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Serious problem... I think my cousin is in trouble!

manaleriemmanalerie Posts: 549
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:38 AM in Pain Medications
Ok, so i have mentioned before, my cousin/roommate... has the same issues as i do, with back pain.

Since i moved in, i noticed she has been very very depressed. And the last few days coming home from work, she has been almost, well, drunk.

She told me yesterday that she had taken 3 somas. As she was talking to me i noticed she was slurring words, and her eyes rolling up in her head.

So today she had me pick up her re-fill. When i got home from work tonight, i told her, please "no more taking 3 soma's"

About 20 minutes later, she was at the kitchen table. she had asked me to spend time with her. So i made us a cup of coffee, started a movie and called her from the kitchen table to come watch with me. She stood up, knocked over the cup of coffee which flew across the room. She ran to grab towels, but fell over to get them off the floor. She was slamming into walls, and falling all over the place (and almost into the glass shelves in our dining room. She made it to her room and fell flat on her face. I helped her into the living room... where she immediately proceeded to collapse on the couch and pass out.

Upset and scared, i went to her room and counted her medication. She had taken 7 (SEVEN) soma's.

I just don't know what to do!!!! She is on a major path of self destruction. I know how depressed she has been, and she is self medicating at DANGEROUS levels.

I called her mom. Discussed locking her med's up, and distributing them accordingly. But she is an adult. Not my place. Her mother said she would come by tomorrow, and talk to her. We both agreed that its not a good idea for me to get in the middle. My cousin is very touchy about certain things... and where i am living with her now, just not a good idea. My aunt said maybe she might even take control of her meds and making her drive over then when she needs them. but then changed her mind saying "she is an adult"

Im not quite at the end of my rope here, but really waiting for the end of my rope would be the WRONG time to do something about this...


  • Sounds like you need some sort of intervention before it is too late. Have you talked to her about seeing a psychiatrist to help with the depression? Is she dealing with chronic pain? It sounds like she is really having problems dealing with her situation.

    I hope you can find some help before she really hurts herself.

    Good luck.
  • She is dealing with chronic pain, and not well. I've been worried about her since i moved in with her Oct 15th. She cries all day long, and all she talks about is how sick she is of being in pain all the time, and doctors not listening or calling her an addict, and no one understands...

    I got her to get in with a counselor, but she is scared to go. The doctor started her on an anti-depressant, and i believe she kind of was on one already (amitriptyline) She takes it at night to help her sleep.

    I'm so scared for her. I had no idea she was at this point. Her mother doesn't even seem worried. I just dont know what to do. I wont even be able to sleep tonight, im worried i will wake up, and she wont =( Im scared.
  • Amanda,

    Gwennie is right on target. I think your love and support for her is great, but you probably need to go to an outside source (intervention) to help her. It seems to me that she might be giving up, or medicating to the point she doesn't care, and can "sort" of deal with her pain and such. You seem like a loving and caring person. Please let us know what you do.

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • Unfortunately, since your cousin is living with you, you are in the middle. What she is doing is not fair to you. It will be awful if she overdoses. My feeling is that she is addicted to the soma and not just using it for her pain. Taking more than the recommended dose is a sure sign of that. I would speak to her and ask her to get some help. Can you live with her being this way? Maybe some personal boundaries are being crossed and you need to set limits with her? Alanon can help support you and help you to take care of you. Just my humble opinion as I have lived in this same type of situation.

    Best wishes to you,

  • I'm sorry to hear about your cousin. She needs to talk to her Doctor about what's happening now and maybe it will help if you go with her since Mom isn't participating. It's great you're there for her and watching out for her. Maybe she'll get it one day the pain you're having to be without your pills. I hope she comes out of it okay with your support and some Counselling. Take care. Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
  • The obvious thing is being missed here. 7 Soma? Is that anywhere near a fatal dose? I would suggest that you could tell her if she does anything of this sort again she will be waking up in the ER! Call an Ambulance! If she is severely depressed they should recognize the signs, symptoms, especially if the ambulance crew is told that she is in chronic pain and seemed depressed.
    If she is overmedicating, and the pain is not undercontrol there may be a lot of issues here

    My dad used to pass out all the time, mom would wait for him to wake up! She said he would be mad if she called an ambulance! Dad eventually had a full blown stroke, thankfully it was at work, they called an ambulance and the er immediatly recognized the problem and he got proper treatment. That was 22 years ago and dad is fine.

    Sometimes we have to do what is best for people even if they don't want us to. I would prefer an angry cousin to the possible consequences. What if your not there next time?
  • In your situation, I would simply place a call to 911 and tell them that she has od'd on too much medication.
    Not calling may cost her her life. Soma is not a medication to mess around with. The fact that she may be depressed is one problem that needs to be addressed, but even before that, she needs to be medically stable and it sounds as though she is anything but.
    This is from Drugs.com- Seek emergency medical attention if you think you have used too much of this medicine.
    Overdose symptoms may include shallow breathing, vision problems, fast heartbeat, confusion, hallucinations (seeing things), muscle stiffness, feeling light-headed, fainting, or seizure (convulsions).
    end of overdose info.....
    She may very well stop breathing if you do not get her some kind of medical care and since you are there, you can be held responsible for not calling if you are there with her and don't take any action.
    I don't want to scare you, but with her mother not seeming to take this situation seriously, you are the only one who can at this point. Talking with her tomorrow is not going to ensure that she lives through tonight.
    You really need to call an ambulance......now.
  • she may be mad at you at first but she may actually be forced in to getting some help this way. It sounds like her pain is not being treated and either is her depression. She is an adult but she is out of control and needs some help. Adults can and do need some help sometimes and it really seems as if she is screaming out for some. I know that you do not want to be in the middle but here you are. Possibly the only person in her life that is taking this serious. How bad will you feel if you do nothing and something serious happens? If it were me I would at least have to know that I did all that I could for her. Please keep us informed.
  • She has NO MEMORY of last night. Said she remembers taking two, and sitting at the table with me. She woke up this morning mad at me for spilling coffee on the carpet! I guess then her mother came over and told her everything that happened. She had no idea, she had no idea!

    My family has been through this kind of thing with other members. There's still tension from that, and that was gosh 4 years ago?

    I don't care. I wont watch her die. Next time something like that happens, I'm just calling 911.

    I'm just not willing to put up with the alternative. And I told her that today. First off, I will not allow that behavior around my child. Second, if she goes to the ER, she wont be to happy when they cut off all of her meds, because she cannot use them responsibly. Other than that, I don't know what else I can do.
  • Sorry to see there is still problems. 911 is the way to go, and yes she will be upset. Upset beats dead any day! *HUG* Glad to see you will make to call. I know that is hard. Good luck with it!!!

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • You did waht you could. Maybe this will be enough of a wake up call for her to pull herself together. Good luck.
  • I totally agree with this decision of what you told her and what you will do if this happens again :)

    Did you tell her what you will do if this happens again?
    L1 - S2 "gone" useless in 1 way or another. DDD. RA. Bone Spurs. Tons of nerve damage/issues. Stenosis. Both knees replaced. 50 yrs old. I had a great fall (hence my user name) at age 41 and it has been a domino effect every since.
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