The Time I Enabled an Addict to Shoot Up One More Time

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Let me start by saying this article is not about writing, it’s not about the fiction or stories we all love to read for a cozy escape from reality. It is about that reality. That cold, hard world we live in that sometimes seems to be filled with so much sadness and despair.
I was a fresh-faced 26 year-old nursing student back then. And much younger than I would feel an hour later. I had landed a spot in an ER rotation. Barely able to contain my excitement, I couldn’t wait for the opportunity to get in on the bustling action of the busy ER department. I sat in the corner of a small treatment room, listening to the experienced doctors and nurses shouting orders and patient conditions to one another in the hall. Up until this point, my clinical experience had been nothing short of monotonous. Don’t get me wrong, I love skilled nursing. But weeks upon weeks of changing patient’s bed at every nursing home in town was getting old. I was ready to learn some critical care skills.
I sat quietly with a nurse as she carefully sanitized her stethoscope. Quite nervous about what the evening would entail, I fidgeted in my seat, trying to think of a question to ask my mentor. Suddenly, the double doors flung open and slammed against the walls with a forceful bang. Startled, we both immediately stood. In came a stretcher pushed by two paramedics and a line of nurses along with two physicians.
It was a heroine overdose.
The tanned, Hispanic man was transferred to the gurney. Judging from his appearance, I’d say he was in his mid-thirties. The physician immediately intubated him and then handed me the bag, to force air into his lungs.
“I’ve never even done CPR before!” I protested in panic.
“Just squeeze,” he replied, giving me encouragement. “Squeeze. Count to three. Squeeze again.”
My hands shook. I was ready for excitement, but not this. How could I do this? I wasn’t experienced like everyone around me. What if I screwed up?
I didn’t have time to think anymore. So, I did as instructed. Deep breath. Squeeze. One, two, three. Squeeze again.
Before I knew it, he was on a ventilator and I was able to take a step back. Unsure of what other drugs he’d ingested, the physician ordered the nurse to administer a medication that would counteract any central nervous system depressants. Along with that, he was also given an antidote to Tylenol poisoning and Narcan. This was before Narcan was readily available to paramedics.
The medication stimulated him to wake. In a state of hysteria, he shot straight up, flailed his arms about, and tried to rip the tube out of his throat. Next, he grabbed at the IVs that were saving his life. While one nurse began to administer a sedative, I did as I was told and straddled his chest in an effort to hold him down so another nurse could push an NG tube up his nose and down his throat. He fought it. His body fought it. Blood and vomit spurted from his nose all over my scrubs, but I didn’t move.
It was the most horrific sight I had ever witnessed. And just as quickly as they came rushing into that room, it was over. The patient passed out. He stabilized and all became eerily quiet.
I couldn’t believe what I had just seen, what I been a part of.
As the crew began to straighten up the room and leave, I heard a doctor mumble in the background.
“Saved another one. He’ll be back.”
And he was right, more often than not, addicts relapse.
I washed my hands and left the room. My mind raced with all I had just learned while a part of me questioned whether it was all worth it. After all, if he is just going to use again, what’s the point? I just helped a junkie survive to shoot up again.
I walked into the hallway to find a young 3 or 4 year-old by sitting on the floor near the door. His grandmother stood next to him, leaning against the cold wall.

He asked her, “Is my daddy going to be alright?”
She didn’t answer.
I walked away.
Heading to the locker room in search of a clean scrub top, I realized something that made me understand life a little better than before.
I enabled a drug addict to use again.
I also enabled him to love again.
That boy would be able to hug his father again. That mother would be able to speak with her son again. There would be no funeral, not that week anyway.
A second chance may have come to the addict that night, but it came to his entire family as well. And each is as deserving as the other for that second chance.

I find it very discouraging to see so many speaking out against the public availability of Narcan. Have we ourselves never needed a second chance? What is the alternative? Death? I hate to be the one to tell you this, but death never taught anyone a lesson. The addict can’t come back from that and say- you know what? You were right!
The addict might use again. Or, he might not.
When it comes to the debate on public availability of Narcan, let’s focus on the might not, because at the end of the day, I bet that boy and that man were grateful for their second chance.
This may not be a work of fiction, but I still feel like it’s appropriate to share it on my blog. What are stories, if not real? Even when they’re made up. I think I can include this real-life experience with all my other hopeful stories, for the modern world.

