My Dad being prosecuted for sexually abusing one his daughters has hardly helped.
Anyway, last Saturday night, I spoke to him on the phone. He was about to start watching the Joshua/Molina and Chisora/Whyte boxing card.
He usually calls me after each fight, to discuss it, and this time he never. I thought that a bit strange, and so phoned him. No answer. 'He must have gone out', I thought. No biggie, you might think, 'cos he's a grown man. But it's a biggie for us, because when he's out he almost always gets in trouble.
Anyway, I went to sleep, and at 7:30 on the Sunday morning I heard the door go. My Mam had keft for work at around 7:00, so I was like 'Mam? Mam?'. And when there was no answer, I knew it would be him.
He's done this a lot over the years. Get drunk, stay out all night, then come back to ours. It's always hard, but this time was awful.
I went down to greet him / brace myself, and straight away he went into the kitchen and started swallowing whatever pills he could get his hands on from the medicine cupboard. Mainly just blood pressure medication my Mam takes. He's threatened suicide numerous times when drunk, but this is the first time i've seen him act on it.
Your kids!? He said he didn't care. Me!? He said he didn't care.
So I snatch some of the pills off him, and chuck them through the catflap. And he tells me to f*ck off, or he'll 'banjo' me. He is quite a physically big man, accustomed to violence, and hit me numerous times when he was younger. I took the threat seriously.
I then went upstairs, phoned an ambulance, and told them of the situation. That my brother was drunk, downstairs, and apparently taking an overdose. They said they would send an ambulance, but that they would also have to call the Police for the ambulance crews safety.
Not long after, my brother left the house. So I rang 999 and told the ambulance service this. The Police still came, took a description, and said they'd look for him.
And until about 11:30, it was cat and mouse, with him coming to the house, then leaving. The Police did talk to him at one point, believed my story, but said they couldn't do anything but phone an ambulance.
Anyway, it was at 11:30 that he came back for good, falling to sleep on our couch with a can of of Gin and Tonic in his hand.
Not knowing what he's taken, and when, I phone the ambulance again. This was about 11:45. They said to sit with him, watch him, and make sure he's breathing. Which I did. And every time his breathing quietened, it was awful (though I still found time to tweet inbetween, like everything was normal).
I'd read that overdoses can take days to work, and it's vital to start treating them early. So every second counted. 3 hours later, the ambulance arrived. They asked me to wake him up, because I said I couldn't guarantee their safety if they did. And he did wake up, and agreed to go in the ambulance.
By 3:00, we were at the hospital, and they took him in a room to take a blood sample. On the way, they'd asked a few questions, and I basically answered them honestly.
I sat in the waiting room, and by 4:45, still hadn't heard anything. So I went to reception and asked, and they pointed me in his direction (he was on a trolley in a children's crash room, due to lack of space).
I went and sat with him. After another 30 minutes or so, a Doctor came to talk to him - or me, basically, considering he was only half-conscious. He denied ever taking an overdose, said he'd had a headache. and had miscalculated the dose.
I told the Doctor, outside, that he'd definitely taken a deliberate overdose, and that he'd said he wanted to die.
The Doctor seemed very interested in when he'd taken 'the paracetamol'. I didn't even know he had, so told the Doctor he'd been with me since 11:30, and it couldn't have been after then.
He then disappeared for like literally an hour and 30 minutes, while I was left, set with my brother, not knowing how serious it was. With this daft machine, that he wasn't even connected to, beeping away. I took my chair into the corridor, because I couldn't take it.
Anyway, eventually the Doctor came back, and said they'd be keeping him in. He had dangerously high levels of paracetamol in his blood, and they couldn't be sure when he'd taken it. So they were going to have to treat him with acetylcysteine.
I asked the Doctor outright if he was at risk of dying, and he just said 'It's nasty stuff. We don't know'.
It then took another 1 hour 30 minutes before they started getting it into him.
The whole time, I had to contemplate that he might he die: what would happen to his 4 children? And making contingency plans as to where they would sleep if they had to come and live with us.
Anyway, he survived. I - me - got him to the hospital soon enough. Had to scrap him to do it, but I did it. I saved his life, probably. Traumatic, but that's just my life. You have to deal.
Before being let out, he had a 5 minute talk with a psychiatrist, and that was that. He doesn't feel he needs any more treatment, and we're back to where we were pre-overdose.
A matter of time before it happens again?
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