Esophageal Varices

Old 01-30-2011, 02:55 PM
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Esophageal Varices

This is my first post. My husband is 43 years old. He has drank since the day I met him (19 years old). Right now he is in the hospital with sever liver disease. I found him collapsed on the dining room floor last saturday morning followed by vomiting up massive amounts of blood :0( I am still in shock over the whole thing. He has Esophageal Varices . They banded the varices that ruptured. What am I going to do when he comes home? He will be talking with a psychiatrist and attending AA. any other suggestions. day by day right? I'm not sure he fully understands what his condition is...even though we have explained it to him. He seems to be on Adavant often when I see him. They need to keep his portal pressure low so he can not get over excited. I know he will most likely be placed on some sort of medication for a while. His whole diet will have to change. They haven't mentioned liver transplant yet. I am terrified. Has anyone else had a significant other suffer from this particular damage from alcohol abuse?
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Old 01-30-2011, 03:00 PM
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YES! Read this thread... MissGuided is dealing with liver problems in her husband right now, and my second husband almost died of liver failure.

You aren't alone, and we know how terribly scary and confusing it can be. Read her thread--there is a lot of discussion about it there.
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Old 01-30-2011, 03:02 PM
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I don't have personal experience with this, but it is a condition that affects many people who have a history of alcoholism. They won't give him a liver transplant if he is an alcoholic. Has he made the decision to stop drinking?
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Old 01-30-2011, 03:05 PM
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He is probably "out of it" due to ammonia in the blood, which causes encephalopathy (basically a form of dementia). My husband suffered from severe mental confusion for several weeks, though it eventually improved. As you will discover, if you read MG's thread, my ex had early cirrhosis, as it turned out (though the doctors predicted he would need a transplant--IF he lived)--he would be fine if he quit drinking. Sadly, he went back to it, and that's when I finally had to leave him.

Keep posting here. You will get a lot of emotional support. I also highly recommend Al-Anon. It kept me from losing my mind from dealing with all this stuff.
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Old 01-30-2011, 03:06 PM
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Welcome to SR. I'm glad you found us and hope you find some comfort here reading all the stickies and other people's experiences.

The best thing you can do is go to Alanon. You will learn a lot about this thing called alcoholism and the best way to help your husband which is to learn how to help yourself. And keep coming back here to SR.

Your fear is perfectly understandable. Every single one of us have had that kind of fear when in trying to interact with our addicted loved ones. Things do get better, though. Your husband is in good hands. Chances are he's pretty freaked out about the whole thing himself, even though he may not act that way to you. Although not as common, alcohol does affect the esophagus. Maybe someone else will come along who has had personal experience with that.

Keep coming back!
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Old 01-30-2011, 03:12 PM
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I know that Laurie also had esophageal varices from liver disease (due to Tylenol damage, if I remember correctly).
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Old 01-30-2011, 03:28 PM
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Thank you all for your help and comments. I will be here often. It's so awesome to know I'm not alone. Al-Anon will be a great place to go. It's very chaotic right now to even sit down and deal with this. I have been going to the hospital 3 times a day which in itself is exhausting. Plus dealing with household things that have to be done. working to fill in for missed pay. Thank god we have insurance. I know it hasn't hit me yet..totally. I go from from crying to being extremely angry at him. Thank you all again! I am so glad I found this forum. there is Strength in numbers
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Old 01-30-2011, 03:55 PM
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Yes - strength in numbers is it exactly! Well said! You are in my prayers today. This sounds like a horrible situation that luckily I have not faced (yet, hopefully ever!) but my heart goes out to you and your husband.

Welcome to the forum, take good care!
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Old 01-30-2011, 05:01 PM
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I know that Laurie also had esophageal varices from liver disease (due to Tylenol damage, if I remember correctly).
Yes it showed up at 14 years sober. My liver was very damaged when I first got sober, but did heal fairly well. However, because I was already have problems with arthritis, I was using Tylenol on a daily basis, to the maximum dose, daily in my sobriety. My liver was down to 22% liver function and at 20% would have been put on the transplant list. However, by stopping the tylenol, changing diet a bit, Dr being very careful what meds were prescribed to me, my liver, being the only organ in the body that can rejuvenate itself, came back up in funtion to 56%. My recent tests show me at 58 to 62% function.

I have had 3 different episodes of Esophageal Varices and they are not fun and do take time to recover from, however, I have had none in the last 12 years or so.

#1 NO NO is NO ALCOHOL. Hopefully your AH will get it, as his head clears and he improves in the hospital.

In the meantime, what are you doing for you? Have you thought of counseling and/or AlAnon? Also a good book to get and read and study is "Co Dependent No More" by Melodie Beattie. It can be found on Amazon at a very reasonable price.

Please keep posting and let us know how YOU are doing as we do care very much.

Love and hugs,
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Old 01-31-2011, 06:07 AM
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Hello ! Welcome!
I know what you are going through right now - dont know if you read my thread that Lexie mentioned.... but my 37 year old AH is in hospital now. He was admitted 15 days ago and was diagnosed with cirrhosis 11 days ago.

This is not his first visit - I made him go in November because he was jaundiced head to foot and his eyes wers so yellow they were almost orange!
He was diagnosed with severe alcoholic hepatitis. I must note here that was not my husbands first medical issue because of alcohol - over the years he has been told to stop drinking due to liver problems.
Even when he was discharged 2 months ago he still kept on drinking and now... well now he is devestated, its like he didnt believe it could get this far.

You said your AH had the esophageal varices? What other symptoms does he have? Is he jaundiced? does he have ascites (fluid build up in the abdomen) does he have edema? (swelling of the feet and legs)

What have the doctors said? You need to ask them questions - what shape is his liver in? does he have cirrhosis. I KNOW how scared you are right now, I KNOW how drained you are, I KNOW how tired you are, I KNOW how confused you are. I KNOW how angry and frustrated you are.
But try and arm yourself with as much facts as possible
And being an alcoholic does not mean he will not get on a transplant list - he just would not be eligible to be placed on it until he has proved sobriety for 6 months.
Its quite simple, as I said to my AH: 'Do you wanna live or do you wannna die??'
He HAS to stop drinking or he WILL die. I know thats harsh but that is the way it is.
But please look after yourself too - do you have family and friends to support you right now? What about his family - do they know what is going on?
My thoughts are with you, if you need to pm me anytime, please do!!
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Old 01-31-2011, 06:12 AM
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My husband is 44 years old with cirrhosis and has had esophogal banding 3 times. He did the exact same thing with vomiting blood and I am still traumatized by the whole mess. It was the most disgusting thing I've ever had to clean up. My husband is still drinking pretty much daily and even though all of his doctors have told him how serious his situation is, it doesn't seem to sink in. He takes a ton of vitamins every day and blood pressure medication even though his blood pressure has never been high. I hope your husband stays sober and if you ever need to talk (email), my email address is [email protected]. I know what you are going through. Good luck!
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