My husband is an alcoholic and the other day, while sitting outside in the sun, he slumped forward. I did not know how much he had to drink but I think it was about 4 beers and 1/2 pint of Vodka. He had been slurring his words. I jumped up and lifted his head up and he was turning blue and not breathing!!! I tilted his head back and blew two breaths and called 911. While on the phone with 911, I gave him two more breaths. His eyes were dilated and he was non-responsive still. I gave him two more breaths (still on phone with 911) and he choked and regurgitated and then spit up and started breathing. He did not know what had happened. He started talking and was responsive by the time the ambulance arrived. He at first refused to go to hospital but I was adament that he go and he went by ambulance. After seven hours of many tests, EKG, brain scan, CAT scan, blood and urine tests, chest x-ray, etc., they could not find anything wrong wth him other than "possible dehydration". They gave him some potassium pills and sent him home. I know that the alcohol caused him to stop breathing but he seems to think it was all because he was drinking "in the sun" and was dehydrated. The paramedics told him if I had not been there he would be dead. I am at my wits end and now cannot get the look of his blue face out of my mind. My first husband died of a heart attack right in front of me. I know CPR and could not save him. This husband has now told me "he had a wake-up call" but I can hardly sleep for fear he will stop breathing. It's only been three days since this happened and he's only had 2 beers since then. He tells me he definitely has his act together but I've heard that before. If I mention alcoholism too much he gets angry and defensive and leaves the room. I am suffering terribly from all of this. I don't know what to do. I've threatened, begged, etc., and he has always said he will do better. I am scared out of my mind that this "wake up call" as he called it, is just a temporary stop to his sneaking the vodka and he'll start again.
I know I've said a lot...but I guess my big question is this.....can a seasoned drinker slump forward and stop breathing just from drinking alcohol? And then not breathe without assistance? He was in the sun but it was not that hot out last Wednesday.
First of all, I commend you for your strength and being there to help him. Anything is possible, and being in the hot sun...alcohol further dehydrates you.
Here is the bottom line...you cannot stop drinking for your husband. He must make that decision to do so, and you need to continue to be the rock and support him if you can. But, you must also watch out for your health, too. No doubt you are under an extreme amount of stress.
But, you must realized...this is not your fault, and you cannot fight this battle. All you can do is ask your husband to put your concerns and relationship before the alcohol and tell him that you are worried and will support him.
Stay strong....I know it is tough, but remember...it is not your fault and you should not blame yourself for your first husband's death or the negative things that happen with the drinking that your second husband is doing. Take care of yourself.
I am so sorry for what you are going through and your husband is truly lucky to have you. I agree with bladerunner that you cannot stop drinking for him. That is something that is a very hard thing for people to accept. Have you tried going to Alanon meetings? It could help totalk to others in your situation.
The fact that he gets defensive when you mention alcoholism is not a great sign but you were right to mention it and keep mentioning it if he keeps drinking. That is really al you can do. If you feel like you could loose him to the disease then you have to make a choice. Stay strong and keep posting. You have friends here that can help you through
studiogirl has givin you some very wise information. Alanon will help immensley with what you are struggling with. Alcoholism and drug addiction are almost one in the same (I believe they are but others may have different opinion). It is a disease that affects the entire family. He will have to come to grips and deal with his side of the street while you learn how to deal with yours. Being able to support him if he chooses to stop is going to be easy for you. If he is in denial and continues or reverts back to his old ways, the only thing you can do is stay strong and not be there to rescue him everytime he has a fall. It will get to the point you can't sleep, don't go out anymore, and won't leave his side in fear of having to protect him from his poor choices. He is very very lucky you were there this time and I pray that he really has had an awakening!
You have heard of rationalization? That is what your hubby is using to say that it was being in the sun -- - - not valid. You saved his life. I hope that he will have that wake up call and quit the drinking to excess. And wannabefree is right on....alcohol is a drug and he has a drug problem every bit as much as any junkie on this forum. Its just convenient that he can get liquor on every street corner. On the upside, AA has been around a long time and seems to have a workable program...as does al anon ------- take advantage of these.
