Hi! I'm new to this website and I'm looking for some help/support.
This will be a long post as I provide some history to give ya'll the background information so that maybe you can share some insight.
My Mother age 59 is addicted to prescription painkillers. It first started many years ago probably late 90's early 2000's. I had mentioned it to her casually during that time, she always denied a problem, and I didn't push. In June/July 2005, I received a call from my parents stating that she needed help. She has epilepsy also that is poorly controlled. She had been off the Lortab cold turkey because the Dr. refused to refill her Rx early. She was taking them every couple of hours and doubling up. She had went from a size 14/16 to a size 2. It came to a head when she was withdrawing that she had a length Tonic-Clonic seizure. I agreed to help. The dr. gave her a bottle of pills to hold her until she could get into a program at my location. I lived in DC at the time and she was in MS. I flew her there, she gave me the pills, and I would hand them to her at the due times until she was admitted two days later to a drug detox center where she was in there for a month and received counseling etc. They wanted her to follow up with either NA or AA and she never would.
Through the years when I would visit or talk to her I would suspect maybe she was using them again, but she always denied it when I asked her and I took her at her word.
In August, my Maw Maw died (her Mom) and they were extremely close. My parents actually lived with her and it was mutually beneficial. My Dad is fighting Leukemia and my Mom can't or won't work and never has. So in early in September I offered to let them live with us because I knew they had nowhere to go and my Dad was getting sicker and needed someone to drive him to dr's appts etc because she can't drive as she isn't seizure free.
She was fine here at first, but in late November, she finally found a PCP here. She had went there to get refills on her seizure medicine and apparently requested a script for Nucynta, that was what she had been recently taking in MS (I found this out later). He gave her one prescription at the end of November enough for 30 days. On Dec 7th, my Husband had to have a very serious surgery. He had lung biopsy, but they had to do a Thoracotomy and I had asked her to help out more with the kids etc. As he would be in ICU for a few days with a chest tube etc. She agreed. The morning of the surgery, I found her balled up in fetal position, unkempt, diarrhea, sweating etc... I asked her immediately about the pain meds. She admitted to it and she had also been taking my Dad's. He has serious cancer pain. He is very sick as a matter of fact he is in the hospital now and has been for the past 8 days. He had been running out of his meds because of her. I just looked at her and asked how she could do this especially with how much we needed her right now. I left it at that and just did the best I could. My kids are my responsibility after all not hers.
So on Dec 21st, she called this Dr and asked for a refill. He wouldn't refill the Nucynta, but asked her about Advil, Tylenol etc. and she stated they didn't work. She gave him the story about my Dad's Leukemia, My Leukemia (I've been in remission for 6 yrs., so how that is applicable I don't know). He knew she had no health insurance so he gave her Lortab 10/325 with 3 refills. (I found this out today).
So she usually never calls me, even when my Dad needed a blood transfusion during this hospital stay. Never really called. So this AM I have 3 missed calls from her. So I'm freaking thinking something is wrong with my Dad. There isn't...She wants to know if my husband or I can go get her prescriptions from CVS and bring them to her. She tried to play it off on seizure meds. I asked her directly and she admitted that it was a really "low" dose of meds and she's in pain. I have no sympathy at this point. Everyone has some pain all the time. I do, my husband had major surgery he doesn't take pain meds. Of course, pain is subjective, I know this, and I’m a Nurse. As far as my patients are concerned they say they have a 10/10, then they have 10/10 I don't judge and I give them meds and think nothing about it. But this is my Mother who I have helped before, who was curled up withdrawing just a couple of months ago when I needed her to watch my kids so that I could be with my husband during his surgery. So I don't believe her. There are other meds to try for pain relief. And Lortab 10/325 while it isn't the most powerful stuff out there. It is the highest dose of the Lortab and it is for moderate to severe pain, it is a lot heavier than say a Tylenol 3. I told her I didn't want that around my kids seeing her strung out the way she looks most of the time. She has looked that way in January, but at that time I didn't confront her. I figure now that it was probably too early for a refill and had to rough it until she could get it.
So here is the conundrum. I told her on the phone I was going to call her Dr. and inform her re: the Rx abuse and I did. I did so for a couple of reasons 1. The last time she got really hooked on Lortabs she almost died because she ran out and couldn't get a refill and it triggered a Tonic-Clonic seizure that lasted 20 min (according to my Father). She was rushed by ambulance to hospital and that is when they contacted me in 2005 to help out. 2. I want her to be healthy and not go through this addiction. 3. I think the dr. has a right to know that he is prescribing a drug that this person has a well-documented history of abusing. 4. I don't want my kids to be exposed to that kind of behavior under my roof.
The Dr. was very concerned about it. So he was going to cancel the rest of the refills, ask her to come in and asked me to bring her and try to find a way to manage her pain in a way that wouldn't go through the addiction cycle.
I went to the Pharm to pick up her medications. I figured the Lortab would be there too because the dr hadn't had a chance to cancel the script. I was okay with that because I figure she could just take them until we could get her in and get another plan of action to manage her pain and help the addiction. Well...When I went there they said that my Mother had requested Name Brand Lortab and not generic and that it wouldn't be in until Tuesday. So I knew then, that once the dr. called the pharmacy that they would cancel that current order.
