Friday, November 30, 2007

Living With Addiction ~ Part X

Continued from Living With Addiction ~ Part IX

At some point after that ER trip in January my ex lost his job that had brought us to Florida.

It was really no big deal,
I couldn't stand his boss or the boss's wife. Funny thing looking back now, my ex wasn't much different from them.

His birthday fell around NASCAR's biggest race
, the Daytona 500 and I was able to get him a ticket and he was invited to go with our friends.

He was like a kid in a candy store
. I figured he deserved it. He had a whole new attitude and was attending the AA meetings every day, talking with his sponsor, doing what was right.

So I thought...

He had a blast at the race
, came home all smiles and exhausted, all of them were smiles. I don't remember who won, but I remember everyone had a good time. He was exhausted though, he been at the track since 8am and it was about 8pm so he went straight to bed.

Thirty minutes later I heard a strange noise coming from the bedroom, at first I thought it was Shadow, the cocker spaniel snoring. When I heard it again I went in and looked and it was the ex having breathing trouble, almost chocking.

I took his head off the pillow and tilted his head back so his airway would have a less restricted passage and once again called the same friends I called the last two times, the very same friends he was with that day. (I did call his sponsor also, but no answer) Our friends advised me to call another friend that had 11 yrs sober and 911.

Yep, here we go again..

The friend I called
said he would meet me at the ER.

I had the EMT's take my ex to a closer ER
, I wasn't about to make the same mistake I did last time.

The EMT's asked what he was taking
and I gave them every bottle of medicine that he had. At this point he was back on the Depicote along with anxiety meds and something else that I can't think of right now.

I was asked to wait in the waiting room, while checking him in they asked me what he was taking and I told them they had everything.

It seemed they didn't believe me.

Our friend showed up and we waited maybe 10 minutes
before being called in. (making the total wait 20 minutes) The Dr. met us in the hall, I gave him the OK to talk in front of the friend explaining his presence and he told us my ex had overdosed on something called Ultram.

I knew that Ultram was a prescription pain medicine, what I didn't know that it was in the narcotic family and that it was a synthetic type of morphine, or that he was taking it. I'm sure my ex knew it was a narcotic.

I was shocked, but not angry. Why? Who knows. When we walked into the the room he was totally alert and smiling, yes.. smiling. He was surprised to see our friend, but happy that I had called him.

I remember my ex specifically asking our friend with 11 yrs sobriety if he had to pick up a *white chip because of what happened and our friend said "no.. you made a mistake"

The ex's story was
he had a headache from all the noise at the track and he had taken 4 Ultram instead of 2. We believed him at that moment, I don't believe it now, I don't think our friend ever did.

*(In AA, when you first join or return to "drinking or drugging" then go back "in to the rooms" you pick up a white chip)

When we got home, he actually seemed to be thankful that I saved his life, he seemed truly scared he almost died that night. I think it really hit home a few weeks later when his own sponsor died suddenly of a heart attack while at work.

Things were OK until summer, he found work at the Salvation Army, it didn't pay well but it was work. He got a new sponsor who I never met and still attending his meetings regularly. He appeared to be working the steps and doing what he was supposed to be to get well.

It was the beginning of the end though....

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Living WIth Addiction ~ Part IX

Continued From Living With Addiction ~ Part VIII

A new year (2004) has begun and with that new hurdles are put up.

One evening my ex was taking a nap
, I don't remember what prompted me to go in to the bedroom but I noticed something was not right. His lips were very pale, he was breathing, but not breathing right.

I tried to wake him, he wouldn't wake up
. I attempted to call his sponsor and got voice mail, I left a message then called the same friends I called back in September. They were near by and came right over. They had me call 911, at this point his lips were blue.

The EMT's asked where to take him
, I didn't know any better, still only a year new to the area had them take him back to the same hospital he was in back in September.

Apparently he "came to" on the trip to the hospital
and was not happy to be at the same hospital that put him in a rehab facility after a psychiatric ward.
They would only allow two of us to go into the ER with him, my friends husband and I went in. Apparently my friends husband (dressed in his leathers and do-rag) made the hospital staff nervous along with my ex's behavior, a security guard also came in.

At some point we got it out of my ex that his "head hurt",
the Dr. wouldn't treat him until he did a drug test. After all, the hospital knows my ex's past.. He did the drug test and passed, nothing was there that wasn't supposed to be there, however my ex was really mad he had to take one.

The Dr. would only offer him over the counter head ache medicine
to help his headache, this upset the ex even more. He began to cause more of a scene. We were then asked to leave the ER and hospital.

The four of us decided to go to another ER that was less busy
and wouldn't treat the ex like a leper was treated back in the 1600's.

Upon arrival at the 2nd ER, we filled out the paperwork,
he was brought in right away. He told the Dr. EVERYTHING that happened at the first hospital and how upset it made him. Boom, here came a security guard to the waiting room.

The Dr. called the 1st hospital to confirm his story
, the security guard watched us in the waiting room, a male nurse sat with my ex and they talked. Everything was fine. The security guard left, I got called in to the room, my ex was calm, the Dr was friendly.

The Dr. gave my ex a neck brace
, it seemed to relieve pressure. He was also not going to give any type of narcotic to my ex, however he had a better bedside manner and made my ex feel like a member of the human race again.

We never did find out what caused this first trip of the
year to the ER, but if you come back you will find out what caused the 2nd ER trip the next month......
Living With Addiction ~ Part I

Living With Addiction ~ Part II

Living With Addiction ~ Part III

Living With Addiction ~ Part IV

Living With Addiction ~ Part V

Living With Addiction ~ Part VI

Living With Addiction ~ Part VII

Living With Addiction ~ Part VIII

Photo courtesy of Deviantart

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Natural Flea Remedies

Living the "Gypsy Lifestyle" I have, I've learned a thing or two about these pesky insects we call Fleas:

The first one this is that nowhere is immune from fleas as long as you have a pet, even if the pet is constantly indoors.

