The Silent Killer Cirrhosis Too Young …a memoir?… Probably I write till I die from this shit by: Greg Naile Dedicated to Alida: My love, my world If I make it through this…I will get on my knee, And we will be “we”! Sober and Drug free since: Nov 25th, 2006 Published by: NHD Productions and Freakshow Printing, 2007 Good-Bye Letter Jan, 20, 2007 Smirnoff and Affiliates Smirnoff Headquarters 1968 Drinkers Trail Gustov, Russia -0267566 Dear Mr. Smirnoff and Affiliates, This letter is to inform you of my immediate resignation as Chief Corporate Product Tester of Quality Control. To be a corporate tester seemed to be the dream job for me at the time, because of all the experimenting and testing I did with your products throughout high school and college. Making me a perfect fit for the job. For years I enjoyed hosting personal parties for our clients and friends alike to test and enjoy your variety of quality products. The work seemed very attractive and exciting at first, but for my own health and survival, I have to cut you out of my life and start a new resume. After years of hard work and play, my mind and body have suffered from excessive use, abuse, and strain from work. I also regret that I had to break off my longtime affair with your beautiful secretary Mary Jane, but it just had to be. “MJ” has been there through many rough times for me, but yet after years of confidence building or stress relieving, MJ did a great job at making me believe the work I was doing, and has always been a fun friend to confide in. She had said that she took to me immediately because I was that fun, out-going, easy-going person she could share and laugh with. Even though Mary Jane remains beautiful throughout the years, I think she will understand why I have to remove her from my life to pursue other interests at this crucial time of change and growth. But, Mr. Smirnoff, you have repeatedly made promises that you have failed to keep. This is not to imply that you are solely at fault, but I just feel let down and abused in the long run. Please down get me wrong Mr. Smirnoff, you have been a great boss for many years and even though I took my work home with me many of times, and worked diligently after-hours with friends and people I barely knew to get my work and research done, I feel you also had a hidden agenda within the promotion of your product. I don‟t feel that you necessarily lied to me about all the possible health risks that can be associated with working for so long in an intense toxic environment. But I do feel in the future that your potential employees and product users should be warned of the risks that come with a seemingly fun and playful environment. But please don‟t worry about finding a gung-ho replacement; probably right out of college, that will accept the job with great enthusiasm and go-getter skills I was damn good at my job, but the years of wear and tear on my body have made me decide to seek out a safer occupation where I can be myself and learn and grow with the support of my family and core loved ones. I think this is the best decision for me, and that I need to leave and forget about all the bottles that have floated and gone under the bridge, and not gotten stuck in the dam directly before it, and move on. Now don‟t get me wrong, I am not blaming you personally, Mr. Smirnoff, I know you are only doing your job, which you do very well I might add. But long-term exposure to your products eventually put me in a life threatening risk that has drastically changed my ways. I do not blame anyone but myself for staying at Smirnoff Headquarters for so long, but sometimes you have to let go of the things you thought you once loved and move on. And please tell your lovely assistant Mary Jane that I apologize for such short notice, but I am sure she will understand and respectfully support my decision to move on. But as far as you Mr. Smirnoff, I know your business is to make money and not worry about healthcare. I am just a drop in your overflowing bottle of consumers, so I am sure I will not be sorely missed and easily replaceable. Please don‟t be offended if you see me somewhere and I walk in a different direction, because in the end, life is really about choices, and MINE come first! Goodbye, Your, Chief Corporate Product Tester and Quality Control First off; I am not here to preach and bitch and wine about my situation. I, in no way want to criminalize or name names, and definitely won‟t be seeking any kind of retribution from there of. If I mention names in full, partial, or nickname status, just be stoked enough that I remembered enough to put your name in this book. There will be under VERY few circumstances that I will have to use a partial or fake name. Other than that, the shit I have written is true to my best mental knowledge and memory. And if anyone‟s feelings get hurt, don‟t get all pissy on me, and I have serious doubts that any of you prior fools and friends will be running for some kind of Congress position, or God forbid the President himself….who would even want to? But that is another story. This book is meant to be a living and possibly dying memoir of my life that was cut too short at an early age by Cirrhosis of the Liver and having way too much fun. I am not here to preach, and some of the text will hopefully be helpful, fearful, and inspiring. Again, I blame no one for my misfortune but myself, BUT I would not take a moment of my life back. Fuck up, do wrong, make mistakes, regret things…..but DON‟T hold on to them, because they are the past evil that will ruin your life! Learn from your experiences and let them go! If one person learns anything from this story, then I will not have failed! And if anyone gets a few laughs, it will show you, life is only as serious as you make it! Enjoy, because: “We are all fallible, fucked up human beings” Albert Ellis An Overview of Cirrhosis By Howard J. Worman, M. D. What is Cirrhosis? Cirrhosis is characterized anatomically by widespread nodules in the liver combined with fibrosis. The fibrosis and nodule formation causes distortion of the normal liver architecture which interferes with blood flow through the liver. Cirrhosis can also lead to an inability of the liver to perform its biochemical functions. To understand the pathophysiology of cirrhosis, the normal anatomy and physiology of the liver must first be briefly reviewed. Liver Blood Flow Oxygenated blood that has returned from the lungs to the left ventricle of the heart is pumped to all of the tissues of the body. This is called the systemic circulation. After reaching the tissues, blood is returned to the right side of the heart, from where it is pumped to the lungs and then returned to the left side of the heart after taking up oxygen and giving off carbon dioxide. This is called the pulmonary circulation. Blood from the gut and spleen flow to and through the liver before returning to the right side of the heart. This is called the portal circulation and the large vein through which blood is brought to the liver is called the portal vein. After passing through the liver, blood flows into the hepatic vein, which leads into the inferior vena cava to the right side of the heart. The liver also receives some blood directly from the heart via the hepatic artery. In the esophagus, stomach, small intestine and rectum, the portal circulation and veins of the systemic circulation are connected. Under normal conditions, there is little to no back flow from the portal circulation into the systemic circulation. Bilirubin Secretion The liver is the site of bile formation. Bile contains bile salts, fatty acids, cholesterol, bilirubin and other compounds. The components of bile are synthesized and modified in hepatocytes (the predominant cell type in the liver) and secreted into small bile ducts within the liver itself. These small bile ducts form a branching network of progressively larger ducts that ultimately become the common bile duct that takes bile to the small intestine. Bilirubin is a yellow pigment that derives primarily from old red blood cells. Bilirubin is taken up by hepatocytes from the blood, modified in the hepatocytes to a water soluble form and secreted into the bile. Biochemical Functions The liver performs many biochemical functions. Blood clotting factors are synthesized in the liver. Albumin, the major protein in the blood, is also synthesized in and secreted from the liver. The modification and/or synthesis of bile components also takes place in the liver. Many of the body's metabolic functions occur primarily in the liver including the metabolism of cholesterol and the conversion of proteins and fats into glucose. The liver is also where most drugs and toxins, including alcohol, are metabolized. What Goes Wrong in Cirrhosis? Cirrhosis results from damage to liver cells from toxins, inflammation, metabolic derangements and other causes. Damaged and dead liver cells are replaced by fibrous tissue which leads to fibrosis (scarring). Liver cells regenerate in an abnormal pattern primarily forming nodules that are surrounded by fibrous tissue. Grossly abnormal liver architecture eventually ensues that can lead to decreased blood flow to and through the liver. Decreased blood flow to the liver and blood back up in the portal vein and portal circulation leads to some of the serious complications of cirrhosis. Blood can back up in the spleen causing it to enlarge and sequester blood cells. Most often, the platelet count falls because of splenic sequestration leading to abnormal bleeding. If the pressure in the portal circulation increases because of cirrhosis and blood back up (note: this can also sometimes occur in severe cases of acute hepatitis and liver damage), blood can flow backwards from the portal circulation to the systemic circulation where they are connected. This can lead to varicose veins in the stomach and esophagus (gastric and esophageal varices) and rectum (hemorrhoids). Gastric and esophageal varices can rupture, bleed massively and even cause death. Hypertension in the portal circulation, along with other hormonal, metabolic and kidney abnormalities in cirrhosis, can also lead to fluid accumulation in the abdomen (ascites) and the peripheral tissue (peripheral edema). Decreased bilirubin secretion from hepatocytes in cirrhosis leads to the back up of bilirubin in the blood. This leads to jaundice, the yellow discoloration of the skin and eyes. As the water- soluble form of bilirubin also backs up in the blood, bilirubin can also spill into the urine giving it a bright yellow to dark brown color. Abnormal biochemical function of the liver in cirrhosis can lead to several complications. The serum albumin concentration falls which can lead to aggravation of ascites and edema. The metabolism of drugs can change requiring dose adjustments. In men, breast enlargement (gynecomastia) sometimes occurs because metabolism of estrogen in the liver is decreased. Decreased production of blood clotting factors can lead to bleeding complications. Derangements in the metabolism of triglycerides, cholesterol and sugar can occur. In earlier stages, cirrhosis frequently can cause insulin resistance and diabetes mellitus. In later stages or in severe liver failure, blood glucose may be low because it cannot be synthesized from fats or proteins. Cirrhosis, especially in advanced cases, can cause profound abnormalities in the brain. In cirrhosis, some blood leaving the gut bypasses the liver as blood flow through the liver is decreased. Metabolism of components absorbed in the gut can also be decreased as liver cell function deteriorates. Both of these derangements can lead to hepatic encephalopathy as toxic metabolites, normally removed from the blood by the liver, can reach the brain. In its early stages, subtle mental changes such as poor concentration or the inability to construct simple objects occurs. In severe cases, hepatic encephalopathy can lead to stupor, coma, brain swelling and death. Cirrhosis of the liver can also cause abnormalities in other organ systems. Cirrhosis can lead to immune system dysfunction causing an increased risk of infection. Ascites fluid in the abdomen often becomes infected with bacteria normally present in the gut (spontaneous bacterial peritonitis). Cirrhosis can also lead to kidney dysfunction and failure. In end-stage cirrhosis, a type of kidney dysfunction called hepatorenal syndrome can occur. Hepatorenal syndrome is almost always fatal unless liver transplantation is performed. Clinical Symptoms and Diagnosis of Cirrhosis Cirrhosis is usually an easy diagnosis to make when any or all of the above abnormalities and complications are present. This is especially true when the underlying liver disease can be identified. The underlying liver disease (see below) is identified in most patients, however, sometimes it will not be discovered. Such cases are called "cryptogenic" cirrhosis. Sometimes, other conditions such as metastatic cancer, hepatic or portal vein thrombosis, severe acute hepatitis or acute bile duct obstruction can cause some of the abnormalities seen in cirrhosis. A careful history combined with special diagnostic tests will usually identify these conditions. Some patients with cirrhosis, especially early in the course of the disease, will have no overt clinical signs or symptoms. Some may have only subtle physical changes such as red palms, red spots that blanch on their upper body (spider angiomata), hypertrophy of the parotid glands, gynecomastia or fibrosis of tendons in the palms. Some patients may only have subtle abnormalities on blood tests, and in some cases, all blood tests may be normal. Radiological and nuclear medicine tests may give clues as to the presence of cirrhosis, but the diagnosis of cirrhosis must often be made by liver biopsy. Causes of Cirrhosis Although most often associated with alcohol abuse, cirrhosis of the liver can result from many causes. Almost any chronic liver disease can lead to cirrhosis. This list gives some of the many causes: Alcoholic liver disease - most common cause in the U. S. A. Chronic viral hepatitis B, C and D Chronic autoimmune hepatitis Inherited metabolic diseases (e. g. hemochromatosis, Wilson disease) Chronic bile duct diseases (e. g. primary biliary cirrhosis) Chronic congestive heart failure Parasitic infections (e. g. schistosomiasis) Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (liver inflammation that can be caused by fatty liver) Long term exposure to toxins or drugs Treatment Cirrhosis of the liver is irreversible but treatment of the underlying liver disease may slow or stop the progression. Such treatment depends upon the underlying etiology. Termination of alcohol intake will stop the progression in alcoholic cirrhosis and for this reason, it is important to make the diagnosis early in a chronic alcohol abuser. Similarly, discontinuation of a hepatotoxic drug or removal of an environmental toxin will stop progression. Treatment of metabolic diseases, such as treatment of iron overload in hemochromatosis or copper overload in Wilson disease, are also effective therapies. Chronic viral hepatitis B and C may respond to treatment with interferon and autoimmune hepatitis may improve with prednisone and azathioprine (Imuran). Drugs such as ursodiol (Actigall) may slow the progression of primary biliary cirrhosis and possibly sclerosing cholangitis. In patients with cirrhosis of the liver, treatment must also be directed at the complications. Bleeding esophageal varices can be treated with endoscopic sclerotherapy or rubber band ligation. Ascites and edema are often responsive to a low sodium diet and such a diet must be emphasized in patients with these symptoms. More advanced ascites and edema can respond to diuretic therapy. A low protein diet and agents such as lactulose may help hepatic encephalopathy. Infections such as spontaneous bacterial peritonitis must be rapidly treated with appropriate antibiotics. Drugs metabolized in the liver must be given with caution. Coagulation disorders will sometimes respond to vitamin K. Liver transplantation is highly effective for the treatment of end-stage cirrhosis. Transplantation is usually needed when complications such as encephalopathy, ascites or bleeding varices are uncontrollable or when biochemical function is severely depressed. In patients with primary biliary cirrhosis, a rising bilirubin indicates a poor prognosis and such patients should be considered for transplantation as the serum bilirubin concentration begins to rise. Active drug or alcohol abuse are contraindications to liver transplantation. However, alcoholics who have abstained from drinking for an extended period of time (usually more than six months), and have participated in rehabilitation programs and support groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous, can be considered as candidates and will often have a good prognosis. Liver cancer is usually a contraindication to transplantation, except in experimental protocols. Liver transplantation is usually not performed in patients more than 70 years old. My Drugs: I have to take all of these daily to combat the evil forces and symptoms of Cirrhosis. I don’t even know what it feels like to “feel” normal anymore. 1. K-Dur ( Potassium Chloride ) This medication is used to treat and prevent low potassium levels (hypokalemia). Potassium is a natural mineral found in the body and in various foods. Normal potassium levels are necessary for proper functioning of the muscles, heart, kidneys, and nerves. This medication is a potassium supplement that works by increasing or maintaining normal levels of potassium in your body. Side effects: Nausea, vomiting, gas, abdominal pain/discomfort, and diarrhea may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, notify your doctor or pharmacist promptly 2. Xifaxan: This medication is used to treat diarrhea caused by the common bacteria known as E. coli ("traveler's diarrhea"). Rifaximin should not be used if you have a fever or bloody diarrhea. This medication stays in the digestive system and is not absorbed into the blood. It works by stopping the growth of bacteria. Side effects: This medication may rarely cause a severe intestinal condition (pseudomembranous colitis) due to resistant bacteria. This condition may occur weeks after treatment has stopped. Do not use anti-diarrhea products or narcotic pain medications if you have the following symptoms because these products may make them worse. Tell your doctor immediately if you develop: persistent diarrhea, abdominal or stomach pain/cramping, or blood/mucus in your stool. A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is unlikely, but seek immediate medical attention if it occurs. Symptoms of a serious allergic reaction may include: rash, itching, swelling, severe dizziness, trouble breathing. 3. Mephyton: Vitamin K is used to treat and prevent low levels of certain substances (blood clotting factors) that your body naturally produces. These substances help your blood to thicken and stop bleeding normally (e.g., after an accidental cut or injury). Low levels of blood clotting factors increase the risk for unusual bleeding. Low levels may be caused by certain medications (e.g., warfarin) or medical conditions (e.g., obstructive jaundice). Vitamin K helps to treat and prevent unusual bleeding by increasing the body's production of blood clotting factors. Side effects: A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, seek immediate medical attention if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching, swelling, severe dizziness, trouble breathing. 4. Megestrol: This medication is used to treat cancer of the breast or uterus. It may be used alone or with other treatments, including surgery and radiation, to stop the growth of your tumor. It may also be used to increase your appetite and to prevent or reverse significant weight loss (e.g., muscle wasting in cancer or AIDS). This can result in an increase in your sense of well-being and your physical ability Side effects: This medication can cause weight gain, changes in appetite, stomach upset, diarrhea, gas, trouble sleeping, decreased sexual ability/desire, or fever. Seek immediate medical attention if any of these rare but very serious side effects occur: chest pain, confusion, mental/mood changes, weakness/numbness on one side of the body, pain/redness/swelling of arms or legs, slurred speech, trouble breathing, severe or sudden vision changes. 5. Nadolol: is used alone or with other medications to treat high blood pressure (hypertension) and to prevent chest pain (angina). Lowering high blood pressure helps prevent strokes, heart attacks, and kidney problems. In the management of chest pain, nadolol may also help to reduce the frequency of chest pain episodes and improve your ability to exercise. Side effects: Dizziness, drowsiness, weakness, and cough may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, notify your doctor or pharmacist promptly. This drug may reduce blood flow to your hands and feet, causing them to feel cold. Smoking may worsen this effect. Dress warmly and avoid tobacco use. 6. Aldactone: Spironolactone is used to treat high blood pressure. Lowering high blood pressure helps prevent strokes, heart attacks, and kidney problems. It is also used to treat swelling (edema) caused by certain conditions (e.g., congestive heart failure) by removing excess fluid and improving symptoms such as breathing problems. Side effects: Drowsiness, lightheadedness, stomach upset, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, or headache may occur. Tell your doctor immediately if any of these unlikely but serious side effects occur: dizziness, increased thirst, change in the amount of urine, mental/mood changes, unusual fatigue/weakness, muscle spasms, menstrual period changes, breast enlargement (gynecomastia) in men, sexual function problems. 