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Dying of Cirrhosis & Still Drinking

Old 12-30-2010, 05:33 AM
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Dying of Cirrhosis & Still Drinking

Thank God for this website!!!! My husband is an alcoholic who drinks every day, and is mean & nasty every day. I've been sober for almost 2 years, and can't stand the alcoholic anymore! My husband has cirrhosis, esophogeal varices, and is losing his mind. He has been hospitalized and has had two surgeries to band blood vessels and his Gastro Dr. has told him he is dying sooner than later if he doesn't stop drinking. He had a brief stint of being sober last summer that only lasted a couple of months. It seems like the more people tell him he is dying the more he drinks. He's like a rebellious teenager. I feel I can't leave because he is dying, but I desperately want to. Has anyone else gone through this, and if so, how long will it be before his liver completely gives out?
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Old 12-30-2010, 06:10 AM
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There's no way to know, reliably, honestly.

How long until your sanity gives out?

You are free to leave, honestly. There is no moral logic to staying with someone who VOLUNTARILY is destroying themself. He has had medical attention, been sober, and still chooses to return to self-destruction.

You don't have to go down the tubes with him, you are free to separate your life from this madness and pursue your own health - mental, physical, emotional.

Honest.

Just give yourself permission, and free yourself from your misplaced guilt. The guilt is not yours to own, because these are consequences of HIS choices, HIS free will. You have no control over that, so do not own the consequences or the guilt of the results.

Welcome! We are here for you as you go through your process to make YOURSELF healthier!!

CLMI
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Old 12-30-2010, 06:47 AM
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I finally walked, after 5 years of total insanity due to my AH's alcohol induced dementia.
The idea of spending retirement with him drinking himself blotto, when we had such lovely plans that had been now tossed aside, made me angry and ill.

Given the choice of our then 27 years of marriage continuing with him sober, or him drinking and me leaving, he chose to drink and said goodbye to me. Less than a week and I was gone.

Did I feel sad, angry, guilty and a total loss of confidence in myself? Did I ever.
For the first few months I had to adjust to living in a flat, alone for the first time in my life.

I was 47 years old, and because of an accident some years before, in chronic pain and unable to work, as a nurse. While on disability pension I got my Counselling Certificate, then graduated with my degree in psychology.

Had I stayed with him, I would never have succeeded in those studies, or been game enough to go near computer work. The darn things usually went offline when I went into a bank, and ATM's scared me to death.

I figure I would have had my heart attack years earlier than I did, maybe had more than that one, and have no doubt that my life would have been a misery, with me then dying before him. And my being there would have changed absolutely nothing, for him or his absolute desire to guzzle his way thru 6 litres of wine a day.

Sacrificing ourselves on their altar of addiction, is beneficial to no-one, so if you can escape the hell that lies in store I recommend doing so now.

He is not unaware of the consequences of his continued drinking, and if he drinks it is because it is his choice to do so....without asking you for your input.

You see that he only thinks it is his business, and cannot see how much you are also deeply involved, how much your marriage and life together has been, and will be damaged by his actions.

When I was told that my AH had decided how he was going to spend his retired life, and that I HAD NO INPUT into it at all, I told him I was done.

You are in a similar place, as he decides what sort of hell your marriage is to be, and your input is also unwanted.

For your own sanity and health, you need to put yourself first now, because he has put his drinking first for him.
It will be hard, and cause grief and loss at first, but as I and others have found the result will be you living the life you wish and deserve.

I refused to be a martyr to my late XAH or to RABF, in their alcohol addiction.

I hope you accept my words as coming from someone who hates the idea of a young woman sacrificing herself to some alcoholic's selfish desire to drink himself to death.
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Old 12-30-2010, 06:57 AM
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There is no moral logic to staying with someone who VOLUNTARILY is destroying themself.
Thanks for those words, catlovermi... I need to write them on a post-it and stick it to my computer screen.
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Old 12-30-2010, 07:55 AM
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wpasierb, I can relate to your feelings but from the opposite side of the coin. I'm in the process of leaving a forty year old marriage with an alcoholic. Sometimes he has stopped drinking and other times he has had relapses. However, his obnoxious alcoholic behaviors have always been present, from irritating to plain out aggravating. There was always some reason why I couldn't leave our marriage with my children. I got caught in a lifelong game of cat-and-mouse.

However, my final point of decision came when my DDH just wasn't there for me after I suffered a massive stroke in December 2009. After spending one month in the hospital I came back home. I suffer short-term memory problems and problems with my mobility. I begged him for his help to make our house more accessible to me, which fell upon deaf ears. My house continued to accumulate clutter and dust, until I reached the point I was so ashamed to have any one come into my house. It rearched a point that I had my in-home care services discontinued. This, of course, came to the notice of my doctor. When my husband and I were confronted by my doctor as to why I discontinuued these services my DDH stated "he just kept hoping that I was going to get better"! DUD?! "I had to get better before he would be willing to help me?!"

