Archive for June, 2012

JIMBO’S BLOG/GUEST BLOGGER – CHRISSIE FULLER ON ALCOHOLISM – Encefalopathy


Hi Guys.

Welcome to ‘Old Git‘ Jimbo’s blog @ www.miteamshirts.com my personal e-mail is  james@mits-online.co.uk .

The websites are  www.myteamshirts.co.uk and www.mits-online.co.uk 

Checkout our GIZMO page, WISH LIST & FUN RELATED  SEXY & RISQUE  t-shirts, & also our 2/3 way team shirts. 

 

I have asked my business partner, Chrissie, to be my guest blogger and she is happy to share her story with you about her husband’s addiction to alcohol and how it has affected their lives.

So, on that note – over to Chrissie!

Hi Folks! Thanks to Jimbo for allowing me into his territory to keep the flag flying in his absence!

I wanted to share my story (and my husband, Paul’s), and am doing so with his permission. I wanted to keep a record for posterity as both a reminder for myself and also as a warning to others about the dangers of alcohol abuse, and how it can wreck lives. Without further ado, here is part five of our ongoing saga.

Encefalopathy – yet another symptom of alcoholism

Paul was in hospitalthree times in a space of six months in 2009. The first was his major life-threatening incident and this was followed by two more shorter spells. In the past three years he has probably been hospitalised about 9 or 10 times – all of it connected to alcohol abuse!After his first visit to hospital his specialist advised him that he would probably not survive more than six months because his liver was only working at about 25% of its normal capacity.He was advised to stop drinking completely and Paul’s reaction was to say, “If I’m going to die I might as well carry on!”. This didn’t make me feel any better at all – I wasn’t ready to let him go, but they doctors had given him a death sentence and all we could do was make the most of the time we had left, and try to prepare for the inevitable.

Paul was very stoical about everything – as he rightly pointed out, he’s not afraid of dying having seen it all and done it all there’s nothing he still felt he wanted to do with his life. He’s had a good one and he doesn’t believe in any kind of afterlife, so for him it was, and still is, a case of  “When I’m gone, I’m gone, and I won’t be around to worry about it.”

My reaction, naturally, was different. I just couldn’t get my head around the fact that he was going to leave me so soon. I had finally found the one man who loved me for who I was and who I could genuinely say I loved back just as much in spite of all the problems, and now he was going to leave me on my own.

I did a lot of crying, mostly in private – there were times when I thought I was OK but then the thoughts of losing him would creep up on me and I would break down in tears. This went on for months until I decided that I’d better stop grieving for him and get on with enjoying the time we had left.

A couple of months after the first event Paul became extremely tired and refused to get out of bed for anything. He was grumpy and irritable and full of bad language – not at all like himself, and, imagining that this was the beginning of the end, I started to get really worried about him so I sent for the doctor.

He did a few checks on him and when it was quite obvious that Paul didn’t even know what day it was, the doctor said he was probably suffering from encefalopathy, a brain disease that is caused by a build up of toxins in the blood. It happens when the liver becomes unable to do its normal job of filtering out the impurities. Paul was still drinking at this stage – not so much as before, but enough to cause further damage.

He was rushed into hospital for the second time and put on a drip to feed high doses of Vitamin K into his system amongst other things including up to 4 litres of blood. When I went to visit him in the evening he was still out of it and I really did think I was losing him. I went home fully expecting to receive a phone call to tell me he was on his way.

The following morning, having heard nothing from the hospital I rang and they told me he was out of danger. I gathered together some bits and pieces of clothing for him and took them to hospital for him. He was very tired but at least he knew me again and over the next three or four days his memory slowly started to come back. He remembers nothing about the events preceeding his hospital admission and was very surprised to have woken up there. Apparently nobody had bothered to talk to him about his admission or his condition.

In a nutshell, encefalopathy is a highly dangerous and life threatening condition. It causes dementia-like symptoms and all common sense and memory go out of the window and you slip into unconsciousness. If not caught and treated in time you will almost certainly die. In the longer term, if it doesn’t take your life, it does erode your short term memory and in Paul’s case he now has difficulty remembering people’s names and appointments.

But in spite of this, Paul, as had so often happened in his past life, had now cheated death FOUR times in the space of about three months!

And so it goes on! In 2009 he was given just 6 months to live and he is still here in 2012. We don’t know why – there have been many times in the last three years when Paul has said to me that he wishes it was all over – when life becomes too hard for him and the pain is unbearable. He has told me that if he has to go to hospital again in an emergency situation that he does not want to be resuscitated.