7. Protonix: Pantoprazole works by blocking acid production in the stomach. This medication is known as a proton pump inhibitor (PPI). It is used to treat acid-related stomach and throat (esophagus) problems (e.g., acid reflux or GERD, erosive esophagitis, Zollinger-Ellison syndrome). Decreasing excess stomach acid can help relieve symptoms such as heartburn, difficulty swallowing, persistent cough, and trouble sleeping. It can also prevent serious acid damage to your digestive system (e.g., ulcers, cancer of the esophagus). Side effects: Headache, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting or stomach/abdominal pain may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, notify your doctor or pharmacist promptly. Tell your doctor immediately if any of these unlikely but serious side effects occur: signs of increased blood sugar levels (e.g., increased thirst, increased urination, confusion). 8. Zinc Sulfate: This medication is a mineral used to treat or prevent low levels of zinc. OTHER USES: This medication may also be used to promote wound healing. Side effects: Nausea, stomach upset, heartburn may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, notify your doctor or pharmacist promptly. Tell your doctor immediately if any of these unlikely but serious side effects occur: fever, chills, sore throat, sores in mouth, unusual tiredness, weakness. 9. Ambien CR: Zolpidem is used to treat sleep problems (insomnia). It may help you fall asleep faster, stay asleep longer, and reduce the number of times you awaken during the night. Zolpidem belongs to a class of drugs called sedative/hypnotics. It acts on your brain to produce a calming effect. Side effects: Dizziness, lightheadedness, headache, upset stomach, diarrhea, and dry mouth may occur. Tell your doctor immediately if any of these unlikely but serious side effects occur: fast/pounding heartbeat, unusual tiredness, mental/mood changes (e.g., new or worsening depression, rare thoughts of suicide, hallucinations, aggressive behavior, anxiety), memory loss, unsteadiness. 10. Vitamin B-1: good for me? Chapters: 1:The Early Years 2: The Middle Years 3: High School 101, Intro to Alcohol and Pot and the Punk Rock Era 4: The 7 Year Binge in California Sex, Drugs, Surfing, Punk Rock and Roll 5: 5 Year Art School Test of Saninty Years of the Silverback 6: A short stint back to P‟Cola 7: I‟m goin back to Cali, cali…yep I Know so 8: Meeting Serendipity and the Dream Job 9: A Very Bad Day May, 2006 10: The start of the decline..well 11. Mayo was fun! 12: Almost 2 Months of hell for nothing! 13: My Stay at Hotel Mayo 14: Back to unknown re-hab hell! 3 weeks 15: “The Letter of Decline” 16: The next few months: A blur and another story 17: Checking in, Almost Checking out 18: 4th Floor Lockdown 19: Alida comes to Check in and Check out! 20: A look Back at some Good Times & Some Good Life 21: Surf adventures: Puert Rico, Panama, Costa Rica, BALI! 22: The Cali boys cometh! Chapter 1: The Early Years My name is Gregory Joseph Naile, but I usually only heard the full name when I was in trouble. I was born in Newport, Rhode Island in 1968, but I don‟t remember any of that because we always seemed to be moving somewhere else. My dad was in the Navy, and we seemed to move somewhere else about every 2 years. But I didn‟t care, I was in my own little world, and thing just seemed fine to me. I remember my Mom being very caring, loving and nurturing at that time in my life, so I guess I took it for granted that she was a “Navy Mom” raising 3 kids while my Dad was off to sea “concurring the world”…and for some reason I didn‟t ask . I knew he was in the Navy and had to be gone at times to conquer the world…so I was like cool, “Can I ride my trike-bike that dad had given to me…? My Dad was awesome! I remember him as being gone or away a lot working, but when he did come home he was a good caring father. He was mellow and laid back and only disciplined us when we really fucked up. Like when Chris, my older brother by 16 months decided it was a good idea to pick up the backyard playground loveseat up over his head and smash it directly into mine…( while I was off in my own little world ) Chris got a good beatin after they said I would be “oK” at the hospital a few stitches later. I remember my dad back in those days as a hard working and well liked good guy among his other friends and seamates. They would have a few canned adult beverages after work a lot of times and seemed to get along great. My Dad was and is a very likeable and well respected guy! I was very young but I remember my Mom and Dad always seemed to get along and never seemed to fight. He was always respectful and never violent with her. I was the “baby”, the youngest, so I always remember being with my Mom a lot. Going shopping, getting groceries, doing errands and stuff like that. I was the mellow, shy, artistic one and very easy going, so from what I remember, me and Mom got along great. Dad was gone a lot being in the Navy and such and going to Vietnam. I didn‟t quite understand why he wasn‟t there like Mom was. But she said he was working hard to make our lives better for us. So when he was home, we got along great and he would take us on family vacations like Disneyworld, Seaworld, ballgames, and trips around the country. He was born and stuck in Arkansas for most of his young life picking cotton with his 8 brothers and sisisters, so when he got almost old enough he lied about his age and joined the Navy a year early and literally got the hell out of Dodge to go see the world. I always respected him for that very much! I have and older brother and older sister, so I was the “baby”. My sister was 4 years older than me, but we got along pretty well from what I remember, she was always more of the babysitter figure to/for me and my brother. My brother is only 16 months older than me , but he is very intelligent, but was definitely a real troublemaker, and he liked to fight and torment me. But if anyone would ever mess with me, he would always beat them up. His motto was “Nobody gets to beat up my brother except for ME!” But when we went anywhere I was always right ther with him like his little cohort or sidekick. Even though he tormented me, I always looked up to him and respected him for the ways he dealt with things and his thoughts on life…even at such a young age! I was a pretty mellow and happy go lucky kid, but had some reading and writing and math comprehension problems in school. I was more in my little artistic imaginary world. I loved comics, cartoons, and going to the movies and stuff like that. As a child I was also a good athlete early on and very artistic as long as I can remember. I was always doodleing in school. I wasn‟t really a brat or a handful like my brother and sister were. I was always more shy and mellow and go with the flow. My weaknesses as a child usually stemmed from my brother. He was like the little gang leader and always into some sort of mischief. But I was always right there with him. I was always a little slow and school seememd to come really easy to my brother, so I always seememd to look up to him. Overall a feel like I had a great upbringing and my parents instilled some basic virtues that stuck with me throughout life. Respect Mom and Dad. Do my best at whatever was at hand. And most importantly being an honest person. Because getting caught in a lie was way worse than being honest and fessing up to a mistake. Dad taught me that if I wanted to be a good person early on that I should know how to spot a liar or someone who was dishonest. And said that I didn‟t want to turn into one of them. He said honest people didn‟t lie or cheat or steal. My dad grew up hardlivin on a farm in Arkansas with 8 other siblings, and they were very poor and mostly picked cotton for a living. But he said I would make it if I worked hard and gained the respect of others. That statement never really dawned on me till later in life, but I‟m glad it did , because my father is a good man and well respected in our community. And I am very proud of him for that. My dad was a hard worker, and I remember him coming home and having 3-4 beers after work, but would rarely hit the hard stuff. And my Mom was a VERY occasional drinker and would maybe have 2 small cocktails at the most or nothing at all. And neither parents did any drugs to my knowledge at all. Mom barely drank, and Dad drank mostly beer moderately after work with an occasional cocktail here and there, but it never seemed to be a problem. I really didn‟t think about it much because I was pretty young and didn‟t really know anything of it. And I really didn‟t know what drugs were, because they were never really users. Alcohol and Drugs wernt a part of my life when I was a young kid. It just wasn‟t part of my thought process. I was to young to understand or comprehend what drugs or alcohol even were. Fuck, I was like 5 years old! Mommy didn‟t smoke crack and Dad sure wasn‟t any kind of junkie. So fuck (this question was addressed to me at my treatment center) and I was like…what the fuck is you getting at? Were my parent‟s druggies and Alcoholics? I was way too young to even thing about that shit…. The “treatment center” seemed to love to delve into your personal background and childhood (And a lot of the shit I cant even remember…) In Elementary School I learned how to be away from my Mom, and I unknowingly learned that I had an artistic part of me and that I like to draw, paint sculpt, and build things like pop sickle houses and shit. I was pretty shy in elementary school but I started getting used to the other kids and started to come out of my little imaginary world. I used the things my Dad had told me, so I didn‟t lie, I respected other kids stuff, I asked before taking anything, and tried to be honest and polite to others. And I sure loved “nap time”. (During living in Florida it seemed to be always hot, but during nap-time I was always the kid closest to that 5.00$ Box fan from K-Mart they had in every room…sleeping away like a baby till I had to get up and resume Elementary activates for the rest of the day until the next wonderful nap in front of that 5.00$ Kmart Box fan…. man I loved that thing.) From Rehab: What did you learn about yourself in elementary school that were different than what your parents taught yourself? That I was ARTISTIC! (This shit gets kind of monotonous, but these are mostly questions they have you fill out on “in-take” to the fucking rehab program, like some of the stupid shit below) So bear with me! Chapter2: The Middle Years I remember getting drunk for my first time while my parents were in Spain, I think, and it was New Years Eve, and my sister made my brother and me a few Screwdrivers. They tasted really good so we had a few more and my sister and her friends laughed at how cute we were all drunk. For me this was probably the 6th grade and I was so wasted and felt great …until the next morning. My first hangover…. WOW that sucked…I didn‟t drink again until about 8th grade. I was mostly into soccer and baseball at that age and really didn‟t think much about drinking. I got my first surfboard for my 10th birthday by my babysitter, and that really changed my life. She was so cool and always gave me surf mages to read and look at…I just wish I could remember her name so I could thank her today for changing my life. Chapter 3: High School 101, Intro to Alcohol and Pot and the Punk Rock Era Girls and puberty were kicking in strong in 8th and 9th grade ( you know, those times when you would just get a boner for no reason?) You know stuff like that…and zits really sucked…but that was high school right? Me and my friends were really getting into surfing and started getting pretty good, but one of my friends almost quit surfing because everytime he would take his wetsuit off, he would lose some pubic hairs, and it really freaked him out. He thought he was gonna lose all his pubes just from surfing, so he almost quit, because at that age pubes were a big thing for us youngsters to be loosin! It was pretty damn funny though… Drugs didn‟t really come into the game until 9th or 10th grade. I was getting really good at surfing, and was the only kid in my town, or almost literally the Gulf Coast that got sponsored by a few surfing companies. It was great! I was sponsored by Gotcha, Rip Curl wetsuits, and Islander Surfboards…then I nailed a deal with Town and Country Surfboards from Hawaii. All along I was still playing baseball as a pitcher and 1st baseman, but was really good at soccer and made the all-star team almost every year since learning to play in Korea when I was in about 4th grade. But in 9th grade soccer tryouts, our coach who really hated surfers gave me an ultimatum one day at practice..he was like “Boy..do you wanna play soccer or surf?” That was it for me…I walked right off that field. About 2 months later I got some bad news. My left femur had really been hurting on and off, but I shook it off as growing pains, until one day I just couldn‟t bear it anymore and my parents awoke to me screaming in agony. So the next day they took me to the hospital, took a few X-Rays of my femur and immediately put me in a wheelchair and said don‟t move. Turns out that I had a bone tumor growing inside my femur and was eating the marrow and bone from the inside out. So I was pretty fucked. They had to reconstruct my femur and atttactch and 18” Titanium plate along my leg and screw 18 1/ ½ inch screws through my bone to keep it all together… So in a quick smack in the face, my professional driven surfing carreer was over for at least 3-4 years until everything healed and I could do normal activities again LIKE SURFING! The funny thing was that I was pissed and took up Bodybording because my Doc said it shouldn‟t stress my femur out too much, and I went on to win the Gulf Coast Championships and got invited to Cocoa Beach for the East Coast Champtionships….. 2-11-07: I was in a pretty good mood today, got to sleep in and didn’t really have a whole lot on my mind to do. I went to the beach as part of my therapy and rebuilt and created a few more rock schulptures. It is my release, just me and the beach and some rubble stones from Hurricane Ivan that I have been making into sculptures with. And the beach community seems to be taking to them nicely. I get a lot of nice comments from them, and people are saying that they are adding art to the beach from the reminders of Ivan. It makes me feel good. I am having a real hard time dealing with the parents and their constant, “Are you going to an AA meeting tonight?” “When is your next AA meeting?” “You know to get a new liver all of the hospitals want to see AA meetings or some kind of “other” therapy listed to make your chances look better if they accept you!” First of all, I already completed the 30 day rehab hell that was required by the “hospitals”, and Second I FUCKING HATE AA MEETINGS!! I don’t believe in them or what they preach. So last week I took it upon myself to join an out=patient program for substance abuse, coping, anxiety, stresses, urges, etc. I will be starting that program tomarrow. But after dinner the topic came up AGAIN, “When is your next AA meeting? The hospitals wont accept you if you are not going to AA meetings!” I was SOOO pissed and said, “SO me going to a 5 day a week outpatient program for substance abuse isn’t gonna be good enough for the hospitals to give me a new liver, EVEN after a 30 day in-patient treatment program?” Then FUCK them, I will die before any of the fucks make up their minds…I just don’t care anymore…my quality of life sucks really bad and I don’t care about living this so-called life anymore. The only good thing I was looking forward to was sending off the love of my lifes Valentine present in the mail tomorrow. I am very proud of it because it is an original picture of the two of us at the beach, and I put my heart and soul into it, which I don’t have much of anymore. Suicide has really been creeping on my mind lately and it is really hard to not just DO-IT. But I am leaving to go to California to see my girlfriend on March 22 and to surf in a benefit surf contest up in Ventura AND I am 1 of the honorary beneficiaries out of 3 people because of my liver situation. So I will get to spend some quality time with my girlfriend and also a bunch of great supportive friends…and the whole trip and hotel room is already paid for by said great friends that made it happen! So the S-word will have to wait. I am really vehemently mad at my back stabbing Counselor up in Thoumasville wher I went to 30-day rehab hell! I knew he was a backstabbing snake, but I tried to put my fake suit on just to get through the program…because I REALLY need a liver transplant. There was a bunch of shady shit that went there that I will get to later..maybe, but for now..he really crossed my line and lit my short fuse. 2 days after I graduated one of the other cool counselors named Rhonda asked him how I had done, and did he give me a good report? These were his exact words,”Oh that son of a bitch was an asshole and pissed me off and I think HE SHOULD DIE!!” So pretty much after I get back from California, I am going to drive there to rehab, tell the night person not to come in, and I am going to shoot him in the head many times and then burn the whole fucking place down! THAT’S how much I don’t give a fuck anymore. And I wont go to jail so I guess I will have to save a few of those bullets for myself. So I guess I should probably try to finish this book sooner than later! Anyway, back to high school. I was a bit shy at first in High School because we had just moved there from Va Beach, Virginia. But I started making friends quickly, but really school wasn‟t coming as easy to me as my straight A brother who seem to barely even have to try. “So I just sat in that shed a lot looking at the walls, because there wasn’t much else to do..just thinking about things” Billy Bob Thornton, Sling Blade But Mom and Dad always just said, “Do your best and try and give it an honst effort. Don‟t worry about makings A‟s like your brother. Learning and comprhention were a little rough for me. But Daddy always said he knew I was the sharpest tool in the shed, but that I was good at other things like art and sports. In Junior High I think I tried pot fotr the first time, but then was to paranoid that my dad would catch me, so I didn‟t drink or smoke any more pot till about 9th grade. I was so into school, sports, and surfing that drugs and drinking were not too involved in my schedule. And when I did start “using” it was only a few times out of curiousity or peer-pressure. And “Using” sounds like a daily thing that we needed. We were young and experimenting and could take it or leave it! And I remember being so paranoid that dad would find out, so I guess the benefits of not using were promoting abstinence and I didn‟t even know it! Haha. I was starting to become pretty popular in the 9th and 10th grade, and the puberty and good looks were kickin in and I was accepted by a lot of higher up classmates. Partyly due to my brother‟s popularity, smarts, and likeableness. Zits sucked and unreasonable Boners in class or at lunch, or in the hallway were real fun. Half the guys were walking around with their books in front of their crotches. By 10th and 11th grade I learned how to manage the phenomena! My parents were always pretty cool and never overbearing…especially Dad who was in the Navy, cause you would have thought he „d be a real hardass, but they always just taught us to do our best, and study hard,and that was mainly all they asked of us. Schoool was easy for Chris , that bastard, and Susan was about 4 grades ahead of me, so was in college most of my High Schol years….oe WAS she? It seememed like everyday me and my brother would get home from school, she would be with a few of her hot pot head friends rolling joints and saying “Arnt they gonna be lady-killers?” Wanna hit?” Drugs and Alcohol were never usually in the equation as a child, but in High Schoolis when we really started partying and experimenting with different things. But as long as we didn‟t overdo it, the parents were pretty cool about it. Alcohol at least. I was in a punk rock band called The No Class Surfers and we practiced in my garage after the parents would go to work. We would skip class and practice all day. My dad always had a case of Busch beer in the fridge i9n the garage, and we would drink the whole thing while practicing. But then after practice, a few hours before mom and dad would get home, we would