I lived on the 21st floor of a condo in Hawaii back in the 80s and my cat had fleas. Yep, those lil buggers hitch hiked up the elevators on my jeans to my unit then lived happily on my poor kitty until I got rid of them.

I never had a problem in CA, TX, even Upstate NY and I had 2 dogs there, then I came down to FL, welcome back fleas.

Things have changed quite a bit since the mid 80s and days of dipping and fogging. Thank You So Much! Man was that a chore, have you ever bathed a unwilling cat before?

Not Fun!!

Then fogging your house
, you had to leave your home for 4 to 6 hours while you fogged the home until all non human life forms were dead, and then you had to wash the dishware and utensils (didn't you?).

Now we have Advantage, Front Line, Sentinel and other Veterinarian prescribed flea meds that makes life so much easier.

Hey folks, please do not use over the counter flea remedies, please!

There is one brand out there I put on a cat and she started foaming at the mouth the minute it touched her skin, I immediately stuck her under the sink (UGH!) and used Dawn to get the stuff off her. I just learned yesterday a flea shampoo made by the same company has been known to kill pets, then found this article this am from MSNBC I will never use over the counter flea meds ever again.

But Advantage and Front Line are so expensive you say, and it's putting poison on my pets! you cry... My house is so clean you can eat off my floors! you protest (that means the fleas can also) It doesn't matter, fleas don't discriminate!

Ok let's look at some ALL NATURAL things to use instead of pesticides to keep your 4 legged baby flea free....

Garlic! Yep if it's good enough for vampires it's good enough for fleas. When I moved here to Florida I had my 2 dogs and 1 cat, I was told a sliver of garlic (fresh) a day with the dogs food would stop fleas from infesting the house. During the time I did think to use the garlic trick and it worked, but dang those dogs had some bad doggie garlic breath. Some even recommend adding Brewers Yeast to the garlic too. They say the fleas don't like the smell.

Ok Too Late, I have Fleas in the house..

Treat the yard! Sprinkle diatomaceous Earth all over the yard, you can purchase it in large bags at any pool supply store apparently. You can also mix it with salt if you wish. I've found this on a few websites.

Put mothballs in your vacuum cleaner bag, if it has bags. I have a bagless vacuum and I empty the container every time I use it, fleas can live in the bags or containers and will get out.

Sprinkle a little salt on the carpet, it'll kill the fleas and eggs, let sit overnight, vacuum then dump the bag, or bagless container in the outside garbage. If you have hard wood floors, sweep them thoroughly.

Borax also does the same.. but it isn't as safe if you have small ones that play on the carpet.

Cedar chips around your property line also are rumored to stop fleas from getting into your yard. Sounds like an invisible fence for fleas huh? Too bad the dogs invisible fences aren't as cheap.....

You can lead a flea to water but he can't swim! Place a large dish of water with a drop of dish soap in the water on the floor when you go to bed (out of the way of traffic areas) and a small lamp next to it with a 25 amp bulb.

Fleas are "drawn to the light" when they jump towards the lamp they land in the water, the soap in the water makes them sink and drown, gives a whole new meaning to "go into the light!" It is recommended to do this a few nights in a row.

Please don't think that removing the animal removes the fleas from the home. It doesn't work that way. The fleas lay their eggs in the carpet, not on the pet. If you are going to fight the flea battle with natural remedies, you need to fight it on the carpet.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Living With Addiction ~ Part VIII

Continued from Living With Addiction ~ Part VII

It's now October of 2003, we're in a new rental home, his scars are beginning to heal and he is attending AA meetings with a temporary sponsor. I mentioned in Part VI at one point he felt he didn't have a drug problem and he was angry that people thought he did.

It was suggested that he go to AA instead of NA for reasons I can't discuss, I can't tell you if I think things would have been different either way. It was a fight throughout the month of October for him to go to the meetings.

It really sucked that I would actually have to throw in his face what he did in September, I hate to do things like that. It got him angry, but he would go to the meetings and I would go with him. I would watch his face to see if he was "getting any of it".

Finally, he found a permanent sponsor, a man named Dave. Dave had been through the same addictions my ex has and then some. It seemed like a good match. The ex began going to meetings 7 days a week and seemed to be "getting it". He began to spend a lot of time with Dave his sponsor and began "working the steps".

December came and my office always collected canned goods for a local charity, this year we decided to collect for a family that rented from our office that had really hit some hard times.

The food we collected for them was specifically for a Christmas dinner, then we also got small toy presents for their grandchildren that just moved in with them recently.

The office heard my ex had access to a Santa suit and decided him and I needed to be part of a "miracle". We were to play Santa and Mrs. Claus with the food and deliver the food to their home just before Christmas Day. We were up for that.

We loaded the SUV with all the food and drove over to the house. My ex, a rather short skinny Santa knocked on the door with one box of food as I waited at the truck. They knew me, I wanted them to be surprised so I waited before I brought my box in.

As we brought more and more food in and the games and toys for the children, they did realize who I was and figured out where their dinner came from. The tears flowed and the thank yous came.

It was not only going to be a Merry Christmas for them but for us as well.

More To Come . . . .

Living With Addiction ~ Part I

Living With Addiction ~ Part II

Living With Addiction ~ Part III

Living With Addiction ~ Part IV

Living With Addiction ~ Part V

Living With Addiction ~ Part VI

Living With Addiction ~ Part VII

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Living With Addiction ~ Part VII

Continued from Living With Addiction ~ Part VI..

