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elevated liver enzymes and the painful realization of a potential problem...

Old 10-28-2009, 09:32 PM
  # 41 (permalink)  
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Here's the definition of a high-functioning alcoholic from Oprah's website:

A high-functioning alcoholic (HFA) is an alcoholic who is able to maintain his or her outside life, such as a job, home, family and friendships, all while drinking alcoholically. HFAs have the same disease as the stereotypical "skid row" alcoholic, but it manifests or progresses differently. Many HFAs are not viewed by society as being alcoholic, because they have succeeded and overachieved throughout their lifetimes. These achievements often lead to an increase in personal denial as well as denial from colleagues and loved ones. HFAs are less apt to feel that they need treatment for their alcoholism and often slide through the cracks of the healthcare system, both medically and psychologically, because they are often not diagnosed.

HFAs can exhibit different drinking patterns and warning signs at various phases of their drinking. Common warning signs include, but are not limited to:

- Experiencing a craving for more alcohol after having one drink, leading to a loss of control over alcohol intake
- Obsessing about alcohol and the next time they can drink
- Not being able to imagine their lives without alcohol
- Feeling shame and remorse from drunken behavior
- Having failed attempts to control drinking
- Surrounding themselves with others who drink heavily
- Compulsively finishing alcoholic drinks—even someone else's
- Being skilled at living a compartmentalized life in terms of separating their drinking lives from their professional/family lives
- Making excuses for their drinking or using alcohol as a reward for their hard work
- Thinking that drinking expensive alcohol or wine implies they are not alcoholic
- Hiding alcohol consumption by sneaking alcohol before a social event or drinking alone
- Drinking despite adverse consequences (either emotional or physical)
- Experiencing blackouts or memory lapses
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Old 10-28-2009, 09:55 PM
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Originally Posted by dojoro View Post
thanks. Going to bed now. I guess I can stay I have one day under my belt but I have done one day before. Not so bad especially after drinking as much as I did last night. I have recently starting binging as a last hurrah. nice. I think tomorrow might be harder but I will post. the support is great. Gonna go to Barnes and Noble in the am for a carmel macchiato and the big book. I am so happy to have met you and thanks again for the help and encouragement you have shown me already. nighty nite!

Jo
Great job, I was hoping that you would make it tonight. Now wake up tomorrow and try, try, try, again. Just focus on tomorrow when you wake up.
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Old 10-28-2009, 09:57 PM
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Just focus on the first part of the Big Book. You can read the other parts of the book later. Have a great day!
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Old 10-29-2009, 01:55 AM
  # 44 (permalink)  
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I don't think I am an alcoholic...I saw the movie leaving las vegas...it isn't me
I've been watching recovery films all week. No, I can't relate to "Leaving Las Vegas" either but I can sure relate to Meg Ryan in "When a man loves a woman". Mother, working, alcoholic. It's a great film. And a lot more hopeful than Leaving Las Vegas: she recovers.
Congratulations on your day one! Keep coming back.....
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Old 10-29-2009, 03:33 AM
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Good morning Jo, I pray you are reading this.
I am not an alcoholic but I can't live without alcohol. I don't drink until the evening 5 or so, but earlier on some days.
Alcoholism is the only disease where one of its main symptoms is a danial of the disease!

Take this quiz and answer all of the questions honestly Alcoholics Anonymous : Is A.A. For You?

When I was in detox they checked my liver enzymes, like yours they were through the roof, at that point I was daignosed with a "Fatty Liver" which is the precursor to "Cirrosis of the liver". Normal drinkers do NOT get elevated liver enzymes, nor do they get diagnosed with a "Fatty Liver", I am an alcoholic!

The good news is that a "Fatty Liver" can heal itself, but ONLY if one stops, not slows down, but STOPS drinking!!!! My liver enzymes returned to normal in 90 days.

Question if you do not mind, is you right side below your ribcage larger then your left and tender/sore to pressure? Mine was, my liver was swollen and had been for many years.

