New to this: Trying to stay on the wagon

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First time I've posted in anything like this and as I do my eyes start to well up. I have a drinking problem and it's pretty much brought my relationship down to shattered pieces. I started drinking heavily over 2 years ago. I gave up smoking and found another kick and buzz to replace it. Originally, I thought I just had an issue with certain drinks, e.g. I believed that I couldn't drink white wine because it made me aggressive and I lost all control. I now realise it's any excessive drinking and I'm at the point where I need to stop. Gradually I've been building up from a few glasses to a bottle and a half to myself, often whilst I'm alone. It's destructive to my relationship and I need to kick it if I am to salvage it. I feel scared and anxious and just want to jump through this initial stage but know I cant and have to fight it out. I feel embarrassed and like a fool. I've got so many regrets and just want to be alcohol free. Ideally, I'd be able to drink in moderation and manage my consumption, but I think that will only last so long and after a few drinking sessions will turn into a habit again. I'm not sure what I'm expecting from this post, but I needed to tell someone other than my partner. 

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  • Posted

    It IS possible to drink in a controlled way with medical help. Google 'The Sinclair Method.' It works. Not easy to get access to but you should know about it, word is gradually being spread. It's clinically proven to work.
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  • Posted

    Well, first off, I hope you don't feel embarrassed, because of the people here, that are posting, they are either struggling with alcohol or have struggled with alcohol in the past.

    So no one is going to judge you. but what you will get is a wealth of experience from people who are going/have gone through what you are.

    There are people who have drunk in moderation for years and then an event sets them off, or there are those that are just genetically addicted to alcohol.

    So just so I can recap, we're talking about a bottle and half a day? Are there any days you go without or is it every day?

    Tthere are options, there is medication to stop completely, but there is medication, as Paul has mentioned that allows people to drink in a controlled way.

    You'll get plenty more people reply, and the advice will start to get a little more detailed. You can get as much or as little as you want from the forum.

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  • Posted

    You have come to a good place Kerry, you will get so much help from people who understand and have been through the same as you. 

    I was like you....I gave up smoking and found that alcohol was a reward at the end of the day.

    Don't be scared, there are answers to your worries, keep writing on here and you will get the support you need.

    Take care and don't give up hope.

    Pat.

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    • Posted

      Hi kerry

      welcome to this forum. First off no one will judge or critisise you here. We have all mostly been where you are.

      You will get loads of support, help and advice from people who have first hand experience and know more than some doctors. Paul Turner is a specialist in AUD and gives great support and advice, as does Joanna. 

      My my advice would be to start by seeing your GP before you change your drinking habits. It's very dangerous to just stop by yourself as you may get severe withdrawal symptoms like seizures and very rapid pulse. Your GP, if you're lucky may agree to prescribing chlordiazepoxide (Librium) if you have an understanding GP. If not you can be referred to addaction (don't expect a lot of help there!) I don't want to sound alarmist, or put you off seeking help.

      its great that you've recognised that you have a problem and want to do something about it.

      There is a drug called acamprosate (campral) which I found very helpful. You don't drink whilst taking it, it's an anti craving drug which you take three times a day. If you read through some of the threads on here you can follow RHGB's saga and the lengths he went to in order to get it.

      The Sinclair method Paul mentioned has an excellent success rate. There are two drugs nalmefeme and naltrexone which you take an hour before your first drink. Personally, I couldn't get these two drugs, so can't really comment, but someone will post on here.

      Feel free to post on here anything, you won't shock anyone, and you definitely won't feel a food. I found it really helpful reading through the alchol consumption forum when I first joined here. You will see you are not alone and people will empathise with you. Different things work for different people. The main thing is not to just suddenly stop.

      keep posting and ask anything.

      good luck

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    • Posted

      Sorry Patricia my post was to Kerry not you!! My apologies xx
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  • Posted

    Good for you that you want to do something about it. What have you tried so far? Stopping suddenly can be dangerous for some people. Gradually cutting down is good for some. Having days off from alcohol I can also be a good start. If your brain gets excess pleasure from alcohol such that you can't stop once you've started drinking then it is worth considering medication - eg nalmefene and following the Sinclair method. Good luck whatever you decide
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  • Posted

