Opioid Crisis Fridays: The Story of Adrienne from Shelby County, TN.


I lost my mom February of 2019. She died at age 62 from an infection which resulted from her final surgery to get rid of the pain. Over the years, she underwent several surgeries, including back surgery, pain device implants, ankle fusion and more. The pain was always present and moved whenever one issue was “fixed.” Surgery was how the prescription opioid addiction began, and surgery was how she kept a supply of pain medications at her disposal. Her daily life for nearly 15 years meant taking whatever she could get, including Morphine and Percocet. Without them her body would lock up, and her withdrawals would be debilitating. Most of the time, I, along with other members of my family, was often the recipient of any physical and verbal abuse that accompanied the addiction.  As her primary caregiver, I was the one who had to pick up the pieces and deal with the results of her addiction which ultimately was a financial, mental and physical burden.

One of the most memorable moments was at my son’s 5th grade graduation. She attended but was clearly on medications when we arrived. Before the ceremony began, she was asleep. Eventually my cousin and I had to physically carry her from the building after her appearance began alarming the administrative staff and on-site nurse. That’s a memory my son will carry with him forever.

Unable to work and receiving disability benefits, I was often responsible for providing my mom somewhere to live and ensuring her needs were met, but her lifestyle would often bring other addicts around. She once had her car stolen and sold to a drug dealer. She once came up missing, and I found her at a woman’s shelter in Little Rock, Arkansas. I found her unresponsive more times than I can count and became quite familiar with Narcan. For many years she did not have a very good quality of life and neither did I. After a couple of rehab stays, it became clear to me that she was not going to be able to get and stay sober. As her health continued to decline, I knew that death was imminent.  The hardest part was watching and waiting for my mother to die.

#Awareness, #Tennessee, #DrugOverdose, #Drugs, #Fentanyl, #HelpfulTips, #Tragedy, #OpioidCrisisFriday, #OpioidCrisis, #OpioidEpidemic

Published by VintageDava

Follow me on Twitter at #Davagirl

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