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AH with other serious disease. Almost the end?

Old 06-23-2010, 12:11 PM
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AH with other serious disease. Almost the end?

Hi,
I am new to this resource and it's terrific so far. I do attend an Al Anon Group but someone there, (outside the meeting) told me perhaps I should find another more dedicated to active alcoholics as evidently this group has more ACA's in it. Been there - done that. Just so you know I am not completely new to the problem...

My 67 yo husband has pretty severe COPD with asbestosis. He's not on oxygen ..yet. In the last 6 months he has dropped 30-40lbs. Is looking like a skeleton. The real problem, we all believe, he and all the docs, is the drinking.
His liver is 1 1/2 x the size it should be. In the words of our doc, and other docs, I am probably the only reason he is still alive. Loving, caring etc...

At this point, he is not eating more than a scrap of food a day. I know I cannot help him, nag him or anything. I've been doing lots of research on the physical effects of alcoholism and he is end stage. I wonder every day if this will be his last. I am trying to prepare for that. But, this has been going on for awhile and I don't know how many more days I will truly survive "the wait".

We don't hardly talk anymore. I am mentally planning his funeral and my life after. However, I am feeling lately that I am very depressed, and losing it. My id name is an acronym I decided on awhile ago, kind of a double entendre. I have to keep my wit(s) about me. It helps to maintain my cool and sense of fun. And unfortunately, "Widow in Training". I misspelled it for my ID here but I've decided that for this purpose it means widow in training, trustingly seeking serenity. Lately, I am just out of juice. I have to do everything in and outside of our home.
I humbly ask that anyone here who has dealt with a chronically ill person who also has alcoholism, to share with me. I haven't seen this discussed yet. I just keep hearing my friends say they don't know how I manage, that they are really sorry for my dilema. It's both been a real eye-opener for me, embarrassing but also comforting.
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Old 06-23-2010, 12:17 PM
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Wittss, welcome to SR.

I have a 32 year old AD who already has COPD, and is morbidly obese. Although she is not currently drinking, she's switched the addiction to prescription meds like Xanax.

I have no personal experience in living with an active A long-term, other than my EXAH, and I finally hit a bottom with him and had to walk away for my own sanity/safety.

He was buried a few years ago at the age of 47.

I know others will be along to share their experiences.

I just wanted to welcome you, and let you know you are among friends.
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Old 06-23-2010, 01:43 PM
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Welcome Wittss. I admire your strength but please reach out for additional assistance from hospice -- you need the support and relief from the 24/7 caregiving! Take care of yourself, please. (((Hugs)))
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Old 06-23-2010, 01:47 PM
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Thanks for your welcomes and replies so fast! Hubby is barely mobile. Huffs, puffs just getting dressed. Only place he rallies to is the liquor store and maybe the doctors. We just returned from spending the winter in FL where I honestly thought he was gonna die. Almost came home. Figured out that the medical marijuana the doc down there prescribed to help his appetite, was probably too much for his liver, esp when I discovered he'd take it in the a.m. with Xanax and I took it all away. It was awful! The only thing that seems to help his appetite is prednisone, but you can't stay on that for long, so it's up and down, up and down.
He also has an abdominal aeortic anurysm (spelling?) we're watching. He had the one above it fixed a few years ago but they couldn't fix both at once ---to high a morbidity rate. He's seeing that doc next month. He hasn't seen the primary care doc yet since we've been home. I guess if he want's to go, he'll make an appt.
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Old 06-23-2010, 01:55 PM
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tjp, you're the second person this week to suggest hospice. I'm going to talk to the doc about it. I am to the point I'd better get my butt to him too. I suffer from high blood pressure and a back problem. I just can't keep doing this alone, I know. Thanks for your support! I just can't lose my mind/health again bec of him. I was hospitilized twice in the same year with serious depression several years ago and have worked so hard to become the stronger person I am, however, I know that I'm suffering symptoms again..forgetfullness, confusion, fatigue, hopelessness....So thanks for being here! Oh, I love your signature quote----I'm gonna post that on my wall! :-)
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Old 06-23-2010, 02:01 PM
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My dad (non-alcoholic) has an abdominal aortic aneurysm too. He has to go in for a scan every 6 months to make sure it hasn't gotten any bigger.

Are you able to get out of the house and do some things just for yourself?

I think the suggestion of hospice is great because you definitely need some help and relief.

I'm glad to hear you have an Alanon group for support.
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Old 06-24-2010, 04:09 PM
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Hey Friends, today is a better day, much thanks to you! I did do some checking on hospice but I don't think we're quite there yet. Of course, AH needs to see the doc, which for some reason, he doesn't want to do. I made him some breakfast, well, it was really after lunchtime --he sleeps alot--- and he ate maybe 1/2 of it. But, I was pleased with that. I guess, maybe I should just cook regular meals and not care how much he eats. At least it's there for him...and for me. I'm able to live on cereal and Cheetos :-}. Not a great diet. I love good, healthy food, but while some folks eat their way thru problems, I have a tendancy to starve myself. I've been where my hubby is! It was awful, and scary. Mine was depression induced. I think his is some of that but more liver damage, which scares the hell out of me. But. I can't do anything about was has been, or what will be. It reminds me of trying to get a 2 yr old to eat...you put it out there and hope.

