Growing up in
my family was anything but unique. My mother was
chronically ill from complete kidney failure and under went
about 1971 for a transplant. She received a donated kidney
from one of
her many siblings. I was about 7 yrs. old then.
She had great success
with the kidney, however at the time everything
was new. She started having trouble with abscesses coming
up all over
on the inside of her body. She went through more surgeries
in one year
that there wasn't a calendar long enough to keep track of
them all. So
overall illness, medicine, doctors, hospitals, surgeries were
just all a
part of our growing up.
We children were
never, never at the doctors office for anything because
we were all so healthy. It wasn't a matter of money because
was in the military so our health care was free.
As we all grew
up and started moving in our own directions we started
noticing that what went on in our childhood was anything but
My sister closest
in age and myself started using drugs in high school
to hide and escape some of our past. Not only were things
going on with
our mother, but we had a brother who was raping all of us
girls (3). He
was caught twice, however it was never his fault, always ours.
oldest sister totally refuses to admit that anything ever
I was the third
out of four to leave home and within 13 months was
married and 4 weeks pregnant. I had quit using drugs and moved
within 2 weeks after our daughter was born. I stayed clean
wife, working mom, housekeeper, and cook. My husband was a
great man, and still is. He helped around the house, helped
with the baby and
worked himself. We were building a good life for ourselves.
is a recovering alcoholic/drug addict with now about 20 years
sober. I am so proud of him. Especially after all the hell
I put him
through. And still can. Our daughter is 17. We live about
apart and talk on the phone at least once a day. Sometimes
I go over
there and he cooks; while sometimes I go over there and I
cook. It's a
pretty unique relationship. We have been divorced for almost
Remember in high
school how my sister and I would get high to hide and
forget what was going on at home. Well I couldn't and didn't
want to do
drugs now hide and forget. Instead I started becoming self-destructive.
I would take overdoses, wreck cars, cut on myself, and once
stabbed myself in the stomach with a knife. And there is still
that I did that I don't remember. This was taking it's toll
marriage. We were divorced in '95. After our divorce I started
other drugs on top of what my doctors had me on.
When I was in like
grade school the state troopers would come with their
little brief cases to educate us on drugs and drug abuse.
The more they
showed, the more I wanted to try.
So after my divorce
I finally in the position to try some of these
things. One of which was shooting-up. I had the needles because
diabetic. A neighbor had the drugs. I had a girl staying with
a couple of weeks. She herself was a drug user and had even
drawing blood for shooting-up. I have to say that after all
of using, seeing, hearing, reading I was still somewhat naive.
shooting ms contin. She was hard to hit, but they could do
blindfolded. When they had a needle that they couldn't get
in her I
volunteered to take it. I asked her if there was anything
I needed to
know about and she assured me that there wasn't. BAM!!!!!
We must have caught
her in an active state because it didn't take long
for me to start showing signs. For about a year we followed
acute. Then I was up graded to chronic active.
I have so much
medically and mentally wrong with me I take about
fourteen prescriptions now and on waiting list for more. I
emphysema associated with COPD, diabetic, stomach, thyroid,
chronic pain lower back and knees and even my toes. Right
now I am fighting an
infection in my lower left leg. I am just now able to walk
crutches and the swelling is down so much that you can al
it's a leg and foot instead of just a swollen mass hanging
there. I have had about 14 operations. And I used to thing
that my mother was
just having the time of her life with all the attention and
stuff. I have a new found respect for my mother although she
has been gone for 13 years.
Thank you for your
time and interest in my story. I hope to read more
of what you have to learn more about this disease and the
things that go
along with it.
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