When I last left you hanging, we had been evicted with 2 weeks to find a new home and my ex was beginning AA meetings. He had just come home from the hospital.

I mentioned in Part IV that I had dug the bullet out of the bed so that he would see it when he got home, "a reminder of what he did that day and how it affected me". Mind you, the bullet was squished from going through him and the mattress, at this point it was a small chuck of metal. I had left it on top of a shelf above the kitchen sink.

Supposedly he didn't see it right away, I think it took him a few days. We were both in the kitchen when he allegedly first spied it on the shelf. He picked it up and asked why it was there, I told him the hard truth and it "upset" him. He said that he never wanted to see it again and threw it as hard as he could from the back door into the yard.

I don't think he got it, do you?

As luck would have it, our friendly neighbors across the street spotted a rental and told us about it. We went to look at it and it wasn't bad. We called the owner, told him about ALL the pets, not a problem he said. Within 2 days we were writing a lease.

The move was at the last minute, we were finished at midnight on the final day of our notice. Our new house was a duplex, smaller then the beachside bungalow we were renting but I already liked it more. Perhaps this is what we needed... A new start..

Maybe things were going to finally get better?

To Be Continued...

Living With Addiction ~ Part I

Living With Addiction ~ Part II

Living With Addiction ~ Part III

Living With Addiction ~ Part IV

Living With Addiction ~ Part V

Living With Addiction ~ Part VI

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Living With Addiction ~ The Series

To those of you new to this series~

Living With Addiction ~ Part I
Living With Addiction ~ Part II
Living With Addiction ~ Part III
Living With Addiction ~ Part IV
Living With Addiction ~ Part V
Living With Addiction ~ Part VI

The events I am writing in the posts leading up to now all happened in and before 2003.

I am happy to let you know that this is not my life now.

I still have much more to tell you and will continue the posts after this Thanksgiving holiday.

I have much to be thankful for and don't want to dwell on the past today. I am sure you understand!

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Blessed Thanksgiving
More Free Graphics at

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Living With Addiction ~ Part VI

Continued from Living With Addiction ~ Part V

My girlfriend and her fiance (at the time) that came the night of he shot himself is a member of "The Program" better known as AA. They wanted to help my ex rise above all this. They had been beating addiction for awhile now and thought he could do it too. He was willing to go to a Friday "Speaker Meeting", I was too. It was going to be a two person battle, I wasn't going to give up just yet.

A couple days before this meeting, I called the house ~ no answer. I called a couple more times, still no answer. Becoming suspicious and working close to home, I went to the house, pulling up in time to see him getting out of a taxi with a prescription bag in his hand.

Needless to say ~ Pissed Off didn't begin to describe what I was feeling. I went back to work fuming. When I got home that night he was sober, he told me he flushed the pills. He saw how hurt and angry I was. I don't know if it is was true or not, I do know I saw no drub abuse at that time.

Just when I thought things may start to smooth out, I got called into a closed door meeting at the office by the company Broker/Owner, the bookkeeper and my office manager. I thought oh no, now what did I do?

Property Management had to tell the homeowner of the house we were renting of the incident. The gardner/landscaper as I mentioned before was scared to mow the lawn and our next door neighbors called the office and said we screamed at each other every weekend. (This coming from a woman that dragged her young son around by the arm all the while screaming at him?)

The homeowner wanted him out and the Broker/Owners lawyer also advised her that it was in her best interest that my ex move out. In looking at our lease we discovered I was not on it, why? I had no idea. I thought I was. Had I been on the lease I could have stayed, mind you that would not have happened, but it was nice to know I wasn't the one being kicked out.

Once again, I had lost control of my life, we had 15 days to find a new home and move. We had 2 dogs, 3 cats and 1 job. We weren't sure if he would have a job when he was allowed to go back to work and living in FL isn't exactly cheap.

The next night our friends picked us up for the Friday Speaker Meeting in Daytona. This is when his denial set in. He was very going through the motions, pretending to listen, doing what was expected of him, trying to fake me out. I was forewarned of this, I don't know that he actually picked up his white chip at this meeting or the next one he went to.

His anger was soon to set in though. In his eyes he had no problem, no addiction. He didn't need to go to those meetings. This didn't happen til after we moved though.

Still More To Come....

Image Courtesy Of

Living With Addiction ~ Part I
Living With Addiction ~ Part II
Living With Addiction ~ Part III
Living With Addiction ~ Part IV
Living With Addiction ~ Part V

Living With Addiction ~ Part V

..Continued From Living With Addiction ~ Part IV

Once he was let out of ICU he was admitted the hospitals Psychiatric Ward. There his new doctor evaluated him and called me on a daily basis.

I explained to the new doctor what went on in New York and how well things went with the old doctor, the Bi-Polar diagnosis, the meds he was on then etc.. It was then this doctor asked me to come in to meet with him and my ex.

My ex wasn't cooperating, he would just lay in bed and feel sorry for himself. The new doctor thought maybe I could get him out of bed and on the way to recovery. All my ex wanted was pain killers. After all he had major surgery to repair the damage that bullet did and a 12 inch incision to show for it, plus an entrance and exit wound.

Apparently the only time my ex would get out of bed was when it was med time and to use the restroom. He knew exactly what time he would get his pain killers, and like a dog begging for a bone he would be at the nurses station for those pills

I agreed to go in, and keep my anger in check. Even though it was September 11th, 2003, my birthday. Our honeymoon was to be in 2 weeks, a cruise someone gave us as a wedding present. I couldn't reschedule the cruise because of the timing, the tickets had just been issued. Not even with a doctors note.

