Deadliest of Drugs

Drinking my coffee this morning a news story came on the television about how prescription pain killers are becoming something to watch as far as cause of death in the United States. That got me to thinking, do they kill more than alcohol? Cigarettes? Personally, the pain left from prescription drug abuse has had immediate effects in my life. I have lost numerous friends to prescription pain pill overdose. I have lost a relationship or two to the over-use of them. I have had to attend countless classes in rehabilitation facilities where I was visiting someone close to me. It is more an everyday fact that we once thought it was…

The pharmaceutical companies push the doctors, that push the patients, that end up getting hooked. In my own experience with pain pills, it was damn near impossible to get my pain specialist to take me off of the ridiculous amounts of drugs he tried to put me on. His office was located in Southfield, MI and the wait was almost two hours each time you went in, with the waiting area packed full of people. I once spoke to him about the fact that it was starting to feel like what I would assume a drug house feels like. People sitting outside waiting for their “friend” to get out of the office to take them to the pharmacy to pick up the script which they would then sell. Patients going off on the receptionist, not because of the wait, but because of who was waiting for them… I have chronic pain, but he had me on 90 mgs of Morphine first thing in the morning and up to three Oxycontin a day!! I would have been a zombie! They made me so sick that I couldn’t stomach them anyway, causing more pain than help. An old roommate once told me that I could get up to $700 “on the street” for ONE of my prescriptions a month. Later we lost her to a prescription overdose…I am in much more pain these days, but I am not on any regular pain medication, controlling as much as I can with Bikram yoga and the things I choose to eat/not eat.

The CDC says,

  • In 2013, of the 43,982 drug overdose deaths in the United States, 22,767 (51.8%) were related to pharmaceuticals.8
  • Of the 22,767 deaths relating to pharmaceutical overdose in 2013, 16,235 (71.3%) involved opioid analgesics (also called opioid pain relievers or prescription painkillers), and 6,973 (30.6%) involved benzodiazepines.8 (Some deaths include more than one type of drug.)

I started smoking when I was 13 and have had the hardest time quitting completely over the years. According to the CDC, “Smoking is the leading preventable cause of death in the United States.”  and “Harms nearly every organ of the body.” Even though old enough to know that it’s absolutely insane to even light one up after those statements, there is a comfort that comes when completely stressed out and you finish that first cigarette. That being said, One needs to have more control than that. Causing ” more than 480,000 deaths each year in the United States,” the numbers cannot be argued with.

Not only did I start smoking at a young age, but being the rebel that I was, I also started drinking about the age of 15. Over the years it definitely was the cause of an issue or two, but it wasn’t until the FM kicked in, and after two children, till my body decided I could no longer drink like I use to. I don’t mind this at all, usually only having a couple of drinks every so often. I’d rather have one good glass of cognac than play with alcohol like I use to. Sticking with getting today’s information from the CDC, they say…

“Excessive alcohol use is a leading cause of preventable death. This dangerous behavior accounted for approximately 88,000 deaths per year from 2006–2010, and accounted for 1 in 10 deaths among working-age adults aged 20–64 years.”

I guess that it is hard to determine what One should consider the deadliest of drugs. I think that the most important thing is that we pay attention to what we are putting in our bodies and how we choose to handle the stresses of our lives. The more we are in touch with ourselves and purifying these beautiful temples of skin we were given, the better off we will be.

1st Father’s Day Without Him

This weekend will mark the first Father’s Day since my Dad passed. I honestly wish that I could go without it, what does that say about me? I could easily redeem myself by stating that he would totally understand, but the underlying fact that I wish to be selfish in the first place is still there. When he passed, there were a lot of comments thrown around about my brother and I being adopted, so that somehow implied that we were effected less by his passing, or that he wasn’t as much of a father to us because he wasn’t blood? He was more a father to me than any man I had ever known. It was really quite ridiculous. It is funny to hear of stories about how uptight he use to be about people. My mother always said that he changed the way he looked at people quite a bit in the years they were married. We tend to have that effect on people, my mother and I.

He saw it all clearly before he passed, it was like talking to a completely new man. He understood the effect of negativity, he was ready to try anything to keep himself healthy, anything to get my mom back…  I know that I have said it before, but I will probably repeat it time and again, we were so very blessed to have those hours upon hours to talk before he went into surgery. I know in my heart that there is nothing that could replace that. I had that… his adopted, loved, caring step-daughter. We had that…

Can I tell you how it broke my heart that my son picked up his book of photos and before turning to the correct page, he started saying, “Papa, Papa?” It is the small times such as then that tend to catch me off guard and leave me a bawling mess. Think I might take the Lemur King to his Dad’s in Toledo and head over to Molly’s, my Dad’s favorite little diner to eat? His girls would get a kick out of that. Then maybe take a newspaper over to Charlie, Dad’s best friend. He’s in a home right now and he can’t stand it there. Wish I were able to take him out on my own, but I would be too afraid of him losing his footing and falling. We will have to see how it works out. So much to be done. I know that whatever it is that I end up doing,  Dad will be right there laughing his behind off. Such a comforting feeling.

The Passing That Led to My Disappearance…

I’m back my friends, I have missed you all greatly… My father went into the urgent care a couple weeks ago with a cold. That “cold” was pneumonia and that led to finding out he needed his third open heart surgery. On April 16th, he went in for that surgery and ended up having another heart attack on the table. After being on machines for almost seven days to give his body a rest, they tried the surgery again on the 22nd. During that surgery, there was too much bleeding and we lost him.

My brother and I may have been adopted by my father, but he was the one man that stood by us even after things with my mother had ended. I called him Dad and loved him more than most people in my life. A strange thing happened when he went in the hospital… because my youngest boy’s father lives in the area of the hospital, he was able to take most of the responsibility of the care of our little man, giving me the opportunity to stay up at the hospital with my father. I was able to talk to him for hours on end before he went into surgery.

I was able to learn so much about him. I was able to learn that he had found God and that he was not scared. That alone eases all the pain that I could feel. I was able to learn about his parents, how he grew up, how he felt like a wimp when he cried and how he finally realized that he had to be open to people and situations. I got to sit and talk with my daddy, as an adult, saying what we needed to say… we were blessed.

And then it all ended… not even 15mins. after the doctor and chaplain walked out, my estranged step-brother started talking about life insurance policies and his quarter share. The very next morning he was at my father’s door at 8:15am to start going through my dad’s things. We called him up and my other brother up to meet at my dad’s favorite diner, where he went off about being slighted all his life and getting his fair share of dad’s things. During that breakfast he declared that he wanted copies of all paperwork and to be on the phone when we handled the accounts. Now, dad wasn’t a wealthy man by any means, he called a small trailor his home, all his cards were maxed and he had a new van that hadn’t even had a payment made yet. He left the breakfast in a huff, talking about getting a lawyer and such. He followed that up with calling the cops and kicking us out of dad’s house when we went to look for the paperwork. This was all followed by hateful names and bodily threats if we were to show up at the memorial from one of their family members….

It has been just over a week and we are now beginning to grieve… my dad was the best and this situation has been the worst. So disrespectful to his memory. I have quit smoking in his honor though, he would be incredibly happy with that. I am missing him more than I could have imagined. He really was a man of honor and loyalty, that is what I have to remember. I also have to remember that it may have taken him a lifetime to understand how important it was to be open to love, but he understood it before he left us, he took that with him. He was laughing as always when he went into surgery and he wasn’t scared. I couldn’t have prayed for more…