The perennial party pooper

Man refusing alcohol with hand out; had has "NO" printed on it.

Not for me.

Don’t worry, I have no plans to talk about my GI tract today. When I did earlier this week, no one even commented, which was kind of a let down, to be honest. I’d have thought someone would have something snarky to say, but no, only silence. You folk are clearly more anal retentive than I realized.

Today I’m talking about what it’s like to be the one who never drinks, the self-designated driver, the “I’ll just have water” person in the group. Yes, that’s me. I will turn you down if you offer me alcohol, and I’ve done so for years.

I can’t claim I’ve never had a drink, since I was in university once. In fact, the night I defended my graduate thesis, I got so drunk that the room started spinning. Why admit I put a glow-in-the-dark sticker on the belt buckle of a person I had a crush on? Do you really need to know? What’s important for you to know is that I got drunk once, and it wasn’t pretty.

But I never much liked the taste of alcohol; if I were going to imbibe, I’d go for something sweet with alcohol thrown in. Fuzzy navels were my favourite, when I had one. And, to be frank, I never much liked the way alcohol made me feel–drowsy, cranky, and gross the next day, even after just a beer or two. So giving up booze was no big deal.

No one has ever told me I can’t drink, but were I to ask any of my doctors, I assume they’d recommend it, for a few reasons. First, I have a blood clot and am on blood thinning medications. Alcohol is a blood thinner as well, and can interfere with the effects of these medications. I had so much trouble regulating the thinness of my blood for many years that I didn’t want anything to mess with that. Blood that’s too thick can clot, but blood that’s too thin can be problematic as well.

I also assume that putting my compromised liver under any additional stress through alcohol consumption would not be a great idea, so I just don’t do it. Why take the risk? I’m trying to keep my liver happy, remember?

I wonder how often people assume that, because I don’t imbibe, I’m a prude or a snob or I’m scorning them for drinking. Just so you know, I’m not. Occasionally, I wish I could join you, and I wish I enjoyed drinking as much as you do. It looks like fun sometimes.

For now, I’ll skip the wine pairings with the food, I’ll pass the glass of champagne for the toast to J. after I take a pretend sip (she doesn’t mind), and if I’m ever offered free alcohol, I’ll have no trouble finding a taker. Hey, maybe this would actually be a good way to make friends–giving them my free booze.

Now if you told me I had to give up chocolate or Jelly Bellies, you’d have a fight on your hands. Thank goodness these don’t thin blood.

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2 thoughts on “The perennial party pooper

  1. I was hoping for another poop post! I have said to people “I don’t drink anymore”, so folks assume I am an alcoholic. Just to confirm, your liver would be cranky if you got your sauce on….if my liver enzymes are out of whack, the first question my nurse asks is “did you have anything to drink?”. I’m sure the anti-coagulation management folks would ask the same thing…or perhaps ask if I ate a whole bunch of kale! Great post!

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    • Thanks for responding to my not-indirect plea for comments, Deb. This whole teetotalling thing would be harder on you than me since you used to like the odd glass of wine, didn’t you? Funny that people would assume non-drinkers must be alcoholic. Maybe my doctor thinks I’m so square that he doesn’t even consider asking about drinking if my liver enzymes are off. That’s kind of a depressing thought, isn’t it? Glad to know you can also be my Sister in Abstention! Annie

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