I go meet with him and the doctor, I don't remember that particular conversation. I do remember the ex had nothing to say. He sat there trying to make us feel sorry for him. The next day, the doctor phoned me to tell me that he didn't feel my ex was Bi-Polar. He didn't show the classic signs. He told me my ex is addicted to pain meds and needs to go to Stewart Marchman for rehab, and that was where he was sending him when he was released from the hospital.

Dummy me, still not wanting to believe, even after I all had been through told the doctor that my ex didn't need to go to Stuart Marchman, he needed to go home. Oh my ex was good all right. All addicts are when they want you to believe something. They can fool a lot of smart people.

The doctor led us to believe he would come home instead of going to rehab, then about 2 weeks into this ordeal I get a phone call from my ex saying he is at the rehab center. He's upset, he feels betrayed, he wants to go home.

I bring him some clothes, after all he went to the hospital with nothing. I tell him he just needs to do what is asked of him, then he can come home.

10:00 that night, a knock on the door, it's him... he tricked them into letting him come home and took a cab.

I couldn't keep this secret from my neighbors, my work, or my landlord. We rented from the same place I worked. My neighbors that I knew and company were supportive, very supportive. However 1 neighbor, (who I thought about calling DCF on) told lies to our Property Management office about us and our landscaper was "afraid" to come mow the lawn now...

More To Come...

Living With Addiction ~ Part I
Living With Addiction ~ Part II
Living With Addiction ~ Part III
Living With Addiction ~ Part IV

Photo courtesy of Deviantart

Living With Addiction ~ Part IV

Continued from Living With Addiction Part III

I don't remember sleeping that night. I remember it was around midnight before we got back to my friends house from the hospital. I just wanted to get home to the animals, mainly the dogs.

My girlfriend took me home early the next morning to let them out and feed them, then off to the airport to get my mom. At some point during all the chaos of the evening before, Mom had called his family up north to let them know what happened. She told them she was on the way and would let them know if they needed to come out too.

We went from the airport to the hospital and ICU. We stood outside ICU with the nurse assigned to him for a moment and talked. The minute he knew we were there, the moaning began again.

I asked the nurse if he had been doing this all night, she said no. I think it was then the realisation of what was happening hit me. I don't know this for fact, but I believe deep in my soul he did this for pain killers.

I didn't want to stay any longer, I wanted to go home. I had someone coming to look at the bed to see if it could be cleaned. In this day and age with blood labeled a bio-hazard it was going to be a pain to get rid of it without an explanation.

Meanwhile, my girlfriend had made arrangements for my mom to stay at a local condotel on the beach. They decided no one should sleep in the house. Again, I had no say, and no will to fight them.

Mom had called his family up north, gave them an update. "No, don't come. He is in good hands at the hospital, all you would be doing is sitting in the ICU ward." Thank you mom...

We got to the house, my friend that cleans carpets and sofas showed up, "nope, we can't get that out, best to get a new bed. Why did he do that?? I had no answer, what was I going to say? I wasn't sure at that the time myself.

Mom didn't want me to sleep in that bed, she wanted me with her that night. Once again I couldn't sleep. I wanted to be home. I didn't care about the bed.

We stopped by the hospital once a day for a few minutes. The same thing would happen every time, the moaning when he knew we were close, it would stop when he thought we were gone. We got a new bed, I had to cut out the ruined portions of the old bed before it was to be picked up and put them in plastic to be disposed of another way.

Before I cut the bed up, I dug the bullet out. I was angry, he was going to see it when he got home, a reminder of what he did that day and how it affected me and the animals. We had new kittens, 4 months or so old at the time, probably under the bed when it happened.

I was angry alright, he could have hit one of them in his selfishness. Where was Shadow when he did this anyway? What if he hit our cocker? Noel was in her crate, she was ok...I thought my world had been turned upside down, but things were about to get even worse..

To Be Continued...

Living With Addiction ~ Part I
Living With Addiction ~ Part II
Living With Addiction ~ Part III

Photo courtesy of Deviantart

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Living With Addiction ~ Part III

I gave you a hint of life living with an addict. My ex was had a pain pill addiction that I lived with for 7 yrs.

If you've not read part one & two, please do so so that you can possibly understand part three.

The beginning of September of 03, three months after we got married the proverbial bottom fell out of the floor of my life...

I came home from work to find our Cocker Spaniel waiting for me on our recliner slowly wagging her tail instead of jumping up and down at the door like normal. I walked into our bedroom, he was lying on the bed, blood oozing from the right side of his stomach, a rifle laying to his left.

He had shot himself.. The sheriff arrived first, a young tiny woman, gun drawn to make sure someone didn't shoot her. Then the paramedics and fire dept. show up. As my girlfriend pulls up a helicopter lands in the middle of our small street.

I felt as if I was in the middle of a bad dream.
They placed crime scene tape around my bedroom door, loaded him in the helicopter, Shadow was becoming more animated and my Lab, Noel had yet to come out of her crate but not barking at the chaos in our house. The helicopter was taking off, I don't think I could have heard a barking dog if it was next to me.

I was no longer in charge of my life. I was taken to a police car and questioned for about 30 minutes about my ex. Why would he do this, was he suicidal, has he ever done things like this before? I just wanted to run back in the house and be with my dogs and cats. I wanted to be left alone.

A big spot of my bed was covered in blood, my friends didn't want me to spend the night there, I didn't want not to. No one gave me a choice in the matter. They would take me to the hospital to see how my ex was then to their house.

At this point I was too mentally exhausted to argue. I was now a marionette, pull my strings, I'll dance for you.

My mom was on her way from Phoenix, she had been called or called while this was happening. I don't remember if I spoke with her or not. She would be arriving in the morning.

By the time we arrived at the ICU it had been 5 hours since all this began and he was out of surgery, he would live. I don't remember if I was upset, confused, mad or all of the above. The minute he saw us he began moaning in pain. We didn't stay long. Take me home..

