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Providing non-judgmental and non-criticizing support for family and friends of end-stage alcoholics through one-on-one coaching, support groups, blog posts, workshops and public speaking.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

A few things...

Bad ass…

When a person is termed as a “bad ass” they are seen as tough, belligerent, rebellious. When I refer to myself as a “bad ass” I mean that I am strong-willed and stand firm and steady to the lines I have drawn in the sand. I rebel in what others may think is the right thing to do by using my experience to dictate what is right for me to do.

Yesterday, when I was worried about my “bad ass-y-ness” I meant that I was worried that I was deviating from my boundary limitation of pushing Riley to the ER. If I became pushy about him going, in my mind, it was a sign of that I was falling back into the old days of making all of Riley’s decisions for him instead of allowing him to make his own decisions – wrong or right. If I allow myself to get drawn into forcing him to the ER, in my mind, I’m becoming soft on an issue where I have drawn a hard line. I can ask if he wants medical attention, but I cannot force it on him. On this issue, I must envoke my bad-ass-y-ness.

The doctor says…

Riley is in no imminent danger at the present time. However, it is very possible that a sub dermal hematoma (bruise in brain) may develop. It will not become noticeable for another 3 to 6 weeks. If that happens, really, there isn’t much that can be done. It is best detected by the patient's behavior. That is, he may appear in a drunken state as the only indication – slurring words, inability to concentrate, falling, etc. Not sure how we end-stage caretakers can make the determination. It’s just a wait & see situation.

The good news:  He will not die in the next three weeks.

The bad news:  He may not be alive in four weeks.

I like to simplify things.

Speaking of doctors…

Dr. John Harsany of the Hemet Valley Recovery Center and addicitionologist with his own private practice in internal medicine, has consented to join me in providing information to my readers. He will be writing guest posts concerning medical information. The full extent of his involvement has not been completely developed, but I’m asking for him to write something about how to communicate with the medical community and establish an excellent caretaker-doctor relationship, as one of his first entries.

This is an extremely exciting development for anyone involved in end-stage caretaking. Currently Dr. Harsany is recovering from an accident, but I hope, as I am sure we all hope, that he will be available to us soon.

OARS F&F Group…

I am happy to announce the formation of “Our Alcoholism Resource & Support for Families & Friends Group” on Facebook. This is a private, invitation by request only, group that will have “meetings” on-line. The only requirement for joining the group is for you to request participation via the OARS F&F Group page on Facebook. Please be a family member or significant person to an end-stage alcoholic. If you are an alcoholic who is NOT a caretaker, there are many other options for you. This is an exclusive club with specific meeting times. This is not a 12-step program, but rather a group of people getting together to “talk” it out. It’s our way of trying to keep both our OARS in the water.

In order to access OARS, you must have a Facebook account. I know this limits some of you who may want to participate. I am working on the situation so that everyone can join without first joining some other site. I hope to have that option up and running shortly after the first of the new year. Please be patient.

As for legal stuff…

One of my readers, Jo, makes a very good comment concerning the legal issues of caretaking an end-stage alcoholic who may appear as though they are abused or neglected. I agree with her that we walk a very fine line. I am sending a request out to any attorney-type person who can provide insight on this issue. You can respond by e-mail at immortalalcoholic@gmail.com and I will honor your request for anonymity. It would be great to have a legal go-to person in the capacity much the same as Dr. Harsany.


Syd said...

Linda, I understand your comment regarding being a bad ass now. When my wife had her heart attack, I called 911. I didn't wait to see what she wanted. I gave her an aspirin and said chew it. I know that if Riley were out cold, had a heart attack, broke a limb, you would call for help to get him to an ER. Sometimes, the line in the sand has to be blurred.

I hope that Riley continues to be okay.

jo said...

i dont know if this makes us a bad ass or not. i do grieve the changes it has brought in me...a colder person who seems to outsiders to not give a crap at all. nothing is farther from the truth...i hope*...most times. but this will kill us if we let it. we must detach, build some sort of protection in. they dont want to live. we must respect that. society in all ways teaches us the exact opposite. esp women, taught from birth to cuddle baby dolls and feed everything. to have compassion when little johnny falls on the playground.

then along comes our immortal. and it all must be relearned in a totally diff way. let them lay in the floor. let them bleed. i learned the very hard way not to take mine concious to a ER. 3 hours of hell. in public. never again. he will be unconcious or i aint doing it. lets just say besides his typical racial remarks aimed at little kids, he was gonna destroy the ER room. i coulda sold ickets and popcorn.

re the legal. those who have drs who know you...are prob safe. those of us who dont..it might* be another story, esp with a ER dr who is in denial.

in diff parts of the country, it could be diff, also. this lady i mentioned was in calif. hers was rileys age,,she was in her 70's. i thought all that was gonna give her a heart attack. she was completely hysterical over what to do. he wouldnt use his wheelchair. he fell constantly. now she had law in it. bless her heart. golden years? HA. it would be just my luck for this to happen to me. bring em on. i dont care anymore. let them have him.

legal would be fantastic, but laws are very touchy on giving either medical or legal advice online. please, watch this line.

linda, this is rileys choice. yes, you will worry but its up to him. he isnt in his right mind to choose anything intelligent, anyways. we cant make em.

@ syd...if we call 911, and they are concious and refuse medical tx, they will not transport nor will a ER dr see them. just a fyi. out cold is one thing. concious is another. breaking a limb is their prob.


ADDY said...

Dear Linda, what a rollercoaster of emotions which I know so well. I do hope the worst does not happen, particularly just before Christmas. (((hugs))).

Karen E. said...

Took my A to the ER 4am in June her arm was disfigured and swelling after a fall. Took Xray, saw she was inebriated, saw in her file.. she had a history..sent us home saying it was not broken..not even a sling was given.. 2days later in excruciating pain, took her to orthopedic, its badly brokern in 2 places..he saw Er Xray..radioligist report from ER broken..ER doc said nothing.

No Hospital here anymore unless, unconsious or breaks a hip or something.. I tell her if she falls and breaks her hip I will have no choice but take her to hospital and leave her..its the only way I get her to use her walker,,she STILL falls...but2-3 times a week instead of 10!
meeting with attorney SOON for advice will let yall know!

Anonymous said...

Even though my Immortal is only quite young at 35, i chose the bad ass way before even reading this blog regular, its the much needed detatchment that makes you do it. My al begs me never to ring the hospital, he has fits and seizures daily, falls, passes out regularly but like you all until he is unconscious for more than 10 mins im not ringing for an ambulance. I talk to friends at work and although on one hand they think i should get him put in some mental home and leave him on the other they call me the black widow for how i have chosen the bad ass way to care for him. The only thing that ever worries me is his family who all live away and havent seen him for over a year, wont be mentioning the bad ass way to them ever!