Life is full of twists and turns. Just when you think your child might stay clean, bam, a relapse. Just when you think you have finally gotten over winter, bam, a Nor’Easter. Just when you think things might go smoothly until Oldest Son graduates, bam, a seizure at school, an ER visit, a transfer to Children with the end result being a heart rhythm disorder. I mean, who doesn’t have that sort of thing happen. Oh. Right. The average person. Eh, well, that is my life. And the life of my family. If it isn’t one thing, it is something else. But, the timing seemed a fortuitous, does it not? I mean, I just wrote a post about how I hope that JoDee is able to maintain her sobriety to participate in the events we have coming up as a family. And she was. After we were settled from the ambulance ride to Boston, the ride in which Oldest Son listened to his ear buds and napped while I fretted in the front seat convinced he was about to go into cardiac arrest, JoDee was able to meet us there to be a supportive sister to her little brother. And help AC pick on me. Good times had by all, I tell ya.
Anyway, the point of this post is two things. 1. The things that happen in the face of tragedy and 2. Being able to recognize the good with the bad. Let’s go with the latter first. It’s just 4 weeks from graduation. We have lots of things we should be doing, including working and attending school. Having this happen now is sort of anxiety-provoking, but having this happens at any time would have been anxiety provoking. It’s not natural for a 17 year old boy (18 in 4 weeks for the love of god!) to just pass out, and seize while sitting sedentary at a desk in class. Not to mention, the way I hear it, he completely freaked out his teacher and fellow classmates including one young lad who said “Jay J are you alright, cuz you just bugged out.” The good news is that this can eventually be corrected, hopefully. He has some test to do, wear a heart monitor, possibly have surgery sooner than later, but in the end, he should be (knock on wood) relatively healthy when all is complete. No contact sports, which is a bummer for him but something we will figure out how to get past. I think we are so fortunate to live a 20 minute ambulance ride from some of the best hospitals on earth. So even though this sucked the big one, it could be so much worse. In fact, when we were in Beverly ER we heard them call a Code Pink Maternity, which I believe means baby in distress or coding. When we were getting transported into the ambulance, the Childrens Hospital Neonatal Transport Vehicle was loading a brandy new baby all hooked up to wires and monitors into the ambulance. It was really heart breaking to watch. My heart went out to the baby and h/her parents.
For our situation it was what happened when the dust settles that really astonished me. It also is a constant reminder that drug addiction follows us wherever we go. How does that happen? Well, grab a coffee or tea, and let me tell you. First of all, it’s amazing the 900 phone calls, texts, emails we got with people being so concerned and worried. It is truly amazing that we have such wonderful people surrounding us that love our family. Not just the school, but parents of Jay J’s friends, co-workers and family were all willing to rush to help us, if we need anything. One of the highlights of the day was when I asked my niece, Tori, to run to my house to let the cat in. Apparently I had forgotten to tell her we got a new cat (and by “got” I do mean we are temporarily babysitting the 3 J’s step-mom and step-sisters cat until they move) so I suddenly got this text message:
“Does this Mufasa belong to you?”
I laughed so hard…. Because he actually does sort of look like Mufasa! Oh shit. I laughed so hard, my gut hurt and I’m certain my kidneys were bleeding. I could have been slap happy due to the day’s events, but the caption with the picture were priceless. Especially if you scroll in to see Blue, AKA Mufasa’s, face. He looks so innocent just waiting at the door. The poor thing!
Anyway, Tori was wonderful to run over let Mufasa in and feed all three of them. She texted me later to say that the “fluffy cat” ran away and was she supposed to “capture” him. The hits just kept on coming. Another awesome thing that happened was that Jay J was literally hanging off the end of the bed. Children’s hospital is fantastic, they were really great with all of us. I felt that the Doctors all talked to us, not at us and took this seriously even though they maybe see it every day. They introduced themselves by their first name, not “Dr Whomever”. The only thing that really needed some work was the bed was for a child. And technically, since Jay J is under 18, he constitutes as a child, but man, he did not fit in the bed. He looked ridiculous!
