Archive for the ‘Hepatitis C’ Category

My son moved out the end of June.

I would have loved for it to be a jovial send off but it was amidst confrontation, hours of yelling, and the fallout was near disaster for us financially. In a fit of anger and frustration late one afternoon my son began verbally attacking his stepfather ending with my getting between them while son packed his belongings and asked me to take him to the train.

We sat there in my car once at the station, my mind racing as fast as his angry words were spewing from his mouth. I don’t condone such behavior but we had long past gotten to this point in his recovery and claiming his life back had been long overdue. Things at home had gotten so bad my husband and myself were being affected physically from the stress. Son had no friends here and now sober, had none in the city he was returning to. It made sense for him to “go home” because his father, grandparents, a brother and extended family were in the area though not in contact. He knew the area well.

The problem with him jumping on a train impulsively was he had nowhere to stay so I gave him what funds I could to ride the train back and get a motel room. It wasn’t my rewarding bad behavior. It was my trying to keep him from going back to the city homeless shelter full of reasons for him to start using again he came from. The train pulled up shortly after we got there, I handed him money and he was gone after a quick hug and we said “I love you.” I sat there watching the train leave trying to take in all of what had just happened. Wanting my life back, son being sober four years, I should have been happy but I wasn’t. I was scared to death as I drove home alone to my husband to begin our life again if possible.

The next few weeks were financial fallout. The hotel he was staying in wasn’t a good one but it wasn’t cheap. I drove the hour north a few times picking son up and we would look for apartments for him all the while he was looking for work. I was a helicopter mom during that time making sure he had what he needed to stay on track. His motel stay became two weeks, then three  and they charged our card nightly instead of weekly refusing to refund any of it with my calling their head office daily to fix the mistake, good old Motel 6.

Job offers came soon after he arrived back in the area, not soon enough to help pay housing but he is now employed full time and renting a room in a multi tenant apartment. Not ideal but he’s got a start again, it’s up to him to choose from there. His mental health and Hepatitis C still need to be addressed but it’s a new beginning.

It feels like we have been in Noah’s Ark in a raging sea of drug addiction for years.

 

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Son becoming sober has been 10% us as parents and 90% himself working to get and remain there. It’s been over a year or more now and we have watched his life take on a total change of him finally realizing healthier decisions. Eating, who he associates with, how he feels about himself, how he views and interacts with those around him has changed for the positive. Keep in mind there are also health and mental issues at play. For a long time now he and we have been “stuck”in his recovery process. As his mother I cannot solely put into place the strong support system needed to help him learn new coping skills to not fall back into old ones. Though I have reached out continuously to outside sources none have helped I have gotten no answers. In the years of his drug addiction as in most, his extended family members have faded into the darkness that swallowed him whole out of fear and not knowing what to do.

During son’s childhood he and his brother, 2 years older had always had close ties with their father’s family. Both my son’s lived in the same city as adults during the years of son’s active spiral of self destruction but seeing this, family were unwilling to offer help except for his older brother. I believe to this day that the my older son kept his brother from certain death. Since younger son’s journey living home fighting to get his life back he has always pined to have his father and older brother back into his life. He will never tell them, but they are who he loves and respects most and has mourned losing due to his own actions.

Imagine my delight when after many years son picked up his phone just before Easter, calling his “dad” and talking over an hour, answering his father’s questions, telling him how sorry he was for his actions as an active addict yet thanking his father for still being there. Next he phoned his estranged older brother followed in days by taking the train to see him for the first time in 2 years. I heard the visit went well and have noticed rekindling those bonds has changed him profoundly, giving him hope and strength as he moves forward again. I want nothing less than to have both of my sons together in our life, it’s been too long since we have all been family.

After years beginning his journey a new door opened.

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Recovery is hell, learning new coping skills with a dual diagnosis is learning to walk all over again.

My son is a strong personality like myself. We are too much alike in many ways which is probably why we argue the way we do. As an adult he and I share a communication neither of us understands, like twins with their own language.

Three days ago he was yelling, lashing out with fists and broke something during our battle of words. I already have holes in my ceiling and a door. Yesterday a more reasonable human, he said “I’m always going to be an addict mom, I have an addictive personality.” I feel his frustration because I don’t know where to go from here either. He says it’s my fault he is here in my home without a job or income and no way to go forward. I told him one more physical outburst I will phone the police. My husband provides him room and board but son thinks he shouldn’t help out financially, wow.

He is still swearing off any medical treatment for his active Hepatitis C. Without marijuana he is nauseous, suffers from insomnia that keeps him awake 3-4 days, and in pain. He gave up on doctor visits when he was offered chemo’ to treat his illness but not pain relief for his other illnesses due to his having been an addict. I don’t know what the answers are anymore. I “do” know he needs to learn new coping skills and he does too but where to go and the cost of the one after care program in county is daunting and only 5 days duration as an outpatient.

Keeping enough food in the house for all is a challenge and nights I feed the men, telling them I’m not hungry so we have enough food. I eat a piece of fruit or toast or a yogurt. Our original agreement while he was so sick in the hospital was for him to move home, recover his very bad health with medical treatment and get off drugs. To begin over.

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Medical Marijuana.”