    Paul nailed it, kerry. If you want to drink in a controlled manner, then The Sinclair Method (TSM) is the way to go. That's what I'm using and my drinking has dropped from a peak of 15 standard drinks (US standard) per day down to between 4-6 per day in less than a couple of months. You won't get the "rush" from alcohol while you're using TSM, but you will get control and that will let you choose to have a few or none at all, whichever is your preference at the time. 
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    • Posted

      Good reply Kerry. What ADEfree shows is how it can be done and get better control of your life. Best of luck. Robin
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  • Posted

    Hi Kerry

    Joining this forum was one of the best things I did, and getting involved with the Sinclir method was another.

    I could not manage my consumption and always went too far, I didnt want total abstinance just some sort of control.

    With the Sinclair method I now feel I have it.

    I wake some mornings feeling I have cheated the alcohol and have a big smile on my face.........having enjoyed, in a slightly different way than before, a civlised evening with family and friends.

    Like most things the Sinclair method takes a bit of effort and determination, but so much worth it if it works for you.

    If you talk with your doctor and he/she looks blank or refuses to help, dont panic. I buy my medication (Selincro) on line. I dont value my doctors view on alcohol and have not told him about the Sinclair method. Although initially expensive (£3.85 per pill) and having to pay for them up front, I am quids in bearing in mind how much less I drink now than before the pills.

    What ever you decide to do there will be people on here who will help and will have been there before.

    Good Luck to you.....

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    • Posted

      Hi

      My GP refused to even look at the info I'd printed off about TSM and called it 'American mumbo jumbo'! I changed dr's and got the same response. Got a referral to alcohol advisory service and my support worker there had to google it as she'd not heard of it either and would speak to her manager who didn't know much either, only that I wasn't alcohol dependant so it would be no use.

      I don't want to abstain and have cut my drinking down to just weekends. If you don't get any effect from the alcohol, like feeling mellow and relaxed, then surely it's not worth either taking the tablet, or not take it and not drink, and just take acamprosate. I'm confused!

      Could I ask which online pharmacy you use, should I decide to give it a try.

      Thanks

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    • Posted

      I get my naltrexone from a private doctor but have used river pharmacy in the past and they are very reliable.

      My husband wants to try naltrexone so I have just ordered some for him and it is actually cheaper than the one I'm getting

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    • Posted

      I feel confused about the same thing that you have just mentioned, Vickylou, I hope someone can explain.
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    • Posted

      On TSM, you will still get the mellow and relaxed feeling from the alcohol as the tablets have no interraction the alcohol itself.

      What the tablets do is basically cut the wire that causes the compulsion to drink more and more, which in turn means that once we start we cannot stop and/or drink dangerously.

      So, the alcohol will still taste fine, compliment a meal etc and it still has the sedative effects BUT you will no longer be unable to control how much you consume....

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    • Posted

      For me its if you don't get any effect from alcohol then why bother taking the tablet. You may as well not drink.

      Also why can't you take it if you're not alcohol dependant? I don't want to wait till I reach that

      Stage again. I've wasted too many days in bed with a bottle of vodka.

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    • Posted

      Right thank you so much for explaining that. It makes sense now.

      I will either go to a private dr or use a reputable online pharmacy.

      What would happen supposing I were involved in an RTC and was unconscious and unable to say what medication I was taking? Would it react with anaesthetic or any other drugs the hospital used?

      Thanks

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    • Posted

      Answered your first part of your question in a post above a few minutes ago so you may not have seen that yet.

      In terms of alcohol dependancy, this is sadly yet another form of misunderstanding handed out by the alcohol services in this case, that drive myself and Paul nuts!  They simply have such little knowledge, or even NO knowledge at all, about medicaitons for AUD that the end result is that people are being denied treatment that they are entitled to.

      In NICE guidance about naltrexone CG115, it clearly states that 'for people with moderate and severe alcohol dependence, consider offering acamprosate or oral naltrexone'.  It is a misconception that naltrexone is ONLY for use by those with severe alcohol dependence.  No one goes to the alcohol services clinics unless they have some form of alcohol dependency, even if it is currently in a moderate form.