So here comes my first mistake... Well maybe, the phone call to the dr. was, I'm not sure that is why I'm here... I go to the hospital to bring her seizure medication because even though we had words earlier, she did say she didn't have enough for the 9 pm dose tonight. I don't know if that was true or was just saying that to make sure we brought the Lortab to the hospital tonight. So I give her the meds and visit for a while. So when I'm about to get up. I let her know about the message from the pharmacist and that I had called her Dr. She was mad. She accused me of controlling her and that I have always wanted to control everyone and everybody etc. She accused me of abusing Sleeping Aids because I work night shift and in the past 6 months. I had asked my Father for one of his meds 3 times. ( I had taken it previously, but didn't have time to go to my dr.) and she said I'm abusing Benadryl because I usually take 1-2 OTC - 3 times a week when I get off night shift to sleep during the day. That's fine, I admit to taking them. I told her I do not try to control her. I can see how she might think I'm controlling re: pain meds... Because I have been a very vocal person about that since she began taking them in the 90's and my grandma too. I haven't lived at home in 27 yrs. I only go and visit usually for a couple of days. This is the longest I have been around my parents in 27 yrs. At home... I do have certain expectations and I did have to mention a couple to her, which she has never been able to abide anyone saying anything negative to her. I asked her to please help out with dishes, and straightening up. They are now part of this household and everyone needs to contribute. I think that is reasonable. She considers that controlling.
In the end… I said very nasty hurtful things that I can’t take back. I called her a junkie. I said how could she keep denying that she has a problem and lying about it. She can lie to herself, but she can’t lie to me. That if I was so controlling and she hated it that bad that she doesn’t have to live with me. My parting shot that I regret immensely is I stated. I don’t know how I ended up as well-adjusted as I did for a mother like her. Apparently, I’m not well-adjusted or I would have handled this situation better…It wasn’t fair to say that. It wasn’t right to say that. It wasn’t true to say that. But words can’t be taken back. I left the hospital and I haven’t talked to her since. I never should have even confronted her at the hospital like I did. It was not the place or the time. That wasn’t healthful to my Father. If someone at my work had done that in the presence of my patient, I would have had them escorted off the premises by security. I was way out of line.
I don’t know what to do. I don’t know what to say. What not to say apparently. How to help. How to fix this. How to get her help. I don’t know if I did the right thing in notifying her Dr. I knew she wouldn’t but was it right. I don’t know. I need help trying to figure out what my next step is.
I’m angry. I’m confused. I’m sad. It doesn’t help that this week I lost a good friend to suicide and I’m dealing with being sick and run down myself. I just got over Pneumonia two weeks ago. I’m just lost.
Sorry for the spelling and grammar errors. I’m just typing as fast as I can from the heart.
Hi Jenny, I "reported" your duplicate thread (on the right side of your post above the Reply) so Medhelp will remove it for you. You've been under alot of pressure and you have to forgive yourself for being human, and not handling yourself the way you would have liked with your mom at the hospital. You found your mom in the fetal position, unkempt with diarrhea and sweating, You're mom has been to treatment, and you are aware of her past. As such, I think there's an expectation, as a nurse and a daughter that you try to help her with that, and if it takes talking to a doctor, then so be it. As a gratefully recovering addict, I can tell you that I wished someone had of had the sense to call my doctor, or report him in my case. You have a somewhat contentious relationship with your mom, but she chose to live in your house. Your house, your rules. I don't think asking your mom, who is a homemaker by trade, to clean up her mess. It's unfortunate that you put in the position that you had to. That's stressful. As for what you said in the hospital. Your temper flared and you were wrong, so apologize. Bring her a nice boquet, with a letter of aplogy, maybe a special treat and have the time to talk if she's amenable. That's about all you can do , isn't it? You can tell her in the letter about the mitigating factors, which have nothing to do with her, the friend's suicide, lingering pneumonia etc, even the past problems that you've had weighing heavily on your mind, and ask if you and her can work on getting to a better place? You must stand firm on the bottom lines as far as not supporting an addiction, (that she recognized enough to go to treatment) and tell her that you feel that by her not going for aftercare she has sabotaged her recovery program, and that is a source of frustration for you, because you love her and want the best for her.
I'm so sorry that you're suffering the loss of your good friend, Jenny. That must be so hard to take. I have lost friend's before, but never to suicide. It must be agonizing to think of. Know that your friend is in a better place, and no longer is in pain. I'm sure that your friend now is watching over you, and praying for you. You are going through a grieving process, right now, and you have to give yourself some leeway. You're mom doesn't sound like an easy person to deal with, addicts are not. So cut yourself some slack. A good old fashioned apology is all that's needed. It doesn't sound like your mom has ever thought to give you one, so it might be somewhat awkward at first. But, you have a conscience, and the strength to be able to handle this. As a nurse, you're a hero of mine. The stress that you handle on a daily basis amazes me. If you need someone to talk to , please feel free to message me, and let us know how you're doing here.
Thank you for your kind post. I do have to apologize regardless if she is ready to accept it because it is the right thing to do. Thanks for the words about the friend. It's always difficult coping with loss.
I love being a nurse. I really just want to help the patients. I decided to go into nurse and change careers after my struggle with cancer. I knew that I could empathize in a way that most cannot. It's a privilege to help people. It's nice to hear kind words about it too.
Congratulations on your recovery. I'll keep you posted on new developments. I think I really just need to vent in a place where people understand. Whether it's as an addict or a person who has had a loved one that was an addict.
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