Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Dr. Stupid-head Dumb-butt Foote...

I just got back from the doc. Don't worry, not my dealer doc., another one. Don't worry again, I'm not doctor shopping, I told him exactly what I'm doing...Anyway, the reason for the visit was unrelated to withdrawal. Weird joint stuff. He told me I had gone about this the hard way. I told him that for me, there was no other way. I could never taper. But my Dr appointment is not the point of this post. Well, kind of.

i have spent the last 3 weeks plus 3 days (whose counting!) on the couch mostly watching TV. There are lots of commercials for quitting smoking. When I was in rehab, Coke, (as in cola, not cocaine) was contraband. Yep, I snuck it in under the guise of root beer. What was so ironic was that people who had never smoked before, took up smoking. That was OK. There was a special room for the smokers. But NO COKE! It has caffeine. Caffeine? nicotine? I thought that was funny.

Why is there such a problem with especially prescription drugs? Did you know that 3 years ago, Utah was #1 in the nation for prescription drug abuse. The reason for that could make a great debate. Swallowing a pill is very sterile, very non-street-drug like. And why is it so hard to get help? (Back to the whole quit smoking comment above)

I went to a doctor when I was into the habit for about 3 years. He was a psychiatrist. He was the most arrogant SOB I have ever met! Most people like me have low self esteem, (I'm not saying I always do/did, but at that time...) I told him I had a problem and that I needed help. He told me that if I didn't get to a facility for 6 months, I would be "a druggie mom on the streets". I had a very sick husband at the time and a house full of kids. I told him that option wouldn't work for me. I think I got in the parking lot and took more pills! Actually, I don't remember that, but I do remember how horrible he made me feel.

Try and get help. There is a 3 month waiting period to get in with an addiction doctor and about that long to check in somewhere. When a spot does open up, plan on spending your life's savings. Addiction is a big and booming business. So in answer to my today's doctor's statement on doing this the hard way, there are not that many options. There has to be a better way to help people. Maybe just awareness. That is really the purpose for this blog. I hope to help others before they get to my point. And to help me. Mostly to help me.

And as for Dr. Dumb-butt Foote, (his first name rhymes with DARK), I will be on the streets!, running, or walking, or biking!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

I'm Sad..

I have had so many thoughts swirling around in my head the last few days. Any number of them could be a topic but I would rather just throw them all out here and go from there.

Sadness over Micheal Jackson dying. Such a tragicness to the whole thing. I thought he was a master, a talent beyond compare yet so demonized by so many things. I'm bugged that this event has saddened me so much.

I'm mad that I got myself into this mess and that I didn't take care of it sooner. I scared to go to the doctor to find out what these golf-ball sized weird bubbly things are on my elbows; why my joints have been so stiff and hurting so bad. I'm scared I'll never feel normal again or that I'll never be able to run again. I'm scared that I won't know how to feel up these empty spaces in my soul that have been medicated in the past. I feel sadness for other people who struggle with this demon and others who are in denial. I'm scared I won't have energy to live a normal day. I feel sad that Curtis has to witness this whole thing and not have a normal mom. I feel sad I can't tend my grand babies, as I don't feel well enough yet. I feel sad that my mom and dad who are in their 80's have to worry about me. It should be the opposite. I should be taking care of them. I'm sad that my family is at church right now and I can't be there with them. I feel bad that others are having to cover for me in different assignments, making their load heavier. I'm sad I can't spend the time out in my garden and that some plants have died because of that. I just feel sad.

But, with all this being said, this time had to come sooner or later if I want to get better. I'll just keep having faith, pleading with God to help me through, and thanking him for another day of making it.

It's been 3 weeks now, and for that i am grateful.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

On the Spot!

i love music! The only thing I love more than music is listening to Curtis play the piano or sing, or play the piano while he sings. He is taking piano and voice lessons.

