Saturday, February 26, 2011

Muscle Stimulation and Pad Placement



       Over time my routine got longer as I added new muscles groups and began using my TENS machine which helped my paralyzed muscles firm up and made me aware of when I using them. Just the fact that I could feel myself contract my stomach muscles and flex my buttocks muscles again was positively thrilling. Although, what seemed to me like big contraction could really only be seen or felt by others as a small movement but that’s still okay I was actually using paralyzed muscled ON MY OWN!!!
I kept adding muscles groups to my nightly meditation/ exercise program as well. I would start with my feet and toes as described in my previous post except I added my feet where I visualized myself holding them up straight and tall, bending forward toward my knee, then I alternated flexing and relaxing several times my calves, upward to my hamstrings, my thighs(inner, outer, and quads), my lower buttocks,(I do this one while trying to lift my knees off the bed), my upper buttocks and back, my tummy, my chest, my neck and finally my hands and fingers. Don’t be upset if you fall asleep before you’ve finished them all. You can do the rest when you wake up. Or if you’re like me, you may wake in the middle of the night; do them then to help you fall back to sleep.   
After doing some more research into muscle stimulation I found the advice I needed from the Care Cure Community which just so happens to be a GREAT forum for the newly injured SCI/SCD victims. There is a direct link on the right of my blog that will take to right to website designed just for those of us with spinal cord injuries and diseases and the people who care for them. This forum saved my life when I was newly injured I had so many questions and concerns. Not only are there thousands of members with whom to discuss your problems, questions and concerns, but there is also a renowned doctor who specializes in SCI/SCD’s and a SCI/SCD’s nurse specialist on cal l anytime  to post questions to. Well, I posted my question and the doctor told me if I was using a muscle stimulator to build muscle then the TENS (transubcutaneous nerve stimulation) was NOT the right machine for what I was using it for.
Every morning we could my attendant and I would use the TENS unit on two major muscles groups of my body, my abdominals or my buttocks. It was exhilarating to watch my tummy jump and contract while the TENS pads were in place. The more movement I saw the higher I asked my attendant Kristi, Mary, or Sharlene to turn up the settings. Finally, I found a website that had TENS settings for various outcomes then I began using those. I definitely felt a difference in muscles after using the TENS unit for about a week. I could swear that I could suck in my tummy just like I did before I got hurt and I knew I could flex my buttocks because Kristi could feel it and see it!
However, after learning that I wasn’t exactly using the right unit for muscle building Eric sent away for the NMES (neuromuscular electrical stimulation). The doctor on C.C. said it was better for building muscles than the TENS. But because of a shipping error where I didn’t receive my original order for over two months I ended up with two of the NMES units which is fine by me! So now I use all three units every time I stim (stimulate my muscles) and can work entire muscle groups or maybe even two groups at once and the results are phenomenal!                                                                                         



                                                                        

