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Update - Newbie (Jaundice)

Old 01-24-2011, 12:01 PM
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Update - Newbie (Jaundice)

I joined this site shortly after Christmas last year and I posted regarding my partner who is an alcoholic and was looking extremely jaundiced.

Before I give you an update I just wanted to say a big Thank You to those of you who took the time to read my post and respond non-judgementally - especially MyBetterWorld if you're reading this.

The grief, anger and hopelessness I have been feeling over the last 12 months is crushing and to be able to get feedback and share stories with other people in the same situation has helped immensely.

Now for the update (deep breath);

My BF is 37 and has been drinking vodka and wine everyday for as long as I've known him. When we first moved in together two years ago I didn't realize he was drinking in the morning - all I saw was a coffee mug.

Just after Christmas he decided that he wanted to taper down his drinking with the intention of quitting. Refused to see a Doctor, go to hospital or check into a detox facility - I'm not sure if all alcoholics are stubborn or if alcohol just makes all people stubborn ?.

The BF had come to the realization a long time ago that although he was physically addicted, he just didn't want to drink anymore. The fear of quitting and what life would be without booze scared him and he kept putting it off. I think I wore him down too and he was unable to keep explaining the symptoms away - nosebleeds, scratches that took forever to stop bleeding, no appetite and the rest...

Since then he HAS tapered down his drinking and on Jan 19th he stopped altogether. I stopped with him to support his recovery. The tapering down was just awful. Night sweats, fatigue and him basically feeling crappy and being irritable for weeks. I watched him like a hawk during this phase (even as he slept) and made up my mind that if things took a downturn I would call an ambulance, and if we broke up because of it then, well, OK.

Here we are 5 days in and I can tell you that the fear and grief are still here. He is not getting enough calories in and has lost so much weight that the bones around his temples and chest are starting to show. He can't eat very much so I am making high calorie healthy meals around the clock but I still can't get him to ingest enough calories even with the 'Ensure' drinks. I calculated the other day that he averages around 1200 calories - he should be eating 2300.

He is still jaundiced, swollen feet and ankles, belly is distended (acsites) and is exhausted from getting dressed so we have been spending our days on the sofa. I elevate his feet and try to get him comfy and he often drops off for a nap. BF says we will go to the Doc at the end of the month. Fingers crossed. We have had some very raw conversations about his drinking and the effect it's had on our lives. Sad too, that there are lots of things that BF does not remember simply because as he says " I think I was drunk all the time".

I was reading MisGuided's post the other day and her physical description of her AH shocked me - it was as though she was describing my BF.

I think there is a misconception about alcoholics too - that they are falling down drunk all the time and it's obvious - slurry speech, drowsy eyes, clumsy, etc . To look at my BF at any time over the last few years you would have no clue. This is someone who drank slowly but gradually over the day. Even still I knew and his drinking was the elephant in the room. It was only before Christmas this year that I was able to talk to a family member about it - previously the conversation has been dismissed or shut down by the people around us.

I'm not sure how sick BF is but I know it's cirrhosis. Sometimes I find these stories on other sites about people who have stopped drinking and survived cirrhosis but they are few and far between. Some days I have hope enough for both of us and other days like today, I wonder how many weeks, months and years we have together before it's over. Is the damage too much ? Did he wait too long to stop ?

I don't know what to expect from here onwards. All I know is that I love him and I want him to live. I couldn't make him stop drinking and now I can't make him go to the hospital.

Thank you to those of you brave enough to post and share your experiences - Namaste ! X
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Old 01-24-2011, 12:17 PM
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(((hugs)))
That's a lot on your shoulders, Kelly.
I don't have much advice -- just to remember to take care of yourself in the middle of all of this.
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Old 01-24-2011, 12:45 PM
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Kelly get him to a hospital. and get him there NOW!!!!
The symptoms you are describing are exactly like AH who has been diagnosed with cirhossis. Im not saying your bf has this but it sounds dangerously close.

And apart from anything else, it is dangerous for him to detox and withdraw from alcohol on hs own without medical supervision... that could be a way to get him to go there initially. Feel free to show him my posts too. I just spoke to AH and he said
if he gets a transplant he is never ever drinking again and how he could never go through this again. Its the first time in 8 years that I believe him. but it may be too late.
Watching him die in this terrible way is horrendous, I wouldnt wish this on anyone to go through this or to witness this.
PLEASE GO ASAP
Hugs to you, I will post more to you later, and please send me a message if you would like to talk more one on one
xx
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Old 01-24-2011, 03:10 PM
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Some days I have hope enough for both of us and other days like today, I wonder how many weeks, months and years we have together before it's over. Is the damage too much ? Did he wait too long to stop ?
Kelly,
Please take him to the hospital.
He is too weak to fight you on this.
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Old 01-24-2011, 03:14 PM
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I second what MG said--I'm sure you've read my posts if you've read her thread.

Get him to the hospital NOW. These things can turn fatal in a heartbeat--all it takes is the first esophageal bleed. It takes very little time to bleed to death.

The sooner they get him off the alcohol, the sooner he will be eligible for a transplant if one is needed. You don't know yet that it is cirrhosis, or how far advanced it is. It's clearly a liver problem, though.

Hugs, keep us posted.
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Old 01-24-2011, 03:35 PM
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Kelly I have been thinking of you today....I am hoping you are not on this because you are at the hospital with him.....
Please post an update whenever you get the chance. Hope you are doing ok
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Old 01-24-2011, 08:14 PM
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could you call 911 and get an ambulance? I don't know if that's a ridiculous idea (and if it is, somebody feel free to tell me!!!) but if you really feel like his life is in danger and you can't physically pick him up and drag him to a hospital...I don't know. It's a really scary situation and I hope you can get him to the hospital soon.
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Old 01-24-2011, 09:29 PM
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Kelly - I usually post over on the alcoholic side of things here at SR, but read your post and thought I'd share a link to a forum for people dealing with alcoholic liver disease. I ran across it when I was doing a bit of research for my own recovery.

It's a wonderful supportive place (like SR is), and most of the people who post there are those taking care of loved ones in different stage of liver disease. It's very informative - the people know what they're talking about.

Here's the link:Hepatitis - HealingWell.com Forum

I hope you find it helpful and I will pray for you and your partner. I'm sorry things aren't going well right now - he definitely needs to be under medical care (the sooner the better) if he wants to live at all. The fact that he quit drinking is very positive, but he needs treatment, too. There are medications that can help him.
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Old 01-25-2011, 12:02 AM
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I also hope you have taken him to hospital. It was my immediate reaction while reading your post. He needs medical intervention to save his life. Good luck and God Bless.
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Old 02-02-2011, 11:57 AM
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Hey artsoul,

Just wanted to thank you for directing me to Healingwell. Awesome site and great information.

Much appreciated !

Kelly X
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Old 02-02-2011, 12:40 PM
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I agree with the posters who have advised getting medical help. There is nothing you can do to make him better/well. It really does sounds like he needs expert medical care.

*hugs*.. you're in my thoughts.

Tx
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