When I had lost all hope...the unexpected happened.

Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by Nature, Aug 7, 2018.

  1. Nature

    Nature Active Member

    My son who had been addicted for many years was falling deeper and deeper in the world of addicts. Meth and heroin were his drugs of choice. He started looking like the youths I would recognize on the streets as meth addicts - his once handsome face was gaunt and filled with oozing sores. The last time he lived with me he experienced psychosis and tried to kill me. I was deathly afraid of him. After his prison term I felt I was the one that remained in prison as both my partner and myself had security cameras, personal panic buttons and alarm system in our home. I was always looking over my shoulder as I knew he was angry I had him removed from our home which consisted of the swat team breaking down the door.
    Slowly over time I tried to initiate contact again by bringing food to the various places he lived. I wanted him to know I still cared about him and also wanted to lesson his anger towards me for having him arrested. The last sentence may be stupid but I never got over my fear of him , yet, despite this I had been able to go several years without contact. I struggled with my decision sometimes...didn't want to enable him but I needed to know he was still alive.
    He was living with his friend in a single room occupancy in the worse part of the city. A scary place where the streets are littered with tents, homeless people who were addicted or had mental health issues. Even in that area he was evicted from the place he was staying at. I would walk those streets many times in search for him - the need for me to find him alive was so strong. I know many of us on here are terrified of the fentanyl crisis in our cities. Mine being a port city - thus full of drugs - we have as many as 100 OD's per day. My son also doesn't have ID and my worst fear was that if something happened to him I may never find out.
    With the last eviction I put my son and his friend up in a hotel which lasted 6 wks until my cc over maxed. It was winter and he had no place to go although he insisted he could live in a tent. I realize I was enabling but again unable to possibly let him freeze outdoors especially since he was so addicted and wouldn't have made rational decisions. His friend who was younger was also on heroin and had a tragic life - his drug addict parents gave him heroin at age 14. So it was I now was looking after two addicts. After the hotel stay I purchased a old van ...yes again I was enabling but I was also doing it for myself as I would have a contact place to leave notes, food and check his existence from time to time. Both were living in the van where others like themselves had set up under a bridge in a seedy part of town.
    I took medical leave a few months ago as I was exhausted and becoming depressed as I knew he was now so far gone I had lost hope he would ever recover. He once went missing for days and even his friend didn't know what happened to him. We both searched until we found he had been picked up and kept in isolation at the jail as he was going through withdrawals and was dope sick. His name didn't make the police files. I had a slight glimmer of hope that perhaps the 7 days he was there was enough to make a difference for him to consider rehab again. Nope...he went back to drugs full force that I had now lost all hope. I felt he was going to die -he looked so bad.

    He did collapse on the street one night and was taken by ambulance to the hospital. Serious sepsis in his leg, MRSA in the bone, and a gamut of other illnesses. He was in intensive care for 2 wks and acute care for 1 wk Now he's currently in a wheelchair for the next 6 wks and visits a medical facility daily for 3 hr treatments as well as a host of other appointments. Most importantly daily methadone which he's never been able to get up to a high enough dosage as he never kept up the daily visits and thus would top it off with street drugs. I do know he's still getting street drugs for pain but it's not heroin or meth. Luckily I had a place they can go stay just down the street from me and I take him to his appointments daily, and have had 2 sit down meals with him which I haven't been able to experience in over 10 years. It's not perfect ....it's only been 3 wks but so grateful I have this time with him as I really thought I was saying goodbye to him for the last time I saw him on the streets. I guess it's true....there is always hope. Thank you for listening.
     
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  2. EarthIsHard

    EarthIsHard Member

    Nature, I know every bit of what you're talking about. The need to know our kids are OK is part of us. I'm glad you are able to spend time with him, it seems it's what YOU need at this time.
    After he gets out of the wheelchair, what will you do? Take this time you need with him and decide your plan after the 6 weeks. Is it really OK that he is 'topping off' with street drugs? You're sure it's not meth or heroin? Some people getting methadone cheek it, spit it out and sell it on the street. Not saying this is what your son is doing, just info. I'm glad your son Is alive, I'm glad you are spending the time you need with him.
    Prayers to you. It's not easy.
     
  3. RN0441

    RN0441 100% better than I was but not at 100% yet

    So sorry Nature. What a terribly sad story. I'm glad you are getting to spend time with him.

    I pray to God that he sees the light and leaves drugs behind for good.
     
  4. OTE

    OTE Guest

    Any happy memory is something to cling to.

    Sadly he isn't experiencing a period being clean. The benefit of jail is being clean for a bit. Yours isn't experiencing that. Its just a more comfortable version of his more recent addiction life. Not a chance to decide if a different life might be better.

    Just a thought.. If cops took fingerprints you'll never not know.

    Still make those happy memories and cherish them. Photos a plus. Any hobbies or interests you can identify now a plus. Maybe future motivation for change.
     
