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So I went to see him in the hospital yesterday....

Old 01-22-2011, 03:39 PM
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Were you there MissGuided, when he was offered Tylenol (I think this is what I call paracetamol?)
I ask because my brother told us all kinds of things when he was in hospital.
He wanted to go home so he could drink. He thought if he wound my mum up enough she'd take him home.
There were also a few things he did know for sure but kept from us.
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Old 01-22-2011, 04:00 PM
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Originally Posted by LucyA View Post
Were you there MissGuided, when he was offered Tylenol (I think this is what I call paracetamol?)
I ask because my brother told us all kinds of things when he was in hospital.
He wanted to go home so he could drink. He thought if he wound my mum up enough she'd take him home.
There were also a few things he did know for sure but kept from us.
Yes Lucy, tylenol is paracetemol in England (I am a Brit also )

No I wasnt there, it was his friend who told me as he was there at the time,(who has had his own alcohol and drug related liver problems, so was aware of the damage it could cause) as we had been discussing reasons to get him transferred
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Old 01-22-2011, 07:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Tuffgirl View Post
Wow - this scares me. 37? Only 37? It can happen that early? I had no idea. I thought that was a progressive disease that afflicted much older drinkers (like you said, 20 years from now).
My paternal grandparents were both severe alcoholics, and dead before I was ever born.

My dad lost both of them within a year of each other while he was still in high school, leaving him to care for two younger brothers.

His dad was in his 40's, and died in a fire at the club that he owned.

His mother died a year later at age 42. The cause of death was listed as a heart attack, but she already had advanced cirrhosis at that age.
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Old 01-22-2011, 09:59 PM
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SO sorry MG ... I went through a very similar time with my AH about 20 months ago (he was 42 then). When he went in, he also went through DT's which caused alot of confusion and general "snarkiness" and agrumentive behavior - he almost walked out.

He was golden yellow in color, swollen belly, the whole thing. 48 hrs into his stay the Doc called my late one evening to tell me his liver was failing and he could not have a transplant because it was drinking related. I could have died on the spot.

Started sleeping in the hospital with him becuase I was so scared (still a codie 100%, stared alanon after this) but the Psychologist noted that he could have confused "spells" becuase his liver couldn't process amonia (verify this!) that then went to the brain and caused confusion. I think it was called lactulose.

My other word of advice is the pain killers they gave him while detoxing and the pain from the liver, accumulated in the liver and caused him to almost stop breathing when he slept. The night nurse caught it - simply counting his breathes. I'm sure they look for this when alot of pain killers are administered during liver problems.

Good news ... after looking like death - his liver recovered! He spent 2 weeks in the hospital and he was so weak and sick - I drove him straight the the treatment center - 4 hours away and he had to stay. After detoxing, he relized he was very sick and didn't fight me too hard.

Fast forward: 18 months after treatment - he relapsed a couple times in a 2 month+ period. They told me that if he ever drank again, his liver would go right back to bad shape. So I drug his butt back to the doctor and had all the tests run - his liver was fine. The liver is the most AMAZING organ we have! I was hoping for some "slightly" bad numbers just to scare him back to sobriety but that didn't work out. He's still slipping every 10-18 days but I'm literally steps away from where you are now: TOO much has happened and I don't love him as a husband anymore.

Hang in there << hugs >>. Allow your friends and family to support you and your daughter. You sound like you have a good perspective ... you "know" it's not your fault - your shouldn't feel guilty but I think all of us would have say that guilt would be one of the many crazy emotions rushing through our heart.

Hugs to you and your daughter ...
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Old 01-23-2011, 06:59 AM
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Yup, that's right--it's the ammonia in the blood that causes the encephalopathy. It's like trying to talk to someone with dementia. They can't remember anything, they get bizarre ideas--brrr!

TBS, I understand the heartbreak when they go back to drinking after they have experienced the miracle of life. All I can say is that alcohol is cunning, baffling and powerful. I know that over time, I finally accepted that he was not ready to quit drinking. At that point, we have our own choices to make. I chose not to put myself through that ordeal again. If he chose that path, it would be without my involvement. And that wasn't heartlessness on my part, it was a matter of self-preservation.

