26 February 2010

It just gets better

Greg's health has been deteriorating even further over the last month. His legs and feet are a dreadful purple colour and covered in scabs (how he gets them I just don't know but they don't heal quickly when he gets sores or scratches). It is largely caused by the diabetes. Since I returned from my mother his mobility has taken a turn for the worst. Again the diabetes/smoking is the problem as well as poor circulation. Instead of being unable to walk just a few yards unaided, he is now unable to walk a few steps unaided and finds climbing all our stairs almost impossible. He has spent the last few weeks sleeping solely on the sofa as he cannot get up to the bedroom. He has barely eaten and has not taken his medication regularly. The only thing he has continued with gusto is the drinking. He is 60 going on 120 by the look of him. Even my 86-year-old mother is in better condition (and that is saying something).

This last week in particular has seen a big change: he needed my help both to sit upright from lying down and to stand up from sitting. He seemed incapable of doing it himself. He walked holding on to furniture. He felt so ill and so fed up with the state he was in that he agreed something drastic needed to be done. .. he agreed to make an appointment with our GP for Wednesday and with some local alcoholic counsellors today to get the ball rolling for a detox.

We saw the GP on Wednesday and Greg pleaded with her to allow him a detox at home. He does not like being holed up with strangers and institutionalised regimes. She refused a home detox as it would require high levels of drugs to wean him off the alcohol and 24-hour medical supervision which he could only get in a proper detox centre. He begged, she continued to refuse, saying she would get into trouble if she even entertained the idea. She encouraged him to keep the appointment with the counsellors today to get their help for a proper detox, as they were the best people to approach. There is usually a long-waiting list for this kind of help, so our hearts sank.

Yesterday, Greg seemed a lot worse and was barely moving at all. He had had no sleep the night before as he could not get comfortable on the sofa, so tried to sleep during the morning while I crept quietly around the house, keepng out of his way. He woke at lunchtime and slowly went from sofa to kitchen chair to toilet to sofa, having to negotiate stairs at every move. I was upstairs in the late afternoon when I heard him call for the umpteenth time, probably to help him sit up or stand. What I found was him collapsed on the kitchen floor and unable to stand. I tried to heave him up but he was a dead weight. After several attempts to get him up, his next remark completely floored me: "Call for an ambulance. I feel so wretched". Long-term readers of this blog know that he hates hospitals, ambulances, any fuss, so you can imagine how surprised I was. To cut a very long story short, the paramedics arrived and took him to hospital, where he is now. I followed on behind by car.

The bottom line is that they are very concerned about his extremely low blood pressure (71 over 56 and at one stage 70 over 35) and have detected internal bleeding. Now they need to find where the bleed is coming from, but high contenders are the intestine, stomach or liver. I am not allowed to visit him as the hospital wards are closed to visitors because of an outbreak of winter vomiting virus. At least he'll get the detox he so badly needs. Sometimes God moves in mysterious ways. The hamster wheel still turns but now on a different axle.

26 comments:

Elaine said...

I'm so pleased he is now able to get the detox he needs, but so sorry that it had to happen this way. You must be beside yourself, and as for Greg, who knows what he's thinking and feeling right now? I pray that there is a positive oucome to all of this, that Greg's pain and suffering eases and that you are allowed to live again. x

terbear said...

Oh, if this isn't a sure sign of 'let go & let God' I don't know what is!

The way I see it, your last post was like turning it over to your Higher Power, in this case a group conscience,and it wasn't long before things changed.

While I'm sure you worry for his health, he is in the best possible place he can be in, and right now, you have a little peace in your life, which you so richly deserve.

My best thoughts are being sent your way. I'm sure it's not easy for you. I pray that Greg makes it through all this and that this can be a turning point for both of you.

grandmamargie said...

My thoughts and prayers are with you. Take this time that you can't visit him and get the physical/emotional rest you so desperately need. And don't feel guilty for it. There is nothing you can do now, it is up to Greg and the physicians and of course, God.

Strawberry Jam Anne said...

Greg is in the very best place Addie and will get the care that he desperately needs. I hope you can take some time now to take care of yourself and try to relax a little. Thinking of you. A x

nappy valley girl said...