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

My Night Time Meditation/Exercise Program

        The best advice I’ve received since my accident so far came from a woman I met after I modeled for the TRCIL Benefit Dinner. She was a designer who put out a line of clothing made adaptable for the disabled woman. I made her acquaintance while putting my feelers out to all the designers after doing the show for Chloe Magazine. Her story was so touching and inspiring that I just HAD to talk to her and we became friends. She even offered me a job as a model for her line, offering me a free trip to New York City but later reneged after learning my age. But all that negativity aside she did leave me with some words of wisdom, strength, faith and hope that changed my life forever.
        Her name is Latrice and was made a quadriplegic as a child by an abusive parent. Through sheer will, unwavering faith, regular prayer and a lot of help from her extended family, she was able to rehab herself back to a paraplegic which if you don’t understand the significance of this accomplishment please allow me to explain.
        As a quad she was paralyzed from the shoulders down so her spinal cord had to be injured very high; the trauma probably occurred around the 3rd or 4th vertebrae. To have recovered enough movement to be considered a para she would have had to regain full use of her arms, at least partial use of her hands, and most if not all of her trunk (chest, lungs, stomach, oblique and back muscles)  control. Latrice gives credit for her recovery to God, her family, and the fact that they never let her give up trying to get better. And those were the last words she left me with; NEVER give up trying to move your hands no matter what the DOCTORS said and praise God for your glorious body which no doctor yet has completely mapped and unraveled the puzzle to. These two phrases stayed with me because after my last stint at outpatient occupational and physical therapy when the doctor told me point blank that I HAD reached my potential that I would NEVER progress beyond this point…I BELIEVED him!
But I found out the human spirit is a miraculous thing that can’t be recreated as a pill or shot in a lab and even though you may not use it for while, it never leaves you. It’s like a loyal pup waiting at the door for you to call on it and it WILL spring into motion. So every night when I’d lie down for the night I tried to open my hands and spread my fingers. I pictured myself opening up my hands, fingers splayed wide and I tried to pray. I haven’t exactly been on speaking terms with my maker since the accident, but I tried. Eventually, I moved my thumb…just a little but I willed it to move and it did!
Each night I laid there and I’d start with my toes and try as hard as I could and imagine I was spreading and straightening each and every toe on one foot and then on the other. Then I would try to lift and visualize it in my mind my knees as high as could off the bed again one at a time. Next I would arch my back and squeeze my buttocks and back muscles with all my might and think about my muscles actually flexing and getting stronger. I always ended with my hands adding an extra exercise just for my newly mobile thumbs.
One morning while my attendant was dressing me, I asked her to wait a minute before putting on my socks and watch my feet for any movement. By God, I could move my big toes! She ran to get Eric and we all celebrated the tiny movement of my toes…the very furthest part of my body from where my spinal cord is severed. That is day Eric agreed to purchase new parts for my TENS unit and I went on an internet quest to gather information on the proper way to use it to rebuild and stimulate paralyzed muscle tissue.          

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Feeling Guilty

       Soon it will be the 1st day of March already. I remember Gram saying the older you get, the faster time goes by. I never really put much thought into it until lately. The old words of wisdom are true; it does seem like time rushes by more quickly as you get older. It seems like yesterday when I slid on those wet leaves, did a tailspin, and ran my car backwards up that embankment into that person’s yard and hit their fruit tree from behind, totaling my small Grand Am, breaking my neck and severing my spinal cord. But it will be six years on March 26th.  I’ve come a long way since then, but not far enough for my goals. I won’t be happy until I no longer need Eric to care for me.
       Whether this goal is attainable, possible, or even feasible I do not know. But, it IS my goal.  I am killing him. Just the bare essential of his taking care of the house, the van, and me is overwhelming him. He admitted to me that he was very depressed and the further he gets behind, the less sleep he gets, the worse his pain gets, the further he gets behind… and on and on. That it had becomes a viscous cycle of depression for him. Plus now, he’s addicted to his pain medication and he has to have it, he’s in terrible agonizing pain. It’s truly a shame and I feel guilty about it, just as guilty as I feel about my son’s heroin addiction.      
                                           

Catching Up

       I’ve been having some rather unique health problems lately. The most bothersome and alarming has been my ongoing issues with my stomach. Very nearly as frightening is a skin problem that is leaving scars on my body and my face. Thoughts of Job have flashed through my mind, but then I find myself begging forgiveness for ever having such a thought. My spiritual relationship with my higher power STILL isn’t right. That’s at least two areas of my life that need working on.
       My stomach has been bloated, full of gas and swollen and tender. I’ve been so constipated after two days of stool softeners and laxatives only produces a small amount of hard stool , it has made me late for appts., made me crazy because I can’t wear my clothes, and left stretch marks on my stomach from blowing up so big. No matter what I eat it makes me nauseated, gives me gas and makes my blood pressure plummet. My doctor has given me the name of a specialist he wants me to see, I will keep you posted.
       Now the skin issue is so bizarre it’s terrifying because I know the permanent scarring happening to my skin will never be corrected under my insurance. I just woke up one morning and there would be a scar on my leg. It looked as if someone burned me with a cigarette and it had healed for a long, long time. The next day there was a very large one on my left cheek with several smaller ones around my eyes and forehead. I was mortified and got the name of a dermatologist right away. My appointment is next week, which isn’t soon enough for me.
       Eric also made a confession to me this week. He told me he very depressed and in deep rut. He told me he was overwhelmed by the all the work that needed done around here and on the van , and the less he got done, the worse he slept, which meant he was in more pain, his blood pressure was higher and he was more exhausted. It was a vicious circle that kept going round and round. I felt very sad for him but that still doesn’t give him the right to call me names, put me down, and pick fights with me all the time.

