Alcoholic Cardiomyopathy


no, that’s not a diagnosis…yet.

I always thought my brain would be the one to turn to mush, or my liver would explode b/c of my drinking.  never, ever, in my wildest dreams did I think I’d have heart problems due to drinking.

these chest pains and shortness of breath that won’t go away tho, they’re changing my mind.  I still don’t understand it completely, but I have a little bit of understanding b/c all you have to do these days to understand most things is to google it.

backstory:  I was diagnosed with low heart efficiency and a slightly enlarged heart about a year ago when I went in the hospital.  didn’t really think much of it at the time, but as I go on and the more chest pains I get after drinking all of a sudden a light bulb, or candle, or whatever is being lit.

drinking is poison to your heart.  for whatever reason.  ya, it’s poison to a lot of other systems too, but for whatever reason my heart is feeling it most at this point.  I drink, I get chest pains.  suxor.

If you go look up alcoholic cardiomyopathy, it basically says prolonged drinking weakens the walls of the heart muscle, causing it to pump inneficiently.  yup, that’s me.

the less I drink, the less chest pains, arm pains, shortness of breath, etc…I have.  simple logic points to a heart screaming out for more oxygen b/c it’s weakened and suffering b/c it can’t handle the toxicity anymore, (or even worse the liver can’t lower the toxicity any more so the heart is affected more)

Simple Logic

anyway, I’ve got a cardio apt tomorrow and I’ll see what he says.  saw the regular doc a few weeks ago and she suggested I see the cardio doc and get a new efficiency reading.  we’ll see.

so ya, all you fucks out there that can still drink b/c your heart/liver/brains are still working, throw a few down for me.  fuckers.

ya, I know that’s not fair.  I’ve done my drinking.

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~ by sobriety6923 on May 23, 2011.

12 Responses to “Alcoholic Cardiomyopathy”

  1. Them’s big words!! Except for the fucker part.

    It kinda makes me smile to hear the hostility towards those of us that can still drink. I kinda get this bitchy satisfaction. I can drink and you can’t!!! pppbbbbtttt!!!

    That comes from the dark place in my psyche that was fostered and shaped by years of not being able to drink as much or as often as I wanted to because someone else always beat me to it. It sure isn’t pretty and I’m not proud of that emotion. But it’s there.

    However, now that my alcoholic is sober, I’ve been able to partake. It’s been liberating and fun. It’s like I’m re-creating the carefree party days that I didn’t have during my youth because I was taking care of an alcoholic. Or three.

    I’m on the way into the bar, you’re on your way out.
    Oh, the irony!!

    Sure, I’ll throw a few down for ya. Cheers!!!

  2. I have known for a long time that I’m a bitter person. I have tried everything I know of to get rid of the bitterness. Al-Anon, counseling, running, journaling, praying, commenting on this blog. You name it, I’ve tried it.

    Once I even smashed every liquor bottle in the house on the driveway (which I then had to spend a small fortune replacing and the neighbors called the police out…. Nice!!)

    Yet the bitterness remains. I doubt I will ever get rid of it. It’s a festering wound on my soul.

    I’ve been told by someone who reads this blog that my comment yesterday was spiteful. Spiteful, indeed. And very honest. The one thing I’ve LOVED about this blog is the brutal honesty of the author. He hasn’t minced words, he hasn’t tried to make himself look better, and he says it like it is.

    That’s exactly how I felt yesterday, so that’s what I wrote. I wish more people would comment. Did other people think I sounded spiteful? Did other people cheer when I gave the blog author a raspberry? It would be nice to know. But alas, no one else felt compelled to add their two cents.

    I’m ashamed of my spitefulness. I really am. Life is too short for these negative emotions.

    I found ironic humor in the blog author’s hostility towards people who can drink. And I found that his hostility towards people like me, the sober ones, soothed that raw bitterness I carry. Even for just a minute, it took a little of my pain away. I don’t know why it felt good, but it did. The alcoholic resents the sober people instead of the other way around. Joy, joy, joy.

    I apologize once again. I don’t know how many times I’m going to do this. I spout off on the blog and then regret it in retrospect. How many times?

    All I can do is share in third person that Horse-Girl is the embodiment of all the pent-up resentment towards alcoholics that’s been carried for decades, through childhood and into adulthood, and she’s a bitch. She’s the protective, I’ll-kick-your-ass-if-you-hurt-my-kid mother to every person who’s ever loved an alcoholic.

    Mr. Blog Author, if you were offended by yesterday’s comment, please accept my apologies. Horse-Girl and I wish you nothing but the best.

  3. Hmmm…bitterness. The alcoholic in me knows all about bitterness. That’s what made drinking fun sometimes…fuel to the fire! Boy, I’d really get a “pissed off at the world” buzz going on, and I sure would have all the world’s answers…while sitting in my back garage all alone!

    And then have to wake up and face reality…over and over and over…vicious cycle. Alcohol is a selfish whore once it grabs ahold of you. So is the bitterness, the anger, and the fear…all of her undesirable traits. It’s like being tricked at the alter. I’ve found that, for the family of an alcoholic, “Booze” has a kissing cousin…called “Bitter”. He moves in right when “Booze” chains your ass to the bedpost and teases you….”Bitter” is there saying “Sucks to be you, huh?”

    In this, the alcoholic resents everyone and everything, not just the sober. But, the alcoholic gets better one day at a time by admitting he’s an alcoholic, and that he is powerless over that whore called “Booze”, and the only way out is…well, perhaps this is the best way to put it….