To Be Continued..

Photo courtsey of Deviantart

Living With Addiction ~ Part II

This is part 2 in what will probably be a 6 - 10 part post on my life living with a prescription pill addict.

Yesterday I posted
Living With Addiction ~ Part 1 and left you with the fact that the doctors would believe there was pain, and would find reasons for the pain every time we would visit the ER or doctors office.

At one point he was referred to a specialist who diagnosed my ex with Bi-Polar disorder. The doctor placed my ex on all sorts of medication to treat the disorder, including klonopin to treat a "panic disorder" on top of the bi-polar. Things actually went very well with this doctor. He was no nonsense and what he told me made sense.

I looked up everything I could on the internet on Bi-polar disorder. A lot of what I read fit with the behavior I lived with. The mood swings, etc.. there were also things that did not fit, he never talked real fast and there was also one other thing that did not fit, but one doesn't have to have every symptom.

While under this doctors care, the pain pill issue seemed to have disappear completely too. However, like I said, there were those 3 days every week in New York City so there is no telling what happened then.

We planned our upcoming wedding and unexpected move to Florida. Unfortunatley the good doctor didn't move with us...

He did try to find another doctor like the one he had in NY, but even I didn't like the ones here. I can't remember the isssues we had with them now though. Maybe he or we didn't try hard enough.

Things quickly ran downhill within months of arriving here in Florida~ he threw himself down a set of stairs at work, set his hand on fire, just to name a couple things ~ just to get high. The stair incident got him Oxycontin by the way, he would go through 30 pills in about 4 days.

From there it from bad to worse...

To Be Continued...
Living With Addiction ~ Part I

Photo courtsey of Deviantart

Living With Addiction ~ Part I

I lived with addiction for years, I am writing about it now for a couple reasons...

1. I hope writing about it will help me relieve some of the anger I still harbor inside.

2. I hope that I can help just one person in my situation overcome the hell they are living in.

The 2nd person I married was a prescription pill addict. He would do incredibly stupid things to get his "fix". In the beginning I was either blind, stupid or just plain unwilling to see the truth on what was going on in our lives.

We lived together in (NY state) for quite some time before we actually got married. There were several trips to the doctors, several trips to the pharmacy's, and several ER trips. He had a Dr. in "his pocket" that would pretty much give him whatever he wanted at one point. Once a month he would get Demerol for his so called headaches and a continuous prescription of vicaden.

In New York state, doctors have to turn over certain prescriptions like Demerol to a certain authority this way the certain authority knows that the doctor is not over prescribing the drug to people like my ex. The prescription is actually written in triplicate. I guess you could say they have a prescription drug watch dog. I'm sure they have the same requirements for Oxycontin. This is why he could only get Demerol once a month. He would liquefy the Demerol and inject it with a hypodermic needle and proceed get high.

The injection sight would often become infected as he didn't put a lid over the liquefied Demerol, and contaminants would get into it. On four occasions the infections became immune to antibiotics and had he to be operated on...

Oh goody! More Drugs!

I believe at some points the friendly drug doctor had cut him off looking back now. Things could be quiet for months at a time. You see we lived about 2.5 hours north of New Your City, however he went there pretty much every week for work. I didn't know what was up when he was there.

Of course, when he would get desperate, something would happen so he could get his drugs.
I remember one occasion, waking up in the middle of the night hearing a man saying "SIR?" repeatedly. Shadow, our cocker was barking wildly and blue lights shining on and off in my bedroom. We kept a 357 and Colt 45 in the house then and both loaded, I didn't even think to grab one when I put on my robe and went to the top of the stairs.

I yelled down, "What's going on?!?!"

A familiar face poked his head around the corner, and he replied, "Police Ma'am, are you alone up there?" Good thing I didn't grab one of the guns huh?

Long story short, I was alone upstairs, my ex was laying face down on the floor downstairs with the phone in his hand and the glass was broken out of our coffee table. The police thought there was an intruder.

I knew the police and EMT's because of my job and the fact that we lived in a very small village.
The EMT's offered to let me go to the hospital with him in the ambulance, I declined. I said I would meet him there. The doctor in the ER said he had a severe migraine and some sort of issue with a vessel in his eye. He prescribed loratab and imatrex. The imatrex was not covered by insurance and loratab is generic & therefor cheap so I picked up the 2nd. The imtrex was $100.00 for 3 tablets and was a relatively new drug for migraines at this time.

This was one of the problems though, every time we went to the ER the doctors would back him up with his pain complaint.

To Be Continued...

Living With Addiction ~ Part II

Living With Addiction ~ Part III

Living With Addiction ~ Part IV

Living With Addiction ~ Part V

Living With Addiction ~ Part VI

Living With Addiction ~ Part VII

Living With Addiction ~ Part VIII

Living With Addiction ~ Part IX

Living With Addiction ~ Part X

Living With Addiction ~ Part XI

Living With Addition ~ Part XII

Living With Addition ~ Part XIII

Living With Addiction ~ Part XIV

Living With Addiction ~ Part XV

Living With Addiction ~ Part XVI ~ Freedom?

Life After Living With Addiction ~ Part 1

Life After Living With Addiction ~ The End!

Photo courtsey of Deviantart

Florida's Other Snow Bird ~ The Northern Right Whale

Late December to early March is known as Snow-Bird Season in Florida. People that live up north most of the year spend 3 or 4 months here in Florida away from the bitter cold and snow.

Some of these Snow-Birds aren't human, they are the Northern Atlantic Right Whales. They spend their summers in the Bay Of Fundy then in October pregnant females and some juvenile female & males begin their long migration to Florida. We sometimes begin hearing of sightings in Georgia around the beginning of December and start to see one or two whales here in Flagler County, FL in January. In March they begin to go back home just like the Snow-Birds, except the whales who came to give birth have their newborn calves in tow, unlike the Snow-Birds.

