Crazy day. Shortly after Son got on the school bus yesterday morning Husband informed me that he had called 911 for himself and the ambulance was on it’s way. Literally a minute or so after he said that I heard the howl of approaching sirens.
I was laying down when they got here. Morning is always my worst mobility time and everything had been aggravated by the fact that it had been a rough night as Husband had spiked a fever and been vomiting so I was on the couch barely able to move at all.
EMT knocked with that scary loud poundy knock that emergency workers and cops have and husband had to answer the door for himself because even though he was farther away AND half delirious with fever and winded from the kidney pain he got there first. So EMT sees a 6’2 man walking to the door himself and me just laying on the couch..he got a little attitude-y for a second.
“So.. (points at Husband) you called… for yourself and you (gestures at me on the couch) can’t drive him in for whatever is SUCH an emergency. Is that what’s going on? Is that how we’re gonna play today?”
He left me at a kind of a loss for words for a second because whenever I am in a situation of being forced to defend my disability I just feel like a someone who is lying even though I am so not. Who the hell would claim the joints, as one doctor memorably described while looking at my x-rays, of a hard living 80 year old.. plus all the other health problems to boot? It’s not attractive to be sick and crippled. I can’t imagine anyone claiming it falsely, YET I still feel like a liar if I’m forced to use words rather then letting my physical appearance while moving around speak for itself.
It turned out not to matter this morning though, because while going back to the bedroom for his shoes Husband completely lost his breath and doubled over in pain. You could clearly hear that he was wheezing and also that pain was practically taking his breath away. When the tech approached him in alarm, he also felt the high fever baking off of him. Suddenly, blessedly, EMT was all health professional, quickly and respectfully asking me questions so that he could speedily get Husband what he needed. They rushed out the door, Husband clutching his cell phone and meds with one hand and his stabbing belly with the other. They didn’t even say goodbye.
After he left I felt overwhelmed and scared and relieved all at once. Overwhelmed with the idea of acknowledging how bad his needs actually are. Scared for him, that he might have to go all the way through the process of passing kidney stones with no pain relief because he is pretty much intolerant of any opiate painkillers. No matter what the variety, what the dosage, the nausea, dizziness and vomiting he gets as a side effect overwhelm any relief. So I was worried.
But he got there, they assessed him and he explained his issues with opiates and they worked around it by putting him on IV dilaudid and something IV for nausea and vomiting. He was actually able to experience some relief. And they put an oxygen tube in his nose. So he was able to breathe and get some sleep. Then they admitted him and when it was time to get more pain med the bitch doctor came in and gave him crap about the dilaudid.
“They give that out like candy downstairs. That’s not how I do things. I’m not going to give a drug that’s usually reserved for terminal cancer patients for Mr. Broken Toe.”
Oxygen tubes, kidney stones, pneumonia and IVs be damned, Husband spoke up for himself.
“Who the heck ( he actually does say heck, he’s very big on not cursing.. you’d think he’d sound ridiculous but he doesn’t when he puts the bass in his voice) is up in this bed with a broken toe? Did you even read the file? Do you even know what I’m dealing with?”
SO they had it out, he hounded her till she read the file and agreed that the hardcore pain meds / antinausea IV combo were what he needed. It was kind of ridiculous or ironic that Mr. Super Sober was treated like a drug seeker. You guys might not get it but between what my opiate issues did to us and what opiates usually do to his own body he is the LAST person in the world that would be drug seeking for pleasure.
So he’s there. Last we talked he was miserably trying to hold down cat scan contrast so they could give him a ct of his abdomen, By that point, I was doing a whole lot better. I had felt sad, scared and overwhelmed and alone. On top of everything it had started snowing again and it was my Suboxone refill and counseling appointment day.
Crisis in our life usually results in a lot of phone calls and facebooking. Letting family,church and other friends know what’s going on and updating everyone as I get updates. So I started doing all of that and also calling my doctor and my counselor to let them know that i had an emergency, couldn’t come in and most importantly that I needed my script faxed in because I was completely out. I had to leave all of that info with the secretary because nobody was in yet so after leaving all of that info and rescheduling my appointment for 1 week out I had to wait and see what was going to happen with the script. It’s really not a good thing to miss appointments at my treatment center. I have obligations I am supposed to fulfill regularly to prove that I am not just a useless junkie anymore. And due to snow, physical pain and some pretty hard core depression I’ve been dealing with lately I have missed a LOT of appointments. So I worry that a refill day is going to come and Dr. M is going to be like, “You did not honor your contract. You’re no longer in the program.”
But that day wasn’t yesterday. Partway through my giant web of crisis social networking, I got a call from my counselor who was very supportive, then the secretary saying that she would fax in the script. She asked me about the pharmacy and I like an IDIOT gave her the CVS closest to my house which for some reason, a few months ago, after faithfully filling my script each month, they decided to not keep Suboxone in stock properly which means stupid hassle after hassle. Give them the script, wait the hours that they say it takes to fill it, trying to distract my inner addict, who’s all,”Gimme, gimme, gimme! It’s refill day. REFILL ME!”
When I drop a script off or it is faxed over I can check the computer to see if it’s filled or being worked on, and I also get a text when its available for pickup, But yesterday like a freaking moron I gave her the fail CVS, the script just sat for hours, looking on my end of things like they were working on it.
SO long story long, I finally broke down and called them which I hate doing because I hate sounding like a junkie and that’s when they told me that their order didn’t come in right and that they couldn’t fill it today, but tomorrow after 5, worst case scenario Monday at the latest, they’d have it in. I said that didn’t work for me.
That was part because my inner junkie couldn’t stand waiting an ambiguous amount of time to have what she’s allowed daily and part because by that time my awesome Daughter, who had the day off and had heard what I was dealing with had volunteered to come over, do some shopping and pick up my meds. She wasn’t going to be available tomorrow after 5, or Monday worst case scenario. I asked could they transfer it to a CVS that had it and she said no, THEY couldn’t but if I wanted to call around and see who had it in stock, then have the doctor fax it there. That pissed me off. Cause I knew what kind of pain it was gonna be to get the clinic to refax it on their busiest day of the week and ALSO pharmacies are not usually inclined to tell random people on the phone which schedule III narcotics they have in stock.
Instead I took a gamble and had it faxed to the one that had solved my problems last month, by filling it quickly without hassle or attitude.And it worked. Dr. M only faxed in a weeks worth which means I am not going to be able to get away with not seeing him face to face next week.
The day ended on a good note for us. The kids took Husband being very ill in stride. Son was very pragmatic about it.
He said something like,” Well, if he’s very sick like he seemed the the hospital is the best place for him. And the car is here for us so we’ll be ok if we need to do anything.”
Then he ate his snack and went to his after school program at the community center. Daughter, like me, had more complicated emotions about it because like me, her relationship to Husband is a whole lot more complex due to a difficult past when Husband ruled the house with controlling behavior and unchecked anger issues. He has changed a lot, but the past is still an undercurrent that’s always there.
That didn’t affect how much she and her boyfriend went out of their way to be there for me.They went shopping, picked up my meds, came over, cooked, washed dishes, hung out, played with Son, and laughed at old episodes of Saved by the Bell while still marveling how great Mario Lopez STILL looks. (that last part was Daughter and I.. (Son and Boyfriend couldn’t care less, or whatever that saying is.)
She made everything better. I didn’t even have to ask. And it wasn’t even just the food and the meds that made me feel better. It was the love behind it. Sometimes when pain and depression and illness get the better of me, I wonder why the hell I’m still here and I look at my kids and the meaning of it all floods back in. Thank you babygirl and little man, for making me a mommy.