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ClaudiasSister

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Posts: 41
Reply with quote  #1 
To all on these boards who are messing around or struggling with computer dusters (or inhalants of any kind), PLEASE HEAR ME!

On the night of July 1, 2009 my 46-year old sister, Claudia (she was living with me and my husband), said she felt very ill. Terrible vomiting, said she was feeling like she had asthma, said her hands felt tingly and numb. I begged her to let me take her to ER, but she said it was "just the flu" and she just needed to sleep. I checked on her every 30 minutes and she seemed to be calming down, so I finally went to sleep at around midnight.

The next morning I got up and made her a cup of camomile tea. When I opened the door to the hallway where her bedroom & bathroom were, I found her lying face up on the bathroom floor.

DEAD. COLD. BLUE. STIFF. DEAD.

I will spare you the complete and total loss of my mind throughout that day and the next and next and next (repeat over and over forever)...but I will tell you that on the day I found her dead on the floor, my husband went into her car and brought in bags of empty computer duster canisters. The car was littered with the tiny straws that come with them and all the ripped-off tabs that open them up. There was also bags full of paper towels filled with dried vomit.

She never told anyone what she was doing. Not even the night before she died -- never told me she was sick from huffing computer duster! -- so that I might have been able to get her to the ER and possibly save her life.

The coroner's autopsy report and her official signed death certificate "cause of death" reads "ACUTE DIFLUOROETHANE INTOXOCATION" -- that's the active poison ingredient that is inside a can of computer duster. That is what killed her. THAT IS WHAT WILL KILL YOU IF YOU DO NOT STOP NOW!

My older sister and I are all that's left of our family. Our parents died alcoholic deaths. Our baby sister's death by huffing computer dusters is a shock we will NEVER recover from. Yes, we must move forward, but our lives will never be the same again and we miss her so deeply all of the time that it's like a never-ending full-body pain.

YES, YOU CAN DIE FROM A CHEAP CAN OF DUSTING SPRAY!!!

LISTEN: You are a worthwhile and precious human being, and no matter what your life problems are, they can and will improve if you are "in the solution, not the problem". Life can be wonderful without drugs, substances, numbers, avoiders, fake highs...

I know this for a fact: I have been clean and sober for 6 years. My husband has been clean & sober for 8 years. He was a 12-year meth addict and one of Las Vegas' busiest crystal meth cooks. He nearly died himself. He entered rehab wearing someone else's clothes (oversized pants tied with a rope cuz he was so skinny and sick), someone else's eyeglasses, someone else's empty wallet, not a dime to his name. After rehab, at only 90 days clean, and fully committed to living a life of recovery, he volunteered -- gave himself up -- to be extradited to Vegas to face meth manufacturing charges against him in Nevada. He was facing 15-25 years in prison. By some miracle of the loving, healing god-source at the center of the universe, the charges against him were dropped! We still cannot believe or understand how this happened. Because gaining his freedom allowed him to have the life he has today in which he gives back with deep gratitude what was so freely given to him in the rooms of recovery. Today, he is a General Foreman for one of the nation's largest structural steel construction companies, and he is devoted to the many guys starting out in their recovery. He has a loving, rewarding relationship with his mother and father and many siblings where there was once nothing but the lie-spewing stranger who exploited and manipulated them all and who they wanted nothing to do with. He goes to meetings, he surfs, and we have much laughter, happiness, love, peace, and HEALTH together. He chose LIFE, and so can you!

My 46-year old sister's addiction forced her to keep her huffing a secret, right up to the second she died. She could be here with me right now, sharing our funny little jokes and stuff, if not for the fact that: IN PART, ADDICTION KILLS YOU BY MAKING YOU KEEP YOUR SHAME-FILLED ACTIONS SECRET. "You're only as sick as your secrets." Yes, and they can also kill you.

Change is possible for you!

