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Missed Al-anon, and irritated with myself now

Old 06-27-2011, 06:34 PM
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Missed Al-anon, and irritated with myself now

Tonight is the night I'd decided I would attend my first Al-anon meeting. Despite the anxiety, I had everything ready to go. Then baby overslept on her nap and woke up half an hour before, screaming for food. I feed her, get ready to head out the door, and hear AH crying in the other room. He almost certainly broke his arm earlier today (going by what he says about it and the current size of it), and I told him that I would take him to the hospital if he wanted a ride. He sat for about 20 minutes telling me which bone he's pretty sure is broken, the exact type of plates he'll need (including the serial number), and how the VA will have to transfer him to the county hospital because they don't have a surgical division. Then he decided that he's just going to wait it out and see what happens -- I'm sure by time his anesthesia wears off he'll be ready to go, but the meeting is half over now. I'm pretty irritated with myself -- looking back I should have asked if he wanted a ride, if he didn't right this second then say, "Okay, see you in an hour, let me know if you want a ride then." I don't think he knows I was planning on Al-anon tonight (or that I've been thinking of it at all), so I doubt it was really purposeful, but I see definite room for improvement with how I personally handled it.
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Old 06-27-2011, 06:54 PM
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Most places there are meetings every day. Make the next one that you can.
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Old 06-27-2011, 08:38 PM
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If at first you dont succeed, try again... And again
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Old 06-27-2011, 08:50 PM
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Your recovery is showing and it looks beautiful from here!

I'm pretty irritated with myself -- looking back I should have asked if he wanted a ride, if he didn't right this second then say, "Okay, see you in an hour, let me know if you want a ride then."

Three steps in recovery are:

Awareness
Acceptance
Action

You are aware of how you acted
You are accepting your responsibility for missing the meeting
You are planning your next actions

Bravo!
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Old 06-27-2011, 09:17 PM
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It took me a little while to get to my first meeting too.... I'm sure there is another meeting tomorrow so just try to get there when you can.
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Old 06-28-2011, 04:23 AM
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Wywriter,

Once the "anesthesia" wears off, it seems very likely you will either deliver your AH to the VA, or he will immediately re-"anesthetize" to bear the pain, and in a big way.

Both present windows of opportunity certainly coming soon.

I hope the plan is never to leave an infant alone with AH, especially in this condition.

Maybe the plan went awry, but you did the best you could on the spot and you were ready and willing to carry out your plan. I hope you can give yourself credit for progress. You are already dealing with very difficult circumstances - judging yourself harshly isn't productive.

My motto is "forward progress, every day" even if very small.

My experience was that the first few Al-anon meetings felt REALLY strange to me, but I kept going. And then all of a sudden, my inner self realized it was a safe place, and it was like someone finally put a salve on a fiercely burning wound. It happened when I went to enough meetings to finally get ahold of that jittery panic and open my mouth, and when I did, the world didn't erupt in nuclear meltdown, they just sat and listened, and heard me. It was like out of the fog, these people emerged in that room, and they all UNDERSTOOD.

In my early recovery, I went to a meeting every damn day, I was so damaged. And I went to an equal number of open AA meetings as Al-anon meetings. I needed this to wrap my head around what this disease was, did, meant, became, required for treatment. The AA meetings were incalculably helpful to me, to see recovery from their side, help me separate out the disease from the people affected by it, get crystal clear vision of what real recovery looks like and what is just smokescreen BS, and finally understand it wasn't about me - that I was just collateral damage from this freight train, and what I needed to do was get out of the way, tend to myself, and heal.

Sending encouragement,

CLMI
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Old 06-28-2011, 12:21 PM
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Thanks, everybody ...Wednesday is the next one, and plans are on the table for it again. Luckily, re-anesthetizing isn't an option at the moment 'cause AH's mean ol' wifey took the debit card and got a money order for the rent, no money left anywhere. Having no credit used to really bother me, now I love the fact that there's absolutely no way either one of us can spend money we don't actually have.

No worries, baby never stays home with him except when I know for a fact there's no alcohol and no chance to get any (and long after DTs...last night he was laughing at her because monkey skins are even smaller than her). I'm planning on checking out all four Al-anon meetings here in town and see which one I fit into, but also which one baby fits into too. My mom did mention that she'd be willing to come with me to the meetings whenever she's not working. I thanked her, said that I'd rather go on my own, but I would be very grateful if she'd like some time with her granddaughter whenever she's not working. Basically, whichever meeting works for me will be mine to go to and then Mom can choose from the other three (RA with an AH). Luckily, she respects the fact that I don't really want her around when I talk about how alcohol has affected my life, considering my parents do have a prominent role that I've been working through and we both know what I have to say won't be easy to hear.
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Old 06-28-2011, 12:40 PM
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Wywriter,

Do you have an ER in proximity?

