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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.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Invasion of the pods...

Each time Riley detoxes and then goes back to drinking he embarks on a journey that ends up worse than the one before. The journey this time is so insane that it almost resembles science fiction.

In the movie “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” what appears to be an extremely large vegetable type seed pod is near a real live human being. When the human falls asleep the pod clones the human causing the human to die or disintegrate or something like that. I prefer the 1950’s version of the movie.

Anyway, sometimes I think the field behind me, which will grow corn this year, is really a pod growing farm. Only this time the pods are for situations rather than people. Each day a new pod mysteriously appears in Riley’s room. It kills yesterday’s situation and clones it with a worse situation.

Riley has a very large print (50” x 30”) that he has carried around with him for years. He loves that print. When we moved in I wanted to hang it on the wall for him. Riley insisted that it was so large, he would rather just lean it up against the wall. OK. It was his print and his wall. Yesterday Riley fell while he was trying to get into bed and hit his head on the print.

I heard the breaking glass. Then I heard “I’m OK.” Riley always says that immediately after he falls. Since I don’t come to his rescue anymore every time he falls, I just went back to watching Survivor. Then I heard… “Linda? Linda, call 911 for me.” I went into his room to get a closer look at the situation.

Riley was naked from the waist down. He as on the carpeted floor wedged between the wall and his bed. He was covered in large chards of glass. There was no way he could get up without seriously cutting himself. I put on my leather gloves that I used for handling firewood and hoped they would prevent me from getting cut. Then I moved the bed away from him to give me access. Gently I removed all the pieces of glass that I could without having them dig into Riley’s flesh. There were pieces of glass under his head and the side of his face. If he did not pull himself straight up, it was possible for him to slice his skin. I couldn’t remove them because I would have to pull them across him and would certainly create a deep cut.

The whole time I was in his room, he was telling me to just call 911. Each time I reminded him that I was not going to call the rescue squad. That no one was coming to help him. I told him to pull himself straight up and he would be away from the glass. But, he didn’t want to do it that way. He kept moving his head forward which created a sawing motion on the glass. Finally, I straddled over him and put one gloved hand on the top of his head while I moved the glass with the other hand.

There were still slivers and bits of glass, but there was nothing I could do about them. I told Riley he could get up now. “No! Call 911.” I repeated that he was not in danger, so just go ahead and get up like he always does. I left his room.

A little while later, I checked in and he was still on the floor. The carpet was dark where he had peed and pooped. He had pulled the sheet over his head and the upper portion of his body. I looked at the scene and thought, “Boy… those pods really did it this time.” I wondered what was in store for tomorrows entertainment delight.

This morning, Riley was sitting in his rocking chair in the den. As I passed by I said that he seemed to manage to get up without the aid of 911. I asked him how many times he thinks he might survive with a fall like that. He told me that he wouldn’t last long so he’s going to be more careful. He said I should have called the rescue squad. I told him if that was not going to happen. His plan is to start carrying one of the phones in his pocket.

I told Riley he would be spending a lot of time in the den today because I had to go in and clean up the mess he made in his room. He told me to just leave it. He said as long as he can get into his bed, he didn’t need it cleaned.

I confess. I lost my temper. “ARE YOU KIDDING ME??? You want me to leave the carpet with pee and poop and slivers of glass?” Riley informed me that if I cleaned it he would just mess it up again.  Why bother?

Riley is being moved into the guest room where he will have a hospital bed. He will have a TV and everything he needs so he does not have to roam the house. The guest room is larger and there will be room for the nurses to move completely around the bed. I’ve ordered a couple of those rolling trays that can go from short to tall. His rocking chair will be moved in as well. The room will be as self-contained as I can possibly make it. Hopefully his mess will also be contained. I guess I’m looking for a way to out-smart the pods.

The room Riley is currently using as his bedroom will be used as the guest room. In order to make it acceptable as a guest room, I have to clean every inch of it. I can’t use the carpet cleaner without taking the bed out of the room because the room is too small. It’s going to be at least a three-hour project just to do the carpet. As long as I’m cleaning in the room, it gives me the opportunity to get the feces stains off the walls and door jambs.  I have my work cut out for me. I’m armed with my Clorox Clean –Up, carpet shampooer and latex gloves.

I wish those pods would come and give me the body of a 24 year old, so I could have all the physical strength I needed to keep up with Riley’s messes. I guess they only work if they can make things worse rather than better. I wonder what situation they will create for today?


jo said...

holy you know what! sounds about right. i had a friend whose husband would go outside and fall off the porch and yell the whole time. that is why she had to go to sedation. which killed him,,,but anyways.

hang in there. mr clean is much better for walls...let it sit a minute and it dissolves the gunk. then a spray of lysol will finish the germs. much easier on your lungs than chlorox!

again, was he lucky., God looks out for fools and drunks..we would cut ourselves to ribbons.


Anonymous said...

I'm impressed by your blog; you offer a powerful, grating retelling of your struggles with Riley. Would you be open to answering some email interview questions regarding your experience of living with an alcoholic? I'm an editor at Alltreatment.com, and we keep our visitors informed on a wide variety of substances by writing articles, keeping a blog, and interviewing folks like you. If you're interested, email me at chance@alltreatment.com. I'll come up with a list of questions (or we can collaborate) and I'll send them your way. When you get your responses back to us, we'll post the interview on our site. Either way, thanks for creating such an informative (and harrowing) resource. ~Chance Campbell

Beth said...

God bless you Linda! There are times I don't know how you do it....I remember all the times my A fell and he was dead weight to try and get up. Thankfully (for me) I had a 20 year old son around and an 18 year old daughter that is strong as an ox! Sadly for them that is something they should never have had to endure. No I'm just praying we never have to go back to that. Oh, and now he cleans his own room :-)
Don't forget to take care of you Linda!

ADDY said...

O Linda... so familiar. With every post you transport me back three years into the past. I need reminding every now and again how horrible it was. Hang on in there.

jo said...

you know i love that movie.both versions.

im not sure your not right...some pod that simply loops and replays the exact same crap over and over.

maybe can you remove most of the glass breakables for now? cause i wouldnt be getting him up. i have a aquarium i just cringe to think about. everything else has long been put up, since he fell on a candlestick and stabbed himself in the back.