Search for Addiction Treatment Centers Near You Forums Alcohol Abuse witnessing their last ‘low’

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    I’ve been watching people die for over fifteen years. As a Critical-Care nurse I’m intimately involved with tragedy on a near-daily basis. Some days are better than others…but in the ICU, there are times when death and suffering hang in the air like some tangible, sickening mist… And there are times when this mist is yellow.

    Yellow mist?

    It’s sort-of how i describe the atmosphere surrounding a dying alcoholic. An alcoholic hitting her lowest of lows…his final bottom…their poisoned, tortured end-point. Alcoholics dont visit the ICU unless they’re very close to this last ‘low’.

    When an alcoholic dies from liver failure, they’ve likely been suffering for some time. I wont go into to details, as you’re all likely aware of the how’s-and-why’s of this… but i’d like to paint a unfortunately not-uncommon picture…

    The patient is bedridden, malnurished, and skeletal…aside from their protruding/swollen/fluid-filled abdomen…and many times swollen extremeties. They’re confused and hallucinating…many times from DTs but by this point it’s usually due to high ammonia from the failing liver. To treat the high ammonia levels we give drugs to induce (constant) diahhrea. It’s the only way to bring the ammonia levels down… Of course these people are near-flourescent yellow…bright Yellow eyes…sunken, skeletal faces. (‘skeletal’ is a common theme here)…and of course the bleeding. Bleeding from near-everywhere. Swollen vericose-veins in their throats rupture…bleeding which much of the time cant be stopped…puking/choking blood…and, etc.

    And they all die.

    In a strange sickening yellow-haze…

    I’m a bit pressed for time and was hoping to get a wee more in depth but i’ve got responsibilities 🙂

    The last note i want to make, though,…is that after a shift in the ICU…even after taking care of a patient like i described… there are days i’ll stop for a 1/2-pint of Vodka on the way home.

    I’m an ICU nurse… and i think that

    I’m an alcoholic.

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