That, I’m afraid, is one thing I cannot agree with – if he chooses to die while of sound mind and at his own time and place, that’s up to him, but I cannot carry the burden of responsibility for simply allowing him to die with no medical intervention. I believe that life is for living and we should all be grateful for our time on earth, however long or short that may be. We only get one chance at life and we should seize it with both hands and live life to the full – make every day count!
If you, or anyone you know, has suffered from similar problems, and you would like to discuss this on this blog, please feel free to comment.
Thanks to Jimbo for allowing me to share my story with you all – one day, God willing, I will come back and tell you how it all ends, but until then, keep well, stay safe and be happy!
Chrissie
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Old Git Jimbo miteamshirts

Hi Guys.

Welcome to ‘Old Git‘ Jimbo’s blog @ www.miteamshirts.com my personal e-mail is  james@mits-online.co.uk .

The websites are  www.myteamshirts.co.uk and www.mits-online.co.uk 

Checkout our GIZMO page, WISH LIST & FUN RELATED  SEXY & RISQUE  t-shirts, & also our 2/3 way team shirts. 

 

I have asked my business partner, Chrissie, to be my guest blogger and she is happy to share her story with you about her husband’s addiction to alcohol and how it has affected their lives.

So, on that note – over to Chrissie!

Hi Folks! Thanks to Jimbo for allowing me into his territory to keep the flag flying in his absence!

I wanted to share my story (and my husband, Paul’s), and am doing so with his permission. I wanted to keep a record for posterity as both a reminder for myself and also as a warning to others about the dangers of alcohol abuse…

View original post 1,242 more words

JIMBO’S BLOG/GUEST BLOGGER – CHRISSIE FULLER ON ALCOHOLISM – Dicing with Death!


Hi Guys.

Welcome to ‘Old Git‘ Jimbo’s blog @ www.miteamshirts.com my personal e-mail is  james@mits-online.co.uk .

The websites are  www.myteamshirts.co.uk and www.mits-online.co.uk 

Checkout our GIZMO page, WISH LIST & FUN RELATED  SEXY & RISQUE  t-shirts, & also our 2/3 way team shirts. 

 

I have asked my business partner, Chrissie, to be my guest blogger and she is happy to share her story with you about her husband’s addiction to alcohol and how it has affected their lives.

So, on that note – over to Chrissie!

Hi Folks! Thanks to Jimbo for allowing me into his territory to keep the flag flying in his absence!

I wanted to share my story (and my husband, Paul’s), and am doing so with his permission. I wanted to keep a record for posterity as both a reminder for myself and also as a warning to others about the dangers of alcohol abuse, and how it can wreck lives. Without further ado, here is part four of our ongoing saga.

Dicing With Death

One of the first things Paul ever said to me after we got together, was “Don’t try to change me!”.

I have learned over the years that the worst thing you can do in any relationship is to try to change the person you are with. After all, you fell in love with them as they were….so why try to make them into something, or someone else?

So, when he said that, I promised him that I wouldn’t ever try to make him into something he wasn’t. I just replied, “If you want to change, you will, and I will support you all I can, but I will never try to impose anything on you that you don’t want to do, or be”.

It was very hard to say this. I knew that he was heading for a load of trouble because of his alcohol dependency, and I was constantly feeling angry and upset by his apparent determination to ruin his life for the sake of the drink, but I also knew that the more I nagged and complained, the more determined he would be to carry on!

I think the “change”, when it came, was very gradual, and I am glad to say that really, apart from just being there for him, I wasn’t the one who changed him. He did it himself, eventually, because he was intelligent enough to realise the damage he was doing and he truly wanted to free himself from his addiction.

The start of this change began when, after a long night’s sleep in bed, we noticed a lot of blood on his pillow.  At first, he put it down to a habit he had of dribbling in his sleep, and he blamed all the red wine he had been drinking the night before. I didn’t think this was the case, but I just kept changing the pillow cases, as required, and eventually, after a good few weeks, he confessed to me that this wasn’t the only problem he was having.

He was losing a lot of blood when he went to the toilet, which he said was probably due to piles and was also coughing up blood from time to time.

I immediately said that I thought he should go to his doctor, and he said he hated going to the doctors because in his opinion, they knew nothing.  However, under a lot of duress he finally agreed to go and we made an appointment for him.

