Hubby hospitilized, has Wernike's from drinking.

Old 09-26-2010, 12:05 PM
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Post Hubby hospitilized, has Wernike's from drinking.

Hi All,
Well, I've been a busy gal this last few weeks and haven't had time to post. Just have been trying to read a little in the posts for support as we all seem to have many of the same problems.

Two weeks ago I finally convinced AH to go to hospital. He should have gone a week or two before that when he all of a sudden couldn't take care of himself. Walking, dressing any of the usual things. He's been slipping for years on some of this but it was like he just fell off a cliff.

So to make a long story longer, I got him to ER and they clued right in on the alcoholism, though I fought for them to not overlook anything and they did. They admitted him and started with thiamine (B1) and the whole potassium, magnesium etc yellow bag of fluid. He was in bad shape and had to have magnesium IV's for 5 days! I don't know if there have been any forums on health conditions assoc with alcoholism here, but boy did I get alot of info.

He is now in a nursing home for physical and mental rehab because his condition was so severe. He's doing better, can now walk, eat, and interact with people, however, he has Wernike's -Korsokoff Syndrome. BRAIN DAMAGE caused by the B1 difficiency. Many A's don't eat well and years of drinking can damage the ability to even absorb nutrients. Some of his memory loss, eye problems and gait (walking) abnormalities may get better, but probably he will always have damage. This diagnosis just kicked me in the guts. I was just beside myself with anger and grief.

The hospital, after giving him several days of withdrawal treatment and testing, and options to go to CD treatment, finally had to seek court comittment for alcohol treatment. He kept refusing. He coudn't associate his condition with the booze, and kept saying, "I'll think about it." Well, they knew he was not going to go voluntarily and was even confused sometimes about the need for some physical rehab in a nursing home first. We go to court tomorrow and it's a no-brainer that he will be commited when he is physically able to go...that is..and here's the really scary part...if he is mentally ever going to stablize enough to understand the concept.

I really don't know what is going to happen in the next few months. He can stay at the nursing home for up to 100 days under Medicare and his insurance until he gets as good as he'll ever get, or go to in-patient treatment when he's able and then probably out-patient treatment, and if he does well, maybe come home. But, I don't think I ever want him home and I told the hospital I could no longer take care of him. I have a host of my own medical issues. Hes never taken care of me and now cannot. He even stepped over me and walked away one time when I collapsed! And that was when he was in out-patient treatment 3 years ago and was sober! I think that was the absolute end of my feelings for him.

So my friends, watch out for non-eating A's. They are headed for collapse, coma and even death because of malnutrition. Anemia, heart problems from low potassium, magnesium, (affects lots of stuff) low platelet counts, low creatinine (kidney issues) and this Wernike's-Korsecoff syndrome which can indicate varying degrees of permanent brain damage.

I've never been so scared in my life and yet so grateful that the hospital stepped in and is pretty much taking his care out of my hands along with the courts. But what then? I'll know more tomorrow and in the coming weeks.

Blessings and love to all of you and I appreciate your support!
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Old 09-26-2010, 12:17 PM
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You have been through the wringer, my dear. I am so very sorry and wish I was there to put an arm around you.

Do you have friends and family to support you through all of this?

How old is he, may I ask?
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Old 09-26-2010, 12:45 PM
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I'm so sorry. I agree, it is a small comfort that the hospital and courts have stepped in.

Good for you for telling the hospital that you could no longer take care of him. This is too much to handle on your own.

Take care.
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Old 09-26-2010, 12:53 PM
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Hi Wittss, sorry, sounds like you have a tough time put down.
I think any free time you have, spend it on yourself, not him. Leave the NH take care of him and stay away. I hope you get to chat with friends and go for walks and have them over for coffee.
Freedom!!!! Party on!!!!!!!
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Old 09-26-2010, 01:59 PM
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I'm sorry about your husband's downward spiral.

(((Wittss))) You have been through a lot lately. Please take care of yourself during this crisis. Reach out in your community for couselors that might be available for family members through the hospital and through the nursing home. Get support for face to face and we're here for your 24/7 cyber support!

For information on alcohol and how it affects the body, organs, brain and the mind - reading "Under the Influence" was an eye opener for me. Here is a link that contains excerpts from that book:
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Old 09-26-2010, 02:30 PM
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My aunt has Wernike's -Korsokoff Syndrome. We had found her about 8 years ago 4 hours away in a hospital. We were able to get her in a nursing home there for about 6 months until we could find a place here.