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This Election Doesn’t Require My Reaction

The entire country seems to have lost it over the past week. Donald Trump will be our next president and there seems to be two very distinct reactions spreading around the world of social media.

1. Hooray-Huge win for the right!

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or

2. The apocalypse has begun.

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I have tried in vain to look at things from both perspectives and I am honestly having a hard time understanding either side.

On one hand, many on the right seem to be in a state of drunken joy that this result will somehow solve all of the wrongs in our country. As if one man could save us? As if one man could possibly be so perfect that he has a solution to every problem? Well, there was One who meets that criteria- Jesus Christ. Not Donald Trump.

On the other hand, there is sensationalism and intense fear being propagated on the left that the USA will somehow become a late 1930’s Germany. I even read a quote that stated something along the lines of future citizens will look back on this election in the same way that Germans look back on the beginning of Hitler’s leadership. This bothers me immensely. Why? Because Donald Trump hasn’t exterminated 6 million people. Let’s not devalue the significance of the Holocaust by making such a loose comparison.

Today I read a Facebook post in which the poster was asking what white people will do to protect minorities. Since I suppose I am one of those white people, my answer was simple and I hope easily understood.

I will do what I already do.

I will treat everyone I meet with dignity and respect.

I will stand up for people when I see them being wronged.

I will spread the message of God’s love and grace to anyone willing to hear.

This election doesn’t require my reaction.

What it requires is for me to continue being the person I am. To do what I know is right. To listen to understand, not to argue.

I am not a person who thinks either side is correct. I do not believe Donald Trump to be a hate-filled, venomous person. I believe him to be a fallen human in a fallen world, much like all of us. I also do not believe that abortion will suddenly end. I do not believe that he can solve all of our problems. As I stated earlier, only One is capable of saving the world-Jesus Christ.

What I do think is that if we all calm down a bit and simply remember to treat each other the way we want to be treated, everything will be just fine.

The spiteful and cruel comments I have read on social media over the past few days are more disgusting than the issues that are being argued. We need to remember that we are speaking to fellow human beings. That is a person you are yelling at. That is a soul you are degrading.

If we tear each other apart, it will be us that destroyed this country, not our leader.

Just some thoughts. I hope you all have a good week!

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6 Lies My Culture Tells Girls Everyday

So, its International Girls Day! Yay! Let’s all celebrate! Get half naked, post a few selfies, and some song lyrics that describe me just for what I’m worth!

Please note the intense sarcasm. I have a feeling I might get some backlash for this as it goes against the status quo, but guess who cares? *crickets*

I have compiled a short list of lies I am told, as a woman, by my own culture on a daily basis. These lies tend to lead us to believe that the above freedoms will somehow make us happy. Feel free to add your own in the comments!

1.) Your butt matters. I mean seriously, it matters so much. If you’re not rocking a booty a la Kim K, where do you even find your self worth? *eyeroll…next!

2.) The more social media attention a half naked picture gets, the better you are. No. Just no. Having men, who have a primal instinct to be attracted to you, tell you how hot you are does absolutely nothing to increase your worth or happiness. You’re basically just giving parts of yourself away to people undeserving of that intimate knowledge of you. Would you slice up a hundred dollar bill and pass it around for comments and likes? You’re worth much more than that.

3.) If a man cheats on his wife or girlfriend with you, that somehow makes you irresistible, enticing, or clever. Again, huge NOPE! If a man is unfaithful, he has his own issues he needs to work out. If he is unfaithful with you, you just unfortunately made yourself an easy target. Respect yourself more than that. You deserve loyalty (and so does his wife)!

4.) It’s normal for women to hate eachother. Guys, we are sisters! Stop trying to one up the girl next to you and work together!

5.) Shake your money-maker. ‘Nuff said.

6.) Being selfish is a good thing. Women are encouraged to put themselves first in order to find happiness. This is the biggest load of bull I have ever seen and not just for women. Selfishness will never lead to happiness for anybody.

These are just some random thoughts but I got to tell you, I’m so sick of it. I am a daughter of God, a follower of Jesus. I am worth So. Much. More. than all of this stuff.

My worth comes from Him. It is in my heart, my soul, and my mind.

Keep on, keeping on, ladies. Don’t believe the hype, you’re worth MORE. Spread the truth around!