A little Northern Atlantic Right Whale background:

The Northern Right Whale got its name around the 1800s by being the "right whale" to hunt because they "move slow (about 15 mph), stay close to the shoreline and float when they die" Therefore they were over hunted...

Their recovery rate is slow, they are still in danger of ship strikes and fishing nets.

They are slow in reproducing, some years only 5 calves were reported to have been born.

There is now what is called an "EARLY WARNING SYSTEM" in place that involves several agencies, independent and government run. This system is in place in Florida, Georgia and Massachusetts. Ships at 300 tons or more have to report in when they enter the whale's habitat.

In Florida, the US Navy sends out an automated message to all ships in the area with locations of the whales if they are the area and how to avoid them.

Becoming entangled in fishing nets is a huge hazard. One Northern Atlantic Right Whale, "Kingfisher" was horribly tangled 3 years ago when he was here. Rescue attempts were made to untangle him, but failed. He came back 2 years ago, not as tangled but still in danger, once again they tried to get the ropes off him. You can read the story here.

This article is the most recent I could find. I keep hoping he gets spotted again, he is a local celebrity. We all want to know how he is doing.

I had never heard of this species of whale until February of 2004 when one was spotted in the ocean out of our window at our Century 21 Sundance "Beachside"office in Ormond By The Sea.

She wasn't breaching or showing off. She would surface every 15 minutes or so, take a breath and go below the surface again.If you were looking in the right place in the ocean you could tell she was coming up for air before you actually saw her.

A phone call was made to the wife of one our agents, 30 minutes later a gentleman comes in and introduced himself as Frank Gromling with the Marineland Right Whale Project. He tells us we are watching a Northern Atlantic Right Whale and he thinks she is birthing a calf judging from her behavior.

He then tells us this whale is endangered (this species has been protected since 1935); there are only about 350 in the world!

I felt very special this day. I got to see 1 out of 350 existing animals in the Atlantic Ocean. Think about the odds folks.

She was within our sight of our office 4 hours that day. We don't know for sure if she gave birth. Before Frank left he gave me the 800# for the Marineland Right Whale Project along with his cell #, "Call me if you see any more whales." I did see two other whales, not Right Whales, I did call him though.

The following season I got a call from my Broker/Manager who was driving south on A1A towards the office. She told me to get in my car and head north, there are at least 8 whales about 3 miles away from our office, bring my camera! I did bring the camera, but I had a Kodak Easy Share with very little zoom power, my photos didn't show a lot, just what looks like logs in the water with a occasional tail slap from far away. The next day the Daytona News-Journal had a photo of a whale from the same SAG (Surface Air Group) and it was incredible. I decided I needed a better camera for next year.

Valentines Day of 2006 was a treat! (and my new camera was ready) We had a mother and calf stop by the office for a couple hours. I called Frank who was out of town, he in turn called Jim Hain, a scientist from Woods Hole, MA (Jim comes down to Florida to spot and record Right Whale information). Jim called me back and told me a plane was on the way and he would be at my office shortly, could he have the address? (A plane? Frank knew by now I knew my whales, they sent a plane up on my word alone!) He also told me there was another mother/calf duo in the area, how exciting! Two babies! We watched this pair for 2 hours, the baby played near its mom, occasionally waving to us.

A week later a big splash from the ocean caught my eye about 8:30AM. I looked out and saw this:

I called Jim, told him to hurry, we have a whale that is putting on an incredible show! I was told this was probably a juvenile male. He also stuck around about 2 hours then headed to Daytona Beach. The Daytona News Journal caught up to him at 3PM and he was still showing off!

I began getting email updates from Marineland after the 2006 season was over, I believe 5 calves were spotted during the 2006 season.
My 2007 season was quiet, but for the spotters it was quite eventful. I now work away from the ocean, with a promise if there is a whale sighting I would get a call so I could come see it. The Beachside Office also promised me they would call the sighting in to Marineland.

I was out at the Beachside office one day so I decided to go north on A1A and see if I could find my Spotting Friends. Sure enough I found them, and Jim was also there. They were watching a female about a mile out with some very strong binoculars. I got to see my whale for the year, I was a happy girl!

Joy Hampp, Project Coordinator for The Marineland Right Whale Project,
sends out updated emails throughout the season and a recap at the end. I received the recap the other day and asked her permission to quote from the email for my blog:


The current count on number of mother/calf pairs this season is 20. The South Carolina aerial survey team spotted the 19th Mother/Calf pair at the end of the season and the North Carolina team photographed calf no. 20 on 21 April with a female that had not been seen in Southeast US waters before this and has not been matched to the right whale catalog. She could be a new addition.

Of the 20 mothers, 8 or 9 gave birth to their first calf. The average calving interval for this season is 3.6 years.

The total number of whales seen in the SE US is believed to be 112, including the calves, and some 72 other individuals, although this number may change once matches to the catalog are complete."


In the nine weeks of survey, volunteers logged 1,683 hours of survey. This year, we calculated the number of volunteer hours, since most surveys have more than one volunteer participating. That total is 4,480.

We had 34 confirmed right whale sightings, 18 mother/calf, 7 singles, 6 pairs, and 3 SAGS. In 81% of the sightings, we successfully photographed the whales for identification. Once again, mid-February was our peak in number of sightings for the week. We saw 5 different mothers, including the first sighting of BK23 with a calf.

Our new AirCam logged 50 hours in 16 flights, flying about 3,000 total miles. The airplane responded to 8 sightings reported by volunteers and captured 2 unique sightings, one right whale and one humpback, all later in the afternoon and beyond the effective sighting range of shore spotters.