The doctor asked him how much he was drinking and Paul told him he drank quite a lot, and the doctor told him to cut right down, checked his blood pressure which was fine, and did a blood test to check his liver count.  One week later we went back for the results – his liver count was over 600!

To put that into perspective, I had a test around the same time as part of my ongoing treatment for Type 2 Diabetes and my liver count was 80. I wasn’t a particularly heavy drinker but was doing about 21 units a week which is 7 units too many, and I was advised to cut down my own alcohol intake. I did, and as a result, it returned to normal.

His doctor asked if he had cut down the alcohol and Paul said he had. He hadn’t! He was still drinking as much as ever.

The doctor told him that he MUST cut down, and referred him to the local Drug and Alcohol counselling service and also to a hospital psychiatrist.  To be fair to Paul, he did attend both of these sessions, but in both cases the response was that he needed to do something for himself, and he just wasn’t ready for this.

In the meantime, we had change jobs. We were still in the publishing business, and Paul was still in management, but now working from Bolton which on the one hand was good – we didn’t need to get up so early in the morning, and we were back in Chorley earlier most nights, but it also meant that we were in the pub earlier. More drinking time for Paul.

And he was still losing a lot of blood, the weight was dropping off him, and he was permanently tired.  He was very unwell and still refusing to do anything to help himself.

It was May 2009 when everything came to a dramatic head.

I had been sleeping on the couch in the living room to give Paul a bit more rest, and he woke me up about 2am and asked me to call an ambulance.

When I had collected my thoughts he told me that he had just been sick and thrown up about two pints of blood – as he was telling me this he suddenly became sick again and I rushed to get a bowl from the kitchen and he promptly threw up another load of blood.

I called for the ambulance service who arrived within about two minutes and they checked his blood presure, which was alarmingly low and immediately put him into the ambulance. I offered to go with him, but he didn’t want me there (he thought he was going to die and didn’t want me to watch it happen).

It seemed an age before the ambulance set off, and I only found out later that he had actually died in the ambulance and they had managed to recuscitate him, hence the delay.

Apparently, he “died” twice more – once on the way and then again when they got him to Accident and Emergency. He had only one pint of blood left in his system at that point so they immediately gave him blood transfusions and needless to say he was extremely lucky to have been cared for by an excellent paid of paramedics and then later in hospital.

At first, the doctors suspected liver failure, where the liver actually bursts and death is very quick. What actually happened was that his oesophagus had been damaged by all the drinking and caused varices (like varicose veins in the oesophagus), one of which had burst. It had been slowly leaking into his stomach and intestines and this explained all the blood loss at night and when using the toilet. When it finally burst open this is what caused the copious outflow of blood from his system.

Doctors can treat this by “binding” the varices in a similar way that you would bind a leaking pipe. However, they can only do this so many times before it becomes impossible to do any more. Paul is now on Omeprazole for life to try to ease the problems created by the acid that builds up in the stomach as a result of all the beer he drinks.

He spent two weeks in hospital on this occasion and later told me that the worst part of dying was the coming back – a lot of pain from the resuscitation equipment – and it was at this time that he told me that if it happened again, he did not wish to be resuscitated.

I still had him, but he would never be the same after that.

More to come…and thanks for following our story!

See you soon! x

 

JIMBO’S BLOG/GUEST BLOGGER – CHRISSIE FULLER ON ALCOHOLISM


Hi Guys.

Welcome to ‘Old Git‘ Jimbo’s blog @ www.miteamshirts.com my personal e-mail is  james@mits-online.co.uk .

The websites are  www.myteamshirts.co.uk and www.mits-online.co.uk 

Checkout our GIZMO page, WISH LIST & FUN RELATED  SEXY & RISQUE  t-shirts, & also our 2/3 way team shirts. 

I believe in speaking my mind, regardless of the people or subject.

 I don’t hide behind a mask. That is my Fizzog that you can see, so what you see and read is what you get.

Some of you may know that for the past few weeks I’ve been busy moving to my new home and unfortunately this has prevented me from doing my normal blog.

I have asked my business partner, Chrissie, to be my guest blogger and she is happy to share her story with you about her husband’s addiction to alcohol and how it has affected their lives.

So, on that note – over to Chrissie!

Hi Folks! Thanks to Jimbo for allowing me into his territory to keep the flag flying in his absence!

