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(Some Blogger)   Last request of AA founder, dying of emphysema: A few shots of whiskey   ( divider line
    More: Interesting  
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27473 clicks; posted to Main » on 10 May 2004 at 4:08 AM (13 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»

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2004-05-10 06:59:17 AM  
Could someone PLEASE explain this to me so it makes even the tiniest fraction of sense?

puking and asphyxiating on your own vomit?
2004-05-10 07:05:02 AM  
Runs with Scissors: "puking and asphyxiating on your own vomit?"

Gosh, you're right, that would be a terrible thing to have happen when you're on your DEATHBED.
2004-05-10 07:06:45 AM  
drunkasbuk, you may be onto something. I had an aunt and uncle who where alcoholics. They are both gone now, but their son, my cousin, is really bad. I think a lot of his problem, is that he wanted to follow in his fathers footsteps, however treacherous that might be. This is evident in how he speaks of his father to this day. His sister drinks socially, but she is not an alcoholic.
2004-05-10 07:08:56 AM  
2004-05-10 06:55:39 AM dukefluke Could someone PLEASE explain this to me so it makes even the tiniest fraction of sense? You are on your deathbed. Therefore, you are dying. HOW COULD A DRINK MAKE THAT WORSE?

Well, for me it was not alcohol but when I took a hit I was insane even though I should have felt good. I hated myself for doing it again, but was only worried about how much I had and where I was going to get more. If you stood in my way of getting more I would consider any options including hurting you. I did not like the way I was thinking but nothing including my own life was more important than the next hit. I probably wouldn't want to spend my last few moments hating myself for quitting quitting.

However, I decided that if I make it to a deathbed, I can do anything I want if I choose. Early on it was a distraction tool to get me to think about more immediate concerns while I was jonesing "In 50 years you can have as much as you want, go to a meeting". Maybe he had a similar thought early on in the recovery and wanted to go ahead and enjoy a drink like it was when he first started drinking: without all the baggage that comes from being addicted.
2004-05-10 07:09:34 AM  
surprised that Tin Foil Hat is getting that response. I read it and thought it was hysterical. rule 63
let me rush out and get me some mushrooms, someone on fark who calls himself tin foil hat says i won't want alcohol anymore. thank you jesus, that's all i needed to hear. first i'll make the 7:15 on lex.
i love my life
2004-05-10 07:09:54 AM  
Take a look at the AA 12-Step Program

1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol - that our lives had become unmanageable.
2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
5. Admitted to God, to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
7. Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.
12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

Obviously not for everyone, especially at FARK, given the vocal atheists out there and 10% of the US population!

No debate regarding treatmant for alcoholism is complete without looking at alternatives to the AA Program with it's "12-Step" programming.

Rational Recovery - This program approaches the problem without telling you to submit to a "higher power".

Debate away. Have fun!
2004-05-10 07:10:57 AM  
I was in the hospital recently, which was pretty unpleasant. They have morphine (which is okay) and another type of morphine-like injection that's the best drug on planet earth, bar none. Can't remember what it's called though, but I'd skip the booze...
2004-05-10 07:15:25 AM  
[image from too old to be available].com
- an alcoholic's dream... find the best beers in any region of the world.
2004-05-10 07:16:33 AM  
I was in group treatment (which was VERY effective) and went to a few A.A. meetings but decided it realy wasn't for me for some of the reasons DAY_OLD_DUTCHIE gave so I found another way that worked for me.
2004-05-10 07:18:02 AM  
I think a lot of people who think they are alcoholics are just assholes in hiding. They really want to be an asshole all's just that the drink lowers the inhibitions. Get a grip. Have a beer and be nice. Cigs, donuts and coffee do not make you sane.
2004-05-10 07:19:13 AM  
pick Yeah I have family members who drink and are alright, family members who drink and aren't alright, and family members who are dead from drinking. I drink like a fish on the weekends but when it comes to the weekdays I don't touch the stuff, it's just an individual thing and like someone said earlier I think a true sign of recovery from "alcoholism" is to be able to drink responsibly rather than to be able to not drink at all. I'll admit that may be hard or even impossible for some people but as far as I'm concerned thats their own personal failings... not that we all don't have those.
2004-05-10 07:24:18 AM  
Okay I found it:DILAUDID. Ask for it by name.
2004-05-10 07:25:26 AM  

I want to answer your question about "why would you order Bud"

It brings me back to high school and biker runs. Reminds me of music and some big boobied girlfriends that I used to drink with. Corona and Takate take me back to mexico and Guiness I just love... so...yeah, it's good to sample the good stuff, but I do love a 6 pack of long necks once in a while. I hate to even admit this, but I have a couple of old buddies that I drink Coors Lite with on occasion

I should shut up now.
2004-05-10 07:25:28 AM  
Nutdip :

I know plenty of people that are not alcoholics that are assholes. Alcoholics carry around a lot of pain and denial but are not necessairly assholes.