If your AH experiences DTs, and since your description of him lately suggests end-stage, he is at substantial risk of alcohol withdrawal syndrome, which itself could kill him from cutting off alcohol consumption cold turkey:
The severity of the alcohol withdrawal syndrome can vary from mild symptoms such as mild sleep disturbances and mild anxiety to very severe and life threatening including delirium, particularly visual hallucinations in severe cases and convulsions (which may result in death). These symptoms appear characteristically on waking, due to the fall in the blood alcohol concentration during sleep. The severity of alcohol withdrawal depends on various factors including age, genetics, and, most importantly, degree of alcohol intake and length of time the individual has been misusing alcohol and number of previous detoxifications.
(Above from wikipedia "alcohol withdrawal syndrome")

From your descriptions lately, it sounds like he's been looking sicker, and on a worse bender. These are both high risk factors to fatal alcohol withdrawal complications.


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Old 06-28-2011, 02:47 PM
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Yes, the hospital is about 10 minutes away -- he's had some pretty nasty DTs for the past year (and often babbles on completely nonsensically, has torn apart a dresser drawer to fix the electronics in it, etc.), but he absolutely refuses to go to a hospital. As far as I'm concerned, as long as the withdrawal isn't violent (and it never has been, any violence is always when he's still very drunk) I'll leave him to it. Sooner or later it'll kill him, but not a whole heck of a lot I can do about it. I even hesitate to call an ambulance just knowing what sort of trouble the responders will have trying to get him to go against his will -- he's a pretty powerful guy, even now (used to play semi-pro football and hockey, professional boxing with a perfect record except the draw that made him decide to quit).

No matter how drunk he gets, he does tend to keep track of his finances and the last fifth will take him a couple of days, as opposed to the normal 4-6 hours, so maybe that tapering helps a little bit. Either way, he's made it clear he'll go to a hospital when he's blue and bloated, and I won't push the subject. If it sticks around longer than usual or something more severe happens I'll call them, but detaching from that whole potential roller-coaster has been a huge accomplishment for me and I know that if he dies it's squarely on his shoulders. The way he's been lately, I'm surprised every time he survives. That may sound really horrible, but it is what it is.
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Old 06-28-2011, 02:51 PM
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Originally Posted by catlovermi View Post
Wywriter,

These symptoms appear characteristically on waking, due to the fall in the blood alcohol concentration during sleep.
(Above from wikipedia "alcohol withdrawal syndrome")
Oooh, this bit I didn't know -- that would explain why it often seems like he woke up slower than his body from odd dreams. I used to sleepwalk and speak very clearly (sometimes with my eyes open) while I was asleep, and before I really understood alcohol withdrawal I thought maybe he had some of the same issues. Now I know better and I've stopped trying to figure out where the heck that came from :P.
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Old 06-28-2011, 03:45 PM
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Wywriter,

I wasn't trying to suggest you try something you are not able to do (i.e., force him into an action against his will), but rather provide information (in case this information is unfamiliar to you - I don't know whether it is or not, so err on the side it may be - many people do not know that alcohol withdrawal can cause death due to seizures, and if he's never had this reaction before, but is getting worse, it could take one by surprise) so you would be prepared with information, in the case he does have a bad reaction and does go into seizures.

With the information, you can draw a mental landscape for in case it happens. You can think ahead of time what it would be like, and what you might want to do, if it happens. This is not to say you should follow one course of action, or another, but rather just get you thinking how YOU would want to respond, in the case it happens - how you would want to manage yourself, your household, your children. And this becomes a bit more important as he looks a high risk candidate, and your son is coming for a fairly lengthy stay, coinciding with this time window, and you have an infant's care to consider, thrown into the mix, as well.

It's nice to hear you have some family support.

CLMI
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Old 06-28-2011, 04:03 PM
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And thank you for the information . At this point I do have a pretty good idea what to expect, and I suspect before too long I'll see seizures from him -- and in that case I'll definitely call an ambulance. Thankfully I do live in my hometown (came back after divorcing my first husband) so I have a lot of support people nearby, and if I have to rush off to the hospital during the day I can take the kids with and AH's ex-coworkers have already offered to help me with them until I can find someone to watch them for the duration of the crisis. If I have to rush off in the middle of the night, one of my best friends lives in the apartment above our house and would be willing to sleep with the doors to the stairway open so she could hear if they woke up. I suppose that's one plus to having such a heavily alcoholic family, I've learned to plan ahead for just about everything :P.
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