I got a call last week from the oldest son wanting me to pick him up because he was hurting and hungry. Many emotions swam over me at once-panic, dread, sorrow, heartache…my child has been in trouble for so long and it’s impossible for me to turn my back when he clearly needs me for the most basic essentials. I drove about a half an hour to a sketchy part of town and waited for him to come out to my car. The first thing I noticed was how gaunt his face looked. His pretty blue eyes did not shine and he was very pale. He was looking far older than his mere twenty-one years. He put his back-pack in the trunk and off we went.
Not knowing what to talk about, I left it up to him to speak first. He started telling me about how bad his legs hurt and how his head had been throbbing for days. He looked like a lost puppy. I didn’t bother asking him if he was hungry, instead driving straight to a drive thru. He wanted a double western bacon cheese burger. I got him the large combo and he was done with the fries within five minutes.
We got to the house and I suggested he shower and take a long hot one to wash away some of the filth that had surely attached itself to his wounded legs. He happily obliged. As he showered, many questions went through my head:
- what am I going to do with him?
- how long will he stay?
- is he going to try to break into the garage again?
- when are they going to have room for him at rehab?
I needed to get some laundry done and seeing as I’ve been house sitting for my mom, I could do it at her house. I told him that if he wanted to sleep here he should get me the sheets and blankets off his bed because I hadn’t touched anything since he’d left previously. His friend had given him some skateboard guts so that he could put his back together and he wondered if I’d take him to the skate shop so they’d put it together for him.
We got that done and I wondered if he’d turn around and sell it for drugs.
He left for awhile, happy, because he had a functioning skateboard again. It’s nice to see him with a genuine smile, even if it’s small because he’s exhausted.
Please don’t go get meth.
I got all of his bedding and clothing washed and left it folded in a bag in his room. I didn’t want to do too much because I didn’t know what to expect and didn’t want to be disappointed. And, as sorry as I felt for him, I didn’t want to bend over backwards just to be shat on again. He didn’t come home that night but showed up the next morning, put his sheets on his bed and promptly went to sleep. I asked him one time if he was doing alright and he said sleepily, “I haven’t been in a bed in so long.”
I checked on him periodically but he slept for almost five days. He got up to use the bathroom occasionally and I gave him a gallon of cran-raspberry juice to keep by his bed so he wouldn’t drink out of the container in the refrigerator. I didn’t see or hear much from him but I was content knowing he was safe and not in jail.
He wasn’t getting beat up by the police.
I assume that those five days were spent detoxing from meth and who knows what else. He swears he has not, nor will he ever, use heroin. Who knows. I told him they make that shit with so many chemicals that he may have inadvertently used it at one point. Of course, that’s a great way to get people even more hooked, right?
His legs are infected and draining. I brought him some antiseptic liquid that his supposed to clean the wounds and relieve some pain but if they still look the same tomorrow I’ll have to get him in to see a doctor. I’m not quite sure why the hospital spent thousands getting him cat-scans but wouldn’t bother to bandage his bleeding legs. He went directly to jail after the hospital and staph is a popular infection to pick up-especially having open wounds.
I try to make sense of the nonsensical and it leaves me frustrated.
For now, he is at home and I’m thankful. Relieved. He’s my firstborn. I had so many dreams and desires for him as I cradled him all those nights, years ago. My only wish now?
I didn’t post the other pictures showing the infected areas because they aren’t pleasant.