      These NHS issues are a major issue in this country and a BIG barrier to proper treatment.  I am just completing the final details on a new, free, service that C3 Europe is going to be offering to get accurate information (and written evidence) to people so they can confidently go to their appointment and ask for an assessment for this treatment.  I am hoping to have this service up and running in the next 48 hours or so.

      Clearly, in nothing else, this forum is telling us that people are being desperately let down by the very people who are supposed to be helping them.  Having a brief understanding of the NHS procedure for this medication and who you need to have your appointment with should help overcome these barriers in the majority of cases....

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    • Posted

      There is a card with the tablets that confirm you are taking an opioid-blocking medication.  Any paramedic will be trained to check personal effects in case of allergies etc.

      In that event, he/she would either need to increase the dosage of painkiller to override the blockage OR use an alternative, non-opioid based painkiller.

      Additional care also needs to be taken if you have work scheduled at a dentist for the same reason that a dentist may use an opioid-based painkiller.

      As a keen cyclist, I also paid a couple of pounds for a rubber wrist band to include this on.

      Do remember that as treatment on TSM progress and you are drinking on less and less occasions, there will be times when this is irrelevant as you will have no naltrexone or nalmefene in your system biggrin

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    • Posted

      This is also the problem, when care is taken away from your primary care provider.

      If you order from abroad, your GP certainly won't have it on record that you're taking it.

      If you go through an ARC, I don't know how likely it is that they will inform your GP. I informed my GP directly as I have their direct email address to each GP.

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    • Posted

      When I was originally given naltrexone was told I had to carry an "alert" card with me at all times in case I was in an accident and unconscious. Saying you couldn't have medication with opiates like codeine, cocodanel or morphene as it could cause a reaction. Lost the alert card now! 
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    • Posted

      I think it is viewed that the someone's primary care provider is an 'all-rounder' and cannot be expected to know everything about every condition.

      For example, if you are struck down with a form of cancer, your GP will refer you to a cancer specialist to get the most appropriate treatment.

      This is how (in my opinion) they view addictions, and to a certain extent I agree with them.  The difference is that when you go see a cancer specialist you expect that specialist to offer you ALL the alternatives for your condition.  You wouldn't expect to have your first consultation with someone who's pretty much only qualification is that they survived cancer.  You would expect to see the specialist!

      In addiction treatment, that doesn't seem to be the case - that is where the error lies in the system.  Very few people will see the specialist able to prescribe medication in the first instance.....

       

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    • Posted

      Thanks for that advice Joanna. I am due to have a filling and have anaesthetic injection. How many days does it take for naltrexone to be out of your system so the injection works. I'm such a wimp at the dentist!!! Sorry for all these questions x
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    • Posted

      This is why I'm telling my hubby to just take the naltrexone I've ordered for him online.I don't want it all going on his record for no reason.When I first went to the doctor telling them I had a problem I actually thought they could help me.I regret that now as it effects insurance ect.

      My husband had a spinal injury 2.5 years ago and was in hospital for 5 months and us also diabetic so has regular bloods done and the recent one showed his liver function was fine

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    • Posted

      How does it affect your insurance?

      In my case i couldn't get out of it, because when I had my stroke, they detoex me under anasthetic and drugs that knocked me out. So I never really had a choice whether my GP knew or not.

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    • Posted

      Life insurance I meant.If you put yourself out there and say you are an alcoholic then die from a heart attack your insurance company will say it was due to the drink and most life insurance doesn't cover drink related deaths like cirrhosis ect.
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    • Posted

      That's okay then, my pension (not in receipt of yet, but the life cover) covers the money side of things, should I snuff it and the mortgage is already paid off.
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    • Posted

      This is the trouble with being a "functioning alcoholic".....

      So much to worry about as well as the addiction

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    • Posted

      Yes, in my day, there were no computers and databases. Everything was quited disjointed. I remember even in the early '90s, I went to see my GP (long term family GP since I had been a kid) about something.

      At the end of it, he said to me, I should really put this on your records, but then you will probably find it effects you. So he left it off and just said, if I ever saw anyone else at the surgery, not to mention it.

