Ironic, Isn’t It?

In the end, I didn’t spend a lot of time with Natalie because I was afraid I’d end up going down the rabbit hole, too. How is it that now that she’s gone, I’m ready to jump in with both feet?

“How often are you feeling this way?” Jill asked.

I blew out the air of the breath I hadn’t realized I’d been holding and rolled my eyes.

“I don’t know. It changes. Like on a second by second basis.”

There are lots of windows in Jill’s office. Unfortunately, the view is mostly of the parking lot.

“How are you? Taking your meds? Are you getting in all your doses? Do you have all your medication? Nothing is in transition or lost in the move?”

I assured my favorite med provider that they were a priority and they’d been tracked and accounted for within the first couple of days.

She took my blood pressure and my weight.

“Your weight is trending down. Is it something your working on?” She asked.

I shook my head. “Not really. I mean, I guess I have been needing to remind myself to eat… Thanks Nat.”

We talked about sleep, when it’s happening, (which isn’t nearly often enough) if I’m using my CPap machine, (I have to find & unpack it first).

“What medications are you taking for pain?” She asked.

The question caught me off guard. I couldn’t remember right away.

“Um, Cymbalta. Sometimes Robaxin, but not often- I don’t like it. Um, there’s one-”

“So you’re not taking any opiates?”

“No!”

I was surprised. Offended? No, I don’t really know for sure what that feeling was… like I’d been caught doing something wrong. Guilt.

Why did I feel guilty? I wasn’t taking any opiates. I was honest with her. Maybe I felt bad for wanting pain meds. Not even pain meds but to be pain free. I take a variety of medications for various ailments and conditions and have somewhat acclimated to “my level” of pain. This emotional pain though… this fresh, deep, all consuming grief though… I can’t deal with. I don’t want to face it or feel it or tolerate it.

“Have you heard of Naltrexone?”

I shook my head.

“It’s mainly used for opiate addicts who are thought to relapse (I can’t imagine any heroin addict not prone to relapse) but over the years has proven to be effective with alcohol abuse, gambling and even nail biting. I would only use it for a short time. A few weeks or so. I think it might help with getting over this immediate time frame.”

Jill went on to explain that people are especially vulnerable in the first 6-8 weeks of grieving.  That’s when it’s most intense.

Now, nearly 12 hours later, I’m not even sure what it’s supposed to do. It didn’t even occur to me to ask.

I take 17 (now 18) medications. When I filed for disability in 2014, I was on 11. THAT was too many. I’m not sure how 6 more snuck in without me noticing.

I’m not even sure what I’m talking about anymore.

Natalie is here but she’s not here. I’m here but I don’t feel here.

I don’t want to scare anyone. I’m not going anywhere or do anything drastic. Please don’t worry.

I’m over tired and thinking about my appointment today, I thought it was kind of funny. In a sad sort of way. How I was afraid of my life going to hell in a handbasket if I’d spent a ton of time with my sister and now… I feel like I’m in hell, without my handbasket – or my sister.

Natalie
My Heroin(e)
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Not Today

This can’t be what breaks me… I wrote the Sunday after I lost Noah. I wrote on Mother’s Day. I wrote two days after Natalie died. And now, now I feel like there’s nothing left to write. I feel tired, spent.

But, like I’ve said before, Wednesdays and Sundays- I’m going to write. Why should that stop just because I have nothing to say?

Life has gone on. Wednesday was the funeral and before I left the church, I picked up Natalie’s urn and hugged it to my chest. I rocked and swayed with it, telling her I loved her. I went home and cried myself to sleep.

Thursday I had therapy.

Friday I had my writing group.

Saturday I went back to work.

Today I helped clean out the condo. Packing her stuff up and leaving the building felt like I was losing her all over again. My throat closed up and tears burned my eyes.

What the hell is IN heroin that makes it SO addictive? So all consuming? So life ruining? It’s wrecked my life and I’m not even using it! Where do we go from here? How do we convince drug companies and the medical community to stop over prescribing excessive painkillers? How do we tell them to stop taking kickbacks? Tell them they’ll be rewarded with a good feeling for doing the right thing?

Then there’s the flip side.

A lot of my friends have chronic pain. I have chronic pain. We are not drug seekers. We are “please lessen the pain” seekers -however you can do that… I’m tired of getting looked at like I’m trying to scam the system or deceive a doctor and get treated like shit when I have a legitimate complaint.

I realize there are people who are just looking for pills but know what? You’re a doctor! Use your head! Update patient charts and track who’s taking what…

I know it’s not that simple.

I’m tired, frustrated and really in need of change.

Docs and Big Pharma