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An Introduction

Old 03-20-2022, 07:46 PM
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An Introduction

I thought it was time to introduce myself, since Iíve been lurking for literally years. I hope itís okay that I posted in this forum rather than the Ďnew to sobrietyí forum, as the latter didnít seem to fit.

I have late-stage cirrhosis caused by AIH, alcoholic hepatitis, and hemochromatosis. This was first diagnosed about 3.5 years ago which, not coincidentally, was also the day I consumed my last alcoholic beverage.

I am a physician (so I should have known better, everyone tells me). I did, actually, know better. But Denial is not just a river, and all of that.

I thought I was fine, but was taken to the ER by a family member because clearly I was anything but fine. Clear to everyone but me, apparently. I was in full hepatic and renal failure. Potassium was around 10 (I should be dead), creatinine was 11, and everything else was screwed up too. ICU for weeks, on a ventilator, dialysis several times a week, etc.

Horrible HE. Itís really hard to describe it. You think youíre making perfect sense; meanwhile you think the nurses are going to shoot you and that, when having dialysis, you are on an airport runway. And youíre trying to warn your doctor that bombs were about to hit the runway.

Loads of fun - great experience. Said no one ever.

Finally was discharged into outpatient rehab. I couldnít walk, talk, or think.

A few months later I was diagnosed with hepatopulmonary syndrome. Which is all fine and good, as long as you donít mind dying because you canít breathe.

Then I was diagnosed with breast cancer. Chemo, radiation. Burned lung from the radiation. And of course, zero immune system. Then along comes COVID....

Hospitalized 3 times with COVID. One was SARS pneumonia. No problem ó I still have a small amount of functional lung left so have at it, COVID!

Long story short (I know ó WAAAY too late) is that I had no freaking clue how sick I was. I was told that one more swallow of alcohol would kill me. And I know it would.

I spent weeks at Mayo Clinic being evaluated for transplant. I am also SO grateful for the opportunity to change my diet and incorporate other healthy changes to my life. It has made a huge difference.

What would have happened if someone had not intervened and taken me to the ER? I would be dead, because I would have said to myself that I could quit tomorrow. Except I had NO TOMORROW.

This forum is so supportive and the people here are wonderful. I would like to say one thing though. The counting of sober days bothers me. Iím not sure what the purpose is. It seems to me that itís almost like there is some underlying expectation that sobriety will fail, or else why count? In my own case itís Do or Do Not. There is no Try. Either I am sober or I am dead. So I would be counting to infinity.

I am sorry if I offended anyone. If this helps even one person avoid what I went through, though, itís worth it. None of us really know when things will fall apart due to drinking. But they WILL fall apart, and you may not get any do-overs. I understand how hard all of this is, believe me. Please donít assume that there will be an opportunity to get sober sometime in the future. Because there may not be.

Do or Do Not. There is no Try.

Thank you for allowing me to share. Love and peace to all.
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Old 03-20-2022, 07:59 PM
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Welcome, and thank you for the introductory post, Angelgreeneyes, as well as the powerful message. I am so sorry you have been through so much - I can't fathom it. I hope your health is returning and that you post more.

Your message is a good one for me to hear and I am sure many others.

I wish you strength and healing.

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Old 03-20-2022, 08:20 PM
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Welcome to posting!

No offense at all, and appreciate your story óa great example of how addiction can be a killer, and ANYONE can get addicted.

When I quit smoking cigs 34 and a half years ago, I had a PAPER calendar and I marked my days off with an Ďxí that I was successful not smoking. I didnít Ďcountí days per say, but I sure did like seeing a lot of marks each month. I did that for a year. I didnít count weeks, either.

Asking ĎSirií how many days since August 28, 2021 is my new-age, modern,PAPER calendar. Itís a way to Ďseeí a lot of marks.

When we change behavior, some persons like to see a little advancement in their new endeavor.

Marking off my accomplishments in not smoking that first year didnít sabotage my desired and successful war against my nicotine addiction, and Iím fairly sure feeling a sense of accomplishment by counting days gives many of us continued motivation.

Much like buying a size smaller clothes when we diet, or getting on the scale to weigh our progress if losing fat (the laypersonís understanding of losing weight) is our goal.

Quitting alcohol and keeping track of the progress of the kidneys and liver. Itís looking at the time span and progress obtained, yes?

A huge congrats on your sober time. So glad to have you here. 🥰🤓
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Old 03-20-2022, 08:35 PM
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Hi and welcome angelgreeneyes

I’m sorry for what you have been through but I’m very glad you’re here with us.

There is no requirement here at SR to count days
Some do, some do not.

I wouldn’t have any idea what ‘day’ I’m on, but for others it’s very important.

The multiplicity of approaches here at SR, makes this a great place IMO

D


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Old 03-21-2022, 06:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Angelgreeneyes View Post
<snip>

Please donít assume that there will be an opportunity to get sober sometime in the future. Because there may not be.

Do or Do Not. There is no Try.
Exactly. I've known several people who died or who have been permanently disabled due to alcohol. In some of those cases there was no huge warning.

I hope your health remains as stable as medically possible. Welcome to the forums.
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Old 03-21-2022, 08:12 AM
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Hello Angelgreen eyes (love the name),

That is quite a story, I am sure it will help many get or stay sober. I know reading stories like yours surely helps me stay on track. I understand why counting days may bother some, but when I am having a bad day/week, I tend to look at my sober days as the one constant that no one can take from me. They are mine and I earned every single one. Just an insight into a different perspective.

Cathy

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Old 03-21-2022, 08:39 PM
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Thank you everyone for the wonderful welcome! It is much appreciated!

Also, thank you for pointing out that there are other ways to think about the ďcounting daysĒ issue. I did a poor job of communicating that in my original post. We do what works! And I can definitely see everyoneís point.

I think in my own situation, I see it (counting days) as something I might fall into. To my own detriment. I would possibly see it as another way to avoid making that hard decision. And I read posts from a couple of people (mostly older threads) where it seemed clear that the member wasnít sure if they really wanted to be sober forever. And commented how boring sobriety was, etc.

it wonít work unless and until we make the firm decision to STOP DRINKING. And then stick to it. No one else can make that decision. No one else can make it happen.

I am grateful to be alive. Every minute of every day.

Oh, and my username is what my ex-fiancť used to call me. He is in the Ďexí category because it took him 2 years to inform me that he was actually married.

Iím in my 50s and currently live alone. I have found that having a dog is way easier than dealing with a man lol
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