pull our allowance and go have our Bass player, Bob Noxious, go buy another case to replace the one we didn‟t drink. He wasn‟t a real good bass player then, but was 22 so he could go buy the beer. He got real good later on and started a band called Blount in Pensacola and eventually moved to LA where they did pretty well in the punk rock scene…I still listen to there CD‟s today! We mostly just drank and smoked a little pot when it was around, but then one of my brothers friends introduced me to cocaine in about the 11th grade, and MAN what a rush…at first! Catching a buzz and partying with friends started out as more of a social thing to get loose at parties and just to have a god time. No-one ever thought of the consequences till a few of our friends died in car wrecks and shit like that…but to be honest EVERYONE still kept partying. It didn‟t really make me stop from doing anything I did. I did tend to use pot and alcohol more often after my extensive leg/femur operation. Because I was bummed that I couldn‟t surf or skate with all my friends anymore, so I just had to watch. But my brother was into photography at the time se he lent me one of his cmerera‟s and I saved up for a 200mm lens and started tking surf picstures. During high school, parties were the social scene on the weekends and I was getting pretty popular by the 11th and 12th grade and had a lot of different girlfriends, and had fun with experimenting with sex, drinking ,pot, coke, whatever. I was really into music back then too, and was always going to punk rock shows and some 80‟s bullshit shows too, until one of my brothers friends Billy Davidson turned me onto Metallica, “Kill‟em All, and it was all over after then…Ride the Lightning, and Master of Puppets were the Metal albums of the century for all I was concerned. Don‟t get me wrong…I was still punk rock, but now had a solid metal grounding also! My brother‟s friend told me, “If you think you like Punk and don‟t LOVE this then you‟re a pussy. I loved it though, Metallica changed my life until they started becoming pussies themselves…I mean PLEASE, “Load”and Re- Load were JUST that…a load of crap. That is when the decline of Metallica started, then got worse with St. Anger…but this book isn‟t about that. But of all things, hangovers wernt fun, and I did a lot of stupid things that I should have been arrested for, or gotten many DUI‟s but didn‟t., cause we were stupid growing up high school kids, and all the cops knew we partied, and it was a small town, so when you fucked up EVERYBODY and their parents knew about it. But high school was a great lerning experience and I really don‟t regret a thing. Side note: The whole family is sitting down to eat dinner after we watched M.A.S.H. ( we grew up on that show) andDad steps out for a minute, we thought to use the bathroom , and comes back with an ounce of weed split up into 4 quarter bags, and drops it on the table…all our mouths drop to the floor (Susan, Chris and Me) thinking “Oohh shit is that mine?” And Dad says to Mom, “Look Doris, look what I found in one of Chris’s drawers…all this Marijuana 9 now heres the funny part, my Mom is so nieve , like June Cleaver) that she looks at it all puzzled, then looks at it again and says innocently, “ Wow, I always thout that Pot was that little white powdery stuff!” We almost all fell out of our chairs inclusing Dad, who was trying to be serious and make a point, but just couldn’t control his laughter along with the rest of us except for Mom who was dead serious and still confused…after we contained ourselves, my Dad said all sternly, “Chris, we will talk about this later!”, still not believing my Mom didn’t even know what Pot was…..I don’t think Chris got to go on senior trip to the Bahamas that year though….but man, that was some funny shit! I pretty much cruised through 12th grade AND I had just had my second operation to remove the metal plate from my femur, so I missed a lot of school, but I really don‟t remember having to make up any of the work. I guess my teachers felt sorry for what I was going through and let a lot of stuff slide. AND my brother and sister had been in so much trouble prior to me that when I fucked up, it wasn‟t so bad, because they had already done it. And since I couldn‟t surf yet, I was still in my punk rock band raging and drinking and partying with my best friends Scrotty our singer, Bob Noxious, Bass, and Glenno who was the craziest groupie/friend we ever knew! This fucker would do anything. Glenno moved from Hawaii with his family and moved to the bumfuck town of Milton ( we called it Mildew), and was a really good, stylish surfer. Me and Crazy Scrott met him in the middle of a hurricane while looking for a bridge we could get over. We were gassing up my 73 Celica GT, when this dude pulls up in this old ragtop, leaking 57 VW Bug, with a board in the front seat. He saw our boards and was like, “Hey, how the fuck do you get to the beach from here, I just moved here from Hawaii?” So we said, “Park it and jump in with us, we are going to Perdido Key..we think the bridge is still open. So he say‟s “Aight” and jumps in. We become instant friends and he ripped that day! But to break him in, me and Scrott were like, “Hey, got grab a case of Busch so we can celebrate!” We were thinking, no way is he gonna pull this off at the Winn Dixie, but sure enough, 5 minutes later he comes struttin out with a case of beer! We were like NoWay, “How did you do that ( we were like 16 ) , and Glenno says something like “Its what Glenn-otis does…I pull shit off! Insta friends! Side note: A girl we knew from High School, Kelly Phelan, moved to Hawaii that year and met Glenno, and he said he had to move to Fl, and she asked where, and when he told her (even though he was moving to Mildew ), she said , “Wow, I bet you will meetthese 2 guys named Nailehead and Scrott, they are in a Punk Rock band called the No Class Surfers, and are really cool guys…” Me and Scrott were the fist people he met in FL while chasing down hurricane surf! Trippy? Or Serendipity? That has always freaked me out how things work like that sometimes! It was the wildest thing Glenno‟s family shipped over about 20 different VW‟s that they had collected through the years. All kinds of V-Dubs, from old Beetle classics, Fastbacks, 21 Window busses, Things, 67‟s, 57‟s, all kinds of cool shit..and most of them worked, but if one didn‟t start in the morning, his mom Ginny would pull a starter or generator from another one and be on her way! Glenno drove the 56 Ragtop I think it was…man that thing was awesome! 4: The 7 Year Binge in California Sex, Drugs, Surfing, Punk Rock and Roll After graduating high school in 86, I went to a year of Junior College at PJC in Pensacola, mostly to give my leg/femur time to heal before I shot out to San Diego the next year. I took painting and graphic design classes and got some of my “required” classes out of the way like College Algebra ( dee-de-dee ), but at least my boy Scott was with me for that! But we didn‟t get much out of Algebra because we would do bong hits and slam 3 beers apiece while we went over the 3 mile bridge before school ( that was our thing, like a challenge…you done yet? Yep..and off we went. I did do good in the Art program there, and the instructors said I might be able to make a career at it. At that time, I was like cool, but whatever…I just wanted to get to California. When the time finally came to go, I was pretty much all packed to the hilt in my badd-ass 78 Mazda RX7 ( it was looking pretty damn good for that year ) and leaving the next day, when my friend Paul Barrett calls me up and says him and his dad had a bad fight about college and asked me if I had room for him to come also. I said, not really, but fuck it! So we both left the next day, Mom crying, and Pauls dad ready to kill him, but we split anyway! I had planned this for too long to turn back now. So We both left with a gas card and about 1800.00$ bucks between us, with not a clue what we were gonna do, we just went! We didn‟t really have money to waste on Hotels , so we pretty much drove that whole way switching off sleeping until Paul almost killed us when he fell asleep and hit the gravel, did a 180 on a two laner and a Mack truck was coming right at us! Good thing we still had enough speed and momentum to get us to the other shoulder or we would have been history in the middle of Texas. I drove the rest of the way. After that, we hit the California border and it was ON! We found an old friend that we went to high school with that moved out there in about 10th grade, and he was living with his girlfriend and her parents who graciously took us in for about a week, then co-signed an apartment agreement , a small 2 beroom that 3 of us shared, but it was heaven after that! We lived in Carlsbad in a cool town about 2 miles from the beach and we surfed Oceanside harbor almost every morning. It was the best most consistent waves we had surfed all our lives. THIS is why we moved out here. We both took a year off to work and get residency and then Jr. College was dirt cheap, so I started taking classes and homing in on my Niche of what I wanted to major in..I knew it was Art, but I didn‟t know what yet. I took Graphic Desighn, Type Layout, Screenprinting, Commmercial Design….but THEN computer art was starting to get big, and I loved movies and animation, so I sooon knew I wanted to be a Computer Animator. Inbetween there were lots of surfing, partying, and drugs involved. That‟s when we were introduced by one of our apartment friends to Crystal Meth. It was a blast at first, but then started to become a big problem. We would do it before surfing, before work, at parties, at home, wherever. Side note: The guy who introduced it to us Billy-Boy. He had a room mate that would just stay home all day like an office and JUST sell 20$ bags of cheap seedy Mexican shit, and made a bundle. It was kinda funny, he was a really nice guy but when when it came to cutting you a break, he would be like “You know the “program” 20 a piece, no breaks, that’s it! He made a fortune and never got busted…I don’t even think to this day…same program.Oh yeah, he would give you 1 bong hit to try it out, and then be…how many you want? Lets do some math: He got quarter pounds for prob about 120 $ 4 oz. to a QP= 30$ oz. and 8 8ths ( 20$ bags ) So: So he made 640$selling 20 bags-120$he put in, so he made a profit of 520$ out of 120$ (not bad)….I never thought of it this way until just now! And he wouldn’t flinch…a 20 was a 20 no matter how you broke it down. That’s some pretty funny shit, and shrewd. “Watchu want essay?” Alll I got are twenny-twen-twens, And you know this MAN!” Chris Tucker “Friday” We grew up a lot, and also experienced and did A LOT of shit in California. We had many different crazy friends. Glenno and Scott had both moved out there. My young buddy who was an aspiring pro, Greg R. moved out there, and we just surfed, skated ramps, snowboarded and tried to pay the bills for the bills but also the drinking and drugging. It was actually a blast. We all worked and partied and had fun…AND actually went to a little college here and there. But this stage of California was really about growing into who we were and were living our California Dream! We had some crazy girlfriends, and even crazier friends! I guess it took us awhile to get “assimilated” into the So-Cal culture, but once we proved we could surf, skate, and party like the rest of em, we were in, accepted as being Florida-boys. When I would do a bottom turn on an overheadwave, ad then gouge the hell out of the top….didn‟t matter where you were from…RESPECT! Side note: We used to have a things for Fosters “Oil Cans” back in the day when they were still making them out of the thick aluminum. We would call them our “Foster Children” ( Glenno’s idea) and everytime we would finish one, we would sign its Foster Papers and when it was adopted….then chugged. We had a wall of Fosters cans ( all signed) in our Garfield, Oceanside home of about 500 cans. We thought it was pretty cool back then, but now it doesn’t seem so amusing. When we moved to a cool party house in Carlsbad, we were raging partiers! We pretty much had the YMCA for partiers. We had a pool table in the garage, a fooze-ball table, and ping-pong table, and 2 dart boards. So after getting off work…you know where most of the YMCA went…to party at my house. I would disappear a lot and do some meth usually then do some art work. I really did do some fucked up expressive artwork during those years. My friends all thought I was nuts, but my art was pretty cool. We lived in that house for about 2 years before I had had it with roommates, bills, the parties, drugs, and just going nowhwere in life. And I really knew I wanted to get a job in the art field. A friend of mine was going to this school in Florida, and said that I should really apply. So I did, and I luckily got accepted into the Computer Animation Program there…and WOW, what a change I needed from California. I moved there with my girlfriend, Shelly who I had been dating on and off for about 4 years in San Diego. “Things didn’t quite work out much, and that’s about all I have to say about that!” Forrest Gump She was a great girl though, but we just didn‟t seem to work out like peas and carrots. 5: 5 Year Art School Test of Saninty Years of the Silverback It was hard and overwhelming and it took everything I had to do well in “REAL” college, Ringling Schol of Art and Design. I went to a very well ackknwoled and accepted art school. It was probably rated 5th in the U.S. It was very hard and very serious, no bullshit. And it was a huge responsibility to keep up with the course work. It was definitely a big challenge and change for me, and if you missed class or fucked up…you were outta there. Again, my parents told me to work hard and do the best I could do, and that was all they expected from me. Learn from your mistakes and get over it. Things I leaned from college were that I could “kinda” survive by myself and being on my own really started teaching me about life and respect for others. And I was coming into my “being” and learning about myself as an artist. AND that I WAS and artist and I could be myself. Being away from home and having my own rental house was great in College. Me and my buddies partied quite a bit, but it was mostly just alcohol and pot then. No other heavier stuff.. I probably drank daily and smoked pot 3-4 times a week. I was a waiter and a bartender all through college, so that probably caused me to drink more because it was accessible, and it just seemed like everybody partied…..during and after work. College was so fuckin hard that alcohol and pot seeemed to work for me as a relaxer and stress-reducer. The stress of school and the responsibility that came with it was very hard. But I enjoyed the buzz and the high that came with it, and it didn‟t seem to be a problem….YET! I had so many different jobs during my college days, from delivering pizza, waiting tables, bartending, you name it! I was usually pretty straight during the pizza jobs, but during the waiting and bartending jobs, alcohol was always around, and most of the employees partied during and after work. It was kind of our social scene. We would get off work and go meet at one of our local‟s bars. It helped seem to ease the tension of the job and make it more fun and bearable. That‟s where the term “Silverback” came from. I was about 28 and about 230 lbs and my hair was turning grey from the tension from school…hence, “The Silverback”. Drinking seemed to ease the stress and tension of school and just the job itself. (I pretty much put myself through college, working almost full time AND having a grueling school class schedule.) Most of my art classes were 3 hours each. So after attending 3-4 classes a day, I usually enjoyed myself a few cocktails and bong hits after school and or work. I partied at most of my jobs during college, but it was tended to be accepted, unless you got way out of control. If you could hold your shit…do it…and many did. But I never lost a job because of drinking. Nice excuse huh? 6: A short stint back to P‟Cola After graduating Ringling School of Art and Design, in Sarasota FL, in May of 1998, I spent about half the summer back in Pensacola waiting tables and bartending at cool place called Capt Fun‟s. I was trying to save money to get back out to San Diego and was sending out demo-reels and resumes to every company in California. After getting about 100 of the cordial business reply letters…you know the ones.. I had had enough! “Mr. Naile, we appreciate your interest in our company, but at this time, we have no positions that fit our needs or your expertise. We will be happy to keep your resume and demo-reel on file, and if some position becomes available with your qualifications, we will be sure to get into touch with you as soon as possible. Thank you for your interest in our company, and we wish you the best of luck in your job search. Human Resources Asshole! After TOO many responses like those, I decided to just go ahead and make the move back out to San Diego, so I would at least be closer to the “action” and could start surfing again. 7: I‟m goin back to Cali, cali…yep I Know so So I went back to San Diego after Art School and unintentionally hooked up with a friend I had only met a few times in Sarasota. We both found out that we were moving to San Diego at the same time, so we found a small condo in Leaucadia. I was surfing, but I was miserable though, because I was still working bar and waiter jobs, then couldn‟t deal with that and got another pizza job. I was dating a great girl named Tracy, but things were really just starting to fall apart, because I was so depressed and was stating to feel hopeless. I had a BFA Degree in Computer Animation from a very well respected school, but I just still couldn‟t seem to find a job. I was starting to do a lot of drugs, and felt I was falling deeper into a hole, and my relationship was suffering because of it. I was smoking a lot of pot, drinking almost a 1/5 a day, and dabbling into Meth, Crack, and Cocaine. I was really depressed and fucked up at the time…and didn‟t really give much of a hell about anything anymore. But then, one day everything changed! 8: Meeting Serendipity and the Dream Job While delivering pizza on any other given miserable day…I met HER, “serendipity”. I delivered a pizza to a normal household, but the husband who answered the door was wearing a “Sony 989 Sports” t-shirt. And I was like wow, so you work at Sony? And he said, “How‟d you know?” and I said….”Ummmm your shirt!” Bad he was like ohh yeah right…hahaha” So I tell him that I had applied there a few times and couldn‟t even get in the door. He said, yeah, it‟s really hard to get in there. He asked me what kind of position I was looking for, and I said I had a BFA in Computer Animation! ( Now get this, this is where serendipity happened ) He was like, “Huh, that‟s interesting because I think my wife‟s company is looking for some artistes and animators! So he shouts up the stairs, “Honey? Isn‟t your company looking to hire right now? And she says yeah, why? And the husbands says, “Well the pizza guy‟s gotta degree, and looking for a job. (This was my chance of a lifetime, so I said fuckit it and stepped in the door and said “How about an interview. She asked if I had a demo-reel, cover letter. I said yes! She said come on in on Weds…..she hired me on the spot! And that‟s how I got my dream jog making video-games for Sony. Getting my real job with Sony as a Computer Animator was a great job that I loved and took very seriously. I didn‟t drink at work and was very happy with my job and the experience I was gaining from such a high tech job. And it was fun!. I was there almost 6 years, and was making good money, but then Sony decided to down-size a few divisions and fired my whole company…all fuckin 66 of us. That‟s when things started going down hill with finances, my relationship, my drinking, and my health.. I was diagnosed with Cirrhosis of the liver in May 2006. Alida was great and did as much as she could, but I couldn‟t find another job, was out of money, and my health was deteriorating quickly. So we made the decision that is was best that I moved home to seek medical help! 9: A Very Bad Day May, 2006 That day had to be one of the worst days of my life! I was devastated, but also in denial too! The Doctors had warned me that I needed to cut down on my drinking, and I just didn‟t heed there warning. I thought Cirrhosis was something that old 70 year old drunks got. Not a seemingly healthy 38 year old. I was just in shock and denial, ESPECIALLY after the Doctors told me how bad my condition actually was: 4th Stage/End Stage Liver Cirrhosis.. With out a liver transplant, they said I could be dead within 1-2 years. I have a great set of friends and a great support system from my girlfriend and family. But many of my friends are in California or scattered all over the U.S., It has been hard to keep positive with my condition, when I feel VERY alone and stranded her in Pensacola. My physical activity is limited, I cant work and have been considered disabled, and going through multiple bullshit with Hospitals and insurance…. its just really hard to deal with this and stay positive. My Hepatic Encephelopothy ( which is a build up of ammonia and toxins in your brain, and can make you have depressive, anxiety mood disorder, among other things…doesn‟t help anything right now either.) The “silent killer” cirrhosis, attacks your whole body without you even knowing it for years sometimes. Your thinking abilities start to decrease and slow down, your muscles start to waste away and get weak, your appetite goes, and just your normal will of functioning starts to deplete and you just don‟t care as much about the things you once loved so dearly. UNLESS you have been through this shit, people cannot possibly even know what it feels like or what your body goes through with Cirrhosis. I have so many people tell me daily that I am strong and be positive, but THEY are not living the hell that I am right now. I can feel my body slowly dying and deteriorating to the disease, and without a new liver, there is not a lot I can do to stop it. I can try and exercise to a limit, I can try and eat the best I can, and I can take all 10 of my medications daily, but all of that isn‟t going to make me susceptible for some fuckin Hospitals Liver List. Its all a period of waiting. We shall see how much I can wait. What I cant do is make my beautiful girlfriend wait for me through all this shit in California, when my future is totally up in the air, if I can even get on a list, and if I will even have time to wait for a new liver before I expire. So she is seeing someone else. She still says I am the love of her life, but realistically she can‟t wait for me, and I don‟t blame her for that! I cant expect her to wait for me to get better, get a new job and move back out to California while she wait for me ( although I have done the same….waited, unlike her) It hurts so bad to know she is with and intimate with someone else, but what really piises me off if that she wasn‟t going to tell me unless I asked. And that hurts soo bad. I miss her greatly but I DO understand. I hope he treats her right, or I will Kill him. 2-17-07 I actually had a mad, impulsive epidode where I suspected that she was spending the weekend with this guy in Mexico. I had suspected she had been seeing someone, and I was very angry about a lot of things,INCLUDING RE-HAB and my Counselor. I was just very angry and felt invalidated about some things that had happened in Re-hab, and I fucking lost it! I packed up my car with some essentials of not really planning on returning. 