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Dad admitted to hospital yesterday, end stage alcoholism

Old 02-15-2019, 07:18 PM
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Dad admitted to hospital yesterday, end stage alcoholism

I usually talk about my AH but today itís my alcoholic father who is 69. He still lives in my home state but we talk frequently and he comes to visit. Just found out he was admitted to the hospital after neighbors found him on the floor of his house and called 911. Doctors say his organs are shutting down and he is very weak. They scolded me for him living alone and being an end stage alcoholic and asked what my plan was for him if he needs long term care, as they donít believe he is able to care for himself. My dad has drank vodka for as long as I can remember and was the reason he and my mother divorced when I was 5. It has been hard to maintain a relationship with him but I had stopped begging him to quit drinking and just cherished what little tid bits of normality we had as father and daughter. Well now things have taken a turn and itís up to me figure out what to do next. He never did a will or trust, even though he always said he would, later. I am torn between being sad and angry at the same time. I feel guilty for not crying, but I am numb after having an alcoholic father for 41 years. I hung up with the doctor and just sat in my chair, thinking. I have to leave my family and job and fly out to see him and figure things out. The doctors, although I donít fault them for doing their job, had a rude tone with me like I should be on a plane and rush to his side. If they only knew what I went through and what I saw growing up. I know I have to go face the music but for some reason I came on SR for some strength and wisdom and to remind us all how alcohol can ruin lives and people and relationships, up until the very end. I wonder what would have happened if my dad quit drinking in his 20ís when my mom begged him to. I wonder what kind of a father he could have been and a grandpa to his grandchildren. Weíll never know. Sad. Just sad.
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Old 02-15-2019, 07:37 PM
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I'm sorry, ukiah.

Your dad isn't a bad person. He has a very baffling disease.

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Old 02-15-2019, 07:38 PM
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Ukiah.....I, myself, am a medcal person....and I can tell you this....Doctors and other medical people can be excellent at treating the physical manifestations of alcoholism....but, unless they have had extra training....they are often woefully ignorant of the other dynamics of the disease....
I think you should chalk the doctor's arrogance...and,it was arrogant, in my opinion....to plain old ignorance.
He has probablfy never lived with an alcoholic or had one close in his personal life.....
My suggestion is that you might call the Hospital Social Services department, and ask which social worker is assigned to his case. You can talk to the social worker about the situation...you might have to ask the social worker to have him sign permission for her to discuss the situation with you. Every patient will have a social worker assigned. I think you will find the social workers have a much better understanding of the dynamics involved.....
At least, that is a starting place to begin...….
My deepest empathy for you...I understand how hard this is and how overwhelmed you might feel....
I know that you must be feeling a lot of different emotion, just now....
Resist feeling guilt.....no matter what other people might say.....you have done nothing wrong....misplaced guilt is the last thing you need,right now.....
If you are a religious person, this might be a time to call your minister to give you some support...they face this kind of thing, all of the time.....
By the way...all hospitals have pastors and priests, etc. available for anyone who wants or needs them....you just have to ask...
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Old 02-15-2019, 07:41 PM
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Reminders:

Some medical doctors don't have an f-ing clue about how to help or what families go through.

Three c's. You didn't Cause this. You can't Control it. You can't Cure it.


[edit] dandylion said things more eloquently. Thanks, dandy for the perspectives.
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Old 02-15-2019, 08:28 PM
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My family of origin (including me) was plagued with alcoholism. Some similarities with you- my prayers and support. Remember to look after yourself- rest, eat, hydrate...it is all to easy to forget such self care in times of stress.
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Old 02-15-2019, 08:42 PM
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Ukiah, so sorry to hear you are going through this.

I lost my mom 3 weeks ago. Fortunately she was in Hospice and this so eased her passing.

I second the idea of talking to the social worker. MDs may be brilliant at the physical stuff and still suck at all non-physical elements of the situation.

Courage to you.
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Old 02-15-2019, 09:36 PM
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Such helpful advice given already.

I agree very much with what everyone has said about the Doctors. They probably don't know much more about alcoholism than the person on the street, except for some textbook information.