My Mission

         I just accidently erased my entire post but wanted to let you know that I feel the time for reminiscing is over and it is now time to begin my mission. If I feel like venting or think a story from my life may help demonstrate a point I’m trying to make that will help someone with a spinal cord injury then I may use it.
         My doctor and I are still unable to get the proper dose of levo-thyroxine to straighten out my TSH levels so the rest of my hormones can function properly. This definitely has a lot to do with my moodiness, loss of judgment, depression (living in the past), procrastination and inability to sleep.
         Once again I apologize for losing my post not having the time to rewrite it. Thank you for hanging in there with me.
                                                            

Eric & Lori Part 2

         The first time Eric and I were together was on November 23th, 1993, at his Grandmother’s house where he was living at the time. When I found out he was only going to be 24 years old in December, I lied about my age and told Eric I had just turned 28 in November when in actuality I had celebrated the big 3-0! I had just moved backed to my mom’s after finishing my last semester at the Art Institute that past summer even though I didn’t finish my degree or study art. Which baffled every one including my saner, rational, more grounded self, who did actually have a idea  what was going on in the world just rarely had got the chance to see the light of day.
        Eric’s Gram was in the hospital that particular evening and it wouldn’t be long before I knew all about her and the battles she fought with her health. After Eric and I left the bar, (yes, I ditched my sister Cathy but we had a prearrangement that covered just such situations) he made two stops. The first was to Taco Bell, where he entertained me for thirty minutes by being able to eat an entire taco in a single bite. The second was to Sheetz to get gas and a pack of Winston 100’s for himself and some Marlboro Light 100’s for me. Then it was on our way to “his” place. I felt like a school girl I was so excited and nervous, even though I technically picked him up, I didn’t have a plan of action and NEVER thought like that if I went home a guy, I just let things come as they did, I went with the flow, I had a good time, it was part of the fun. Nonetheless, I found myself feeling differently around Eric. Although once at Gram’s he made me feel so comfortable it wasn’t long before we were both rummaging around in the kitchen looking for a snack, both stark naked and me with an almost empty bottle of Two Fingers Gold tequila in one hand and a hair brush in the other that I was pretending was a microphone and I was singing Jimi Hendrix into it to accompany Eric on the guitar he was playing.
        Just a few hours earlier we were humping like rabbits upstairs in Eric’s bedroom. When Eric first undressed me I slightly uncomfortable with my body because I had a few small stretch marks on my tummy but he made me feel beautiful, sexy, and desirable. It was my first husband, Bill, who had torn down my self esteem and put my confidence in the toilet. Eric asked if he could tie me to the old fashioned four posted bed and I could barely breathe deeply enough to answer but I managed a breathless “yes. If he wouldn’t have been kissing me I’m certain I would have been panting as I allowed my brand new lover to tie my wrists wide open one to each post then my ankles just as wide to the same posts my wrists were tied to. After he was done tying me up he got one of his leather belts and folded in half while he slowly undressed. He kept telling me how good I looked all tied up and what a bad girl I’d been how I needed to have a spanking. After Eric finally had his clothes off he began to pace around the bed like a wild dog completely naked, 6’ 1” tall in his bare feet, 220 lbs and fully 8” erect snapping his belt against itself making a loud “crack!” every time he did. Teasing me with it every once in awhile by giving me a little smack on the behind. By this time I was so ablaze with desire I felt my juices running down between my buttocks.
        Finally, we did make love, for hours, in every position. And I showed him how I could please a man with my mouth, lips, tongue, and hands. There was only one thing I refused to do with Eric, maybe because I had never done it, perhaps because my first husband was bi-sexual. I only refused him that one act.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Eric & Lori