2 3 gallon tanks of gasoline, my Ipod, Credit Card with still 7,000 to use, some pictures of my girlfriend (??) and also my new Bulgarian Makarov 9mm semi automatic, and I drove all the way back to Thomasville Georgiia to re-hab, to kill my Counselor Tom who said “I should be dead.” And to burn the whole place down. I was in such a distraught mental mode that I am glad a just checked into a cheap motel and got stoned as hell! I was serious as hell too though! I am so glad I thought about what I was really about to do, and just didn‟t! I didn‟t blow my head off that night either which had occurred to me! This kind of gives you an idea of my mind-set, disease, hepatic encepholopathy, and just pure depression and anxiety! This is what the basics of the rehab program I was in were teaching! Hope that helps……. The impact of addiction on my intimate life? Earlier on, I might have been a bit more confident with women and sex when not sober, but it wasn‟t always a factor. I mean gimme a break, sometimes I was a “2 pump chump” and on other occasions “I was THE MAN! Baby” But any guy that has ever told you he you he was always fly with the ladies, than he‟s lying or a virgin. A lot of the time, when I had a serious girlfriend, I would use alcohol as an excuse for not wanting to talk about serious relationship descisions, like marriage and kids. I would use partying as an excuse to NOT grow up yet. But now I have found my love, and am ready for those things if she will still have me after all this, or live long enough to actually make the commitment! I Love You Alida! You are my world! 10: The start of the decline..well My relationship with Alida didn‟t seem to get seriously impacted until I was diagnosed with Cirrhosis. I mean, we had had our ups and downs and break-ups, but this news just devastated me and our relationship. I was out of my mind in disbelief that a person of my age coud actually get this life threatening illness at 38 years old! My girlfriend partied, my friends all partied, but we were all active too with surfing, snowboarding, music, art, life, and just being stoked to be living in Southern California. I just couldn‟t fuckin believe it…especially when my doctor told me I had Stage-4 End Stage Cirrhosis! (Pretty much the worst stage of all) And that I might only have a year to live! So my life and my relationship, and job situation changed dramatically very quickly. Now I live at home with my parents, who are very caring and taking care of me the best they can. I am lucky to have them, they cant imagine to understand everything that is going on with me, but they are being pretty supportive and cool. This is a really stupid question from my “book”! What did alcohol or drugs allow you to do or be with your friends that you could not do or be sober? Umm, it was fun and were of age then and college, and parties and girls! Give me a brake it was the thing to todo, experimenting with drugs, sex, art, guitar! Geees….. We had a great time! Me and most of my friends were pretty hard working professsionsals by now and could finally enjoy our lifestyle. I knew a lot of bands and we were always booking bands for our huge birthday paties or other parties, and we just had a crew of friends that all had a good time. And most of my friends and aquaintences had good professional jobs, and we enjoyed partying. One time at one of my huge B-day bashes (2 bands, kegs, NHD famous hunch punch, and soon to be famous pot-brownies. Everybody was SOO ready for the brownies to be done that I cut them up and said “just have 1 sqaure at first” and come see me in an hour….everyone had 2-3 and were so fucked up in an hour that they thought I‟d put LSD in the brownies…..i just said “I told you they were good! Watch out”! I was the devil to some people for a few days! Hahahahahaha. But THAT‟S how much fun we had partying. Hell, I quit Prozac because of Mushrooms, and laughing and being with good friends one night!. We laughed so hard ( me, Hamster, Jeremy, Jake, Antonio, Hotta, and Jules.) I had bruises on my arms from Antonio grabbing me so hard and laughing. Then Hamster jumped up and started chasing a truck that he had 10 years ago! What a great night! The next morning I threw away my Prozac and decided to be happy “myself” Getting my job at Sony as an Animator really changed my life, but after getting fired, my self esteem seemed to plummet. The drinking and drugs were a part of many of our activities in many ways. We liked good foood, good restaraunts, partys, rock shows, etc. We all enjoyed having good jobs and started to enjoy some of the good life we couldn‟t afford before. I also had a fun crazy bunch of friends . And it all seemed fun and normal. Then my life turned into a dailey bottle of cheap vodka! It was so hard to cover up my pain physically and mentally, while putting on my fake suit everyday, and feeling terrible that my loving girlfriend was going to work everyday to pay the bills. I just couldn‟t handle it anymore and my health was deteriorating fast. I HAD to move home to P‟cola , FL. If I had stayed I would have surely died out there in some way or another….. My Dad said of course I could move home, and we would start to figure out my health issues from there. He pretty much flew out to San Diego, loaded all my shit into a rental truck, sent it on its way, then jumped in my car and was on his way. I only had a few days with Alida after that. And those days were so hard and emotional. I didn‟t want to leave, but I knew if I didn‟t I was a quick deadman with out proper treatment. She was very supportive but it kills me what I put her through leaving the way I did. She is the love of my life, and the best thing that has happened to me, and If I fuck this up, well then “I” fucked this up. My parents always knew I could be an artist and a good athlete, and still feel I could be if I make it through all of this. They knew I wasn‟t the straight A type like my brother, but my brother did always give me some wisdom that always stuck,” Don‟t ever talk shit or start a fight, but do your best to end it quickly while the motherfucker is trying to tell you what a badd-ass he is. And I have watched him do it on many occasions, with ill results for the other guy. I was really proud of him for that! “Never start it, but do your damndest to finish it.” My parents pretty much let me grow into my own person, making my own descisions and letting me be me. With my Dad in the Navy, we were always traveling the US and moving to different cities and I think that experience has made me more rounded and helped me enjoy the beauty of race and color all over the world. My parents always seemed to support me and kinda just let me grow into my own skin. They never forced me to become someone I didn‟t want to be. They where skeptical at first that I could make a living as an artist, but it was a great job and am hoping to go back into a similar field, but not until I am deemed healthy enough to work, and not be considered such a risk. Drugs made me better informed in my life, and I am glad I experienced and experimented with them, and figured out which ones were “good” in my book or bad. Pot and Alcohol always seemed to be my drugs of choice. They made me feel like I could handle them responsibly and not adversely affect my daily tasks of just living, working, friends, relationships. And I felt at the time that I was personally in control. I had a great job, my car was paid off, I had my own apartment with no roommates, a great girlfriend, and great friends in general.. The things that I used to belive alcohol or drugs could help me cope from were my daily everyday life, emotional stresses, having fun with friends. Real life, being on my own, paying all my own bills, and finally feel I was doing in real life. Taking trips across the world surfing and snowboarding, and seeing my life in different ways, perspectives, cultures, races,and cultural ways and differences. I guess I am using this twice since it is such a hard issue to deal with, and I am fucked up in the head now because of the disease and just being me and who I am. It is hard to relate to people that just don‟t understand what I am going though! They say, “ Just stay positive and strong, and you can make it through this. I don‟t think ANY of them have done any research on “End Stage Cirrhossis” and they really don‟t know what the fuck I am going through. They are all “healthy” in many ways, but I am not, so do some fuckin research before you give me advice on how I should feel or live! That shit really pisses me off, because I know I am loved by many friends, but they don‟t know shit about the disease, and even call me when they are all fucked up on booze, coke,or whatever, and try to tell me that I am gonna make it!……that shit just doesn‟t help! …Thanks “My Friends”. 11: Mayo was fun! So after I get back to Pcola a get a new Doc who has fun sticking camera‟s with directional appartatuses up my ass and down my throat. He figures I have mild internal hemmoraging and that my esphophageal varices are about to burst ( meaning drowning in my own blood) so he does a few espogeal bandings to control the blood flow and they seem to work OK. But he also recommends that I see a transplant center immediately to try and get my on the “transplant list” ASAP. That‟s where Mayo Cliic of Jacksonville comes in. Through a few pulled strings, I am set up with a barrage of internal and external tests….AND the first day they took blood, they took 25 tubes! I had cat scans, MRI‟s, Nuclear bone scanning, endoscopies, colonoscopys, you name it. And after 10 days they telll me I really need a new liver ( duhhhh). But the first step is to get me into a 30 treatmet plan, and then upon completing that I had a great chance of getting in the list. So I talk to some people at Mayo, and they recommend a place called “New Opportunities”, a treatmet center that Mayo would be more inclined to accept….wrong. That‟s another story! Side note: On a Sunday after a week of tests and appointments, I hooked up with my buddy Noz, and he offered to pay for me/us to go skydiving! I really needed a break, and hadn’t skydived in a looong time, so I was like “Hell Yeah!” So I met him about an hour away in Paltka,Fl and we took the dive! I wasn’t even scared at all, I was so stoked! I went tandem, but the guy let me pull the cord and navigate us to the ground. Noz jumped by himself, but went out of the plane with us, IT WAS AWESOME! I really needed that! 12: Almost 2 Months of hell for nothing! So me and Mom got home from Mayo with plans of starting treatment almost right away, to get it over with. But on about November 27th I fell off the wagon only a few days before treatment. Which was pretty normal for people going into rehab…one last binge. So whoops! New Opportunities is a treatment center based on the leanings and teachings of Albert Ellis. He invented the SMART ( self motivational and recovery training) also known as REBT ( Rational Emotive Behavioral Theory) which were very unlike the practices of AA and NA, where you feel powerless over your addiction and put it in God‟s hands to fix it. In this training we are all taught that “ We are fallible , fucked up human beings, who make mistakes” But those mistakes don‟t mean that we are bad people. 11-29-06 (Weds) Day 1: Trip to Thomasville We left P‟cola at about 9:ooam to drive to re-hab. I had only gotten about 3 hours of sleep, so I grabbed a blanket and pillow and slept in the back of the Tahoe while the parents delivered me to jail. I threw on my Ipod headphones and was lulled off to sleep with some “Slightly Stoopid. Side note: I woke up and had to pee reeaallly bad, and I was like “dad, can you pull over quick?, I really need to pee?” ( I meant on the side of the road) but dad pulled into a Burger King parking lot, but it was too late, I was already pissing on mysef and just jumped out and pee’d in front of everybody in the BK lot while they were enjoying their breakfast sandwiches. I couldn’t hold it anymore, and it felt soooo good to pee. I never would have made it through the restaurant to the bathroom, no way! So I peed all over the parking lot in my parents terror. Actually I thought Dad thought it was a little humorous. He was like”Couldn’t you have asked me to stop earlier?”…and I was like yeah, but I was totally passed out from my nap.” Sorry! Fucking Aldactone and Lasix: One minute I’m fine and the other I have to pee like a race horse. I changed in the back and we arrived at rehab around 12 or so….. When I got to new opportunities, the place was small, nice and clean, so they could cover up the evil that ran the place. I checked in, then checked in all my shit, like in jail. Then we went to my little room and everything was checked like jail also. While my main therapist talked to my family and told them the scoop. She told them to remove ALL alcohol from the house and to get rid of the dogs…cause if they scratched me, I could get a scratch from them and get a vermin infection that could fuck up my liver. Side note: Pensacola Beach02/?/07 I have so much anger and angst built up by now that I really feel I can seriously fuck up or kill someone. I was at my favoriteplace to play the other night “The Break” at Pensacola Beach, and this guy and his girlfriend, obvious not local were taking forever to shoot their fucking game of pool. So I grab a stick and roll it on the table to checked if it is straight and the girl starts bitchin at me that “their not done yet!’ And I just say, sorry, I was checking the stick. So the Navy/marine looking boyfriend comes over and says, “I suggest you move and let us finish our game.” And I said “Well if you would quit kissin on your girlfriend, maybe you would finish the game.” And he gets all in my face and says, “Don’t make me take you outta here!!” And I said , “I know the owners of this bar and we can all beat the shit of you out back!” So Finish your fucking game and get out of here or that big 6’7” son of bitch will have a field day before I get to you!” The prick left bichen, with his girlfriend bithen. And they were out! The girl HoneyBunnny that was playin at the table sais she thought I was gonna kill the guy!. I thought I was too! I was THAT fucking mad! My fuse has been getting shorter and shorter each day!. I bought a used Bulgarian Makarov 9mm Pistol, and have no fears of using it these days! That is scary! But it is where I am right now! Day 1 Cont: Mom was not very happy about the pet situation, and I;m sure Dad was not reall happy about getting rid of all the alcohol in the house. So after the paents left, the good doctor Chandler ( Hitlers Wife) extracted my whole history of drugs and alcohol, and everything inbetween, like my jobs, relationships, hobbies, goals, penis size…you name it. That was fun.! Then we had lunch! At around 8:pm after more Smart training classes, me and Allen and Tom ( hippie, freak, backstabbing counselor ) went to an NA meeting in downtown Kairo. Allen is the only other guy there with me now…just 2 of us. There were some funny quotes colorfully sharee at the NA meeting. (Let me see if I can remember a few!) (Big Black Guy): I finally said fuckit and started pulling the cottinout of my ears, and putting in my mouth so I could listen and shut the fuck up!” (Redneck White Guy ):”Shit man! Rehab damn sureisnt like it used to be where Momma would bring you ciggarrete and beer to my bed till I was “rehabbed”, shit man, this shit is all technological and shit now!” 11-30-06 Day 2: Thurs Had some SMART training and watched a DR. Ellis film, which was cool, then I had to fill out a 130 answer questionire of how fucked up my life was……… Rehab is “great”. Around 8:00 pm Tom took us off premesis to one of there SMART meetings/discussions…which was total Chaos, in which “uncle Jimmmy filled us in that he had gotten a DUI over the weekend and 3 days in jail . Jimmy is about 60 and had about 6 DUI‟s . He said he got pulled over for about 4 beers cuz he was crossin the line ( and you know how those can get, if yer dragging a boat) so a State Tropper stopped him…and I guess he filed the test.. He was in jail for 3 dyas ans had some funny stories about rock hard pancakes and cold butter, and no silverware to eat it with. And also said while trying to go to bed a big black guy offered him a pill that would help him sleep. (We all know what that means) He also said his wife is gonna kill-em..so he said he is pretty sure he is fucked. He‟s facing jailtime and a divorce. Then you have Boomhauer (From King of the Hill), he is a recovering addict, but also with a brain injury, stemmerin and utterin his words, but is I real nice guy, kept sayin “ Jimmmmy, mamamn, ya,ya,your going to the Big House thid time.!” You fucked up! Then you have Bob who is a really nice guy, but with a problem with painkillers. Bob has been charged with 96 felonies for every pill he took, and faces up to 500 years in prison! At lest he‟s got a good attitude about it. Bob‟s a nice guy! Side note” I love and Miss you so much Alida!” This sucks! Side note: March1,2007, I went to seee me Doctor today, and since my little Thomasville escape where is was going to murder the counselor and then burn the place down, he found Marijuana and Alcohol elelvations in my system…so now my 6 months of sobriety went down the drain and I have to start again on Feb 7th. I am soo stupid! My parents want to kill me, Alida probably wants to kill me and I AND I have to make a choice or kill my seft! What sucks is I don’t care anymore. I am going to have to start going to a physchiatrist. And my doctor is checking on a drug called “Anabuse” where if I drink I will become violently ill…but he is not sure my liver can handle it! I’m having a real hard time with this. Day 3; Friday 12-1-06 LACTULOSE SUCKS! Today sucked Ispent half the day on my frretime SHITTING blood out my ass like a girl would pee. Somethings not right, AND my cabin mate Matt bailed out on mt today after just 7 days, and had Daddy come pick him up. Now I am the only freakin patientherein this whole fuckin place. Allen was pretty cool, but must be pretty spoiled if Daddy will come bail him out of here and afford to wastee 14,00$$. I am really just pissed, depressed, and emotional. And I am pissing blood out my asss alont with having to take a regimen of 10 other pills aday, is really starting to fuck me up. When in fact these pills are supposed to help me…I don‟t even know what is up and dowm anymore. Today just sucks..period..I feel like shit! 12-2-06 Day 4 Sat: Had too go to a DUI (Risk Management) all day from 8-4 1st break we were outside: Some homeless person and comes up to me and says, “ Hey friend, I‟m a Katrina Victem, can you spare a buck?” I say “ Wow, I‟m sorry, from the Hurricane?” And he says, “ No, my wife Katrina just kicked me out!” Man, I wanted to beat hs ass if that shit wasn‟t so funyy! The DUI class was long, but informatative, but again the Lactulose was making me beed like a pig eveytime I went to the bathroom. I spent almost every break in the bathroom, just trying to get through class. I shit 13 times bloody on Frisay, and about 12 on Saturday. So my body was just worn out and getting ill. So the good counselors let me sleep in and rest. ( They wernt sure what was going on with me yet.) I called Alida and left her a message saying I loved and missed her dearly and apologizes for being an assshole, and that I wasn‟t feeling well, and was stresses and hope she could understand. 