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OK - here goes. We're adopting a daughter and she needs prayers. - Page 11

post #301 of 414
Hi sweetheart. Just want to throw my 2 cents worth in. I hope things are well with you and Naomi, she looks so sweet. If I can be of any help, holler.
post #302 of 414
Just to let you know I'm sending strength vibes to all 3 of you. Its a cliche, but it fits here....Love will conquer.
post #303 of 414
Laurie I hope that Naomi comes home soon. You are wonderful, wonderful people and you are exactly the right people to help Naomi through this tough period in her life.

Keeping you both and Naomi in my thoughts.

Sending lots of *pass the test* vibes for Tuesday.
post #304 of 414
Any news, Laurie?
post #305 of 414
Thread Starter 
GD it! I just posted a huge reply, and it disappeared! AARRGGHH!!!!!

I'll start over again............but I'll cut to the quick first. She's coming home Sunday. She only shot for two days - the heroin didn't get her high like it used to. We've met numerous times a friend of hers named Peter. He's 25 or 26, I don't remember. He does NOT do drugs. In fact, he had a full scholarship to go to Univ of Chicago med school. He only attended one year of premed before dropping out. I don't know what the whole story is - but now he writes occassionally for a NY paper. Anyway, he has a small apartment in a not-so-nice neighborhood in Brooklyn. He met Naomi when she was panhandling, and apparently he always made his place available to her to stay after they became friends. She didn't stay there much, though they would get together to go out to a movie or a meal sometimes, apparently... anyway, she went to Peter's, which we were VERY happy about, because now not only were we talking to Naomi daily, we got updates from Peter daily when she nodded out or fell asleep.

Because the heroin wasn't "working," she ended up going to a meth clinic out there. She stopped taking her other meds for a while, but started again last weekend. Mon/Tues our "normal" Naomi was back. She asked us to call the outpatient program out here to see if they'd take her back. Of course they will. They've believed from the beginning that she was too young to make it all in one go. Plus they really understand how terrifying it is to go from "homeless heroin addict" to "suburban Jersey girl."

What happened was several things. First of all, she's continued to gain weight. Apparently the meth makes you gain weight too - increases your appetite while slowing your metabolism. And Naomi is not just addicted to heroin (now methadone). She is an "addict," period. She smokes, she gets addicted to TV programs - and she gets addicted to food items. The first thing was a sort of mango ice/vanilla icecream twist pop type thing. She would go through an entire box in a day, despite her growing complaints about her weight and our cautions. The last food addiction was chamomile tea - with six tablespoons of honey (at 60 calories a Tbl) and like 6 or 8 teaspoons of cream (at like 40 calories a teaspoon) - so each tea was 500 - 600 calories, and she would drink 7 or 8 a day. (We did successfully move her to non-fat cream - but she wouldn't do it with even 2% milk!) Remember - 3500 calories is one pound, and at 5 feet with her slight frame, she only needs like 1200 - 1300 calories a day to maintain her ideal weight - plus she gets very little exercise. She'd shot up to 134 pounds, and she'd actually gotten a little chubby. So her "rationale" for going back on heroin was that she wanted to lose weight. She became obsessed with her weight.

Also, she gets to feeling really isolated out here. In NYC she can go where she wants, when she wants, and it's easy to get around. Out here, she won't have that freedom until she's clean so she can learn to drive and get a license. She doesn't have friends out here - though she does have activities - and despite the phone and the internet, she gets to feeling very isolated. And I can understand that.

Anyway, despite all the excuses, as soon as she realized the heroin wasn't going to get her high the way it used to, she went back to meth. And she did start taking her other meds again. She's coming home Sunday (as currently planned), and she's going to start the meth program all over again. She's back up to 60mg of meth, and at first she wanted the clinic to bring her down in 15 days (TOTALLY unrealistic!), but now she's willing to talk about doing it in 45 days (will still be REALLY difficult. They think 180 days is more realistic).

