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Old 05-08-2008, 07:36 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Does this sound like alcoholic wet brain?

Hi All,
My husband is an A, drinks about 15 -30 beers per day (by his own admission, so we all know it's probably more) every day. He also has alcoholic liver disease and was given 6 mos to a year to live if he continues on this path. Anyway, he has decided to continue on this path cause as he says, he's got "another 2 or 3 years left", he's not paying attention to the 6 mos. thing. Anyway, our 28 yo son is staying with us temporarily, and when my AH comes home from work, he'll chat w/my son, then I come home, son goes out for a while, comes home later, etc. Anyway, AH asks me Tues nite if I heard from son since he wasn't home for a few days. I said "he was home, you just spoke to him" AH is like, "yeah, I know" but I don't think he really knew.
Last night AH asks me again if I've heard from son since he wasn't home for days. I'm like "you just talked to him about an hour ago about fishing, what are you talking about, he's been home!" AH again, "yeah, I know, what are you talking about?" Then my daughter called (doesn't have a car) asked me if I could give her a ride to the dr. w/my granddaughter (7 yo). So I tell her yeah (she lives right near me), tell AH that I'm taking daughter and granddaughter to dr. be home in 15 mins. or so, which I was. Daughter calls me about 1/2 hour later to ask me something, AH says "I'll pick her up, she doesn't need to take a cab", my dd was like "oh, sounds like you're having a great night", and we hung up. AH is like "I'll go get her" I'm like, she's home, where did you think she was?" He's like "she's at the train station coming home from work" I'm like "no, I just told you that I had to take her and G to the dr." he's like "I know that!" but I know he really didn't know that.
Just now, he calls me at work, sounds very off, and said he may have to drive his mother to a wedding we are going to tomorrow nite. He then says "we'll have a good time, dance and maybe we'll bring Bob", I'm like "what are you talking about?" then he's like "Bob", I say "who's Bob?" Then he tried to say he was only kidding, there is no Bob. I don't have a clue what's going on. Could this be wetbrain, and if so, how long does this go on before I lose my patience, cause right now I'm picturing sticking his head in a toilet bowl!!!! LOL!!! No, really, what does this sound like to you all. Thanks for any replies.
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Old 05-08-2008, 07:39 AM   #2 (permalink)
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sounds like the insanity of untreated alcoholism and codependency.

take good care of yourself, and keep the focus on that, not him.
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Old 05-08-2008, 07:53 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Wow, sorry to hear of the problems, not a Dr here and not to familiar with wet brain other than i think all systems shut down when that happens.
Sounds like i did when i was drunk, but if he is presently at work i assume he is not that drunk, i would wake up sometimes confused on wheter it was am or pm and my wife also told me i would talk to people that were not there, remind you this was when i was drunk.Sounds like a trip to the Dr maybe in order, hope all gets better and hubby will see the light and get into recovery.

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Old 05-08-2008, 08:00 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Even tho he is at work, I must let you all know, he is mega drunk at work, always is, was out the door 6:30 a.m. today to get a good start on drinking (drinks first thing a.m.). He's very close to losing his job, doesn't think anyone knows (how can they not). I guess that's part of the insanity too. I am keeping the focus on me, no offense, could not care what happens to him (that's up to him to decide), it's just that when he's like this, I really start losing my patience, and I'm tired of removing myself from the situation.
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Old 05-08-2008, 08:20 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by queenteree View Post
I really start losing my patience, and I'm tired of removing myself from the situation.
i, too, am sorry you are so exhausted by this condition.

maybe there is another solution for you besides the one you are currently working?
seems like "the situation" will not be guaranteed to change....i know you've considered permanently removing yourself, but have chosen, instead, to remain in it. you must have your good reasons, and perhaps it will help you today to remember the positives, since you are being drawn towards another negative, downward emotional spiral.

sending you uplifting thoughts!
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Old 05-08-2008, 08:48 AM   #6 (permalink)
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What is wet brain ---
Dr. James West, Betty Ford Center

"Good question. The term wet brain refers to a very real condition known as Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome. This chronic brain syndrome is caused by long-term alcoholism and is accompanied by a triad of symptoms: 1) mental disturbance; 2) confusion, drowsiness and paralysis of eye movements; and 3) ataxia or a staggering gait. A primary cause for this is a thiamine (vitamin B1) deficiency due to severe malnutrition and poor intestinal absorption of food and vitamins caused by alcohol. The person with wet brain acts much like the Alzheimer’s victim with loss of recent memory, disorientation with regard to time and place, confusion and confabulation, or telling imagined and untrue experiences as truth. If wet brain is identified in its early onset, an infusion of thiamine (B1) may help. Unfortunately, there is no recovery from Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome. Therefore, it is one of the most tragic consequences of alcoholism."