12-3-06 Day 5 Sunday: Went to the 2nd part of the DUI class again from 8-4. What sucks is I am not even here for a DUI but still have to go to the 30 hour class anyway, while I am pissing blood out of my ass everytime I go to the bathroom. We did learn a lot in conjunction with the SMART and REBT Therapy we were already learning. Later on that night we went off prmisis to an AA meeting, and it was one of the most excruciating hours I have had to deal with. 12 Step is not for me! They place too many of their problems in Gods hands which I think is a cop-out and feel they are cheating themselves of “real” scientific therapy. I came up with a new slogan for AADrones: AA: Gods Doormats AA: 12 Steps to Gods Doormat I couldn‟t wait to get out of there! We came home, and lights out at 11:pm 12-4-06 Day6: Monday I finally got ahold of Alida tonight on the goddamn jail phone! It was so great to hear her voice. I Love Her soo much! Today after breakfast we went over the 8 Major classes of drugs, their street names, physical symptoms, look fors, and dangers! ( I passed this section with flying colors!) Facts: Population of the USA: 280 Million 140 Million use drugs or alcohol regularely 70 Million abuse drugs or alcohol 28 million are dependent or addicted 8 Major Classes of Drugs: 1: Alcohol: booze, beer liquor, wine (Dangers: addiction, accidents, overdose when mixed with other drugs or depressants, heart damge, Liver Cirrhosis ) 2: Cocaine: coke, rock, crack, blow, base ( Dangers: heart attack, addiction, lung damge, seizures, paranoia) 3: Marijuana: pot, weed, chronic, mexi, bullrider, blueberries, Maui Wowie, tia, bubblegum, hahahahaha…and the list goes on! (Dangers: getting too stoned, impaired short term memory, feeling good…) 4:Hallucinegens: acid, schrooms, peyote, X, mesculine, PCP..weeeeeeeeee 5: Inhalilents: gasoline, aerosols, glue, paint, ether. Sounds like “Fear and Loathing in Las Veges……weeeeeee 6: Narcotics: opium, herion, demoral, dilladuds, morphine, codien, percoset, methadone. 7:Stimulents: speed, uppers, cranck, ice, bam, dexi‟s, caffien, nicotine, cocaine, crack, or meth. 8: Depressants: sedatives, hypnotics, sleeping pills, barbiturate, tranqualizers, ludes, valium, Librium, alcohol, muscle relaxers….. side note: this chart or list is for the uninformed drug addict! Rebuilding a Dream by Doctor Kenneth Moses ( This was a nice little viedeo we watched the day before I almost bled to death, but we‟ll get back to that!) Greivous Loss: Learn how to deal with grievousness and anxiety! Grieving is part of growth Grieving: denial, anxiety, guilt, depression, anger You cant grow unless you grieve! Grieving is the process whereby an individual separates from a lost dream from the future. The only thing we can lose in this life is a dream. Acceppting the legitimacy of denial so you can move on to anxiety so you can start dealing with with it. FEEL the anxiety, then accecpt the event can be changed! Learn: Unconditional Self Acceptance: USA Learn: Unconditional Others Acceptance: UOA Now back to the fun stuff! 12-5-06 Day 7: Tues Got up feeling a bit ill and weak, and irritated because of all the Lactulose and all the shitting of blood! After class, where I supposedly went off on my fucked up counselor Tom who likes to read you songs he‟s written and tell you about his days in the 60‟s, and his childhood, over and over again. I told him, “ I don‟t feel welll, I am sick of hearing yours songs and your stories, and would rather stick to the rehab “learning” plan.” (That pissed him off, so I got a bad write up for that.) So after lunch I went to my room to lie down, and of course “piss blood”. I bled a lot this time and was getting concerned, so I told Tom and Shirley ( another backstabbing counselor ) that I was shitting a lot of blood and felt I needed to go to the hospital. So we went to the ER where I waited for two hours to see anyone, and once I did, they took blood and realized I had lost almost half my blood and could have died.!!!!!! The Docs said my Hemoglobin was dangerously low and that I needed immediate transfusions. So I finally got sent up to a room around 12 or 1 ( we had gotten there about 4pm ). And they immediately started pumping me with Fresh Frozen Plazma ( FFP ) 12-6-06 Day 8 Night They started the transfusions, and each pint of blood or plazma, slowly took 3 hours apiece to empty.. And I had to have 4 pints transfused that night. So overall it took about 14 hours to get the transfusions. So I didn‟t sleep that night at all, because every 15 minutes someone was coming in to take my blood pressure and temp, and every hour someone was comin to take/check my blood levels. So by about 2 in the afternoon, they said I would be released, as soon as the last pint went in! GREAT! When I got out of the hospital, I was very tired and frustrated and sore ( from an IV and about 14 blood tests ) and nauseeus and had a headache, so I just wanted to get out of there. I basically spent 26 awake in the hospital AND missed a day and a half of rehab/jail. I felt like hell so they said I could rest and wouldn‟t have to go to class or NA that night…( Oh, how fucking nice of them.!) The Doctors said if I didn‟t go to the hospital I could have bled to death! At the hospital I had 4 pints of blood, 4 units of FFP, A VitaminK booster in the stomach, and IV, multiple blood drawings, a Flu shot, and a Pnumonia shot….and TERRIBLE low sodium food ( because of my disease ) It was real fun! It was nice to go back to my little dorm room and get a good nap in with my fan and relax, and not have anybody fucking with me. I got up for a while and watched “Born on the Forth of July. I met the other Amanda who seemed real nice too, but didn‟t realize it was her last day…so never saw her again. She was smart leaving. So I grabbed some herb chamomile tea, took my pill ( Ambien CR) and went back to bed…I was still wiped out. 12-7-06 Day 9: Thurs Today was an OK day, but my body still feel like shit. I am still soar from the hospital, and just feel ill and havnt had an appetite. ( Still shitting blood ) Mayo fucked up today. I hadn‟t called or told my Mom that I was in the hospital cause I didn‟t want to freak her out, cause they probably would have jumped in the car and come right up. But Tita from Mayo didn‟t know that I didntwant my parents to know I was in the hospital and “slipped” and told my Mom while they were talking about other Mayo stuff. Mom freaked, but by then I was already out and back at re-hell! Went through a little of the book, took a break, shit blood, napped a little, had my next class, then finished, shit blood, napped……all my freeetime is spent shitting blood or napping. I am in pain, my body is in pain, and its really hard to keep a positive attitude or outlook when I feel like I am slowly dying here in re- hab! And If I keep bleeding they are going to have to put me back in the hospital while I am TRYING to get through re-hab…this sucks! IF I don‟t get a positive report, Mayo will DEF not put me on the list, and I will die. And even if I do get a good report, it still doesn‟t guarantee that I get on the list. So I die. And if I DO get on the list, there is no guarantee that I would live long enough to get a liver…and die! I know that doesn‟t sound positive or sound like a good attitude, BUT IT IS REALITY I must face. Hopefully tomorrow will be a better day. 8-12-06 Day 10: Friday Had a bit of French Toast fot breakfast then classes till lunch. I still don‟t have much of an appetite and my insides have been hurting. My organs just arnt working right. I am in some sort of pain everyday it seems. I really need a new liver ASAP or I feel I might not make it another 6 months. And I still have to make it through 20 more days of re-hab, then just HOPE to get on the transplant list….then wait for who knows how long just to get a liver. I am scared, but not really scared of dying, but just being able to make it through the daily pains. My quality of life has deteriorated very quickly and I don‟t know if I am going to be strong enough to pull this off! I am doing the best I can, but the Doc‟s say my liver is shot, with no hope of getting better or regenerating. They say a transplant is the only option I have, or I will die within about a year. There are sooo many things I still want to do with my life, but I fucked up, didn‟t listen, and now I am paying the price. “But there is nothing you can do about the past” Albert Ellis 12-9-06 Day 11: Saturday Had breakfast, then morning classes, then went to the bathroom and shit so much blood that I almost passed out on the toilet. I was waek and felt fever chills, and just felt ill in general. Shirley asked me if I had bled again ( because I was pale and didn‟t look so good) , And I said “ Yes, A LOT, I almost passed ou in the bathroom! So we went back to the ER and checked back into the hospital. It only took me about 9 hours to get arooom this time. That night they gave me 4 bags of FFP ( which take about 1 ½ hours to go in while they checked my my vitals and blood levels.) So AGAIN I got zero sleep because every half hour a nurse was checking something…and I had a SPLITTTING headache for about 12 hours and that they said they couldn‟t give me anything for because of my Liver…..so no pain medication at all..FUCK! 12-10-06 Day 12: Sunday After all the blood and plazma, the Doc‟s said my hemaglobinwas still too low, so they were gonna give me 2 more pints of blood. Which took 6 more hours, and this time my parents were planning to come up and see my in re-hab anyway, but they got to see me all fucked up in the hospital. I had almost no sleep and still the splitting head ache. And the docs said they were keeping me overnight to monitor my levels, and if they were OK they would release me in the morning. Funny thing is…I was attatched to this IV pump to pump the blood and plasma in me, and everytime I would go to the bathroom it was like, “Well there goes half that pint in the toilet!” What a nightmare the 5th floor was! That night 2 people died and other patients were yelling and screaming for nurses or help or people who wernt even there. It was like a fucking psycho-ward. They finally took me off all the machines and “unplugged” me after the final blood and plazma went in and I slipped an Ambien CR that I had brought, and finally got about 4 hours of sleep, after not sleeping for about 24 hours….. Before that though, I called my Dad because re-hab said I couldn‟t come back until I was “fixed” because of liability, and he called Mayo and told them what was up ( because I was STILL bleeding) but stable now enough to make the trip. So they said bring him into Mayo ASAP! So in the morning they let me out of the psych ward and my Dad picked me up and took me straight to Mayo. I was feeling OK, but a little weak and exhausted from lack of sleep, but overall, was so happy to get out of that fuckin hospital and into Mayo, who I felt I could trust. Again that‟s another story…… Chapter 13: My Stay at Hotel Mayo 12-11-06 Day 13: Monday I was released and Mayo said to get over there ASAP for my bleeding problem. So Dad had to jump back in the car after driving up on Sun. and scooped me up and took me to Mayo. So we headed right to Mayo and went directly to the ER to check in since it was late. They took some blood and vitals, did a workup and checked my levels, which I guess were still safe enough, so they released me and made me appointmentsfor the next day and released me. So I finally got to a hotel with my Dad and chill, watch a little TV and then went to bed and finally got some REAL sleep for once in 3 days. 12-12-06 Day 14: Tuesday Tita called at 8:30 and had a full appointment schedule already for me. Went in and did blood-work at 9:30am, then met with Tita again after looking at my bloodwork and said that my MELD score was dangererously high at about 21-23 and that I was in pretty bad shape and knew I wasn‟t on the list yet and was supposed to be in re-hab! They scheduled me for a colonoscopy and endoscopy the next day. So I had to flush my system, so spent about 3-4 hours on and off the toilet that night, then went to bed. I couldn‟t eat anything either until after the procedure. So I was feeling pretty weak, and still mildly bleeding. But again, at least I got to sleep in a nice bed in peace, with no-one fucking with me. 12-13-06 Day 15: Wedsnday Wedsnday morning I went in early and got prepped with 4 bags of FFP before my procedure, that took about 4 hours. After sticking the tube up my butt and down my throat ( which was no big deal, cause this was only 5th or 6th time I‟ve had a colonospcopy and endosocopy, fun!) After the procedure I was all looped but only had about a 3 hour window to eat after fasting all night because they wanted me to “fast” again for more lab-work tommorrow, but I was tooo whacked to eat so I went to bed. 12-14-06 Day 16: Thursday. Went in early to re-look at labs and the Doc said my numbers were still whacked and that I required more blood and assessment. So off to the ER I went again and they gave me some more plazma, and then was finally admitted, got a room and bed, then they started pumping more Fresh Frozen Plama and blood into me. The Doctors were still clueless why I was still bleeding so much out of my ass. I just kept bleeding, not clotting, and pretty much wasting blood shitting it out everytime I went. ( I‟m not talking a few drops here, I am talking blood squirting out of my ass like I was peeing!) It was crazy! So here I sit in another hospital bed again with the Doc‟s not sure what to do with me. It was really frustrating, and now I was laid up in another hospital, MAYO, I felt a lot better being here than the physchoward at Thomasville, but after just STILL getting pumped with blood non-stop and plazma, and being poked and checked again every 30 minutes, with STILL getting nothing done or any descisions made, I was losing my faith in the almighty Mayo. The dailey/nightly calls to Alida were lifesavers! She really kept me going and tryied to keep me positive. I missed her and love her sooo much! 12-15-06 Day 17: Friday The Docs did a few X-Rays and a nuclear blood coading scan, and they still cant find anything except for internal hemmroids. I have told them many times that I have bled before from the internal hemmroids, and maybe NOW since I have Cirrhosis, couldn‟t that be why I am bleeding so much more? And they were giving me 3 doses of Lactulose a day ( which is supposed to stabilize my Hepatic Encepholopathy BUT also makes you shit about 10-12 times a day, where I would bleed everytime!) Could THAT maybe be the problem? Jesus Christ! Stupid fuckin Doctors were all avoiding me and just saying, “His levels are still low, give him more blood and plazma.” So they pump me up with more FFP and blood and let me lie there with no treatment plan decided on! FUCK! I am slowly dying everyday in the hands of someone else. I would rather just have them release me, take care of a few things, and just DIE at home with my family and Alida at my side! My will to live is running thin! 12-16-06 Day 18: Saturday I did nothing today but lay in bed, get more blood and plazma, and shit blood inbetween! I have had approximately: 30 bags of Frsh Frozen Plazma 12-16 Units of blood 6 IV‟s 20 blood work-ups 5 shots 10 digitals ( finger up the ass ) 1 nuclear blood scan 3 sets of X-rays ansd about 1000 blood pressure and temperature checks. And sleep…….? 12-17-06 Day 19: Sunday Sunday, not much happened again. The doctors are still scratching their heads on what to do with me. Hopefully a friend BC ( Head Anestisisist) at Mayo Transplant will talk to the liver board today and alert them to the current situation. Until then, it looks like more of the same. Wake up, vitals, questions, and prep for 4 more bags of Plazma, take blood, vitals every half an hour, check levels again, then 2 more bags of red blood before TRYING to go to bed! And that‟s exactctly what happened! 12-18-06 Day 20: Monday Had a “main” doctor come in and try to figure out what to do with me. ( Nobody want to touch me because I am bleeding so bad and not clotting, so they are scared to do surgery for fear of me bleeding to death.) SO? He still says my levels are‟nt safe, and he needs to consult with with other doc‟s. Until then “keep pumping.” So I wait for them to find 4-6 more fresh frozen plazma‟s. I get those in 6 hours later, then go right to the bathroom again and piss half of it out my ass. They will be giving me 2 more bags of blood, then check my levels again. And the cycle goes on and on again with no improvement. I‟m getting real sick of being in this fucking bed hooked up to an IV , getting pricked and prodded, being pumped with blood and plazama, and shitting blood out of my ass everytime I go to the bathroom. And doctors either ignoring me or scratching their head! I‟ve been in the hospital 3 times now, and have been here at Mayo for over a week now! I wish they would just quit wasting blood and plazma on me if they are not going to DO anything and let me just bleed-out and die. I am really losing my will to live when I feel like I am dying slowly everyday. ( tears ) I really cant handle much more of this anymore. My parents have been driving 6 hours separately and taking shifts sitting with me while I lye in bed, but there really isn‟t much they can do for me but wait, then go back to a hotel. They are even amazed that the doctors havnt done anything and are starting to get really pissed also. I am so weak and bloated that they or a nurse has to help me out of bed to get to the bathroom. I really don‟t want Alida to see me like this! ( tears ) She is flying out Christmas Day and I sure as hell don‟t want to spend it in this fucking bed. I want to see her soo bad but NOT like this! 12-19-06 Day 21: Tuesday Today was the first day I didn‟t get any plazma or blood. My levels are still off, but I guess stable enough to not. I dunno, nothing happened today, like I was abandoned. I just laid in bed and got up and shit blood 8-10 times! I guess my levels will change dramatically again now. 12-20-06 Day 22: Wednsday Was seen by a Dr. Cooper today in the morning and then consulted with an Internal Medicine doctor, Dr. Chua later on. We discussed some things to “fix” me if only temporarirly to stop the bleeding. So they came back like they had made a descision and that I would have “something” done today. They put me on no food/no drink diet and even shoved a nicesniper sized laxative bullet up my ass. Fun! So I wait and wait for 6 hours for them to take me down to surgery, but no word. They never came. Getting ansy and pissed now! Then a nurse gets a call saying NO, sorry, they‟re not going to do anything today, with NO explanation! So what the fuck are they gonna do with me? They didn‟t even come back and tell me why. So just let me lay in this fucking bed for another week? Who cares. I am soo over this shit! I had called Alida and told her that they were finally going to do something! Now? No clue THIS IS BULLSHIT! Just let me lay here and die! ( newsbreak) Late last night at 11:30 they decided to start me on 6 bags of FFP and then 2 more bags of red blood. So no sleep for me. The last bag of blood finished at 9:45 am the next morning.They are going to watch my levels and try to stabilize me, if so, they are going to try a procedure to stop the blood. So we will see what happens. 