Some day I will probably hear that he has died of this disease. I will be sad, but I will not blame myself nor have any regrets. I am thankful I tried to help him, but when help is rejected then I have done what I could.
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Old 01-23-2011, 10:07 AM
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Originally Posted by ToBeSerene View Post
SO sorry MG ... I went through a very similar time with my AH about 20 months ago (he was 42 then). When he went in, he also went through DT's which caused alot of confusion and general "snarkiness" and agrumentive behavior - he almost walked out.

He was golden yellow in color, swollen belly, the whole thing. 48 hrs into his stay the Doc called my late one evening to tell me his liver was failing and he could not have a transplant because it was drinking related. I could have died on the spot.

Started sleeping in the hospital with him becuase I was so scared (still a codie 100%, stared alanon after this) but the Psychologist noted that he could have confused "spells" becuase his liver couldn't process amonia (verify this!) that then went to the brain and caused confusion. I think it was called lactulose.

My other word of advice is the pain killers they gave him while detoxing and the pain from the liver, accumulated in the liver and caused him to almost stop breathing when he slept. The night nurse caught it - simply counting his breathes. I'm sure they look for this when alot of pain killers are administered during liver problems.

Good news ... after looking like death - his liver recovered! He spent 2 weeks in the hospital and he was so weak and sick - I drove him straight the the treatment center - 4 hours away and he had to stay. After detoxing, he relized he was very sick and didn't fight me too hard.

Fast forward: 18 months after treatment - he relapsed a couple times in a 2 month+ period. They told me that if he ever drank again, his liver would go right back to bad shape. So I drug his butt back to the doctor and had all the tests run - his liver was fine. The liver is the most AMAZING organ we have! I was hoping for some "slightly" bad numbers just to scare him back to sobriety but that didn't work out. He's still slipping every 10-18 days but I'm literally steps away from where you are now: TOO much has happened and I don't love him as a husband anymore.

Hang in there << hugs >>. Allow your friends and family to support you and your daughter. You sound like you have a good perspective ... you "know" it's not your fault - your shouldn't feel guilty but I think all of us would have say that guilt would be one of the many crazy emotions rushing through our heart.

Hugs to you and your daughter ...
Thank you for sharing your story. I really do wish I was the only one going through this. I really do wish my story was unique. But its not. Do you ever feel like you are dealing with everything because you are in the moment and well... theres no choice but to deal. But then occasionally, you stop and think ....omg is this really all happening? why? why? how am I coping through this? Its crazy!

Lexie, you are so strong to have walked away and stayed away. I wish I could do that but I want our daughter to know him, and if he dies I want to know that I was there and didnt turn away at this point. I already left him physically, but emotionally I havent. I dont love him like that anymore but I want to support him at this desperate time. Just as you did for your AH all those years ago. But also just as you did, if he starts drinking again after this I wash my hands off him completely - daughter and all!
There seriously is only so much one can take, this is last chance saloon for me...and him!
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Old 01-23-2011, 10:42 AM
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No, I think you are doing the right thing for all of you right now. This COULD be what turns everything around for him. We can hope and pray.

I know what you mean about going on autopilot. When the intensity lets up, you may find yourself at loose ends.

Hugs, I think you are doing great, and keeping a very clear head under trying circumstances.
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Old 01-23-2011, 11:23 AM
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Originally Posted by LexieCat View Post
No, I think you are doing the right thing for all of you right now. This COULD be what turns everything around for him. We can hope and pray.

I know what you mean about going on autopilot. When the intensity lets up, you may find yourself at loose ends.

Hugs, I think you are doing great, and keeping a very clear head under trying circumstances.
Thanks Lexie, Hope and prayers and positive thinking can do wonders I think. He seems better today. The ascites is still very uncomfortable for him but he was actually sitting in a chair and managed to swallow some jello. He is still coughing up some mucus but there is no blood in it now and he is still 100% lucid right now.
So I am being hopeful and trying to transfer that hope to him as much as possible. Plus I took our daughter up too, we only stayed half an hour. I was hoping it would lift his spirits but she seemed a little scared and overwhelmed by the whole hospital environment and she didnt want to kiss or hug him. but she did say bye daddy and blew him a kiss when she was leaving. so anyway, I just hope that the visit didnt make him feel worse.

