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What to say to AW in bad shape in Hospital??

Old 03-26-2018, 10:11 AM
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What to say to AW in bad shape in Hospital??

A few days back I posted a new thread called "The Face of Death." Long story short: AW went to hospital probably trying to get medically detoxed although, per doctor, official admission was for bladder infection monitor for detox.

Anyway it was a bad detox - really bad. A week ago they called in a rapid response team and put her in the Critical Care Unit. Lungs, liver, kidneys all going south. They placed her on a ventitlator so they could get the issues sorted out.

The good news is: it worked. They've taken her off the ventilator and, medically, her body is starting to slowly recover.

She's still technically in the CCU but opens her eyes, seems to be oriented (knows who people are, follows commands) 99% of the time with an occassional "WTF" - that I attribute to the heavy sedation she was on (she's been literally out of it for nearly 2 weeks). She can speak, but just barely and it's sort of a mumble.

Anyway, right before all of this, I'd moved out of the house. Before coming to work today, I stopped by the hospital to check on her condition.

Part of the conversation from her was "please don't leave me." To which my response has been "it's too early to have this conversation. You need to get medically better first. And, then, you've got to get over this thing because it is literally killing you" (Dr. says he thinks liver will be ok with medication and abstinence, but keep heading down this road and . . .. ).

I said, "the plan after you leave this hospital is to go to [name of rehab], right?"

And she said "I don't want to go to [rehab center], but I have to go."

I dunno . . . left me deflated. Sounded like "less than rock bottom." And if nearly dying wasn't rock bottom . . . well, the next level is, in fact, the grave.

What do you say to someone who is medically as weak as a new born kitten right now??

The only thing I can think of is: I'm not doing this again. The kids aren't doing this again. We thought you were dead/going to die. In my head, I'd started "writing" her eulogy. I was pissed off; I cried; I was going through the stages of grieving and loss.

I don't even want to talk about "us" until she has, at least, 1 year of no relapse recovery under her belt.

I also feel chitty for saying that while she's laying in a hospital bed with tubes running in and out of her everywhere.

MCESaint
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Old 03-26-2018, 10:20 AM
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cunning
baffling
powerful
those are the words used to describe addiction.

i know this is a scary time....you are witnessing the true life and death struggle that alcohol can wage upon a person. it makes RATIONAL sense that the patient would want to take every possible step they could to get better and to never be in such a state again.

key word rational.

more will be revealed. i truly hope the for the best of outcomes for all of you.
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Old 03-26-2018, 10:20 AM
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"I'm sorry you feel this way."

"I'm sorry you feel this way, but it doesn't change what needs to happen next."

It is compassionate, it doesn't take any accountability or offer any promises.

I'm sorry MCE - truth is there is no great, perfect way to handle this & her moods are likely to continue changing as this process unfolds.
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Old 03-26-2018, 10:26 AM
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Originally Posted by FireSprite View Post
"I'm sorry you feel this way."

"I'm sorry you feel this way, but it doesn't change what needs to happen next."

It is compassionate, it doesn't take any accountability or offer any promises.

I'm sorry MCE - truth is there is no great, perfect way to handle this & her moods are likely to continue changing as this process unfolds.
Yeah, I should know all this. I've entertained in my mind that she could get sober and decide she doesn't want ME in her life.

I dunno . . . when I hear her say "please don't leave me" - my internal filters hear "please don't leave me so I can keep drinking."

I don't know if that's what she is really saying . . . but that's what *I* hear it as anyway.

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Old 03-26-2018, 10:30 AM
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I've repeated it over & over in conversation, as a reply to EVERY single thing my husband is saying.

I'm sorry you feel that way.
I'm sorry you feel that way.
I'm sorry you feel that way.

