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Beautiful Addiction...

Updated: Feb 11, 2021

On April 16th, 1980 Stephanie was born. I was almost 9 years old when she was born. I knew she was going to be "that cousin" who is more than just my cousin, she would be my friend. Our mothers were sisters.... And to a certain degree, so were we.... We had the best of childhoods. Loved by our families, loved by our friends, and we loved each other.

In adulthood, Stephanie was diagnosed with Sarcoidosis. Sarcoidosis is a disease in which the collections of inflammatory cells (granulomas) can form in any part of your body — most commonly the lungs and lymph nodes. But it can also affect the eyes, skin, heart and other organs. These "sarcoids" (granulomas) on her body's organs put her through so many physical and emotional trials. The worst being those on her heart and spinal cord. At age 26, Stephanie required a pacemaker due to the sarcoids on her heart. The sarcoids on her spinal cord were causing her extreme pain and her doctors were finding it difficult to control her pain; she had a pain pump placed in her back to help control the pain. The pain medication that infused through the pump was Dilaudid. Her body built up a tolerance to the pain medications over time and it didn't work as effectively anymore.

She worked with her physician and the pain clinic. There were times when her pain could be controlled, but the times it couldn't were excruciating; she would wind up going to the ER. As you can imagine, after so many ER visits due to uncontrolled pain, healthcare professionals in the ER's were wary of her pain, feeling she may be a "drug seeker". She was truly hurting and the healthcare professionals she went to see treated her with disbelief. This is when Stephanie turned to "other things" to help control her pain. And that is where it started....

Stephanie became addicted to heroin. How does that happen? How did I not see it?

Below is a gallery of pictures of Stephanie...

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