You can’t see it in the picture, but his feet hung off the end. The mattress wasn’t used to holding a full size person so it kept sliding down the frame. All of sudden, you would just start seeing Jay J slide down with the mattress until it was about to fall off the end.
And of course, there was a lot of this going on….
We had to go to the gift shop to by a multi-prong charger because everyone’s phone was dying and this was the real emergency!
All in all, to relate to Reason for Post #2. It can always be worse. We were able to see the fortunate in the day, and of course, as always, Jay J was as a calm as can be, making sure to update his SnapChat story through-out the day.
To talk about Reason for Post #1, brings us back to being the parent of an addict. When something like this happens, it never crosses my mind that somehow, JoDee’s addiction will become an issue. In my mind, this is about Jay J. And I was happy that today, JoDee was clean and participating in family events so able to come to show support. Later that night, I received a phone call from someone who should be close to Jay J but probably isn’t as close as they should be. Someone related to him. Someone, who in my opinion, should not participate in town rumor or speculation and should support the family, not partake in gossip, called me to ask how Jay J was. First question, how is Jay J? Second question, So it was drugs? Coming from the source I’m not entirely surprised. Some people gravitate to the negative, to the gossip and relish in it, instead of cutting it off but it still irritated me. My response was why would you ask that? This person’s response was: That was what I heard in town today, someone told me that. My response to that was I don’t want to hear any bullshit gossip, just because one of my children is a drug addict doesn’t mean they all are. The rest of the conversation was sort of going over what he really has.
Two things are important about this interaction. 1. I don’t believe anyone told this person that. I believe that was a judgement that this person has against our family. And I don’t really (I say really, because I do a small percent) hold any grudge against this person because I believe this happens frequently. I’m sure there are many people who think if I have one child that is an addict I must have two or three. I also believe it goes back to what I have said many times, that my child being an addict is a result of my parenting (Ps… all of my children do have TWO parents, the have the same mother and the same father. All three of them. It’s amazing how the problem is always the mother….. Not only judge-y but sexist. Love it) which means that the other kids have no shot of being productive members of society. It doesn’t matter that I am, in fact, a productive member of society. Have volunteered in my kid’s classes, gone on field trips, attended concerts and recitals and hockey games and wrestling tournaments nary missing a one. Not to mention, if Jay J had a medical emergency in class and JoDee was not an addict, would anyone have said “Was it drugs?” Doubtful.
The second thing that is important about this interaction is what do I do with it? Do I dwell over the fact that someone I don’t talk to or see or think about in my everyday life was so judgmental about me or more importantly my son? Do I let it eat me alive? Do I start a “Jay J is not a flaming heroin addict campaign” or do I write it off for what it is…. Immaterial. It’s hard to do that. I have had people judge me my entire life. You cannot get pregnant at 17 and still in high school and not be judged. I’m sort of used to it, and not just that, I really have grown a tough skin around it. Lots of people say I don’t care what people think, but a lot of times that is a self-soothing statement to convince themselves that they really don’t care what anyone thinks. I really don’t care what the majority of people think. I care about what my kids/step-kids think, I care about what AC thinks and my parents (dad, step-mom and mom). I care about what my baby kitty thinks. And my family, inner circle of friends, co-workers, boss, etc., because that is normal. People should have some regard to those around them. But someone, anyone, that really has no impact on my life, I have really gotten to the point in life that I couldn’t care less. And I like that. Sometimes it makes me come off sort of uncaring, but I guess I am. Tough. It’s my life. I have to live it so at the end of the day when I wash my face and brush my teeth, I see my own reflection staring back, not the reflection of some person who influenced me to do something that I shouldn’t have, that I regret.
So to wrap up this long post, I decided to scrap it. It’s inconsequential because I know the truth. Jay J knows the truth. His dad and step-mom know the truth. Our inner circle know the truth. And if those outside the circle want to believe that Jay J is an addict too, or want something to gossip about, let them. At the end of the day, people who gossip about others with no bases or fact, are really doing so to avoid having to face their own short comings. Have at it Mo-fo.