Alcohol Detox At Home ~ Day 5.
It’s a funny old thing but as the week progresses and medication reduces the more groggy I’m feeling when I wake up.
I think I’ll be glad when both the alcohol and these tablets are out of my system.
I’m not making it out as a really bad experience because it’s not. I’m just thankful I’ve got time to myself in the morning to get my head clear. If I had responsibilities in the house such as children or somebody who needed attention then that would be a whole different experience, so if that’s your situation then try to make an allowance for it!
As it is, my only pressure is from two Jack Russell Terriers who want a morning stroll.
To be honest though they’ve been really good. Under a normal workday non-lock down situation they’d be up and out by 06.30 before I set off for work. Now it’s more 10.00am, or even later.
Anyway, back to the day. The grogginess doesn’t last long. A nice fresh brew, breakfast and a bit of light exercise soon sorts its out.
What’s better than a cup of coffee? – A whole jug of it.
I’ve made a new discovery recently, which has been put to really good use during detox.
When I say new, I mean it’s new to me. There’s probably millions of them in kitchen cupboards up and down the country, mostly discarded and left in an unappealing brown stain sort of colour, but it’s the good old Cafetiere with a plunge filter on top.
I actually discovered mine in the garden shed all boxed up and by the looks of it never opened. It was probably one of those gifts somebody once kindly purchased for us and I never got around to re-purposing it and gifting it to somebody else. But whatever the reason for it being there sat among what looked like a nest of Tarantulas, I was pleased to find it.
I’d recently watched a documentary about the life of Peter Andre and his family – Nice guy and a nice family…
Apparently Pete (I can call him Pete because my wife once got a peck on the cheek from him during a book signing at Asda. – In my world that makes us related).
I believe Pete doesn’t drink alcohol either, but he is a huge coffee connoisseur. So I figured since we’re related and practically family then I’d try my hand at the old medium roast and see if I too could become some sort of Barista. (Not to be confused with Barrister. I’m not putting the coffee on trial, or even Pete for that matter, despite his crimes against pop music)
My issue is with coffee makers in general and the overall bulkiness of them. I know you can get those pod system ones that look like a Giraffe and probably tuck away in a corner next to the biscuit barrel or in a cupboard, but for me if you’re going to try keeping up with the Peter Andre’s of this world then you need to flick through the Argos catalogue and choose a nice chrome one at £99.99. One that makes a statement on your kitchen worktop, even if you can’t fit anything else on.
Pete of course has one that grinds the beans and makes the brew as fresh as it can be. That’s fine for him. His coffee maker probably has it’s own dedicated wall, all built in and encased in stainless steel with a hidden 24 hour hot water supply and napkin dispenser that Costa Coffee would be proud of. Whereas I’d have to relocate my toaster next to the kitchen sink, place the kettle on the window ledge and put the bread bin outside! (Christ only knows what I’d do with the tea and sugar caddy???)
For any readers from the USA, please accept my apologies. All this Britishness must get very confusing, we even spell words wrong (which is strange considering we invented the English language), but purchasing a chrome coffee maker at £99.99 works out at $125 dollars or bucks at today’s exchange rate, and is most likely available from Walmart or Neiman Marcus. Other currencies and retailers are of course available throughout the world….
As it’s turned out, the Cafetiere is the perfect solution. B&M do a nice Italian roast for £1.00 a packet, while the Cafetiere sits nicely next to my toaster, and the whole procedure of making a fresh brew and waiting 5-minutes before depressing the plunger is very seductive and extremely continental. (Especially if you sit outside in the sunshine with one of those nice individually wrapped Biscoff biscuits!
Librium. Breakfast x 1. – Lunch x 1 – Evening Meal x 1. – Bedtime x 1.
Thiamin. 1 tablet 4 times per day.
Blood Pressure. Stable
As you can see, the Librium is reducing nicely. I’m now on day 5 and the dose has gone from 8 tablets to 4 and apart from the brief grogginess in the morning I’m starting to feel pretty sharp.
So, earlier in the week I had a discussion with all three of my support group about life after Librium and how to cope with the inevitable cravings that I’d likely experience once the detox was over.
As well as a support nurse who rings me twice a day, a clinician who dispenses and monitors the medication, I also have access to a wonderful support psychiatrist who contacts me frequently to very subtly check I’m coping mentally with everything. We have some great conversations and she manages to keep me grounded and remind me why I’m doing this.
Just as a reminder, the detox is exactly that. A detoxification of alcohol from the body. It doesn’t cure anybody of alcoholism or the cravings for alcohol. That will still exist, just like a smoker who’s stopped will still get cravings even though they may wear a nicotine patch.
The Librium is a drug that safely manages any dangerous reactions or side effects of quitting alcohol by calming those tricky little neurotransmitters in the brain so you don’t freak out because your drinking buddy has gone AWOL.
Fortunately for those who think they might need it after the detox, and I strongly recommend you do take advantage, there is a substance called Acamprosate.
Acamprosate helps quell the cravings for alcohol and apparently is safe to take for up to 12 months.
Despite the legal doom, gloom and arse covering of the supplied leaflet, I’m reliably advised that it is a clean medication. In other words you can take it for as long as you need it, it’s non-addictive, there are no major side effects (other than making you fart) and you can stop taking it without any withdrawal symptoms when you feel you are ready to cope without it.
Having had a discussion with my clinician I’m keen to try it and why wouldn’t I? When all said and done I’m no gas and air type guy. Give me an epidural every time!
So prescription issued for 28 days and off I went for a walk (no driving) down to the Chemist where my meds were duly prepared and waiting.
On the way back it was a quick call into Tesco for something nice for tea. Well I say a quick call. It was as quick as social distancing could be plus a 20 minute wait to get in. To be honest though, I’ve every praise for Tesco and the other retailers who’ve persevered through the pandemic and kept the country supplied with fresh food and goods.
Walking back was a bit of a chore with the shopping though. The journey is half downhill and half uphill, and considering I’ve still got a head full of Librium it became a bit of a challenge.
Still, back home now to a nice fresh coffee and Biscoff biscuit.
As previously mentioned, one of my coping strategies has been to prepare meals in the afternoon as my main trigger point for drinking wine is at the start and during the evening meal preparation.
However today was different.
The effort of going to the chemists, followed by the supermarket, then trudging home and quaffing Biscoff Biscuits sort of made me a bit tired. Well to be honest I was completely dogxausted.
This caused me a major problem because I had to make the evening meal during trigger time.
It was either that or starve, or even worse, ask my wife to prepare a meal and starve. I was stuck between a rock and a hard place. What should I do?
Well in the end I did the only thing I could do and made the world’s fastest evening meal and got the hell out of there.
After twenty minutes the cravings had gone and a nice cup of tea later the evening went quite smoothly.
Having said that though, I do remember thinking for the first time this week that it’s a bit boring sat there without the pleasure of a bottle of wine, but perhaps it’s because it’s Friday night, and Fridays have always been special.
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