I feel so much for you, I have the similar situation only worse, if you can imagine. My husband, retired for many years, starts on beer about 8:30 to 9:00 am , and by 1:00 pm is on whiskey, by 3:00 he can not talk or walk. he has the blue look all the time... nothing I say can change the way he is. I have tried over the past 15 years he has been retired. we have been married for 48 years and all the years of our children s young life he was a wonderful husband and father, but once the kids were gone and retirement came along it just seems he doesn't really care .... I really don't know what to do. I try my best to get him to at least slow down but he always has some excuse.... I've gotten to the point why should I even try. it really hurts me and the kids. I just have nothing to look forward to when waking up in the morning other than seeing a drunk by noon. And like you mention alcoholic and hell breaks loose. I would love to see something bring him to reality, my goodness what is it going to take near death to do it? "be side myself in Texas"
I definitely relate to not being able to get the image out of your head. My husband od a few years ago. He was sitting in a chair snoring when I got home from work and I was mad at him because he was sleeping and I had to take the bus home ( I am sick, I have lupus, rhuemetoid arthritis, and colitis) so I didn't bother to wake him up, I just didn't want talk to him. So I left him like that for an hour finally i got fed up and went to wake him up, well he wouldn't wake up and when i tried to move him he was a dead weight. I called 911 boy did they get there fast thank god. When they got him in the ambulance he stopped breathing completely so if I had waited oh about 15 minutes longer to try and wake him up he would have been dead. The whole experience had affected me so much over the years. I am constantly checking to see if he is breathing when he is sleeping and just the image of the whole situation goes around in my head so much. Thank god he survived but it was touch and go for a bit. I just find it hard to let this go. I have guilt for letting sleep like that. Normally if he is sleeping in the chair I will wake him up. it haunts me at times about it if had waited longer i wouldn't have him with me now. I don't spend every minuted of every day going over this anymore but at first i was. Now when i think about it i get a big ball of anxiety in the pit of my stomach and then i have to get busy doing something so I don't think about it. I think that was the scariest moment of my life and I never want to do that again. Sorry so long!
Know here is a subject I know alot about. First of all I just want to say how lucky he is to have you. Also I think al-anon would be very helpfull for you and other family members. You cant help much if you dont know what your dealing with al-anon is great with helping family members. Honestly it's a great big help please try it at least once believe me you'll keep going back it's a great support system. also every time he drinks and passes out he is over dosing on alcohol. blacking out,,forgetting,,diarrea the next morning are all signs of alcohol poisoning. There is a medication out there called antiabuse it works wonders really. You may get it from your family doctor and all it does is if you drink 1 beer you will get sick you will not be able pysically to drink on antiabuse,,it helps alot of people because they wake up every morning take there pill and then they know they cant drink,,therefore taking the thought away. Drinking is everywhere,, the temptation is unbearable for an alcoholic. My mother use to think of alcohol all the time. Driving around seeing the beer store,,going to a restraunt seeing people drink always wondering if she should have just 1. Never worked out that way always drank to get drunk,,alcoholics never have one (no point)... antiabuse works great for people who want to quite but just cant. Maybe something you want to consider. My dad gave my mother an altimatum quite drinking or leave,, she choose her family went on antiabuse and has been sober ever since. Try watching a show on t.v. called intervention on a & e with him there are shows that shows you all about what drinking can do to all the family and how it affects everyone. My mom use to say why is it anybody bussiness?? it her body and if she wants to drink her life away that her problem,,,,not true,, it affected all of us. I also think you should let him read your email for help and let him read all the responses,,it might help him see how much this is hurting you. help him to see more clearly. I would tell him I am not going to sit and watch him kill himself. maybe talk to your doctor??? agree to go to an AA meeting with him??? I can tell you one thing it only gets worse never better. There usally is a reason people drink to intoxication,, something painful in his past he's not wanting to deal with??? I hope this helps, feel free to email me anytime if you would just like to chat. I hope things work out. I am thinking of you and your husband and I will include you both in my prayers sincerly melodie
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