Anyway....I decided today to get a new plan for organizing myself. I made short lists of what areas need work,how I would try to work a plan and also wrote down what challenges I could expect and what to do about those. It's certainly not all inclusive, just sort of an outline, but as the author of my own life, I have to start with an outline, of this particular chapter at least I apologized to my AH for being such a b**** sometimes. I've been really short fused lately bec I've been so overwhelmed and worried about many things. And he thanked me! It was nice.

I saw a lady on Dr. Oz today, who perhaps because she is addicted to sleeping pills, or in conjunction with it, is quite underweight with a BMI of 17.5. At least 1 pt below where she should be. My immediate thought was, I wonder what my AH's is...12? I need to look into that! Any suggestions on resources?

Freedom1990 Thank you so so much for the friend request! I can't wait to get to know you better. I am in awe that you're in school! I have wanted to do that too. Just maybe not right now. But, I am thinking I have to get out of the house more. We'll see.
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Old 06-24-2010, 04:24 PM
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Wittss, I have no experience with what you're going through, but wanted to extend a welcome to SR. There are a lot of shoulders here to lean on.
Wishing you peace and strength.
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Old 06-24-2010, 04:26 PM
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Wow, I'm impressed with the organizing thing! I'm not so good in that area!

There is a lady who was on Jay Leno 4 years ago who got her bachelor's degree at age 94. Talk about inspiration! I didn't realize she was from Kansas like me, and I saw where she just graduated from Fort Hays State with a master's degree now. She says she isn't done yet.

I'm like you, a not-so-good eater under stress. I've started picking up a lot more fresh produce at the store, cut back on red meat, and am eating more rice, beans, and fish.

I'll make you a deal. I'll be better about eating, even when I don't feel like it, if you'll do the same. Deal?
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Old 06-24-2010, 04:46 PM
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Hi Wittss,
I'm glad you're having a good day and getting yourself organized. I really like what you said: as the author of my own life, I have to start with an outline.
I hope you'll keep working on yourself, as that way there will be plenty more good days ahead of you.
I just wanted to tell you I know how does it feel to be where you are right now. Living with someone who is ill and refuses to see a doc. I went through that with my AH not that long ago. I was going crazy for months, trying everything in my power to make him get a check up, as I could see he was fading away, but to no awail. I just waited for him to die. And than at some point I just couldn't do it any more. I stopped, and got busy working on myself. Everything changed for me, I started to breath again and almost each day was a good day with so much to be grateful for. In the meantime Ah kept getting worse and got in a such a bad shape his brother dragged him to hospital where he was diagnosed with liver cihrrosis. It was really advanced and doctors didn't think he stands much of a chance for survival. That was a month ago. A day before he went to hospital (at that point I dind't know he's going to go there) I appologized to him for all the things I did wrong in our relationship. It gave me peace, as I was aware he might die soon and I thought about all our life together and I was thinking if this was the last time I ever see him what do I want to say to him. And I realized I want to appologize. It felt like a closure. By the time his diagnosis was made I was in a really good place with myself, I did my inventory, I did my appology and I had my closure, so I didn't feel overwhelmed by what was going to happen to him. I accepted the fact he might die. it was hard (especially since he's only 38, and we have 2 young kids) but I realized it was survivable.
Well over the past month, to a surprise of doctors he started recovering well, really well acctually, so much that they are going to disscharge him from hospital tomorrow or Monday. So he's going to live, at least for now. Well I'm not saying all this to hijack your thread but to make a point. When all of this started happening, and that was 4 months ago, after awile I realized I have a choice to make: I can either get insane with worry, drown in my misery waiting for him to die or I can take it only as a part of my life, a sad part, and start enjoying the blessing of other parts of my life. I chose the second, and while being sad for my AH, I had a really nice time in my own life, with my kids and my friends from real life and SR. In the mist of the storm I chose to cherish my own life and I grew stronger and better person from it.
I hope you'll keep coming back here, it is a great place. I know I wouldn't be where I am today if it wasn't for this place.
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Old 06-24-2010, 05:57 PM
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]BTW, the furry love of my life is Megabyte, my 5 yr old 1/2 Old English Sheepie/1/2 Lab mix. She's such a love and so funny. She's a great traveller too. In fact, I think she'd depressed at home, cuz Mom becomes lazy and stops the walks...she can go outside anytime but I know it's not the same.... Shame on me! Yes, I own that one. Guess I need to include her on the important things to do - under as much as possible. It's been so wet and hot here lately and she does suffer more now in the heat. So do I! Well anyway, here's a pic of her if I can figure out how to do it from Picasa.
http://lh5.ggpht.com/_fReMPXs10AE/TC...k/s144/meg.jpg

Well, let's see if I can get the picture on here instead of a link. Either way, take a look at my funny furball.

http://lh5.ggpht.com/_fReMPXs10AE/TC...k/s144/meg.jpg
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