Wellington Daily News - Wellington, KS
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Life by the drop
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By Brandon Case
Brandon Case has spent the majority of his life living near the 99th Meridian, an imaginary line used for mapping purposes that circles the earth and runs through the North and South Poles.
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By Brandon Case
Oct. 22, 2013 9:11 p.m.

“You're livin' our dream, wo you on top
My mind is achin', Lord it won't stop
That's how it's happens livin' life by th' drop.” – performed by Stevie Ray Vaughan

Anytime you receive a call from the coroner’s office, it’s never a good thing. In this case, however, the phone call that Kathie received today from the Spokane County Coroner’s Office wasn’t entirely unexpected. The coroner called her with results of the autopsy of our daughter, Stephanie Crowe.
We figured it out all wrong. The small amount of over the counter pills had nothing to do with her death.
It was all the alcohol—the alcohol that she wasn’t even drinking at the time but which, through several months of alcohol abuse combined with poor diet/low calorie-intake, had produced excessive ketones up in her system. The ketone build up killed her. The coroner attributed her death to alcoholic ketoacidosis. Look it up.
According to the coroner, she didn’t even have any alcohol in her system. The only drug evident in her system was a small amount of Benadryl.
So I write this for all of you out there who still drink alcohol, especially to excess. Don’t think that it can’t happen to you. You may be on top of the game right now and use alcohol as a social lubricant. But, my, things can change so quickly.
I used to drink, back in my college days, and I met some confirmed alcoholics back then. True story: in Chickasha, Oklahoma, where I first attended college, I once met a former banker, who had been a fine, upstanding member of the community but, by the time I met him, had been reduced to drinking Listerine in a trailer.
That’s how it happens livin’ life by the drop.
Today, I call it the devil’s brew. I am grateful for the freedom I have had in being alcoholic-beverage free for over 20 years now. Perhaps Carry Nation had it right—just take a hatchet to the bars, liquor stores, etc. That’s the source of the evil. Of course, like drinking alcohol, such an action also has consequences.
How many lives and families have been destroyed by alcohol consumption? Could yours be next? Do you want to be another statistic? Just keep drinking and livin’ life by the drop.

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