Thursday, December 10, 2009

The walls begin to close in... maybe?

I read all of your comments, yesterday, like a blubbering fool. I guess it's so obvious how much I love my son.  I know I'm not alone in that. He will always be that child that I so desperately wanted to have. Even as a young man, struggling for sobriety, I have no regrets that he is my son. I see the goodness in him, that has been clouded by his addiction to opiates.

I woke up at 1AM, thinking of my son-- of course.

Maybe the "bottom" is hitting him? He's unemployed and is going to be very limited on what jobs he can apply for. He won't pass a UA test. I asked one of the police officers at my school campus. Yes, they confirm, methadone will test positive. With unemployment rates making headlines, my son needs a miracle.

Or, maybe this is the miracle of God's work? 

Last night, I spoke with B. He spent the entire day filing for unemployment. I had to stifle a laugh when he described the Social Services building as a "total zoo" and that he never wants to walk in there again, for the rest of his life!"

Yeah, me too.

B sounded so remorseful for the bounced checks he owes. All of his last paycheck has gone to pay them back. In a way, I felt a ray of hope, when B said that "all of this was when he was strung out again, wanting to use".  I could hear a true regret in his voice.  He says he feels so stupid for believing his former roommate (M's) advice to just write a back check, get his drugs, and pay it back on payday.  He didn't count on how high the fees would be from both the bank and the grocery store.  He also said that the grocery store told him he could have been arrested for writing bad checks.  B sounded so surprised.

Yep, it's a crime, B. That's check fraud.

He was silent.

At times like this, it takes a lot of effort to not lecture my son. He gets it, now. The harsh reality of how his drug addiction has bled him dry, has really begun to sink in. I FEEL it. 

He started to ask me something, then his voice trailed off...

What? I asked.

He's out of milk and low on food.  I had to tell him I can't help him-- dammit, that's hard.

B did apply for food stamps. IF he qualifies, the maximum he'll get is $200.00 a month.  Actually, I could live on that, but I am an advanced cook. 

It looks like medical is a no-go, for my son.  I'm beginning to worry about how he's going to afford his insulin in about 3 months. I have stockpiled his supplies from the last of his health insurance.  For the first time, I looked at the retail value of his supplies. Wow!  One bottle of Lantus insulin is $199.00 and one box of his Humalog flex pens costs $200.00-- and he was getting three boxes for $40.00 on his insurance!
So, for $300.00 we got about $2000.00 worth of diabetes supplies. It's shocking.  His premius will go up to $800.00 a month-- and we cannot afford that.

As I lay in bed, wide awake in those early hours, my heart grieved for my son.  No matter what choices my son made, I believe that my son never considered the consequences. That only make sense. What addict makes a conscious choice to live that kind of life?  I think of my son's brain, and the damage done. I think of my son's lungs, from smoking black tar heroin and cigarettes. I think of his kidneys and his eyes, that are being damaged from not taking care of his diabetes.

Then, I see my sweet baby boy, and my heart feels so sad. As I type this, I can feel the tears coming again. 

I remembered a saying I once heard--

When you can't sleep, don't count sheep. Talk to the shepherd. So, I asked God to help me let go of my worries and that he would take them into his own precious hands.  I drifted back to sleep until the alarm went off at 5:15am. I woke up feeling warm & toasty, with my husband sleeping next to me.  It makes me count my blessings, as people in my own hometown are homeless and cold. I don't want that for my son!

This morning, I prayed that my son would feel HOPE today.  I thought of "Alex" (from Dad & Mom), and how he refers to our world as being cruel.  Then, I thought of my son, and all the bad things that have happened to him in his short life as an adult.  I thought of my son's friends-- many whom I've known since they were in the 6th grade.  Some have gone on to be graduating from college. Some have found sobriety. Other shave been incarcerated, while some are currently in rehab. I recall a few of my son's stories of being robbed at gunpoint, threatened, being carjacked and ripped off... I can't dwell on that too much, because I see my baby boy being hurt. Moms don't like to think of that. It breaks our hearts.

Where will my son end up?

The hardest part, as a loving mom of an addict, is that we are wired to be compassionate. Men, on the other hand, view things much differently. I see it in how Ron writes (Dad & Mom).  He is the male voice of common sense. While I think I have common sense, I am still a mom-- who carried this child in my womb and who raised him from the moment he came into this world.

I live in a good world, because I see the goodness in it. I don't associate with "bad people"-- criminals.  I value the friends that I have because they are good and honest and hardworking people.  I have the most wonderful and loving husband in the world. I adore him. He's honest, hardworking and I trust him, implicitly.  I love my friends and my two brothers.

I want that for my son, more than anything. I want for my son to stop seeing the darkness and evil that's in this world. Satan is at the head of that table-- he lies, he deceives and he doesn't want to let my son go.

I pray that my son will feel God's presence in him and be filled with hope. Only a God loving person can understand exactly what I am saying. It is when my world has been battered by the storms of life, that I know I can cling to my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, who is my rock and my salvation.

I prayed for so many of you-- each person who has left comments-- Madison, Dawn, Barbara, Chai, Cheri, Lisa C...oh, so many of you!  You are all in my thoughts. You understand what I'm going through. We're all in this together, at different stages.

I left my son a voice mail, this morning. I just told him that I love him, and that I'd like to have him over for dinner tonight. I'm hoping we can print the forms he needs and help him to get through the red tape process of filing for assistance.  I'd like to encourage him to apply for a one-year program. This could take a while.