For myself the two words bring up an image of the 1970’s I grew up in sitting around smoking a “joint” with friends as a teenager. I never thought I would live to see marijuana used for medication. I never even considered the thought. In my 50’s in my own experience of medical treatment and pain management I would have to weigh the pro’s and con’s to use it or not for anything more than recreation. No, I don’t use it and haven’t in decades. Back when I and friends used “pot” it did two things, made us sleep and eat. In the last couple years of it being medically legalized I have seen Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome, or “PTSD” treated with  every drug available. If anything the side effects of the medications were worse than what they were treating, causing son to become so agitated he would need a drug for the drug. Insert here the fact his ailing liver with HepC is filtering all of it when it shouldn’t be anywhere near it.

Son’s underlying mental illness is exacerbated by the severe PTSD he has. In one full blown “flashback” he is a 125 pound 5’8″ yelling  terrified wrecking ball for which only marijuana seems to keep in check.  He’s cooked it, he has smoked it, or vaped the elixir. He can eat, becomes social, sleeps nights, and is as normal as he can be using it 3 times a day. The bigger problem is the fact son won’t drive. Years ago he was hit head on by drunk drivers not once but twice and it changed his life forever.

Four years of son’s recovery. Recovery takes the rest of a life and if son doesn’t take charge of his life and leave our apartment this will be the rest of OUR life.

My health isn’t good. My husband’s been hit for the first time in his life with painful arthritis this winter and we both have been revolving door patients at the local hospital due to lack of healthcare nor can we afford “ObamaCare.” Son thankfully has state medical care but refuses to use it not trusting doctors. I have one more clinic visit at the cost of 185$ plus prescriptions and when those run out I don’t know what we will do. My own mental health is kept in check with medication these last 20+ years and without them is no happy ending.

One bit of good news before my 2am signing off here is I quit smoking nearly one year now. My 67 year old mother was a smoker who contracted Metastasized Breast Cancer in 2000, again in 2012. Her second time around she stayed home refusing any more treatment and took her own life in the end. I’m praying hard as I get older it isn’t genetics.

Social Security Poster: old man

I’m tired in every form of the word.  Husband and I argue constantly if we aren’t the only ones home. We don’t argue at all when it’s just us two alone in the home.

Life isn’t long enough to fit in it the one I have spent helping my son recover  near death and having one of my own with my husband.  I will begin weekly posting again. These days my husband, son’s stepfather, is half out of his mind in anger &  frustration for him to move out.  Me?, loving my son as an adult and wanting him to “grab the reigns” of his life to go forward of his own accord with guidance in place.

Bluntly speaking, he is 28 this month and well in a place where he should be taking an initiative, but he is not in every sense of the word. I am turning 51, stepfather is 56. Here we are. The focus now is mental health, medication and integration back into the world. Easily said, hard as hell with his disability and becoming too comfortable at “home.”

He has applied for SSI twice, each turned down. Our state awards temporary disability cash monthly benefits to disabled people while they apply for disability with Social Security that would last up to 5 years or until they were approved. Last year the state voted to limit the program and make it that if the patient was turned down for Federal SSI or SSDI that the state would stop all cash benefits as a result within 30 days of a decision. This was due I am sure because of people taking advantage of the state program.

It happened to me 4 years ago. I have severe physical disabilities and was applying for SSI before the state changed the law and I was also cut off suddenly with my first (and common) denial of SSI, SSDI. What is scary is the large amount of state disabled residents depending on the program to live that were suddenly homeless within 30 days of being turned down by Social Security! I can tell you it was thousands of individuals.

Son’s being refused has now cost him his benefits (Aid to the Temporary and Permanently Disabled, APTD) to be closed as of the 15th of this month, today is his last payment. We live on one over minimum wage paycheck, thats it. Leaving us with a 28 year old as our dependant until he is awarded SSDI which is nothing short of going to throw my home life into a war zone.

At age 28 and having lived his life on his own since age 18 I didn’t forsee that son would want to live home long but he is. He sleeps all day and stays up nights in his room.  Getting him to drive himself anywhere causes him to be sick from PTSD after being hit head on by a drunk driver the same year he became sick with HepC. We need all the help we can get by lawyer for his disability case we need to appeal.

At my over 50 age I thought I’d be sitting on a warm beach somewhere tropical sipping a Margarita, not fighting with my husband about a grown son still living here 3 years later.

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Christmas 2012 is days away. Much has changed since the last post. First off, son is alive. Secondly, son is sober and his liver seems to be trying to recover itself. When he was hospitalized the doctor indicated this could happen in a best case scenario. It seems luck is on son’s side. He is still thin & pale. He still goes out rarely. As a matter of fact it’s his mental state that is now the battle in the fore front.

We have relocated. The living space we were in was stressful because it was very small. An opportunity arose for us to move into a larger affordable dwelling and we took it gratefully. The greater problem, nothing to do with son, is income. Shortly after moving my husband’s employer passed out pay cuts at the worst possible time, days before Christmas and at a time our rent payment has increased by one hundred dollars a month.  For the moment the focus is on our living situation with son now somewhat stable medically. Since the last post he has seen more than one doctor but had no luck getting one to prescribe medications without wanting to perform a liver biopsy which son is against.