KNOW THIS:

1) Computer Dusters ARE NOT AIR - not compressed, canned, not whatever. It is a fluoro hydrocarbon...like the freon that keeps your car cool...a poisonous substance, PERIOD. No "air" about it!

2) It is NOT just a teenage problem -- although teens are more likely to experiement or be pressured by their peers. No, no, no -- Computer Dusters are killing just as many full-grown, past-40 adults (like my sister) as teens.

3) Computer Duster huffing DOES NOT always kill SUDDENLY (aka: "Sudden Sniffing Syndrome"). My sister was sick the night she died for at least 7 hours. ACUTE DIFLUOROETHANE INTOXOCATION caused her to undergo cardiac arrythmia which begins with loss of consciousness, then heart failure, then death --- not always a writhing, groping, loud death at all -- and not always suddenly with the can still nearby.

4) Law enforcement (here in San Diego, at least) often has no clue what is involved with Computer Dusters. Four days before Claudia died, my sister received two tickets on two subsequent days in a row. One officer wrote "tuolene for the purpose of intoxication", the other wrote "nitrous oxide". Both of them cited her under the ONE, SINGLE & ONLY state Penal Code that has to do with inhalant possession and abuse, and which covers paint, whippets, etc., but DOES NOT include the psuedo-air propellants of products like Dust Off whatsoever. That code on the books was simply the only code they could "fit" her possession and abuse of Computer Dusters under. California -- all states -- must amend the Penal Code to include Computer Duster type propellants.
     Since she died, whenever I see a cop or a group of cops, I stop them and ask them their knowledge of Dusters. Honestly: Every single one I've talked to (at least 25 in a year) says the same thing to me: They have no idea what they're made of and not one has said they knew they could kill you.

5) Bittering agents do not NOT slow the abuse of Computer Duster type products. Users just grin and bear the horrible taste it in order to get a ridiculously brief and deadly high.

PLEASE GET HELP NOW!
YOU CAN STOP!
YOU CAN CHANGE!
LIFE IS GREAT WITH A CLEAR MIND & HEART!
AND PEOPLE ARE IN HERE & OUT THERE WHO WANT TO LOVE & HELP YOU!

I apologize for the length of this post, but I am desperate to save even one life from this INSANITY.

With great love to all those suffering,
Lisa

__________________
"When it comes inhalants, your NEXT breath could be your LAST." © Lisa Hart, 2010
cerrick

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Posts: 46
Reply with quote  #2 
I also lost my sister to computer dusting spray. She died on December 28, 2009. The hurt is almost unbearable at times. I understand your plead. Together I think all of us, as survivors can make a difference. We need to write to our Congressmen, tell our stories, and find a way to get "duster" off the shelves. I am so sorry for your loss and feel your pain.

Feel free to e-mail me anytime.


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Sister of "Lostgirl"
ClaudiasSister

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Posts: 41
Reply with quote  #3 
Dear cerrick,

Thank you for your kind response. And please accept my deepest sympathy to you as well (and your family) over the sorrowful death of your own sister.

Before posting this reply back to you, I went and read all your posts, as well as your sister's, and my heart broke all over again. The tragedy created from of this unique form of substance abuse has, to my mind at least, taken us all far beyond the typical outlook of addiction as "cunning, baffling and powerful" (to quote a popular 12-step aphorism). To die from inhaling a $4 cleaning spray is "baffling" beyond belief. In the case of its young victims, the ability for a substance that sits on a shelf next to school paper and pencils to so easily, cheaply and preposterously render so many brief lives is a form of "powerful" bordering on evil. Death happens. Addiction happens. Both are accepted realities. But this kind of addiction and the dying from it is just unreal and senseless. And, one would think, so senseless as to be avoidable. But no.

My sister was an alcoholic from a young age, becoming severe in the last 10 years. I feared her life would end from that insidious dependency. But never in my farthest flung, wildest nights of dread could I have ever imagined she would leave this earth as a result of breathing a dust-cleaning product. It's just such a nightmare.