Now, if I could just get into the festive spirit of Christmas.  I can't stand all that commercialism, buying presents (we only pay cash) and decorating.  I feel the spirit of Christmas as a religious holiday. That's what it is, and it saddens me to see how many people forget that it's "Christ-mas" and not Happy Holidays.

I'm going to try, this weekend. I have this fantasy of B coming over and helping to put up the tree ... but, sometimes these things don't happen. We shall see.
I also pray that my son will go to a meeting and keep applying for jobs. It's tough, but he can't give up.

I won't.


ChaiLatte said...

I'm with you Debby. Can relate to everything you wrote (minus the diabetes) and what we want for our sons. I don't have high expectations, and while I believe in eternal life- I do wish that my son could feel some joy and happiness in this world and not always struggle. I know that he's responsible for his actions, but if we believe addiction is a disease (which I do) then I can't help but have a broken heart over what our sons are dealing with. I know they can recover with A LOT of hard work and this is what I pray for- that they all do the hard work and stick with it. Love and Blessings~ C.

clean and crazy said...

when mom was sick and didn't have insurance there was here in Kansas a place called the medical services bureau. they help with prescriptions, also are you catholic, if he was baptized catholic, it doesn't matter if he practices, catholic charities may be able to help, my brother gets their help a lot, and he is gay. also there is that deal from montel williams let me look it up and i can get back to you on that one, but also the doctors, he probably goes to a clinic, ask them if they have forms to fill out from the people that make the insulin for free prescriptions, this means the doctor will have to fill out the form send it directly to the manufacturer and wait for a response, the manufacturers are able to donate medications and write it off when taxes comes. my mother had to do this for several months and then go to the clinic to pick up the medicine, she hated it said it felt like begging, but she needed the medicine. watch the dates on the insulin as it doesn't last long and if it is expired you may be able to exchange it for fresh insulin. old insulin does not keep your sugars down. so be careful when hording it, as far as syringes go as long as he has a prescription he should be able to go to any pharmacy and purchase like 10 at a time for about $3.00, but i would recommend that you pick those up and keep them with you. i really hope things start to look up for him and you feel a sense of serenity knowing you are a great mom and wonderful person. i hope some of this information helps and i will get back with you on the other deal for medications that i saw on television. also have him call your local united way number for resources in the community. i believe nation wide the number is 211.

Debby of Oxycontin and Opiate Addiction: A Mother's Story said...

Any leads on how to get affordable, or free insulin is appreciated. Having dealt with my son's diabetes disease for nine years, I'm well versed on the shelf lives. They are good for one year, if kept refrigerated properly. I'm storing it in my fridge. I'm guess we have 3-4 months worth before we have to figure out what to do. Obviously, I can't let my son go without insulin. Prayerfully, he can get a job with benefits. That would be a miracle! But, first, he needs to be truly clean so he can pass a UA test to get a decent job.

Dad and Mom said...


You're are doing exactly what I would do. "Son, would you like to come over and join us for dinner?" I think and I may be wrong but I believe they must see the other world even when they are sunk down into the addiction. Otherwise what is the incentive to change if they become so depressed that they see hopelessness is their only future.

As far as insulin. I really don't know your system out in CA but in KC I would take him or have him go into the Free Health Clinic in downtown KC or in KCK. In additon to getting help with his insulin through them directly or through them helping him with Medicaid they have people there especially to deal with addiction. This goes to that thing I have come to believe very much that no matter how much we love them there are things we cannot do to help them, it sometimes takes others that don't love them to help them the most.

My hope is if he goes to a free clinic they can help steer him to other resources that aren't "coming from mom". I know how rebelious boys can be when they think we are trying to "run their life". Been there done that, got the t-shirt.

Show him the resources because I think no one has any knowledge of what they have not learned. B is at that place. He needs your life experience but needs to experience it to learn it.

I want to say one more thing about what I said in the first paragraph. When I first got exposed to this and was at Valley Hope rehab with Alex I learned something that I could not even imagine on my own. I was told something and have since come to believe it as a truth. What I was told, when an addict thinks and considers how to stop their addiction death is actually considered by them as a solution to their addiction, not a consequense. To me that was one of those paradigm shifting moments that knocked me on my a$$. This thought has shaped a lot of what I do when I consider help vs. enable vs. support.

Mom of Opiate Addict said...

I can also relate to the heartache of watching our sons live in the dark depths of addiction, when all we want is for them to be happy, joyful and healthy. I pray Debby that our sons will receive just that, light filled in their hearts. Blessings.

LisaC said...

Amen and God Bless to you. I can't say any more than what everyone else has said. Christmas is the season for Hope (regardless of Santa's and Snowmen), and I know you will not give up your hopes and dreams for B.

Barbara aka Layla said...

Hi Debby, I know that LOVE for your son....its so deep in our bones, nothing can or will every shake it.

You got some good advice here on different avenues to try for help for insulin. Its shocking how expensive it is (we pay over $200 a month for our diabetic dog! K used to steal her horrible is that?)

I feel a lot of hope for B. I am glad he has you to guide Dad says, you don't know what you don't know and there are so many resources out there that seem to be kept secret so I pray you can find some of them.

I will imagine him decorating your tree too, let us know if he does (that would be a great)

Annette said...

If he is qualifying for food stamps he will more than likely qualify for medi-cal. You can read about it here:

OR, have you checked into Kaiser? They have a step program that is really inexpensive the first year and goes up a little bit each year for 5 years. It is specifically for young people just getting out on their own or students.