Sunday, April 15, 2012

6- Degradation and Mortification

Now its time to pay the fiddler, and tear down walls.  If I say 90 percent of my friends drink on a regular basis, I'm low balling.  Even people who aren't close to me know that I drink a lot now, but I've managed to be a functioning alcoholic for the most part.  Nevertheless, its time to let everyone in, and give up the reins.  Like it or not, there is an unnerving interrogation headed my way.

My family is present when the inquiry begins.  First, the doctor asks me if I know why I'm sick, and a great burden is lifted from my shoulders when I say, 'Yes.  I drink too much.'

 Apparently, this gives the doctor pleasure to berate and chastise me.  From now on, he'll be known as Dr. Prick.  I think Dr. Prick skipped his bedside manner elective.  Easy A.  He responds with, 'Good.  I thought you were going to lie about it.'

I couldn't even tell you what he looks like, and Dr Prick's prognosis is uplifting and supportive.  'If you have one more drink, you will die!'  I should have known better, and its too late because I'm at my 'End of Life' stage.  I am too far gone, and it's doubtful I will ever be able to take care of myself.  I understand the gravity of what he's saying, but how about a little tact?

Normally, they would fetch a liver biopsy through my abdomen.  Due to my ascites, they'll have to find a different route, so they go down vertically from my shoulder. I'm awake and sitting up for this procedure, but I hardly flinch.  You'd think I would have some concern with a needle that long, gingerly making its way past my right lung to my liver. There is more risk with my liver because one false move and we're gonna have a bleeder on our hands.

 Not unlike most scarring, scarred liver tissue does not repair itself.  I have stage 4 cirrhosis, and there is no stage 5.  Either I block it out or I just flat out don't remember when I'm told life expectancy is typically six months to a year.  I'm certain my recovery would be much different if I had latched onto it and accepted that death was on the way.  With my refusal to believe it and the numerous people coming to visit and comfort me, I'm holding up ok.

I don't think that I'm going to die.  I'm going to get my health back, and then some because I'm not going to drink anymore.  There is no way that I will ever risk something like this again.  I've drank enough for 5 lifetimes anyway.  I sense, that if I see myself right now, I would not have the same conviction that I'm not going to die.  That just doesn't seem real when someone tells you that your time is almost up..  Its time to get busy living, there is no other outcome ahead.

I now have 6, 8, 10 physicians, residents, and students visiting my room now.  Inasmuch this is a hospital, it is a university.  I'm never far from a student.  As for the alcohol withdrawal, they have started a number of treatments to attempt to make it as smooth as possible.

 My withdrawals are compounded by the fact that I went from full on drinking to no alcohol at all.  This can cause your body quite a bit of shock.  I am in for quite a ride with this detox.  I now have electrodes on my head and some kind bull ring on for brain scans.  Of course, I am still dehydrated and I'm not peeing, but they will only give me small amounts of water.  Allowance to drink as much water as I desire, would just leech out into my abdomen.

The want for water is overwhelming.  When I tell one of the nurses that I need a drink, she scowls at me and tells me I don't drink anymore. ' No shit!  I know that, I'm just thirsty.  Urgh, I'm not trying to be an ass, but can I please have some water?'  I believe they've allotted 1000ml per 8 hours.  Oops, now I have to pee.  'Can you help me to the restroom please?' 'One or two?'  I hold up my index finger and the nurse says, 'You can go now. You have a catheter.'  Oh.  I feel like Steve Martin in the movie Dirty Rotten Scoundrels.
 'Thank you.'

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