12-21-06 Day 23: Thursday So in the morning I wait and wait somemore thinking they are going to do something. Then I got the word, “ Maybe tomorrow.” Fucking great! This place is driving me nuts! I cant even talk on the phone without bursting into tears! I am so depressed and emotional, and have been dealing with so much anxiety! I‟m losin it! 12-22-06 Day 24: Friday Dr. Chua woke me up at 8:00am and said they decided to try a basic internal hemmerroid procedure to try and stop the bleeding at 10:30. I was stoked they were finally going to DO something. So they started me on FFP. They put in 3 then prepped me for the surgery. I laid there waiting in the prep room for a few hours, they gave me a mild sedative to relax me a bit, then they finally took me into they O.R. They put something in my IV, then put the mask on me and I was OUT! The last thing I remember is laughing that they were putting me up in stirrups like I was having a baby. They did their thing, HELL they could have done anything and I wouldn‟t have known, because I woke up all wasted and my ass was soar. They took me back to the room and I was lit, a big black guy nurse had to help me into bed…I was looped! Then I was informed that I couldn‟t eat for 2 days, just sips of water and hard candy. AND by then I was hungry, uuuuggghhh. Fuck, guess the stitches need to heal for a few days. 12-23-06 Day 25: Saturday Its my 11th day in the hospital, this sucks, BUT I have already had 5 watery and runny bowel movements, BUT with no blood. So that‟s good news. And my blood levels are the best they‟ve been since I checked in. So tomorrow I am hoping to get to eat and also maybe try and get released for Christmas! We shall see what the docs decide to do. I pray I don‟t bleed anymore so they will let me the hell outta here! Alida is coming in 2 days, and I don‟t want to still be laying in this damn bed. We shall see. 12-24-06 Christmas Eve Day 26: Sunday I‟M OUTTA HERE! I‟M FREE Alida is coming tomorrow! I‟m so excited she is coming and I wont be in the hospital. My parents are getting us a hotel because the doctors wanted me to stay close ( if they were gonna let me out ) ,so if anything “bad” happened I would be close and could come back in quickly. That was fine with me. I woke up to Dr. Mufatsu at 7:30am. He said things were looking good and would be back with the IMED team to make a descision. They ALL came into the room around 9:30 and asked if I wanted to go home? I SAID “HELL YEAH!” Thank You! So me and Mom checked into a hotel, and I get to go pick up Alida tomorrow. The docs wanted me to stay stay close for a couple of days so I could come in for some blood tests on Tuesday after Christmas so they could check my levels and make sure I was stable. I was just soo stoked to be out of the hospital and have my own hotel bed without anybody fucking with me, giving more blood, changing IV holes, etc. AND being able to spend a few days with Alida, with some privacy. I cant wait to snuggle with my baby! It is SOO good to be out of the hospital! Ahhhhhhh! 12-25-06 Xmas Day Me and Mom checked into a HoJo‟s yesterday, and Dad and my sister Susan were driving out so we could all( almost) be together for Christmas; in a Howard Johnsons, hell, at least I was out of the hospital, I didn‟t care where we were, just not that fuckin hospital bed with IV‟s sticking out of me! Anyway, they showed up around 1 or 2pm and we opened some gifts, ate some candy and spent some family-time together. Then a little later me and dad headed for the airport to pick up Alida ( she proboboly wouldn‟t have come right at X-mas, but her Mom who is a 20 year veterend nurse said if they couldn‟t stop my bleeding I was going to die). So she came out as soon as she could, bless her beautiful heart! God, I love her! So my Mom set us up with our own room, because they were all leaving tomorrow, and I had to stay in town close to the hospital in case of and emergency bleed. So I surprised Alida at the airport ( because she thought I might still be in the hospital) and it was so great to see her, kiss her, hug her…… So then we all ( get this) went to X-mas dinner at the Waffle House! It was pretty classic, and Alida got to witness some Naile family shenanigans. We ate, drove back to the hotel all full and pretty much all went to bed. Merrry Christmas! Hahaha…I am just glad Alida and my family were all there, except my brother, to enjoy X-mas OUT of the hospital. 12-26-06 Day 28: Tuesday My parents and sister left in the morning around 10 and me and Alida have a room to ourselves until she leaves on New Years Eve. I Love her more than anything still, and I cant believe she sacrificed her Christmas to fly out and be with me. I know she loves me, but I am realizing how much now, and realizing how much really do love her…It took my dumbass long enough! (tears)! I went back to the hospital that day for a blood test to check my levels to see if they were still holding..and they were, so that is good news. Afterwards me and Alida both went back to the hospital and dropped off some chocolates for a few of the nurses who were really good to me, and then we went to the beach and I showed Alida around Jax Beach a bit then we went to Waves Surfshop and Alida bought me 3 T-shirts, because I only had like 2 in the hospital, along with my nice hospital gown…I love those. So I got a couple of coll No Fear shirts and a classic old school Tony Hawk shirt! Then we drove back and grabbed some Chinese food to-go and went back to the room and chilled and snuggled. It was so nice to have her next to me again. Watched a little TV then went to bed. 12-27-06 Day 29: Wedsnday Tita, from Mayo called me in the morning and “popped” me with a surprise blood/drug/alcohol test. I might still have a little THC in my blood, but its been over a month since I smoked, but with my condition the doctors AND my counselor Shirely, said since my liver isn‟t processing properly, that I could test positive for a few months, but other than that I have been totally clean. So Tita said when can you come in ( cause if you say, “Uughhh, can I come in in a few days?” You are pretty much busted, or it looks that way) so I said I could come in RIGHT NOW! Alida was in the shower and I told her I had to go in for a “pop” blood test and would be right back. I was back within about 45 minutes. I wasn‟t worried because I knew I hadn‟t used since before rehab. Then me and Alida for the first time since high school went bowling…SOBER! We had a blast, but I guess I was still pretty weak from the hospital and actually busted my ass a few times and even landed on one of those kid guards that stick up out of the lane so the ball wouldn‟t go in the gutter. Man that fuckin hurt, and I had a huge bruise on my ass and hip for weeks! But we had a great time anyway, then we did a little shopping, shaved my nappy head, checked the internet, then napped a bit. Then we got some Lasagne, salad, and a piece of killer cheesecake, then kicked back, watched some TV and went to bed. We were wiped out. It was a good day though! 12-28-06 Day 30: Thursday We had a pretty mellow day today. We hung out, played some yatzee, watched some TV, went and got a late lunch at TGIFridays, brought some food back to the hotel and chilled. We played some more yatzee, watched a little TV, then went to bed…we snuggled a bit and then we made some much needed love! It was nice ( about 6 months nice ) ahhhhh…I even gave her a much needed orgasm! Then we slept real good. 12-29-06 Day 31: Friday Woke up, got some breakfast in bed for Alida. ( Brought hr 2 coffees, some froot loops, a muffin and a boiled egg…yuck for me in the morning, the boiled egg) I had some teae and some froot loops..i was all good! We then headed for St. Augustine for a tourist day for Alida. She really enjoyed it more than I thought she would. I was really happy she enjoyed it so much, and we got some pretty cool pictures. We came back after a day of tourist stuff, but also both got great Rueben Sandwiches in Old Towne St. A. We came back and watched some “Mind of Mencia” on my little portable DVD player. HE is a funny-ass motherfucker! We hen chilled, snuggled and went to bed. 12-30-06 Day 32: Saturday We didn‟t do much on Saturday. It was a pretty mellow day and night. Alida had to leave early the next morning and we were both pretty emotional. It was a good stay, but I was sad to see her leave. She is soo good to me and I really do love her so much. She is my world! I don‟t deserve her…. 12-31-06 Day 32: Sunday I dropped off Alida on Sunday morning at 6am at the airport and then went back to the hotel and packed, cleaned up, and then headed back to Pensacola for a quick 1 ½ days to take care of some things and just slept in and take a break.. I didn‟t go out or anything for the first time in many yers for New Years Eve, and it was kinda weird, but I knew I had to go straight back to rehab and they would drug test me as soon as I got there. I had urges to go out and get all fucked up, but I knew I coulnt. Re-hab is a bithch. But at least I am out of the hospital and can hopefully finish up re-hab and fucking go home. This shit is killing me! I have so much depression and angst that I really almost had to lock myself in my room with a movie, so I wouldn‟t go out and get stitfaced. I‟m very stressed about my condition, and it is really hard to keep positive. It was great seeing Alida and my family, but it really still doesn‟t help my END STAGE CIRRHOSIS! There is really nothing I can do from the disease progressing except taking mt pills and NOT drinking. But it is SOO hard when you are waiting to get on “the list”. New Years Day 2007 Day 33: Monday New Years Day. Big Deal! Slept in, caught up on some computer stuff, played a little PS2, had a great dinner, then packed back up for Re-hab. Chapter 14: Back to unknown re-hab hell! 3 weeks 1-2-07 Day1: Tuesday I drove my own car back to rehab to finish the rest of the 3 weeks that I missed while being in the hospital. The place hadn‟t changed much except for loosing the cool cook ( very cool motherly black woman ) and also the cool cleaning girl ( another very cool black girl who cleaned ours rooms, did our laundry, and just kept everything tidy without complaining) There should have been 2 counselors who were Axed instead of those awesome women! There were 2 new people there. One is a girl who likes pills too much, and the other guy has a bad coke problem and smokes a litte pot…woooooo! But he is trying to save his marriage. I got there about half day, so I missed most of the classes, but we did go to a SMART meeting that went well as possible. Then we got back , and I went down to the “Movie Lounge” ( where they only have movies about drugs and recovery and stuff) and I popped in “Philidelphia” and watched about half of it then went to bed…I was tard! 1-3-07 Day 2: Wedsnday Today, Shirley( the head counselor, lyer) did a piss test on me and informed me after lunch that I had faileded ( positive for THC) which I hadn‟t touched in over 2 months. I denied it, but she said that if I was lying to her, that it was grounds for removal, failing me, and sending me home! Meaning a BAD rehab report and almost definitely not getting on the transplant list. I asked Shirley, “Didn‟t you say that if I was a dailey smoker AND with my liver not working right, that the THC could show up as long as 2 or more months?” And she said , “No, It should be out of your system within about a month!” hhmmmm…LIE I also showed “Backstabbing Tom and Squirrley Shirley” how much of the SMART rehab manual assighnments that I had done while in the hospital, and they didn‟t even seem impressed! They just said “That is more of Rhonda‟s deal with the book…” SO WHAT THE FUCK DO THEY DO? I finally met Rhonda, who had Pnumonia while is was in rehad and then in the hospital, and she was back, thank goodness, and was really cool to me, and couldn‟t believe how much work I had accomplished in the workbook while in the hospital. I told her what Tom and Shirley had said, and she said there were many “issues” with this place ( that her step daughter, Amanda, the night girl warned me about) and we would talk about that later! I was also told later that Shirley wasn‟t going tomake any special heating adjustments just for me anymore now that there is someone else here and another guy showing up! ( I have FUCKING Cirrhosis and my temperature gauge doesn‟t work very well anymore, and I am colder than most people.) It was freezeing in those rooms, and me and my new cabinmate looked at the “locked” temperature guage, and it was set at 65 degrees instead of at least 72. Its freaking January and 40 outside for Christssake!. So my new rommie Hardy told her it was set at 65 and he was cold too…so she sets it at 72 so he can be comfortable. Loooks like they are already trying to get rid of me, but they don‟t want to give me/Dad a refund of about 9000.00$ so I guess they will try and keep me around a little longer, with their hidden agenda! ( We‟ll get to that!) This place is fuct! 1-4-07 Day 3: Thursday Had a long day, but a good day doing classes and going over assignments with Rhonda, and am getting along good with Hardy ( the coke addict ) who is really a very cool guy, and with Laura ( the pill popper) who has already been very motherly to me since they found out about my situation and what I went through. And Rhonda is really cool and upbeat, and is shocked at how much of the SMART manual I actually completed while in the hospital…she was very impressed and said I was almost past what the new guys had done, so at least I got a little validity on all the work I had done while lying in the hospital. Leter that night me and Amanda wched “The Omen” and she said I coulnt puss out on her, because she HAD to have somebody wath it with her. It was good. Amanda is a little skiddish though, but very cool and sweet! She‟s really been a good friend from the beginning ( and warned me about Toms backstabbing ways.) Side note” We are responsible for out own behavior. Be patient with yourself, practice and be persistent. ( the 3 “P’s”) STOP and THINK before you react. Try to catch yourself saying the evil “Absolutes” I cant stand… I should.. I must… I have to.. It‟s not fair… I always.. I ought to.. I cant… This is terrible This is awful I need Forever All Nothing 4 Focuses of SMART Recovery 1: Enhance and maintain motivation to Abstain and/or change your behavior. 2: Coping with urges 3: Manage thoughts , feelings and behavior. 4: Balance in life short term and long term satisfaction in life! 1-5-07 Day4: Friday Today was a pretty good day. I got a lot more done, and had my “Anger Mangement” assessment meeting today with Rhonda ( the cool, trustable counselor) and she said that I got the best score out of the whole group. ( Even though I was going through all this shit). She says I am doing great, especiallially for my “condition/disease” Had dinner, then our Friday weekly SMART online chat meeting on campus. I had called my beautiful Alida earlier in the day on the “jail phone” to say hi, and was hoping to call her tonight, but Hardy was on the fuckin phone with his wife for 40 minutes, so I didn‟t get to call because we cant call after 10:pm ( this place is driving me fucking crazy) . The learning is good, but the counselors and the program and rules SUCK! I need to write Alida a letter, because there are so many personal things I need to tell her, but I get so emotional, and its hard to say what I want to say on the “jail phone” with soo many unwanting ears listening. It is so frustrating having to call or be called only at certain times….no priviacy! I love her so much! She is my world, helping to try and keep me sane so I don‟t “off‟ myself…so to speak. 1-6-07 Day 5: Saturday Got to sleep in a bit today till 9am. I met Joni, a part time counselor who works 1-2 weekends a month. She was nice, but it doesent do much good if you NEED counseling dailey in this fuckin physcho ward! We had a pretty good session, which was mostly her getting to know me and my “condition”. Then we worked on one of my last official assignments from the SMART course manual. I only have a few left. I am soo glad I took the book to the hospital with me, because I really did get A LOT of the assignments done and am pretty much ahead of schedule, with still 2 weeks to go. I am learning a lot, but still cant wait to get the fuck out of here and move to the next step of hopefully getting on the “list”. I called my beautiful Alida today, and am so glad I glad I did. She was having a bad emotional day, and she said she really needed to hear my voice, and that she loved and missed me! And I felt the same. It made my day for her to say that. I think after seeing each other after X-mas, we both started to really realize how much we really do love and care about each other. And I am finally realizing how hard this is for her too. And how much our being apart is really affecting our lives and relationship. I feel so stuck here ( Re-hab) and will still afterwards after getting out because we are still going to be so far away from each other still, and both having no real timeframe as to when I can get on the list, and how long I will have to wait even when/if I get on the list, and if/when I do get a liver that it will be successful. And the reality if my body has that long to wait! I love her so much, but I feel like a “prisoner of wait”. And I‟m trying to deal with the reality that there is a good chance that I wont make it through this. I know she loves me and is having a hard time coping with our love for each other and trying to stay strong and supportive, but I know she is very lonely and has her needs too. I hate to think of her dating someone else and even being “intimate” and sexual with him. But no matter how hard it hurts me, I do understand, and have to deal with that. I don‟t blame her because I just cant be with her right now, and I don‟t know how long it will be till I can really BE with her again. ( tears, tears, flowing tears) I LOVE YOU SO MUCH ALIDA! 1-7-07 Sunday: Day 6 Goddamnit! I didn‟t get to call and say goodnight to Alida, or even start my letter. BOTH of the “evil ones” are still here and Amanda is late. So it is too late to use the “jail phone”. So I will just have to say it in my journal, “ Goodnight my love, YOU are my life! I Love You”. Today was a depressing day, like most nowadays, but I really needed to hear HER voice tonight. Chapter 15: “The Letter of Decline” 1-8-07 Monday: Day 7 I dint sleep real well last night, but things “seemed” like things were going pretty well with class and stuff, but then during a break my dad calls and tells me he got a letter from Mayo “declining” to put me on the list! I was freaked out! FUCK, I havnt even finsished rehab yet and they already declined me? Something is fishy going on around here, which I already was warned about. I was hoping it was just a formality because I was still in rehab, but….Dad faxed over the letter, and it definitely looked like more than a formality, but a formal letter of rejection to me. Dad said try to stay cool and call Tita at Mayo in the morning to check it out…. So, aagain, I didn‟t sleep too well. I‟m here in a rehab prison trying to get on “the list” and they already turned me down before I even got out! What the fuck? 1-9-07 Tues: Day 8 I called Tita, she finally gets back to me and says YES, it is official. ( The Decline) And no, I wont be put on the list.! This really sucks and there is a lot of bullshit going on around here at re-hab that just doesn‟t add up. We are going to do some investigating and my Dad is going to talk to a lawyer , but first I will be sending an official appeals letter to the medical director, because I definitely think I am being treated unfairly and there is some shady shit going on here at rehab. The story goes way deeper than this and I will expound upon this later!. But things are pretty fucked up right now, and I am pretty freaked out and upset. I am sorry I didn‟t get to talk to my baby tonight, but I had a really bad day, and had to call my Dad latenight tonight on the “Batphone” ( I snuck my cellphone in to use latenight) and had to let him know what was going on! Sorry I didn‟t get to call you baby! I love you my queen! 1-10-07 Weds.: Day 9 I am trying to work hard on my workbook asighnments to try and keep my mind off of what “is or isn‟t” really going onhere. I am trying to stay positive, but all the lying and backstabbing and bullshit going on, it is hard. Everyone is saying how good I am doing and how well I am handling “the rejection”, but they really have NO ideahow I really feel and whats really going on with me. I‟m sick of it all; wearing a fake smile while still feeling like shit and depressed as hell. I am sick of all the pills I have to take to keep my condition stable, even though I am sober, I really don‟t know what it feels like to feel healthy, clear minded and just plain normal anymore. “The important thing is to not ever stop questioning!” Albert Einstien “All tomorrows are for ours to shape!” Hal Borland 1-11-07 Thurs: Day 10 It took all I had today to write and send off some thank-you letters to some really good people who care a lot about me without blowing up! Depression is kicking in hard and I feel like shit. Even though we have a busy week and I have gotten a lot done SMART therapy wise, I am in pain and anguish over the future and being already turned down for “the list”. I am definitely having a hard time “dealing. I feel I am at the lowest point in my life right now. I am so sick of being in this kind of pain and having to fake my real feelings, because I cant trust my counselors knowing they have backstabbed me and kept “certain” important information from me, because they didn‟t want me to freak out and bail the program, so they wouldn‟t have to give my Dad a 4000.00$ refund on me leaving. FUCKS. Everyone knew about the letter of rejection even before I checked back in to re-hab after I got out of the hospital! They didn‟t even tell me till about 2 weeks later!