      If you want a mortgage these days and you have a falling out with your mobile phone contract provider, then your credit file gets trashed and the mortgage goes out the window. I think it is unfair, that one part of your life can impact so much on other areas.

      Oh look, it is getting near my hospital appointment time, I think I am on first name terms at the local four hospitals round here, with an appointment with another hospital on Monday next week. A new person today, that I haven't seen before, should be fun.

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    • Posted

      We've had a mortgage for 20 years and because of remortgaging and an extension we still have 10 years to go.

      My kids are 17 and 20.

      All I want us to pay off my mortgage and know they are ok.....that's why I'm afraid of dying....leaving them with no where to go sad(

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    • Posted

      If you check with your dentist and he either uses, or can use, a non-opioid version then it won't matter.

      Otherwise 5-7 days with no naltrexone to be sure, the longer the better.

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    • Posted

      Joanna thank you for answering my questions in laymans terms. I know it sounds stupid, but I have this fear of having an operation, then waking up half way through in agony and no one knowing. I watched a documentary about this and it sounds terrifying.

      In reality, the sensible (if you can call it that!) part of my brain knows that I've got more chance of winning the lottery, than this extremely rare incident happening. I thought if I was on naltrexone and no one knew, the chances of it happening would increase. 

      Also many thanks for the pms regarding online pharmacies. However I've started a new discussion,  MIRACLES CAN HAPPEN.  Believe it or not. I now have a prescription for naltrexone 😄😄

      I would like to say a big thank you, to both Paul and yourself for the amount of time, effort and understanding and support you give to this forum. Your input is invaluable and most appreciated.

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    • Posted

      Nicole

      Dont want to be nosey, but have you and your hubby made a will. Luckily my mortgage is paid off as a result of an inheritance. I've got three kids, 32, 29 and 27. Only the eldest lives at home and I've made provision in my will for him to remain living there. He has very very slight learning difficulties and I too was petrified about my OH and I dying together and the other two kids forcing him out.

      Now I've made a will I am more content. Nothing is foolproof, but the other two each had £50k for their deposits on houses, so if we did snuff it, they get £50k less from my estate.

      Whoever said money can't buy happiness never spoke a truer word

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    • Posted

      Thank you!

      It makes me very happy to know that we (Paul and I) are able to offer suggestions and advice and that people find it useful.  Paul has the medical knowledge and experience, and I have the experience of all the combined experience of those I have taken through the method now.

      If it also helps, in my experience, those who are thoughtful enough to be asking the type of question like you did today are the people who are considering the method so well and wanting to understand it, these are the people who do very well with it.  They ARE serious questions about a situation that COULD happen and should be taken into account when considering these medications as a possible treatment biggrin

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    • Posted

      No vickylou we havnt made a will.Its more to do with my husbands Son from his first marriage who is 28.I don't really know how to go about sharing things up and if we died while the kids were still living at home how that would impact on the situation but I know I need to get my head out if the sand and deal with it.
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    • Posted

      I have been doing well on naltrexone and only drinking about 2 large glasses of wine a day but I think my honeymoon period is over because I drank 2 bottles last nightsad

      But I know this can happen and I will just keep on going.

      Taking it one hour before drinking is easy enough to do

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    • Posted

      Yes indeed nicole, can and does happen often. That's your brain hunting for it's old toy, which it wouldn't have to bother with if the Naltrexone hadn't been so effective in the first place. Keeping on is exactly the right step. Maybe look ahead to what a person might get up to without drinking consuming so much time. It's nothing but seeing if there are some other toys that your brain might be happier with, maybe even some old forgetten ones that it enjoyed before!
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    • Posted

      It does require a lot of thought to cover all possible loop holes. One being my inheritance came from my mum. If I were to die and my husband remarried, my kids would loose out as his new wife would be his next of kin.

      Would suggest using a good solicitor

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    • Posted

      Hi Vickylou

      I have never wanted total abstinence, just some sort of control, and I think I have found that with the Sinclair method and Selincro.

      Before, if I went out drinking (which was mostly at the weekends) I would simply carry on until I was completely sloshed which 9 times out of 10 would require a swift can of cider in the morning, which triggered another session on the Saturday I would hopefully have the will power to keep off it on Sunday so as to go to work on Monday.

