Monica tells the story of her husband's heroin overdose.
When my husband OD’d, we had been in the height of addiction. That was after Amity. We were living here in Arizona. We were flying back and forth to Kansas City, and it was actually during Easter vacation we went to see our families. Basically what we did was we wanted to go home and see the drug dealer, and our families were always a great excuse.
Again, we were lying and we were deceiving everyone because our families all think we are clean. We go out that night, we meet some friends, we go up to one of the local bars in Kansas City, and my husband loved to drink Wild Turkey so he started doing shots of Wild Turkey. When he drank, he was very abusive to me verbally and at times physically, too.
He would scream through the bar for me to shut up, and all I could think of was, I mean, this is so sick and so sad is “If I just get some heroin in him, he’ll be nice again,” because he was a nice guy on drugs. So I always made the call to the drug dealer and always set it up. We leave the bar; we go down to the ghetto, and the whole time he is screaming at me and trying to throw me out of the car, trying to push me out of the car. All I can think of, “If we can get to the drug dealer’s house, then everything’s going to be okay.”
We get there. This is a guy we have known for a long time. We go and see him and his wife. We go upstairs and he puts the heroin out, and he looks at my husband and says, “Hey,” he says, “Be really careful with this. This is the Mexican mud that’s been going around town and killing everyone,” and my husband in his colorful language would just say, “You know, don’t tell me that. Just put it in the spoon. Just shut up and put it in the spoon,” and so I am looking at the stuff, and I smelled it and I was like “Oh my God.”
So my husband does his normal shot, and then I take a snort, and I am like “Oh my God.” And I turn and I look at him, and he is just kind of sitting there, and we are just all in the room talking, and he is sitting on the bed. And all of a sudden his eyes rolled back in his head, and I look at him, and all of a sudden he starts gasping for air, and he is turning blue.
The drug dealer looks at me and says, “Oh my God. He is OD’ing”. He goes, “We got to get him up; we got to get him walking.” So I am trying to kind of pull him up from the bed. I am hitting his face just saying, just trying to revive him, and I’ll never forget what I said to him. I said, you know, “Don’t die and leave me here to explain this,” and I always have this thing I always say about, in Pulp Fiction they stole my story.
So anyway, I am trying to revive him. He falls on the floor. The drug dealer looks at me and said, “He can’t die in here. I got too much dope in the house.” He goes, “We got to drag him downstairs and put him out on the sidewalk, okay?” And he goes, “And then I’ll call 911.”
And my husband was about a little over 6 foot and weighed about 250 pounds. So we drug him down the stairs on his face, got him out on the sidewalk. The drug dealer looked at me and said, “You know, call me later. Tell me how things come out.” Goes in and all of a sudden you hear the sirens coming.
It’s like 3 o’clock in the morning. I have my father-in-law’s car. They have no idea where we are and probably wondering. The ambulance shows up. They jump out, they look at me, and they said, “What did he do?” I said, “Half a bottle of Wild Turkey and Mexican Mud,” and they said, “Thank you very much.” And they threw him in the truck and administered Narcan to him. It’s a drug to bring you out of an OD.
The police show up, and what I always thought was so strange about it was we were in the ghetto, and it looked a little funny because we were the only white people in the whole area. And that was, you know, the police just kind of looked at me. I had heroin on me. They talked to the guys in the ambulance, and then they left. So the guys in the ambulance said, “Where do you want us to take him?” I said, “St. Luke’s Hospital.” They said, “You are coming with us?” I said, “I can’t leave the car here. It won’t be here tomorrow.”
So I followed them, got to the emergency room; two doctors came out and I said, “Hi, I am Mrs. Sarli. Is my husband okay?” And they kind of looked at each other and they said, “Ah, yeah.” I said, “Can I see him?” And they said, “We don’t think so.” I said, “Why?” They said, “You need to explain where he got all the bruises on his face and his body.” And I said, “Well, I hit him. I mean, I was trying to revive him,” and they went, “We don’t think,” and then I realized they thought I had abused him and beat him up. Yeah, I am 5 foot 2 and he is 6 foot something and 250 pounds.
So I called a family doctor of ours that was on that hospital staff, like about 5 o’clock in the morning and said, “Joe, you need to get down here now and fix this.” I said, “They think I have abused him. He has OD’ed. You need to come down here and clean this whole thing up.” So the doctor arrived, went in, fixed everything. My husband was in intensive care. So they said it was going to be a while before they moved him to a room.
I checked into a hotel across the street from the hospital and had a still little bit of heroin with me, did a little bit, just kind of waited around till it got light, went back over to the hospital. I knew I couldn’t go home and explain to my in-laws what had happened. I was terrified to do that, and I wasn’t going to do it alone without him.
So I ran around and got some things that I needed, toothbrush and things like that. I went over to the hospital, and they had put him in a regular room at that point. I went up and I walked in the room, and I looked at him and I went, “Oh, my God.” And he looked at me and he goes, “What happened to me?” And I said, “Well, you OD’ed.” And I mean he was bruised all over his face and his chest. Well, that was taking him down the stairs, and I just went, “Oh, my God.” I said, “I am sorry I was trying to re…” and we actually were laughing about it.
So I said, “What about your parents?” And he says, “Joe called, you know, my mom and dad.” And I am like, “Oh, my God,” and this is like then Saturday. You know, Easter Sunday is the next day. So he looks at me and he said, “What are we going to say?” I said, “Well, we’ll figure it out.”
His parents walked in the room a few hours later and just kind of say, “How are you?” And we are just kind of standing there, and the thing that I found most fascinating was, you know, they asked him if he was okay, but the big thing was, “What are we going to tell Aunt Rose at dinner tomorrow? Where you got the bruises and everything?”
I was kind of always the clean-up person for all the mistakes, and my father-in-law looked at me and he goes, “So what do we do?” And I go, “Car wreck, went through the windshield,” and he says, “Okay, see you tomorrow for dinner,” and they walked out.
So we were kind of like, “Uh, got through that,” and so the nurse came in and asked if they wanted to move a bed into the room so I wouldn’t have to be back at the hotel. Oh, that sounds like a great idea. She did that. We got everything situated, and my husband looked at me and said, and he is hooked up to all these IVs, and I mean, this is the true sickness of addiction, he said, “Do you have any more of that stuff?” And I said, “Yeah,” and I am looking at him, and he says, “Give it to me,” and I am like going, “Steve.” I said, “No,” and he said, “No, give me some.” He goes, “Just give it to me.”
He takes the spoon off of his lunch tray, and he is hooked up to all these IVs, and I had a clean syringe for him because I always carried syringes for him. And he went into the bathroom, and he fixed and came out. And we sat there and watched TV and nodded and happily ever after, and then the next day, you know, went for Easter dinner.
That is the true sickness of addiction. He was dead. They revived him, and it wasn’t enough to get us to stop. You would have thought that was bottom.
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