Life and Death..

I have been getting treatment for my back for years; some treatments working, some causing intolerable side effects..  One week ago I had an appt with my back dr and he prescribed an opioid patch for me to try..  They have a pharmacy on-site and filled the prescription for me that day, so I put a patch on as soon as I got home..  That night I slept for more than 12hrs straight, which is unheard of for me, because I usually have the opposite issue..  Thursday I was drowsy, napped in the afternoon, and then went to bed early again..  Woke myself up early Friday morning to shop with my mom and sister, but I felt off and drowsy..  After lunch mom ran into the store real quick to grab a couple things, but before she got out of the car I had said I wasn’t going in because I felt very sleepy..  My sister stayed in the car with me, but none of us realized yet that anything was wrong..  I barely roused enough to hit the unlock button to let mom back in the van and I fell back “asleep” on the five minute drive home..  I couldn’t get out of the car without stumbling..  I couldn’t keep my eyes open and I was so confused about what was going on..  I stumbled up the stairs and into the house..  I shuffled around the house with my eyes opened only a crack and I managed to get upstairs where I changed my clothes and got in bed..  But I didn’t even lay down, I was still so confused and completely out of it, my eyes barely open..  I started texting my mom that I felt like something is wrong, by this time what I could see I was seeing double and my speech was slurred..  I remember telling her I was afraid to fall asleep because I didn’t think I’d wake back up..  I felt something was so wrong that I truly was ready to say goodbye to her because I felt myself passing out and I just knew I wouldn’t wake up..  She called the dr’s answering service and eventually gets through to a nurse who said to remove the patch I had put on just a couple days before..  Evidently mom came up and told me to take off the patch, but I was just grasping, not able to locate the patch..  Mom immediately removed the patch and said it was time to head to the ER..  Like the last several hours, the next few hours were mostly a blur..  I remember bits and pieces of getting to the hospital and getting halfway undressed and hooked up to machines..  At some point an IV is started..  Nurses, techs, phlebotomists, doctors and all sorts of other people were in and out of the room drawing blood, taking information, and doing other things to me..  I don’t remember much of it until the end, but I do remember saying to my mom again that I was afraid to fall asleep..  She assured me it was okay and being at the hospital I felt I was in the best place I could be..  All of their tests (which they were doing to check for an overdose, accidental or otherwise) indicated there had been no such overdose..  So after my head cleared some and I was able to fully open my eyes and talk without a slur, I was released from the hospital..  I followed up with my back dr, to him there was nothing to indicate it was an interaction between two or more meds as opposed to a severe drug allergy; either way, it doesn’t matter..  I know to never use that patch again, we’ll probably steer away from opioids from here on out, and we’ll use other methods to treat my back issues..

But the biggest thing to me, out of all that, was facing what I thought was my impending death..  I was so afraid, I did not want to slip into the “other side”..  I’ve been wrestling with that ever since..  It’s been stressing me out, tearing my stomach apart, making me more exhausted than usual..  I cannot emphasize enough how frightened I was and how sure I was that I was about to die..  I was in such an altered state that nothing passed through my mind – no thoughts or memories, no truth to hold on to that would carry me or give me hope, nothing..  And all I felt was fear..  I just hope to God it’s not like that when I do finally die.. I selfishly hope I’m not alone, I hope I’m comforted, and I hope I’m never a burden..  I hope my life has given some meaning to someone else’s, that I’ve blessed someone else’s life by my existence..  I often feel that’s all it is, an existence rather than a life that has any meaning..  Why can’t I find meaning?  I feel like I’m insulting my family, my parents, by floundering; that I should feel I have some worth because of how much they’ve always loved me, because of how much they taught me God loves me..  I’m just really struggling; why would the Creator of all things care about me?  I’m so insignificant in comparison to everything else..

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