Laughter in the face of adversity

IMG_6895Well not a lot has changed since I last wrote, but a fair bit has happened.

I’m going to share with you what I think has been Faiths most ummmm most traumatic, strange, sad yet funny moment yet. This has to be anonymous, otherwise I could not share, you will understand why.

He has been drinking, no shock there! But wanting to stop. I’m sure you will know by now there is no where you can go and say OK I want to stop drinking , can you help me. It doesn’t work like that.

So he went cold turkey. Thank god I didn’t know, he didn’t tell me and as he had been drinking I hadn’t been in regular contact with him, I try to step back when he is.

So when he phoned me last week to “catch up” I was surprised to hear him sober and even more surprised when he told me he had been sober for a week.  I was like “what? How did that happen? When? How did I miss this? He thought I knew.

The even more surprising (OK I didn’t believed him) news was that his partner was also sober. How on earth did I miss this?

Where have I been? Normally if he was detoxing on his own I would be going through it with him, the sickness, everything else that is so awful when someone addicted to alcohol just stops drinking. What no fits and paramedics?

Anyway, somehow he got through it and I didn’t have to go through the pain with him. Bloody wonderful and wonderous.

Isnt that just great? Yes to good to be true. Thursday last week he called me, I was at work.

Hang on a moment Faith let me get somewhere more private

“This is my goodbye call mum, I’m going to die”

Sorry Faith, what did you say?

“I am going to die mum, my veins are joining up, they told me I am going to die, my skin is falling off, they are crawling out of my skin”

OK Faith, don’t panic, do you remember when you detox your brain does odd things, you see things that aren’t real, please believe me, I am your mum, this is your brain playing tricks on you, you are fine. None of this is real even though you think it is.

“you don’t believe me , I will send you a video, you will see all these creatures on my skin”

Faith sent me a video of a very shaky but plain hand.

Its fine, I can’t see anything, please believe me.

I noticed from the video that he was down the beach, I was concerned he would go into the water to wash off the creatures. So I told him to go home, I thought he would be safer.

He agreed he would go home, I went back to work but kept trying to call him, but he didn’t answer.

5pm, I’m about to leave work , I get a call from his girlfriend.

“Please I need your help, Faith has jumped from the bathroom window, the first responders are here, I need to go to hospital with him but I have no money to get home on the bus, can you help me”

OK, here we go again……

It appears he jumped naked from the bathroom window, after stripping off, because his clothes were full of these creature

Of course, I sent money, if she goes it means I don’t have to.

So he was in hospital for a few days, not many, the Psych team were supposed to see him but they were busy, obviously jumping naked from your bathroom window is not a major trauma.

So now he is back home with “boots” on both feet as he has broken, bruised or whatever to his feet.

You know what that means? He can’t walk to the shop and buy alcohol? Hallel bloody ujah. Sorry if I offend anyone.

And I can laugh with him, about the fact that he could have been stuck, half in, half out, completely naked, of his bathroom window.

I can laugh with him about the fact that he was completely naked on a Thursday afternoon outside his flat refusing to put his pants on because they were full of creatures..

I can laugh with him because today he is sober and that is all that matters.

And you can understand why this has to be completely unanimous.

His dignity, the little he has, needs to be protected .

So hopefully this is a spell of sobriety, but I know isolation and depression will set in, I will try to help him, when he is sober I will do whatever I can to support him.

Sober and depressed is to me a million times better than him being under the influence.

Bye for now….












Wet Brain or Wernicke-Koraskoff syndrome

I promised I would write more about ‘Wet Brain’

I am not an expert and have no medical training, everything I write is from experience and things I have learnt along this journey.

The first time I heard about it was about 7 or 8 years ago. Faith was living with me and drinking fairly heavily.  (This was before I put the no alcohol rule in my house)

He had an appointment at the hospital to check his liver and to meet for the first time the alcohol nurse.  A lovely doctor spoke to him about the damage his liver was starting to show,  but it was still reversible if he stopped drinking. Now wouldn’t that be just great “if he stopped drinking”

Next it was the alcohol nurse.  He had a long chat with Faith, took notes and suggested for the first time rehab.  Now that was a word I liked :-D.  But,  there were long waiting lists and he wanted Faith to try and stop on his own to show he really wanted to stop.  Places were few and there were people in more need of a place than Faith. There we go, another glimmer of hope which is quickly extinguished,  I struggle to contain the tears.

He arranges another appointment and we walk out of his office.  He stood and watched us walk down the corridor.  I remember wondering at the time what he was thinking.

He called down the corridor for us to come back.

Back in his office he tells us why he has called us back. The reason he watched Faith walk away was because he was concerned Faith could be suffering from Wet brain or Wernicke-Koraskoff syndrome to give it its official name. It affects more men than women. One of the symptoms is staggering or an irregular gait. Faith had that symptom. If untreated it can lead to death quite quickly. Very scary stuff, Faith at this time was in his early twenties.

But the positive was, he wanted to get Faith into rehab, and quickly. So, although the diagnosis was frightening, finally someone was taking it seriously and doing something to help .

I thought it was the answer to my prayers, my son would be saved. How naive I was.

Within 2 weeks Faith had his first stay in rehab. 10 days. It wasn’t long enough of course and within 3 weeks of coming out, he was back drinking.

I have listed below some of the symptoms of Wernicke-Koraskoff syndrome

  • Remembering things that haven’t happened (confabulation)
  • Staggering, irregular gait and other muscle coordination issues.
  • Inability to form new memories.
  • Visual and auditory hallucinations.
  • Confusion.
  • Double vision, eye lid drooping and abnormal eye movements.

Source: Wet Brain: End Stage Alcoholism | Recovery Connection

For more information, please follow the link below.