It is early in the morning on day ten of rehab for our son, Michael. I am wondering what is happening as yesterday we were unable to get in touch with him. Usually, he would call from the clinic and we would call him back so he wouldn’t have to keep inserting quarters. Obviously, the “quarter” situation is a method of control which is necessary to keep them from hanging on the phone for long periods. It is also a pain for those of us who have to provide those quarters. I had thought my days of searching for quarters and/or going to the bank to get more were over! When my mom was in One Deerfield Place, the senior apartments in town, I used to have to provide her caregiver with quarters to do the wash. It doesn’t seem like a complicated thing to do, but it is like “nickel and diming” a person with inane tasks and thus driving him/her crazy. Between searching for quarters and setting up my mom’s pills for her to take, I had many a painful moronic task to do. Complicating this situation would be the dementia and memory loss that would make something simple like taking her pills tough, she would say that she had when she hadn’t, she would say that the pills were not there, or she would just incorrectly take them. I am digressing and it is all because of my thinking of the quarters for Mikey, isn’t that interesting?
I guess it is not that I am worried about what Mike’s day was like; it is just a reminder that once again there is uncertainty in the path of recovery. Toward the end of the day I tried to get in touch with him at the clinic. When in detox there is a special payphone to call and when in rehab, two others set aside for the purpose of communication. As I mentioned, Mike finally started calling and we would get a message that was a blast from the past, “Will you accept a collect call from…?” We would then hang up and call the payphone. Yesterday it didn’t happen. I called the payphone several times and it went into a fax mode, you could hear the fax acceptance sound. We ended up by calling the desk to see what was going on and the attendant said that they were in meeting. So we never did connect with him.
Mikey’s days are meeting upon meeting, keeping them busy, trying to continually remind them why they are there and what their goals are. It makes sense. One can only hope they will heed the message. Mikey did tell us, and it was no surprise, that many of the participants had done this dozens of times already.
More to come later after we actually connect with him, I think we really need to do that. Meanwhile, here I sit by the lit Christmas tree, drinking the bottom of the cold coffee found in my Christmas mug, and looking out the window at the mounds of crispy snow that are slowly melting in the slightly warmer weather of the day.