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Today is a special day to me. It's my brother's birthday. He would of been 52 today. He passed away 16 years ago. He also struggled with addiction. He was such an amazing man. He was strong and loving and protected his family like you wouldn't believe. Not the typical addict one would think of. He was in recovery when he passed. I guess that's what makes his passing the hardest to accept. He had some medical issues - basically because of all the drugs and had an infection in his leg. The veins were literally bursting out of his skin. He was hospitalized and had his calf cut open and packed.

They filled him with antibiotics and pain medicine. Long story short none of that worked and he had his leg amputated from the calf down. He was finally coming home. They sent with him antibiotics and pain pills....of course oxycodone. my parents went over daily. One day he didn't answer the phone so they went over and found him on the floor. I couldn't go over. I couldn't see him like that. That was not how I wanted my last memory of him to be. We had an autopsy done. It was a relief that he tested with normal ranges for the opiate. Which means he wasn't abusing it. Than anger came out. We were told he died because the 2 prescriptions created a toxic gas in his body and he had a heart attack. So as they say - the doctors bury their mess ups. I can't even imagine what he felt dying alone. The guilt I have is he called me the night he died. I talked to him for a little but said let me call you back I'm out. I never thought he would die and I would never be able to call him back. I still struggle with that guilt even though I know he's in heaven and forgives me. All I can say is never be too busy for family. Time isn't promised.

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