    This guy’s walking down the street when he falls in a hole. The walls are so steep he can’t get out. A doctor passes by and the guy shouts up, “Hey you. Can you help me out?” The doctor writes a prescription, throws it down in the hole and moves on.

    Then a priest comes along and the guy shouts up, “Father, I’m down in this hole can you help me out?” The priest writes out a prayer, throws it down in the hole and moves on.

    Then a friend walks by, “Hey, Joe, it’s me can you help me out?” And the friend jumps in the hole. Our guy says, “Are you stupid? Now we’re both down here.” The friend says, “Yeah, but I’ve been down here before and I know the way out.”

    Find the one that knows the way out. Or the ones. Talking helps…so does leaving blogposts. Sounds like when “Booze” left, she forgot to take “Bitter” with her…she does that a lot, that sleazy whore! Time to evict the non-rent paying…let’s git er done! Together, we can do it.

  4. great.friggin.comment.

  5. Thank you, Mr. Acceptance. You rock.

  6. Yeah great.

    My boyfriend, a prizewinning writer, massively talented guy, Ivy-bright, alcoholic, had a little girl — that’s right, had — he died last winter, suddenly. Guess why. Medical examiner said his BAC was twice the limit at the time. Just lucky his daughter wasn’t sleeping over at the time, esp since he had no landline and she was too young to figure out how to use his phone.

    He was pretty sure he wasn’t an alcoholic, btw. He didn’t see himself in the kind of fella the AA types describe. And I’m sure he thought he was fine, or at least well enough, still went to the gym now & then, rode his bike, etc. Couldn’t keep up with me running for the bus, but even so.

    You ought to have a look at the pathology slides on cardiomyopathic hearts. The cells are just massacred. Which is why the heart enlarges in the first place. I didn’t even know heart muscle could look like that and still function at all. And “massively enlarged” doesn’t come into it — it’s usually “mildly enlarged” in the descriptions.

    By the time your heart’s enlarged at all from drinking, you’ve already done major, Antietam-scale damage. It’s sometimes reversible if you quit completely, don’t touch another drop quitting. No smokes, either. And if you do all the rest of the heart-healthy stuff, including taking whatever heart meds you need, and getting a transplant if necessary. Most people who do that will live longer than 5 years. Those who don’t? Most are dead within 5.

    I would take it seriously.

  7. Hi, I also have an enlarged heart and have had SOB for a while now. The cardiologists diagnosed with dilated cardiomyopathy, which is part hereditary but mostly because of drinking. I love drinking and have drunk for years, excessively and every day, I’m 37 so it’s been a good while. I’m sitting outside a pub now drinking and knowing that if I don’t stop, and stop smoking too, I’m dead by 40. Hard to understand let alone take in. I’ve stopped drinking for a week or so at a time but god does life get boring. Sort of a Catch 22. Your post was cool and I wish I couldn’t say this but I know how you feel. Life’s a bitch sometimes. Gary

  8. Hi Gary, thanks for stopping by. I know how YOU feel. know I’m gonna die if I don’t stop but don’t care enough to do anything about it? that was me. all I can offer you is the peace that is found on the other side you can scarcely imagine. We (you and me) don’t have to drink today. We don’t have to drink today. We don’t have to drink today….to wake up in the morning and not have the first thought in our head be about a drink. To wake up and not have cravings all day long. To wake up and not be hung over. To enjoy life more WITHOUT drinking. All I can ask you do to is talk to somebody, someone who knows and who’s been there. Just find the number for your local AA and call. They will set you up with somebody who will be glad to talk to you. Or just talk to me, here. Just start talking to somebody man. One of my favorite comments I’ve had on here is about the guy who fell down a hole and cried out for help to get out. A priest walked by and just tossed down a prayer. Then a doctor walked by and tossed down a prescription. Of course both of these were useless. Then an alcoholic walked by and when asked for help he jumped in the hole with him. The guy in the hole was flabbergasted as to why he did this and asked him “why have you jumped in here with me? now we’re both down here” to which the alcoholic replied “ya, but I’ve been here before and I know the way out”.

  9. My Hubby was diagnosed with Alcoholic Cardiomyopathy in Nov 2011 after years (10+) of excessive alcohol consumption. He hated and resented alcohol at the time he was admitted to hospital (and the 3-4 months leading up to it) but needed it and classed himself as a functioning alcoholic. With the 8 tablets of varying meds in the morning and 4 at night, he still insists on abusing his body with alcohol. Everyone but me is under the impression he is tee-total but life is hard for both of us, I have noticed the shakes appearing in the morning again and when he’s had too much he says ‘I wish everyone would leave me alone’ and generally blames me and tells me I’m useless. No suicidal thoughts yet (that he has mentioned anyway)

    He knows what he’s doing, he’s a clever bloke. Being self-employed and working at home doesn’t help and money worries add to it. He’s back to hiding bottles. He’s 40 this year and I know he won’t go on forever this way but it’s so hard to mention it without him clamming up and becoming defensive. Not sure if he has any pains. He has his follow up x-ray and ECG this week, he will go along to show everyone he can, not sure he would be bothered for himself as he hasn’t been for his monthly blood tests for 3 months.

    It’s nice to read your posts and have some sort of comfort from this… good luck to you all with this addiction… life seems pretty tough at the mo.

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  11. Everything is very open with a clear clarification of the issues.
    It was truly informative. Your site is very useful.
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