       I met Eric around Halloween in1993 at a small bar where                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        where
my older sister Cathy and I frequented in downtown Greensburg, PA called the Point. It was really kind of a dive where bikers, real hard-core women, drug pushers and their clientele, drunks, whores, and every form of the city’s underbelly imaginable hung out; just the kind of place where we liked do our drinking and hell-raising. And although certainly not the type of establishment that comes to mind when one thinks about looking for a lifetime partner, that’s exactly where  Eric first laid eyes on me, where a month later I picked HIM up and ended up at his Gram’s house sleeping with him the first night we met. I told him I’d been hurt so many times and so badly that I’d NEVER fall in love again. But found myself anxiously waiting for his call for three long days.
Little socially repressed me, made fun of all through my school years, emotionally and physically abused by my father and first husband, and controlled by guilt and shame by a working mother who had to raise three children of her own and two of her grandchildren alone.
Then along came Eric and slowly but steadily my inhibitions, my hang ups, things I had repressed, and things which had become obsessions began to alleviate. After years of knowing his family and watching how a healthy marriage works, how proper parenting nurtures successful adults and there really was such a thing called “unconditional love” because I witnessed it. I knew that God himself put Eric in my life. Of course I still had my demons, so deeply ingrained they were part of my fiber. But I cared so deeply about my relationship with Eric, loved him so dearly and through therapy and rehabilitation for alcoholism, which I put myself in, I even had begun to care about myself and some of these innate feelings of shame, humiliation, disdain, embarrassment and guilt began to disappear. I learned that the more I accomplished the better I felt about myself. Sure, I still had moments of weakness when I would base my self esteem for the day on the way Eric was interacting with me. It certainly takes a lot for a leopard to change his spots.
But I absolutely, positively must give credit where credit is due. Before my injury Eric stuck by me through mental hospital stays, alcohol rehabs, and a prescription drug addiction which ultimately took my freedom. Now I’m not saying our first 11 years together was fraught with nothing but my bad behavior, far from it. However, our engagement became only that, an engagement, when I know in my heart had my behavior been different I’d be a married woman. Nevertheless, six years post injury he’s still taking care of me long after I lost his family’s support. This is a huge regret of mine because I love them like they were my own. 
    
                                                         

Friday, February 18, 2011

One More To My Mystery Readers

Pardon me for one post my friends to get something off my chest, thank you, Lori Ann.
To whom it may concern,
       It would seem to me that neither of you have heard of “intermittent sarcasm”.  If one you still thinks I’ve NEVER discussed my relationship of seventeen years with my therapist of ten years and the other thinks I really want or need a thesaurus after reading fifty of my posts (if you DID indeed read them all, if not therein lies the problem) then I mustn’t be as good a writer as thought or the two of you simply aren’t reading my posts very thoroughly. I am honestly at a loss for words. Although, I did get a giggle out of Anonymous II correcting the “professional” Anonymous I’s spelling error. 
       I do promise to stop having it out with my commenters and get back to posting tomorrow friends. Things have been truly crazy around here. Is there some strange alignment of planets I should be aware of or something?


















































Thursday, February 17, 2011

Dear Anonymous

Dear Anonymous,
          I’m not certain if you’re aware but you are posting comments on blog written by a quadriplegic woman talking about the slow and sometimes painful mental, physical, and emotional rehabilitation process from a spinal cord injury and the ongoing process of living with that injury and the effects it takes on her personal relationships. You are NOT taking part in twelve step program where your anonymity may be compromised affecting your job, interpersonal relationships, and standing in the community. In other words, if you want really want me to take your advice seriously, please come out of the closet (so to speak) so that I might check your credentials. After all, you must be a professional judging from the conviction with which you write these comments and there’s nothing like free advice especially from someone who’s obviously “been there” as you most certainly must have.  Also, I do so appreciate you looking up big words for me and diagnosing my self destructive behavior. Oh my, I suddenly feel the need for a super hug from Eric and a thesaurus!   
Lori Ann Mary Bosley                                  ericsgibbie@gmail.com