You have recieved some sage advice from others here, re-read it all with an open mind.

Here is a medical fact, alcoholism is a PROGRESSIVE disease, it never gets better, it never levels off, it always gets worse with EVERY SINGLE DRINK!

If you find that you can NOT STOP DRINKING, I would suggest WORKING a recovery program, I can only speak from my experience with AA and tell you that it has worked for me and millions of other alcoholics.

Do you want to stop drinking or would you rather continue and have your liver progress from being a "FATTY LIVER" to "CIRROSIS of the Liver" which is permanent?

If you decide you would prefer to live then I would suggest the following:

1. See you doctor again and be TOTALLY honest about how much & how long you have drank, tell your doctor what happens to you when you drink and when you do not drink.

2. Follow your doctors orders.

3. Start working a recovery program.

You say you want to remain anonymous and as a result you do not want to go to Alcoholics Anonomous????????

As some one else already has shared, I will share my experience of the people I know of in AA, I know politicians (There are AA meetings on Capitol Hill in DC every day), lawyers, judges, ministers, priests, community leaders, business owners, etc.

Would I ever dream of saying thier names? Heck no!!!! Guess what, they would not out me either!

THINK about it, you go to an AA meeting and you see someone you have known for years there and you had no idea they were in AA, would you start blabbing to every one about it? Heck no!!! Why? Because the first thing the person you were telling would ask you is "Why were you there?".

Know using logic would you not say that the person you saw there would be the same way and not go around blabbing that they saw you in an AA meeting?

I make no secret about me being a recovering alcoholic, nor do I keep it a secret that I go to AA, but I do not advertise either fact.

I was known as a DRUNK for many years, today I am known as Martin. Some people know I am an alcoholic in recovery today, but not everyone I know.

I decided that I would rather be known as a recovering alcoholic in AA then a DRUNK any day.

Would you rather be known as a DRUNK or someone in recovery in AA?

How many people do you know in AA? Probably none right?

Well I think if you start going to AA meetings you will be shocked at just how many people you have known for years are in AA. I know I was surprised.

In reality should any one be suprised that they do not know any one in an anonymous group UNLESS they are in it as well?
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Old 10-29-2009, 05:29 AM
  # 46 (permalink)  
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Hope you woke up feeling good today Jo. This is the day you start with your 24 hour commitment. http://www.soberrecovery.com/forums/...ml#post2414447

Pour that coffee and take a nice long walk. If you can't do that find something/anything to do that will take your mind of things. Your goal is to remain sober for today. I believe you can do it.

I'll be checking in with you later today.
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Old 10-29-2009, 05:39 AM
  # 47 (permalink)  
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Glad you are here with us Jo....Welcome..

Question--- Did I do this to myself by drinking to much for years and developing an addiction or was it pre-determined that I would have a problem with alcohol before I ever took a sip?
You might have missed this interesting article about addiction

How We Get Addicted - TIME

Please read this link..it's from the book that
convinced me to quit Hope it will open your eyes.

http://www.soberrecovery.com/forums/...influence.html


Blessings to you and your family

Last edited by CarolD; 10-29-2009 at 06:00 AM.
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Old 10-29-2009, 06:04 AM
  # 48 (permalink)  
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There's tons of support here. Be sure and stick around for a while. When I first began researching alcoholism online I spent alot of time reading the "Big Book". I found it available to read on AA's website, so you don't even have to go to the library and check it out.

Big Book Online Fourth Edition

Once you start reading, it will be hard to put it down.......
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Old 10-29-2009, 06:20 AM
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Good Morning...

Slept well beside the usual night wakings at my house. my 4 year old has a fever off to the dr we go. So nervous about swine flu since there was a case in his school just last week. You'd think that alone would pre occupy me. Not so much. Depressed and dreading the evening even though it is only 9:00am.