  5. Littleboylost

    Littleboylost On the road unwanted to travel

    Nature
    Where there is life there is hope. Loving what is broken and not fixable by us is the most difficult thing we parents of addicts do. I am so touched by your love and supper for your son while not enabling him simply loving him.

    I hope he finds a path to recovery.

    You are in my thoughts.
     
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  6. Nature

    Nature Active Member

    Thank you dear friends for your comments and feedback.

    I apologize for not getting back to this site sooner as I am completely exhausted and have only rare times when I'm on the net.

    There was a one time where I thought my son had a relapse and my heart was shattered ,then 2 days later he was back on track. I am really trying not to be overly optimistic and am somewhat guarded. I am aware that sometimes for every step forward sometimes it's two steps back. Part of me is experiencing joy at his progress - the other part of me is scared as I now have my hopes up that things will change.

    He has never been able to build up to a high methadone dosage as he consistently missed daily appointments and would always be on the lowest dose and thus end up using. Addicts are not allowed to miss dosages or else they have to start from the beginning again. Since he was given it in the hospital he finally was able to be on a higher dosage and has admitted that he really wants to keep this up. That vicious cycle of obtaining goods - either by illegal means or dumpster diving and reselling them for drugs is broken. He's starting to experience this and has admitted he is starting to realize and is enjoying the freedom from that cycle.

    There was a few times where I was unable to rouse him out of bed (Twice I experienced this and my heart sank as I suspected he relapsed). We missed getting a new script for his dosage as the clinic was closed. He gets a new script once a week. It was Thursday and it wouldn't be open until the following Monday and the only way to obtain one was at his former methadone clinic 50 miles away which was open late. It was in his former stomping ground and I feared he may just jump out of the car and return to his former life. He had come too far now to start from the beginning again. Obtaining a script we drove back to my city and he was able to stay on his higher dosage. The entire time he and his friend were telling me not to bother as the drive was too far but they also didn't fuss too much which I suspect was they really did not want to screw up their progress so far. They were happy when they filled it out so I realize they are trying to sort their lives around.

    I drive him and his friend daily to the pharmacy which he does willingly - park myself right outside and observe them taking their dosage and return to my car. I take him to his weekly visits to the methadone clinic - again parking myself right outside the clinic while he visits the doctor and has filled out a housing application.That was HUGE as although he's received applications before he was too stoned or too pre-occupied to ever fill them out.
    I had previously spoken to a bank manager months ago telling her about my son when he was homeless and tried to get him a bank card. As he was not with me at that time she was unable to help but recognized me when I walked into the bank with him last week. We are trying to get him ID although I only had his birth certificate and nothing with his picture on it. (Frustrating trying to start from scratch as ironically you need ID to get ID) She and another tech savy employee went out of their way to reinstate his closed account from years ago. It seems like a little thing but he was thrilled he finally has a bank card again. We also had his picture taken at the Rec Centre for a pass and although they only use the first name on the card it's another piece of ID we are obtaining. With his Birth Certificate we will then be able to get his SIN ....then eventually his picture ID. I am hoping he manages to wait in the long lines to complete this process as that too is something he's been unable to do in the past. I know many of you can relate how difficult it is trying to assist an adult with getting their ID as it's something they have to do themselves .

    We've managed to meet with my mom and sister for lunch, gone swimming twice at the REC Centre, went to a movie theatre and the mall once. The last time I went to a movie with my son he was 14, same with the mall. The last time this happened was 15 years ago at least so I'm treasuring these moments.

    So again small steps for each thing we've managed to accomplish . Thank you all for listening.
     
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    Last edited: Aug 24, 2018
  7. OTE

    OTE Guest

    Wow!! What wonderful news!

    One thought for those who don't know... Methadone clinics charge for every dose which adds up. So no job, no methadone. Its another impediment to staying clean. Methadone can be more expensive than heroin! Mind you, methadone still a drug. So still need to get off of it. Methadone is a step not a destination.
     
  8. Nature

    Nature Active Member

    Hi Ote,
    Thank you for your response. I hadn't realized that in the US individuals are charged for Methadone. In Canada, where I live it's available free to all providing a Methadone doctor approves it. I'm sad that it's not available to all in your country as it is a step towards staying clean for an addict. Not a magic solution but methadone regular users can get can a semblance of what life can be life without the constant need to obtain heroin at all cost. From the literature I've read those on methadone are able to function and hold down jobs...catch 22 in your area as they need a job in the first place to get the methadone. I'm sorry it's not available to all those in need.
    The clinics are very helpful to those in need as they also provide other services like help with housing, have doctors, nurses on staff and a host of other services. My son is continuing to heal and is making steps towards a drug free life. I'm happy for him but staying guarded as it's only been a few weeks. Yesterday, was his last treatment for his sepsis at another medical centre where we've been going for the last 6 wks but he will continue to have hip problems later in his life and may require surgery in the near future. Overall, I'm grateful to be able to spend time with him.