The Eleven Days of Sobriety

Current Booth student Randy T Daniel (name changed for anonymity), recently accomplished what many thought Randy could never accomplish: 11 days of complete sobriety.  No substances of any kind for 11 straight days, “except for green tea.” Why the sober path?  Between spring break and a bachelor party, Randy didn’t feel so well – his heart was hurting, literally.  He decided to see a doctor. I interviewed him (over a beer) a couple weeks after his sober experience. This is his true story.

Tyler Burkett [TB]: What hospital did you go to?

Randy Daniel [RD]l: I had to go down to Hyde Park because I’m on Uship. They said they didn’t have any appointments for 3 weeks. Once I told them that my heart was hurting, they told me to go to the hospital immediately.  That’s a pro-tip in case you need to see a doctor faster.

[TB]: What kind of questions did you get?

[RD]: Oh – so many questions.  Stuff like, ‘Have you had unprotected sex?’ I was like no, but I didn’t use condoms with my ex-girlfriend.  They asked me, ‘Were you both faithful?’ and I said ‘Yes, but I can’t know the answer to that.’

[TB]: What happened after the questions?

[RD]: I had an EKG [electrocardiogram]. Knowing that I was a student, they were clearly afraid I couldn’t afford it.  So they gave me a quote, which came out to be $250.  I figured that’s just the cost of a night out, so I should get it.

[TB]: What were the results?

[RD]: Almost 100% fine, except that I had a slight arrhythmia due to breathing, whatever that means.

[TB]: What were the results of the blood-work when the results came in?

[RD]: I got message that said everything checks great except my liver enzymes, ATLs I believe, are a little high.

[TB]: What does “a little high” mean?

[RD]: Well the range is 7 to 40, and I was literally at 40. ATLs are released when liver damage occurs, which means there was a lot of damage.  So I decided I should stop drinking for a little bit.

[TB]: Can you define little bit?

[RD]: At least a week.

[TB]: When is the last time you have gone a week without drinking?

[RD]: Since I was 17, I have gotten drunk at least one time a week.

[TB]: Do you remember that day as a 17 year old when you started this Cal Ripken-esque streak?

[RD]: It was December 23rd 2004, the day before Christmas eve. And we actually have a tradition with my buddies, where we always get drunk that night.

[TB]: The tradition is to get drunk the day before Christmas Eve?

[RD]: Yes.

[TB]: What was it like to be sober for 11 days?

[RD]: I didn’t know how to go sober. What do you do on your free time?  So I asked a few people, what do you do? What do you say to people? Do you go out? If you go out, do you drink diet cokes?  Do you drink water? Because, if I don’t have a drink in my hand, I feel weird.

[TB]: What was the approach you decided on?

[RD]: I kept going out and would drink water, with a splash of lemon. Lemon is high in vitamin B, which is good for your liver.

[TB]: Anything else happen during your sobriety?

[RD]: Ya! I was actually productive. I lost 7 pounds because I could run 6 miles without getting tired. School became even easier and I was killing it. To top it off, the ladies loved talking to me.

[TB]: What made the difference with the ladies?

[RD]: I could put a sentence together.

Despite the success in school, weight-loss, and improvements with the ladies, Randy is drinking again.