It's hardly contained to alcoholics. Assholery is a socially acceptable disease, unlike alcoholism.
2004-05-10 07:25:48 AM  
Anyone familiar with Bill Wilson's personal struggle with alcoholism would know that the man never drank "just three" shots of whiskey in his life. It's likely that on his deathbed the man was suffering some form of dementia and didn't really know what he wanted. In his writings he describes the alcoholic mind with great accuracy.

Not bringing him those shots was a kindness, despite the rantings of the blogger and resident know-it-alls. Rather than ease his passing, they would have tortured him in the final days of a life well lived.
2004-05-10 07:28:31 AM  
dukefluke: I take it you've never partaken in shrooms, if you think psilocybin is unpredictable. It is precicely it's predictability that maks it so attractive for medical use.

Sure, any psycoactive substance, be it lithium, ritalin, prozac, or psilocybin, at high enough doses can cause unpredictable behavior.

But at the doses they're using, you aren't even at the point of haluscination. It more a sense of well-being and introspection. How unpredictable can that be?

Short of ego-disloction psilocybin trips are extremely predictable.
2004-05-10 07:33:06 AM  
well farkers ..... as a nurse i have to say that i'm really in shock that those in my profession didn't grant him his requests in his final day(s).

and by this story it is hard to decipher if he was in a hospital or in his home (he could have had private duty nurses doing shifts at the time). either in the home or hospital - obtaining alcohol would not have been a problem. (scratches head and remembers my 'celebratory' hospital dinner w/complimentary wine hours after giving birth to my children)

i just think it's sad that his last wishes weren't granted. i try to do everything in my power to make sure that my patient AND family are as comfortable as they want to be .... whether it be a smoke, a drink, a fattening meal, a porno mag, whatever ..... we are all in control of our own lives and are responsible for our own decisions.
2004-05-10 07:38:47 AM  
I think everyone should go to an AA meeting at least once even if you don't drink or never use drugs. You don't have to say anything, you can just slip in and sit in the back. It is free and sometimes you get coffee and donuts. If you don't smoke, I'd suggest finding a non-smoking meeting.

The AA, CA and NA meetings I have been to don't usually focus on the higher power very much. Any 12-stepper would say I am not even close to recovered since I drink, but the 12-step program is very good and gave me everything I needed from it and much more.
2004-05-10 07:39:48 AM  
Ratboy - lots of things to take issue with here. I'm guessing you're an ex-alcoholic because you're so familiar with Bill Wilson, which I'm guessing is why your viewpoint is so skewed in this particular case. If I'm wrong, I humbly apologise in advance.

"Anyone familiar with Bill Wilson's personal struggle with alcoholism would know that the man never drank "just three" shots of whiskey in his life."

So what are you're suggesting, that he'd get up off his deathbed and go on a three-week bender? For all you know, the man could have died happy having had "just three". For all I know, the man could have died out of his mind with impotent rage because he was denied his dying wish.

"It's likely that on his deathbed the man was suffering some form of dementia and didn't really know what he wanted."

Poor bastard might not have known what he wanted or what was good for him, but you do, right? I think farking not. I may be "a resident know-it-all", but you "visiting know-it-alls" are just as full of it.
2004-05-10 07:41:28 AM  
Mikey Mike Mike - "dukefluke: I take it you've never partaken in shrooms, if you think psilocybin is unpredictable."

You'd be wrong. Luckily for me, I can stop reading right there.
2004-05-10 07:42:25 AM  
I'm more of a visiting know it all, but I fit in just fine. We all know everything around here, it's great.
2004-05-10 07:46:17 AM  
Tin Foil Hat:

Just out of curiosity, but does the mushroom remedy for alcoholism have a side effect of encouraging conspiracy theories?

With a name like that, I gotta ask.
2004-05-10 07:46:48 AM  

We here at Fark salute you.


The only problem with going to AA meetings is that we'll become addicted. Then we'll start fighting with imaginary friends, which will ultimately lead to the destruction of the modern credit system.