I read the posts of the young huffers on these boards and wish there was a way to get it into their heads that although their tender ages may make them feel immortal and immune as their playing with their new toy of a high, the reality is that in the Age of Huffing the end of your life is just one breath away.

I am here for you, too, cerrick.
I am here for everyone who has lost the most precious people in their lives.

Love, Lisa Hart

I need to find a way to create meaning from the senselessness of death by inhalants.

__________________
"When it comes inhalants, your NEXT breath could be your LAST." © Lisa Hart, 2010
Lisab

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Posts: 44
Reply with quote  #4 
Dear Lisa,
its frightening but true, i have been sniffing for years and years in silence no one knows like you
 
i want to stop.. part pof me feels that it cant hurt me only relax me,  i have tried duster,  never again years ago 
that stuff is horrible and should be outlawed
i had frosbite on my arm from it too
 
see people dont realize who dangerous this is,  and when i sniff i dont realize it either
 
we have to help each other
i wake up in the morning thinking how i sniff today and plan on the time to sniff and how and where   i didnt realize how much time and effort i put into sniff a chemcial,  it sound insane , and it is .  there are so many things i can do beside planning to sniff 
 
i have to be strong its hard
i never leave home without it , its near me now.. i just have to throw it away..
i suppose you sister was like me- she tried to to throw it away , she thought one more sniff thats all...but once you start you cant stop you do another than another
    
 
ClaudiasSister

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Posts: 41
Reply with quote  #5 
Dearest Lisab,

     In terms of "being strong", you simply cannot do it in isolation. In other words, you (we, all those chemically dependent) ABSOLUTELY REQUIRE a support system of like-minded recovering addicts to help us learn how to find that strength and maintain it.
     The greatest gift you will ever give yourself is involvement in some form of recovery group -- Narcotics Anonymous is one of the best, if not THE BEST, and it's free.
     We simply CANNOT fight such a powerful demon as addiction ALL ALONE. Yes...sure...of course...it sounds terribly scary to walk into a room full of complete strangers, but believe me, they are NOT strangers to you at all. Each one of the people in the rooms of recovery speak your "language", keenly knows and deeply empathizes with your struggle, and they are there & waiting to help you through the POWER OF FELLOWSHIP. Because your addictive thinking loves nothing more than when you are marooned alone in your rationlizing head, totally vulnerable to its destructive voice.

There's a saying in the recovery world: "Your mind is a dangerous place; don't go there alone."

Please consider giving a recovery support system like N.A. a true chance (at least 2-3 meetings a week for a month) and you will learn H.O.W. which stands for Honesty, Openmindedness and Willingness. Its hard for me to pick which one of those is the most critical, but Willingness is way up there -- it's the key and the starting point for ALL CHANGE in our lives.

It took me 2 relapses -- one after 5 years clean, and one after 3.5 years clean -- to finally get my current 6 years. My sister tried N.A. but she thought of herself as "better than" the rest of the folks in the rooms -- even though they were all telling her story again and again and again. PRIDE was one of her biggest obstacles. That's where HUMILITY MATTERS (not at all the same as "humiliation"). Humility is about being self-truthful, about letting go of denial & rationalization, about surrendering your way which doesn't work for one that does, and accepting help and the fact that without the help of others, your addiction will always win...and it may win by killing you.

Lisab, I want you to try something: Each day you wake up, I want you to try just asking whatever "god" of your preference & understanding (or send your request out to the healing, balance-seeking and loving forces of nature) to give you WILLINGNESS to SEEK CHANGE & HEALTH.

That is the beginning of all great change in our lives.

My email is listed under my profile. Please don't hesitate to contact me any time. If you need a temporary online sponsor, I'm available.

Love, Lisa Hart

P.S. ISOLATION KILLS. SUPPORT/FELLOWSHIP SAVES.