I wanted to share my story (and my husband, Paul’s), and am doing so with his permission. I wanted to keep a record for posterity as both a reminder for myself and also as a warning to others about the dangers of alcohol abuse, and how it can wreck lives. Without further ado, here is part three of our ongoing saga.

Pub Culture

I was used to spending most nights in the pub – my ex-partner was a fairly prolific drinker, who, by the way, has now cut down drastically, partly due to cost-cutting, but also mainly due to having seen the effect that the toll of heavy drinking has taken on Paul.

The difference now is that Paul has always been a daytime drinker rather than an evening drinker, and this took me some getting used to at first.

We would get up around 7am to get ready for work, then either take the train or drive to Poulton-le-Fylde where we were working and work until 12.30.

Then it was time for the daily run into town for lunch at the local pub. This invariably meant that Paul would drink at least 2 pints, sometimes 3, and more often than not, lunch for him was a liquid one.

Then at 2.30 it was back to the office until 4.45pm, followed by a quick trip to the pub for another pint while we waited for our train back to Chorley.

Normally, by this stage I was ready for home, but not Paul.
So, next was a trip to our local pub, The Swan With Two Necks in Chorley where Paul would top himself up with 4 or 5 more pints.

We would probably, if I was lucky(!), leave the pub at about 9.30pm, and on the way home we would call into the local Co-op and I would buy at least 2 bottles of wine, sometimes 3, which he would consume before bed.

While Paul was drinking his wine, I might occasionally join him for a couple of glasses while I ate my evening meal.
Invariably, I would ask Paul if he wanted something to eat, and invariably the answer would be a resounding “No thank you”!

Normally, we would go to bed at about midnight.

At approximately 5am, Paul would get up and raid either the biscuit tin, or eat whatever had been left in the fridge from the day before, and that would be the only time he would eat.

This went on for almost 18 months before something happened that began to change our lives forever.

Next time I’ll tell you what happened next.

 

‘Til then

Take care, and remember – in order to receive love – first of all you have to give it. X 

JIMBO’S BLOG/GUEST BLOGGER – CHRISSIE FULLER ON ALCOHOLISM


Hi Guys.

Welcome to ‘Old Git‘ Jimbo’s blog @ www.miteamshirts.com my personal e-mail is  james@mits-online.co.uk .

The websites are  www.myteamshirts.co.uk and www.mits-online.co.uk 

Checkout our GIZMO page, WISH LIST & FUN RELATED  SEXY & RISQUE  t-shirts, & also our 2/3 way team shirts. 

I believe in speaking my mind, regardless of the people or subject.

 I don’t hide behind a mask. That is my Fizzog that you can see, so what you see and read is what you get.

Some of you may know that for the past few weeks I’ve been busy moving to my new home and unfortunately this has prevented me from doing my normal blog.

I have asked my business partner, Chrissie, to be my guest blogger and she is happy to share her story with you about her husband’s addiction to alcohol and how it has affected their lives.

So, on that note – over to Chrissie for part two!

Hi Folks! Thanks to Jimbo for allowing me into his territory to keep the flag flying in his absence!

I wanted to share my story (and my husband, Paul’s), and am doing so with his permission. I wanted to keep a record for posterity as both a reminder for myself and also as a warning to others about the dangers of alcohol abuse, and how it can wreck lives. Without further ado, here is part two of our ongoing saga.

The Beginning

Moving in together was a big culture shock for both of us as we began to realise that we didn’t know each other as well as we thought we did. Bear in mind that due to the circumstances in which we ended up living together we were, at this point, still virtual strangers.
Looking back on it now it all happened too soon – we should have taken time out to really get to know each other first – not that I have any deep regrets about the time I have spent with Paul, but, as you will discover later, there were many things I didn’t know about him which only started to surface much later, and by then we were pretty much involved, both emotionally and financially.I can’t really speak for Paul, but from my point of view there were a lot of things that I had to get used to.The first thing that struck me was something that I hadn’t been expecting at all, and that was a purely physical thing – I was amazed at how thin Paul was!

He is well over 6 foot tall and weighed less than 10 stones. Apparently, at one time he was over 18 stones, but that was about 15 years ago when he was a lot younger and earning £100K plus every year, which meant lots of wining and dining and good living!

Looking back now it was stupid of me not to realise that for the six months before we got together he had been living on the breadline, sometimes even sleeping rough on our local Woolworths (as was) loading bay, and he hadn’t eaten properly in all that time.

