“Regular Wine Drinking” Mom Suddenly Enters Liver Failure

(Cupventi.com) – Pamela Wampler didn’t see wine as a problem until May 2022. She started the habit when she was 40 years old.

She says drinking wine helped her cope with stress after a job change and health scare.

Soon enough, Wampler was finishing a bottle every night. She stopped eating at night because she was gaining weight.

Wampler kept her job as a resource specialist teacher despite being hung over three times a week. Her two adult sons didn’t think she had a problem.

Around the same time she started drinking wine, Wampler was diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder. She called her doctor because she wanted to increase the dose of her medication. She was asked to come in for an appointment.

Wampler suspected that she was up 70 pounds, so she went to the doctor’s office. I sat in her office and cried because her blood pressure was high. I told her I don’t know what to do. I need help,” she says. 

Wampler wasn’t sure if her drinking was the problem. She thought that if she drank less and exercised more, her weight and blood pressure would return to normal.

Small shifts weren’t going to be enough. Wampler’s doctor said she would probably die within two years if she didn’t get treatment.

Wampler’s drinking could affect her ability to access healthcare because she would be considered an alcoholic.

Wampler still didn’t think that her drinking was an issue. She told her doctor that she was not an alcoholic and needed help.

Wampler thought she didn’t have a problem when she was referred to the virtual substance abuse program.

Virtual meetings with a counselor were included in the program. Even though she wasn’t sure of her alcoholism, Wampler attended. She realized that she was an alcoholic. Functioning alcoholics don’t fit our stereotypes about alcoholics because they have homes and jobs and they don’t think of themselves as alcoholics until they try to stop drinking.

It was too overwhelming for Wampler to cut back on alcohol. I thought about wine constantly. It’s all or nothing for me and my drinking. She says she loves it too much to stop at one.

Wampler had her first glass of wine at five o’clock and kept drinking until 10 p.m.

Wampler was prescribed a medication that would make her want to drink more wine. She drank her last drink on May 5, 2022. Even with the support of her doctor, substance-abuse program, her counselor and her husband, quitting drinking wasn’t easy. “I grieved wine.”

The doctor told me that I needed to choose my life over wine when I was on the video call. She says there was a part of her that thought she couldn’t give up wine.

Wampler was sober through the month of May. She missed happy hours because of work. She missed wine. 

She was watching the TODAY Show on her first day of summer vacation when they mentioned the Start TODAY Facebook group. The walking challenge was going to start in June. She joined the group and replaced her evening drinking time with walks with her husband.

“At that point, walking was the perfect fit for her. I didn’t have the energy to go to a gym.” She says she didn’t feel good about herself, but she could walk around her block.

Wampler found that walking helped her mental and physical health. She says she craves it every day.
Wampler was able to fill the spaces in her life that had been occupied by drinking. She sets up a sparkling water bar at her home with different flavors and additions. She’ll drink sparkling water and watch tv after her walk.

Wampler doesn’t go to happy hour as often as she used to, and she only goes with her friends. She orders sparkling water in a wine glass when she does.

Wampler has lost 53 pounds, but she says that’s not the main benefit of her sobriety. It’s changed our relationship completely. We’re walking together every night instead of sitting on the couch. She says that instead of going to a wine tasting on the weekends, we find a trail and walk.

She has seen several positive changes since she stopped drinking.

Her memory is better. She says that the drinking clouded her memory.

She feels like her old self, and people say she’s not just pretending to be happy anymore. They can tell that I’m happy.

She feels better physically. By August 2022, her blood pressure had dropped and her liver enzymes were back to normal.

She still takes anxiety medication, but it’s working now that she’s not drinking.

Wampler said she didn’t want people to judge her. I didn’t want people to know I wasn’t perfect so I drank in the first place. I drank to numb it all at night after keeping it all good. I decided to put it out there. She says she’s broken, she’s not perfect, and she struggles.

Wampler found the group to be a safe place because she was reading other people’s posts. I didn’t know these people. It was safe for me to share because I didn’t know these people.

Wampler has been applauded by people in the Start TODAY community. Wampler’s post has gotten more than 3000 likes and hundreds of comments since it was posted three weeks ago. People want to know how she did it.