Be Your Own BFF, Not Your Own Bully

This story is a about a patient who came to see me for a physical and to discuss her labs because her provider was not in the office that day.  She is a beautiful 33-year-old who had a blunt facial expression.  I proceeded with my usual questions for a routine physical. When I asked her if she has anything else she would like to discuss, she kind of mumbled, “yes.” She thinks her irritable bowl is acting up, although she has never been diagnosed with it.  Her symptoms started 2 years ago only presents when she is stress and drinks alcohol.  In the 2 year span, she got divorced, became a single mom with a 4 years old, moved to a new place and started a new job.  She was using her alcohol to numb her feelings.  This was the only way she knows how wallow her sorrow.

I empathized with her and acknowledge that she is going through tough time.  I said to her that everyone who is born in this world couldn’t escape having these experiences.  Everything happens for a reason.  In this life, she will meet people who will mirror her, and they will become her best friends, lover, husband, etc…When they no longer mirror her, she can try to make things work for so long, only to drag out misery by hanging on to the relationship.  With each day, she would feel the void increasing as she lives like room mates with the lover he once was to her.  I encourage her to stopp bullying herself and stop sabotage her body and hide her emotion through alcohol.  I reassure that what happened was not easy but it just might be the best thing that happened to her.  Heart break can shake  her up so she can realize her authentic self that she is worthy of much more than she has been settling for.

When I was reviewing her labs, I noticed her triglyceride was over 1500mg/dl.  That is 10 times more than the upper normal range.  She was not aware of any family history of high triglycerides, though everyone drinks since that is part of her Irish and English culture.  I explained that results are extremely elevated and she is putting her health in danger of hospitalization for pancreatitis for drinking.  Worse case scenario is she is cause herself to rapidly age and put her at risk for alcohol dementia.  Her daughter will miss her so much.  She will grow up without her mother.  I encouraged her to look at herself through her daughter’s eyes.  I am sure there are days she feels terrible and when she sees her daughter, she’d hug her and thinks she is the best.  Her child’s eyes are pure and she sees her heart, not tainted from the world like an adult.  So I said to her, if she feels like shit, she needs to remember that her daughter thinks of her as “the shit, “ she should get rid of her shit so she won’t fee so shitty! I advise to take folate and thiamine which are the vitamins, which she may be deficient form the alcohol abuse.  I gave her ativan to help her withdrawal symptoms.  I advise her to adopt a healthy life style by eating a low carbohydrate diet, exercise and get enough sleep. I had her recheck her labs in 2 weeks.

Two weeks later, I saw her in the office.  She appeared content with herself.  She has a smile on her face and looked energetic.  She was happy to announce that she has not had a drink since the time she saw me.  She made a eye opening decision to quit for good.  She has been following my advice and did exactly what I told her to do.  Her birthday was last week and did not drink.  When she went to her mother’s house who gave her a birthday bash, she noticed everyone was drunk upon her arrival. She was having a out of body experience. She said that she no longer choose to be drunk and hide her feelings with alcohol which no longer serve her.  She realized what is important now that she is thinking sober which is her daughter and her true happiness.   She has chosen a healthy lifestyle that will benefit her as well as her daughter.  Her lab results after only two weeks dropped to 121mg/dl, which is completely in the normal range, which is utterly amazing!

There is only one today, may you find the BFF within you to take better care of you.  You deserve to live the greatest life on earth.  Don’t be your own bully.  Be your own best friend and you will never be disappointed.