I wish i could reply to each one of you because everyone makes such valid p[oints and raises so many ques. I am just going to write what is in my head after I read your posts and will take any responses. Maybe I should start a blog because I think I could do this all day everyday. this thread will go for days if you let me. How does the blog work?

A few people have mention my body adjusting. I don't think I feel any physical withdrawls(after one day) I suppose this is another reason I am unsure I have a big problem. Will I feel physical withdrawls? For me it is my mind telling me it would be so much better if...

A year ago I was told I have elevated liver enzymes. Went for a ultrasound which found a gallstone. Great that is the problem. Had my gallbladder removed laproscopically at which time the Dr found a very large fatty liver. Almost wasn't able to complete the surgery because he couldn't see well. Ended up with some complications and a drainage bag hanging off my side for 5 days. One day in the middle of mommy and me at the library I have severe pain(at this point still have drainage bag). End up in ER which leads to a five day hospital stay during which time I undergo many many scans to find out my bile duct was knicked because my fatty liver made it so hard to "see". They put in a stent and I have since recovered. I am also type 1 diabetic. I have been for 8 years. this is the other reason I could have elevated enzymes...high blood sugars. I try to stay in good control but not so easy. I have always had reasons to believe my enzymes were something else.

Two weeks ago I was asked to stop drinking. I couldn't. I started to question myself even more then I have over the last few years. the I watched Oprah. I know this story of Diane Schuler to well. I live only 20 miles from the accident scene. I drive by it often. It haunts me. I believe she definitely could have hidden drinking...I think she did. But the Oprah show was like a giant sign. I was glued to the TV listening to women who didn't look like me but sounded like me. That night I told my husband...he said I was over reacting, the next day I found you.


I cannot believe the people you say are also in AA. It kinda scares me more but the "logic" behind it makes sense. That is why it is called anonymous isn't it. I do know someone in AA. A great friend of my husbands has been in it for years. He has been at our house for dinner and left halfway through to go to a meeting(I thought it was strange). He sponsors others. it is his life. I remember asking him a few years ago at a concert. If he thought I was an alcoholic. I was DRUNK at the time. He said no. I always think of that. Yesterday my husband mentioned to him that "my wife has convinced herself she is an alcoholic" his response.."She has diabetes it is a disease it can be treated. Alcoholism is a disease. If she has it it can be treated. I'd be happy to take her to a meeting if she wants"
Having one person other then my husband know makes me feel more aware of what I am trying to do. Like someone else knows if I drink it is a bad thing BUT he never comes over without an invite. Should I mention it to my Mom, sister, in laws(people who will follow up...I don't want to be harassed though..I already am with my diabetes). Is it better for people to know what you are trying to do?

I could just keep going and going. Thank you. Have to get the boys to the dr. I'll be back later...thanks for taking the time to read this.

Jo
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Old 10-29-2009, 06:29 AM
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Hi,

I'm glad you're back.

As far as telling people in your life about your addiction, it depends. Are these people who would support you? In my case, I told no one. I had let my family down so many times with my attempts to stop, I knew I just had to do it and not talk about it. Anyways, I think it's a very personal decision and I tend to be a private person.

I hope you have a good day!
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Old 10-29-2009, 06:40 AM
  # 51 (permalink)  
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Hey Jo,

Don't go telling the entire world at the moment. You're not sure what's happening with you, so sit on it and be quiet with it for a while. See where your heart takes you. No need to announce it to the world, in my opinion.

That said, I think you did the right thing talking to your husband and letting him talk to his friend. It took me a while to talk to my husband, and he too thinks I'm overreacting. He says he's convinced one day we'll laugh about "the time you thought you were an alcoholic." Whatever. I try to liken this whole denial thing to possessed people you see in the movies. Every once in a while, the demon lets go and the real person is able to take control for a moment. That's what I think happens in early sobriety -- somewhere deep inside of you, the real you is trying to scream out "stop the insanity!" but the alcohol is still ruling the roost, so you go back and forth, back and forth, debating it, talking yourself back into drinking, etc. Recognizing the voice of alcohol in your brain really helps keep it at bay. You can say, "Oh, there it is again ..." and just ignore it.

