When a person dies of cancer are they remembered for their cancer? Should my son who was an addict be remembered for his disease?
Chad was a man of integrity; brilliant. He was a son, a brother, a husband, a father; who began his addiction with the help of a medical condition and our family doctor.
At the age of 15 Chad had a Pectus Excavatum done to his chest because his lungs and heart were being compromised. He was put on pain medicine, Vicodin, after his surgery. During the 6 hours of surgery, he had his breastbone broken and separated, a steel plate put in to hold his bones apart. As he healed, he developed chronic chest pain. At the age of 18, Chad had collapsed lungs and had to have his chest cavity scraped and his lungs attached to his chest wall. He said, every time he bent over it felt like sandpaper in his chest. The doctors thought it was a good idea to keep him on Vicodin to help ease the chronic pain he was feeling. By the time Chad was 24 he graduated from Vicodin to Oxycodone and Fentanyl. All with prescriptions from our family doctor. At one point, Chad had to go to the emergency room because he ran out of his medicines and began to withdraw. This was just as dangerous as taking the medications prescribed. In the emergency room we met a doctor that said, “Chad should not be on all the medicines he is taking.” So, they decided to help him off the Oxycodone and Fentanyl by prescribing him Suboxsone. Chad had to detox on his own, along with this new prescription once we left the emergency room.
Chad didn’t want to be an addict; his addiction was the result of chronic pain and prescription drugs and no one really paying attention. Chad trusted the doctors to know what he was getting into.
Chad tried to get off the prescribed drugs several times but, the pain of the surgeries always remained. The worst part of this, is he wanted off these drugs. He went to detox twice but never followed through with the support of recovery. Chad had to white knuckle his pain and addiction every time he tried to quit. Addiction is a disease, not his discipline problem.
Chad had a wife that wanted him to be a husband and a father to their child. He had a job that his employer expected him to show up to. He had a sister and a brother that wanted him to be a brother. He had parents that wanted him to be a son. None of us really understood what he was going through. He went to work, he held his son, he did his projects at home, all the while trying to maintain his chronic pain and his addiction.
Chad’s addiction elevated as all diseases do without treatment. Chad lost his job, lost his wife and his happy home. Chad developed additional addictions which happen to many addicts. Addiction breeds addiction. Without a means of income and an addiction to pain medicines, Chad no longer had insurance and turned to street drugs. Chads addiction began at a young age and carried him through to the day he died.
At the young age of 36 years old our son died. In an automobile accident, with a blood alcohol level, 2 times the legal limit and drugs in his system. Because of his circumstances around his accident, he was dismissed as a no body, an alcoholic and a drug addict.
Please, remember Chad!!!
We visited Guiding Light the morning of his death. He was planning to seek help with them the following Monday as this was a Holiday weekend. Thanksgiving was on Thursday. We visited Guiding Light on Friday morning and he was to go in on Monday. He died that Friday night at 11:18 pm.
Our story is the other side. Guiding Light has helped so many men in recovery. Helped them with jobs, food, shelter, education, recovery, Christian faith, hope and self-worth.
Our story is the other side. Our son did not have the help he needed. Not because he did not want it, but because it wasn’t understood by him, it could be. He thought he had to white knuckle and maintain. He didn’t understand he was worthy of the help. His addiction told him he wasn’t but he needed it! He needed Guiding Light. Chad needed the program. What Guiding Light accomplishes for these men, they cannot do alone!!!
Some men recover and some never get the help need. Those are the ones we need to reach out to. Get to them before they are forever gone to us.
If your sons, husbands, fathers, do not get the help they need, they will either die or end up in prison. I want to help the next man survive so he doesn’t have to suffer as our son did for so many years. Now it is us who live without our loved ones.
Please, remember Chad!!!
Chad; a man of integrity, a loving, brilliant man, whom we love so very much and miss every day!!! How can we help so that another mother, father, brother, husband, friend, does not feel the loss we are feeling?
Guiding Light has the program!
We want to thank Guiding Light for all you do to help these men survive. We have, had the pleasure of getting to know them and hear their stories of struggle and success. They are men of integrity, loving people with kind hearts who want to live a life of freedom from addiction.
To the Guiding Light, you are a blessing and doing God’s work.
In Christ love, Perry and Becky Kogelschatz
THIS MEANS THAT ANYONE WHO BELONGS TO CHRIST HAS BECOME A NEW PERSON. THE OLD LIFE IS GONE; A NEW LIFE HAS BEGUN!
2 CORINTHIANS 5:17