__________________
"When it comes inhalants, your NEXT breath could be your LAST." © Lisa Hart, 2010
starpupsjen

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Posts: 11
Reply with quote  #6 

We just found my 40 year old sister dead in her home, not 12 hours ago. Surrounded by cans of duster spray. She lives in a different state and we could not get to her in time. This habit just began within the past year. She, too, has been in trouble with the cops in the past few days, recieving a DUI when she hit a car while she was huffing. I guess they let her go to soon. She'd never heard of it until this year. 40 years old. I am still in shock.

cerrick

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Posts: 46
Reply with quote  #7 
starpupsjen- I am so sorry for your loss. You must feel the world has stopped, and everything is just spinning around you. That was how I felt last December when my 37 year old sister died from inahaling duster. I too, live in another state, and didn't know of her addiction. I understand how you feel. I have written about my sister, and actually found her postings on this site 3 months after she passed away. If you need anything, please contact me at my e-mail address. There is nothing I can say to make your pain go away. But I can say it has been 4 1/2 months since I lost my sister and I am just beginning to smile again. Life will have some normalcy again for you, I promise. I am thinking of you and praying for you.



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Sister of "Lostgirl"
ClaudiasSister

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Posts: 41
Reply with quote  #8 
starpupsjen -- Please accept my deepest sympathy over the loss of your sister. And the warmest hug. And my prayers for powerful peace and love to guide your sister's soul into the afterlife.

I know all-too-well the gamut of emotions you are experiencing, stunned and crushed by so many feelings -- from sadness, to shock, to anger and everything in between. I lost my own sister (2 weeks before of her 47th b-day) on July 2nd of last year. At first, it's just so hellishly painful and unfathomable.

But I want you to know, that even though you cannot imagine ever feeling different than you do right now, the emotional earthquake that just hit you will calm down and things will get better. Although the road you now have to travel -- the Grieving Process -- is difficult (to say the least), there are many things you can do (must do!) to navigate the seemingly impossible loss of your beloved sister properly, fully, and completely -- so that you don't get stuck in unresolved grief forever.

It's pure trauma -- like being in a train wreck -- and you gotta take extremely good care of yourself! And talk talk talk talk talk about it...about what you're feeling, about your sister, about anything. Almost 3 dozen people on these boards have lost a loved one to death by inhaling computer dusters and similar substances and WE ARE HERE FOR YOU.

Let me/us know you're progress, please. Email me (get it from my profile) personally if you want. My heart goes out to you and your family and your sister's.

Much love, Lisa Hart -- "ClaudiasSister"

__________________
"When it comes inhalants, your NEXT breath could be your LAST." © Lisa Hart, 2010
ClaudiasSister

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Posts: 41
Reply with quote  #9 
Message to cerrick:

Cathy! Please forgive me for "going off the radar" since we last emailed each other. Mother's Day arrived and it's always a hard time for me. Plus, I was helping my older sister and my 15 y.o. nephew move from L.A. to San Diego and it was quite an involved and exhasuting process. Check your email in the next day or two 'cause I'm sending you some good chat. Hope you're doing okay, sweets! Again, I'm sorry for seeming to go poof. I just want you to know I'm still right here with you and have thought about you every day since my last email.

Take good care...love, Lisa


__________________
"When it comes inhalants, your NEXT breath could be your LAST." © Lisa Hart, 2010
catfree

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Posts: 12
Reply with quote  #10 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ClaudiasSister
To all on these boards who are messing around or struggling with computer dusters (or inhalants of any kind), PLEASE HEAR ME!

On the night of July 1, 2009 my 46-year old sister, Claudia (she was living with me and my husband), said she felt very ill. Terrible vomiting, said she was feeling like she had asthma, said her hands felt tingly and numb. I begged her to let me take her to ER, but she said it was "just the flu" and she just needed to sleep. I checked on her every 30 minutes and she seemed to be calming down, so I finally went to sleep at around midnight.

