Flush it Friday: Go Home McNulty, You’re Drunk

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I’ve been pondering my debut Flush it Friday subject for months now and have just recently had an experience that proves worthy!  “But couldn’t you have picked a less-predictable FoF title?” you might asking yourself.  While that’s very true, here’s the part that will surprise you:  instead of typing up this article in my home office with a bottle of red wine by my side and two fat cats trying to jump into my lap to interrupt my work; I am typing this from the hospital room to which I was admitted four days ago…


 

Sunday morning I woke up on the couch at 5AM, threw up, and visited the dear ole’ Tarlet (none of which are new to me).  The problem was my entire abdomen was in a pain the likes of which I’ve never felt, and it lasted roughly three hours before I called a friend to take me to the Emergency Room.  Upon arrival and several tests, they concluded that I had “acute pancreatitis” and was consequently viewed a wee bit differently by the initial staff members taking care of me.  You see this is a condition that’s obtained one of three ways:  genetic hand-me-down, gallbladder stones, or over-consumption of booze.  I wasn’t surprised, in fact I didn’t want any pity from the staff members and they gave me none.  They still took great care of me though and made sure I would speed towards a full recovery.

So what am I here to flush:  my pancreas, booze in general, myself?  No bros, I’m here to flush addiction.  Whether it’s alcohol, drugs, physical or emotional abuse, retail therapy, doesn’t matter:  it’s a demon that haunts just about everyone (except for those cool Scientologistgs!)  Why do I drink?  I’ve got nothing to forget, really.  Life’s pretty good for ole’ McNulty.  My bad relationships are a thing of the past, and all my friends and family are pretty trill.  Turns out I simply really enjoy it — and it doesn’t even make me mad either, just a slurring son of a bitch.  Perhaps I’m trying to fill a void that isn’t.

THE GOOD:  Because of this incident, I’m turning my life around in a drastic way.  It also helped to have friends, family members, and hospital staff who have taken great care of me this week.  Nobody judged me for getting myself into this excruciatingly painful situation, but on the flipside many folks (including myself) see it as a great wake-up call for me at the early age of 34; as I didn’t take the life of another or myself, didn’t ruin a marriage or other type of relationship, and didn’t lose my job.  I simply caused myself a ton of pain and five +/- days of annoying bedrest with almost nothing but IV fluids* at my disposal.  (Plus I got to listen to all the music you dashing devils have posted these last few days!)

THE BAD:  As I said before, addiction.  In most cases it appears to be easier to treat the symptoms of addiction than the core issue itself (crazy in the medical world, right?) but hopefully this issue can be tackled at some point in the future.  Until then, we have folks like friends, family, and other Flushers for support.  Use these resources!!

THE UGLY:  Me after four days without a proper shower or shave and an abdomen so distended that I could easily pass as pregnant!  But really that’s nothing in comparison to the poor souls who have CHRONIC pancreatitis and either get re-admitted to the hospital every few months for over-indulging, or simply die from it.  They need the help the most.

So maybe my story can be a lesson to you, one that you won’t have to experience firsthand to believe.  All I’ll have to do in the future to avoid over-boozing is to remember how I felt curled up in the fetal position on a stretcher in the ER, finding time between cries of pain to explain what exactly my symptoms were.  In the meantime, I’ll have to be the more well-behaved (see:  boring) Jimmy McNulty from season 4 who moves in with Beadie and the kids:

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You know the drill:  give us YOUR good, bad, and ugly!

Update:  It’s Friday morning and I’m still in the hospital, with no talks of discharge yet.  When writing this article on Wednesday I felt pretty good, but surely that’s because I had plenty of pain meds flowing through my blood.  Thursday was a nightmare… the docs disabled the basal rate (the continual, slow release) of pain medication and I did not know this (my fault).  After a few hours without medication, I experienced the nightmare that my nurse stipulated was my first experience with alcohol withdrawal.  I guess the pain meds had been staving that one back.  Well that’s over and I’m back up walking around and there are now talks of removing these damn IV’s from my arms.  Everyone have a great weekend, I’ll catch up with y’all soon.

*Okay here is the GOOD thing about IV fluids:  you may end up being doped by a pain medication called Dilaudid, which is stronger than morphine and when combined with Deathspell Omega can lead to some amazing lucid dreams…

(image via HBO)

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