Matt, I got there as quickly as I could. Calling the hospital and lying that I was so sick and didn’t know how long before I would be better. You see, my precious son, I was so sick, sick with fear and hurting so bad for you.
When I arrived you were curled up on the couch. The dogs, who were guarding you looked at me with a sadness in their eyes that I had never seen before. Your dogs knew we were in trouble. They let me get near and put my hands on you. Oh God Matt, you were so pale and barely aware that I was there. At first I started to raise my voice, as my fear washed over me and I felt chills run over my body. You were unshaven, unshowered, your clothes smelled. I remembered how you hated to take showers as a boy. You would start the water and sit on the toilet after putting clean pj’s on. Thinking that I would not catch on. Funny how memories of what you were as a boy would come to mind as you became an adult. I spoke softly to you then, telling you I was here and everything would be ok. Your wails were like a wounded animal. We sat, you, me and the dogs all curled up until you had cried yourself out. You looked at me with such sadness. “Thanks Mom, I knew I could count on you. I love you Matt. I love you Mom.
You see my son, I had known your sadness. I though my world crashed to the ground when your father left. Just walking out on the three of us. I remember the shock and numbness of knowing that life as you plan it was not to be. Our only difference was that I had you and Mike to keep me going. If anyone could get you through this it was me. I’m you’re mom and that’s what mothers do, save our son’s. If only I knew how foolish I was to think I had the power to save you. Denial became my powerful friend, little did I know it would become my most powerful enemy.
We sat all curled up as one for hours until darkness came and the nurse mom kicked in. I remembered then how you and Mike would complain to your friends that you had a doubly whammy. You had a kick ass mom who was also a nurse! Nothing was getting past me!
Ok, enough of the pity party, I made you get up and forced you into the bathroom. My nurse mind now taking over. There would be no dirty patient on my watch. So here were are, you fighting that you were fine, me threatening to strip you naked cause you know Matt, there ain’t nothing I haven’t seen in my career as a nurse. Once you’ve seen your first naked body there isn’t much shock factor left. We struggled, I won.
While you showered I started my search. Your home was just as dirty as you. Dishes piled up in the sink that would not be washed but tossed. I went through the house making mental notes of what needed to be tossed, cleaned and bought. I went through your bedroom like I did when you were a teen living at home. I remember feeling stressed, listening for the water to stop and hoping you were really under the spray, not sitting on the toilet like you did as a boy. I kept thinking this was an invasion of your privacy as a man. This was your personal space, but kept going through your drawers, your bathroom cabinets shaking the guilt out of my mind. Mother’s instinct kept pushing me. I remember that feeling so clearly as I lifted your mattress and swept my hand right onto the bottle. My breath caught in my chest. Oh God, please don’t let this be happening again. I remember closing my eyes as I pulled my hand out and wrapped my fingers around the amber bottle, afraid of what I was about to find. I remember being very quiet, holding my breath and listening, afraid for the reaction if you saw what I had in my hand. OXYCONTIN……….Dear God, HELP……