Just constant, firm repetition of the same statements over & over & over. It's sort of a comfort for me - no engaging, no stress over reaching for the "right" response.
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Old 03-26-2018, 11:05 AM
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Oh goodness, i feel for you. Exhausting. Sending best wishes.
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Old 03-26-2018, 11:10 AM
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Part of the conversation from her was "please don't leave me." To which my response has been "it's too early to have this conversation. You need to get medically better first. And, then, you've got to get over this thing because it is literally killing you" (Dr. says he thinks liver will be ok with medication and abstinence, but keep heading down this road and . . .. ).
I said, "the plan after you leave this hospital is to go to [name of rehab], right?"
And she said "I don't want to go to [rehab center], but I have to go."
I dunno . . . left me deflated. Sounded like "less than rock bottom." And if nearly dying wasn't rock bottom . . . well, the next level is, in fact, the grave.
What do you say to someone who is medically as weak as a new born kitten right now??
The only thing I can think of is: I'm not doing this again. The kids aren't doing this again. We thought you were dead/going to die. In my head, I'd started "writing" her eulogy. I was pissed off; I cried; I was going through the stages of grieving and loss.
I don't even want to talk about "us" until she has, at least, 1 year of no relapse recovery under her belt.
I also feel chitty for saying that while she's laying in a hospital bed with tubes running in and out of her everywhere.



Heart goes out to you. If it were me I think I would try to keep things as simple as possible. She detoxed but that doesnt mean her brain function is normal, or her thinking is anywhere clear/rational in terms of her addiction and the damage its caused. I would probably focus on what you know to be true. You care as evidenced by being there to visit. This may be all you can offer truthfully at this point. I would try to reinforce with positivity - there is a plan in place for rehab and following that path leads to hope for her health and all other aspects of her life. I wouldn't worry too much about her "reluctance" about rehab. I agree with the "Im sorry you feel that way" so her feelings are recognized but not challenged. Its a scary thought and she may have trouble being able to conceive how it can change her life, or how she will feel once sober and healthy.
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Old 03-26-2018, 11:10 AM
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Sorry to hear that your AW does not want to go to rehab to save her life. The truth is even if she has to go she doesn't have to stay. She will be back to drinking and you will be back to where you are today. Nothing changes if nothing changes.
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Old 03-26-2018, 11:34 AM
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Well of course you feel sh*tty, the whole situation sucks but it isn't you who chose to continue drinking in spite of evidence that it was harming your life and your loved ones.

I can get really sucked in when I feel pity. The hard thing to remember with As is that, unlike other illnesses, providing a home and all the comforts therein when they have proven to us over and over that they will continue drinking, does not actually help them and in fact has been proven to prolong their alcohol abuse and aid and abet their further demise.

You said it best:
I'm not doing this again. The kids aren't doing this again. We thought you were dead/going to die. In my head, I'd started "writing" her eulogy. I was pissed off; I cried; I was going through the stages of grieving and loss.

I don't even want to talk about "us" until she has, at least, 1 year of no relapse recovery under her belt.


Sounds good. And it even has an actionable goal: I'll talk to you about "us" when you are sober and recovered 12 months solid.

It is just so freakin hard. We hurt them when we try to help them, whether it is actual help (the non-enabling kind) or the wrong kind of help (one more chance at enabling!). We feel we are hurting them because we apply the normal bounds of love and friendship, and sometimes we have to do things that seem out of those bounds. Just recall: Alcoholism does not play by those rules.

Peace,
B.
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Old 03-26-2018, 11:52 AM
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Even if it hurts to say no to her coming home at this time,
you can't put your kids through the trauma of another cycle of witnessing
her self-destruction.

What is best for them?
A stable situation, with you sane and your spouse hopefully embracing
the support she must have to get and stay sober.
Right now you cannot be that support alone and she is in no shape
to fix her addiction herself.

So sorry about this very tough situation.
But nothing will change if you let her do what she's always done,
so be strong and loving and let her seek recovery if she will choose it.
You, as the stable parent, must be the rock for your kids.
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Old 03-26-2018, 12:01 PM
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" . . .when I hear her say "please don't leave me" - my internal filters hear "please don't leave me so I can keep drinking."

^^^ Your internal filter is probably right on this one MC. Yuck.

Do you have a plan of how you are going to proceed from here? It might be good to have a plan for if the rehab takes and a plan for if it doesn't. I suppose the boundary is some action on her part where you do actually leave her. I have no idea what any of this will look like for you.