When Naomi is committed to doing something, she really is committed until something happens. I think what really did it this last time was the death of her friend Dawn. Dawn wanted to head from NYC to Oregon to hook up with some traveler friends of theirs. Dawn's friends got together and got enough heroin for Dawn to make it out there - and instead, Dawn hopped a train and shot it all up at once and OD'd. Why someone dying from a drug would make you want to do the drug, I don't know. But it was all just too much for baby girl.

So.... the latest is that she wants to look into nurse-type training programs (a two-year program) for the fall. She wants to join a doctors-without-borders type organization. I have to say - everytime she sets a goal (we've gone through so many), they're always very altruistic, and I really appreciate that about her. I have a feeling we'll do this another several hundred times before she actually find the willpower to quit. She always means it in the moment, but finding the willpower to make it all the way through is the hard part.

It's strange - it's been so "quiet" around here. Not that she makes much noise, it's not that - it just seems strange to have time to work, play with the cats, cook meals, be with each other - without attending to Naomi's needs - making sure she gets showered (which she still isn't into), gets to therapy, the clinic every day, etc. You'd think we'd enjoy a little peace and quiet, and in a way we have - but we miss her like the dickens.

She'll probably fall another gazillion times before this is over. But she took off because she understands we have just two rules about drug use. She can shoot heroin in our home - but only if she's not a danger to herself (besides the problems with the drug) or the cats without our intervention. She smokes, and she constantly nods off when on heroin, so unless we keep a constant eye on her, we run the risk of her burning the place down (all her clothes she wore while on heroin have burn holes in them). And she has to keep the door to her room closed - in case she's spilled any heroin, we do NOT want the cats walking on it! Also, she leaves food out and plastic bags on the floor - and none of that is acceptable because of the cats. So that's another reason she took off for NYC when she wanted to go back on heroin - she is incapable of not endangering herself or the animals when shooting, because she drops cigarettes and doesn't know it, forgets to close her door, etc. And while we were willing to handle all of that when she first moved in, we're not anymore. She's got a family that loves her, and we're willing to deal with her "handicaps," let's call them - but she has to participate responsibly.

Each time she's ready to come back and try again, we'll be here for her. My best guess is it'll be somewhere between two and five years before she's able to see it through. Especially because it's not just a straight get-off-heroin problem. It's her whole identity that is changing, and her entire state of mental health.

So hopefully this whole post won't disappear!

Oh - I passed my exam! I've got all the licenses I need to fully rejoin the wall-street work force in the capacity of a publishing analyst. Gary and I have been allowed to call our customers and basically be brokers - but that's never been what we've been about. We're stock pickers and publish our research - and because of Sarbanes-Oxley and the investment banking conflict of interest that came to light re: research, a slew of new regulatory requirements were enacted over the past year, especially as regards analysts. But I'm all licensed up now, so we'll be back to business as usual real soon.
post #306 of 414
Thread Starter 
I know what I forgot to write in this post that I wrote in the first one! I was so moved by the so many people who care. I really feel like the luckiest woman in the world - and to have found TCS.... I had tears streaming down my face as I read the reply posts. It's so encouraging to know so many people care about what happens to Naomi. She is a very lucky woman to have so many wonderful people thinking about and rooting for her! Thank you all SO MUCH!!!!!!!!!!!
post #307 of 414
Laurie - I'm so glad to hear a positive update - I was sure the update would be positive, I just felt it.

I hope everything goes ok on Sunday and that Naomi gets home safe and sound.

Well done on the test !!!! That's great news
post #308 of 414
Laurie, you have such a realistic assessment of Naomi's situation and behavior that I'm speechless, and have somehow lost the fear that you're going to be crushed if things don't work out. It's awesome that you and Gary are voluntarily putting yourselves through this. I'm sure I couldn't be so selfless. Hang in there! And congratulations on being relicensed!
post #309 of 414
I agree and disagree with JCat. You are very realistic about Naomi, but if she never gets clean, you will be crushed. I've only just started hearing about Naomi, and honestly, I will be crushed too, if anything really bad happens to her. But how does that song go-dance like nobody's watching, love like you've never been hurt...

