Saturday, September 15, 2012

AA Birthday Number 6 and "The Taste", revisited

Welcome to Billybob's Wildride! There will probably be a bunch of first time wild riders since Bobby plans to post this on Facebook for the first time, So let me introduce myself. I am Billybob, the wacky liver living in Bobby's upper left quadrant. Bobby started the "wildride" back in '07 to vent and communicate to people about the *wild ride*, but hardly ever posts on here anymore. Unless a CT scan comes back positive for a liver tumor, or bone tumor, or when he has some additional strange and bizarre medical diagnosis, and the once a year AA birthday. Which is today. Number 6. -6 years or 2192 days or 52,608 hours or 3,156,480 minutes...without a beer!! (or any other alcohol)
So, to celebrate number 6, we are going to repost one way back from AA birthday number 2. Happy birthday, you big ol' lunker, and many more to come! Love, Billybob , the Lung brothers, mister HEART, the Gutz family, Mr. Spleen Mcqueen, Kidney one and Kidney two, "the Zombie monster" rib tumor, De Quervains pains, and all the Piggies who went to market!

THE TASTE- by Billybob September 1, 2008
Six years and two weeks ago (September 10, 2006), Bobby kissed Sharon bye, grabbed his keys and headed out the door. He was on his way up to Golden, to Mount Olivet cemetery to visit Ardis' grave for just the second time. He stopped on his way at a convenience store for a can of beer and a pack of smokes. Back then beer was not available on Sunday, except the watered down version, 3.2 beer, because of blue laws, or unless you went to the bar. Bobby and Sharon live one block from a bar, but he never took advantage of it. Only an alcoholic would do that, right? He bought a pack of cigarettes, and a 24 ounce can of Budweiser. The clerk handed him his change, and he wheeled out the door, the cemetery being only a couple of blocks west. He had taken his fishing chair with him, and expected to stay awhile. He dismounted from the truck, the cemetery was vacant. He could not see anybody else, it being Labor day weekend, and a Sunday, the sun was warm, but not too hot, and the sky had an autumn feel to it. .. The fresh sod on her grave was taking hold now, beginning to knit after just 3 weeks. The fishing chair sunk in to the ground because the grass being over watered. He adjusted it, and managed to stop sinking. He had already lost 50 pounds on his way to lose a total of over one hundred in just 4 months. The abdominal pain had changed in intensity over the last month. It felt as if a dirty brick had been surgically placed in his abdomen. Every movement and vibration hurt.
He had been trying to drown his emotional pain, but it increased his physical pain. It burned now. That weekend, he had not drunk any beer, unheard of for labor day weekend . He had been telling Sharon that he was close to quitting. Ardis' dying had convinced him to quit. He didn't want to die like her. A year prior, his brother had questioned him at the request of Sharon, about weather he though he had a drinking problem or not. He had come up with a logical explanation to Jeff as to why he did not have a drinking problem. People who have real drinking problems can't switch to 3.2 on Bronco Sunday at dad's house, and they can't ever stop at just one or two, right? Bobby had started buying 3.2 for the Bronco game since becoming very very drunk during the Denver bronco's loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars a few years back, and enduring a lecture from his father. He was embarrassed by it, so he made it a point to never take regular beer over there again. But lately, even 3.2 beer was getting him drunk, and he marveled at how amazing that was. So, he cracked this ice cold can of Bud, lit a smoke, and inhaled, and as he let out the smoke, he told himself to really take it in, the feeling. The taste. This was an experiment to really contemplate life and death. A taste test, if you will. Sitting here on Ardis' grave, pissed at the whole world because of his false perception that no one really knew or cared how much her death had destroyed him and Sharon, he drank. He smoked.
He knew that his liver (me) was very sick. So far the doctors were all being fooled into thinking that I was fine, but Bobby knew better. Today, he enjoyed this feeling, and most of all, this taste. Just for a while longer. He had a saying back in his 20's that a cold beer, and a Marlboro were life's end all beat all, and that he wanted them as a dying wish. But today, he knew he would have to choose. If he chose the beer, he knew he would be giving up Sharon, but every time recently he had asked her if she was at the end of her rope, she just patiently said "not today, hun". She had been so patient in the weeks following Ardis death, especially since he was on a real bender and he had never done this before. He felt completely out of control. Like a car coming down a mountain with no brakes. He knew that choosing the beer meant choosing death.
He gathered his cigarette butts, his empty can, and paper bag, and sat in the bed of the truck for awhile. The equivalent of two cans of beer never used to have this effect, but he didn't feel safe to drive, so he waited. He waited the prescribed amount of time required by law. More proof of not being an alcoholic,right? When he got home, he didn't have any thing more to drink the rest of the night. Yet more proof. Heh. The next day after work, he bought another 15 pack of beer. He just wasn't done quite yet. Rock bottom loomed just 7 days away. Bobby at Lutheran hospital-September 15, 2006
Post script: when Bobby did finally quit for good, he ran in to big trouble. Not knowing anything
about the "DT's" or "the shakes" , he developed alcohol withdrawal syndrome and was hospitalized for 4 days in serious condition with Delerium Tremens, (Latin for "shaking frenzy") a potentially fatal condition resulting from rapid cessation of drinking alcohol. If you or a loved one has a drinking problem, NEVER try to quit drinking cold turkey.
Excerpt from Elsevier Health Sciences:Withdrawal from other drugs which are not sedative-hypnotics such as caffeine, cocaine, opioids, etc. do not have major medical complications, and are not life-threatening. Withdrawal reactions as a result of physical dependence on alcohol is the most dangerous and can be fatal.