If any of you know Kelly DeHaan, you know I am talking brilliance. He is the choir teacher at West Jordan High. He came to our home on Monday to listen to Curtis and give him his first lesson. Kelly said, "You play don't you Shar? Why don't you play for him." I didn't want to for a number of reasons but there was no getting out of it. After the song, Kelly went to the piano and played a bunch of drills, you know, lesson kind of things. He then told Curt, "The next thing I want you to do is perform in church." Funny thing, Ron and Curtis already have a date set. So he called Ron in to go over the song with both of them. Kelly stayed at the piano. At one point he said, "This is too high. Let's lower it a third." Ok, let's do...in time. But NO! Kelly accompanied down a third on the spot! i said in amazement, "How the heck do you do that so automatically?" "Oh, it's nothing. I went to college. When you know how chords work it's easy." K...I went to college for a year and I only took music classes. I know how to read chords and I know how they work. BUT I can't transpose while accompanying on the spot! Trying to feel not completely defeated, I piped up and said out of nowhere, "I studied with a woman who concertized all over the world and graduated from Julliard!" He responded with a, wow, and kept transposing down a third. Maybe i should have told him I need another cornea transplant so I don't see very good. He probably would have said, wow, and still kept playing. Then I would have thrown the winning punch! "Did you know I could play Rachmaninoff's Prelude in C# minor when I was in 6th grade?" I bet he would have been impressed. NOT! He can transpose on the spot!

I have been practicing a lot lately. I've almost got the song transposed!...on the spot!

I Miss My Friend

Gordon and I didn't start out on the best foot. The girls had had our maturation program and he wanted to see, or take, all the pamphlets we had gotten. NO WAY! Are you kidding! I was embarrassed enough let alone have a guy get a hold of them. Anyway, he was playfully trying to get them when I blurted out, "Your mom wears army boots!" Nobody said anything about Shirel, as she was affectionately called years later. So Gordie did what any good son would do. He pushed me down. I was crying when I got home and before I knew it, my doorbell rang. There was Gordon with his mom. He had come, under strong encouragement of being able to keep living, to apologize. My mom invited them in for cookies. Neither one of us wanted one but mom and Shirley had a grand time visiting.

That was the beginning of a great friendship. We were in the same ward growing up. I was the Laurel Pres. and Gordon was the Priest quorum Pres. He was also the pres of the madrigals and I was the secretary. We spent lots of time together. Gordon had everything going for him. He was good looking, had a beautiful tenor voice, a great athlete, and very smart. I can still hear him sing, Some Children See Him.., Hodie Christus, What Cheer, and many others. He loved to sing.

It was a beautiful summer day. We had just graduated high school. I remember that day cause I had run 1 mile for the very first time. I got a phone call saying that Gordon had been in an accident. To make a long story short, it was a water skiing accident. Because of what had happened, Gordie had to have his arm amputated from just below the shoulder.

Gordon loved being the center of attention and everyone loved having him maintain that spot. He also had a great sense of humor and with one arm being gone, he took full advantage. Here are 3 stories I remember: He went to buy some ski gloves. He told the sales clerk that he should only have to pay for one. She replied that she was sorry as they were only sold in pairs. He said, "As you can see, I don't have a PAIR of hands!"..He then started laughing and bought the gloves. He and some friends went to see the movie Jaws. There is a part where some shark-bitten arm comes floating through somewhere. Gordon stands up in the theatre and yells, "There it is!" His friends were hysterically laughing! This last story, and I think my favorite.. He checked into a hotel that had a round swimming pool. He told the front desk, "Finally! A pool I can swim laps in!"

Gordon served an honorable mission in New York. He attended law school and was hired by one of the most prestigious law firms in Utah at that time. He was known as being one of the best litigators around. No one wanted to go up against Gordon in the courtroom. But the pain from the accident got him hooked to pain pills. Gordon was able to conquer his addiction to pills but was not able to quit the drinking.

The last time I saw Gordon was in the Shopko parking lot. He gave me one of his great big one-armed hugs that everyone loved! I don't think he was even 40 when his body just couldn't take the wear and tear it had received during the years.

I am happy that Gordon is at peace in the arms of a loving, understanding, all-knowing Father. Every now and again, I just really miss my friend.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

I Want and Want and Want and...Wanted...

There are always lessons to be learned through tough things. Last night as I was busy doing nothing laying on the couch, I started thinking of things I wanted. Then I thought of the things that I wanted before the things I want now. I want...ed
To paint some cool colors (not as in cool tones, but COOL)in my room and bathroom and maybe Curtis' room, maybe all over; to travel, go see the world, see how other people live out of Pleasantville; get furniture that matches in our office and furniture for the guest bedroom downstairs; have a pergola in my backyard; get a big shade tree, or all the money to buy whatever kind of anything for the yard; get a grand piano, (that should have been #1!); be skinny and along with that let's throw in a tummy tuck!;...funny, I can't think of all the things I used to want but the list was pretty long back in the day.