The next morning I got up and made her a cup of camomile tea. When I opened the door to the hallway where her bedroom & bathroom were, I found her lying face up on the bathroom floor.

DEAD. COLD. BLUE. STIFF. DEAD.

I will spare you the complete and total loss of my mind throughout that day and the next and next and next (repeat over and over forever)...but I will tell you that on the day I found her dead on the floor, my husband went into her car and brought in bags of empty computer duster canisters. The car was littered with the tiny straws that come with them and all the ripped-off tabs that open them up. There was also bags full of paper towels filled with dried vomit.

She never told anyone what she was doing. Not even the night before she died -- never told me she was sick from huffing computer duster! -- so that I might have been able to get her to the ER and possibly save her life.

The coroner's autopsy report and her official signed death certificate "cause of death" reads "ACUTE DIFLUOROETHANE INTOXOCATION" -- that's the active poison ingredient that is inside a can of computer duster. That is what killed her. THAT IS WHAT WILL KILL YOU IF YOU DO NOT STOP NOW!

My older sister and I are all that's left of our family. Our parents died alcoholic deaths. Our baby sister's death by huffing computer dusters is a shock we will NEVER recover from. Yes, we must move forward, but our lives will never be the same again and we miss her so deeply all of the time that it's like a never-ending full-body pain.

YES, YOU CAN DIE FROM A CHEAP CAN OF DUSTING SPRAY!!!

LISTEN: You are a worthwhile and precious human being, and no matter what your life problems are, they can and will improve if you are "in the solution, not the problem". Life can be wonderful without drugs, substances, numbers, avoiders, fake highs...

I know this for a fact: I have been clean and sober for 6 years. My husband has been clean & sober for 8 years. He was a 12-year meth addict and one of Las Vegas' busiest crystal meth cooks. He nearly died himself. He entered rehab wearing someone else's clothes (oversized pants tied with a rope cuz he was so skinny and sick), someone else's eyeglasses, someone else's empty wallet, not a dime to his name. After rehab, at only 90 days clean, and fully committed to living a life of recovery, he volunteered -- gave himself up -- to be extradited to Vegas to face meth manufacturing charges against him in Nevada. He was facing 15-25 years in prison. By some miracle of the loving, healing god-source at the center of the universe, the charges against him were dropped! We still cannot believe or understand how this happened. Because gaining his freedom allowed him to have the life he has today in which he gives back with deep gratitude what was so freely given to him in the rooms of recovery. Today, he is a General Foreman for one of the nation's largest structural steel construction companies, and he is devoted to the many guys starting out in their recovery. He has a loving, rewarding relationship with his mother and father and many siblings where there was once nothing but the lie-spewing stranger who exploited and manipulated them all and who they wanted nothing to do with. He goes to meetings, he surfs, and we have much laughter, happiness, love, peace, and HEALTH together. He chose LIFE, and so can you!

My 46-year old sister's addiction forced her to keep her huffing a secret, right up to the second she died. She could be here with me right now, sharing our funny little jokes and stuff, if not for the fact that: IN PART, ADDICTION KILLS YOU BY MAKING YOU KEEP YOUR SHAME-FILLED ACTIONS SECRET. "You're only as sick as your secrets." Yes, and they can also kill you.

Change is possible for you!

KNOW THIS:

1) Computer Dusters ARE NOT AIR - not compressed, canned, not whatever. It is a fluoro hydrocarbon...like the freon that keeps your car cool...a poisonous substance, PERIOD. No "air" about it!

2) It is NOT just a teenage problem -- although teens are more likely to experiement or be pressured by their peers. No, no, no -- Computer Dusters are killing just as many full-grown, past-40 adults (like my sister) as teens.

3) Computer Duster huffing DOES NOT always kill SUDDENLY (aka: "Sudden Sniffing Syndrome"). My sister was sick the night she died for at least 7 hours. ACUTE DIFLUOROETHANE INTOXOCATION caused her to undergo cardiac arrythmia which begins with loss of consciousness, then heart failure, then death --- not always a writhing, groping, loud death at all -- and not always suddenly with the can still nearby.