I am thinking of you at this very hard time. You are being very brave. x

laurie said...

oh god your life! your life is so hard! let this be a turning point.

in any case, he's out of your care for a while and you can get some rest, which you so dearly need.

ChrisB said...

My heart goes out to you my friend. Please take this opportunity to get rested up and have some time for you...Maybe this will be the turning point and he will finally get some lasting help. Take care x

Jane said...

I've followed your blog for a long time now, but never commented before. I've been in so many of the places you've been, but have to say I never stuck it out as long as you have and left my alcoholic partner.

I really hope that after this detox Greg will realise how much damage he's been doing not only to you, but himself also and see the light !!

You have nothing but my highest respect for the way you have stayed with him, when I'm sure there have been many many times when you could have quite happily walked out the door. I hope this will give you the much needed time to recharge your batteries x

Robert said...

Dear Addy, my thoughts are with you.

DogLover said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
DogLover said...

Mine, too, Addy.

aims said...

A GI bleed is not a good thing as you are well aware my friend. With that in mind - please know I am thinking of you and of Greg. No matter how many times I have said I thought you should leave him - I do not wish this on him at all even though he has brought it on himself.

Rest and be strong - although I don't think I need to add that last bit because you obviously are incredibly strong. Stronger than most.

elsy said...

so sorry to hear that addy, but at least greg will be getting the care he needs. use this time to look after yourself and recharge. you owe it to yourself and kay.....

Nechtan said...

Hi Addy,

I hope Greg is OK and also hope you are not having too hard a time with worry. It must be difficult not being able to visit. I sincerely hope this period turns out to be for the good in the long term.

All the best

Nechtan

Daphne Wayne-Bough said...

There's nothing I can say that will help, but just wanted you to know I'm thinking of you.

Working Mum said...

I agree with the above: Greg is being looked after in the best place and you have a chance to rest while they take care of him. Look after yourself. WM x

Linda said...

Thinking of you Addy♥ Greg is in the best place right now and it's time for you to make sure you take good care of yourself and include a little pampering.

Kit Courteney said...

Blimey.

Thinking of you.

Achelois said...

I have followed your blog for a long time. I just want to say I do not know how you cope. Please take this time to rest, you so deserve a rest. My thoughts are with you.

dragondays said...

It does get better, doesn't it? Let's hope that Greg has hit rock bottom and his detox will help him through and back on the road to recovery. It's good you can't visit - you will have a breather you so desperately need and I reckon that Greg will be more or less away with the fairies as he is weaned off the booze.
And there's another positive side - you won't get funny stares in the supermarket as you unload the whisky!
Hope you spend Sunday in bed, reading the papers with a plentiful supply of tea!

Jenny Rudd said...

Jesus the pressure on you, both physical and emotional is immense. I hope you get an opportunity to drink tea, read a book, chat to friends on the phone and relax.

Tinypoppet said...

I have just sat and read your entire blog from beginning to end. It's taken me quite a while!

I am at loss for words, except to beg you to leave....for his sake as well as yours. Whilst you are there, providing him with shelter and assistance, surely he doesn't need to work hard to change?

What you go through is hard to read -you are incredibly strong and I think your daughter Kay is very lucky to have such a close bond with such an obviously loving mother.

You are in my thoughts; I hope there is an answer out there for you and that someone listens and turns to you to help.

x

Furtheron said...

Good luck - I hope he gets the help and I hope it goes well. I also hope he achieves the very difficult next step - staying stopped

dulwich divorcee said...

It sounds, forgive me, as though both of you will be having a detox. Hope you get a bit of a rest xx

Joker the Lurcher said...

i just found your blog and read back a few posts as well as this one. a dear friend of mine has a life that is parallel to yours in a lot of ways - i am going to send her a link.

her husband has been sober for several months after residential detox - i hope it stays that way, and all the signs are that it will. the health thing and the buying booze thing are identical. once or twice i had to buy vodka for him and even that made me embarrassed - my poor friend was buying 2 bottles a day, often first thing in the morning and her children were hating her for buying it even though he had seizures if he stopped.

i take my hat off to you, and hope things improve for you.

Alcoholic Daze (ADDY) said...

Thank you for all your comments. Not being able to visit him has given me a few days' rest. I have been luxuriating in it!!