Monday, 22 November 2010

Tough decision…. but very worthwhile contd....

For this post, I feel like I’m just being pushed by the “don’t start what you can’t finish” saying. Anyway, that’s it, I read my previous post, and I felt like there had to be some sort of a continuation, especially for drinking. You know most times they always go together, like a perfect combination, just like bread and butter :)
Anyway, I had the perfect experience to make me want to write about drinking too.

Still during my clinical practice, we had this patient, a tourist that was rushed  to the intensive care unit of the hospital. He collapsed in a club the previous night from having way too much alcohol. (Yea feels like I had a great experience with my clinical practice this year, huh? I think so too, cos you’d be so surprised if I'd  start narrating some of my many experiences.)
Firstly, we needed to get the necessary information about him, so my coordinator said as she was trying to read up his report “I heard you had way too much yesterday”.
 Deep inside me, I knew she was trying to be sarcastic and I was praying that I don’t laugh out cos she was already talking amidst very mischevious smiles. The man immediately interjected, “No not just yesterday, but for 10days straight”. Omg poor guy! something must have prompted this, I thought.  I immediately asked  "why?" expecting to hear some sad story, only for him to smile and say, “Nothing, I’m an alcoholist”.  Whatever that meant!
 Apparently he was trying to make us understand that he was an alcoholic! Seriously, is that supposed to be an achievement?  You are in the ICU because of excess drinking and you dare try to be proud of it?  I don’t know if that was supposed to come off as “cool” but sorry, I just couldn’t see it as that, especially not when he was gasping for breath and looking like one desperately in need of help.
The tricky thing about drinking is that it can tell people how responsible you can be. The good news is that you don’t have to completely stay off it, so you don’t have to worry about trying to quit, but at the same time, you shouldn’t allow yourself to get drunk, cos that’s just the thin line between rational and irrational or cool and not cool.
So the big question is “when is drinking alcoholism?"
If you are a complete abstainer, then you need not worry about this. But I’m not going to go ahead and say “that’s it, everyone, just stay off alcohol” because that would be being neither here nor there.
So lets try defining ALCOHOLISM!
The key word in this context is “excessive”.

Uusually, "you’ll hear when you start getting irrational as a result of the intake of alcohol, then you should understand that’s your limit", but some people can consume a whole lot of alcohol without even feeling the effects.

But still, using the feeling to define the limits could be some great starting point.  So maybe I can say, if you drink, and start seeing stars, and 2 heads, and then threes, and then butterflies, and your head is spinning then that’s when you should stop.  Hahaha! I’m obviously kidding, seeing these would mean  you are already drunk innit? hahaha! You know I just had to make you laugh!
Anyway, let’s just say that you should try to define your limit, and stop at the point just before where you are supposed to feel tipsy.  I can’t say for sure cos I don’t know the feeling!. Did you just ask why? Ok I’ll tell you.
Why would I want to lose control of my senses even for one second? I can’t even imagine being irrational not even for a split second. What if in that split second I went ahead and did something rather stupid e.g set me ablaze? You laughed right? I’m laughing too cos its actually very funny, but you may not understand that you do subject yourself to this kind of risk and many more, every time you drink yourself to stupor. 

Ok back to excessive, whether you feel drunk or not, too much alcohol in the system is not good. It’s a risk factor for several health conditions. According to nutirtionists, a small amount of alcohol could also be rewarding. Alcohol could help to prevent cardiovascular diseases by lowering the LDL (low density lipo-protein) in the body while increasing HDL(high density lipo-protein).
Thus, some experts thought it wise to give some specific ranges for the limits
For men, its about 3-4 units per day
For women, its about 2-3 units per day 
 When it comes to alcohol, its recommended in units. A unit is about 8g or 10 millilitres. This varies a lot depending on the type of alcohol and the country, but maybe we can just say that 1 unit is roughly a glass of wine or a can of beer.
But remember, a higher intake will be more detrimental than beneficial.

Well, I don’t know if looking at it from the nutritional point of view was a good remedy still especially for the heavy drinkers, but one thing I do know is that, this would never be easy. Alcoholism is bad, and I don’t want to start highlighting all the dangers of alcoholism cos I suppose we would have heard about them already. 

Ending certain lifelong habits can be really demanding, it can be as difficult as walking on a tight rope. Nothing good comes easy, they say, but you’ll have to make a choice and that is where you’ll need to subscribe a lot on self restraint.



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