Diane Schuler also had a big impact on me. I'm originally from the North Jersey area, so I know that whole Taconic Parkway area quite well. This summer, I was at a party talking to people about it, talking about how shocked I was about what had just happened. I had a beer in my hand, my kids were playing around quite nicely ... I kept drinking a few more, and then got in the car and drove everyone home. Nice, huh? Hypocritical much?

Anyway, I'm glad you're here. Keep writing it all out. You can access the blog feature from your profile page. I don't have one, but you might like it.
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Old 10-29-2009, 06:50 AM
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Jo, I have remained sober for 171 days thanks to SR. Haven't done AA, but not ruling it out longterm. You simply need to do whatever it takes to not drink. If that means AA, then follow the excellent advice of all the people here. I too have a spouse who doesn't think my drinking was a problem, but she simply doesn't get it. Only you can see your drinking from the most important perspective: your own. The fact that you've got a doctor telling you not to drink also is an incredibly crucial element here. I too have three young children, and not drinking, not thinking about getting them to bed, etc., (so I can knock down a couple beers) has made me a less uptight, better father. You don't need alcohol to get you through a challenging evening, or any other challenge. If there's one truth I believe in this world, it's this simple fact: Adding alcohol to any problem ultimately makes that problem worse.

Please keep posting and get through this day. One day at a time.
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Old 10-29-2009, 06:57 AM
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Jo

The more you describe your medical history, the more it becomes obvious that you should not drink.... look at the problems alcohol has caused already.

When you get the Big Book, read about the types of drinkers and pay particular attention to the distinction given between "Hard Drinker" and "Alcoholic"....

The hard drinker can stop drinking if there is sufficient reason to... spouse, job....HEALTH.... The alcoholic cannot. I paraphrased here, but you get the idea.... However, the Big Book is all about HOPE... please remember that it was written in the 1930's, so apply some of the cultural environment of that time to what you read, ie, gender roles, and don't let it take you off the message.

Tell only those you have to... talking with your husband was good, he should know what you are trying to do.... recover! You can tell others as you feel you need to, however.... There is other, much more important, work to do....

Glad you are OK, hope the kids are.... I travel the Taconic a lot, what a tragedy.

Mark
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Old 10-29-2009, 07:34 AM
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Jo there is no need to advertise if one is a recovering alcoholic, of course your spouse is crucial, but in reality there is no need to announce your beleifs to the world, but if you are an alcoholic there is one person that it is crucial they know........... and that is YOU!!!!

You know my wife in the end knew I was an alcoholic as did all of my kids and a lot of my friends, but that does not matter when it comes to recovery, the ONLY person that needs to know I am an alcoholic is ME!!!!!

In regards to your diabetes......... well being a diabetic you know darn well you have NO business drinking. Let me tell you about a gentleman I used to know, he drank beer starting early in the morning until when ever.

Well he got a sore on his foot that would not heal, he went to the doctor and the doctor told him he had diabetes and the sore on his foot was a diabetic ulcer. Amoung the many things the doctor told him he needed to do was to avoid drinking.

Long story short, he kept on drinking, first he lost his left foot, then his right, then his left leg below the knee followed by the right. The last time I saw him he was sitting in his van outside the grocery store, I asked him how he was doing, he said okay and told me that both of his legs were know amputated above the knee!!!! Why was he in the van? He was waiting for his wife to buy him a couple of cases of beer!!!

Then you top of your diabetes with a fatty liver!!!! PLEASE talk to your doctor, tell your doctor the WHOLE truth about your drinking and then ask your doctor if they think it is your diabetes or your drinking causing the fatty liver!! Or maybe the 2 combined!!!