And just off-topic here, I just read your full story in the recovery threads (hoping to see stories about comebacks from cirrhosis I guess - though I do feel a little weird reading the alcoholic threads, like I am spying and I dont belong there or something) and just want to say congratz on your sobriety and how sorry I am that you have experienced the cruel wrath of alcohol on both sides of the coin.
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Old 01-23-2011, 11:37 AM
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Originally Posted by MissGuided View Post
And just off-topic here, I just read your full story in the recovery threads (hoping to see stories about comebacks from cirrhosis I guess - though I do feel a little weird reading the alcoholic threads, like I am spying and I dont belong there or something) and just want to say congratz on your sobriety and how sorry I am that you have experienced the cruel wrath of alcohol on both sides of the coin.
Nah, you're not spying. I think it's essential to understand as much about alcoholism as possible--whether you are an alcoholic or "just" have to live with or deal with one.

I look at it this way. Nobody knows what causes it. It is what it is. It's cunning, baffling, and powerful, but with the help of a Higher Power, it is possible to overcome anything.
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Old 01-24-2011, 01:21 PM
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Unhappy

So this is where we are right now....

As I said before, hes not eligible to go on transplant list til proven sobriety of 6 months.
However the doctors today said that going by his tests, his blood work and his labs, he could live for only another 2-3 months.

OK I know I could break down at this point but I am trying to be strong for him and I know that people get told this all the time and live much longer. Dont get me wrong I know he cannot recover miraculously without a new liver but I am hopeful he can stay alive long enough to get one...

There is another option... living donor donation. Now I havent looked into it thoroughly (just started researching) but its something that we (me and his family have started to consider). You have to be under 55 to donate (thats his parents out) but his sister said she would get evaluated for possible donor and I said I will too. I know we are not the same blood type, but it doesnt have to be identical, just compatible.
I know some people would think I am mad to do this, (my mother may kill me before I get the chance!) but I am doing this not just for him but for my daughter too. Apparently the donor is in hospital for a week and their liver regenerates fully in 10 weeks.
However the donor recipient does takes alot longer to recover this way then the traditional transplant from a dead donor.
But this is all we have going for us right now....

He wants to live. He said he never ever wants to drink again as he doesnt ever want to go through this again. He said he wants to get out and live a normal and healthy life and be 100% comitted to recovery and sobriety.
And for the first time I actually believe him.
But is it too late?
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Old 01-24-2011, 02:29 PM
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I commend you for considering it. That's totally your call and I doubt anyone here is gonna make any predictions about his mental state.

Just wonder how I would feel if I gave someone my liver and they started drinking again?

I wonder how I'd feel if I gave someone my liver and they totally turned their life around and (hopefully) inspired others to stop drinking?

Tough, tough questions. HP will guide you. (((Hugs))) for all you are going through.
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Old 01-24-2011, 03:29 PM
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Well it is very early days yet, its something I am willing to consider - after weighing all the pros and cons. At the end of the day I want to remain healthy for my daughter too, so I am not going to put myself at tremendous risk for anyone, no matter what.

His sister joked with him today - she said 'if i give you some of my liver, just because its in YOUR body, its still mine and you better not abuse it or i will kick your a$$'
But it does raise the controversial question-does an alcoholic deserve it? Especially as with alcoholism so much trust has been destroyed already, and trust is the core to giving someone a 2nd chance.

Thank goodness I found SR! I feel like I am really going to need it over the next tough couple of months
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Old 01-24-2011, 03:30 PM
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I don't think you are crazy for wanting to save the life of your daughter's father.

Do you have insurance that would cover such a procedure? Is it common enough that it is no longer considered "experimental"? You both would have to have insurance, I think. Transplants are INCREDIBLY expensive.

What are they telling you about biopsies?

You guys have been in my thoughts and prayers.
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Old 01-24-2011, 03:49 PM
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Thanks Lexie, well the insurance side of thing has also been a total EXPLETIVE nightmare!

