SRS Dad's alcohol dementia

Discussion in 'On Topic' started by JohnJohnJohnson, Sep 4, 2009.

  1. JohnJohnJohnson

    JohnJohnJohnson Effetely Sipping My Latte OT Supporter

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    My dad has a semirare condition called alcohol dementia (karceroff's or korsicokoff's or something is the medical term).

    For one year he drank himself to oblvion every day.

    Then cash started disappearing from his account in hundreds of dollars at a time.

    Then he started falling. This was while I was at college.

    One day I found shit all over the house.

    He fell really badly the next time. I made an emergency trip from school to NY to see him in the hospital. He kept waking up that night (I took the night shift) and trying to escape. Each time I would calm him. Then he got too agitated for me to calm him. The big nurses came. He screamed out my name for help and the nurses pinned him to a mattress
    and shoved a tranquilizer needle into his ass.

    Fast forward to the present day. We have 24/7 aides. We use my
    Dad's savings to pay for them. He has about 4 years worth of care barring an emergency. It fell to me to manage his finances as of last year when I was 23.

    There are always problems - I have my own 25k student debt to pay off and a full time job and a home to maintain, but every week I have to manage six different people and my Dad's affairs and recently my sister's.

    I just get so FUCKING PISSED sometimes at him.

    /rant
     
  2. Abomb

    Abomb New Member

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    damn dude i cant relate to that situation so i cant give anything remotely close to decent advice.. good luck with everything bud.
     
  3. saosko

    saosko OT Supporter

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    Any idea what triggered it?
     
  4. Lucky Penny

    Lucky Penny Mr. cut me some slack cause I don't wanna go back,

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    It's a strange existence, isn't it?

    2 weeks ago I had to head back to my hometown for my grandfather's funeral. He had Korsakoff dementia for the past 10 years and undiagnosed diabetes which killed him.

    And it was so strange, in the twilight-zone sort of way, to be at his funeral and hear over and over from everyone who walked in "He was a funny guy... he just really liked his drink..." as if to justify his existence for us. Then to begin the unsteady dance that started with greeting callers as they walked in, listening to a story or condolence then shifting off to the back parking lot to gather around the trunk of my uncle's car and drink beer and shots of whiskey. Then, finally, to see the old adage about '1 alcoholic affecting 100 people' being played out like a movie right in front of my eyes.

    And 20 of us immediate family members, without word or acknowledgment, coordinated this two-step of sorts where 5 people would be inside, 5 on their way out, 5 outside drinking and pouring drinks for the ones coming and 5 heading back in. And we kept going this way, shift after shift, for 8.5 hours. By the end of the night someone had snuck a rather sizable bottle of Drambuie in my grandfather's casket. It was fitting at least.

    I don't know about you but I find addiction to be very surreal- and recalling events, facts, mistakes; it's like reading off a grocery list. No emotional attachments or feelings really, just the thought of "Alright. Whose mess am I cleaning up today.." There's so much to do, to manage that there isn't time for feelings. Then to have those moments where I do reflect and I often find myself trying to understand being indoctrinated into this family drinking club of sorts where every one of us is addicted to something; alcohol, drugs, pills, food, inappropriate partners and all we do is sit around and look at each other and say "isn't this strange." And the only thing we feel is disoriented.

    It's so much all the time that it hardly seems real- but it's not sad or mad just disjointed I suppose.
     
  5. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

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    There's something else going on besides the alcohol. My guess is the alcohol was actually medication to numb the effects of some other disorder that was working its way through his brain.

    Lucky Penny, maybe you should move far away.
     
  6. Lucky Penny

    Lucky Penny Mr. cut me some slack cause I don't wanna go back,

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    No, Korsakoff syndrome is a real disorder caused by a thiamine deficiency usually from alcoholism. You can have comorbid disorders but it's not, as you suppose, alcohol use + an underlying condition.


    And :mamoru: I've lived far away from my family for the past four years. Don't misunderstand me, I love them. But it's best if I love them from afar. ;)
     
  7. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

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    Is the thiamine deficiency incurable? Does it do permanent damage?
     
  8. JohnJohnJohnson

    JohnJohnJohnson Effetely Sipping My Latte OT Supporter

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    No. But a reasonable guess.
     
  9. JohnJohnJohnson

    JohnJohnJohnson Effetely Sipping My Latte OT Supporter

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    What triggered what? It can happen to any ofus given enough booze over a long enough timeframe.

    The drinking was probably triggered by.. Dunno. There were a few personal tragedies in his life but other people with rose tragedies don't always turn to booze.
     

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