      This was becoming harder and harder to achieve.

      I do travel on business and it mostly ends up in a drink in the evening, which before Selincro was fraught with danger, some times I could control myself, sometimes I could not and again it was getting hard to exercise the control needed.

      Since taking Selincro I have even gone out midweek, which is something I would avoid, and although I will drink the eqivelent of a bottle of wine or just a tad more it is far less than I would have done before.

      Although I dont get that "mellow" effect from the alcohol whilst drinking it I still get the feeling of inebriation and light headedness, my true bonus is that I dont crave another, or rushing to the bar to get more large wines before they close, hoping there is some more in the fridge when I get home or finding an off-licence so I can continue at home.

      The fact that I have managed to go out, drink like a "normal" person and wake up able to function, is still quite new to me, I know my wife is slightly suspicous that things will slip back, but at this moment in time she is enjoying the experience, as am I.

      Sorry for rambling on........

      I use Pharmacy2U, having initially filled in a drinks diary and submitted a medical history I simply buy the pills as and when, as I say they work out for me at £3.85 each which is easily saved on a night out, the only problem is they need to be paid for up front, which I know could be difficult for some people.

      The initial side effects lasted about 4-5 days, but they were no worse than some hangovers.

      Having read some of the harrowing posts on this forum, I realise that there are people out there much worse off than me and I hope they can find a suitable answer to their problems.

      I am sure that I have many challenges to face but for the first time in over 40 years I feel in control of alcohol, this is working for me.

      Good Luck to you.

       

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    • Posted

      It can happen Nicole. Just have a think, did you give it the full hour after taking your pill before drinking and could you have had a drink after the pill wore off? Either of those can mean that your opioid receptors get a hit and you will have a desire to drink more.

      If you did neither of those things, just carry on as you have been and start aiming for a day with no alcohol as soon as you feel ready.

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    • Posted

      A long battle Sil and you are winning I think. Never give up trying to change and you WILL feel better!! Keep trying. Robin
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    • Posted

      Hi Robin,

      I will settle for the way I feel now any improvement will be a bonus......

      Thank you for your support.

      Cheers

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    • Posted

      sil -

      As you're ordering online, another option might be Naltrexone. Some online pharmacies offer the generic at a at a better price than Selincro. If you're ever close to Spain, I understand you can get a 3 months supply of it there for under 100 pounds OTC. 

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    • Posted

      I get mine with a private prescription but I've just ordered some for my husband from river pharmacy and they arrived in exactly a week which is quick for overseas meds.

      I ordered 120 tablets and they actually work out cheaper than the ones I'm getting!

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    • Posted

      Yes, I found Riverpharmacy to be the quickest, ordered on a Saturday and arrived the following Friday. Some of the others can take two weeks, handy if you are in a hurry.

      Once the Pound bounces back up after the June referrendum, they should come down in price a little.

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    • Posted

      Does this mean you think we will come out if the EU?

      Actually lets not get started in politics sad

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    • Posted

      I was merely stating that things would probably stabilise after the vote.

      (on a personal level, if we remain, I shall be looking at emigration options, as the Britain I know will cease to exist for much longer. I have no children, my father died last year, my mother is 80 soon and the inlaws are of a similar age. Once they are gone, there are no ties for the wife or I).

       

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    • Posted

      Well said RHGB

      I know what I'll be voting in June. I'd be gone like a shot if I hadn't got three kids.

      Neither my OH or myself have any family apart from our kids. Now the younger two have their own houses and good jobs, it just leaves the eldest 32 at home.

      OH retires early next year, plan to spend 8months in Spain, 4 at home. Where would you go?

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    • Posted

      I know if it weren't so the kids we'd move somewhere cheaper so that we didn't have a mortgage.We live in the southeast and if we moved up north.We have about 200 grand in equity so could be mortgage free
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    • Posted

      Well, I've been many places and of those I've been too, Australia, Canada and South Africa are all quite nice. I would move to a fairly quiet place, so if it was somewhere like Australia, it would be Queesnland As a child I lived in New Zealand for two years, so that is an outside consideration.

      But it would be away from Europe and a country that had a small population compared to the landmass.

