north with the extended family...(I'm going with them to visit : ) )'s quite a BIG deal around here...being that we haven't seen our daughter for a YEAR (can you feel my emphasis?)..and even more strange...she's engaged to an Australian guy that my husband/her dad has NEVER MET yet !    I did get to know the fiance (Shaun) 2 yr.s ago when I visited them both in San Diego for a week...when S( my husband)couldn't get away from work to go with me...and yes...he's wonderful,...even though they do live in Australia,...but plan to move to the U.S. in a few years, after my daughter is done with graduate school..but I digress.,'s been shape up central here at the homefront....S and I have been busting butt to get everything all looking good,...the house in order,...touch up painting, hanging new name it.   We're having a big engagement party for them here next weekend on the 13th....yes, D is coming here from Fla. to attend and will be here from Fri. to Mon..   So....early this evening.....I went into the bedroom to look into the drawers that they can use for their clothes while staying here (and yeah..that's a whole other thing...them staying here together in the same room, ...but they live really...).  I wanted to make sure they were all cleaned  out,..etc.,...and the dresser that's in the bedroom I just put together (we're empty nesters now...yaay) was from D's old room...and lo and the top drawer in the corner of the drawer...what was it I found ?   A small amount of pot/weed....are we surprised ? still, caught me off guard.  I really had thought that we'd purged every last iota of what D had in this house, not that he really had leftovers.   But don't ever count him out on that ...

 For some crazy reason...I picked up some of it between my fingers and crushed it with my fingernails....and smelled it, to be sure it really was what I thought it much so.  The smell of it struck me so strongly....brought back such memories of painful, terrible times with D...that it gave me an instant and strong feeling of sadness and pain.  It was like an immediate journey backward to bad times and bad feelings. Two things that can instantly do that are often music and smells,...powerful memory triggers.  D's big problem became cocaine....although there were certainly many other side drugs along the way....but weed had always been a constant, and also where he started,...and continued with, and sold....oh man, did he sell it.  : (   That was what was his most common legal problem.  God knows we could never keep ziplock baggies in stock in our house....ugh.     Sooo, as a result, the smell of weed is something that is just like a punch in the stomach for me, strongly...way too many painful associations.  Ironic....considering my fondness for it during the '70s. 

  Anyway....sights, sounds, smells,.....triggers for us, as well as them.  I still am adjusting to not cringing at the sight of police, the sound of sirens , ...and obviously....that smell.  Time will tell...


Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Shit on our shoes

 We got a letter in the mail here at our house....or I should say, D got a letter...from the DMV. S(hubby/father) opened it.  It says that D's license has been revoked, for 6 mo.s, since June 7th !  Apparently, it's taken this long for the administrative process of the court to get this to happen...and let D/us know of it.   On June 7th, D was convicted of a misdemeanor charge of possession of drug paraphernalia. If you've read this blog before, you know that it was a huge break for that it was originally a felony charge of possession of a controlled substance(cocaine) and he was very fortunate to have it reduced to what it was, a misdemeanor charge of paraphernalia.  However, from what we can decipher so far...from looking up the law our state (VA.)...there is now a statute (I think that is what is what it is) that then automatically revokes the license of a drug convicted person for 6 mo.s...even if the drug offense had nothing to do with driving or didn't even occur in a vehicle ?   This was pretty surprising to us(and to D), since he's had other prior drug offenses that didn't automatically revoke his license, nor did the judge (or D's attorney) ever mention anything about this the day he was in court and convicted.  We e-mailed the attorney about this, haven't yet heard a reply about it...and of course, notified D right away.

    Surprisingly....D, although not at all happy about this turn of events....stopped driving right away, despite needing to get back and forth from work 5 or 6 days per week, which he does by driving. In fact, after having relapsed in June, and not having driving privileges for 30 days...he's not yet even had his car back yet for 30 days.     Meanwhile....I'm still (at least somewhat)'s he going to work this out until early December ?  How will he be able to keep getting rides from others for that long?...yada yada yada.  I'm not as freaked out about it as I would have been in the past,...I have indeed made some progress in this journey, despite needing to still need so much more of it,..but still...     I was actually somewhat flabbergasted that D wasn't upset, ...incessantly nagging about when would the attorney know or let us know if this is for sure....could anything be done to change it, etc..  But, truly...nothing.  He's waiting, like we are, to just be doubly sure that this is not some glitch that is inaccurate (doubtful),..and is busy doing other daily things in the meantime, without AT ALL obsessing about it, and most of all,...NOT driving, nor whining about not driving.   I couldn't help but say to him..."You seem to be pretty accepting of all of this...not having a hard time with it."  His comment was, "Well, I'm just trying to accept life on life's terms" (AA/NA slogan)  But still....geez,...I was quite amazed.  Is this for real ?  D's reaction to this ?   Is he just lying about that?  Still driving and telling me this ? ????   I know I could find out by calling his house manager...but I've controlled myself and didn't do that.  We have done our best to impress upon him that if he did still drive, and there was (God forbid) an wouldn't cover him with a revoked license and all kinds of other trouble would follow. 