…hows that? I guess some of the statements or info I told Mayo doctors didn‟t quite coincide with prior info, so they think I purposely lied to them, so they made their descision even before I completed re-hab! I guess they didn‟t take into consideration that I had lost half my blood, have end stage Cirrhosis, and Hepatic Encephalopathy, and my memory isn‟t as good as it used to be! I just wasn‟t “all there” and I‟m still not! Fuck Them! 1-12-07 Friday:Day 11 Today was another hard day! I am mentally and physically exhausted, and I just don‟t feel well. I feel like my mind and my body are slowly deteriorating and dying. I am depressed, stressed and in pain and anxiety. I guess I am not really scared of death, but am more just tired of my quality of life..or lack of! I feel so alone, even though I know a lot of people care about me, but they cant really know what I am going through emotionally and physically. Imiss Alida so much, she is the only thing that is keeping me alive and helping me cope and making sure I get through rehab and life in genral. I feel like she is seeing someone else and starting to care more about him and getting attched, but I guess I don‟t blame her. I am fucking 3000 miles away, and she has her needs..( tears ) It hurts soo much, but I have to deal with it, because I know in my heart that she truly loves me. I wish I had realized how much I loved her when I had a chance. I was in total denial and fucked up my life. She deserves much better. I am so sorry I have put her through this. She should have dumped me a long time ago. I have learned that I cannot change the past, but “regret” is haunting and killing my soul! ( tears )….. 1-13-07 Sat:Day 12 \ Got a much needed sleep in today. Also got some news that I am getting out a day early (Jan 23rd), along with Hardee, the other guythat is left here. He is 38 like me and a cool guy. Hardee had/has a Coke problem and his wife threatened to leave him and take his 2 little kids with her. So he has done real well in the program. Funny, the “evil ones” like him and he hasn‟t had any trouble with them. I guess they just have a problem with me..? We will be graduating together and I am taking him to the Tallahassee Airport on my way out ( if the evil ones” will let me take him. They would actually have to bend the rules a bit, but I would be saving both those assholes an hour drive to the airport. But since I am taking their “pet” Hardee, I think they will do it. We didn‟t do much at all today. It was nice and much needed. Rhonda pretty much let us blow off a couple of classes ( because the “evil ones” were gone), Rhonda is the cool one that cares. So we had a lot of freetime today to just nap or chill. It was a nice “de-strssor”! But I am still getting bombarded with advice and info, and suggestions from everyone, and I don‟t know what to believe or what is true anymore. Too much going on in my head and I am spinning. I wish everybody would just leave me alone. Its driving me freaking crazy! And it sucks to have to try and make calls in secrecy. Tom and Shirleykeep saying “NOW” after all the shit is starting to go down and I told them my Dad was talking to a lawyer, , they say NOW they are going to do everything they can do and give me a great report and try to get me on the list! Fuckin lyers. They know they gave me a bad verbal report to their buddy Richard Crossfield, the Mayo board psychologist, which they totally deny, and it is against the rules and unethical!!! Whatever… I don‟t know who I can believe until I graduate and get all the case notes and get the fuck out of this hell-hole. I am just trying to play it day by day and keep putting my fake suit on while they lie to my face! My Dad sent me a good, well written draft for an appeal letter that I am going to rewrite in my own words to send to Mayo right before I get “out”! We still have a full work week coming up to finish up some final assighnments, my future plan, and my good-bye letter to release me from my “addictions” out of my life…yeah right! So hopefully this week will go by pretty quickly because my parents are coming up to save me on Saturday and Sunday for my weekend pass. We are just staying in a local hotel, but at least I will be able to get out of there for a few days! Then I will be released on Tuesday!!! God, I cant wait! I talked to Alida briefly in the early morning ( she said she just wanted to hear my voice ),she woke me up, but it was great to hear her voice also. And I also got to say goodnightto my love also! I don‟t know if she really knows how much hope she is giving me, all along being in pain and “dealing” with my/our love and relationship situation. It just kills me! 1-14-07 Sunday: Day 13 Today was aprety good day. We both got to sleep in, have a little brunch, then I napped again till about 2 till our classes started at 3:00. I finished almost all/most of my thankyou-you notes, and finished 2 of my final assighnments! Was good to get that extra rest, cause my mind was on overload and I really needed part of a day to just relax and not think about anything. We went to a Sunday AA meeting in the near-by town called Cairo ( pronounced K-Roh ) Some funny AA stuff was said at the meeting tonight! I guess the topic of the meeting was our regrets. One lady said “ My past is my greatest asset, and my ass is my best gasket”! Another woman spoke up and asked an old AA fart “ So Tommy , hoe do you feel about regrets?” and Tommmy says, “ Ohhhh grits, I love grits. That was some funny shit! In the bathroom there was was funnt shit too. There was a sign in there that said: We try to keep out bathrooms clean! So Guys, please stand closer…its shorter than you think! And Woman, please stay seated for the whole performance! I made up a Jeff Foxworthy joke in my ming while I was there: here it go: “ If you‟re the Moderator of am AA meeting and nobody in the room can understand a wurd you say except for “Da Gum” at the end of your run on sentence……Then you might be a Redneck! Thought that was klinda funny throught the helll of having to go to AA also 1-15-07 Monday: Dat 14 Had another long day full of classes, but acuallly had a meditation counselor ( virgin to the evils of this place) and she was really cool, and just nice to have someone else around. I had some one on one therapy sessseins the Dr. Tom/Mr.Hydyd and guess they went ok. I have to keep my mouth shut , or I willl go kill him and burn the fucking place down….i just want to get outta here! We had an earlt SMART online session, so we thought we would be able to kick back after that, but we barely got any freetime today in and we started at 9:am and didt get finished till about 10PM that night,,and that was bulllshit! We bareley had any freetime work on some much needede final assighnments. I managd to fit in a little time to start writing my “appeal” letter in my own words, but with a lot of great help and structure from my dad. Thanky you Dad! This place really sucks, but I will get throught it….and then we go from there I guess…….. 1-16-07 Tues: Day 15 Today was a pretty mellow class day, so I got to work on my appeal letter more. Then I got a UPS mail from my Dad with a bunch of Social Security and medical shit I had to fill out and make sure I got it in the mail the next day. But after lunch I started feeling sick and had diarrhea and constipation for the rest of the day, so I didn‟t even go aet dinner. I still felt loust, and going to be at 2:30am last night sure didn‟t help either. So now, “literally” I am sick and tired or going to bed…for the first time…My body is all fucked up and I really don‟t know what it feels like to “feel” normal…even being sober! 1-17-07 Weds: Day 16 Finished and sent off some vey important paperwork in the mail today for SSI and Medicare. And after that I got to finish my Future Plan, which I shared with the class on wrote on the board. Hardy and Tom said it was a great looking like a great plan. . Then Laura, the new counselor went and showed us some mediation techniques, and I told her I would probably be more into the Hindu/Bhuddist technighques, because I was more into the Indonesian type lifestyle.. Which was cool with her…she dug it! I also finished my appeal letter which was cool, then woked on my “Goodbye Letter” which I will prob finsish tomorrow. Tom keeps saying how graet I am doing and that he is going to write an excellent final review and completion letter for me, and that him and Doc Rich are going to do everything in their “power” to help with the appeal and to try and get the Committee to re-consisider their descison. We will see how my final report turns out. Not sure who I can actually trust here anymore, except for Amanda. She has been very kind , caring, supportive, but also reminding me of all the shit that is going on with this place….its crazy…I just have to keep my head straight and get outta here. 1-19-07 Thurs: Day 17 My appeal letter was supposed to go out today but for some reason it didn‟t! Which I‟m actually glad it didn‟t because I havnt fully completed my re-hab. So I got the letter back and had to rewrite some dates and that I would be completing on the 23rd. Which would be the day that I actually got out. So I finished that and will now send it on the actual day I get out of this hell-hole. I am really looking forward to my parents coming to save me and get me out of here this weekend. I am so sick of getting up at 7:am and sick of all the “country cookin”. The food here is pretty good overall, but I am looking forward to some real food, without Shirly telling me I can have salt or medium rare food, etc….. 1-20-07 Friday: Day 18 Watched a fucked up movie last night and had some bad using/urge dreames, forgot to st the alarm, missed breakfeast, and just got off to a bad start. The rest of the day wasn‟t too bad with classes. We did some meditation techniquies with Laura, the new counselor, then we had clueless Tom and reviewed the whole book pretty much. Because he has no clue to whats going on, other than what he teaches, lectures, videos, or what fuckin song he wants to share with us that he wrote..he‟s a fuckin freak! Then a new guy checked in, and he didn‟t look too happy nor did his wife. But at least I got some time to finish my “Goodbye” letter, and now I am pretty much done with all my assighnments to get the hell outta hee! I get to sleep n tomorrow, and Mom and Dad are going to pick me up around 1:pm for my “weekend pass”! Oh yeah…I still failed ANOTHER thc drug test tonight! I havnt smoked in at least 2 months so fuck them…I don‟t care anymore….I already got turned down for the list anyway….. 1-20-07 Sat: Day 19 Parents came for my weekend passs, and Islept in till about 11.am, then took a shower and checked out a few things.. My parents came around 12 and we were off too Abblebes‟s for some real food. AHHHHH….Then we checeked into the Quality Inn. I took a nice nap on a comfy bed, watched a little TV, talked to my love, ten we went back out to dinner again at Ruby Tuesdayes….hen came back to to the hotel sfuufed, watched some TV and webt to be in a huge comfy bed….ahhhh.. Will get to sleep in a bit ,b ut will have to be back in rehabab around 6, cuase the parents wnt to drive home and keave before I wantd too be beac in reb hab , but it was nice to get me out of jail faor a day and a half. Me and Hardy willl be released on Tuesesday morning and sooo looking fowrwarn to getting out and home! 1-21-07 Sunday: Day 20 So the parents dropped me off early after checkng out of the hotel, but Rhonda was there and got to talk to my parents 1 on 1, so I think It helped my Dad to see what was REALLLY going on even more. We went over my paperworkwith Rhonda, then she gave us some freetime, so I napped until dinner, then we went over some more “paperwork”, then we went to our last AA meeting in Cairo. I opened up a bit tonight at the meeting about my condition and got some good encouragement. We went back to the facility and me an Hardy started to watch Memento, but I had a headache and wasn‟t feeling well, so I turned in early. 1-22-07 Monday:Day 21 Today is me and Hardy‟s last “real” day here at re-hab, and we are both itchen to get the fuck outta here! We had a few last classes, then they let us check our stuff out early and pack my car, cause we had to be up at like 5:am to get Hardy to the airport. After we said our goodbyes, it was nice to jump back on the I-10 and head the hell home! Thank God that is over and I made it through, although it was actually just a first start. I love you Alida! Thank you for helping me get through that! 16: The next few months: A blur and another story The last few months have been a blur of pain, anxiety, mental anquish, depression, and a big feeling of hopelessness. My parents, Alida, and friends have been very suporrtive, but know-one can fathom what I am really going through, and it has been hard for me to stay positive and “keep my head” with this barrage a shit going on in my body and my mind…I‟m really feeling like I am losing it! My Mom has my checkbook by the balls, and Dad keeps preesing me to go to AA meetings which are driving me crazy, just to get on a fuckin liver list I will probably never get on because I have fucked up and had I few “slips” I have to put on a fake suit everyday and just deal with the boaredom of not having a job, being on Disability, living at home, and being totally in love with the woman of my dreams who is 3000 miles away, and knowing we are slowing falling apart, and she is seeing another guy! I just don‟t know how much more I can handle the lack of quality in my life.!!!! I am utterly depreseed and really don‟t care anymore. Life is about living for yourself, and I don‟t have one anymore! 2:29 am Monday: April 16 2007 Not much has changed, except I found out the “real” truth of Alida! I love you more than the world, but thank you for being honest! Chapter 17: Checking in, Almost Checking out Wedsnday: April 19, 2007 My parents went out of town, and by now I was feeling so utterly depressed, lonely, and hopeless about my life and situation, that for the first “real” time was feeling suicidal and was gonna end it all. I wrote notes to my family and Alida and even drew up a will. I was REALLY thinking about doing this. I loaded some stuff in my carryon bag, including my loaded 9mm and headed off to the beaech . I checked into a room at the Best Western, went to the liquor store and bought a Fifth of Smirrnoff and some mixers, then went and had a nice “last supper”. I was craving King Crab legs for some reason, so I went and got me some. It was strange! I was calm and cool as if I had really decided to do this, almost felt a sense of relief. I ate my dinner, had a Long Beach Iced Tea, tipped the waitress very well, then went back to the room and proceeded to make a few Nailehead Cocktails and rolled a joint. After a few more drinks, THEN it kicked in. WHAT THE FUCK AM I DOING? Many thoughts and emotions started running through my head ( I guess the Rational side started kicking in.) and I started to think of what I would lose if I really did this! My family, friends, all my belonging, my art, my music, books, surfboards, classic photos, and most of all Alida! ( It would just kill her, even though we are really not “together”) By this time, I had had a few more cocktails and was stressing and pacing the room and realized that it just wasn‟t worth it. WHAT THE FUCK WAS I THINKING? So I mentally decided to scratch the plan, watch a little TV, go to bed, then go home the next day. Nope, not gonna happen! I am nearly passed out, had already made the decision not to go with “the plan”, and next thing I know, my friend Scott comes to the room, my sister had already called the cops because I wasn‟t home and was worried. So before I know it, Scott, my sister, 3 cops and 2 paramedics are in my room. I was hammered by then and they said I was going to the ER, AND the cops found my gun! I said I wasn‟t going to do anything to harm myself, I just got drunk instead. But Florida they a law called the Baker Act, which requires them to take me to the ER, then escort me into the Behavioral Phsyc Ward on suicide watch for at least 72 hours. When at the ER they said my blood alcohol level was a .47, and said if I had gone to sleep I probably would have died anyway!! So they gave me IV fluids and some shots to sober me up, and I was on constant watch ( even had a guard outside the door to make sure I didn‟t run for it. ( What a blur all of that was ) Scotts dad showed up to check on me, and before I know it, my Mom and Dad are there looking at me sad but discustedly. I was really bummed by then realizing the mistake and mess I got myself into. It was too late then! I just wanted to go home, but I was Baker Act‟d. Chapter 18: 4th Floor Lockdown April 19, 2007 In the morning I was escorted from the ER straight across the street to the 4th floor “suicide watch phych ward” in just a hospital gown, and the damn place was as cold as a meat locker, it was freezing in there, and because of my condition I get cold easily because my body thermometer is broken. My mom had to bring me long johns, pants, t-shirts, 2 sweatshirts and a jacket for me to finally warm up….looked like I was going snowboarding or skiing or something. I stayed in bed a lot under 3 covers just because I was freezing! We had a few “meetings” a day and 3 terribly bad meals each day too, which I could barely choke down. I had to save and stash my fruit from breakfast just to get some food in my stomach. If I didn‟t eat anything at all all the pills I was having to take normally totally upset my stomach, and I could barely eat anything in there. So I had a bad upset stomach most of the time and barely slept. So I had plenty of time to think about the fucking mess I had gotten myself into, and it was a real “eye opener”. So I was on my best behavior I could stand and just wanted to get the hell out of this koo-koo‟s nest. Every morning they took a blood sample because I was bleeding again out my ass, and my levels were low, so they were monitoring me pretty closely. And almost the whole floor was full and there were some real wackoo‟s in there, it was almost scary. A lot of these people REALLY needed to stay in there for a long time. There were some real nutcaeses in there. It really sucked, and I never want to go back. I was finally let out on Monday, but right before I got out they said I needed to go back to the hospital and get and infusion of 2 bags of blood because my levels were so low. But I was just so happy to be released I didn‟t care about getting the blood that took 5 hours to do because I knew I could finally go home afterwards to freedom. My bed and room, and house never looked so good! I had about 23 messages from various friends and family that I had to catch up on, and it was sad to think that I went as far as I did, and got to the point that I did of wanting to kill myself. I was really depressed, lonely and felt hopelessly alone in my situation. Nobody can really understand what I have been through and am going through daily, mentally and physically, and it gets so frustrating and became unbearable. I guess this was my final big call for help! I just wish I could talk to people who understand or have been through, or are going through what I am…even total strangers. Even at AA it just seems like people are talking about their disease of drinking: Alcoholism, but no-one ever adrresses Cirrhosis. It is so damn frustrating: “Oh poor you! Let God take care of your alcohol problem!” Bullshit! Anyway, got home, nice and stinky ( had been wearing and sleeping in the same clothes for 3 days, again, because the fuckin place was an ice cooler) took a much needed hot shower, and climbed in my big comfy bed, and was OUT! Chapter 19: Alida comes to Check in and Check out! The next day, my love, Alida flew out from California ( pretty much to be mad at me, kick my ass for what I had done, but also to support and make sure I was OK) we‟ve been getting along ok, but it has mostly been a “cold”, non attractive, non sexual or intimate visit. I guess mainly due to the fact that she is now dating someone else in Cal, and I guess it is pretty serious. I already knew about this, and told her I didn‟t expect her to wait for me, but it still hurts soo bad knowing she is dating someone else, being intimate and having sex with another guy. She says I am still the “love of her life” but we just cant be together right now. Her “timeclock” is ticking and she really wants to have a baby and someone who can help support her and mutually take care of it. And that is something I cant even do right now, even if I wanted to, which I do, because I love her very much! This sucks, and hurts soo bad! But I am stuck here with my health/liver issues, and will shortly be seeing a phychologist and a phychiatrist probably weekly. She says I need to focus on myself and my own happiness, and to start letting her go. She has been my main information and support system and still loves me very much. I know she does, but I cant ask her to wait for me and the “unknown” future bestowed on me. I have to let her go! But she is one of the main reasons I wanted to “end it all”. She has been one of the only people that cares about me that I can talk too, and I have been feeling soo alone, and knew she was slipping away from me. She needs to be happy too, she just cant use all of her energy and resources on me. Its not fair to her. We had a long talk while she was herre and it hurt but it made sence. She just cant drop everything everytime I have a depressive, hopeless, lonely