Eric Part 2

       After last night’s post I think it’s only fair that I expand on Eric’s physical condition and how he got that way. After all, I’ve been pretty hard on him, I told you all the horror stories but never paused a moment in my resentment to tell you the things I’m grateful for, things I’ll never be able to repay him for. Without Eric’s care I would have been in a nursing home or worse a long time ago.
       Eric has extremely painful traumatic degenerative neuropathy in both feet and legs. His neurologist looked for everything trying to rule out every cause imaginable and when he finally did both Eric and his Doctor (who used to be my neurologist, by the way) were sad to admit that it was Eric’s lifestyle that was causing his health problems. The years of not getting enough sleep, being on his feet too many hours, always leaning over me to do something for me or to me, weeks and weeks of playing tag team with Dale while I was in the hospital and probably more that I’ve forgotten because of the memory loss from the comas, collapsed lungs, and brain seizures.
In short, he goes through this excruciating pain every day of his life because he tells me he loves me, couldn’t imagine a world without me in it and made a decision to keep me at home and care for me when my own family dropped the ball squarely in his lap or thinking his shoulders so broad they could take the gravity of this situation alone when they themselves were too cowardly to even offer the slightest bit of help. Save for my sister Mary.
       I haven’t been very grateful, patient, longsuffering, selfless or kind all the things love are supposed to embody when it comes to Eric since the “Nicole incident”. But I’ve always believed in a philosophy where “what comes around, goes around “ or if you like “karma” or you may prefer “vengeance is mine, sayth the Lord.” It all means the same to me; eventually he who done me wrong eventually gets their just punishment. Just click my facebook link to what happened to Nicole. Maybe this is Eric’s punishment. It’s pretty damn harsh if it is. He doesn’t deserve it; he should get a medal for what he’s for me over the years and I need to remember that… everyday and every night. Of course it doesn’t make the things he did right but two wrongs will never, ever make things right. Besides, I’m a bigger person than that. But do go see what became of Sticky Nicky it just tickles me …I guess I’m not completely grown up yet. (tee…hee)

Eric Part 1

          I don’t how much more bullshit I can take from my miserable fiancĂ©e. I understand the man is in pain from the degenerative neuropathy in both feet and lower legs, but I refuse to take ALL the blame when he refuses to take care of himself. If I even offer a solution to his swollen legs or sore ankles I am a “dumb cunt” or a “fucking bitch”. It’s as if he wants me to hate him. But then he’ll do something like he did on Valentine’s Day. Bought me roses and candy, a teddy bear and a card that he picked out special, wrote in about how our love has lasted through all the trials, and kissed me tenderly goodnight.
          Now he has just given me 15 minutes post because his legs hurt and told me that would help him get back on his feet. So I would like to change the subject to time management which was always meant to be the topic of tonight’s post to begin with.
          I really don’t have as much control of what I do or don’t have time for on any given day. For instance, today Eric had to go to Accessabilities to drop off our employees’ timesheets because he failed to finish them Sunday or Monday as he should have. So I had to stay in bed until he got back because I had to move my bowels and I went without a shower AGAIN. I haven’t had a shower since Sunday. By the time I was cleaned up and dressed it was 2:40pm. That’s when I got the chance to begin my day. So how do I manage my time when I have doctors to calls, P.O.’s to keep at bay and medicine to refill? Not to mention a house to run, weight to keep up and employees to reign in? This doesn’t leave me with enough computer time which I need desperately!   

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Days Gone By

        Before I was injured Eric and I shared open, frank, rich, and mutually satisfying sex life. I was married for ten years before I met Eric and my first husband never brought me to orgasm without me helping myself along. When I met Eric I had just turned thirty years old and Eric would not be twenty-four until December 13th and he was the first man to bring me to an orgasm using only his mouth. What he did with his lips, tongue, and teeth was truly artistic but it was his attitude that allowed me to relax, enough to feel beautiful, sexy and desirable that truly allowed an orgasm to flow through my body for the first time without masturbating since I began having sex at age 15. That was what made our sex life so great; the love we shared went far beyond the romantic into the realms of respect, true caring about how our partner was feeling, open-mindedness to try new things and explore undiscovered places and to feel so comfortable with one another it was as if each of us was simply an extension of the other.
        That’s why days like Valentine’s Day are so hard for me. They all remind of days gone by; days I’m just going to have face that I’ll never be able to recapture. No matter what I do or do not say, do, fail to do, fail to say or whatever other hundred excuses Eric has to pick a fight with me. I guess it’s time to take my own advice but its sooo hard. Every single time I’ve shown a tiny bit of self sufficiency Eric has sabotaged it by throwing me a major curve ball like climbing into bed with me on a Sunday afternoon, snuggling, making love for hours and then falling asleep with big, strong, safe arms around me. I just can’t take the mixed signals anymore. I will go insane. And how on earth am I supposed to date? With Eric as my chaperone? Don’t know what to do friends, haven’t a clue.   