   I told my brother (one of D's most ardent and loving supporters,mind you)about it, and his comment was "Well,...if you walk around in dog shit long enough,...even when you're away from it....a long time later, look down and find out there's still a little shit on your shoe.  It just takes so long to really get it all off."  You'd have to know my brother....but he's quite a wonderful man and usually always has a witty well as the ability to make me smile/laugh in many of life's most troubling situations, thankfully. 

   So,what I'm saying here is that yes,...D still has some shit on his shoe,...despite his current efforts to not walk in shit anymore.  And apparently....I do too,...for mine is the reaction to his that it's hard to believe and fathom his reaction, as well as my mind wondering how he'll navigate all of this new challenge and keep his job, etc..    Is this making sense ?   Time will tell....

Monday, August 1, 2011

Feeling the Feelings

 I have been a bit out of the blogger loop due to traveling to go and meet and travel with my 91 yr. old mom to bring her back here to visit with us at our home in a different state. That was a bit of an adventure since our flight was cancelled in NY and we had to stay overnight and fly out the next day. 

 In the meantime, D was in touch with me and told me what was happening back in his world at his sober living home.  He's been quite troubled about his former housemate, Mark, relapsing, and actually felt "betrayed" by it,....and not even from Mark stealing his money. about taking things personally.   It was a bit of a surprise for me to see D taking it that way.  It just struck me how D was now in the seat that we have been when he'd relapsed. Of course, I told D to think about how much this was Mark's disease and it had no real concern or connection to him personally. Unfortunately(and that's not a strong enough word for what I mean)....Mark did go through the detox where he checked himself into....after having attempted suicide by drinking rubbing alcohol after he'd relapsed : ( ...but what I mean about "unfortunately" was that he then left there and is now out on the streets doing crack again...from what D knows.....which is why D's feeling so bad about's so horrible.  

  D texted me last night after midnight....asking if I was awake.......well, then I was.  (I know...why the hell do I STILL have my cell phone in my bedroom...the boy is states away from us?  He said he was having an "anxiety attack"...and wasn't doing well.  There's a whole other issue now...for he's very attracted to/fallen for a girl that's also living at his house...who's become his best friend there. (this is why D doesn't necessarily need to be in a co-ed house). He always ends up finding some girlfriend wherever he goes.   Anyway...of course, they are not allowed to have a romantic relationship there....and he does respect that..knows and agrees that can't happen...but that's what is also giving him angst. So, between his sadness about Mark and his emotional frustration/upset about the set him off into this whole anxious feeling.  What struck me was what he said to me about his feelings. He said, " I just am having all these feelings and feeling anxious and you know...I'm not used to doing this without drugs."  He went on to say, "Don't get me wrong,...I don't want to get high (can we say HALLELUJAH?!), .."I just want these feelings to go away".

 I thought well...isn't that the real crux of the issue for every addict ?  They really aren't usually willing to just FEEL these shitty feelings...whatever they may be,...without obliterating or numbing them with a drug ?  And ya know...the rest of us have those upsetting feelings for whatever reason during life's ups and downs and we just feel them and live through them and bear it.  But I'm also convinced that our addicts, that we love...just have always felt those shit feelings (and other ones too) more intensely than the rest of us do......therefore, aren't willing to tolerate them, once they've experienced the "wonderful numbness" of what drugs do for them. And you know that it's not actually wonderful, of course,....not in the end result, anyway. 

 He called this morning and was feeling a lot that point anyway.  Haven't heard from him later on today. I did see a facebook post that he said " falling to pieces" ...sigh.  But, tomorrow's another day....and he's going to have to learn to deal with the feelings without we all do each day.    One day at a time. ......