Originally Posted by JeDuMiHaMama
....You seem to realize that the only predictable thing about this journey, is its unpredicability! ...
Wow - you can say THAT again, lol! I am now armed with all kinds of parenting books - adopting older teens, troubled teens, parenting skill stuff - most of them at the rec of our family therapist. We had our first family therapy session yesterday, and we're going for our second tomorrow. We also saw our allergist. She is, indeed, allergic to Saboxone, which is a real problem. It is the drug every detox center uses. There are sort of alternatives, but they're not great. And though we were never interested in the methodone option, she was - but NJ law changed, and you have to be 25 now to even be able to use that to detox from heroine. We've been doing a LOT of research on detox, and given the structure of most programs and this interminable wait, we have decided to separate the detox process from the rehab process. I'll update where we are on that after the fun stuff.
She calls us mom and dad now, and it's amazing how comfortable we all are with it so quickly. She's beginning to act like a "normal" teen at home (and shopping) - well - as normal as a heroine addict can be - I just meant the attitude and mood swings... so let's just say - while we still have an outrageous time with her, the nightmare has as well begun
. At least Gary and I KNEW we weren't prepared for this, lol! Thank God we decided to get the family therapy going when we did.
Anyway, her room is slowly coming together, and trying to do this while not winding up with a completely spoiled teen because we can't stand fighting or the scenes in the stores is quite a challenge, but we're doing our best. (The funniest of it all is that after it's all done and over and we're back home, she always apologizes for having tried to be so selfish and says things like - "I didn't mean to be such a brat." - and other stuff, like she really does appreciate us being strict with her, so we should keep it up even when she doesn't want us to. How amazing is that? I don't know any parent that gets that kind of feedback. I don't know how long it will last, but at least we get those moments to make up for all the nonsense. We do tell her it's normal for kids to be like that, and we'll all work on her concern over expressing herself, and we'll work with the therapist on expressing herself appropriately, but we're not going anywhere or dumping her anywhere no matter what happens. She's going to test and test and test and test and test, and we all know it. "Naomi, this is just another test, and we're going to pass it, so why don't you just stop it now....").
Before, she had exactly three outfits - which she wore all at the same time, she'd just change which layer was on top. We managed to get out with her to purchase some clothes - and I never mentioned that very first night here we got her into some of my pajamas, and all of her clothes got washed several times. But as to the shopping... of course Gary and I wanted to head to Lord & Taylor or Macy's or something - and we ended up at Urban Outfitters and Hot Topic. We're such uncool parents - who knows what teens are into? They all look like streetwalkers to us (which is so ironic in a way, though her "trade" was panhandling....).
But shopping with someone in her condition is.... quite a challenge. She gets distracted by everything, can't decide on anything - and doesn't really want that much, because she is NOT into material possessions. We bought two pairs of slacks (the kind that sit on your hips), several t-shirts, some of those undershirt things that you layer with, underwear, socks, a short blazer-type jacket, a black cashmere/wool blend sweater (dressy), and a funky DKNY plaid skirt (the sweater and skirt are for "dress up" if we need to go to a nice restaurant or something. The grand opening of the new YMCA here is this weekend, and Gary's a director there and we've been very involved in fund-raising, creating the program to support mentally retarded adults with no family - and we are really debating about whether to bring Naomi to the grand opening or not go. But at least she's got something to wear for it now). Oh - and two "hoodies." ?? This was something new to me. They look like little jackets with zips that you wear in Spring or Fall. So - I must be a great mom, because I'm so out of it in terms of what's cool, lol!
The one thing she did have a surprising amount of (and which she couldn't carry with her, which is why she had to round her stuff up from all her various stashing places) is books. Her room is quite small (we like to think of it as cozy), so we thought she ought to go with those "ladder" bookshelves (like we have in our living room) - you get a lot of shelf per horizontal space. But she fell in love with this baker's rack. So... so far, we've got a futon platform type bed with drawers under it (spacesaver), a baker's rack, a saucer chair and a funky 60's end-table. She is completely obsessed with how much everything costs, and she doesn't want us spending "too much" money on her. She's terrified we'll "get rid of her" if she costs us too much, though we're working on this too. The only other thing she really wants is a vanity - large enough to be a desk too. This should be interesting to find.
