A little more than a week ago (maybe two weeks ago?) I had a status update that was rather cryptic and down. I still feel very sad and upset. I thought a lot about whether I wanted to blog about it, how much I wanted to reveal, or if I would just talk to a few close Sparks about it that always offer their ear/shoulder to lean on. Because I couldn't decide, I let it go for a while. But, I need to get it out. So, here it goes...
As I'm sure is the case with many, many people, I come from a family with a pretty colorful background. In my case, I am the child of an alcohol/drug addict. When I was in the 8th grade (back in 1997 or 1998) my mom admitted herself to a rehab center and residential program for alcohol abuse and prescription pill abuse. I didn't quite understand what was going on with her, but I did know I had taken on the role of "mother" for a while at that point... making sure my brother's were fed and clothed and off to school in the mornings. Sometimes I'd forge my mom's signature on their, and my own, report cards or permission slips, etc. They started coming to me with their needs. I guess that's why as adults we're all still very close to each other. Anyway, my mom completed a week long detox, a 28 day residential program, and spent another week or two at a "halfway" or transitional type house.
In the period of time since, she's had a few relapses, but had the tools to "bounce back" so to speak and get back on track with her sobriety. She doesn't and hasn't abused any prescription medications. Her relapses were all alcohol related. Well, about a year ago she started drinking again. She has bipolar disorder and anxiety disorder. The medications her moron shrinks give her don't help. She says she tells them that, but they don't seem to listen. Finally, her anxiety level got to the point where she couldn't "deal" anymore, so my idiot father- who has never really seemed to understand alcoholism- told her to have a glass of wine to calm herself down. He said he'd "monitor" her to make sure she didn't overdo it. Less than a month later, he had moved in with my grandma to care for her full-time as she approaches very slowly the end of her life.
Mom got back into the habit of drinking regularly, now unmonitored (like that would have helped anyway) and has since just continued to get worse and worse. I don't live there and only see my family a few times out of the year. Back in February I had a suspicion she was drinking, but never saw any evidence to prove it. When she was here while I recovered from surgery I didn't notice anything either. She said she wasn't very bad when she was here, but that when she got back home she just spiraled downward... with a rapidness. One of my brothers knew, the other one was highly suspicious. Neither knew what to do about it.
Well, this last visit home there would have been no hiding it, so mom came out and told me the day before I was to leave. She then asked me for help in getting sober again. Now, how I've managed to become the one that she so much depends on, I'll never know. So, I called her insurance and I called a local rehab facility (the one she went to last time) to get the ball rolling. That's where things get muddled and f***tastic.
On Friday when I spoke to the insurance company, I was told it would be covered, not to worry about copays or anything, we didn't need a referral from her shrinks or primary physician. I was like, super! The rehab facility didn't have any beds yet, so the following Monday I was to call back and see what we could do. I gave them mom's insurance info so they could get started on all that, too.
I get called on Monday by the rehab and lo and behold... everything I was told Friday was NOT true. Her insurance only covers detox. We need a referral from the primary physician. There is still no copay at least... whoopdeedoo. At that point, I had no idea what to do. I called my dad and he started trying to deal with the insurance company. I called my aunt. I spend the majority of my vacation trying to find a solution. Sure, mom can detox, but without a 28 day residential program to reinforce sober habits and teach her to apply these principles to her life, it won't do any good. What kind of lame a$$ insurance company only covers detox?! Luckily for that week my mom had a doctor's appt already lined up and I was able to discuss this with him. He agreed she needed to go, so he began to get the referral process going.
This situation still hasn't come to any sort of conclusion. I called my mom's doc today and they're waiting to hear back from the facility. My dad is super angry at the insurance company and is still looking for some solution. The residential program is $14,000 out of pocket. Not what I'd call affordable. Meanwhile, my mom can't go cold turkey otherwise she risks seizures or heart attack if she quits. She's unable to taper off.
