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Returned to ECC.

3 August 2017

I have returned home to ECC after a weeklong trip to Seattle. It was a good trip, full of way too many things to recount here. The big ones were, of course, seeing my family and going to my 25th year high school reunion. I took my sisters out to a truly fabulous dinner at Altura. If you’re ever in Seattle and looking to spend three hours and a couple hundred dollars a plate on dinner, it’s where you go. They even had a non-alcoholic beverage pairing for dinner, so I was able to experience that as well as the food. That’s a nice touch I hadn’t had before.

My sisters deserved it. The situation with my father has gone from bad to ridiculous. He refused to listen to anyone, and dug his heels in, and kept insisting he would kill himself. So we called his psychologist, and his doctors, and they said, well, hospitalize him. Dad of course, refused to go. So the doctors sent an ambulance and police car, and they dragged him out.

He was put into the emergency room, and obviously unstable and agitated. The police had to stay there with him to keep him from fighting the medical staff, and then finally they just had to sedate him. Soon after, his stats began dropping and people became concerned for his physical health, rather than just his mental health. It was soon determined he was in acute alcohol withdrawal.

As I’ve written here many times, acute withdrawal from alcohol can be a life-threatening situation. It’s not something that heavy drinkers should just do alone. If you drink a lot every day, you probably need medical help to quit. Involuntary withdrawal with no preparation and no understanding of what’s going on is particularly dangerous. So they put him on high doses of Ativan and sent him to the ICU, where he spent several days.

After this, they’ll try to find a geriatric psych bed for him. Sadly, those are in very short supply. He still needs to be held for suicidalism. In the meantime, he’s been put in a medical bed, because his orientation has not resolved with alcohol detox and he doesn’t seem to know where he is or when he is. He’s asking for his brothers. The nursing home is ready for him (possibly pending a payment hiccough that should be manageable). But if he refuses, well, it’s a longer road.

Luckily, I got to speak at an AA meeting in Seattle. I needed it and my talk was well-received. It was nice to put it out there and just let it all go in the room.

I also spoke at Seattle Children’s hospital, which was very well received and I may end up with job offers, though if they don’t have anything wonderful for BB too, there’d be no chance of my going back there. So they’d need to be ponying up two great positions. I doubt that that will happen. But life is weird and you never know anything for certain. I do love the weather out there. But living that close to family would be emotionally challenging too. I left Seattle for a reason – it didn’t just happen.

I got in a lot of great exercise too. Hill training – nothing like Seattle for hills. A long run with my niece, who is a budding athlete at 13. She joined me for 5 miles of a 7.5 mile run. Hilly and difficult. I swam 1200m in Puget Sound, which is 52 degF. My cousin Sam is sending me a “Notorious Alki Swimmers” swim cap. Even though I only got about 3/4 of a mile in, it was a strong swim and only took me 26 minutes. I felt good. Cold water swimming is extremely challenging but a lot of fun. And finally, I did a 14.4 mile hilly bike ride with my friend Yoav, up in the foothills of the Cascade Mountains.

This was my longest trip “home” since I was 19. It felt nice. I enjoyed it. But now I’m back in ECC, back at work, and looking forward to exploring my new responsibilities as a research scientist with our public policy group. I’m excited to have new colleagues and new opportunities. It’s a good position. I’m happy. Lots going on but serenity is attainable.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Aimee permalink
    3 August 2017 12:55

    It was really good to see you. That dinner at Altura was amazing! I’ve never experienced anything like it, so thank you! If you accept a position in Seattle I promise to let you keep as much distance as you need to 😉

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