Trying to be supportive here but I know it must be so ding dang dad blasted difficult and not much that anyone can do. So often on Soberrecovery I feel like Sheldon Cooper in the Big Bang Theory; All I can do is pat you, say "There, there" and offer you a hot bevarage.

For what it is worth here is a group hug:
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Old 03-26-2018, 12:12 PM
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MCESaint....If it were me...this is what I would do....I would call the local AA organization and ask if someone could come and do a "12th Step" visit to her.
And, I would also have the children to make drawings to take to her....expressions of their love and need for her.....This is because the children can be a powerful motivator for a mother....

I have spent most of my life in hospitals taking care of very sick people...and, have worked with alcoholics and their families in a couple of treatment programs....Usually, I was introduced to the alcoholic while they were very sick, in a hospital bed. LOL...frequently, my opening line, as I sat on their bed and held their hands was...."Hi, I am Ms. Dandylion, and I am so glad to meet you. I am taking care of you and I am so glad to meet you...I am now your very best friend"........surprisingly...they almost always followed m e along...even the very sickest.....(I followed them and saw them and their families for the next 3 months...or, as long as they "needed" me)....
the thing is...I really didn't give them a choice...just a "This is the way it is".. kind of attitude...

The reason that I am relating this to you is that...I think it is important to have unwavering boundaries....combined with lots of non-judgmental compassion...

I agree with the poster who said that just your being there is enough to convey caring, at this time. I would not get into any debates or long winded discussions about the future...she just needs to know the basics...if/when she asks....
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Old 03-26-2018, 07:34 PM
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My exah was in this state as I mentioned before. He had tubes out of every orifice and was very, very ill. The hospital wanted him to go for a medical detox and rehab cos they had to keep him on meds to stop withdrawal while he was in hospital even tho he was still denying drinking much at that point. He refused. He had cpr twice in one weekend and 2 emergency operations and he refused. I went out the ward to the corridor and sobbed against window. My kids all saw how ill he was and I had no choice but to take him home cos, unlike you, I had not moved out at that point.

It was a nightmare so please do everything you can not to have to take care of her. He got home and was too ill to go upstairs so slept in a bed we brought down. He was on all sorts of medication and I left him to sleep and when I went back in the room he was drinking red wine out of the bottle. I have no idea where he had got it from. I had a massive fight with him. Screamed at him he had actually died twice and what was he playing at and he laughed at me. He said I was making it all up and he was fine. He never has found his bottom. He is just a very ill weak man now living on borrowed time. My kids went through hell over him coming back. So did I for that matter. They were scared stiff at the amount he was putting back after all the doctors had said to him. I feel for you but it doesn't seem like your wife wants to get help either .
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Old 03-27-2018, 09:40 AM
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I ALWAYS caution about the concept of "rock bottom." The sad reality is that it does not exist for many people. It can be death. It can be a life of homelessness and addiction. It can be all sorts of things.

Your wife has had the face of death in her face. It that is not enough to prompt her to reach for recovery, I would say nothing is. Sad, but very true.

I encourage you to maintain your boundaries, even when she is pulling at your heart strings. Listen to the brain, not the heart.

Hugs to you.
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Old 03-27-2018, 10:36 AM
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I said, "the plan after you leave this hospital is to go to [name of rehab], right?"

And she said "I don't want to go to [rehab center], but I have to go."

I dunno . . . left me deflated. Sounded like "less than rock bottom." And if nearly dying wasn't rock bottom . . . well, the next level is, in fact, the grave.


her response could be for a few different reasons.
one im thinking of is fear- fear of life without alcohol. possibly fear of having to
face a whole crapton of crap alcohol was just a symptom of.
the title of the thread is:
What to say to AW in bad shape in Hospital??
so maybe ,"i mentioned rehab recently and you said you didnt want to got but have to. why dont you want to go and why do you have to go?"
she knows she has to go, so thats a positive- denial isnt able to mask what she knows is happening.
i hope she decides to take the gift of rehab for herself

i can cringe when people mention rock bottom. rock bottom is death. period. there is no deeper. until then, theres a LOT of gloom,dispair,and agony on the way down- no matter the stage the alcoholic is at- to rock bottom for anyone who stays around the alcoholic that doesnt want help or is willing to do the work for recovery.
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