Monday, April 25, 2011
Not my choice...
The one aspect of living in the country bit me on the butt this weekend. It was Easter and I would have loved to have had a big family dinner at my house. I have the perfect yard for an Easter egg hunt. We also have lots of rabbits to hide those eggs.
My grandson’s wife has a lot of family where they live. They have a lot of obligations. There just isn’t enough time in the day for them to drive two hours to see us. I understand and I do my best to accommodate them, but I miss them terribly.
So… why don’t we go to them?? It certainly is the best alternative and, until now, we have done just that on previous holidays. This holiday was different because things are changing with Riley.
On Friday night, I cooked a wonderful beef stroganoff. The meat had simmered in a red wine which made it sooooo tender. The onions had caramelized. The mushrooms were fresh. There was nothing low cal about it and every calorie tasted superb! Riley loved it. I loved it. I wanted to lick the pan!
About an hour later, Riley lost his dinner. The stroganoff probably didn’t taste so good going the wrong direction. He went to bed and was up and down to the bathroom all night. The problem continues even through this morning – four days later.
Basically, he has not had a real solid meal since Friday – which doesn’t count because there’s no nutritional value in a meal that can’t be kept down. He has had toast, crackers, soup, and a bit of mac and cheese. In spite of it all, his liquid consumption remains about the same – 12 cans of beer a day with a few sips of water in between.
When my stomach is upset, I want nothing to eat or drink. I have to force myself to eat crackers or soup and to drink water. I usually try to stick to dry toast and warm unsweetened tea. But, I certainly could never drink a beer. The thought of it would send me on a run back to the porcelain bowl. It’s difficult for me to understand how Riley can continue with the beer. I don’t get how it is even physically possible to get it down at all.
So on Easter Sunday, driving two hours to my daughter’s was really not an option. Riley would certainly insist upon going. If he has the flu – I cannot expose the babies or anyone else. Our last trip to her house resulted in Riley peeing all over Alea’s brand new ottoman – that trip was a disaster. So even if the vomiting is part of an alcohol related illness and not contagious – I cannot expose anyone to that either.
One of the reasons I moved to the country was to separate Riley’s alcoholism from the children. As I fret over not being able to see them, I know I’m doing what’s best for them. My plan is working.
In the meantime, I make do with hearing my great-grandson laugh over the telephone. He has such an infectious raucous laughter for a little guy. My great-granddaughter briefly talks to me – she’s a 4 year old with things to do – such a little diva. I enjoy every second of hearing their voices. Afterwards, my resolve is reinforced that I’m doing the right thing for them. They are too little to understand. There should be no need for them to have to understand.
Is the vomiting alcohol related?? The logical part of my brain says – absolutely. We are probably on the downward spiral. I no longer check his feces or intestinal matter for signs of internal bleeding. I’ve freed myself from that by not trying to save him. If I don’t know that he is bleeding internally, I won’t feel compelled to get him to the hospital. I won't ignore it, but I won't look for it either.
I asked him if he wanted to go to the doctor – he said NO. I asked if he wanted to go to the emergency room – he said NO. I told him if he changed his mind to let me know and I would take him. He has not changed his mind. I don’t plan on asking again.
Oh – I know what you are thinking – how could I be so cold!! I’m not cold, I’m doing as Riley has requested. His loud and clear statement of his desire to choose death over sobriety rings clearly in my head on a daily basis. It’s not my choice to make. I won’t go against his wishes again because I’ve done that over and over and I’ve gained no ground.
Just to clarify – I will not keep him from getting to the hospital. I will gladly take him if he asks me for help. If he doesn’t ask for help, I will do nothing until he is unconscious. When that happens he will no longer be able to decide for himself and I will get him medical care. It may be too late by then and if so – it was his choice.
If it turns out that the Immortal Alcoholic is in fact truly mortal… well… next Easter the kids will come to my house the Saturday before and I will have a family holiday in the country filled with love and laughter.
Then again… it could be that Riley simply has the flu.
at 7:58 AM