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[ Personal Narratives ]

That Little Baggie Is A Bad Idea

Note from Chris of SOBERCOMMAND.ORG: Before you read this I wanted to express my absolute joy in that, once in a while, I read a story that strikes me to my core. This is one. I am convinced that this couple’s story will influence someone today as they read this and reach out for help.

Original story posted to Facebook. Written by Ashley Keplinger

So to all of you sweet, beautiful souls that think meth is the way out, I beg you to recalculate your decision. Thanks to one little bag, we are now putting our once near perfect life back together as quickly as time will allow.

It ended up being cut with 2+ grams of bath salts known as flakka. My husband overdosed on it, given that 1 quarter gram is all it takes to kill, sending him into extreme convulsions and eventually seizures. I could only watch horrified while calling an ambulance, and holding him close.

The muscles in his body heated to 105 degrees and higher, causing his muscle cells to explode and dump a lethal protein into his kidneys. It sent him into instant renal failure. Before they took my love, I whispered that I was okay if he had to go and that I accepted it if he couldn’t fight anymore but I would see him on the other side as soon as I could, that I loved him no matter what.

He spent 3 and a half days in a medically induced coma because his lungs were paralyzed and he couldn’t breathe on his own. Also his muscles were so broken down he would have been in unbearable pain, just lifting an arm. Then we spent another 9 days in the Progressive Care Unit, just to make sure his kidneys would start back up again and his muscles would stop dumping creatinine into his blood and stop clogging his organs. He lost about 30% of the processing power in his brain, and can eat very few things in small amounts. Also he is on a heart medication for high blood pressure until told otherwise. It could be forever.

On the other side of 6 dialysis treatments, and 13 days in the hospital came my turn. I was diagnosed with PTSD from watching my husband almost die in my arms. He was blue. He was gurgling, and until he lost legitimate consciousness before hallucinating and passing out, he was begging for me to help him. He was pleading for me to take his pain away, was asking God to help him. He sputtered out that he couldn’t breathe. He was grasping onto me. I kept expecting those to be his very last words to me.

Now, we are paying the price. Please don’t make your family do the same. He shouldn’t have lived, that came from a professional. I’m not a person of set religion, so I don’t know how he did. But he’s here with me still and I’m too mentally damaged to appreciate that. I watched an emergency response team work on him and fight for his life for over 45 minutes on our bed. All because of a little baggie: a bad choice. You never know what you’re getting.

So, please. For me, for you, for whatever is worth it to you, please don’t. I spent my Christmas Eve in the hospital, and my Christmas Day and my New Years sulking and depressed and moving out of the home I lost over this. You can do better.

Final note: I asked Ashley’s permission to post this on Addiction Unscripted and this was her response.

I just want people to be aware, and know what it does not only to themselves but the people around them. I’m just as guilty as my husband, but my addiction was hidden as my husband’s was not.

Then, I received this:

Hey, this is Ashley’s husband.
Thanks, brother. It feels good to be alive and I’m hoping that my wife and I’s story is enough to stop even one person from using again. According to a lot of doctors, I survived the impossible and I want others to know that it isn’t worth it. The next bag could be the last bag or it could be a thousand down the line but it isn’t worth it.

I responded to him:

It will. You’re a walking, talking miracle.

Thanks for your time today as you read this. I hope it brings joy to some and leads others to reach out for help. Please, if you are finding yourself in a corner fighting addiction, reach out to us. We will always be here to help you.

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