9:28 a.m. I am getting ready to head to the MEO for an autopsy this morning. Last night they brought in an alcoholic who likely died from what is called esphogeal verices. (I don't have time to spell check that, so be gentle.)
Esphogeal verices is a tear in the esophegus that is brought on from years of constant alcohol burn. Esentially, the person bleeds to death. Exsanguination. People don't realize what a horrific death that is.
I remember the first time I walked into an alcoholic death. I thought at first it was as murder scene because of all the blood. The guy had been living in a motor home for about a month after his wife kicked him out of the house when he refused to quit drinking. She'd finally had enough.
I remember opening the door to the trailer and finding the floor, walls, bathroom, victim..smeared with bright red blood. Generally, the bleed is so sudden and severe that the person doesn't even have time to call 911. They take off their clothes (I never once found one who wasn't naked) because they start bleeding from every orifice...nose, mouth, anus.
The toilet is usually full of blood. The sink. Trails of bloody footprints run from one room to another as the panicking victim tries to figure out what is happening to them.
And when I find them, their wasted, malnourished bodies (never once found a fat one, either) are as pale as a sheet. Usually collapsed on the floor face-down amongst a collection of bottles and cans.
It is horrible.
I had to jump up on the couch and a table and straddle them to get pictures of the guy. He was lying on the floor right in the middle of a narrow walk-through. When I walked out, his estranged wife was there. I had to talk to her to get some medical history and find out more about his condition.
I'll never forget the wife telling me, "I don't feel sorry for him. He got what he deserved. He chose alcohol over his family."
I remember thinking that I understood her anger, but that if she'd seen that trailer...his pathetic last moments...how he must have been terrified and yet realized that he'd done this to himself... maybe she would feel sorry for him.