Sunday, February 13, 2011

To All The Lovers Out There

        Well, tomorrow is Valentine’s Day, a day for lovers, old and young, familiar and new, excited and bored. Eric and I had planned to spend Sunday afternoon snuggling and whatever may happen from there for the entire week. I was looking forward to it like a child can’t wait for Christmas morning. But of course come Saturday night and I find a way to screw it up.
        First, I didn’t get off the computer the minute Eric asked me to so strike one. AND I still couldn’t even manage to post because I kept falling asleep every few minutes so I should have just gone to bed early and given Eric an early night to play his guitar and rest up. But NO I thought I could stay awake long enough to get a post on my blog. Where are my priorities?
        Secondly, after Eric had me all tucked in and was ready to say goodnight and go relax for awhile I started complaining about my knee. It was paining pretty bad and I hoping he would check my foot before he left. I don’t know why I was surprised by his reaction which was not very positive. He told me he put in bed perfect and wasn’t about mess things up by checking my foot to see if it was crooked because if it was I caused it by sitting up to smoke. I agreed with him and asked if he’d check it anyway since my leg was throbbing so badly. Needless to say, this led into a huge argument about how I was trying to keep from playing his guitar and if I didn’t stop he wouldn’t check on me later. Long story short, I ended up having a panic attack and asking him to into my room over and over until he was so angry and tired he didn’t play his guitar, said he wasn’t checking on me later, and our romantic Sunday was ruined. I cried myself to sleep.
        Today at 1:00pm I woke Eric up. We had to do my bowel routine and a shower. I got out of bed at 9:00pm. I’m trying desperately to finish this post before he says it’s time for bed. I knew we weren’t going to have our romantic Valentine’s Day afternoon but I ventured to ask anyway which did nothing but get my nose rubbed in shit as if I were a naughty puppy who refused to be housebroken. Eric has never forgiven me  for things I’ve done while still able bodied how will he let me start with a clean slate now? He stopped seeing his therapist citing insurance scam as the reason. But claims I’m not thorough enough with my psychiatrist. I have suggested couples therapy more than once but he’ll have none of it but he’s now seeing the same shrink I am so who knows what’ll happen. Maybe just maybe things will change now that we’re seeing the same doctor…only time will tell.
        Now, to all you lovers out there, have a wonderful, loving, romantic, sexy, fantastic, orgasmic VALENTINE’S DAY!!!  
                                                             

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Winter Blues

        The winter has been so dismal, bleak, oppressive and depressing that I fear I simply just I can’t take much more. My thyroid is out of whack so perhaps that explains my somber humor. Or maybe it’s more the emotional and physical carnival ride the conductor won’t let me off of that is to blame. Yet, it could be the ever ongoing loneliness, longing, and isolation that cover my heart like a cold damp blanket. Then there’s the agonizing pain in my legs which only gets worse as the day wears on into night. If it sounds as though I’m complaining I am. I will not bother trying to make excuses or go into long a discussion explaining my reasons for doing it:  I am simply complaining. I am after all only human, simply weak of flesh, and with as fragile a mind as a battered child.
        TRCIL (Three Rivers Center for Independent Living) has stopped calling and trying to set me up with a new peer counselor after taking Don off my case. I’m still not sure why they separated us to begin with but I refused their offers of any replacements. For some reason, which I’m certain has to do with the liberal agenda, the state funded program which pays for my waivers like peer support has stopped doing so. UNLESS I give up my four hours a week for outings ect. and go with one hour of in home bull sessions. BULLSHIT!!!
        Needless to say, I was very disappointed and disgusted by the whole mess. Luckily, I have Don, who is not just a peer counselor but a true friend and ended up offering to take me out on his time once a month for four hour hours. So we still keep in touch in person and on the internet and through email. He has introduced me to so many influential people over the years and over facebook that I’ve made business contacts, job opportunities, and wonderful friends just from those contacts. God Bless you tonight buddy, wherever you may be.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Billy Part 3