People can be forgiven for their lack of knowledge about alcoholism, it's just something most aren't taught and some people just don't know what they don't know. It has nothing to do with you but I'm sure it hurts just the same.

Take good care of yourself.
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Old 02-15-2019, 09:44 PM
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*hugs* I would remind you that you're not alone but that's just sad in itself. What is better news is that you've grown up to be a responsible, well 'rounded and capable person despite carrying this in your family and in your life for 41 years. Well done, be proud of yourself, I'm proud of you.
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Old 02-16-2019, 12:13 AM
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Oh, Ukiah! I'm so sorry to hear about your Dad. You and he will be in my prayers.

And what dandy said about the doctors *sigh*. If you felt like doing so, you could certainly educate them with quite an earful. Or not...whatever you feel like doing. But ignore their shaming words! They have no idea...
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Old 02-16-2019, 04:13 AM
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Criticising you is very unfair. Lots of people who perhaps shouldn't live on their own do, and manage ok. We can't always straighten everyone's lives out into neat little packages - nor should we. He also has some say in how he lived.
Do you feel as though you need to see him now? If you do, thats ok, and if you don't, that's ok too. Whatever you feel about that now, you have the right to change your mind too.
I hope he is getting good care, and very importantly, that you are too.
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Old 02-16-2019, 07:06 AM
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Hugs
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Old 02-16-2019, 08:39 AM
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Sorry to hear about the prognosis but after living and dealing with an alcoholic years on end you have/had every right to live on your own. More important the alcoholic should have no expectation that someone will take care of them or help alleviate the consequences of their self inflicted actions/lifestyle. Nor should those doctors.

I see/hear two schools of thought on alcoholism/addiction. One is the abuser is responsible for their actions and must endure the consequences of their actions. It's their choice. Until they want to change one should not interfere.

The other is they are 'sick' and should be treated like any other sick patient in need. Some feel an 'intervention' should be mandatory.

Also these medical people could be talking out of both sides of their mouths. I can't believe a 41 year alcoholic never had a legal or medical professional try to get them into treatment or rehab. 40 plus years of drinking and no duis, lost jobs, broken marriages, divorces etc where his issues didn't come up? And the medical people should also realize that the longer the addiction the tougher it will be for change or stopping.

I'm getting flack here from certain family because I don't the view the alcoholic as someone who is depressed, going through tough times or view them as a 'victim' of what ever. The alcoholic started suffering the medical consequences of the excessive drinking and drugging. Some are oh my gosh and others are serves him right. Since I don't view them as someone who just had a stroke with 10 kids struggling to pay a mortgage I'm cruel/cold.

You had every right to detach, separate and/or live your own life. And there is nothing to feel guilty about, especially after decades of this.

Hope everything ends peacefully .

Good Luck
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Old 02-16-2019, 09:36 AM
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Great advice dandylion...No need to get on a plane, absolutely none.
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Old 02-16-2019, 06:01 PM
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My heart breaks for you.

I have little to offer, other than a doctor or doctors have probably tried to get your father on the path to sobriety. I know my husband's doctor mentioned at least once (that my husband admitted to) that his liver tests were not normal.

You and your family are in my prayers.
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Old 02-17-2019, 07:11 AM
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Ukiah, so sorry for what you are going through. 3 years ago I went through a similar situation with my father although an alcoholic he wasn't at end stage but medical issues due to alcoholism.
dandylion gives excellent advice (as always) about contacting the social worker assigned your father's case. In addition my state has an ADRC in every county (aging and disability resource centers) that were beyond helpful. You may want to find out if there is any such agency in the county/state your father lives.
I did not go rushing up to my father's side either, but rather got on the phone with his social worker and contacted ADRC. I did eventually go up there and got him down here by me now (about a four hour drive). It was not easy but please don't give any thought to others' ignorance. They have no idea what it is like to be you.
I have a somewhat cold relationship with my father at times and did what I could when I needed to and that's all one can do. People are judge ental and you cannot change that. You also didn't cause this, you can't control this and you cannot cure it. Again you can only do what you can a d are willing to do.
take care of you, a d hugs to you!
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Old 02-18-2019, 07:26 AM
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Ugh. I am so very sorry. I agree, many people don't know, or care, what it caused you, the family.