Special Spotters See Cetaceans Successfully!

In a cross-calibration analysis between the airplane and the shore spotters, we have learned that it appears that the shore spotters see 100% of the whales that are present within the effective sighting range -- when the airplane flew, it did not detect any whales that had not been already reported. And on days when the shore spotters had no sightings -- neither did the airplane. What this means is that the volunteer sighting network (and all of you) are very effective! This is good news, and congratulations!

In addition, shore spotters accomplished these sightings in a less-than-ideal-weather season. We seemed to have had more windy days and more days where winds came from the east, tending to generate more whitecaps. We also recorded our longest follows in all 7 seasons this year, with 2 follows lasting longer than 9 hours each."

A "follow" is when Jim & Joy follow the whale until the whale goes out to sea, or the sun goes down. They will either drive along the beach or use their plane to follow the whales.A big thanks to Joy Hampp, Jim Hain and Frank Gromling along with all the volunteers involved with this wonderful project. It has been a wonderful educational experience for me and I hope for all who reads this!

More Recent Posts:

Have Arpeggio And Her Baby Returned?

Proud Mom Arpreggio, And Her Calf Still Cruising Florida's Coast Line!

North Atlantic Right Whale's Are On The Move In Florida 12/27/2007

Franks Whales by Frank Gromling

Northern Right Whales in Florida With quotes from both Jim and Frank

The Marineland Right Whale Project


Saturday, November 17, 2007

Don't Let Them Get To You

In September of this year, a couple I used to work with at our Century 21 Sundance Beachside office lost their son-in-law in the Iraqi war.

They had just given up their quite successful Real Estate careers here in FL and moved to GA to be with their daughter and granddaughter while their son-in-law served his third tour of duty in Iraq at the beginning of this year.

I remember how proud they were to call this young man son-in-law. I know how much their daughter loved her husband and how much his little girl loved her daddy. When all of us at Century 21 Sundance learned of this loss, we too felt like their son-in-law was our son-in-law. We grieved with them, we spoke on the phone with them, we did everything we could to comfort them long distance.

I learned that the Patriot Guard Riders were invited to be at both this soldiers memorial service in GA and funeral at Arlington National Cemetery and my heart cried harder. What do Real Estate Agents who are retired Navy have to do with bikers they have never met and why would they invite them to their son-in-laws services?

An associate of mine from Active Rain, Monika McGillicuddy found out why when she actually had the misfortune of seeing "hate" for herself when a small foul group of people came to her town to picket the funeral of a young man who died in the war. Monika had no idea what was going on, she just knew it was pure hate and you can read her version of the meeting here... HATE. The minute I saw the photo, I knew who she had come across. Monika ran into same people my friends from work thought may come to their son-in-laws services to picket his funeral...

In 2005 I heard about this man that calls himself a Reverend began to picket funerals of soldiers who died in the war. He would carry signs of hate and scream at the mourners foul words of evil. The man reminded me of the evil man "Reverend Kane" in Poltergeist 2 the one that tried to get the little blond girl to go with him, remember that him? They don't look like twins, but they both have that coldness in their eyes. I got chills up my spine when I saw him.

A small band of bikers heard about this person and began to also show up at the funerals of soldiers to shield the families of the fallen hero's from this man and his followers. They would park their bikes near where the protesters were spewing their hate, reving their engines so that no one could hear this man and his followers.

The small band of bikers is now known as the Patriot Guard Riders and is over 100,000 strong.

This so called Reverend is from Kansas, his "church" is "Westboro Baptist Church" out of Topeka. However, no Baptist organization will recognize his church as a fellowship believing in the bible. The church members are mostly family of this hateful man who is a disbarred attorney. He has 13 kids, 11 are lawyers working for his family law firm. Two sons work for the the Kansas Dept. of Corrections and one for the Shawnee County Dept. of Corrections. (According to

The members of this so called church are not allowed to marry what they call "outsiders" and since many of the members of the church of all members of this mans family, well I'll leave you with that thought..

Unless you have been living under a rock the past week, you know this group was ordered to pay 11 million dollars to the father of a soldier whose funeral they disrupted. The daughter and one of their spokespeople were elated, yes, elated... You see this brought them more press. This is what they want. I guess I'm giving it to them too huh? Well I have a reason for that...

If ever you have the misfortune to come across this people, don't give in to their hate, do what the man in Monika's story did, turn your back on them and ignore them.

Do Not Let Them Get To You.

This is what they want.

If you turn your back on them, and don't show them your anger, you win, they lose. They want confrontation and fights. This is what they live for, don't give it to them. They want to become martyrs. Don't give it to them. The Patriot Guard Riders don't let it show if the words of hate get to them. They don't try to fight back with words or fists. The PGR will ignore these ugly people as if they weren't even there.

If you want to become a member of the Patriot Guard Riders, just sign up, you don't need to ride to be a member. There are no dues to pay, no sign up fees. Just go to their website and click on the "Click Here To Join" button, or just click the link I put in.

If you ever need the assistance of the Patriot Guard Riders, all you have to do is ask. They will be there for you whenever you need them.

Wildlife Rehabilitation of Daytona

Yes, I met a "rehabber", a person that takes in orphaned or injured animals and or mammals and cares for them until they can be released back into the wild or an appropriate home is found.

Steve calls me from work 8:15 one Tuesday morning, "You have to come see this, a baby raccoon is here at the shop following us around."

Me, "I'm about to leave the house, I'll call you when I'm at the corner so you can be at the shop when I get there" I'm thinking, ohhh there's going to be some great photo ops there!

Steve works at Bishops Glen, a "retirement comunity", taking care of the maintenance in the many different buildings there with a few other men.