He broke his foot in september and has been fighting with his job for comp.
For whatever reason, the insurance have dropped us. I am currently in talks with his (wonderful, helpful, supportive!) union delegate about getting reinstated.
curently he is on medicaid until we can get this stuff sorted out...another thing I pray for every day
So yes this whole nightmare has many layers!!!

Imagine not being able to have your life saved because of money? It boggles my mind. and it is so sad.
(that movie John Q springs to mind)

Oh and nothing about biopsies yet, he only saw a GI dr today for the first time and I wasnt there but he is sending a liver doctor to talk to him too. I think it may be too dangerous right now, he has also developed pnemonia and is on some powerful antibiotics so I imagine this is why they are not doing any biopsy
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Old 01-24-2011, 04:00 PM
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Yeesh.

My ex had no insurance, either--he was getting "charity care" even though he lived with me--I wasn't responsible for his medical bills. The guy I lived with after that developed testicular cancer AND had a heart attack and bypass surgery--again on charity care.

I always said if I'm ever crazy enough to date again, I am asking to see the insurance card on the first date. I might put it on any dating profile I post.
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Old 01-24-2011, 04:06 PM
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OMG Lexie what are you doing to these poor guys! lol!
You should have your own lifetime movie!!!
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Old 01-24-2011, 04:15 PM
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I might put it on any dating profile I post.
Alright, I am taken care of, but what of loverboy?

sorry missguided.

friggin insurance. once i got medicaid for the kids we were okay. its the getting that was hard.

Beth
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Old 01-24-2011, 09:27 PM
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I have been following this since you first posted. I just wanted to say that you all have been in my prayers. I just keep thinking that this is what would have happened if my BF did not stop drinking. At the age of 21, his blood work showed that he was in the early stages of cirrhosis. He is now 31 and I am so shocked that he has been this lucky. It was starting to get bad though. He started having serious GI problems with bleeding, reflux, etc. His liver was very swollen as well and his liver enzymes were elevated. Anyway, just know that there are many people out there praying for you.
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Old 01-25-2011, 09:13 AM
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Originally Posted by brittbritt40 View Post
I have been following this since you first posted. I just wanted to say that you all have been in my prayers. I just keep thinking that this is what would have happened if my BF did not stop drinking. At the age of 21, his blood work showed that he was in the early stages of cirrhosis. He is now 31 and I am so shocked that he has been this lucky. It was starting to get bad though. He started having serious GI problems with bleeding, reflux, etc. His liver was very swollen as well and his liver enzymes were elevated. Anyway, just know that there are many people out there praying for you.
Hi Britt, thank you for your prayers.
You say bf is 31 - so has he stopped drinking as you seem to be talking about his medical issue in past tense? I hope so.

Yeah AH was told a loooong time ago that he had to stop drinking, probably late teens/early 20's. I believe that when alcohol starts effecting your liver that early, its a big warning sign that your liver cant process alcohol as well as someone elses may be able to...y'know?
I am a bartender (I know, go figure) and I have seen many heavy drinkers, alcoholics who just dont have the health problems AH did. (his 68 year old father included!)
I read somewhere that only 10-20% of heavy drinkers will develop cirhrhosis.
who knows? *sigh*
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Old 01-25-2011, 09:19 AM
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Originally Posted by jds0401 View Post
I just wanted to thank you for sharing your painful story with us....I've been reading and unable to comment because it hits too close to home both with my father (hopefully he is now at peace) and my AH. I know my AH will be in this situation soon (he's in extreme denial with the extended belly, swollen ankles and other symptoms - he's quit all the doctors that told him what's coming ).

You and your family are in my thoughts and I send you my support.
jds, thank you so much for posting. I am sorry it hits so close to home for you
I know EXACTLY what you are feeling right now, its such a heartbreaking thing to watch someone you love destroy themselves while they carry on going in thier little alcoholic bubble.
I always said it was alright for him, he didnt have to face anything he could just have a drink to forget. while i had to watch from the sidelines like some kind of crazy cheerleader in reverse! ugh.
keep posting about whats going on and how you are feeling. I am new to SR but it has helped me tremndously already. hugs to you
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