Sunday, May 8, 2011

Self Medicating

After his outpatient program, Ken was sober for 4-6 weeks. At this point he started to self medicate his anxiety with Xanax. He was physically addicted in three weeks and is currently detoxing in an inpatient hospital environment. I didn't know he was taking Xanax until I received a call from an unknown number.

Ken called Friday afternoon while I was at work, from the hospital phone, as they aren't allowed any electronics. He told me he was in the hospital and beginning a detox process. That was an unwelcome surprise. He couldn't talk but three minutes, so I didn't know much. I finished up my day at work and called his mother afterward to find out what had happened.

I have talked to Ken a few different times since Friday, when he's called from the hospital phone. Tomorrow I will be at work and I'll be so upset if I miss his call. Today was mother's day, and I spent it going to lunch with his parents and then going to visit him at the hospital. It was really hard to see him there. He looks sick, is bored, and can't communicate with his doctors very well, due to a language barrier. Our two hours with him went by fast and he felt ill the whole time. It was very difficult to walk out of his room today, knowing he couldn't come home and knowing just how sick he was.

I miss him, I love him and it's hard to know he's there and I can't tell him these things. I know he knows that I care, but there is something about not being able to send that quick text or email to share something funny or let them know you are thinking about them.

When we left today, we didn't know when he'd be coming home. He could theoretically come home tomorrow, but he didn't seem well enough and they may try to contact his insurance to see if they can extend him beyond Monday past the three already approved days.

There has been a little talk about the next step. Nobody knows what it is. A 30 day residential program has been brought up in the options. I'm not sure what will happen next. If he doesn't come home tomorrow, I plan to drive up to visit him after work. I'll only have an hour with him, but I want to see him and I know that hour will make his day just a little more bearable.

I hurt for him. I will have to push this all aside and focus on work tomorrow. This is a burden I can neither share nor take with me to work. Easier said than done.