If you see what’s in front of you, that means you have to do something about it…
And what are you willing to do about it?
Oprah just asked me this question from the television in the corner of my kitchen. How did she know that at that very moment, I was daydreaming about what we were going through with M a year ago today.
The school day began like most: drink a cup of coffee, read the paper, hop in shower. But it was during Step 4…wake boys, when things began to get strange. My husband returned from making sure M was up and moving, and said, “I think there’s something wrong with him. He looks different and he says he feels strange.” Seconds later, I found him sitting erect on the couch in the basement, television blaring, while he was playing his PSP. This is exactly where he was when I said “Goodnight” to him before bed.
M blurted, “Mom, there’s something wrong with me – I haven’t slept yet – my heart is going so fast.” His movements were foreign to me, his eyes were darting everywhere, and his words were desperate, “What’s wrong with me, mom?”
His answers to my questions weren’t getting me anywhere – What did you eat last night? Nothing. How long have you been feeling like this? All night. Did you take something? No. Did you try to sleep? I tried.
We were in the doctor’s office at 8:00 – And we were on our way to the hospital by 9:00. His heart rate was through the roof, his pupils were dilated, he was jumpy and paranoid too. We arrived at the hospital, but he could not walk, so I ran in and found a wheelchair. As we waited together to be seen, he began to moan, then cried out that he was dying. At that point, a nurse wheeled him into a room, and soon we were shuffled through different phases of the hospital’s lab. Blood was drawn, urine was collected, eyes were tested, everything was examined, but nobody could tell me what was wrong with him.
Hours later, his vitals began to look more “normal,” and we were told that we could bring him home. As we neared our house, my phone rang. It was the nurse from our pediatrician’s office asking us to bring him back to their office. It was almost 5:00. With fear racing through my body, I maneuvered the car to Dr. K’s office.
The blood results came back with extremely high levels of amphetamines.
In private, M admitted to his doctor that he had found his old bottle of ADD medicine in a kitchen cabinet the night before. He decided to take a few because “kids at school do it and he wanted to see what it felt like.”
Experimentation, denial, and a complete lack of concern for his health – This was the beginning of something that would be repeated many times, over the course of the next year.
I’m fairly certain that this was the beginning of seeing what was in front of me. I didn’t know it yet, but the journey was starting to kick into high gear.