The Black Hole, Part Six

I drove 14 hours and 1,000 miles and stopped once for gas and to go to the bathroom and once for a sandwich and to go to the bathroom.

This, I do not recommend. It was not my finest moment.

PhilBillPaul was frantic with worry. He had lived with my head injury emotional outbursts for almost all our years of marriage but I had never left. (Well, except that one time I caught the bumper of the car on the side of the garage and drove to the Kroger parking lot and sat for an hour.)

He called one friend to the north and one friend to the south. Apparently I have no friends to the east or west of me. Neither had heard from me because I was “enjoying” my quiet ride with my iPod playing and my cell phone turned off.

At about the six-hour mark, I decided to turn the phone on. I guess I decided I should check my voicemail. Soothing messages from Ann, friend in the north and Luci, friend in the south made me cry. They were worried and just wanted to help me.

I gathered what little composure I could find and called Ann first since she knew about my breakdown the night before.

Next, I called Luci because even in my mental state I was still worried about good manners. Luci owns an Alzheimer’s facility that she purchased so that her mother would have a place to live. This speaks volumes about her character and she is a caregiver extraordinaire. She asked exactly where I was and at that point I was approaching Louisville, Kentucky. Had I driven south I would have been almost to Tampa, where she lives.

She got on the internet and said she had a flight she would ticket immediately and I could go to the airport, leave my car there, fly to Tampa and she would get me any medical and professional help I needed and take care of me. It was all overwhelming me – this making decisions while I drove to nowhere. I hung up and wept.

It was beyond kind but I couldn’t get past my guilt about imposing on her life just because I couldn’t manage mine. I also knew, as Ann reminded me, that I would feel trapped if I didn’t have my car. (They were both nice enough to not point out that driving was probably not what I should be doing.)

So I declined Luci’s offer but I promised I would call her when I knew where I was going.

A few hours later, my friend Ann made the decision for me. She met me at midnight, three hours from her house, and got us a hotel room and took care of me. She opened her home and took care of me for 10 days while I slept and slept and slept. I did wake up to eat. (I wish I could say I lost my appetite…but no such luck.)

She gave PhilBillPaul updates. I talked to the kids almost every day.

I pulled my personal thing together. (Sort of.) We learned that the withdrawal from the medication I had been taking could be worse than heroine withdrawal for some people. I have no point of reference for that one. The doctors know very little or share very little. The patients, many times, continue to take low doses of this particular medication rather than suffer through the withdrawal.

This would have been helpful information before I started taking the drug. But then again, we didn’t know that I would have such a violent reaction to the medication and the withdrawal process.

All I can tell you is that I have never, ever felt so bad in my entire life.

I don’t name any of the drugs because I know everyone tolerates and responds to medications differently. My experience is just mine. Yours may be totally different. I tend to believe that my head injury plays a part in my inability to tolerate anti-depressants and they just don’t work for me.

What really saved me? Friends. Girlfriends, to be more specific. Lifelong friends who kept calling, emailing and checking on me. Friends who didn’t let me disappear into that Black Hole. They threw me a rope. Sometimes I threw it back and screamed I didn’t need it. They would just throw it to me again.

For the friends who read this and feel bad that they did not know…please release the guilt. I know that if I had picked up the phone, reached out for a moment to let you know, you would have helped me.

No code names for these friends who saved me. From my heart with all the love I can give, thank you…Ann, Luci, Toni, Kim, Colleen, Nancy…you are my heroes and you all really did save me.


To be continued…

If you missed part one, two, three, four or five…

The Black Hole, Part One
The Black Hole, Part Two
The Black Hole, Part Three
The Black Hole, Part Four
The Black Hole, Part Five

Or to read part seven (which is the last one!) and my personal congrats for getting this far…

The Black Hole, Part Seven

One year ago..

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  1. 1
    Colleen says:

    Sherra—I love you and always will. Black hole or not I’ll always carry a flashlight so we can both find our way. I love getting the updates from the web site—it makes me feel like I’m keeping in touch with you even though we both have been too busy. By the way, when is lunch?

  2. 2
    Rhonda says:

    Absolutely love reading your story here. Friends pick up all the pieces that sometimes slip through our family. I have some beautiful friends who keep me held together at times when I feel like all is unraveling around me.

    Thanks for the great and insightful posts.

  3. 3
    Karen says:

    I had no idea what you meant when you started talking about the black hole. I never described mine that way. My path was different but the effect on my life was the same. I couldn’t go on either. I spent time in limbo, spent time crying, begging God just to take me on out and various other stages.
    I admire your ability to communicate. I can share details in person but writing isn’t my thing. I’m a trained accountant and my written communication shows it.
    Keep on sharing. We love you.

  4. 4
    Sherra says:

    Colleen–I know you’re always there for me when it really matters and that’s what makes you the best kind of friend to have. Even when you called and stalked me during the worst of times, I know it was out of love. Thanks dear friend 🙂

    Rhonda–Your comment reminds me of a quote I have often heard but I’m not sure who said it…”Friends are family you choose for yourself.” We are all blessed and lucky women if we have friends like this and I’m glad you have them in your life too.

  5. 5
    Sherra says:

    Karen–For some unknown reason I found your comments in my spam folder?! Don’t want you to think I was ignoring you and you were approved right in the beginning so I don’t know why this happened. Just glad I looked in the spam folder. Thanks for always being supportive! 🙂


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