I've tried to go to a skilled nursing facility, but my doctor has told me I'm to well. I've tried to go to a physical rehab hospital, but have been told I don't qualify for hospitalization. I have thought about assistive living. I just know that my current living arrangements need to be changed!

Now why did I just tell you this? It is very important to know you are not invincible! The most important person you can take care of is YOURSELF! There is HELP out there for you and your alcoholic. Just be willing to FIND it......and ACCEPT it! Just getting by one day at a time......waiting for the day for your alcoholic to die......is no way to live your life......and you will NEVER be totally FREE!

Just living is not enough. One must have sunshine, freedom, and a little flower. Hans Christian Andersen

When one door of happiness closes, another opens; But often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one that has been opened for us. Helen Keller

God loves me where I'm at, but He loves me too much to leave me there.

Don’t worry about tomorrow because God has already been there and He has set the stage.

God doesn't close one door without opening a better one......BUT......we've got to get our fingers out of the closing door. The reason you're in pain is because you have your fingers in a door God is trying to close.

Just my personal opinion. Take what you like and leave the rest.

Love and Peace,

Phoenix
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Old 12-30-2010, 08:27 AM
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Darn......that short-term memory problem! (LOL) I didn't complete my train of thinking when I wrote "I've tried to go to a skilled nursing facility, but my doctor has told me I'm to well. I've tried to go to a physical rehab hospital, but have been told I don't qualify for hospitalization. I have thought about assistive living. I just know that my current living arrangements need to be changed!" I meant to add that by me getting healthier day-by-day would make "normies" happy, but in my case it makes me depressed because I"m being left with only one option, and that is by me becoming more independent and able to live by myself! Which it's doing! I've re-started my physical and occuptional therapy! Do you think God is trying to tell me something?!
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Old 12-30-2010, 06:45 PM
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Thank you for all of the advice. I know what the right thing to do is, and I also know how hard it is for an alcoholic to stop drinking. I drank for years and I had to face legal problems, jail, dui's, financial problems and family issues before I got sober (Jan. 22, 2009). Thank God I didn't have health problems too. I finally found a decent job, and will able to be completely financially independent. Part of me almost wishes his liver would just give out so I can put this hell behind me without the guilt of leaving a sick person to die alone. I know that sounds horrible and I can't believe I actually wrote that for everyone to read.

I really appreciate any advice/feedback. I hope everyone won't judge me for feeling the way I do.
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Old 12-30-2010, 07:46 PM
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Save Yourself The end will be Ugly

Hi. My name is Hailee, and I am married to an A for past 10 years. My husband has only been sober for the frst 3 years. He has a long history of alcoholism (20 + years), but that was all a big surprise to me. I didnt find out about it until I started finding empty rum bottles hidden everywhere in the house. That's when the family told me his secret. Two babies in.

I am a critial care nurse in an inner city hospital in NJ. Cirrhosis is an ugly way out. First the jaundice, the dementia, and then the bleeding. So much blood. If he already has esoph varices, you probably have already gotten a glimpse of this. My last patient with cirrhosis was just in his 40's and he was bleeding from his mouth, frank red blood, just spitting it out onto tissues, dried red blood in his mouth, on his lips and tongue, he was bleeding from his rectum, was incontinent of stool, we were transfusing him, giving him platelets to help with clotting. It was horrible to watch even for professionals. This patient was "with it" mentally on admission and admitted to his drinking issue but was really focused on "they keep telling me I can't drink anymore." Can you imagine bleeding out like that and still considering consuming more alcohol? Alcoholism truly is insanity.

If your husband continues to drink he will just start bleeding. My guess is that it will happen sooner than later depending on the condition of his liver at this point.

Get the hell out of there! Why would you stay and watch him destroy himself? You are under no obligation to do this. I understand marriage and committment, I am a Christian, but at this point he has chosen his destiny and you need to save yourself and your sanity.

I put my AH out almost 3 months ago. He is at his parents abt 800 miles away from here. We have 3 little ones, 7, 5, and 15 months. He contributes nothing financially, although he used to be the bread winner just a few years ago. He has shown no remorse for his actions yet, ie being stone cold drunk when I come home from my hospital shift 7p-7a. My 5 yr old was changing the baby's diaper while he is passed out on the couch. Can you say "child endangerment" I am fortunate that CPS did not come in and take my kids, bc I am as responsible as he is as I already know he is a drunk, and I left these babies in his care anyway. I am as responsible as he is.

