Sin Tax


There are few things that would make one want to quit drinking or smoking faster than seeing an alcoholic in the ICU suffering from every variety of havoc that alcohol does to ones body or helping out with a mean old woman with emphysema.

I wrote before that someone close to me was an alcoholic, now said person is in the ICU dealing with detox, heavily sedated and dealing with organ failure and a high temperature. His habit was well honed over a 40 year period. But if one’s favorite way to deal with stress is beer, and then it turns to scotch…well. I guess it is a turning point this little trip.

This person is heavily sedated because he is trying to leave the bed, no doubt to go get a glass of scotch. He also doesn’t believe that he is an alcoholic, so no point in treatment then. He will more than likely insist, after his trip to the hospital, that he go back home. That way he will fix himself a nice little glass of scotch… rewind replay scenario… I hope not.

Tonight a woman I go visit…to be precise, I have visited her two times…she had to go to the emergency room. I was called? She is a pretty tough lady. When I called her she wanted to go to a certain hospital and feared the ambulance would take her elsewhere. I asked and found they would take her wherever she wanted, but she was mad when the firemen showed up instead. They I guess are a sort of “check and see if this is a real medical emergency” thing, and they said it was, so they called an ambulance, but apparently the place she wanted to go was not accepting ambulance emergencies.

I think the firemen talked to the people at her desired place because she was in bad shape, could not walk anywhere at all and so the place she wanted to go said they would take her. However you see, she was already extremely upset that the firemen had come, not an ambulance, exascerbating her medical problem. Then, when the firemen changed and said she could go to her desired location, she didn’t believe them, thought it was some sort of lie to get her into the ambulance…it took about 10 minutes to get her on the stretcher because she thought everyone was lying to her.

She wouldn’t listen to me, she thought I was patronizing her, she was having alot of problems, not getting enough oxygen to her brain. She was mad at me… for what? I wouldn’t take her house keys.

I let her go in the ambulance alone. I didn’t sign up for this. She has a brother 45 minutes away, why wasn’t he with her? And another part of me, some martyr part, says I should be there with her because she is all alone. I met this woman a couple weeks ago. I worry about her.

So now I wait and hope the emergency room people will at least call if she needs to be taken home.

I feel like I am being tested.

And I titled this Sin tax I think this stuff gets into peoples lives so silently, like a thief in the night, and carries them into an addiction that takes not only all their health, but their ability to think as well. Like a tax you didn’t even know you would have to pay. Would you like liver scarring with that Chivas? Oxygen with that cigarette? Would you like those marlboros with an inhaler today? Oh, don’t need one today. Well let’s spin the lucky roulette to see if you will need one in a year.

Why do this?

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