I’m sorry I haven’t been writing much this month but with Billy here it’s been nothing short of a roller coaster ride that accidently got stuck on “Go”. Monday he finally headed off to detox, something he was supposed to do on Friday but decided to go have his Father buy him an Xbox instead. That started a fight of mega proportions between him and Eric. So Billy stormed out or Eric threw him out either way he got high all weekend with his P.O. and the State Police Officer who arrested him calling all the while. I didn’t think I could be more exhausted than I was on Friday but I feel like a wet dish rag tonight. If I slept two full hours last night I’m exaggerating.
 BUT, please let me finally take this opportunity to let you all know that although I may have had more than my fair share of trials, setbacks and heartache since my injury, I never once gave up, I never once stopped working out, I never once quit taking my herbs, supplements and vitamins nor did I give up my daily physical therapy, meditation, or prayer. At the height of my modeling career a wise designer, who was a paraplegic, once told me to NEVER give up trying to move my hands, toes, legs no matter what the doctors told me. Now I can move my toes and feet, if only a little bit, my thumbs, and I can flex muscles in my thighs, my trunk, my buttocks and my lower back. I have actual conscious control over parts of body that are technically paralyzed!         
         Anyway, back to the story. After William raided Eric’s drawers and took so much of our meds, we realized that at least one of us would run out before our refills came due. Eric being the gallant man he is, besides the fact that he was giving Billy pain meds all along without telling me because Bill had him convinced that he would go into horrible withdrawal without them, Eric offered to share his with me until my script was filled. It’s not that I don’t appreciate the gesture for my anxiety alone would send me to the nuthouse but now Eric will run out! What good could possibly come from that? If only Eric had been upfront with me I could have told him he was being played like a violin. However, Eric thinks he knows best and doesn’t understand OR believe that addiction is real disease with symptoms, systems, behaviors, life changing effects just like any other. Plus, he simply no longer considers me a friend the way that he used to. It used to be me and Eric against the rest of the world. So many things have changed … it makes me sad. I miss Billy too just as much as I am angry with him and let me tell you something, I can’t remember EVER being more furious with my  son … it makes me even sadder. But after what he did over the weekend instead of going into a court ordered detoxification center terrifies me. And this my friends makes me the saddest I can remember feeling for many moons.          

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Billy Part 2


Billy seemed sincerely grateful for the second chance and acted as though he truly wanted to contribute and help Eric around the house and with my care. Every night my son would sit with me and talk about anything and everything under the sun and before he’d leave he said a prayer and tell me how much he loved me and how thankful he was to be living here with me and Eric. I never dreamed he’d ever jeopardize that privilege again. He was helping to put into bed every night, learning my range of motion exercises, taking care of my cleaning my catheter site, helping in way possible to get Eric’s work done faster. He was even getting me out of bed in the morning and adjusting me into my wheelchair for the day. I was so proud of him and he and Eric were getting along famously. Eric was letting him play one of his guitars, letting Billy record his songs on our iPod nano and I was going to put them on my blog, facebook and Utube.
I never dreamed my son would jeopardize the life he had here again and I can’t help blaming myself  for not being there when needed he most…as a child …as a teen …as a young man. Oh, I was there in body most of time when he was little and even in mind and spirit a good portion of the time. But there WERE times when I remember doing things so unfit I’m too embarrassed to repeat now and will save them for another chapter. I left his father when he 10 years old and didn’t want to take him out of school and into the city with me so I let him stay with my ex for four years. That was a HUGE mistake and as soon as came home from college and found out his Dad had him selling marihuana for him I was frantic and furious. Here is another parenting mistake I made, I gave Billy two choices: either move out to Mammoth with Eric and me or stay in Greensburg so you don’t have to change schools and make all new friends and live with my mother. Worst mistake I ever made as a mother I can think of. After all, this is the woman that raised me, my three sisters, my brother and my grown niece and nephew. There isn’t a completely sane one in the bunch including myself who spent 5 years in intensive therapy and has been on every psych med in the book at one or another for one condition or another.
But, I digress; let us get back on topic, Billy. Perhaps I’m avoiding telling the story because it’s so painful, maybe because Billy didn’t want me to write about his deep dark dirty secrets. I don’t know. But if writing this story helps ONE young addict get clean or opens ONE alcoholic mother’s eyes then so be it.
Eric knew before he opened his bedroom door that someone had tripped the booby trap. He had just finished a shower and finally dragged his aching feet up the stairs to get dressed. He went straight to the drawer where kept both his and my narcotic medication. There was a full month’s prescription of klonopin (90 pills) with more than 30 missing, 20 Xanax missing, both of these anti-anxiety medications called benzodiazepines (a very dangerous sedating medication), 4 Dilaudid gone and an oxycodone (both very strong narcotic pain medications) all missing. Eric had made certain to set every single booby trap to see if anyone entered his room but neglected to lock the pills up in his briefcase like he does every day after getting out just what doses we need for the day. He’s done it like just this long before Billy came to stay because of employee theft. Why he forgot that particular day one may never know.
Needless to say, neither Eric nor I was as forthright with our forgiveness. But I must admit Eric was STILL willing to give him one more chance until he got into treatment. But I was so angry about my klonopin I could barely look at him. I didn’t sleep that night, save for an hour or two, for fear he would overdose and die. But the very next morning the meds that Eric had left in my cup were missing.
(to be continued)               
                                                                