I thought I'd put this definition up for you...as I am not a doctor....In this definition of wet brain it mentions the similarity to Alzheimers/dimentia, and this is what first struck me.....your H sounds just like my mother in the last years before her death; she suffered from dimentia and aphasia (not being able to grasp the right words)....and she always got ticked off when this was happening to her (so she knew, but couldn't help herself.....grrrrr)

Since I am not a doctor, my suggestion to you would be, call your doctor and describe what's happening....I know your H probably won't want to go and see the doctor, but the doctor may be able to help you, and you are the most important person to you right now...................... (o:


NoeleR
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Old 05-08-2008, 08:59 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Thanks, it does sound like (and I was thinking) Wernecke's. Before I called him to tell him I was getting my nails done after work (for a wedding tomorrow), and he started talking all weird about me being his "bootylicious" and I was told him to drop it, then he was telling me how him and his boss had breakfast this morning and the boss told him how he is doing an outstanding job!!! I'm telling you, this DID NOT HAPPEN!! So I guess he's confabulating now.
But couldn't those symptoms apply to someone who is severely drunk and not have Werneckes? This is a real question, as I have never been really drunk and do not know if that is so. Thanks.
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Old 05-08-2008, 09:20 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Queenteree, I pray you are ready for what is down the road in the near future, I will not get into what happens when an alcoholic dies from alcoholism, but I really feel you should find a doctor who is willing to tell you in vivid detail what is in the near future for your husband.

I am not sure which is worse, watching a loved one going through the last phase of alcoholism or what the alcoholic goes through.

It sounds to me as though he is going to take his drinking to the bitter end, are you really sure you and your family want to watch this?

Please prepare your self for what is about to come, take care of your self and your family.

You are all in my prayers.

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Old 05-08-2008, 09:31 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Not a doctor, but I would *think* that it would be fairly difficult to diagnose someone who is still actively using.

Many of those symptoms are similar to post acute withdrawal syndrome and that can last up to 2 years after stopping all drinking. I don't know how a doctor could tell the difference between the two unless there was some sort of brain scan (like a CT scan) that would show the disorder.

When I was hospitalized with neuropathy (thinking it was my spine - I have spinal cysts), the doctors told me there was no way for them to acurrately diagnose me with anything until I eliminated alcohol from the picture.
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Old 05-08-2008, 10:12 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Not a Dr by a long shot, however, you said his Dr has given him 6 months with his liver if he did not stop.

Sounds like End Stage Alcoholism to me, and I have to tell you it isn't pretty and it's going to get a lot worse.

Having done private home care of the terminally ill for many years, I have been 'blessed' (yes I said blessed, sure helped keep me sober) with tending to and taking care of several in End Stage and it's is gut wrenching.

Talk to his Dr. tell him what is going on. Other than that, look on it like you are dealing with someone who has 'Senior Dementia' or Alzheimers.

Keep posting and let us know how YOU are doing. Queen you know the drill. Take the focus off of him and put it back on you.

J M H O

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Old 05-08-2008, 10:34 AM   #11 (permalink)
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My husband is only 53, so I don't know if it's senior dementia or alzheimers. What I would like to know, however, since many of you have posted it, is what lies ahead of me if he is end stage alcoholism and dies of alcoholism. What happens? This is new to me, never knew anyone who died of alcoholism, unless it was their liver that gave out, and even then, only heard about it. I also must add my AH only drinks beer as his hydration, hardly any water, and he gets severe muscle cramps every night, pain in his hips and back, if that means anything. I truly want to be prepared for what is ahead, so Taz and others, would you please tell me. Thanks.
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Old 05-08-2008, 11:44 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Hey Q ---

I'm a recovered alcoholic/addict, and I drank a lot, in my day, but not till my 50's (I quit @ 39), so I'm probably not much help in the symptom department.....BUT

I do have a wee li'll suggestion (asside from talking completely candidly with your/his doctor). Perhaps, since both alzheimers and wet brain can be linked to a Thiamine (B1) deficiency, you might want to try to get some extra vitamins (+ B1) into your H.......couldn't hurt, I don't think (again, talk to your doctor)......... (o:


NoelleR

P.S. My suggestgion, if this is wet brain, would be for you to do some research. From what I've read, it's not, heck, it's @#&*&^%$#
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Old 05-08-2008, 12:12 PM   #13 (permalink)
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A few weeks ago when we were at the dr. and the dr. told him the 6 mos to a year, dr. also told him (and me) a story about one of his patients, in drs. words "quite similar to your situation" (meaning AH's situation), said patient kept drinking and not heeding the drs. advice, finally the guy stroked out and was in ICU then had to have a walker, then finally found sobriety, but because he pushed his luck, he had damaged so many of his organs. Dr. told me later that the man died anyway (after he was sober), damage was too far gone, but didn't want to tell AH that. I love my dr., but I don't think he will go into details w/me about it. He just always says if he doesn't stop, he's gonna die and it won't be pretty. He likes me to concentrate on me (which is good), and in his opinion, he said if AH didn't check himself into detox and long term rehab he doesn't stand a chance. Even last week when I went to dr. for myself, he asked about AH, if he stopped drinking/went to rehab. I told him it was 2 weeks he stopped, dr. said "that you know of" and said he needed some kind of program. Also said, "if he did stop, he's right on the cusp, without help, he'll be drinking by this weekend" and you know what, dr. was right, he was!
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Old 05-08-2008, 12:35 PM   #14 (permalink)
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queentree,I hope you get in touch with a doctor who is experienced with alcoholism and wet brain right away and get your husband examined throughly.If it is wet brain and they catch it in time there is still hope,maybe...I do believe a brain scan is needed..

I have a friend who is retired Navy man in Florida.He is sober 30 yrs.He visits the Navel base weekly to try and carry the message to those guys in the brig and hospital.He asked a doctor recently about wet brain.The dr said they have a ward there and they keep the wet brain alcoholics there.What do you do with them my friend asked?
The dr said,we give them alcohol.To not give them booze would be inhumane.Without booze,they hurt and are in immense pain,and they scream they hurt so bad.Then one day they bodily functions slowly quit and they slowly die a painful death.


I hope your husband does not have wet brain.Pls get him back to a dr..
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Old 05-08-2008, 12:44 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Here's a start on your research and will explain it much better than I can, that way those that do not want to read the graphics will not have to on SR:

End Stage Alcoholism - The End Of The Battle

Drug & Alcohol Addiction Information - End Stage Alcoholism

End-stage alcoholism | AORN Journal | Find Articles at BNET.com

That should give you a fairly good idea.

Has his abdomen started to bloat yet?

Quote:
The dr said they have a ward there and they keep the wet brain alcoholics there.What do you do with them my friend asked?
The dr said,we give them alcohol.To not give them booze would be inhumane.Without booze,they hurt and are in immense pain,and they scream they hurt so bad.Then one day they bodily functions slowly quit and they slowly die a painful death.
Where I got sober in the SF Valley in California, there was a Big VA center in Northridge and they had just such a ward. It was a very rude awakening for those of us in early recovery, to see where I could still end up if I picked up one more drink. Scary then, and still scary now.
Maybe he will still decide to live, who knows, you can't do anything about it. Take care of YOU!!!!!

Love and hugs,
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Old 05-08-2008, 12:58 PM   #16 (permalink)
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I really can't get AH to the dr., and even if I did, it wouldn't do any good. If a dr. telling him 6 mos to a year doesn't make a difference to him, I doubt anything would. Laurie, I read those sites, and my husband does have severe spider veins (purple and red) all over his face, his whole face is mostly that (no exaggeration), his eyes are swollen and puffy and he also was just recently (after echocardiogram) diagnosed with left ventricular hypertrophy, which the dr. said he would go over with him in a few weeks. I asked dr. if that could come from drinking, he said he didn't think so (but dr. didn't seem concerned). His stomach is big, can't tell whether it's a beer belly or liver disease. It's so sad that alcohol can totally trick a person into believing that they will not die this horrible death.
As for those VA wards, I don't get it - you mean once you pass a certain point, you can't stop drinking???? You mean after a certain point, there is no help???? If so, I really think my AH is there.
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Old 05-08-2008, 04:38 PM   #17 (permalink)
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You have been given excellent links and information.
As he will not quit...and you will not leave
???

Blessings to the two of you
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Old 05-08-2008, 10:08 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Everyone here has already offered great advice and information. All I can add is my prayers for you and your family.

:praying
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Old 05-09-2008, 05:26 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Just my opinion ...

but yes it does sound like wet brain.
and it also sounds like you've not got long to wait.

how prepared are you for the inevidible?
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Old 05-09-2008, 07:46 AM   #20 (permalink)
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I feel very sad for you. It must be horrible to watch. I hope you take care of YOU! I really needed to see this post to be reminded of the physical consquences of this disease and that it is chronic.
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