Maybe the added affection we have for Naomi can help her. Certainly, I know our prayers will help. She does have a tough job ahead of her, but she also has a strong will and loving family, so I hope she achieves her goals.

Laurie, some psych meds can drastically increase the appetite. She needs to discuss this with her doc. Sometimes it is hard, when someone begins to get well, all of the sudden food tastes good again. And like you said, if she is the type to overdo anything, food will be one of those things.

Thanks very much for the update. Your family's story has really touched my heart!
post #310 of 414
wow...what a roller-coaster!!! I really hope and pray that Naomi will have some kind of awakening soon and will stick to the rehab and get better!!! You and your hubby are so amazing to be helping her so much and sticking by her through all of the thick and thins.

Congratulations on passing your tests!!! That is wonderful!!!

I'll continue to keep up with your posts and will also keep sending positive vibes your way!!!

post #311 of 414
Thread Starter 
Lacey, for better or worse, it will probably always be a roller coaster with our Sunshine. Even if she does succeed in getting off the meth without returning to heroin, she is mentally ill. And then there's always the question of how long will it be before she returns to using heroin or something else.... I'm sure it will be a constant battle for her.

She did come home Sunday. And she is regularly taking the 20mg of Paxil, and it seems to make such a difference. She's more or less keeping an almost normal human schedule (meaning that she gets up in the morning and goes to sleep at night), and she's been keeping her appointments. She surprised the heck out of Howard (the guy who runs the meth clinic out here). He's never seen her like this. When Gary and I chatted with him prior to her returning, he said "She was committed and determined - and we've seen it a million times, when the heroin doesn't get them high and you're talking to them after they wake up and before they've done their meth for the day..."

But she shocked him! She took two hours to fill out all the paperwork, signed the agreements agreeing to all of their conditions and counseling requirements, etc., and talked to him very seriously about over what period of time she should come down. Her doc appt is Monday, and now she's thinking she should probably talk to them about coming down over 90 days, though we're still encouraging 180.

She's been spending time on the net - she really wants to start with emergency medical training, so she can get into a nurse-type program. So far, she still really wants to participate in a Red Cross type organization, or a Doctors-without-borders type of thing. Of course she's still interested in writing, and in fact is keeping it up.

This is the most "normal" week we've ever had with her. She really wants to head into NYC for the May-day parade and some protest pro-immigrant workers rights. Gary and I are quite sure that we did all of that when we were her age and we don't want to do that now - so Peter is picking her up Sunday morning for a "NYC day" and bringing her home Sunday night.

post #312 of 414
Thread Starter 
Beckiboo - most of the mood stabilizing drugs increase the appetite. She read about this in an article in a diet magazine and freaked a few weeks ago - and wanted to stop the Paxil immediately. In the end we did talk her out of that. And as diet and exercise seem to be working, she's comfortable remaining on her Paxil. Now she's more addicted to losing weight than eating, so she's sticking to her diet like flies to honey.
post #313 of 414
YAY!!! I'm so happy that she is doing better! That is wonderful news, Laurie!!! Seriously, one of you should really write a book about this someday! God bless you all and I will continue to keep you in my prayers. It sounds like she's on the right track right now!
post #314 of 414
Laurie - I'm so happy that you're enjoying a period of stability with Naomi. Long may it continue . Sending lots of positive thoughts to your loving family unit to help it stay strong through the days ahead.
post #315 of 414
Good news! You are saints, and I hope Naomi continues to deserve your trust.
post #316 of 414
Glad to hear of the updates, Lorie. May she continue on the right path!
post #317 of 414
Originally Posted by LDG
Beckiboo - most of the mood stabilizing drugs increase the appetite. She read about this in an article in a diet magazine and freaked a few weeks ago - and wanted to stop the Paxil immediately. In the end we did talk her out of that. And as diet and exercise seem to be working, she's comfortable remaining on her Paxil. Now she's more addicted to losing weight than eating, so she's sticking to her diet like flies to honey.
Yes, you're right. Let her know Paxil is usually just 5-10 lbs, and that is usually for people who are underweight to start with. A few others like Remeron can cause some people to just keep on growing. Paxil is very effective, I'm glad it is helping her.