4) Law enforcement (here in San Diego, at least) often has no clue what is involved with Computer Dusters. Four days before Claudia died, my sister received two tickets on two subsequent days in a row. One officer wrote "tuolene for the purpose of intoxication", the other wrote "nitrous oxide". Both of them cited her under the ONE, SINGLE & ONLY state Penal Code that has to do with inhalant possession and abuse, and which covers paint, whippets, etc., but DOES NOT include the psuedo-air propellants of products like Dust Off whatsoever. That code on the books was simply the only code they could "fit" her possession and abuse of Computer Dusters under. California -- all states -- must amend the Penal Code to include Computer Duster type propellants.
     Since she died, whenever I see a cop or a group of cops, I stop them and ask them their knowledge of Dusters. Honestly: Every single one I've talked to (at least 25 in a year) says the same thing to me: They have no idea what they're made of and not one has said they knew they could kill you.

5) Bittering agents do not NOT slow the abuse of Computer Duster type products. Users just grin and bear the horrible taste it in order to get a ridiculously brief and deadly high.

PLEASE GET HELP NOW!
YOU CAN STOP!
YOU CAN CHANGE!
LIFE IS GREAT WITH A CLEAR MIND & HEART!
AND PEOPLE ARE IN HERE & OUT THERE WHO WANT TO LOVE & HELP YOU!

I apologize for the length of this post, but I am desperate to save even one life from this INSANITY.

With great love to all those suffering,
Lisa
catfree

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Posts: 12
Reply with quote  #11 

Claudiasister:  You story is an almost exact duplicate of mine! I wish you had posted a little earlier. My 34 year old daughter was the one I lost Feb. 21, 2010 - three months ago. She, too thought she was too smart to get help. She was in rehab for the month of October, 2009, but it didn't help.  All info. I could find related to kids huffing. All the info I found said that you could die immediately when huffing.  Sounds like your sister had the same experience my daughter did.  She, too was found with lots of cans, plastic tabs, vomit everywhere. I also think huffing destroyed her mind in so many ways, she was convinced she had many major things wrong with her body. The autopsy revealed none of those things she worried so much about.  No one mattered to her in the end. Not her four beautiful daughters, not me or her dad, or her husband.  He had given up on her, and the rejection from him only drove her to huff more.  I've posted before, but removed them out of shame about this.  I'm leaving this up because the information needs to be out there.  NONE of the doctors I have spoken to since my daughter died have known much of anything about huffing canned air.  That is amazing to me. The pain of this and not knowing exactly how much she suffered when she died is very, very hard.  Friends and family don't want to talk about this; they don't understand either!  You are so right about the shame, my daughter was exactly the same; she hid her addiction from us and kidded herself into thinking she could huff and no one would know.  As you said, she is dead for a 10 second high that robbed her of everything.

