Poured Out

 interior of old passanger train car 

“Why can’t you fix him?” She demanded. “Why can’t you make him stop?” Her voice rose as we talked in the hallway.

“Have you removed the alcohol from the house?” I knew the answer but I still asked to make the point.

“No! My husband would never let me do that.” Her eyes flitted to the closed door then back to me. “He just needs to stop drinking.”

“He cannot. He cannot make a rational choice about alcohol. Not at this point.”

Over three years I had watched this young man deteriorate from a healthy, if somewhat anxious human being into the wheelchair confined jaundiced lump that sat trembling in my exam room.

“He’s dying.”

She recoiled in shock. Disbelief crossed her face.

“He is 23 years old and he is dying. You want to save him? Get him into a treatment facility. At the very least, get rid of the alcohol at the house like I have been telling you to do for months. He is your SON. But even with that, it may still be too late.”

“The doctors at the hospital said the same thing but I don’t believe you. I don’t believe any of you!”

All I could do was shrug.

I watched that tiny woman wheel the giant form of her son out the door. They never came back.

Six months later he was dead.


126 thoughts on “Poured Out

  1. This is, obviously extremely sad. I remember a former colleague of mine with an alcoholic boyfriend. I met up with him a few times trying, inefectually to help him. One time I persuaded him to go to a restaurant, rather than continue drinking in a pub. However he just kept drinking in the restaurant and at even greater expense than the pub and I ended up footing the bill …! Kevin

    Liked by 1 person

  2. My father was an alcoholic, luckily only in his later years and particularly after my mother died. I could do nothing for him, he started the day with a shot of whisky/rum/brandy, whatever the drink du jour, and I ended up having to make the very hard decision to cut off from him for the sake of my health as I was getting palpitations and high blood pressure from the stress of his chaotic life. Hardest decision I ever made, but he never changed – ended up having multiple strokes, couldn’t communicate clearly, and in a wheelchair, until he died. Somehow he got through to 83 and all his support staff reckoned he was pickled and smoked inside due to the booze and cigarettes.

    Liked by 1 person

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