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  The Chatter Box : Blathering On
Dilemma - any ideas? by perfectbitch on 6 August 2006 12:31am
Sorry boys and girls - this is a little heavy but I could do with some feedback.

My Mum, who will be 80 in a couple of weeks, is an alcoholic in recovery who has been without alcohol for over 35 years. Although without alcohol, I wouldn't describe her as sober her behaviour swings between being very wise or completely outrageous and cruel. She is now terminally ill and we doubt she will see Christmas and she knows this at the bottom of her heart although she won't admit it. She gets very angry and uncooperative but a small dose of Valium seems to work wonders and she relaxes and is happier. We took her out to lunch today which she thoroughly enjoyed but suddenly came out with, "When I get out of the hospital, I want a large vodka and orange." My sisters are a little horrified at the prospect but I can't see that,in the short time that she has left, it will do much harm. However, alcohol is a depressant and I wouldn't want her to be any more depressed than she already is.

Any advice? Ideas? or info please?

Re: Dilemma - any ideas? by Godfather on 6 August 2006 1:40am
Sounds emotionally draining for everybody involved. I cannot offer advice because I've not had to deal with someone in that situation. All I can offer is my empathy, I'm afraid :(
Re: Dilemma - any ideas? by George on 6 August 2006 5:37am
Being a recovering alcoholic myself, I can't see where it would offer any comfort, other than the taste. It would probably make her sick. There are many drugs available today which can simulate the "high" of alcohol and are not nearly as potentially toxic. Obviously, I'm not a physician, so please take this for what it's worth.
Re: Dilemma - any ideas? by tucsonmike on 6 August 2006 7:07am
As with Godfather, can only empathize. Would it be redundant to say this is a lose/lose proposition?
Re: Dilemma - any ideas? by perfectbitch on 6 August 2006 2:14pm
Thank-you all. We have contacted some of her AA friends who are going to talk to her. Her best friend is also ill and wants to help - we all feel that the support she needs should be spitirual and maybe continue with the valium as it does calm her. It is difficuly as her short term memory is very bad and her concept of time is weird. So, she could be happy to contemplate the spiritual one minute and a couple of hours later, it would be forgotten and she would be asking for a drink again. The fact that she is profoundly deaf doesn't help and is the perfect excuse for her to deny anything that she doesn't want to hear.

I just want her last weeks to be as uplifting as possible.

Re: Dilemma - any ideas? by sighthound on 6 August 2006 6:54pm
So sorry to hear about your mother, Linz.

The elderly relative I take care of is also an alcoholic. She went to rehab several times but it never took. When I took over her care, I had long discussions with her doctor and we decided to let her have access to a limited amount of alcohol every day. (She's not very ambulatory so she can't get it on her own which prevents binges.)

There are pros and cons to this approach. Contact me privately (address is in Vitals)if you want to talk about it.

Sympathizing, Geraldine
Re: Dilemma - any ideas? by perfectbitch on 7 August 2006 12:22am
Thank-you for your kind thoughts KM1.

Re: Dilemma - any ideas? by suzulu on 7 August 2006 1:50am
Sorry to hear about your mother's illness, Linz. I too cannot offer any advice but my own thoughts would be that if she has had no alcohol for 35 years, it might be a bit of a shock to the system. Anyway, whatever decision you make, I am sure will be the right one.
Re: Dilemma - any ideas? by peripatetically on 9 August 2006 1:31am
I am so sorry to hear about your Mom, Linz. Having never had to deal with alcoholism, I can't advise you one way or the other. Having this sadness is painful, and watching a parent suffer like your mother is, must be tearing your heart apart. Your re doing the right thing by trying to get advice. In the end, your deciosn will be the right one if you weigh the pros and cons carefully.
Re: Dilemma - any ideas? by fairygirl48 on 9 August 2006 6:27am
My heart goes out to you, Linz. I wish I could offer up some advice as well, but I've also not had to deal with a family member's alcoholism and I hate that you have to go through this. No one deserves such a heavy emotional burden. I'm sure you will come to the right decision...remember that in life's journey, we are always on the right path if we let our hearts chart the course.

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