ClaudiasSister

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Posts: 41
Reply with quote  #12 
Hi catfree --- I'm so sorry you lost your sister, too, to this utterly unfathomable way of dying. And you're still so new to it all, sweetie...only 3 months ago -- ouch. But wow, yes, you are SO right about the similarities. You're so right-on with what you wrote about "too smart to get help" and "huffing destroyed her mind in so many ways" and "no one mattered to her in the end" (my sister told 2 months before she died that the only thing keeping her alive was her cat; when she huffed herself to death, her cat was still crouched under the bed, so she couldn't even stay alive for the thing she said was the ONLY thing) and "friends and family don't want to talk about this; they don't understand either".
      Catfree...the one and only time my sister gave N.A. a long-term shot -- one that involved her repeat attendance each week -- was when she came to one of our meetings and we elected her our coffeemaker to give her a reason to keep coming back each week. Sigh...we were trying to keep her there long enough so she might hopefully hear something that "spoke to her" and opened her ears and eyes. She came every week and made coffee, and faithfully took a token each month for every 30 days of her sobriety. I was cautiously optimistic (actually, secretly swooning with joy), kept out of her recovery business; I would have done so even if she didn't constantly remind me how her "independence" with her recovery program (aka: secrecy) was extremely important to her. I was just glad she kept showing up. Addicts have really crummy people pickers, and Claudia chose the one woman in our meeting who was very controlling, angry, and whom we knew wasn't truly sober. That worried me but I shut my trap; I was determined not to behave like "big sister". I even encouraged her to find her own meetings separate from me if she really wanted to feel independent. She didn't because the contradiction was, she really got a sense of safety knowing I was there with her each week.
      About a month before her coffee-making commitment was over, things started to get a little haywire with her. She started missing the meeting and my radar knew she was using again. She was starting to get irritable, haughty, proud, "high & mighty", and very critical of the meeting in general and very many of the people in it. Finally, the phone call I tried to avoid anticipating but still couldn't help knowing was eventually coming, eventually came. She was high, making little sense, and seething with resentments of all kinds. It was during this very difficult conversation that she blew up at me, saying that she didn't belong in "that pathetic institutional-salmon-colored room [it was a church music room] full of total losers telling their same old boring stories of self-pity week after week". (This, mind you, from a woman with 2 DUI's, numerous drunk car wrecks, a 15-year losing streak of bitterly failed relationships, who after being fired 7 times in a row, had become utterly unemployable, and hence penniless, unable to pay her bills or rent, was facing homelessness within a month, and so finally had no choice to move into the spare bedroom of me and my husband's house; I just couldn't sit back and watch her become a street person!). She ended the phone call by telling me, with an almost bizarre-sounding pride, that she had been using the entire time she was attending the meeting and that every token she had taken was "dirty". Like, what?, I thought...you're proud of how you fooled us all?!
      Before she moved in with us on June 1st, 2009 she had finally secured a part-time job. One day she called me on the phone from her job and she was clearly loopy. Ages ago I had made a vow to never pretend with her, to always point out that she sounded like she was high. One week after moving in with us, she was fired from her job. Her reason was that her boss was just a c***, period. But I smelled an alcohol-soaked rat. Sure enough, after her death, this gut-knowledge was prooved true when one of her coworkers told me why she was terminated: she had departed work one day forgetting a coke can filled with vodka on her desk. Her employers had been smelling it on her and this was their final proof, and wham, she was fired from her 8th job.
      One of the stipulations of moving in with us was that she was coming into a sober household (my husband & I have 6 and 8 years respectively) and that we would not tolerate any using. For someone dedicated to recovery with 6 years of sobriety, I WAS STILL SO NAIVE! One week after losing the job, I came home from an Alanon meeting and found her drunk. I had a taxi come and remove her to a friends house, sticking to my boundary and putting the "consequences" into effect that Claudia had agreed were appropriate before she moved in (addicts will say pretty much anything).

SIDE NOTE: I highly recommend that everyone read "Lostgirl: A Sister's Story" (May 18, 2010) by board member "cerrick" out on the Blog. There is a line "cerrick" wrote that I SO TOTALLY relate to: "To be honest, I was tired of all her drama. I just wanted her to get better and be happy again." That is exactly how I had begun to feel about my sister after her 25 or more years of substance abuse and all the calamity and insanity that went with it.