No thanks. I'll stick to my beer :)
2004-05-10 07:51:41 AM  
i try to do everything in my power to make sure that my patient AND family are as comfortable as they want to be .... whether it be a smoke, a drink, a fattening meal, a porno mag, whatever

Hehe, next time I have a relative that feels like dying I'm taking them to your hospital. I take it the smokes, drinks, fattening meals and jazz mags are supplied free? If so, I have a lot of relatives that should be worried...
2004-05-10 07:52:37 AM  
I use to sneak in Brandy Alexanders (albeit weak ones) for my Grandmother when she was on her death bead. It is called quality of care.
2004-05-10 07:56:42 AM  
dukefluke, I appreciate your effort to understand this. But I think that it may be one of those things where you really have to wear the other guy's shoes to get it.

The comfort that comes from a drink for the non-alcoholic simply does not exist for some of us. And it does not require a deathbed dementia for the alcoholic mind to lie to itself and say that it will. We struggle with that denial a lot at different points in our lives.

Of course, noone can say how it would have gone had Bill got that whiskey. But those of us who have been in his shoes know from our own experiences that it most likely would have been the opening of Pandora's Box.
2004-05-10 08:01:46 AM  
I think people are missing the point here.

The moral dilemma here didn't lie with the late Bill Wilson. He was dying, and obviously had more important things to concern himself with than a tipple.

The dilemma lay with his nurse and friends who got that request for "one last drink before I go". Sure, they could've given in--after all, what'd be the harm to the guy? He was dying; how could falling off the wagon hurt him further?

But then, what kind of example would that set to other alcoholics struggling with their addiction? Thank God I've never been in that position, but if I were, I'd sure as hell hope that MY friends would refuse my begging for booze, even if it looked like I wouldn't survive the night.
2004-05-10 08:04:57 AM  
Read at the beginning of every AA meeting:

"No one among us has been able to maintain anything like perfect adherence to these principles. We are not saints...We claim spiritual progress rather than spiritual perfection."

Bill W. wanting a drink before he dies just hammers home the point of how evil alcohol is for SOME OF US. I hope I'm aware of my dying moment. That is when I will know that I beat alcohol once and for all. Until then, I am happy that I have 7 hours sober today and 8 years (on July 1) of 24 hours sober behind me.
2004-05-10 08:05:35 AM  
Stupid math...8 hours sober today.
2004-05-10 08:06:22 AM  
Nobody better f*ck with my last wish, whatever it may be. For me, that's the bottom line.
2004-05-10 08:15:25 AM  
2004-05-10 07:46:48 AM SchlingFo AA meetings...ultimately lead to the destruction of the modern credit system.

I salute you.

Hytes Xian is probably right about the shoes thing and those around him in those last days probably knew more about what he was asking for than we do.

I've added dukefluke's 2004-05-10 05:06:39 AM deathbed wish to my will so they'll know I'm not insane.
2004-05-10 08:16:39 AM  
Hytes, I think our disagreement lies in the concept of the term "deathbed". For me, it means you don't have long to live and that there is no hope of survival. I'm getting the feeling that you're looking at it from your own perspective, which hopefully is not that of a dying man.

I understand that alcoholism itself is a horrible business and that I have no actual concept of how hard it is. One thing I do seem to have gleaned from what I've learned is that the craving never goes away - the 12 steps are only a method for dealing with it. Hence the fear that one slip could lead you straight back down the path you've worked so hard to get off. I have no issue with this.

But clearly, if you're about to die, there are no consequences that could possibly be worse than your own impending death. Every path he chooses to take from this point forward ends in death. Straight and narrow or twisty and littered with empty bottles - all paths are still painfully short. Having struggled, and succeeded, to fight the booze for so long, it really DOES NOT MATTER if he has a drink because the end is the end is the end.
2004-05-10 08:16:56 AM  
I am Jack's raging bile duct
2004-05-10 08:24:55 AM  

You don't have to apologize, I am an alcoholic and take no offense at that lable. As such, the skew you cite is a perspective that is different than your own.

Since he's dead and the point is now moot, I've offered a plausable explaination, knowing of the man and having read his works, as to why those that were with him at the last, who knew him, would deny him such a request.
2004-05-10 08:27:08 AM  
dukefluke: Easier to stop reading than to form a coherent response, especially when you're wrong.
2004-05-10 08:31:19 AM  
2 years ago following my wife leaving me, I went through a major binge (that started with an issue of over-drinking every night). As I was looking at the bill I had received from counselling after dealing with a wife cheating/leaving me, I saw along the diagnosis "Alcohol Abuse". Out of the corner of my eye I saw my 5 year old daughter calmly playing with her toys. I resolved then and there that my daughter wouldn't grow up with an abusive/alcoholic father like I had to.