      You do know of course, if we (Britain) vote leave, they'll cobble something together, make us vote again and rig the vote, just like they did to the Irish when they voted no to the Lisbon Treaty.

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    • Posted

      I've lived in Canada, Montreal, Spain but inland, Andalucia where there's not many people and no all inclusive hotels for miles! not the touristy parts) nothing like Blackpool with the sun! 

      My cynical nature agrees with you about vote rigging. IMHO David Cameron has not delivered, the manifesto was a clever plan to encourage people to vote Tory (myself included) and please don't get me started on immigration.

      we will end up staying in and being controlled by Brussels. We're a total nanny state, heard on the news kids can't tackle in a game of rugby now!! As for human rights well xxxxxxxxx. 

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    • Posted

      That conjures up visions of Farage riding a warhead aimed at Brussels, ala Dr. Strangelove. 

      Whatever happens, don't give up the Pound. That would be like the nation pouring itself a cup of Tetley's Instant Vassal State.

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    • Posted

      Yes it's slightly off topic, but RHGB was replying to a question about the cost of online drug prices, and the fact that the prices might come down depending on what happens in June, which is true, a very valid point in answer to a question.

      Ok I went a bit political, but no harm was done. Does it really matter or make a difference, it's only general chat online. There was nothing personal or rude, and nothing to take offence from

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    • Posted

      I too had a dr who was a close family friend up until I got married and had to change drs.

      We moved 100 miles away from my parents and friends. After about six months I started getting panic attacks and anxiety. I was visiting my parents who asked the doctor (family friend) to have a look at me. He wrote a prescription for an anti depressant and ativan. He gave me six months worth of both tablets.

      however I was having trouble sleeping tablets which worked, but I was a zombie the next day. My personality changed overnight. Went back to my new dr who couldn't understand why I was reacting so badly.. He asked me if I was using recreational drugs! I said no only these tablets.

      The family dr said he'd let my new dr know, so I never mentioned what I was taking as I assumed he knew. Turned out that I shouldn't have taken a with b as it was dangerous.

      my new dr wanted to officially complain, but after a lot of persuasion he agreed to let it drop.

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    • Posted

      I could have killed my missus, I had my family doctor since 1973, I can still remember his name, Dr.Warnock. He was very good, and although I left home in '81 I kept him as my doctor and used my parent's address. He told him once and he said he didn't have a problem with it, as long as I understood it meant no house calls.

      Anyway, I met the missus and moved in with her, she was unhappy with her doctor, so I said, register with mine. I told her to use my parents address, Anyway, about six months later, I got a letter at my new address saying that I'd moved out the catchment area and I would need to register with a local doctor.

      I went to the wife and said WTF? How did they know? She sheepishly said, the receptionist had asked her to confirm her address and she said, she couldn't lie and had given the real address, so I lost a good doctor of over 20 years, who knew I wasn't local but was happy with that, all because she wouldn't just say, the address you have on record is still current. He was the sort of doctor, that if you went and asked for diazepam to come off alcohol, would give it to you and say, no mention of alcohol on your record, I'll put you're suffering from mild anxiety and sleep disorder due to temporary stress at work.

      About 15 years ago, the GP (different one to any I have mentioned before) prescribed Seroxat for the wife and that stuff turned her into a zombie. She stopped taking it after a couple of months.

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    • Posted

      I'd like to have been a fly on the wall when you read that letter lol! My husband would have done exactly the same as your wife. He won't complain about anything and says I'm embarrassing.

      Classic example, went to the Maldives and paid a lot of money only to find our luxury villa  which should have been right on the beach was almost a mud hut at the back and our breathtaking view was the local brothel and the rubbish dump. He didn't object however when we were given the honeymoon suite where our meals were served to us on a beautiful table on the beach itself

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    • Posted

      No, everybody agrees with you that we don't want that sort of political debate on here but VickyLou was explaining why that one got through smile It doesn't matter, misunderstanding, nobody is upset smile
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    • Posted

      Patricia only just seen your reply. You have every right to say something, and you haven't upset anyone. It really was a one off and I'm sorry if I upset you. If I did then I apologise. Forgiven? xx

       

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