Sunday, June 19, 2011

Too Tired




















I guess you’ve noticed I haven’t been around the last few days.  It has been a very busy time around here and, honestly, by the end of the day all I want to do is sleep.  No energy to even read your stuff much less post my on nonsense.

Where to start?  How about here, my nephew, David, is an alcoholic. He is my sister’s son.  He is slow in his thinking and manners.  He is totally deaf in his left ear and can only hear about 20% in his right ear. But he was a hero, too.  Over the past few years, he has saved Mary’s (my sister) life by reviving her when he would come home from work to find her in a diabetic coma.

Also, David is lonely.  All he had was his mom.  He has never dated, had any friends, anyone to go to the Falcon games with, etc.  His life was centered on his work and his mom.  After Mary died, he was lost.  So hurt and so alone!  He is/was on a bowling team, but the contact was only at the bowling alley.  No contact away from the alley.

He had been sober for 10 or 15 years.  The family was so proud of him.  But the loneliness got to him and he started drinking.  Last month I got a call at two in the morning from the hospital emergency room.  David had gone into Atlanta to a strip joint, got drunk, walked out of the club and passed out, hitting his head on the sidewalk.  He only received a mild concussion and several stitches over his left eye, but it was the first time we knew he was drinking again. 

He told the nurse in the ER that he wanted to die.  He said he would never kill himself, because that was wrong, but if he drank enough he would die sooner and he could be with his mother.  Yep, I pointed out to him that killing yourself is the only unforgivable sin (he does go to church and believes in God and Heaven and stuff) and that drinking for the reasons he gave is the same a suicide.  If he died from reasons associated to alcohol, it would be because it was on purpose and he would not get to see his mom.  He said he would quit.

Wednesday morning, abound three a.m. I get a call from the Fort Walton, FL, ER.  David was there in guarded condition.  He goes down there two or three times a year to deep-sea fish.  He loves that sport.  Anyfishingtrip, he jumped, fell, or walked off a three story balcony and shattered his heals, broke his right leg below his knee, broke his back and compressed three disks.  His blood alcohol was 2.7. He should have been dead.

After hearing his story and getting him stable, the nurse made a heartfelt effort that took most of the night, but David was put on a Hero Flight to Atlanta.  He though David should be around family.  He arrived in Atlanta at 10:00 a.m. but the hospital here asked us not to come down right away as he needed to be assessed by their staff and settled in.  So Sister Steve and I went to his work and talked to his boss.  His job is safe and they are worried about him.  He is the oldest employee there, in terms of year’s employment, and everyone loves him.   After that I got a couple hours sleep.  Then my brother, Sister Steve, and I went down to see him.   He was awake and in pain.  But he was stoic as ever and talked to us as best he could.

He did not try to kill himself.  He said he wanted to go for a walk and the ground didn’t look that far down, so he said he just jumped off – rather than take the elevator down.  I know!!! Elevator, Down, Third Floor?  But he was acting on a pickled brain. What can I say?

However, his car was in Florida, so Sister Steve, my son-in-law, Carl and Bug loaded up and drove down on Thursday.  Six hours down to Destin and six hours back.  Not an unusual time for me, but I was working off a few hours’ sleep.  Steve has Parkinson and was only along for support.  But we got back home around eleven thirty Thursday night.  

I got up on Friday and drove five hours to Charleston, SC, to meet an author who is writing a book on the sinking of my ship and the effects and efforts with the families.  She wanted to tour the USS Laffey, identical to my ship, at Patriots Point.  The ship had been moved to the ship  yard for repairs and we had to board her over a narrow, bouncing board.  Scary, that!   Then we were climbing up and down ladders into the engine and fire rooms below decks (close to 100 degrees down there) and in every compartment to see where everyone was at the time of the collision.  It was a somber and eerie time, since it was all about that night. But we got it done.

Between touring the ship and phone calls about David, going to restaurants with her and my pal, Joe, who is a survivor of that night, I didn’t get back to the room until after ten o’clock. 

Several very long days and nights and I honestly didn’t even want to fire up the computer, much less read blogs.  Not that I didn’t miss you peeps, but I’m having to grudgely admit that I am getting old and don’t have the reserve energy anymore.  I left Charleston today, Sunday, got close to home around three, but Judy had set up a meeting with a couple of her friends at a steak house, so I met them there.  I got home abound five, and at five-o-one was passed out in the bed.