I know it is hard to get away, or throw them out. I still don't know what I am going to do about my AH yet. It's hard to let go of being "the dream couple" I thought we were. I am new here and I probably shouldn't give anybody advice,, but I wanted you to know from a medical standpoint that the end will be VERY UGLY, and noone should witness that.

Maybe give yourself a little space and time to think. Separate yourself from the situation for a bit. It may help you gain a little more perspective.

I truly wish you the best. God bless.
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Old 12-31-2010, 03:30 AM
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Wow Hailee - that is sobering! (for lack of a better word) Maybe the OP should print out your post and let her husband read it! That is quite a picture you've painted and so terribly sad
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Old 12-31-2010, 04:49 AM
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If I can, I am going to either read it to my husband or make (yeah right) him read that post from Hailee. That is very sad and you are right I don't want to witness that. Thank you.
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Old 12-31-2010, 05:00 AM
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Originally Posted by wpasierb View Post
I really appreciate any advice/feedback. I hope everyone won't judge me for feeling the way I do.
Sweetie,
This is one sure place that you will not be judged for how you feel.

Welcome to Sober Recovery, I believe you will find the support and wisdom from others, that you seek.
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Old 12-31-2010, 05:03 AM
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Originally Posted by Hailee View Post
Hi. My name is Hailee, and I am married to an A for past 10 years.
Hailee,

Welcome to this forum.

You can post here as often as you like - you might consider starting a new thread if you are looking for more direct support
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Old 12-31-2010, 05:04 AM
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Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Hi Hailee again

I hope that decription wasn't too graphich for everyone--I just wanted you to know, that if you stay around to witness end stage cirrhosis, that you will be affected by that probably for years and years to come, if not forever. I had that patient a couple of years ago, and it is still very vivid in my mind, and he was just my patient for a few nights. I can't imagine that being my husband. Don't want you to have to live with that image burned in your mind forever should your husband decide to not take care of himself.
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Old 12-31-2010, 05:16 AM
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My sick AH has an adult son & siblengs who live in another state and I have contemplated contacting some of them and "passing the buck" so to speak. I don't want to traumatize his son because he doesn't deserve it, but I also don't want to have to make the call to tell him his dad is dead and explain to him what happened. I don't care for his siblings at all, so if I let them know I need to be on my way out the door. I can't take their craziness and denial, and the guilt they will try and put on me. None of them know the extent of his illness though. Any suggestions?
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Old 12-31-2010, 06:24 AM
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If he's sick enough to be plugged into medical care, you can have them handle it through a social worker. If he's not, he is well enough to take responsibility for himself.

The whole premise that you have to "place" him, and take the blame, could use some examination... perhaps a paradigm shift is in order.

CLMI
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Old 12-31-2010, 07:03 AM
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He's dying. I would call his son and fill him in on the situation. His son can make his own choices about what he wants to do after that. I think I would leave the sibling phone calls. I don't see the same obligation there.

I have no idea if that is the right thing to do. (ETA: I do think catlovermi has a very good point so maybe I am wrong. Your husband can call his son on his own.) I am coming from the child side of things because I have not been told when my dad has been in the hospital and seriously ill and I was so upset that his partner did not make me aware. Yes he could have called me at some point (maybe - at least once he could not have) or asked a nurse to call me but we (all three of us) are on good terms so I think she should have called me. My dad and I have never talked all that frequently but now I call him every few days. So, in my estimation you only have to make that call once. His son will decide how to handle it from there.

I can't imagine how truely awful it would be to receive or make a phone call to a child about a parents death, one that was forseen, when he wasn't even aware he was so sick. In the end, for me, it sometimes comes down to what I can live with. Sometimes I make a decision to do something that I know is 'codie' but that act causes me less stress short term *and* long term that I just go ahead and do it and be done with it (so in this case sticking my nose in and calling the son one time).

I'm assuming he and his son are on speaking terms. I might (not really sure) change my opinion if they have 'disowned' each other. My brother and my dad do not speak but I call him and tell him serious news like that. He basically doesn't say anything and so I don't elaborate or discuss - just say 'Dad was really sick with the pneumonia and in the hospital but is home now. I just found out myself." I'll keep telling my brother unless he asks me to stop or tells me he doesn't want to know or something.
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Old 12-31-2010, 02:37 PM
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I lost my boyfriend, Richard, to alcoholism nearly three years ago. I, too, at times wished he'd just succumb to his alcoholism so I could put the hell behind me without feeling the guilt of leaving a sick person to die alone. I don't think having feelings such as these makes you or me awful people. It makes us desperate people--desperate to avoid feeling guilt for a situation that we didn't create, that we couldn't control, and that we couldn't fix. And desperate to save ourselves from further pain and emotional harm.

Before I ended my relationship with Richard it was important for me to believe, truly believe, that I had done everything in my power to help him. That way, I convinced myself, I could avoid feeling guilty for walking away from him when he needed me most.