My problem with all this is that I feel like a cold-hearted b*tch about it. I have no sympathy, no empathy, no emotions at all about it (other than stress and a little bit of fear that she's drinking herself to death). When she would talk to me and cry about how she was feeling and how she wanted help, I was stone-cold. Hell, I think it's safe to say part of my is angry. At her for letting herself do this again, for putting my brother's through this situation, at my dad for encouraging it like a dumba$$, at the insurance company for being stupid enough to only cover detox, at the rehab facility for being so outrageously expensive! And I'm tired of it. I want it to be resolved. I want my mom to go to detox at the very least and be done with that part. I'm all business about it. I have my own problems to deal with at the moment, but she's so crippled by her disorders and the alcohol, she has to have someone holding her hand through it all. I guess I'm the only one she trusts for that.
Meanwhile, my life has to move forward. The victory of being reassigned to a facility closer to home was short lived. About a week after I was reassigned, I got an email saying the facility is backing out of the program this semester. They have a brand-new dietitian and some remodeling going on... so, it would have been too overwhelming to have an intern there. So, unfortunately, I've been reassigned to a facility that will take me a bit more than an hour to get to. It'll take 2 buses and the trolley to get there. In reality, it isn't as bad as it sounds, since the trolley is pretty quick at least. It was the closest facility that they could get me in to at the last minute. Once again, not having a car is really getting old.
And today I tried to crash a basic chemistry class. I was technically on the waitlist- #7 for the lecture portion and #4 for the lab portion. I would have had a guaranteed spot in the lecture as long as I was able to get into the lab. Unfortunately that didn't happen. I wasn't able to get into the lab. So, no chem for me. Sadly, this is the last class I need to complete my AS in Nutrition. I should be more sad about it than I am. I feel like I maybe dodged a bullet. The practicum I'll be doing is supposed to be as much work as a full time job (11 hours each week at the facility and TRUCKLOADS of homework assignments and paperwork outside the facility). Its recommended that you don't take other classes or work while completing your practicum because it's so time consuming. I was and still am going to ignore that advice and take classes, too. BUT, chem was going to be massive amounts of work, too! 3 hour lab weekly, 3 hours lecture weekly, and ridiculous amounts of homework! Whole chapters to read each week and anywhere from 10-40 homework questions each week. 4 tests, 4 pretests, 1 cumulative final. The instructor is old... way old... so he speaks fairly softly and the classroom is right next to construction (new building going up) so I had the hardest time hearing him. I couldn't deal with that for an entire semester. To me it sounds like way more work than I could handle. Either practicum or chemistry would have suffered. Not cool. I am taking an online class, Cultural Foods, as part of the nutrition department. It's just for "funsies". Luckily it's online, so it's basically up to my schedule. I'm considering taking an algebra refresher course online, too. It'll only be 5 weeks later in the semester, but in order for me to do chem in the future, I do need to do some algebra. And for me, it's been quite a while since I've taken that.
I'm not entirely happy with how things are going in my life. I'm so stressed out. I am dealing as best I can, but man... something's got to give. I'm not sleeping and when I am, I'm back on that dumb cycle of vivid dreams, so I wake up feeling just as tired as ever. I'm eating okay. I'm too broke to eat out all the time, so I'm cooking a lot at home. I made a German potato salad and it was pretty good. Never done that before. I still have my cooking classes... hopefully I'll get some other people interested to come learn. The gals are still wanting to learn and pay me for it, so I'll do it as long as I can. I'm also going to look into donating plasma. Since I won't have time for an actual job (not that I can find one anyway), but I still got bills to pay, I'm going to try for that. At this point, any little bit would help. I could get up to $55 a week in plasma donations, so I'll try to work it around my practicum schedule. At least I could do homework while they drain me.
That's my life in a nutshell. *raspberry noise*
Oh... here's a picture of my brother's kitty. He still loves me and never leaves my side when I visit.