Thursday, December 27, 2007

Anybody wanna play tag?

The Junky's Wife tagged anyone who wants to play to share 5 random facts about themselves. I'm in.

1) I like Sign Language. When I was in college, I spent a couple of weeks at Gallaudet (a college for the Deaf in Washington, DC.) I had taken up the habit of practicing fingerspelling random things while I was walking along. I stopped when all of a sudden it occured to me that everyone at Gallaudet could read my mind by looking at my fingers!! I took a group of emotionally disturbed 11 year olds to the beach one summer. On the way, I was practicing my sign language by signing the words on the radio. One of the kids asked me to teach them to curse in sign language. I told them to come ask me again when they're 18. In the meantime, I wiped my forehead and scratched my nose. The kids thought I was showing them cursing in sign language and spent the rest of the trip wiping their foreheads and scratching their noses at each other.

2) I used to teach swimming to kids with disabilities. One summer, a friend and I discovered a mysterious log and went to report it to the woman in charge. "Oh SHIT," exclaimed the director. "Exactly" was my friend's quick comeback. ;-)

3) I've bailed two different people out of jail and I've had way more people than I care to count committed to a locked mental facility. It's waaaay to easy to do a secure custody order to have someone committed. Don't piss me off, b/c it could happen to YOU!!!!!!!!

4) I got a chance to tour the west wing of the white house a couple years ago. I've got a friend who works for the government. That's all I can say about that. Otherwise, she'd have to shoot me.

5) I'm tongue tied (or whatever the medical term is when there's a piece of cartilege that extends and holds your tongue to the bottom of your mouth.) My first french kiss created an incredibly awkward vacuum suction noise when he was trying to pull my tongue into his mouth and it just wouldn't go that far. After that, I used to do tongue exercizes while watching tv to try to stretch my tongue out farther.

So there you have 5 random facts. I'm not gonna tag anyone who doesn't ask to be tagged. I still have people who's last posts ever included my comment to them that they'd been tagged. So, Anybody wanna play? Leave a comment for me and I'll add you to the list.

Tag Volunteers:
2)just another addict

Wednesday, December 19, 2007


My partner has been having a hard time lately, and I've been having a hard time detaching with love from her hard time.

Last night, she told me that she thought she'd take the day off today. "Ok," I said. "OK? I didn't expect that!!"

Do I feel ok? NO!! I need to acknowledge that, but not necessarily to her. It scares me because as of a week ago, she told me she only had one day off. She took a day off last week, and then missed more than 1/2 a day later in the week to go to the doctor. Math may not be my strong suit, but it "seems" that she doesn't have this day to take. It's also scary b/c frequent absences in the past have been a precurser to even more difficult times in the past. She's in a bad place. That's scary for me.

And the selfish part of me is just hurt that she chose to take 2 1/2 days just before my week's vacation. I told her last week when she was getting ready to use the one day she really did have that needed to be used before the new year that I wished she'd wait and spend the day with me over the holiday. I have to remind myself that this is not about me. She's hurting; she's not rejecting me. Note to self: make plans for ME to spend time with people I care about next week when I'm on vacation alone. Oh well, off to work. Sigh.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

my former doctor

I'm really struggling again lately with trust issues surrounding my former family physician. I've always thought that he's a really good man and an excellent diagnostician. When my partner first told me about her addiction struggle, she told me that she'd been taking the pain pills for over a year and that she didn't even remember what they were originally prescribed for. She told me that she often took them to "deal with" a child in our home and that she hid the pills from me. She said that she was really scared, because her father was an alcoholic, and she knows addiction runs in her family. She said that she was taking substantially more than what was prescribed, that she kept asking for (AND GETTING) refills sooner and sooner, and that she had to sometimes pay cash for them because insurance wouldn't pay for them. She said that she'd tried to stop on numerous occasions, but couldn't. She asked me if I would hold her pills for her so that she could wean herself down.

I told her that I could not hold her pills for her, because it would be unhealthy for me, and that I could not be the sole keeper of this information for the same reason. I told her that I'd like for us to go together to see our doctor, who'd been prescribing the meds. I asked her to go to the pharmacy and get a printout of what she'd taken in the last year, which she did. We brought the printout to the doctor and, with much prompting, she shared with him all of what she'd shared with me.

The doctor told us that it was ok, that some patients used prescription narcotics all of their lives and that he was currently using them for his back. He suggested weaning her off and LITERALLLY patted me on the head and told me "it's not so bad."

After he left, my partner burst into tears and said that she thought he was going to send her to rehab. I wanted to believe our doctor, and I did. I convinced myself that I'd been overreacting. Meanwhile, my partner used substantially more than he prescribed in the first few days, and decided pretty quickly to reach out for help again. She was told to check herself into detox, and she did.

I've felt really betrayed by this doctor. I can maybe understand him being careless with how often she was getting refills, and she freely admits that she lied to him about symptoms, but I spelled it out for him and had her bring him a copy of what she'd been taking, and he still blew us off. My partner says that it was her doing, and she really trusts him. We argued for a long time about going back to him, and she finally agreed to go to a new doctor. I told her that I had trusted him with what's most important in the world to me, and that I feel like he betrayed my trust. She also acknowledged that part of her wondered if he'd give her pain pills again.

That was over a year ago. I've struggled with whether to confront him, because, at best, I think he was ignorant and other patients might be struggling with addiction without his knowledge. I wonder if there's denial going on on his part, and part of me wonders if he's got his own addiction struggles. I get overwhelmed, though, and do nothing, other than working out an agreement with my partner that we'd change practices and find a new doctor. In the last month or so, the issue has come up twice. She's not feeling confident in our new doctor's skills and really wants to go back to the old one. I do think that the old doctor is probably a much better diagnostician (in every area other than addiction) than the new one. I don't know if I could (or should) try to work through my issues with him. And I'm feeling guilty for not confronting him, because I do wonder if my not speaking up might have kept others from getting help.

I'm really struggling with being able to trust my own judgement. It was really such a blow because I trusted this doctor so much for so many years, and when he literally physically patted me on the head and told me that it wasn't so bad, it was like he was telling me that I don't really know what I know. Then, when my partner keeps saying that she wants to go back to him and that she trusts him more than the new doc, I start feeling all crazy again. I start thinking that maybe I should turn myself inside out again and agree to go back to him, or at least tell her that it's ok with me if she doesn't honor our agreement not to.

My big questions are about trust- Can I trust me? Could I or should I try to work through my trust issues with the doctor? But then, the related question is if I do trust me, what do I do about it? I've never seen him since the day he patted me on the head, and I've never addressed directly or indirectly what I think he did wrong. I thought about reporting him to the state licensing board at the time, but I didn't trust me enough to do it. I don't want to destroy the man's career. I would like to do what I can to bring about growth/education/change. It's feeling very similar to the struggle I've faced when considering reporting possible child abuse. But at least I know that system. I don't know anything about the state licensing board or any other way I could encourage this man to respond differently the next time he's faced with possible addiction. Input is welcome.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007


I'm going to be a sponsor. Someone asked me after our meeting where we talked about working the 12th step. My first reaction was fear. This is someone with years in the program. She has had multiple sponsors and is a sponsor herself. They say that what you should look for in a sponsor is someone who has what you want. My worry was that she has way more that I want than I could ever have what she wants. Whenever she shares in meetings, it helps me. I don't know if I've got what she needs. But then, I decided that it's not up to me to decide what she wants. It's up to me to decide about my own willingness. I'm willing, and she says she wants this. So, after the holidays, we're getting started. Anyone with ESH to share on being a sponsor, I'd love to hear it.