I TRIED for 2 weeks to sign myself into a local hospital for detox/rehab but since I was sober at the time I was trying to get in, they wouldn't let me. Thankfully a Doctor friend of mine on my final day of trying to get in drove me to the hospital after I drank all day long so I would HAVE to be admitted for help (yeah what a weird situation... it almost led to a malpractice suit against the hospital.

I spent only 2 days in detox, while I was there I saw others who were definately worse off than I. Crack, Heroin, and other Alcohol Addicts with NO job, NO place to go, Here I was in my early 30's with a home, a decent job that was kind enough to give me time to get this malady settled. and a wonderful doctor (not my friend) who helped me formulate my plan.

While in detox, I was introduced to AA. Even though I detested the quasi-religious nature of it, the fundamental core I perceived was that it gave some sort of foundation of faith for those who may have lost it.
I realized that AA was not the way for me to defeat this daemon of mine. However my attack on this was a little more pronounced. After I told the attending physician what my plan was I was released within 2 hours.

upon release, I was picked up by a friend. I called my Dr. (Vader lets say... he sounds like James Earl Jones) and he phoned in a prescription for Antabuse at the closest pharmacy.

I to this day can remember swallowing that first pill with an iced tea in the parking lot knowing that this was the beginning of a new me.

I took the antabuse for a year with nothing more than a minor craving after mowing the lawn in the summer (A beer just seemed to "go" with physical activity... not just the desire for drunkenness) I quit the Antabuse exactly one year from my release... that was over 7 months ago, and I still don't have any desire to drink.

My issue was that in my profession I would try to "relax" after a stressful day, and a couple of drinks did that... it wasn't until I began drinking more and more in the need to escape from what I was under stress about that I realized the issue.

Will I ever drink again??? Perhaps... I used to be a chef/sommelier, so I miss the combination of a good wine with a wonderfully prepared dinner every now and then... but that's about it.

and yes , I still do smoke... that is the next addiction for me to conquer, I'd done it in the past through exercise and diet, and I'll do it again. Of all the chemicals (prescribed and otherwise) that I have put in my system, nicotine has been the hardest to conquer.

But remember, hating people is far worse than hating inanimate objects, or even large mega-corporations. So don't hate the smokers, hate what has made them what they are.
If you are wondering what I'm leading to, go rent "Clerks" and watch Dante get pelted with cigarettes whilst being chided as a "cancer merchant"... a poignant scene

What I have found through my talking to other alcoholics and addictive behaviour types is that AA provides a crucial part to recovery. FAITH... if you don't have it in yourself, they help you discover it, or give you faith in a group that understands you. I was more than fortunate to have family and VERY close friends who were there for me when I needed them.

As far as a last wish goes... I too would probably go for a nice shot of Jameson's right before I crawl out of the sleeping bag with Rose McGowan, strap on the skis, and proceed to try to straight-chute Twin Peaks in the Cottonwood canyons.(Hey, what a way to go) :)
bofh out!
2004-05-10 08:31:27 AM  
ratboy - if you put it that way, I guess what happened is that "Bill Wilson: Founder Of AA And Celebrated Non-Drinker" became more important than "Bill Wilson: Dying Man".

Pop culture frame of reference - Ed Norton being threatened with castration in Fight Club. Those of you who've seen Fight Club will know why this is relevant.

I think it's incredibly sad that people decided that they knew what was best for him at the end, despite his own wishes. I hope never to experience that.

Right, that's enough out of me. Besides, I'm sure there'll be a Bush-related story to have fun with sooner or later...
2004-05-10 08:35:19 AM  
one bourbon, one scotch, one beer
2004-05-10 08:42:24 AM  
Would you let him drive your car after serving him 3 shots of alcohol?
2004-05-10 08:46:26 AM  
People in the fellowship of recovery die all the time. And the deathbed dilemma of whether or not to drink or use when facing death has come up countless times for me. In meetings, in conversation and, in one instance, the death of a friend from cancer.

But clearly, if you're about to die, there are no consequences that could possibly be worse than your own impending death. Every path he chooses to take from this point forward ends in death. Straight and narrow or twisty and littered with empty bottles - all paths are still painfully short. Having struggled, and succeeded, to fight the booze for so long, it really DOES NOT MATTER if he has a drink because the end is the end is the end.