Sounds like she is doing great currently, that is good news. How about you and Gary? Is he feeling any better?
post #318 of 414
Glad to hear an update Laurie! Sounds like she's got the right mindset this time. She couldn't ask for more supportive parents.
post #319 of 414
Thanks for the update Laurie!
post #320 of 414
WOW! I had some catching up to do here! And again, what a lot you have all been through -- and so early in the game. But it is wonderful to hear this latest positive news. Lorie, you guys are amazing -- you have my continued prayers and good thoughts, for continued success -- and for perseverence in the less positive times. to you all.
post #321 of 414
Im so glad to hear this good news!!! I hope it all stays this well for you all
post #322 of 414
Not sure this is of any use to you and Naomi, but Wellbutrin (anti-depressant category) you may ask if this would be helpful to her.
It's very helpful for some, including myself.

Sometimes is used in combination with the Paxil.

Just an idea.......
post #323 of 414
Laurie, I continue to be amazed at the amount of patience and love you have. You and Gary are truly inspiring.

Someone said that you don't see this kind of help anymore, I forget who, it was a few pages back--sorry! I think there are more people willing to help than what we realize. The news media just focuses on the negatives of everything. Thanks for reminding us that there are still caring people in the world.
post #324 of 414
I'm so glad you posted an update. I was thinking about this the other day! It's wonderful to hear that Naomi is on the right track again! Good luck and God bless to you and your family!
post #325 of 414
Laurie, I have been following the story from afar (thank you Mary Anne!). Just wanted to say hi and send you and Gary a big hug!
post #326 of 414
Thread Starter 
Thanks Anne, and thanks all!!!!! Well - it's been quite a while since I posted an update. I don't really know where to begin except at the end, I guess.

I did post the update that Naomi moved back home. Since then, she wanted to see her biological mom, so we paid for a ticket for her to go to Springfield, Mass where they were going to meet up. She spent a Saturday afternoon and night with her at a hotel there, and we drove up Sunday and had dinner with them both and drove Naomi back home. It was a bit awkward, but we all survived. Naomi then wanted to get the rest of her things - she had a few boxes and all her child pics still at her biological father's. She didn't want us to meet Will, so we rented a van for her and Peter, and he drove her up there, collected all her things, and brought them all back here.

Peter's been around a lot - it really helps that he can get her to the methadone clinic when we've got a busy day with work. It also helps that he at least finished preMed, so it's almost like having a care worker to help out. The problems really started when Gary had to have the colonoscopy and needed surgery. Obviously it freaked her out, and instead of being able to express her care in a normal human way, she expressed it in her mentally ill ways. Of course that coincided just when Gary could deal with it the least, so the past few weeks have been quite hellish. I suggested a "mental health" break for everyone, and suggested to Naomi that she spend last weekend with Peter, and she totally agreed. The problem is that they had to get back out here to the methadone clinic Saturday morning, and the hours on Sat are only 8:00am to 10:00am. (They're open Mon - Fri until 12:30, she's a late sleeper - and it takes us about half an hour to get there, but it takes her about 2 hours to get there from Brooklyn). So, of course they left late, and missed getting to the clinic on time. Gary and I were sure they'd head back to the city so she could score heroin, and we basically said goodbye to all the progress she's made.

