This update will be brief because I’m writing it at my mother’s house where I have been recuperating since my discharge from the hospital a few days ago, but, believe me, I have a tale to tell, and it will be told as soon as I get back to my apartment tomorrow.
I’ll save the lurid, horrific, and, at times, blackly comic details for the larger blog post, but these are the some of the basic facts: they kept me for six days and told me that if I kept trying to detox alone at home, I might have died, despite my relative youth. They hooked me up to a heart monitor machine and, just lying in bed, my heat rate periodically rised to 170 (I shit you not). The staff would freak, in their calm and professional way. Then my blood pressure would go down to 90/60. I’ve always had low blood pressure because I work out (when I’m not drunk) but that is pretty low.
My suite mate was a geriatric dilaudid (among other things) addict, which I guess is fine–I mean, who am I to judge, as we are in this fucked-up junkie boat together?–but she was also a crazy selfish mean delusional bitch who constantly imposed herself on every human being in her orbit, and you are going to be reading a LOT about her, believe me.
For the first two days, I had moments of extreme psychological distress for no apparent reason because I knew I was in a safe space. My rational mind knew it was because my brain was fucked. Otherwise I was lucid (except for the zillion drugs they put me on) except that I kept having nightmares that Judge Judy was going to be my nurse and scream at me for being stupid and fucking up my life. “Judgement for the Defendant!” Who the fuck would be the defendant? Bushmill’s Whiskey? The poor nice girl who works at the gas station by my house, who always looked sadder and sadder every night when I came in to buy the same thing, my looks and coordination deteriorating?
I couldn’t drink or eat (both literally, and doctor’s orders), so my dehydrated mummy body was hydrated with about 3 bags of saline via IV daily. Good thing I didn’t have to work (as if I could have), because I look like I spent a few weeks in a shooting gallery, and I don’t mean the gun range.
My brain is about 80% back and I want to write again. I am wearing makeup and fixing my hair pretty again. I had the strength to go buy my Mom nice presents for Mother’s Day, even though I had to sit down to rest a few times on the floor in Macy’s (nobody cared; it was a zoo). I can read again. I’m almost off the librium, and then I can re-start the Naltrexone. Abe is waiting for me. I visit him at the boarders every day. I bring him a new toy every day until I get him home, tomorrow. I learned he likes to play with wiffle balls.
I hired a housecleaner (not my usual one–I was too ashamed) and paid her double so that I don’t have to go home to my depressing apartment with a garbage bag I didn’t have the energy to run to the dumpster and a desk surrounded by a graveyard of empties and a few take-out boxes of food completely full because I couldn’t bring myself to eat even a single bite. I mean, who the fuck can’t eat a slice of PIZZA? Your friendly neighborhood alcoholic, that’s who. At least Bushmill’s has calories.
Oh, I lost 14 lbs. At least something good came of this. I’m a size 4 again. My clients are gonna love it.
More tomorrow–the juicy details that should serve as a cautionary tale.
Oh, one other thing: I watched “The Lost Weekend.” Scary as fuck, but it’s stood the test of time, and it is, without a doubt, the truest depiction of alcoholism on film I’ve ever seen, and I’ve seen them all. You can stream it on Amazon for cheap. Not sure if it’s on netflix. Highly recommended if you don’t think it’ll make you want to slit your wrists.