“The Dis Ease of my Life”

Tammy

After our mothers death, I continued to work and try to save money so I could move to British Columbia, Penticton, Vancouver, and be with my Uncles. However, my addiction got in the way of that plan and I got Drunk instead and met a guy that I eventually moved in with. I never even particularly liked the guy he was just a place to sleep and drink. I never really bonded with any one due, to the way I was raised. My Drinking was really just going from bad to worse. I was only 21 and already I was having Delirium Tremens.

Dictionary de·lir·i·um tre·mens/dəˌlirēəm ˈtremənz/noun

  1. a psychotic condition typical of withdrawal in chronic alcoholics, involving tremors, hallucinations, anxiety, and disorientation

Delirium tremens (DTs) is a rapid onset of confusion usually caused by withdrawal from alcohol.[2] When it occurs, it is often three days into the withdrawal symptoms and lasts for two to three days.[2] Physical effects may include shaking, shivering, irregular heart rate, and sweating.[1] People may also see or hear things other people do not.[2] Occasionally, a very high body temperature or seizures may result in death.[2] Alcohol is one of the most dangerous drugs from which to withdraw.[5]

Delirium tremens typically only occurs in people with a high intake of alcohol for more than a month.[6] A similar syndrome may occur with benzodiazepine and barbiturate withdrawal.[3] Withdrawal from stimulants such as cocaine does not have major medical complications.[7]: Wikipedia

I would drink so heavily for as long as by body would take it, then I would not be able to drink for three or four days, because of being so sick, and thus would end up going through Delirium Tremens. I would hallucinate and see things swooping at me and I would get so scared, and it was awful. I would shake uncontrollably, my sheets would be literally soaked with sweat. Like some one poured buckets of water on the bed. i really had no idea what was happening to me, and i also did not know that I was in danger of dying for the DT’s I didn’t even know that’s what they were. Friends would bring me beer, and it would calm me down. I think they knew more about what was happening to me than I did. i really had no idea that I was a prime candidate for korsakoffs either.

What is Korsakoff’s syndrome?

Korsakoff’s syndrome is the most well-known form of ARBD and many people think that it is the most common or even only form. However, Korsakoff’s syndrome is much less common than other forms of ARBD such as alcoholic dementia.

Korsakoff’s syndrome often develops as part of a condition known as Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome. This consists of two separate but related stages: Wernicke’s encephalopathy followed by Korsakoff’s syndrome. Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome is diagnosed in about one in eight people with alcoholism. However, not everyone has a clear case of Wernicke’s encephalopathy before Korsakoff’s syndrome develops.

How does Wernicke’s encephalopathy develop?

An encephalopathy is a disorder that affects the function of the brain. Wernicke’s encephalopathy usually develops suddenly, often after abrupt and untreated withdrawal from alcohol. It has a range of different symptoms, but they may not be obvious and it can be difficult to make a diagnosis.

Symptoms of Wernicke’s encephalopathy can include:

  • disorientation, confusion or mild memory loss
  • undernutrition – for example, the person is very underweight
  • involuntary, jerky eye movements or paralysis of the muscles that move the eyes
  • poor balance or unsteadiness, or other signs of damage to a part of the brain called the cerebellum (a region involved in co-ordinating movement).

If Wernicke’s encephalopathy is suspected, immediate medical treatment is essential. The person will need high doses of thiamine (and other B vitamins) injected slowly into a vein. If treatment is done in time, most symptoms will be reversed in a few days. However, permanent brain damage may result if Wernicke’s encephalopathy is left untreated or is not treated properly or in time. In some severe cases the person may die.

How does Korsakoff’s syndrome develop?

Where Wernicke’s encephalopathy is untreated, or is not treated soon enough, Korsakoff’s syndrome usually develops, though often gradually. Damage occurs in several regions of the brain – particularly in important small areas deep within the brain, resulting in severe loss of short-term day-to-day memory. Many other abilities may remain intact, such as working memory (information held in our head for a short time before using it, eg working out how much something costs). Excerpt From Alzheimer Society It is really important to remember it is not how old you are, it is how much and how often you sue that causes the development of Alcohol related debility. Remember Alcohol is “ONE” of the “MOST DANGEROUS” drugs to withdraw from. It does not care how old you are if you become addicted to alcohol you have a serious problem, like me.

Because I was old enough attaining alcohol was not a problem, and I could find men to buy me all the alcohol I wanted or could drink. For a price, of course, but I already knew that nothing in life was free, especially me.

“Girl takes a Drink, Drink takes a Drink, Drink takes a girl.”

When I drank I was such a mean drunk, it was always that way with me, what made it worse was that I would black out drink. That meant when I drank I was not in control of myself, how scary is that!!
Usually, a person’s BAC must reach 0.14 percent – almost twice the legal limit – to induce a blackout.  Can You imagine drinking that much Most people can’t even walk at 0.8 which is legally drunk! Alcoholics metabolize alcohol differently though. they do not even turn it into sugars like normal people they turn it is to a substance called Tetrahydrosoquinlin, which has been likened to a heroin like substance. Do not fool your self into thinking that if you are a normal temperant drinker that you could not start drinking heavy and turn into an alcoholic, you can. Like a good friend said “a lot of us alcoholics started out as cucumbers, and ended up pickles. To bad once a pickle always a pickle.” Stanley Roberts Grateful Friend of Bill W. Stanley will be very influential later in my life but that is a different segment =).