Within that lifelong struggle, we have all found incredible times of peace. They come and go, and can be mere seconds or long, long stretches of time. I would hope that on my own deathbed, I would be able to find some of that peace before I go, and I know that that is possible. But if I were to take a drink, the likelihood of that would be shot to hell.
2004-05-10 08:49:14 AM  
Dean Martin said it best: "I feel sorry for people that don't drink. When they wake up in the morning, that's the best they're going to feel all day."
2004-05-10 08:50:21 AM  
I submitted this with a funnier headline.
2004-05-10 09:00:26 AM  
I funnier this with a submitted headline.
2004-05-10 09:04:24 AM  
Wouldn't it be ironic if Jerry Falwell, on his deathbed, requested "please, someone, bring me some c*ck..."
2004-05-10 09:06:39 AM  
08:16:39 AM dukeflukeno consequences that could possibly be worse than your own impending death

Depression, insanity, blackouts, loss of control, rage, etc. are all pretty bad. He may have been rationalizing it along the lines you are and might have been able to enjoy a last drink or might have gone on a wild bender causing pain and suffering to himself and others. We don't know if 2 hours after the request he said, "thanks, if I ask again I hope they don't get it for me" and then asked a few more times.

If he were resolved to drink I think he would have found a way.

2003-08-25 09:45:59 AM Hytes Xian's post in the linked thread kinda sums up how far gone you can get when you are using. I don't think you'll mind the link, but if you do, Hytes Xian, feel free to get it removed with your TotalFark badness.

Oh, and bravo to all of you who are trying to understand. Fark is amazing to me when it is funny and informative like this.
2004-05-10 09:07:44 AM  

No, then all of the fella's would get jealous. Especially after dropping the beat and doing his acapellas.
2004-05-10 09:16:34 AM  
I know that sobriety is a precious thing, not having been through the battle i can only understand from the outside. I do, however, believe that any man who faces imminent death should be granted that which he asks for, as long as it can be gotten...
2004-05-10 09:17:26 AM  
My mother is an alcoholic, 2 times in rehab to no avail. My step father is a recovering alcoholic. My grandfathers were both alcoholics.
I'm not an alocoholic, though I have occasionally had my fair share (heh heh). But knowing my family history I keep my consumption under control and monitored.

However, if any of my family were to request a drink on their deathbed, even after being sober for any amount of time, I'd give it to them. Here's why...
You join AA to save your life and the lives of those you love. You clean up your act because it makes your life and those of friends and family better.
On your deathbed, there are no more regrets, no more possibilities, than that which faces you - Death. At death, you should have the one thing you desire most, even if it's a shot. It can't kill you at that point, for Pete's sake! It can't make your life any more of a mess. It doesn't diminish all that you've accomplished by being sober.

What it does is give you one last taste of something you enjoyed, perhaps a bit too much, but enjoyed nonetheless.

My one grandfather was sober for several years when he went in for leukemia treatments, and they worked. However, as he was recovering, he actually started getting worse. He asked for a beer each night with dinner. As an alcoholic, it was denied. My grandmother started sneaking a (Reading...yech...aged in transit) beer in each night with her. The doctors were amazed, a week later, when he'd recovered enough to walk out on his own.
Did the beer cure him? No, but the return to some semblance of something he enjoyed improved his attitude and gave him something to look forward to. He didn't take up drinking again when he walked out (he died a year or two later), but that one beer each night was a salve that helped him through a very difficult period.

I asked my father about it (he's a doctor, plastic surgeon), and he replied that while he didn't think giving a beer to a recovering alcoholic is a good idea, helping a person cope with a difficult situation while in hospital is always the best method of getting them better. The beer itself was inconsequential. It was a means of improving outlook.

As a result, when one of my friends (many of whom are recovering from addictions of some nature) asks for a beer on their deathbed, I'll gladly stand by and present them with the stuff of life. It's the least I could do, having supported them staunchly through their recoveries.
2004-05-10 09:28:41 AM  
Since we're having a coming out party - wtf -
Next month I will have 16 years clean. Completely clean, none of that "I don't drink, but I smoke a joint every now and then" shiat. I also don't smoke, nor do I drink caffeine for all you nit picking farkers out there. Now, that being said, I will hopefully continue a clean lifestyle and go to my NA meetings as long as I am able. BUT - on my deathbed? LOAD MY ASS UP WITH THE BEST farkING COCAINE YOU CAN FIND!! I WANT THE GOOD shiatE SO I CAN GO OUT LIKE A ROMAN CANDLE!! WooT! You're gonna die, folks, and staying clean is about avoiding jails, institutions and death. Well....... DOH!
2004-05-10 09:30:02 AM  

Put a boulder on the stem for me, will ya? Melt it good.
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