So we had two somewhat hellish shopping trips (though Gary LOVED running around with her and responding to "Hey Dad, what do you think of this?" "Honey, I wouldn't be caught dead being seen with you wearing that." So, of course we're complete prudes, but we achieved a happy medium. ...and then there was, of course, Naomi wandering around in a daze, and saying - "this is just so hard! I get so distracted by everything because of the heroine, I just can't focus"
- then looking up with those huge doe eyes saying - ooops! Did I just say that out loud?
.... and about a million heads turn. Gary looks around nodding - like - OK - and says - yes, my daughter, working on becoming a recovering heroine addict....
OK. So.... detox. I can't be sure, but I think we're close to having called every rehab facility in NJ, and certainly a large percentage of the detox units. Of course a lot have combo programs, but what we decided to do because of her allergy to Saboxone is find a psychiatrist with a specialty in opiate addiction, dual diagnosis (treat the psyche, not the addiction), and someone who's a member of the American Society of Addiction Medicine to counsel us in what to do apart from sit here and wait for a bed.
We found someone amazing, and what we are going to do is pretty unconventional. (Of course, this IS us we're talking about in the end). There is a detox network run by former junkies that uses a very nontraditional combination of "drugs" that do not require FDA approval because they are herbs, not drugs. I found several studies on this one particular treatment, and it is being used conventionally in Europe, which is why there are some longer term studies available. The side-effects and problems with toxicity are low. This particular network doesn't have someone locally available until Feb 9 - but because we are willing to have a - I forgot what they call them - counselor, guide - whatever it is fly here, we should be able to start detox within a few days. They have centers near here, and we will be at their facility, because it's right next to a hospital in the event that there are any problems. Our ASAM psych/doctor will be prescribing some of the traditional stuff - colonpin (relaxant), colondine (to stop that feeling like you're crawling out of your skin), xanax (anxiety)... This network does does work with the hospital, though aren't officially part of any hospital program. (The problem with this detox option isn't the physical space, it's the availability of personnel). We should find out today or tomorrow when someone's going to be available to fly out here, and we were told to expect that it could be as early as tomorrow or Friday, but not to get our hopes up. Our ASAM psychiatrist (PhD and M.D.) is familiar with this network, but can't officially recommend it - but unofficially says that given the right circumstances coming out of this detox program, it has been known to be very successful. The important thing is that we will be with Naomi (even though every "normal" detox program prohibits this and says we don't want to be there - Gary went through detox 30 years ago and agrees that we don't want to be there, but from experience knows it'd be so much better/nicer for her if we are), and her opiate specialist psych in combo with our family psych are working out a rehab program that combines something like narcotics anonymous meetings (group therapy), individual therapy, and family therapy.
We will be heading out to Canyon Ranch in Massachussettes after detox, and both psychs think this is a good way to get back on a schedule of being up in the morning and going to sleep at night, getting some much needed exercise, fresh air, saunas, swims, yoga, acupuncture, etc. - and without us being the "bad guys" enforcing it (which was our thinking to begin with!).
So.... for now, we're just to let her sleep as much as possible (which running at about 18 hours a day). She's using half of what she did before she got here, and quite frankly, her ASAM psych is amazed, given the level of anxiety she must have knowing what's coming down the pike, all of a sudden having a home and family and stuff - and that she's being vulnerable enough to be taken care of is apparently one of the most amazing things.
So there you have it. Naomi is now the one calling the rehab network every day to remind them we're waiting for someone (
) (of course they know this very well, but they are quite used to working with heroine addicts who can't wait once they've made the decision to detox) - so we HAVE to believe she is committed to doing this. We'll see when push comes to shove, but at least for now........