Oh how things have changed. All I want is what I have. I have an incredible family who are all champs! Especially my very sweet and kind Ron. We have been through alot together and will continue to, for such is the nature of life. He has been so patient. He comes home after working soooo many hours and finds me pretty much where he left me, on the couch or in bed. And he always asks how my day/night went. Then he'll ask if I need anything. He'll run to the store and get me Dreyers lime popsicles since they are about the only thing that sound good. He'll rub my back and sit with me. I have always loved having Ron read to me. He has a great voice and I love to hear it.

When anyone gets married, it's just a given that it is for better or worse. But when you're young and don't know any better, you don't think there will be a worse. There have been alot of "worse", or tough times. I am very lucky to have gotten the man that I did, for he has put up with a lot of "worse". Thank you my sweetheart.

All I want now is one more day pill-free. And I'm going to get that. Oh yeah...I still want the skinny body and the grand piano!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Short and Sweet

It has been as really tough last few days. I'm not sure why but it doesn't matter. I thought by the time I got to the 2 week mark, things would be waaaaay better. Kind of, but other things have kicked my butt! I wish Scotty could beam me up and away for a few months! Or that I could go back in time and start over. Since I can't do either, I'll keep going today.

I read a saying whom I don't know who to give credit. It goes like this:
"When the pain of the problem gets harder than the pain of the solution, then you are ready for change."

That's where I am at. That's a good thing.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Not So Good...But Hanging In....

Yesterday started out quite good. I accomplished a little, a very ltter, but I did accomplish something. As the day progressed, I felt worse and worse. I have tried with all I have in me, to remain postivie. I knew this would not be a walk in the park physically, so I have tried to be on top of things mentally. I have tried to look for the good in the world, appreciate all the incredible bl;essings I have, so on and so on.

By the time 4:oo rolled around, I was pretty much feeling all the symptoms that come with this beast. It is hard to understand unless you have been through it. I thought I would let you know what some of those symptoms are, certainly not for the purpose of sympathy, just a real look at the hellishness of opiate addiction. Extreme nausea, terrible joint pain, pins feel like they are sticking in every skin cell, insomnia, no energy...these are just a few as to spare you details you don't need to know. It is not fun. Opiate withdrawal is very safe to stop cold turkey, but is known to be one of the most painful.

Jess came over yesterday. She doesn't get out this way much anymore and it was great to have her visit. She is always ready for a party. Curtis loves having her here. They wanted to go see Star Trek. Great movie BTW> I thought I should buck up and go. I did and was freezing, feeling awful, but I went.

I teach the singing in Primary in my ward. I love it! I love the kids and I love the music. One of the songs is "How Firm a Foundation"., the 1st and 3rd verses. I thought that was a little odd maybe, but the kids have done a great job learning it.

Little did I know what learning that song would do for me I have been reciting the words to the 3rd verse over and over and over again in these past 2 week. "Fear not I am with thee. Oh be not dismayed. For I am Thy God and will still give Thee aid. I'll strengthen thee, bless thee, and cause thee to stand upheld by my righteous omnipotent hand".

There have been many times, and many more times yet to come, where I have been, and will be, literally strengthened, blessed, and held up by His hand. And for that I am grateful.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

It's Beautiful Earth!

Day 11! I haven't made it to a day 11 except when I was in rehab, and I must say, I feel better than when I was there. It was a nightmare. Don't get me wrong. I spoke with a dear friend last night who had a a great experience in the same facility.

I went for a walk this morning, quite a strenuous walk, as I was sprinting in a strolling kind of way, as that is all I have energy for. It made me happy. Back in my clear mind, non addicted days, I always loved getting up early in the morning going for runs. Those runs always made me happy as well. OK, true honesty, I didn't love the runs everyday but those days that the endorphins kicked in were great! the natural high!