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Billy Part 1

       About a month ago my son William came to stay with us because no one would have him their homes. You see, he has a devastating, macerating, rotting, ruinous, and deadly disease. He is a heroin addict. Since he’s been here he’s admitted to me that it’s been that way for 10 years and that he’s done terrible, shameful, hurtful, things to his friends, family but mostly himself. Eric and I opened our house and hearts to him to try and keep him out of jail and into treatment.
       He did well for about a week then all the Dilaudid a very strong opiate  pain pill in my drawers (about 3 or 4) disappeared. I was livid and thought for certain Eric would throw him out on his ass. He denied it and it until he was blue in the face until Eric got ugly and grabbed the shotgun then told him to fess up or pack his shit and get out of our house. Billy broke down in tears and huge gasping sobs but through the heaving moans he was able to confess to the crime give what sounded like a heartfelt apology.
       After Eric made him empty his bags, break the two needles he found within, and explain to him that he understood how hard it must be always be exposed to so many available drugs Eric generously and out of the kindness of his heart gave him another chance. He had a hearing to go to the next week and we were all afraid he would be urine tested although I did grudgedly rewrite the letter for the Judge I was happy to type up for the magistrate only a week ago.
       Things settled down again and Eric was even good enough to share his anti-anxiety meds called Xanax with him to keep him calm and his cravings down. This is a medication that was prescribed to Billy before he ran out of insurance anyway. However, my son had admitted to me that he abused this drug as well as anything he ever got his hands on.
(to be continued)      

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Here We Are

        Here we are at the first day of February, the day that non-officially marks the beginning to of end of another long, cold, snowy, dark, depressing, Pennsylvania winter. I’ve always felt that the beginning of February was sort of the “hump day” of winter and once past that I could survive the brutality of the rest just by seeing the sun rising earlier and setting later in the day even though some of our worst weather may very well be yet come. I remember a Nor-Eastern storm on St. Patrick’s Day back when I was attending the Art Institute in Pittsburgh that crippled the city with three feet of heavy wet snow. I made it into the city that morning to go work on 53rd floor of an office building where I had a loathsome position as a telemarketer. We were told to leave early because of the weather report and on my way back to the trolley I stopped at the state liquor store to pick up some sustenance (I had quite the drinking bug in those days) and headed back up the Mount to one of the unsavory parts of the city where I lived with my roomy Dave to wait out the blizzard.
        Let’s hope we have an early spring the like we did last year when there was suddenly a 70 degree day in March and the weather decided to never go back and we went right from winter straight into summer with no long rainy season, no cold and flu transitional period and no “in like a lion out like a lamb” or vice-versa. We had a quadriplegic’s wet dream of a summer hot and dry nearly every day for four months, in PA! That just doesn’t happen. Oh well, one can wish, hope, pray and dream…mmm.
        This reminds me of my first followers. A group who have a website called Lookville.com It’s a website dedicated to and run by ordinary women who LOVE fashion and share tips, pics, and give opinions about different outfits, jewelry, shoes, accessories ect. They really liked my collage and invited me to join their site so I did. Too bad I haven’t found the time to participate the way I’d like to; they have followers similar to blogspot and I’ve lost all but one (last time I had a chance to look) which is a shame. I just don’t have the time to get my attendant to dress me up in a special outfit take pictures than have my hubby put me back in bed to be changed into something warm enough to wear all day and then hurt his back putting me back in my chariot, adjusting me, getting my feet straight so my knees don’t ache and so on and so on…I really should explain to these the ladies and bow out gracefully. I’m just thrilled I able to give these sweet women a shout out. I barely have time to update my blog each day and for this I sincerely apologize.
Goodnight dear friends and sleep well until we meet again.