So it's a few months shy of the one year anniversary of Angel's passing, and about 3 weeks ago her mom finally told me the results of the autopsy. She just couldn't bring herself to tell me any sooner; although, she had known for several months.
Angel passed from methadone toxicity...not necessarily an overdose, but with the way the drug works and absorbs she had too much in her system to support continued breathing (kinda confusing). I already (sort of) knew Angel's death had to do with the drug she was prescribed, even though I didn't have confirmation until a few weeks ago.
Last September, Angel was prescribed methadone by her PM doc. It was actually her first appt with the doc, and it was a bit shocking the dr. would prescribe such a potent drug. When Angel had told me about it I questioned why methadone? I was under the impression, at the time, it was used strictly for helping heroin addicts...but I did my research and it is sometimes used in pain management. She was confused too, but thought she would give it a try.
Angel said it didn't help much with the pain longer than a few hours (she had chronic back pain from severe scoliosis and bulging discs), but had to take it as prescribed since she had signed a contract with the dr. The dr. was obligated to monitor Angel closely with blood draws, and follow ups. BUT she (dr.) did not meet her end of the contract. She (dr.) continued to refill prescriptions, even if Angel missed her appt (s). I know the dr. isn't at complete fault since Angel continued the med without proper monitoring, but the dr. should not have continued refilling prescriptions...grrrrrr!!
So now her mom (my Aunt) has contacted the DCI (Dept of Criminal Investigation) of SD to launch an investigation into Angel's death. I'm not sure what will come of the investigation, or if they will contact me. My Aunt has passed all my information onto the investigator (they would have gotten it anyway since the sheriff in Angel's town is also getting involved in the investigation and she has my contact info). So not really sure what is coming...but hopefully it will answer some questions...and bring some peace to everyone (family & friends).
I was doing really well with moving past the grief I have felt, but it has all come back...not quite as bad as in the beginning...but it is there simmering. I saw a grief counselor over the summer, and he really put things in perspective for me then...I may have to call him again with the new information. It's really eating at me, because my Aunt does not want anyone else in the family to know the real cause of death until it can't be hidden anymore (once investigation is launched). I have briefly mentioned it to a friend of mine, but felt guilty for laying such dark news on her (she knew Angel...was her neighbor).
Angel's 40th birthday is coming up (Nov. 18)...so looking forward to that...I have the "40" tiara, necklace and shot glass Angel gave me on my 40th, and I will be placing those items on her grave. I told her (when she gave them to me) that I was saving them for her...she thought it was pretty funny...and I remember her telling me then..."oh whatever, I'll never be 40."
Anyhow...thanks for reading if you have gotten this far...it was pretty cathartic for me to actually write everything down.