thought or mood. I know now that those probably arnt going to go away, even with the fucking depression medicine ( Lexepro) they have me on! It amazes me that doctors think they can fix depression with a fuckin pill! Just turn us all into behavioral zombies who cant think clearly or make us feel more fucked up than we started, and we are cured. It‟s bullshit! I have a real problem with anti-depressants. I was on Prozac years ago because I told my doctor I was feeling a little depressed and overwhelmed, and if you say the “D” word to a doctor,…right on anti depressants you go. That shit messed me up some much worse than I even thought I was depressed. I had every side effect you could think of, and when it really kicked in , it turned me into a couch potatoe zombie. I threw that shit in the trash after 3 weeks and never took it again. In a sence it actually cured me and made me realize, “I don‟t need this shit to make me happy!” I was just having a hard time at the time with work, life, and ex-girlfriend, and I was “situationally depressed”, and I got over it with a little help from some friends and a bag of mushrooms and 5 hours of much needed gut-wrenching laughing. I was cured! I went on with my life and hadn‟t had to take anything since, until I got locked up in the Phych Ward on the evil 4th floor. So now they think this shit is gonna “help” me again? Cure my anxiety, depression, and lonlyness? I think NOT. I am gonna have to do this shit on my own again, but this time I am REALLY in a more fucked up situation than I ever expected. So pretty much I felt like Alida treated me more like a caring friend than “the man of her dreams” who she still loves soo much. We got along Ok, but everytime it was time for bed, we would kiss a few times, say we loved each other and then snuggle till we went to sleep. I cried half the time, I‟ll admit, because it just hurt soo bad that she was there and that I couldn‟t actually “be” with her. I have only had sex once with her within the last year, and have been totally faithful to her the whole time. I know we are 3000 miles away, but I guess I just keep holding on hoping, but I have to realize we cant be together right now, and I just have to let her go. Things will work out with us if they are supposed to. I know she loves me and I love her, but things are just not to be right now, and there is nothing I can do to change that because of my condition, unless a miracle happens real quick, its gonna be a long time before I can get a new liver ( even if I make it that long!) Fate will play the cards. I feel like I have no control over my dreams, and wants and needs. I have no idea how it feels to “feel” normal anymore. I can tell you its not a good feeling, but I deal with it dailey. Monday: 4-30-07 I dropped off Alida at the airport this morning, she said she loved me, I said the same, she waited then went through security, waved goodbye, “mouthed” I love you…and she was gone. Side note: My friend, Scrott that found me in the hotel room, right before the cops and EMT’s showed up, told me the other night that he had talked to the cops and one of the cops said I had the “wrong” bullets in my gun anyway! He said I had “practice bullets” in the gun, and would have had to shoot myself multiple times to actually do the job! What a dumb-ass I am. I couldn’t even get the bullets right! That’s how much I know about guns. Duhhh! Man that would have hurt…… Tuesday: May 1, 2007 I pretty much cried myself to sleep last night. I have been so emotional it doent take much. I miss Alida already and I miss our closeness and intimacy we used to have. I don‟t know if still talking to her everyday ( after she officially broke up with me while she was here ) is helping me or just hurting me more. I know I have to let her go for now until I get “better” which means getting a new fucking liver, which may never happen now after all my relapses and topping it all off with my last .47 suicide attempt phycho-ward stunt. Doctors are gonna say “fuck him, we‟re not wasting a liver on a guy with a track record like that!” I guess I don‟t blame them. But I am human and I have problems, and just dealing with Cirrhosis itself is mentally killing me and my soul and my will. I am in physical and mental anguish. I am in pain everyday and am miserably depressed and lonely. I am sick of taking 11 different pills everyday, which give me stomach aches, mood swings, and insomnia. I went to an AA meeting tonight, and the topic was joy and happiness. I havnt been happy in a very long time, and if the phych doctors think a little mind altering Lexepro pill is going to cure my depression and unhappiness, THEY need to be on the shit and try it out themselves. I don‟t even know how it feels to be “normal” anymore. I am trying to fight this but the disease if getting the best of me, and when there is little chance I will live long enough to get on the transplant list, let alone actually get a new liver when the doctor tells you you have less than a year to live, its kinda hard to keep positive. It just makes me wanna say fuckit, deal with the card I have been dealt, and just go get fucked up and just get it over with! ( tears) I have many friends and loved ones that really care about me, but they cant possibly understand what I am really going through. I feel utterly alone. Chapter 20: A look Back at some Good Times & Some Good Life Let me step back and change the pace and attitude here. Things wernt always as bad as they are now, and I wanted to share some good memories and life experiences with you. Most of this covers my most memorable last 10 years. But some other good things come to mind before also when I first moved to San Diego, almost right out of high school. I moved to California mainly to surf and hoped to become pro one day. I guess my aspirations were a little big at that time, and I lost in many contests. But that definitely didn‟t keep me from surfing almost everyday, and surfing well. I also started snowboarding, which I fell in love with, and had already been skating ramps for a few years. But out in Cal, I was introduced to the big boys, big ramps with spines, channels, hips, and full on pool curves. For “entrance” into this guys ramp, which was an hour or so away inland in Fontana, we had to bring a case of Coors Light and weed if we had it, which we usually did. It was like Disneyland for skateboarding. Everything you could want in a ramp in one big back yard. It was a great time. My main “run” was to drop in on the 12‟ side, kickturn or sess slide on the 13‟ side and then pump, get more speed, and catch frontside air over this huge gap. The guys were saying I was getting 6‟ out sometimes, and I was landing about half of them…the other half… you could here my pain in the crowd watching! Owwww. Other than that I surfed all the time everywhere in San Diego. I had a bunch of good surfer party friends and had a good job ( for the time ) at La Costa Resort and Spa doing banquets. By then we had a house ( more like the boyz party/fun house that we partied at after we got off work till all hours of the morning ( the girlfriends weren‟t real stoked on that) but check it out. We used to have like bar Olympics! We had a pool table in the garage, a ping pong table and foos ball table in the empty dining room, and two dart boards in the living room. And a big old chalkboard saying who was next on what, and who won on what. And the beer, pot, coke and meth just seemed to flow through the night. If my girlfriend stayed over, I tried to make it into bed before her 6:00am alarm went off. She partied too, but not like us. “we” were the 2pm-10pm shift, so we could party all night then sleep in. That was a fun, but “abusive time”. During /inbetween that time I went skydiving 5 times, went and surfed and partied in Rosarita, Baja many times, and even made it out of the country to Vancouver/Banff, Canada to go snowboarding. God, what a beautiful place Western Canada is. And also made may trips up to the local mountains to go boarding. Also took a small Winnabego with loud tires and 5 other guys who were totally funny and fun guys to Mammoth Mtn. for 4 days. The only problem was that I broke a few ribs the very first morning of the trip and had to stick it out. And these fuckers kept making me laugh and were just killing me. So everytime I laughed, or coughed, or sneezed, it felt like my rib cage was going to explode….but it was good fun! 21: Surf adventures: Puert Rico, Panama, Costa Rica, BALI! I‟m glad to say I have taken may surf trips and a few to some tropical, exotic countries I‟ve always wanted to surf, but have many more on my list ( especially if I make it through all this ) I went to Puerto Rico once while in art school in Sarasota, FL and me and some buddies from the Chart House where we worked caught great waves almost all 10 days we were there. That was a great trip and a beautiful country. Then a few years later after moving back to California, me and some old surf buddies from the Gulf Coast and California ( about 18 of us ) all re-united in Panama and went to a private island surf camp called Morro Negrito and caught epic waves for a week solid. One day was 15-18 foot faces at this gnarly reef break, and I was scared as shit. But the place had 2 good reef breaks, a point break, a cobblestone beach break, a killer rivermouth sand break, and a few sandy beachbreaks. So 18 of us had the whole camp to ourselves because they would only book up to 20 people to accomadate per week….that was a great trip! Me and a buddy, Brian went back the next year only about 3 days after 9/11 and caught decent waves, but kinda got skunked on that trip, so we left a few days early from the island and headed back to Panama City for some real cocktails, some good coke, and a hotel with nice beds and hot showers, which the island did not have. The next year at my birthday I met my love Alida, and a few months later we went to Costa Rica, where I have always wanted to go. We caught decent waves, stayed in pretty nice hotels and did some touristy things too, like horseback riding through the jungle, zip-lining, and stayed at the Lake Arenal Volcano. It was a nice couples trip, but I personanally didn‟t get enough surftime in, but that was Ok. We went back to Costa Rica again the next year and a girlfriend of Alida‟s, Sue, came with us. They and we bickered and fought a bit, but this time I caught some pretty damn good waves and we stayed at some cool places. That was a cool trip except for the girls being “girls”! Then the next year during a break/breakup between me and Alida, me and my crazy-ass best friend, Hamster, went back to Costa Rica with the main intent on going to the famed surf break Pavones down in southern Costa Rica, almost at the tip. We rented a Land Cruiser and immediately Hamster wanted to go to San Jose downtown and score some coke. So we did, very easily. Hamster speaks pretty good Spanish…so we scored, and the “lines” and “wrist rockets” and “key bumps” began..and didn‟t seem to stop the whole trip….shit most of the time I just wanted to score some weed! I knew my way around Costa Rica a little bit now, but was always warned about driving at night, but me and Hamster were so jacked up that we said fuck it and started driving south. A few hours into the 6 hour+ trip we were starting to round a corner when I saw some big lights coming at us. I thought, “Oh he‟s just coming around the corner, so that‟s why it looks like the lights are coming right at us.” But NO, in a split second I had to pull off the road almost into a 4 foot ditch to let a psycho Costa Rican bus driver pass by us in OUR lane! I watched his side view mirror miss us by inches! If I hadn‟t pulled over, he would have hit us pretty much head-on. Now I know why we wern‟t supposed to drive at night. FUCK! We were pretty shaken up and Hamster said, “My friend, you just saved our lives!….wanna bump?” Yep, and we kept driving on South towards Golfito where we were to take the little river ferry across, and onto a road toward Pavones. Well we are jacked and tired at the same time, and we see a little road sign that says Golfita, so I get off on it, we pass a few little houses and cabina‟s, and then! Full on 4 wheel drive dirt, mud, sketchy river passes with broken bridges…we are tripping, AND it was dark, almost sunrise. But we made it backwards into town. And were lost but new we were at least in Golfito, but man, that was an adventure all in itself. So we finally get decent directions on how the get to the ferry paaing, and finally make it there too early. The ferry wasn‟t running for another 2 hours, and we knew we were close and were ancy, but tired…so we both did a few wrist rockets and started to “wait”. But then Hamster befriends a little Catholic school girl and tells her wher we are going, and she says she can show us the other way, and that she will be late for Escuela . But if we gave her a ride to school, which was on the way, she would show/tell us how to get to Pavones from there. She was really sweet, and cute, but only about 14, but Hamster was rapping to her in coked out Spanish while I drove, and she just told me left or right…I was a mess by then. Hung over, tired, and jacked up…fun! I just wanted to get there. We had been driving for about 6-7 hours, which in California would have taken us 3, but the roads were so bad most of the trip, and it was slow going. No cruising to work at 80 mph. We finally got to her school, and dropped her off and she was very thankful, and told us how to get the rest of the way. Her little school girlfriends were pointing and giggling, like “Damn, Chica, you took a ride from some loco gringo surfers!?” She waved and smiled and ran off to school. On we pressed per her directions and a few signs.When we thought we were totally lost, we finally dropped in from a hillside and started to see water, and the final road into the tiny little town of Pavones. We pulled up next to the famous Cantina at about 7 in the mornig and it was reeling, head high to a few feet over head. But we were so tired and bunrt out that all we both wanted was to find a cheap cabina with AC, unload our gear, and take a much needed nap! EVEN Hamster wanted to sleep! And the surf was clean and going off. We found a cool little place that had 2 beds, a bathroom and shower, AND A/C for 10 $ a night…were were like “We‟l take it.” We wearily unloaded all of our bags and surfboards, locked the door and crashed till about Noon! Upon awakings I here Hamster putting on fins to boards, and waxin up with the Tropical Sticky Bumps. You could kinda see the surf from our places through the palms, and it already looked like the swell had dropped. FUCK! It was one of those scenariors that was like” Bro, you should have been here last week! It was double overhead, breaking for 400 yards and perfect!” FUCK! My luck again. But we woke up and went out anyway, and there was still some really fun, long waves coming through! ( To be continued) Chaper 22: The Cali boys cometh! Friday: May 4, 2007 Had some good ol‟ work friends from my old company I worked at come out for the weekend to see me just for a few days. I was touched because they only spent the weekend then had to get back. The Crew: Eddie ( way cool muthfucker, mellow, but teaches a Navy Seal type fight class to kill or incompassitate. One of the best artist/drawers ( out of his head) that I have ever met! Great guy. Antonio: great “real” friend that I befriended at Red Zone along with the rest of these clowns. Very serious about his beliefs and anal the same way, but that is how he is , and it makes him the “real” friend that he is. He is a punk though, and always fucked with me, in his way, but I introduced him to his love of his life and now wife Dana! So he doesn‟t fuck with me so much anymore…he owes me one…hahahaha Dana-dane ( she is the only one who will let me call her that) Antonio‟s wife, my old neighbor. I hooked them up…and the rest is history. She is an awesome girl, and they have a great marriage. She is a sweetheart and I am so happy for them. Denny( The Crackmaster) We used to wrk to gether too. Funny mellow guy always goin with the flow. We call him the crack master because he is a whiz ar cracking and pirating many different expensive softwares. He is the man you go see when you “need” something. Fish (Jason) He was a pretty new guy to join our team but fit right in to our chaos and shit talking. We called him fish because he was new AND was a vegetarian and all he at was seafood and veggies, Everybody had to have a nickname at out work. It was great! We would all fuck with each other abd draw each other on the whiteboards, and do our work, but it was a fun place to work until Sony took over. Their stay out her was very short, but at least they all came and saw me. I showed them around for a could of days, mainly the beach and some good restaraunts, we gorge ourselves on Satursay night at “Crabs”. We had 3 orders of peel and eat shimp, 2-3 dozen raw oysres ( which I couldn‟t partake) and then most of us ordered the King Crab legs or Crab Combo. Along with some Red Stripes and Corona for the crew, I introduced them to Pensacola‟s infamous “Bushwaker” ( contains: vodaka, rum, kalua, dard cream de cocoa, icemilk or icecreme (Vanilla) and toped with a shot of 151.) they were a hit but snuck up on everybody and they all got pretty lit by he end of dinner. The weather was beautiful on Saturday, so before dinner we pretty hung out all day on the beach, and caught up, and rehashed over some funny-ass work and party stories. They all left on Sunday afternoon, and it was great to see them all, even briefly! Then the next day my friend Renee, from Sarasota drops by on her way bak to NYE York/Brooklyn to take a rest and see me for a few days. That was nice, cause she had heard of all the shit I have been going hrough, but didn‟t just me. So It was very therapeutic to talk to her and really let her know and try to understand what I am feeling and going through. She was very receptive and understaning, but also very touched and hurt to realize what my daily life is like….it was good to talk to her and ge it out. After dinner we wached some “Mind of Mencia” which she hadn‟t even seen befoe, so she really got a crack out of that. Then we just chilled…shared some IPOD songs, and eventually went to bed. Had a small breakfast (which I usually do ) so before she left I tokk her to some good ol‟ local BBQ Billy Bobs; she loved it, we sid good bye, she left and went to an interview at the Pensacola Beach Hilton Garden Inn for banquets, It seemed to go pretty well, but still no call back yet. The story of my life! ( Continued Costa Rica Story) So me and Hamster stayed there a few day. We were actually trying to track down the writer, Alen Weisbecker to say hello, and possibly talk about some real estate down there, but unfortunately he was in the US dealing with his own book problems. So we stayed at the litlle cabina for about 4-5 days, surfed some not-so Pavones waves, but met some cool locals and some tourists, Billy- Boy and Chris the Thief. I also was out taking pictures, and ther was a beautiful mural on one wall that I recognized that art style next to a surf shop. So I asked the owner if Alex Lanua did this one, and he said, “Yeah, yer standing right next to him!” So that was an honor to meet him out of the blue at the end of the road. He was the original artist who did a huge mural in Dominical, CR and also was from San Diego and did the famed mural on the side of the Thrusters bar in Pacific Beach. We talked for awhile and said “See you around!” Cool guy. We were driving further south to see if we could find some surf, cause Pavones‟s take almost a direct South to break perfectly and wrap around into the bay. So me , Hamster, Billy-boy, and Chris the thief were heading down the dirt road full of puddles, potholes, little rivers, etc. when we see 2 american looking tourist girs walking down the road in the middle of no-where. So We stoped, asked them if they need I lift and they sid great! One was American, the other a Kiwi. They explained to us that they were down there to help save the new baby offspring turtles, and were with about 5 other people doing the same, we thought cool, what a nice feeling to know all these hippie freaks were down here to save the turtles. But they showed us there garden of nests, and really knew what they were doing, so that was very cool. Then they said, “Would you like to go see the secret waterfall for a swim before you go surf? And we were like hell yeah. So the whole house crew ( about 5 guys and 4 girls and us freaks) went on a 1 mile trek through the jungle, and came across a beautiful waterfall. It was so nice, cool, and refreshing! We walked back and they said there was a party at a local bar that night in the little town, and asked if we‟d like to come. We said sure, then went for a much needed surf in some head-2-3 over surf right by the turtle farm. Then went back, stopped at our local bar by then, ordered some carnitas asada soupa and a bottle of rum. Where we had befriended the big owner who called himself “El Grande Perro! The Big Dog.” He was an awesome guy and totally hooked us up….i tipped him well everytime to make sure.