That being said, you can simply tell the social workers that you are not a decision maker in his life. I also found out something recently. Just because you are next of kin and inherit property, you can simply reject it and tell the county that you don't want it. At least here, in the state I reside. I was shocked by this as I know many people who have been "stuck" with a big mess on their hands.

I am sorry for you, and sorry for your dad. I send you huge hugs.
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Old 02-18-2019, 06:47 PM
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Thank you everyone for your support and advice, I take every word to heart. Found out on my way home from work that my father had passed away in his sleep at the hospital. I did not get to say goodbye, or visit him one last time. They had told me he was non verbal for the last several days. Since he did not do a will or trust, his estate will go into probate. There are a million unknowns and I donít live there so I will be doing what I can from home but will have to fly out there to clear out the house, probably go to probate court, pick up his ashes and take them to the cemetery, etc. There are already lawyer fees and cremation fees that I need to pay up front. I am sad and overwhelmed at the moment and he always said ďsomeday this house will be yours.Ē Like it was so simple, he felt good about leaving it to me, but now itís just a big mess that could take years to settle if thereís anything left in the end. Itís the perfect ending to sum up how it was when he was alive. Good intentions but broken promises. I loved my dad very much and I know he loved me. I guess in my heart that is going to have to be enough for me hold on to. Thank you all for your kind words. Thereís really no other place I know of where everyone gets it. When I tell people my story they either look sad and sorry for me or they just say, you dont need to put up that, just leave. They clearly arenít seeing the big picture, the reality of alcoholism in families. Iím so glad SR exists. I found it several years ago and keep finding myself coming back. Thank you.
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Old 02-18-2019, 07:04 PM
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Hello ukiah,

I'm sorry. ((((gentle hugs))))

From a Leaning Tree sympathy card that has meant a lot to me:


Somewhere, under a bluer sky,

In a higher realm than where eagles fly,

In a land of beauty beyond our knowing,

With trees and flowers and waters flowing,

With mountains of unearthly grace,

Our loving Lord has made a place…

And one day, through an opening door,

We find that glorious Evermore.
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Old 02-18-2019, 07:24 PM
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Hi, Uriah.
No one, repeat, no one should be scolding you for keeping your boundaries with your addict father.
I am furious that you were made to feel guilty. The medical staff there is abysmally ignorant about addiction.
Not. Your. Fault.
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Old 02-18-2019, 07:49 PM
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Originally Posted by ukiah77 View Post
Thank you everyone for your support and advice, I take every word to heart. Found out on my way home from work that my father had passed away in his sleep at the hospital. I did not get to say goodbye, or visit him one last time. They had told me he was non verbal for the last several days. Since he did not do a will or trust, his estate will go into probate. There are a million unknowns and I donít live there so I will be doing what I can from home but will have to fly out there to clear out the house, probably go to probate court, pick up his ashes and take them to the cemetery, etc. There are already lawyer fees and cremation fees that I need to pay up front. I am sad and overwhelmed at the moment and he always said ďsomeday this house will be yours.Ē Like it was so simple, he felt good about leaving it to me, but now itís just a big mess that could take years to settle if thereís anything left in the end. Itís the perfect ending to sum up how it was when he was alive. Good intentions but broken promises. I loved my dad very much and I know he loved me. I guess in my heart that is going to have to be enough for me hold on to. Thank you all for your kind words. Thereís really no other place I know of where everyone gets it. When I tell people my story they either look sad and sorry for me or they just say, you dont need to put up that, just leave. They clearly arenít seeing the big picture, the reality of alcoholism in families. Iím so glad SR exists. I found it several years ago and keep finding myself coming back. Thank you.
So sorry for your pain and loss Ukiah. I hope you will have healing and peace. I suppose his death brings the end of any hope that it would get better.

May all the estate details go as smoothly as possible.

Big big hug to you.
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