Jan 09, 2008
I have held back in telling this experience. Only a couple of you know. It has been too painful to relay until now. I truly tell it in hopes that some will benefit from it.
December 12 - less than a month ago, we found my beloved sister dead in her apartment.
She was only two yrs older than me - she was 47. She was a beautiful, beautiful woman. She was my best friend. I could tell her ANYTHING.
She had gotten Rheumatoid arthritis at 34 yrs old. She got on steroids, and every pain medication you can think of. The last pain med she got on was Tramadol. I hadnt even heard of tramadol. We (my parents/other siblings) knew she had an addiction problem. We had talked to her about it in the past. We had encouraged her to go to rehab, which she did, hating every minute of it, but she did it last year.
She was a divorced, single mom. Her then 19 yr old son moved out last year. She lived for this fella. I dont think she ever got over him leaving home.. .something that was bound to happen one day.
I watched as her one beautiful body/face/hands became more and more deformed from the arthritis. She loathed what she saw in the mirror. She would do good for a while and then start taking the pain meds more than she was supposed to.
She knew I was addicted to Vicodin and Valium. We would share. oooh .. this is getting hard.
We all live in the same town, and mom called me on that monday before the 12th and said she was worried my sister was "at it again". I had talked to her and knew she was sounding desperate again.
I started looking up information on tramadol, and drug abuse. I started making a document of this information to share with her. I wanted to tell her I was going to taper off my junk. Maybe we could do it together.
I never got a chance to get it to her. We talked VERY often. But, Wednesday when I called her she didnt answer. Not a huge surprise, because her "clock" was SO off, she'd sleep all day and be awake all night.
Thursday at 6:30 pm, mom called me from her apt. saying her and dad were there, and my sister wasnt answering the door. Mom was already crying. We just knew. I threw some clothes on to go over to her apartment. Mom had hung up and then called back screaming.
Dad had to go around to the back of her apartment and break the glass to get inside. He found her slouched over sitting at the kitchen table. Gone. Mom got a chance to just sit with her before the police came. By the time I got there, they wouldnt let me in to see my sister. I just wanted to hold her poor little hand one more time.
Tramadol killed her. Her inability to stay away from it. Her inability to cope with life.
I will not allow a drug to do this to my family through me ever again.
As the coroner wheeled her body (in a body bag, mind you) by me and my mom, brother, I just stood in shock. Could I have helped her more?
I cry for her EVERY day. I miss her terribly. Yes, I am glad she is not suffering over there anymore. I want to call her and tell her something only to remember she's gone.
Please, take this experience and think about what it would do to your loved ones, friends, family, your PETS, whoever.. for you to be gone. Because "we chose to cover over life's realities with pills".
I wont do this to my parents or to my children.
I wont do this to myself.