Surprise Surprise! Naomi did score, of course - she had to - but she didn't score heroin, she scored methadone! They drug test at the meth clinic randomly, and obviously because she missed Saturday (which meant she missed Sunday as well - they give you Sunday's bottle on Saturday because they're not open Sundays), they tested her Monday. NO HEROIN!!!!!!!!!! I cannot tell you how proud we were.

The other progress is that this meth clinic is VERY strict, and they require two group meetings a week, at least one meeting with a staff counselor each week, at least one outside therapist meeting each week - and Gary and I insist on family counseling each week. Before she officially joined this clinic, there were a LOT of therapist appointments that got cancelled or just missed - and this entire month she's made every appointment. She's been going to lots of NA (narcotics anonymous) meetings - and apparently there are two out here that are small groups with younger people, and she really likes them - in fact, has made several friends.

She DID get addicted to losing weight, and goes to the YMCA (newly opened in January and 10 minutes away from here) EVERY day. She works out anywhere from one hour to four hours.

But.... she's not used to a family environment, she hasn't ever really had to care about anyone other than herself, she's built up many, many defenses - some of which Gary began to react to personally because he was all stressed out because of his health. Although technically she doesn't have "Reactive Attachment Disorder," she's what could be considered borderline. And one of the symptoms of that is that she tries to draw us into fights, because a hostile family atmosphere is what she knows and feels comfortable in - and it gives her a sense of control and that she "wins." Because of his health, stress, issues at work and being sleep deprived, the past few weeks Gary kept letting himself get sucked into this.

He fell into a serious depression, and it all came to a head today when I slapped him and told him to snap out of it. We went to see an emergency shrink, and the new perspective was really helpful.

Naomi acknowledged (for the first time) that she doesn't know how to express caring. She says she cares a lot, but is unable to translate it into action. And she saw this really for the first time today. Gary saw how he'd been getting sucked into her need for argument.... and long story short (again, lol!), Naomi acknowledges that what she really needs is long term residential treatment. We can't afford it, but she qualifies for medicaid, and today's therapist knows of several residential programs that have very highly skilled/trained staff that accept medicaid.

So the paperwork began.... it looks like she'll be going to a program called "Straight and Narrow." It's not far from here. It is a Christian organization, but Naomi is OK with that. This is a "MICA" program (Mentally Ill, Chemicallly Addicted), and she'll be on methadone during the program. We don't know if they'll continue to detox her or not, but the main point is to get psychological help, not get off the methadone. She can finish doing that at the clinic here. She thinks she needs to stay for at least three months, maybe six. But she wants to learn how to translate what she feels into action - appropriately. And for a while she wanted off the Paxil, but now she wants to work to find the right mix of drugs so she can "be like other people."

So.... of course it's been an incredible roller coaster, but I must say, I am so proud of her. She's gone through cycles of admitting she knows she's mentally ill to denying it. She doesn't remember a lot of her actions when they're negative for other people, and now she thinks we're not lying about it.

At least for now. But that she's stuck with this program this long - and despite having missed the clinic that weekend.... I guess making all her therapy appointments really is helping.

So we don't know when she'll be going in. There's a lot of paperwork involved in getting the medicaid card. And there's a waiting list. But so far it seems like she really wants to do this, and will be discussing it with both her counselor at the clinic tomorrow, and her individual therapist on Wednesday. I can't imagine that either one of them is going to discourage this decision!

So....the family roller coaster continues. But I think we may have finally hit a section where we don't have to roll upside down for a little while.
post #327 of 414
Oh wow Laurie - I continue to have admiration for you three - your tale is so amazing!
post #328 of 414
ldg, good luck! i will pray for you and gary and noami. you and your husband have so much strength and faith! i know you can all get through it. what an amazing story. i admire you so much. you and gary have the best hearts ever.
post #329 of 414
Yay, Naomi! Great progress. And I hope Gary starts sleeping better, and feeling better emotionally and physically. And Laurie, are you taking care of yourself, too?

Thanks for the update. I'm very happy for your family, as you handle the bumps life is handing you.
post #330 of 414
Wow good luck
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