Tuesday, May 6, 2014

H is for Heroin

If you are a writer, you are always looking for fodder to keep the reader interested. In going back through my diary of four years ago, I came upon a passage describing a brief scene I encountered while my daughter Meghan and I sat on her hospital bed in the hallway in the Emergency Room. It was just another one of her many visits to the hospital for mental breakdowns, but that particular time the place was hopping, so we didn’t even have a room. There was a young girl in her late teens or early twenties in the bed just in front of Meghan who was writhing in pain with her mother standing over her and trying to comfort her. At first I thought she was having appendicitis or something, but quickly realized if she were that sick, she wouldn’t be in the hallway of the emergency room. It turns out it was her birthday and she got loaded up on smack just before she went to the birthday party her mom had put together for her. The load was bad, so she was in agony. She puked her birthday cake out in front of us and the male nurse who was in charge of the hallway apologized for not being able to keep us from being directly in view of the onslaught, then went to get her some medicine. He took his time getting it for her and while she was whining and crying, he asked her “are you ever going to do heroin again?” Of course she said “no,” but I saw her mother’s agony and knew that this was an ongoing battle and I also realized that for this woman, it probably wouldn’t be over soon. I thought about the girl, a beautiful one at that, making a conscious decision to become a heroin addict and my Meghan, who through no fault or choice of her own was on a similar journey and I also thanked God that my children had never made decisions that would purposely destroy them and cause a mother’s terrible heartbreak. There are always worse situations out there. One must remember that. Again, I have shelter, clothing, food and peaceful surroundings. Taking a look at the rest of the world, I realize that what I take for granted doesn’t exist for many. The Middle East, South American and African continents are fraught with conflict and wars, children lose parents, parents lose children, post traumatic stress is normal and the oppressors lose their souls to power and greed. There’s a show on TV about people who try to save whales from Japanese whalers and the head of the operation stated something that often rings true about humans “we as a species are insane.” Even the whales know it as they look at us through pitying eyes.

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