My sister tried to take care of her but it was too much for her. Now she is living is an over 55 apartment and takes as best care of herself as she can.

She is able to cook a little and clothe herself. She is afraid to take showers so she doesn't do that. She does sponge baths.

She totally lost her short term memory. She doesn't know who I am. When she was in the hospital she was on all those IV's. When she went to the nursing home they would give her pills and she would just hide them in her sock drawer. She was 57 at the time.

It's a very hard situation to come to terms with. She is now a totally different person than she was then. She was outgoing. friendly, etc.

My sister goes by twice a week to check on her and pick up, but has recently found that she is drinking again. My sister would give her $25 to go to the foodtore in case she needs something but instead finds the package store and is able to find her way back.

There is not much we can do. Her next stop will be a nursing home. My sister can't keep taking care of her. My aunt gets a retirement check from where she worked and my sister has power of attorney so she has the money to stay in the apartment. I'm not sure how long but she will end up at the nursing home.

We had no idea she was an alcoholic. She never married or had children. She would only have a couple glasses of wine at gatherings. But I guess when she was home was when she drank.

She was better physically for a long time but not mentally. Now that she is drinking again it's just a matter of time in my opinion.

It's very hard to see your loved one like this. To me alcoholism leaves no survivors.

Please hang in there.
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Old 09-26-2010, 02:33 PM
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Sorry Wittss, I am sure that is not what you signed up for when you married him.

I know it's difficult, but, try and focus on you!
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Old 09-26-2010, 04:49 PM
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If it were me, I'd begin divorce proceedings.

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Old 09-26-2010, 08:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Still Waters View Post
If it were me, I'd begin divorce proceedings.

Best advice on this thread!!!!
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Old 09-27-2010, 05:05 AM
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So sorry to hear about this.
Please remember to take care of yourself: eat, sleep properly.
You're only responsible for yourself.
Try not to think too much about long term prognosis and what will happen. there will be plenty of time for that, go through this one day at the time, doing the next best thing and be gentle with yourself.
I have you in my thoughts
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Old 09-27-2010, 05:52 AM
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Again I find myself lost for words other than sending support and kindness in your direction as you deal with this.
One day at a time.
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Old 09-27-2010, 07:05 AM
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I didn't wait for any official medical diagnosis on my late XAH, Lord knows I had seen enough alcohol induced dementia and W-KS over the years and the signs were all there for me.
Seeing him sitting at the home bar, with a glass of whisky and a stubbie of beer at 7am while he informed me that this was how WE were spending his retirement was my big wake up call.
Some way to celebrate a 27th wedding anniversary.
I walked out and went flat hunting and within the week I was gone.

He went thru his superannuation, wrecked a car, almost burnt the flat down a few times, and forgot his needles or/and eating. He didn't enjoy his retirement at all, and for years it was all my fault for leaving him.

By the time he died last year, I had been well over the pain and guilt of what I did, and believe if I had stayed I would have beaten him to the grave by a number of years, so it was a lifesaving decision for me.

I second the "go for divorce" advice.
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Old 09-27-2010, 08:37 AM
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I am not an attorney, but I believe that as long as you are married, your spouse's care (and the financial burden that goes along with that) falls into your hands. It may be best to seek the advice of a qualified attorney and begin divorce proceedings immediately.

When my boyfriend was in the final stages of alcoholism, things did not get better over time; his mental and physical ailments due to alcoholism continued to take their toll, resulting in a rapid progression downhill. Since I had never married him (and I thank my HP for that), I asked him to move out of my home. I didn't want to be responsible for taking care of an invalid or his finances. He found a small apartment near the hospital so he could get to his doctors' appointments, and took care of himself as best he could until he passed away.

I was not responsible for his medical and hospital bills or for obtaining or paying for a home care nurse or nursing care facility, which is as it should be, since I was not responsible for his drinking.

Find an attorney where the first consultation is free. Perhaps there are even attorneys who specialize in helping the victims of alcoholic loved ones. Hugs from a woman who's been in your shoes. I know it's heartbreaking, confusing, worrisome, guilt-inducing, and hard.

The best advice I can offer you is to protect yourself from further harm.
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Old 09-27-2010, 02:17 PM
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My heart goes out to you for what you're dealing with. It saddens me and frightens me at the same time, for I see myself in the same spot in a few years. My AW seems to be on the same slippery slope; she's overweight, sedentary, takes numerous prescription drugs and drinks herself into a stupor three or four times a week. I think it's only a matter of time until she becomes an invalid.

Good luck; I hope you find a way out that gives you peace.
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