Back to the walk. I could move to the Northwest and live with Chelsea I've decided, except for one major problem, I love the mountains! So does she BTW. But man, I have love this weather! I love the rain, I love how green it makes everything, I love the thunder and the lightening. I love to hear the children laughing and having so much fun playing in it! I used to love rain as a child as well. I loved the smell of the sidewalks after a rain so I would get down on my knees and lick them so I could taste what I was smelling! I love the sound of lawn mowers and I love the smell of the newly mowed, very green grass! All in all, the world is literally a beautiful place. I hope to see more of it someday, venture out of the greater Salt Lake County Pleasantville area!

Back again to my walk...I loved looking at all the gardens. I love to garden and I love looking at all styles of gardening. There are the very manicured, low maintenance kind with the beautiful shrubs, there are the mixture of both color and shrubs and trees, there are the very neatly planned out kind with the added curbing. I happen to love as much color as possible where there is no pattern whatsoever. I love to have most of the dirt covered in color. I have read lots of books on gardening. The most ultimate to me, that I have seen, is of course the gardens of Temple Square. Their gardens are not in clean neat rows, yet there is a method (of course) to how everything is planted. I try to do that. Can't you tell! I can't. Blah blah blah...I ramble on and on about gardening when my theme was going to be the joys and lessons I learn from my garden. But now I've wasted too much time.

For now, I'm thankful for flowers and that I and they, have made it through another day and some pretty rough weather.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Pup Tents..

I have a great friend Shelley. We had our children within months of each other and they grew up being great friends.

I hated being pregnant. I never bonded with the little devils while they were in wombhood. I liked to feel them move around, but they didn't do much of that, they were so happy floating around. Maybe they knew too much so they thought they'd better chill as much as they could before the reality of their parents slapped their new behinds. Anyway, back to Shelley. Being the poor newlyweds that we were, and still are, Shelley asked me if I would like to borrow her maternity bras, but warned me that they were pretty big. They were expensive you know. I humored her and said that would be great. When she brought them over I took one look and thought, "Crimany! Cut an opening in those babies and we could go camping in there! Of course they won't fit!" You know the rest of the story. They fit like a glove? or pup tent. I was very grateful. Only your best friends would gently let you know that, yes, you are that enormous!

I just thought I'd throw in a bit of humor, but Shelley's pregnancies were nothing close to funny. For some reason, she started passing out. No warning, nothing. She would be leading the music in Sac. meeting and boom, she'd pass out. It got worse and worse as the pregnancies advanced. And with each additional pregnancy, it became so severe that she could never be left alone. On one of my turns to be with her, I said something like, "I bet you hate being pregnant." I'll never forget her reply. She said something like, "Oh no! I love it! Every morning when I wake up I feel excited, still a little drowsy and not knowing why. And then I remember. I'm pregnant and it feels like Christmas morning everyday!"

I was shocked to say the least, and mostly humbled. My friend Shelley, in fear of loosing her life and the life of her baby, only saw the richness of the miracle of carrying a life. She has three incredible, beautiful children that hopefully know of the miracles that come from the love of a mother, their mother.

Miracles come in many ways. Shelley taught me a great lesson that day. Look for the positive even, and maybe especially, during the dark times. I'm doing that now Shelley, though I am still a little pissed that the pup tents fit!

Monday, June 15, 2009

We Are Finishers!

The first marathon I ever ran was a nightmare. It was in Las Vegas and I was trained by a great runner who wanted to get her PR, personal record for those not of the running world. (Though I think PB would be a better term as it could stand for either peanut butter or personal best.) Anyway, we had trained for quite some time and Melissa was not about not to run it. She had actually put in double the miles as she would run ahead of me, come back, run with me for awhile again, go ahead again...you get the picture. As we were riding the bus to the starting line, I would look out the window and see nothing but blizzard, that's right, in Las Vegas. I'd say something like, "Meliss, this looks pretty bad. Do we really run in this?" Of course her reply was, "Of course. It just looks worse than it is." -5 below with wind chill below that seemed worse than it looked to me!

I trust Melissa with any and everything. She has never lied to me, until that day. We ran it, but 150 smart people never got off the bus. They were not even going to try. This race was in Feb. so we had been used to running in all kinds of weather. BUT, I always refused blizzards! I hate running in strong wind mixed with pelting, not falling snow, and going side-ways snow...you get the picture. In fact, I don't think Melissa ran on those days either. But we had trained, and by darn, we were going to run!