David will need surgery, many, probably, for pins and braces.  There will be some rehab and assisted living (he is 50 years old) because he lives alone.  It breaks my heart because he is so gentle and kind. Soft spoken and truthful to a fault.  He would never intentionally hurt anyone’s feelings yet I want to kick his fucking ass for pulling this stunt.  I have not jumped his case because he knows he screwed up bad this time.  He admits it was a stupid thing to do, but what does the future hold for him?  All he has, other than cousins who are distant to him, is Steve and me (a sick uncle who is gravely ill and an old perverted uncle who is pretty pissed at him right now.) I will just try to help his as much as I can, but that doesn’t mean I have to like it.  Not this time.

19 comments:

Suz said...

I'm sorry for the mess you find yourself in. And I know you'll stay in in as long as you need to. Does anyone know how to find the balance between doing your duty to your family, and not letting them drive you insane? Prayin' for ya!

Coffeypot said...

You are sweet Suz. Steve can't take the stress anymore and I am all that is left. I really don't mind it, if I can just get some rest. But things happen sometime that puts rest aside. Thanks for the prayers, too. Just be on a rubber mat when you mention my name. Don't want lightning to get ya.

Mike Golch said...

Man,I hope things work out for david,he is in my prayers,especially that he would want to get sober again.

Coffeypot said...

Thanks, Mike. We both can use it.

Paxford said...

Sending hugs & prayers for David and the family.

Are there any assisted-living joint homes in your town? Where he could spend time with others, yet still have his own room to retreat too?

Pax

Wrexie said...

You're a good man, Charlie Brown.

Jamie said...

Oh darlin, I am so sorry to read about your troubles. You DO have your hands full and you have every right to be tired and pissed and whatever else you may be feeling. Yes, I miss you when you aren't here, we all do, but good hell man --- take care of those that need you. We will all be here, waiting. With an encouraging word and a ready ear...

How can I help?

I am sorry, people as good as you deserve smooth sailing.

Big, BIG hugs coffey.

AirmanMom said...

You are a good man. You see the good in David which will hopefully encourage him. Take good care of yourself and Judy...pray hard, it will all work out.
Praying with you...
~AM

The Reckmonster said...

Coffey, You, my friend, do what nearly all Vietnam Vets I know do - they take care of folks. Doesn't matter what they did, you don't leave anyone behind. Steve is lucky to have you for an uncle. And I know you didn't mention much about taking that trip to SC onto the ship, but I'm sure that had to have been an ordeal in and of itself - kudos, my friend. Love-n-shit. And take care of yourself - take sixty naps a day of you need to, man. =)

The Reckmonster said...

I MEANT to say David is lucky to have you for an uncle. Shit, I'd be happy to have you for an uncle, but I'll settle for bein' one of your peeps. =)

Marnie said...

I am so sorry this happened. I am sorry for you and for your nephew. It must have been very difficult to see him in the hospital in that condition. I hope his injuries heal well and that he's able to stop drinking. xo

The Minute Man's Wife said...

You're a very compassionate man. Dealing with emotionally situations like this are always exhausting - regardless of age! I'll say a prayer for you and Steve!

Olly said...

David is fortunate to have such a caring person such as yourself in his life. Hope you get the needed rest to keep on keeping on:-)

j-tony said...

Coffeypot...I'm so sorry for what you and your family have been through lately. Hang in there buddy, this too shall pass.

Golden To Silver Val said...

You are such a good man! I feel so bad for David. Alcoholism is an insidious disease and it hurts everyone in the family. Both my ex and my son are alcoholics and my grandmother was also one. You sure do earn your wings when you decide to help because the addiction is just so strong. I'm so glad that you won't give up on him because he sure does need an angel right now....and it looks like his angel is over six feet tall with a Kenny Rogers beard and a ball cap. Big hugs...and I mean BIG....to you and yours. God Bless....and saying prayers for David.

Ms.Wasteland said...

Sorry your nephew is going through this right now. Sounds like a tough situation all around. Helping him out is more "jewels in your crown" as we say around here.

Sending positive thoughts and prayers to all of you. {Hope you get rested up soon.}

Pamela said...

Oh John.. do take care of yourself.

If he recovers he needs to do some volunteer work. There is nothing more rewarding -- and you meet wonderful people. It will change his life.

All he has to do is look at you and your work for those sweet animals.

Dbie said...

Ouch, John.
You've got a lot on your plate. Try to find some time to yourself to decompress and do something you enjoy.

Momma Fargo said...

How did I miss this post? Big hugs. That is a pickle to be torn between loving someone and what to do to help them. And helping them may not be the easy way. However, if they don't accept anyone's help, you sometimes have to step away and let them find their way because it overcomes us. Lots of love sent your way.