My friends did not like to drink with me, or would drink just until they were drunk then they would go home, and I would drink till I passed out. More like fell unconscious. They would tell me that I had a heart of Gold wen sober, but was a real hellion when drinking. When I drank all the unresolved abuse and issues would coming pouring out, so yea it was ugly. However, some men didn’t care as they would just take advantage of me when I was passed out. I only drank with a couple of men that I knew, and rarely went out with a strange man. I didn’t have any special attachment to these men, they were just a ready supply of alcohol.

The man I was with messed around with other women, and honestly I really did not care. I didn’t want him for a sexual relationship, he was simply some one I drank with and passed out with after we drank our fill. He was as much an addict as I was, and really wasn’t capable of caring for any one, even himself. However, neither was I. Not all the drinking was gloomy, I suppose if it was I would not have drank so much or so often. However, there were fun times too. I would get dressed up for a night out on the town and would not black out, and have a really good time, dancing and joking. flirting with cute guys and just going home and waking up feeling fine the next morning. however, as my drinking progressed those fun times became far and few between.

I did hold down job when I was drinking but usually they would only last a couple of months. those were the times when I was really trying hard to quit drinking, on my own, since I really did not know of any other place to turn too. I had been introduced to AA when I was in the psychiatric hospital when my mom was still alive, however, no one reached out to me and me being the way I was I sure the heck wasn’t brave enough to reach out to them! Needless to say those times I tried failed. I would get drunk and quit my job. I just wasn’t capable of holding down a job, I couldn’t be around people with out drinking it paralyzed me with anxiety. It would be ok if I threw myself into my work, but I would over work myself and burn out. No one ever tried to pace me or tell me to slow down, which is too bad they just took advantage and gave me duties no one else would do. Nice huh. I know they didn’t know I was mentally ill, but I am and because of that I was taken advantage of far to often. I was pretty good at faking being ok, but inside I was a mess, and I was only going to continually worsen.

I was drinking with some people and they went out side to smoke some pot. I never liked pot it always made me paranoid, but when I was drinking it didn’t really have any effect on me, so I went outside with them to have a puff. I didn’t see the cop behind me when I took the joint, and he busted me, real ass of a cop to be honest. Never had a criminal record in my life and I get busted for something I didn’t even do on a regular basis or even like doing for that matter. I was so mad! It was a misdemeanor but it still went on a criminal record.

I got a call to go to work out at a camp for three weeks, I agreed to go, and gave my boyfriend a withdrawal slip and told him to take out enough to pay my fine, and some for himself and leave the rest. The fine was 250 dollars, jerk took out 2 Grand, left me with 1600, when I got out of camp. I should of known but, I had enough for a good drunk and my fine was paid, so I took off and went partying with out the dick head. Hope he and that girl he was messing with had a good time on my dime.

We went to visit a couple of friends of his in a little town next over from Peace River. I was drinking that night he was smoking pot with his friend. Me and his friends wife were drinking a bottle of wine as she really did not drink hard stuff. I switched to hard stuff after a while because I am not really a wine drinker. It was still winter and lots of snow on the ground. My boyfriend and his dad did plumbing together so there was always loose tools in the back seat of the vehicles. This is a bad thing, put your tools in the trunk. At that time the seat belt law was not in effect yet, so we never bothered with our seat belts. However, on the way home I took off a bulky jacket i was wearing, and out on my seat belt. I looked over at my boyfriend and asked him if he had his seat belt on. He just said no and put it on. It was so odd because we never bothered with seat belts before. About five minutes later we rolled. A big pipe wrench in the back went through the passenger window, just barley missing my head, and shattered the window. I followed behind as my seat belt did not tighten up like it is supposed to. Later that year they recalled all the seat belts on that make and year of car… I went out on the first roll. I flew about 40 feet and landed with a crunch in the fetal position. I guess you instinctively do that if you are going to die violently. That’s what the Dr. told me. The emergency technicians, thought I was already dead, so they attended to my boyfriend first. they almost jumped out of their skin when I lifted my head to ask if the driver was ok. They told me he was fine, and I lost conscious again. They took me to the hospital were they cleaned me up as best as they could the whole right hand side of my torso was scrapped away from the glass of the shattered passenger window. My clothes were shredded.

Being in the hospital is not really were I wanted to be, I had a strong aversion to any institution, which is understandable. I stayed one night, then slowly and painfully made my way to the phone to call my Aunt E to come and get me. She did come and I told her what happened. I said I just needed to rest. I stayed with my Aunt for a week, then made my way slowly back to the apartment I was staying at with my boyfriend. He dam lucky he was by himself because pain or not if I went through all they shit, and found him with another girl I would have killed them both. it was bad enough he walked away with out a scratch, and I almost died, and he did not even bother to come to my aunts house to check on me. The relationship was quickly coming to an end, I hated him. Before I was indifferent, now I hated him. He had absolutely no remorse for the pain I was in. I suppose that is why addicts do what they do they are so numbed out they can not feel anything even joy or happiness.

We moved out of the apartment, to a place down my the river and kitty corner to the museum. That is were I was to meet my Ex husband, and my drinking was to become even worse than it already was. However, that is another segment , so for now I will thank you for holding my hand during this painful telling, and gather up my courage to go even deeper into the dark, thank you for coming with me… LOVE

“I’m not scared of the Dark, I am scared of what is in the dark!” Said By Tammy when she was eight years old to her MoM.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply