So hard to see happy, recovered people

Old 08-25-2005, 08:22 PM
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Unhappy So hard to see happy, recovered people

My AH died this past February from liver failure caused by cihrrosis, caused by alcoholism. I've been in AlAnon for a year, and yes, I am so grateful that it helped me (and us) find so much more peace in what ended up being our last months together. But sometimes it is so painful to listen to the recovery stories! My Al-Anon meeting was SO hard tonight. The speaker was a recovering AA and her AlAnon husband. It 's wonderful to see them feeling happy and healthy together. But he used a metaphor: you have to let go of the cocoon before it can become a butterfly. Yeah, I thought, but sometimes you let go of the cocoon and it just dies. Maybe I should have held onto it a little longer. Right now I'd give anything to have him back.
Thanks for listening...
Peggy D.
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Old 08-25-2005, 08:26 PM
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Peggy, if this is too painful to answer then don't and I will understand ok?

My AMIL has been recently diagnosed with cirrhosis. I am wondering what type of symptoms your AH had at the beginning and how you could tell when it got really bad.

Amy
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Old 08-25-2005, 08:30 PM
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So sorry that you're hurting, eggpal. I'm glad your last months with your husband were happy, so hold on tight to those memories. It takes a long time to get over the loss of a loved one, but the pain does ease in time. Here's a cyber hug for you ((((eggpal)))).
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Old 08-25-2005, 08:36 PM
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(((Peggy)))

I feel that the love your husband had for you will never leave you and I am sure he would want you to be able to go on.

But if you need to miiss him for a little while I am sure that it is okay too
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Old 08-25-2005, 08:53 PM
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Amy, I'm sorry to hear about your AMIL. A lot depends on how advanced it is, and whether the person is able to stop drinking or not. With complete abstinence, some people can pretty much recover. We first found out my AH had cirrhosis when veins in his esophogus burst and he had to have emergency surgery to put a shunt in his liver. He appeared "healthy" otherwise--passing stress tests, etc. After that surgery, he would be sober for a few months, but then would start drinking again--never stuck with a program. So, eventually, he showed lots of symptoms. Red skin, bruised easily, bled easily (like a lot of blood from a tiny *****). All of this is because the liver can't filter blood at the normal rate, and it backs up into the veins that feed it, and eventually backs up into veins all over the body (that's what caused the esophogus bleed). His skin, especially on his face, was red all the time. In the last months, I'm sure he had congestion around his heart because he was so weak he would fall down a lot, and his blood pressure was always really low. Typing this out feels so strange--I mean, this is crazy, isn't it? Why wouldn't a guy in this condition want to go to the hospital? Or see his doctor? But he wouldn't. The disease was just so much stronger than he was. I know he didn't want to die, but he didn't want to live like that either, and he just couldn't find the enormous courage it would take to head down a new path. I keep thinking that someday I will wake up and feel really angry, but I really just feel so sorry for him. So sorry that this rotten disease took his life from him.
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Old 08-25-2005, 09:12 PM
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I lost my father to an esophageal hemorrhage a week ago. In his case, it wasn't caused by alcoholism, but by cancer of the liver and esophagus. But basically the same thing happened to him. He was diagnosed with cancer of the esophagus two weeks before he died, and it quickly spread to his liver. And like your husband, once the liver begins to fail, it puts pressure in the veins in the esophagus. At first it was a slow bleed and he threw up small amounts of blood, so we took him to the emergency room. But by the next day, due to his blood's inability to clot properly, the flow began to increase and it backed up into his lungs. And when the pressure became too great, the vein burst and he hemorrhaged to death in minutes.

We noticed he looked jaundiced 2-3 days before he died. He also was extremely weak, tired, and had periods of confusion. I've since learned that ALL esophagus varices (bleeding veins) are accompanied by liver disease. So if your alcoholic loved one has experienced a previous esophageal varix, then he/she most certainly also has chirrosis of the liver. So it's important to get your alcoholic loved-ones prompt medical help if you notice them begin to vomit blood, even small amounts.
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Old 08-25-2005, 10:08 PM
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(((everyone)))
It's always hard to loose a loved one no matter what the reason.
Remember to be kind to yourselves... y'all DO deserve that kindness...
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Old 08-25-2005, 10:13 PM
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Rest in peace...
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Old 08-26-2005, 06:13 AM
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Peggy - I'm sorry for your loss. Alcoholism is a terrible disease.

Robina
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Old 08-26-2005, 06:37 AM
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I really believe people leave a footprint on the lives they've touched while alive. It's a part of us that stays long after we have left.

Reading your post it struck me what a strong footprint your husband left in those last months and what a treasure they are to you. In a sense he left behind a deep understanding of what you see in others. Maybe allow yourself to feel the power of good it was each time you understand and see it in another.

Maybe his will left that footprint with you to give you a smile when you remember and see it in others around you, even though he was ill and would die.

But this is just a guess from what you've written - you'd know better than me if there's truth in it.
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Old 08-26-2005, 06:47 AM
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First of, I'm so sorry for the loss of your husband. My heart and prayers go out to you.
But he used a metaphor: you have to let go of the cocoon before it can become a butterfly. Yeah, I thought, but sometimes you let go of the cocoon and it just dies.
But maybe death in this case was your husband's butterfly? I know that could be hard to understand, but as you said (quoted below), he was having a hard time fighting the disease.
The disease was just so much stronger than he was. I know he didn't want to die, but he didn't want to live like that either, and he just couldn't find the enormous courage it would take to head down a new path.
Please know that you did nothing wrong. Telling yourself that "maybe I should have held on longer" is going to set yourself up for alot of guilt. Please don't do that. You did all that you could by taking care of you, and being supportive.

Please keep reaching out to others, we are all here to listen and help.
Love,
Shannon
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Old 08-26-2005, 08:35 AM
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(((eggpal))) - so sorry another person has been lost to this horrible disease. i pray for you serenity and peace today and fond memories that you can always pull out and look at anytime you feel the need.

hugs - christie
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Old 08-26-2005, 10:06 AM
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Eggpal, I feel your sadness in your post. I have wondered many times if this would happen to the alcolholic in my life and just brought me tot ears thinking about it.

I am happy for the times you and he spent together and the love you experienced while he as with you.

((eggpal))
Sarah Elizabeth
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Old 08-26-2005, 11:03 AM
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So very, very sad for your loss. It is very painful to see somebody that can't help themselves against this disease no matter what it's doing to them.
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Old 08-26-2005, 11:21 AM
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Im sooo sorry for your loss, and my prayers are with you!
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Old 08-26-2005, 03:55 PM
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I'm touched and strenghthened by everyone's kind replies!
Peggy
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Old 08-26-2005, 10:55 PM
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eggpal, I'm so sorry for your loss... Thank you for the reminder that this is a safe place to share our pain, as well as our hope.

I hope you'll keep coming back...
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Old 08-27-2005, 08:22 AM
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Eggpal, I'm so sorry for your loss. My thoughts are with you. Please keep coming back to SR. It will help.
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Old 08-27-2005, 08:34 AM
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I can understand what you feel. I have felt the way you feel when my AH was out of control and I would see recovering alcoholics doing well. It just strikes a chord in you.


I am sorry you lost your AH. I know it must still hurt.
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Old 08-27-2005, 05:13 PM
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Thanks for talking to me about this. His mother must be in the advanced stages then because according to the homecare nurse she is having frequent nosebleeds. She broke her hip either last summer or the summer before and now she is having constant swelling in her feet (the woman weighs 72 lbs and 1/2 of it has to be in her feet).

Not a good situation.


Amy
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