Not only that, even though, at that time, he was in denial, as an alcoholic, whenever he had any money, rather than eat, he would buy drink. After having drunk himself into a stupor, he would be too full to eat in any case, so he didn’t bother! This is still the case today – even though I cook regularly for him, he rarely eats what I put in front of him, and I don’t think that’s any reflection on my cooking which most people say is pretty damn good!


I often used to wonder why a lot of the heavy drinkers I met in pubs never seemed to eat anything. Now I know that you can get just as full on beer as food and if you are addicted to alcohol, THAT always comes first!
That’s all for now….next time I’ll discuss Paul’s day to day habits and how he would sometimes drive me to despair!

‘Til then

Take care, and if you love someone…show them how much! x

 

JIMBO’S BLOG/GUEST BLOGGER – CHRISSIE FULLER ON ALCOHOLISM


Hi Guys.

Welcome to ‘Old Git‘ Jimbo’s blog @ www.miteamshirts.com my personal e-mail is  james@mits-online.co.uk .

The websites are  www.myteamshirts.co.uk and www.mits-online.co.uk 

Checkout our GIZMO page, WISH LIST & FUN RELATED  SEXY & RISQUE  t-shirts, & also our 2/3 way team shirts. 

I believe in speaking my mind, regardless of the people or subject.

 I don’t hide behind a mask. That is my Fizzog that you can see, so what you see and read is what you get.

Some of you may know that for the past few weeks I’ve been busy moving to my new home and unfortunately this has prevented me from doing my normal blog.

I have asked my business partner, Chrissie, to be my guest blogger and she is happy to share her story with you about her husband’s addiction to alcohol and how it has affected their lives.

So, on that note – over to Chrissie!

Hi Folks! Thanks to Jimbo for allowing me into his territory to keep the flag flying in his absence!

I wanted to share my story (and my husband, Paul’s), and am doing so with his permission. I wanted to keep a record for posterity as both a reminder for myself and also as a warning to others about the dangers of alcohol abuse, and how it can wreck lives. Without further ado, here is part one of our ongoing saga.

Where it all began

 
I met Paul about six years ago and we got together just after Valentine’s Day in 2007.We were introduced by John Hughes, a very dear mutual friend of ours who has since, very sadly, passed away.

John had explained to me briefly about Paul’s alcohol addiction so I was under no illusions, but he was such a funny, lovely man, with many, many stories to tell about his life as a Staff Sargeant in the British Army, his 10 years in Cyprus, 2 years in Canada and his early life in Carlisle, I couldn’t help but be drawn to him, and according to John, the attraction was mutual.

We became friends and twelve months later, both with previous relationships that had failed for various reasons, we found ourselves thrown together by circumstances and started living together.

Paul’s previous marriage had broken down. His wife of 10 years had all but destroyed him, leaving one day with her two kids he had adopted, his treasured BMW, and most of his belongings, effectively forcing all of them out of the lovely home they had created.

My relationship with my partner had been going down hill for a number of years and after I found out that he had been unfaithful to me with a girlfriend of mine, I decided enough was enough. It was time to bail out, and move on.

Paul and I met each other while we were both on a downhill slope, to quote Bonnie Raitte, we found each other just “In The Nick of Time“.

Neither of us had any work at the time. Paul had lost his job as a Sales Manager in advertising through no fault of his own. With no car, he was unable to do his job and had to quit. I had worked with my ex-partner as a long distance trucker and had more or less lived in the wagon so had no real home to speak of – apart from a caravan that we used when we weren’t “on the road”.

Paul said he wanted to look after me and I was extremely vulnerable at the time. Luckily, he had been well respected in his line of business, and within days of us getting together, he managed to secure a good paying position as Sales Manager for a publishing company. I joined him shortly after at the same company and for the time being we were “in clover”. The money was good and although we worked hard, we also played hard – especially Paul!!!

This is our story. From when we met, to the ups and downs of Paul’s addiction to alcohol, his diagnosis with Terminal Liver Disease and frequent hospitalisation, his decision to quit drinking and start living, his subsequent relapse, and how I tried to cope with his frequent heavy drinking sessions, his mood swings and dealing with the knowledge that one more drink could take him away from me forever.

Next time, I will tell you more, so please come back for the next instalment!

‘Til then

Take care, and if you love someone, make sure they know it before its too late! x

 
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