Total Pageviews

  • Posts
  • Comments
  • Pageviews

Friday, June 12, 2015

Someone is Going to Hell

The still stole dad's newspaper. And the note I wrote.

Paper Thief

I printed and taped this to where the delivery man put my copy of the New York Times, the one day I was able to get it.

Bargaining. Which One of the 12-Steps is That?

Robert has as a perfect plan: a compromise between sobriety and drunkenness. This will allow his liver to heal and him to continue to drink. He has it all worked out to a 'T', and is holding fast to his perfect arrangement; he will buy a bottle of Gin Joycelyn and I will hold. We will measure out two Martinis worth of booze a day and he will stick to this arraignment, drinking nothing more. He promises: pinky swear!
Ignoring the fact he tried this six months ago, and ended up in the hospital after who knows how many falls.
Ignoring the delivering liquor store that has his credit card on file.
Ignoring what will happen when Joycelyn and I can't make it for a day.
Ignoring the dozen bars within walking distance of his apartment, no matter how feeble one is.
Ignoring the countless counselors, friends, family members and loved ones who *know* this will not work.
Hope springs eternal;
Unfortunately so does disappointment.
And in this instance, disappointment means no more dad. There is no way of knowing which drink will kill Robert. The only thing we know is there is a drink that will kill him. It may be his next Martini. He may have five, or fifty, or five hundred. The number is unclear, but the result is the same.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Hard Admissions About Alcohol

Today we had an incredible breakthrough: Robert admitted he could not be trusted to control his intake of alcohol. This is a huge step, one I have just made myself.

It is very hard to say "I can't trust myself" and this admission is personally hurtful, to me, and I cannot imagine how this feels to my dad.

His admission came with a "compromise", something every addiction counselor or patient knows all to well. "I know I can't handle this, but if we just do _________, all will be OK". This works about as well as the snake oil we all see on late night TV or the next "Weight loss without diet change or exercise" fad. He would let Joycelyn and I to have the bottle, and pour him his two regulated drinks a day.

Two problems:

1. This won't work. Ask any AA, NA, or real addiction counselor and they will tell you this has an equal chance of success as winning PowerBall. It doesn't happen.

2. He WILL cheat. Eventually, some day, at some time he will want a drink when it is not scheduled. And in NYC with a credit card, you don't even need to get off your couch for a bottle of gin, vodka, rum, tequila, wine, champagne or porte to be delivered.

The point one should take from this is:

Robert admits he had a problem.

This is so epic, I cannot describe my job. Ever day he is in the Jewish Home is a day closer to what he needs: a life without alcohol, a life that will soonishly include grandchildren and a life of Opera, plays, musicals and happy 5-Star meals with family -- the reasons he moved to NYC.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Physical Therapy & 12 Steps

Dad had his physical and occupational therapy today. He is complaining they are being too soft on him! I like the fact he is taking his physical recovery so well. I am planning on being there early AM tomorrow and converse with his recovery team. Maybe we can convince them to push dad a little harder.

On the other hand, Dad's substance abuse counseling is not going so well. According to his MD, has cardiac team and the physicians at New York Presbyterian, the musculature degeneration, his badly damaged liver and his dangerously weak heart is a direct result of how much he drinks.

As one can imagine, it is very hard to admit there is an aspect of your life you have no control over. Things would be OK  if dad could limit drastically what he drinks, but that just won't work.

When I moved down here, dad's GP, Dr. Hollenberg, told us Robert was in real danger of liver failure. All the test results showed a liver in distress. Dad cut back, a lot. He limited himself to two drinks a day for the next two months. We went for another battery of tests and the news was good! Robert's liver was healing. That ended the two drinks a day limit and the downward slide was swift. Hence New York Presbyterian.

Joycelyn, Robert and I had a tough conversation about this tonight and we think we made some traction. We can only hope Dad can see there is a problem and admit there is only one possible solution.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Working on his Tan

Today dad had physical therapy and it tired him out quite a bit.

Joycelyn and I visited in the afternoon. We took a walk to the nice outdoor part of the Jewish Home and sat in the sun for a while. Dad enjoyed soaking up some rays.