It took me a while to feel that I had done everything in my power to help Richard, so I probably stayed for longer than I should have. Well, I know I stayed longer than I should have because the stress of staying and watching him self destruct took a serious toll on my health. Three years later I'm still struggling with lingering health problems caused by stress.

About six months to a year before Richard died, my father died of esophageal cancer. The cancer caused esophageal varices and he died two weeks after his diagnosis. My mother and siblings and my daughter and I were in the hospital room when my dad died. I witnessed the bleeding described previously. There was so much blood. And while I was glad that I was at my father's side when he passed away, no one should have to witness an event like that and no human should have to suffer so. And nobody should have to have an image like that imprinted in their mind as the last vision of their loved one.

On the way home from the hospital, I kept saying to my grown daughter, "I can't believe what we just saw. It was like something out of a horror movie." Later that night, my daughter slipped into my room and said, "Mom, can I sleep with you." She was 22 years old.

It was then that I realized that I may have to re-live this nightmare a second time if I didn't end my relationship with Richard. I didn't want to put myself through that a second time. And more importantly, I didn't want my daughter to be put through that again, or worse, to be the one to find Richard if he were to die in our home.

So, I asked him to leave. But that didn't mean I abandoned Richard altogether. I wanted him to know that I still cared about him. That I still loved him. So, after he found himself a small apartment in another city, I called him occasionally. I invited him over to spend weekends with me from time to time when he was able to maintain sobriety. And I invited him to spend holidays with us as well so he wouldn't have to spend them alone.

As his drinking worsened and his health deteriorated further, I limited our phone conversations and rarely invited him back to my home. I knew the end was nearing and was trying my best to protect myself and my daughter from further harm and to prepare myself emotionally for the end. It became clear that the end was near because he was very frail, weak, and confused.

I missed his last phone call. I was out in the garden with my daughter burying our pet rabbit, who had died earlier that day. When I played the message, I could hear the sounds of dishes being washed (or perhaps dropped) in the background, but Richard left no message, even though the message played for several minutes. I figured that he had inadvertently dialed my number, so I deleted the message without playing it to the end.

I didn't know that it would be his last phone. Perhaps he was calling to say goodbye. Perhaps he did accidentally dial my number without knowing. I will never know the answer.

Just as I will never know the answer for you. Each person has to do what they believe is right and each person has to do whatever it takes to be able to go on with their lives without guilt.

I didn't experience much guilt after Richard's death. I knew, deep down in my heart, that I had done absolutely everything in my power to help him. But he didn't want my help. Or anybody else's help. He just wanted to drink. And that is the heartbreak of alcoholism.

I'm glad that I maintained enough contact with Richard after I ended our relationship that he knew absolutely that I loved him. And I'm grateful today that I know that, despite his alcoholism, he absolutely loved me as much as he could.

Today my daughter and I are happy and we are at peace. Richard is finally at peace, too. And I thank God for that because he suffered so. Alcoholism is a terrible disease. Welcome to the forum.
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Old 12-31-2010, 03:20 PM
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I'm certain you will make the right choice for you, JDS. Hugs to you because I know what you're going through. It is so hard.
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Old 12-31-2010, 03:32 PM
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When I read these horribly sad stories, I wonder if staying really helps the A anyway? Their primary relationship is with alcohol. That's their comfort, their "friend". My father in law lingered for a long time after we were told that it would not be long before the effects of his alcoholism took him. He was not drinking then - didn't have the mental capacity to drink. He was so awful to the nursing home staff that they had to keep him perpetually drugged. He was out of his mind for years before he died.

There's nothing wrong with making the most out of your life, especially when there's really nothing you can do to help. No judgment from this group.
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Old 12-31-2010, 05:09 PM
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Location: Tucson, AZ
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Thank you all for the encouragement and thanks for reassuring me I am not a monster for wanting this hell to end. Tonight he is drunk and meaner than normal. I didn't mention it my earlier posts but we have a 12 year old daughter together. She knows about his illness and she was here last summer when he started vomiting blood and spent days in the hospital. She loves him but she can't take much more either. Right now she has a friend over and they are hiding in her room, so he won't start with her. Hopefully I will be is only target this time. She doesn't want him to die alone, and I just absolutely hate this feeling. I sometimes think I am going to have a breakdown myself and I can't get away from all of this. I want our daugher to be able to have friends here, and I want to be able to relax in my home and not worry about being verbally attacked for watching something he considers "stupid", or reading a book he thinks I shouldn't or not cleaning the kitchen table off quick enough after dinner. I feel like I am going to explode. I wish he would just take an anxiety pill and go to sleep or drink himself to sleep. Something to make it stop!
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