The little raccoon took a liking to all the guys on the crew. As I pulled up he was following one of the guys around like a little puppy. Just a tiny little guy about the size of a 8lb cat.

They were trying to catch the critter in a box, apparently he is scaring the residents.

Steve starts to walk toward him with the box and the little guy runs towards a fence. Steve turns to walk away, next thing I know the little guy is literally following right at Steve's heels. As I turn to get my camera I hear a noise, I turn and the box is over the coon.

"Sigh" A missed shot!

The guys know this small creature will get out of this box fast, they slipped a piece of cardboard under the box and placed that box in a larger box, tape it, then went hunting for a cage.

Cage being found and the little guy placed inside the question now is what to do with him?

Isn't he cute? Honestly I want to bring him home and snuggle with him, he seems scared and lonely.

I remember seeing a mammal rescue website when I rescued that small bird earlier this summer so I volunteered to take him with me to work.

My major concern, cute as he was, is that this is a wild animal and this cage is very old, will it hold him? What if he were to get loose while I'm driving? Oh that could get ugly!

Well, he talked to me the whole way to Daytona, he was kind of upset and when I talked back to him it seemed to sooth him a bit. He didn't like that orange shag carpet on the floor of his cage, but hey who would blame him?

We arrive at the office and I bring him inside, tell my little traveler to make himself comfortable, my agent thinks I'm nuts. (He was also working floor the day I found the small bird) I get on the computer and start searching for this rescue organization.

Once again, it was a challenge to find the site. I tried different search words and phrases, no luck. "Try what you tried when you were searching for the bird lady" I thought to myself. BINGO! There's the site! (Ya think I would have saved it back in May, Right? You don't know me that well do you?)

Wildlife Rehabilitation of Daytona!

These guys will take in any lost or injured mammal, give it the care it needs and then release it if that is possible back into the wild.

What They Do: They will nurture orphans, tend to the sick, provide them with vet assistance, and give them a permanent home if so required.

I called right away and got a sweet lady's voice on the other end, I told her I had a baby racoon, she thought I was going to say I had a baby squirrel as it is "squirrel season" here in the Daytona Area.

She asked if he was in a cage and could she keep him in the cage until later that afternoon, can I bring him over?

By the way she is located at ..933 Beville Rd. Suite 102J, South Daytona, in Beville Rd Business ParkRight down the road from me! (this I remembered from May also, another reason to volunteer to take the small creature)

I dropped him off with her, at her place of business. We (the raccoon and I) had bonded, Jackie the rehabber told me this. Jackie told me that young raccoons bond quickly with people after losing their moms and she thinks thats why she was following Steve and the other guys around like he was. She also noticed he bonded with me very quickly too. Had I not had 4 cats at home, he would be a new family member!

There was a lot of eye contact with him and I, and something very sweet about that look in his little eyes. I do miss him but Jackie told me he is doing fine with his new raccoon family. She'll keep him about 2 months then let him out into the wild with a group of other raccoons.

Wildlife Rehabilitation of Daytona is constantly on the lookout for donations of:
Dry dog food
Dry cat food
Canned cat food
Paper Towels
Nuts, unsalted
baby blankets, towels
laundry detergent
Hav-a-hart or humane animal traps
Insulin syringes & Surplus Medical supplies
Tax-deductible contributions
Other ways to Donate
You can drop off the donations at the address I provided above.
If you need to contact Jackie you can call her at either 386-235-3751 or 767-2500, the 2nd number worked for me on that particular Tuesday.

Big Mike Griffin Brings His Biker Blues To Biketoberfest

Big Mike was awesome when he played at the Chophouse this past Biketoberfest!

Wish you all were there! We enjoyed some real good biker blues, Man can that man play a mean guitar!

When we met in April of this year, I was so busy running around the Bikes and Blues with Mickey Jones event for St. Judes Children's Hospital taking photos, I didn't get a chance to really listen to Mike play.

I also forgot how tall he is! I look like I am the size of a 10 yr old child next to him!

His lady Emilie was here with him too, it was so good to see both of them, I got huge hugs the minute I got there.

We were also treated to Emilie's beautiful voice as well. She did a little rock, a little blues (The lady can sing the blues!) a little Hound Dog too!

Everyone there really enjoyed the music. I saw two couples dancing, I bet everyone was tapping their feet. You can't help but not move something when you're listening to Big Mike!

Here, let me show you what I mean, I could only get two minutes on my camera, but it's enough that you get my point!

Online Videos by

Do You Remember When...

...TV Was Entertaining?

Recently a video has been floating around the internet from one of my favorite shows from the early 70's and it made me remember just how entertaining T.V. used to be.

Don't you remember? Come on, think hard, you're not that old!

Some of the Variety Shows that were on then were great. I remember Saturday night, oh around 70-71, this was the only night I was allowed to watch T.V. while eating dinner because The Sonny And Cher Comedy Hour was on. Dad gave Mom the night off from cooking and made home made pizza and we'd watch Cher in her Bob Mackie costumes make Sonny look the fool. Of course there were great 1/2 hour sitcoms then like All In The Family and The Jefferson's that started to "break the rules".

I probably didn't get half of what was being said then, but I still enjoyed the shows. However, I don't think any show ever could, can or will outdo The Carol Burnett Show. Ms. Burnett had the perfect cast of characters, there were none better. Ms. Burnett, Vicki Lawrence, Lyle Waggoner, Harvey Korman and Tim Conway, and occasionally Jim Neighbors.

This group of comedians together were a riot. Not only did the audience never know what to expect from the cast, the other cast members didn't know what to expect either as shown here in this clip called, "The Dentist".

I don't care how many times I've seen this I still laugh out loud when I watch it.