Melissa was way off ahead of me. Rules of the road when you train for a marathon. No staying back. You've worked too hard not to do your very best! The only way I knew where to go was to look down and follow the snow trail that the runners before me had made. I couldn't look up at all as my face would have been pelted. I was also running on stumps for the first 6 or so miles as my feet had gone completely numb. I kept wondering what in the hell I was doing. I didn't have to do this. 150 people didn't. I kept thinking "Nobody drops out of a race at 3 miles!"

So I kept going, and going, and going, as slow as a turtle, but I didn't stop. At mile 16 I walked for the first time. The blizzard had stopped but it was still freezing. I thought, just make it to mile 17. Then I "ran" to 18, walked to 19, and so on and so on. I finally finished, the 9th to the last person in. But, I finished and I wanted to die, but burst with joy cause I had done something I never thought I could. I swore I'd never run again. I've run 3 since then and in pretty good time.

I have run many. many races since. When Melissa moved out of state, Connie became my partner. Our moto was, "We are finishers. If we crawl across the tape, we WILL finish." I also had the feelings and thoughts that if I can finish that very first marathon, I can do and accomplish anything!

Time to start remembering again.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Red Flag!

After my third baby was born, I was sent home from the hospital with all the paraphernalia new moms get. Along with that came prescriptions. One of the prescriptions was for the afterbirth pains that are close to the real thing (labor pains) with the more births you have. Things are just trying to get back to their normal size. Anyway....so there I am with my new baby and 2 others ages 4 and 2. And I was feeling good! I specifically remember some visitors one night. They commented on how great I seemed to feel especially with my baby just a few days old. I told them I had gotten some "wonder pills" from the doc that made me feel great. Well time went by. I ran out of the pills so I called for a refill. The nurse asked if my afterbirth pains were really that bad. I told her no, but I just loved the way they made me feel! There was a bit of a pause on the other end followed with a short explanation of some sort, and I'm sure some kind of "red flag" on my chart!

So that was that. I didn't think any more about it. All I know, is that from the first time I took a pain pill, I loved the feeling. They gave me incredible energy. They didn't make me drowsy as they do normal people. I could conquer the world!

So why do some people hate the way they make them feel and others love them? There has to be something different in our brain chemistry's. I don't know and it doesn't really matter.

But then reality sets in. Eventually the euphoria doesn't last. In fact it doesn't even come anymore.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Don't Ever Forget!

The last five days have not been fun. I have been asleep most of the time. You see, I have been on pain pills for many, many years. I have tried to quit only to start again. Satistics say, 1 out of 10 people are addicted. That is a very sobering number. (No pun intended)

I am exhausted. I am tired of the constant rollar coaster, feeling "normal" and then feeling very nauseated, as it is time for a pill. I am tired of my joints hurting. I am tired of the "no energy". I am tired of not being able to get all this extra weight off. And yes, it does make a difference in weight loss, being on them as long as I have. I am tired of brain fog. I'm tired of making sure I have pills where ever I go so I can act kind of normal, whatever that is. I'm tired of isolating myself, never feeling like going out, or doing anything socially. I have always been the party girl, if there was a party, I was there. Ron and I used to go out nearly every Friday night. We had a "standing" sitter. And we always had so much fun. He deserves so much better. And then there are my children. Talk about bad example. The one good thing about this whole thing, is that they are very aware of the dangers of any medications! I am tired of the depression and such sadness. I am tired of dripping sweat. I am tired of being bloated and gross feeling, and looking much older than I should. All in all, I'm tired, and I don't ever want to forget.

But more than anything, it hasn't been fair to me. I have lost out on the fullness of joy I could have recieved during these stages of my life. I have tried many, many, many times before. This is the last time. I won't do this again. I will do everything I need to do to make sure this is the last time. I don't ever want to forget how I feel right now. It is not fun. Actually, it is very painful.

I am starting day 5. I am posting this blog for my use and for my history. And for any of you who may have gone through this same process.

Many may wonder how this all could have started. Let me tell you, it isn't that hard. I will be getting into more detail later. But for now, all I can say is, God bless all who may be strugging with any demons