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Alcoholism and the international business traveller

Posted by Dubai chick on 19 May 2014.

This is my storey, my journey following the loss of my dear husband.

We were married for 21 glorious years and have two beautiful daughters. When our second daughter was 7 months old we moved to the Middle East with my husbands job. He was an engineer, working in the oil and gas industry. We had a wonderful life, enjoying the sun and both our girls attended school. David was in sales so spent a lot of his time away on business. I was the main care giver and the girls and I did everything together, but they so looked forward to when dad came home. I'm not sure when David's drinking became a problem, but he would always have a drink in his hand and gradually he started drinking more and more and it started earlier in the day. Over the next few years he started to develop other signs, not eating much indigestion, feeling sick shaking hands, verbally aggressive and very short tempered. Initially I put it down to him being stressed but then I started to take more notice of what he was drinking and when. I advised him to go and see a doctor just for a check-up. I had never done anything behind his back but I was so worried that I decided to contact the doctor before David attended for his appointment. I knew being a nurse that he would not be able to speak to me once he had seen David. I voiced my concerns and asked him to try and bring it up in conversation and maybe try and do liver function tests and any other investigations.
David rang me after leaving the doctors office, he was really worried and quite upset which wasn't him at all.
When he came home I sat down and got him to tell me what the doctor had said and asked him how he felt about what he was telling him. I told hi how worried I was and how his drinking had changed him. He promised to alter his behaviour and we both made a pact not to drink during the week and only after 6pm at weekends. Ha how naïveté was I! He would hide drink away, go out in his car when he didn't need to. Anything to have a drink without me seeing him.
Over the next few years we moved to Australia and then back to the Middle East. A change of job in 2007 saw us move again, but not for long. His drinking had finally done the damage, he developed massive ascites, discolouration of the eyes and had lost so much weight. We moved back to the uk and David spent the first month in hospital. He went through so many painful investigations, drain insertions blood transfusions and continuous IV therapy. Yet still he refused to admit he had a problem and jut convinced himself he needed to cut down on what he was drinking. 
He came out of hospital and I watched him like a hawk, I took him to his outpatients appointment and did everything to support him. 
In 2010 he was offered another job back in the Middle East, the plan was for me and our youngest daughter to join him once he was settled and he had secured a school place. I was praying that he would 'behave' and we talked about the importance of him staying off the booze. Otherwise his life was at risk.
I think I knew deep down something would happen, he wasn't used to being on his own and I know he missed me and the girls and family life in general.  He came home for Christmas and new year in 2010. It was so lovely to have him home, but he was different! He seemed depressed and when I took him back to the airport on 2nd January 2011 I begged him to resign and come home. I missed my husband desperately and just wanted him to be safe and well. May 2011 I got a call from David's boss he had been admitted to hospital in Dubai and was on a ventilator. I didn't know what to expect, but nothing could have prepared us for what we saw. 
I'm sure you don't want to hear the gory details, after 2 weeks on a ventilator he finally came off and 2 weeks later at great risk to him and a massive worry for me I managed to get him on a commercial flight back to the uk. He went straight to hospital, 4 weeks later he passed away with me, my parents and his mum and dad by his side. 
As I approach his 3rd anniversary I look back on my time with him, I still wonder if I could have done more, why did he give up, weren't we important enough for him to want to live. Should I have stopped him from returning to Dubai, if I had would he still be here now. So many questions and no answers. 
Our eldest daughter got married 1st February this year and I missed him so much, he would have been so proud of her. She looked so beautiful. I miss him all  the time, the pain is less but the missing him doesn't get any easier. 
I wish I could go and talk to other people who are trying to get of the dreaded drink, I would like to think my storey and what my family have gone through might help. 
To everyone, don't judge listen, support and be there. Good luck


19 May 2014

Evening hun, I have read your story with tears in my eyes....Many of the young adults who are our children are drinking excessively...along with their choice of drug is seems to go hand in hand....Personally, I have never drunk, never taken drugs, worked hard, tried to show my son right from wrong,..My shy little boy turned into a vulgar lying thief..all his dreams gone , replaced with where he was going to get his next tenner from .....heartbreaking doesnt even come close...he has torn our family one can trust him, we hide our valuables and NEVER leave him on his own.....The one thing I have learned is that no matter what we do, ultimately it has to be THEIR matter what we say, it falls on deaf ears....and contrary to the stereo typical public view..alot of these young men and women have loving homes, with parents who would die for thats the real sad part!!! They simply chose the wrong road.....

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