"Looking forward to 10 years drink free !"

About: Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust / Addiction services (community)

(as a staff member posting for a patient/service user),

Alcohol Awareness Week - Oxford Corner Open Afternoon

The involvement team met ex drinker 'S' at the open afternoon.. 'S' shared her story of recovery in the hope that it will inspire others to seek help. 'S' nearly died from drink and has damaged her liver so much that drinking again could kill her.

She looks back at the days of her serious drinking and knows how close she came to literally dying for a drink.

“I’d always been a drinker, ” says 'S', “but when my mum died in my early 30s I started drinking heavily for comfort. I’d start with about six cans of lager in the evening and then move on to sparkling wine. I would drink on my own or when I had company, it didn't matter. My husband and daughter begged me to stop but I just carried on drinking.

“After a year I had an epileptic fit at work and split my head open. I was admitted to hospital and the doctor said the epileptic fit had happened because of my drinking. But when I got out I just carried on drinking too much alcohol. My life was chaotic. I hardly ate. I wasn't interested in anything except drink.

"Hard drinking turned my face yellow and my eyesight was so bad that I couldn't focus"

“After another year of hard drinking, my face turned yellow - known medically as jaundice - and my eyesight was so bad that I couldn't focus. These were both signs that something was badly wrong with my liver. I went to hospital and had tests, which showed that I had cirrhosis of the liver. The hospital health team said if I didn't stop drinking I would die.

“The nurses at the Queen’s Medical Centre in Nottingham saved my life. They detoxified me and motivated me to stay off the drink. They also made me realise what a fantastic family I have and that I needed to get better for them as much as for myself.

“I’ve stopped drinking now, but it was incredibly difficult. I’m eating a lot better and no longer have the shakes. These days, when I go to a pub, I just drink orange juice with lemonade. The awful thing is, I’ve got liver damage that will never go away and I know that if I drink again I could kill myself.

“It's possible to get your life back from drink. You need to get good medical help, that’s the first step. But I couldn’t have done it without my family. I regret all the time I missed with them, but we're definitely making up for it now. ”

'S' is interested in volunteering with Nottinghamshire Healthcare to inspire others in their recovery and to give something back after receiving" brilliant NHS care

Do you have a similar story to tell? Tell your story & make a difference ››


Response from Jackie Quenby, Deputy Alcohol Team Manager. Oxford Corner, Specialist Services Directorate (Substance Misuse), Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust

Dear S - I would like to say 'Thank You' for attending our Open Afternoon at Oxford Corner during Alcohol Awareness Week and also for sharing your story so openly. It's very encouraging to know that Services make a real difference to people like you. I think it's fantastic that you want to inspire others (I have certainly been inspired by your recovery journey) and give something back by volunteering with Nottinghamshire Healthcare. You have done incrediably well -I wish you all the best for the future.

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