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Day 82 -- what you've been putting off

Old 04-09-2015, 04:47 PM
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Day 82 -- what you've been putting off

I quit drinking 82 days ago because I was very ill. I had no idea what was wrong with me but it started with a belly ache and a bad headache at the back of my neck, an earache. I got antibiotics -- a couple days after that I was running with a backpack on my back and herniated two discs, one in my neck and one in my lower back.

When I woke up the next day I had fasciculations, my muscles jumping all over my body, and my head would not stay in place. It wobbled. I had a little bit of ataxia, dizziness, vertigo, and a little bit of past-pointing walking. I also had what I still thought was meningitis.

Whiplash, concussion, meningitis? All causes of brain damage, permanent nerve damage and I was *extremely* worried.

I was still drinking. I would get a bottle of wine and pour it together with water and ice until it was finished, every night. But one night I remember trying to "fix"this problem with weird exercises I found on the internet -- hanging my head off the bed, trying to get my right side to work the same way as my left side. And when I woke up I realized I was going to end up killing myself or *giving* myself brain damage trying to "fix"myself in these drunk crazy ways.

It also occurred to me that if I did have brain or nerve damage I probably...might not have enough nutrition in me from drinking 600 daily calories from alcohol and letting it erode all the vitamin b I had in my body.

So I stopped. That day.

Since then I've been horribly ill. I thought I was getting better but I kept getting sick again, nerve shakes, dizziness, eyes not focusing. I went through a week or two where it felt like my whole head was swollen and my hands were clumsy; I would reach for a pen to sign something and it would just jump out of my hands. I supplemented with tons of vitamins but who knows how many got through to my system. To this day I am shaking; I have muscle weakness that comes and goes, sometimes my legs shake under me, and my neck vibrates in spasm, all night long.

What's excruciating is that since I am no longer drinking I notice everything. I notice the little tremor in my thumb. I notice my shaky legs and my clouded thinking. I go back to this moment a couple months ago where my head hurt so badly that the noise from the fan in my room was actually painful. I wonder every day -- do I have brain damage? Brain damage. It keeps going through my head. Actually my thinking is okay for the most part outside of the fact that I am still terrified and depressed and horrified. PTSD.

And possibly brain damage.

I don't think that alcohol caused all this but I know it brought me to a point that I could not fight off illness or injury and I now have residual nerve and muscle problems.

I am now going to doctors. Lots of doctors, neurologists, opthalmologists since my eyes seem dim. I have a cataract, the neuro-opthalmologist told me, but the eye thing is not a brain problem. Slowly -- I mean this is going to take years I bet -- I am going to have to put my health back together, piece by piece.

I would not have quit drinking if this had not happened. I was thinking it was sort of pathetic that I was downing this bottle every night, and I should stop, and I wanted to stop -- but I never would have, probably, if this had not happened. Why would I have stopped? I was comfortably numb.

Now I feel everything. Everything. Every twitch, every spasm, every weirdness in a body I don't feel like I know very well. It's like drinking gave me a superpowered body that knew no fear and now all that is left is exhaustion and anxiety and worry.

Yesterday before I had any food in me my arm shook like mad from the effort it took to butter a piece of toast. Would that have happened before? What the hell was I running on before, alcohol fumes?

I didn't even want a drop of alcohol for a couple months. I just wanted to be better. I wanted to stop shaking. I wanted my body to work the way it did before. I was so focused on that that drinking did not even occur to me. Although it has occurred to me a couple times that if I woke up in the morning shaky, if my eyes would not focus or I had a headache I would be thinking eh, its just the hangover. I would have drifted to the next sundown and my next bottle of wine and let it fix everything.

It might have worked. It might have made this easier. It might have killed me. I really don't know. What I do know is that alcohol makes you careless. I could have had some of these problems before and not even noticed them. I could have been just sick as hell and shrugged off a lot of this until I ended up in a crash cart or institutionalized with a destroyed nervous system.

It's day 82 for me and these have been some of the most hellish moments of my life. I am really ill with something; something more than post acute withdrawal. I am actually sick and I am painstakingly retracing my steps back to a state of health that might be incomplete. I have no idea what I'll be able to do eventually; hold down a job, have a relationship? I don't know.

It would be easier with alcohol to face this. But with alcohol, actually I probably never would have.
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Old 04-09-2015, 08:19 PM
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Don't really have any advice, but hang in there medicatrix. Glad to know you're seeing doctors, and taking this thing head on.
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Old 04-09-2015, 08:31 PM
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Every day you don't drink is a day your mind and body get a little better. Things improved a lot for me after 3 months - hope they will with you too medicatrix

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