Tuesday, July 5, 2016
Poison part one
A couple of years ago I remember a hit song coming out called Stay High. In the Lyrics it says: You're gone and I got to stay high, All the time to keep you off my mind. I remember hearing it and thinking what a sad message that we are sending. Maybe I should have turned it off, It has such a catchy little tune I even found it playing in my mind! One of the hardest things as a mother is to watch one of my children struggle. It doesn't matter what type of struggle it is my heart hurts for them. Last Summer and the school year before were really hard on my oldest son Spencer. Many times I would find myself stopped in front of his closed bedroom door pondering if I should go in. Silently watching him grasp to find his way through life. At the very beginning of June there was a scout camp for the boys in our ward that were Spencer's age and Austin's age, since they are only 18 months apart. Spencer didn't really want to go on the camp but I made the alternative worse if he stayed home. I really felt he needed to go. The first day at camp Spencer was rolling rocks with the other boys his age and fell down a steep embankment and hurt his foot. I took him to the doctor the next day but the hospital said it was just a sprain and he would be fine. The week went by and the next week and his foot was still hurting him and in pain. We went to a foot specialist who took another X-ray and we found out that he had a really bad injury to his foot which required immediate surgery. The injury was so serious that he would be unable to play any sports for 6 months. After surgery he wasn't supposed to put weight on his foot at all but he just couldn't resist hobbling around after being cooped up for so long. One of the things I noticed as Spencer struggled is that he would make comments about famous piano composers that I love like "Beethoven was an alcoholic." It almost seemed as though he thought that the alcohol or drugs were what really gave them the artistic inspiration to be able to make incredible music. I would counter argue that Handel was truly inspired by God when he wrote The Messiah. He seemed to idolize a handful of musical composers and musicians a large part of whom used alcohol and drugs throughout their careers. I felt concerned for his behavior and sad that he thought the way to inspiration was by using substances that alter your perceptions of life. One day as we were shopping at a local store for garden seeds we came across some morning glory seeds. In my high school years I had read that they have the same effects as LSD. I even ate a few seeds in high school to see. I don't remember it making me feel any different. One of the main things that I remember feeling in High school was depressed. I could relate to the feelings of my son but I didn't know how to reach out and help him. I wanted him to see his worth through his eyes. I would try to approach the subject by saying "I think you are looking like you don't feel well, are you feeling sick or depressed?" His response would include an eye roll and "I'm fine mom." In a very annoyed voice. I tried to make myself stop asking, even now I catch myself asking. On the 24th of July I had planned to make a cake for my Mother In Law because her birthday is on the 25th. I sent Spencer to town for the ingredients that I didn't have. Shortly before he came home from the store I started to make one of his favorite dinners- Garlic Chicken. I left the chicken to simmer and laid down for a short rest before dinner. Hailey came into my room to tell me she needed a ride to a birthday party so I asked Spencer to run her up there. While he was gone I got up and finished making dinner. I remember very clearly when he came back he kind of stumbled through the french doors into our living room and said "I'm not feeling very well." I looked over at him through the kitchen and in my mind I heard clearly "he has taken something." I finished dinner and tried to wake Spencer up to eat but he didn't wake up. I just figured that since his stomach wasn't feeling well he needed sleep. Several hours later as I left to pick Hailey up from her party I noticed that my car was parked so close to the lockers in the garage that the bumper was almost touching them. I felt annoyed about it because I figured Spencer did it on purpose to annoy me. As the evening progressed I remember altering some jeans of Tyler's. While I was sitting at my sewing machine Ethan approached me to tell me that Spencer had thrown up all over himself but was still sleeping. At this point I was mostly frustrated that I was going to have puke to clean up. I got all of my cleaning supplies and a wash cloth and sat down to clean him and the couch. I washed his face and removed his shirt and had no response from him. I realized that he had taken something or drank something. I wasn't sure what to do to find out what was going on so I texted my sister and Tyler came to try and help me. We read through some of the messages on his ipod and found out that he had drunk a pint of real vanilla extract. I tried feeling for his pulse and his heart wasn't beating right. He would have a couple of faint beats and then a pause and then a stronger one. Both Tyler and I were very concerned for him at this point. We moved him to the floor and he continued to vomit on himself here and there. Tyler decided that he would go find our bishop and ask him for advice on what we should do. When our bishop came over he said we needed to get him to the hospital. Tyler took the back seats out of the van and our bishop helped carry him to the back of the van. He rode in the back with Spencer as Tyler drove. I stayed home with the kids and worked on carpet shampooing the couch and floor. I was discouraged. I think of that time as being in the depths of despair. While I was kneeling on the floor sweaty and covered in vomit and cleaning supplies a knock came to the front door. It was the relief society president and her husband. My emotions were mixed at this point. I felt thankful but also humiliated by the situation. I had some of the typical Mormon mother thoughts going through my head that maybe if I had read scriptures more with my children or prayed harder.......been better I could have prevented the situation. The RS President came in and said "I will take care of your kids here, your son needs you at the hospital. I am going to have my husband take you and I will watch your kids." At the hospital the very first familiar face I saw was our bishops wife. I saw the sympathy in her eyes and felt so grateful that she was there. I was shown the way back to where Spencer was at. They had hooked an IV up and he was being monitored. There was no real response in his face. Every now and then he would throw up, and if you really shook him his eyes would open for a second. The hospital had run blood tests and his blood alcohol level was 0.289. This level was considered toxic and had caused his heart to beat erratically. Our local hospital isn't equipped to deal with any major medical issues. They decided to transfer Spencer to a larger hospital. We discussed with the doctor about transferring him to another hospital and figured they would send him by ambulance. Shortly after that we were approached by a medical team for life flight. It turns out that because of the way his heart was beating they needed to put him in a pediatric intensive care unit and there wasn't any spots available in Twin Falls so they were going to have to fly him to Boise. Tyler and I went out to the van and I had him pull up to an area near the landing pad to watch the helicopter leave. Seeing our son be taken away by the helicopter was hard. I don't even know what words to use to describe my emotions at this point. My heart broken and aching for that sweet boy that he is inside. After the helicopter took off we went home to sleep for a few hours. We figured Tyler would drive up and get Spencer. When Tyler woke up to head to Boise he decided to take Austin with him. I wanted him to take someone with him because I worried about him falling asleep on the drive. I figured that he would get there pick Spencer up and be back later that Sunday. I was too overwhelmed and tired to even consider going to church. Our home teachers were supposed to come over after church that day so I texted him and said not to come. My house was a wreck, my children could sense the stress in the air and laundry was piled up to the ceiling. Just after I sent the text our home teacher called and said he and his wife would watch our kids so that I could head to Boise to be with Tyler. I tried to give him the easy way out by saying thats okay I didn't get a lot of sleep and I need to rest some more before I drive, but he had conveniently talked to the bishop and he was planning to take me with him and his family to visit Spencer. My next thoughts were okay but I didn't really want to leave my house in such a disaster. I threw some clothes on and began to frantically clean the most heavily used areas that they might see. Within 20 minutes our home teacher and bishop were to our house..... The End of Part One Our bishop and Tyler loading Spencer in the van.