      Anyway, from that night on, everything in my sister's world spiraled out of control. She was severely depressed with no money to get proper medical treatment for it. I was paying for her to see a therapist but she would go and just vent about her terrible job and crazy boss, not ever wanting to really look at herself and get to the meat of the matter. She came to our house promising to go to meetings and stay sober, but then she started disappearing for hours and hours at a time with vague, confusing, changing accounts of where she'd been and what she'd been doing. She went absent for 3 days, which I found out later she was living in her car -- and from what I know now -- she was sitting in her car huffing as we found the tickets she got for it 2 days in a row sitting in the SAME parking lot (at least switch to another parking lot if you're going to insist on breaking the law!).
      My fear for her sanity and welfare was at a fever pitch. Right up until the night my husband finally located her: she parked right out in my street, sitting in her car huffing -- but the huffing I knew nothing about! When I went to go get her I found her coming up my walkway, sick as hell. This was the night before she died. I brought her in and between trying to convince her to let me take her to the ER, I was trying to get soup, milk, water, nutrients down her. But up they came each time. As I have said in previous posts, she started to calm down, saying she just wanted to get some sleep. But she died on the bathroom floor sometime between midnight and the wee hours of the next morning, finding her dead on the bathroom floor when I came to bring her some tea at 9 am.
      The thing that haunts me (among thousands) is that when I was helping her move out of her tiny apartment into our house, I was over at her place boxing up things. I heard a sound in the next room where she was that sounded like someone spraying something in their mouth. I walked in the room to see her putting the computer duster into a box and some instinct in me made me gasp to her, "Did you just huff that??!!" She looked at me like I was nuts and said hell no. I went back to the other room. I heard it again...walked in to see her putting it back in the box and I said, "You DID TO just huff that!! I heard you!" Same look from her, new denial: "I accidentally pressed the valve as I was putting it away; do you really think I'd be that crazy!". Ummm....yes.
      Looking back I now realize she was playing around with it that long before. Once she moved into a house where drinking couldn't be tolerated, and therefore easily smelled on her, I truly believe my sister switched to computer dusters exclusively as a way to get high without the smell of alcohol on her. The beginning of the end.

Catfree, I'm here for you whenever and for whatever you want or need.
XO, Lisa Hart -- "ClaudiasSister"

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"When it comes inhalants, your NEXT breath could be your LAST." © Lisa Hart, 2010
cerrick

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Reply with quote  #13 
Why don't friends and family want to talk about it? I seem to be the only member of my family wanting to do something and try to make a difference. They ignoored it when it was happening, and even hid it from me then. And now that she is gone, they don't seem to care about saving others. It breaks my heart that they didn't tell me. Maybe I could have done something to help my sister. One girl told me it is like a "closet" addiction for adults. There has to be a way to get the message out there not only to teens, but also adults like our sisters. I have sent my story to Family Circle Magazine, and also Oprah. Would you girls be willing to do something also. Maybe if we ban together we can get people to talk about it.

Cathy


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corgidaze

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Reply with quote  #14 
CERRICK
Include me in. I would love to help others to stop this madness.  I sure would like to get the law enforcement to  do something about the people that are showing others how to do this deadly act...

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ClaudiasSister

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Reply with quote  #15 
Cathy -- Yes yes yes! INCLUDE ME! I'll do anything...calls, letters, volunteer...how do we get this going? I think urging/insisting our appearances on the "Oprah" show is THE WAY to go. That's an audience of millions -- especially mothers and women.

I REALLY want to form a group of us women from these boards -- give ourselves a name (like M.A.D.D. did!) -- and go for it. I have a 20+ year background as a copywriter and graphic designer (Creative Direction for Macy's, Victoria's Secret, The Limited, Abercrombie & Fitch, and many catalog companies). I now work freelance and have the all the time in the world (no kids...no "9-5" job...just a husband as desirous as I am to DO something), plus the tools, private home office, and lots of experience to make any advertising/marketing materials needed 7/24/365. Just offering that out there.

Let's ORGANIZE. If a bunch of moms can start the now powerful "Mothers Against Drunk Driving", so can we! I would love it if we could seriously get together on this.

I've been doing my duster dog&pony show at Teen NA groups and have been readying myself to approach schools in my area about bring them a special presentation. But I'd love to go bigger and much more.

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"When it comes inhalants, your NEXT breath could be your LAST." © Lisa Hart, 2010
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