Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Hard lessons learned the hard way from the School of Hard Knocks

This is a toughie. I reallyreallyreeeeally want to write about what’s been going on around here, and a couple of years ago I would have freely laid the whole thing out, whether you wanted to read about it or not, but I’ve got this notion bumping around in my skull that it might not be my story to tell.

That sucks because things to write about are hard to come by, you know?

But I do think that I can at least share my experiences, if I can find a way to do it without crossing some invisible boundary and violating privacy, blah, blah, blah.

So for the past five days I have been spending most of my time in a hospital room 2500 miles from home with my sick girl. There are actually two illnesses going on simultaneously, and progress has been see-sawing between the two. She’s been here over a week now, and still can’t have ANYTHING by mouth, not even ice chips. She was having ice chips last week and even graduated to the broth-and-jello diet for a couple of days until her body pitched a fit. So now it’s back to bag after bag of saline, and in between medication naps, begging me for "just one little ice chip..."

It really blows, but at least she’s no longer demanding to go outside for a cigarette. And she no longer believes she’s been kidnapped for medical experiments.

On another topic that may or may not be related in any way to what’s going on out here, I bought a bookto keep me from chewing the armrests of the plane seats on my trip out. It has turned out to be extremely educational and I firmly believe that anyone who drinks alcohol, might drink alcohol, or finds themselves furrowing their brows over someone’s relationship to alcohol (incl. their own) should read this book immediately. It’s that important. Especially if there’s a chance people with whom you share genetic material have/had issues in that general area.

Also, on another topic that may or may not be related in any way to previous topics in this post, did you know that what killed Amy Winehouse might have been alcohol withdrawal? Yes, stopping cold turkey without medical supervision can KILL your ass. Seizures, tachycardia, severe low blood pressure, hallucinations… it is terrifying stuff. Trust me on this one.

And, with alcohol consumption, can come other diseases to complicate things, like say, as a random example, acute pancreatitis. Another thing you do NOT want to fuck with. And you do not have to be a falling-in-the-gutter wino for decades to get these sorts diseases. The twenty-ton anvil can smear you to the pavement at any time. All it takes is for your body to get sick and tired of your shit, and that is unique to each individual.

So get educated and be safe out there, kids-of all-ages. Better to know the facts and not need them, than to worry for years, rationalize things based on severely outdated biases and data, expect people to exert control over behaviors they stand no chance of controlling, then get that phone call out of the blue.


  1. My 21 year old grandson died in August of lung congestion, but being very drunk may have contributed to it. That may be why he didn't wake up when he couldn't breathe. We will get the coroner's report one day and know for sure. My daughter wants to warn teens about death by alcohol because the coroner said it is common. Young people just don't understand the danger of drinking. I'm very sorry about your daughter. I hope all turns out well for her and you.

  2. I'm so sorry, Belle. For people who lose control of their drinking, alcohol is so much more dangerous than any of us realize, even us grown-ups!


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