I first and foremost want people to know that the years that I battled my addiction was the hardest years of my life. I haven’t written about all the bad times yet but we are getting there. Today I want to liven it up a little by letting you in on things that I did to try and get pills. Some of this is funny, and others are so serious that I should have gone to jail. But this part needs to be told too. That way you can understand just how much the addiction had a hold on me.
You know now about my stealing. I haven’t apologized to everyone yet ut those are coming. Right now, I need you to understand just how far I would have gone to get medications. So if you are reading this and think you are alone in it, you are far wrong. I’ve done some pretty bad and crazy things.
One of the crazier stories is with my ex-husband, John. We had moved from Colorado to California for about 6 months to see if we wanted to live there. Moving there, I had no doctor to help me with my medications. Desperate, I convinced my husband that we needed to go to Tijuana to get the medications I needed.
Dragging his feet, John finally agreed to go. And I have never felt more like a criminal as I did walking back over the board of Mexico and the US. But first the story of getting the meds. I had never before been to Mexico and had no idea what to expect. We got there and had no idea where to go. Doing “enny, meany, miny, mo” to pick a pharmacy. Not like there wasn’t a lot to pick from. There was one on every corner. Nervously, John and I walked into the pharmacy. And remember, neither one of us spoke a lick of Spanish.
Finding A Pharmacy
I remembered shaking and walking up to the counter and asking if anyone spoke English. The man behind the counter did and offered to help. Trying to explain what I wanted, I spoke with a shaky voice “do you have pain medications”. I think I actually heard him giggle a little and he said that he had pain medications saying “what would you like and how much do you want to spend”. Well, that was a crazy question to ask an addict. One of each? I’ll sample everything is what I wanted to say. But John and I had sorta agreed on an amount to spend, I told him that I need $80 worth.
He said no problem but it was an additional money to see the doctor. I asked how much to see the doctor, and he started to barter with me. “How much you have, ” he said. I look at John and he is just shaking his head no. I plead with him and finally, John said: “is $50 enough”. To see the doctor you can name your price. What kind of doctor would I get?
No one had told me I had to see a doctor. And there was paperwork that needed to be filled out. If I wanted all this trouble, I could have gone to a doctor in the states. John later explained it to me that it was a way of getting money out of us. So I filled out the paperwork and waited. Out comes this little Mexican, in a lab coat, calling my name. We follow him up flight stairs into this shabby, old room. It was decorated to look like a doctor’s office but looking at the wall decor, you could tell it was fake. But I wasn’t here to criticize his decoration skills or lack of.
He tells me to sit on the “exam” table and begins to read my paperwork. I’m, sure he had a hard time reading my handwriting since I had been shaking the entire time of writing it. After several minutes, and nervous glances between John and I, the doctor spoke: “so you sick”? I wanted to yell “yes, very very sick” but I just nodded my head. The little doctor began to ask me questions about my Ulcerative Colitis and Pancreatitis. And they were good, normal doctor questions. Maybe this guy was a doctor after all.
After ten or so minutes of questions, he asks me to lie down on the table for an examination. He felt my stomach and listened to it with his stethoscope. Just like a US doctor would do. I beginning to think that this was a real examine and a real appointment. When he was done, he ordered us to “follow him” and he lead us back to the counter of the pharmacy. The little doctor spoke Spanish to the man behind the counter, I assuming they were talking about me. The doctor disappeared, and the man behind the counter said that the doctor said I could have pain medications because I was definitely sick and he recommended that I get Tramadol. WHAT? Tramadol? I could have stayed at home and ordered that from Canada.
I asked why I couldn’t get anything stronger and the man answered “no money for that”. What? because I could only spend the $80, and the $50 for the appointment, I only can get Tramadol? If you have ever taken Tramadol after you have had stronger pain medications, you would know why I was bitching. But I was desperate. I told the man who I would take it and that was the end of that. Now to get back across the border.
John and I had decided not to drive into Tijuana and left the car on US soil and walked over the bridge. Going into Tijuana wasn’t bad, actually quite easy. But coming back, I had it in my mind that they were going to stop me, search me, find the drugs and throw me in jail. All these images of a Mexican jail kept coming in my mind the walk back to the border. I was positive that I was going to be caught. And I knew there was no way I would make it in jail, let alone a Mexican jail. So I started to beg John to carry the meds. He kept saying no. I wanted them, I carry them. And he was right. I dragged him down there, I should deal with this.
We got to the border and by now I was sweating and shaking so bad, I thought they might search me because they think I was about to have a seizure. We stood in line and waited for it to be our turn. John went first, and he was then safe on US soil as I slowly walked to the Border patrol officer. “Reason for coming to Mexico, ” he asked. I barely got out “personal visit”. Then there was silence from him. He was just looking at me as I was sweating and shaking. It seemed like it was a full 3 minutes before he spoke: “okay, have a nice day”.
Relieved, I ran to US side and just about ran back to the car. Finally, back at the car, I started to cry. I couldn’t believe that we just did all that to get medications. Did I need the medications that bad? Probably not. I should have just seen a doctor in California and got meds that way. I should have realized that I was an addict and would have done, and did just about anything.
So John, if you are reading this, I owe you a huge apology for everything I put you through with my addiction. Trips to Tijuana, late night pharmacy runs, the over using of medications, and the addiction itself. Thank you for sticking by me all the time and even now, being my friend. I couldn’t have gotten through all that without you and your support. And I’m sorry I dragged you to Mexico but I guess we just chalk it up to another one of our crazy adventures.