I was a drunk, I did not draw a sober breath for the last 5 years I drank, I can tell you for a fact that if I was a diabetic and was diagnosed with a fatty liver and the doctor told me I needed to stop drinking and I could not have stopped drinking I would have done far earlier what I finally did.

Yes I am an alcoholic, but I damn sure am not a drunk any more, I no longer have a fatty liver.

BTW withdrawals start off with becoming very anxious, irratable, discontent and progress from there. For some folks the shakes do not even set in until the second day.
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Old 10-29-2009, 08:46 AM
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Glad you checked in today Jo, good morning!

I also didn't really announce anything to anyone.. course some 'friends' wondered why I wasn't at the bar, or ordering drinks.. but I came to notice they really didn't care what I did anyways, they were just bar buds. No reason for anyone else to hold me accountable, this was and is my deal, all the way. To anyone around me, I'm simply a non-drinker now, because I used to drink too much. That's plenty of info, the rest is my responsibility. I never would have quit if I put any type of responsibility on anyone else for my sobriety, by the time I was as drunk as I was towards the end, I could have manipulated anyone into telling me it was ok to drink again.. sick, yes.. but also true. I probably still could. That's why the drive, committment, determination and responsibility have to come from the core of your being. A decision to change your entire life, and follow through.

My husband also (many years ago) reacted defensively almost about my proclamation that I was an alcoholic or that I had a problem. I think HE didn't want to think of his wife as an alcoholic or with some sort of 'problem' with alcohol. I also grabbed on to anyone and everyone that told me I probably wasn't, or that my drinking wasn't "that" bad.. it gave me permission to keep on killing myself in denial for many more years.

I knew, deep down, that I needed to stop. I knew that alcohol was a priority in my life, and that is a sick realization, one that I also protected for longer than I should have, because it should have and almost killed me.

It is hard.. it's especially hard at first, which is why most of us feel we couldn't have done it alone. Whatever that means to you, go for it. I don't use AA/Big Book.. but I know I couldn't have wandered around alone simply not drinking.. so I got help, any help I could.
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Old 10-29-2009, 09:17 AM
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Originally Posted by smacked View Post
Glad you checked in today Jo, good morning!

I also didn't really announce anything to anyone.. course some 'friends' wondered why I wasn't at the bar, or ordering drinks.. but I came to notice they really didn't care what I did anyways, they were just bar buds. No reason for anyone else to hold me accountable, this was and is my deal, all the way. To anyone around me, I'm simply a non-drinker now, because I used to drink too much. That's plenty of info, the rest is my responsibility. I never would have quit if I put any type of responsibility on anyone else for my sobriety, by the time I was as drunk as I was towards the end, I could have manipulated anyone into telling me it was ok to drink again.. sick, yes.. but also true. I probably still could. That's why the drive, committment, determination and responsibility have to come from the core of your being. A decision to change your entire life, and follow through.

My husband also (many years ago) reacted defensively almost about my proclamation that I was an alcoholic or that I had a problem. I think HE didn't want to think of his wife as an alcoholic or with some sort of 'problem' with alcohol. I also grabbed on to anyone and everyone that told me I probably wasn't, or that my drinking wasn't "that" bad.. it gave me permission to keep on killing myself in denial for many more years.

I knew, deep down, that I needed to stop. I knew that alcohol was a priority in my life, and that is a sick realization, one that I also protected for longer than I should have, because it should have and almost killed me.

It is hard.. it's especially hard at first, which is why most of us feel we couldn't have done it alone. Whatever that means to you, go for it. I don't use AA/Big Book.. but I know I couldn't have wandered around alone simply not drinking.. so I got help, any help I could.
what a fantastic post do you mind if i print it and have it put on my wall ?? for when i have weak moments i'm sure i'm not alone when i say this but that really hit home with me ..well done keep em coming
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Old 10-29-2009, 11:13 AM
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If a symptom of withdrawl is being pissed and tense and easily agitated well then maybe. Top it off with a headache and the would explain me today. Everything seems to make me clench my teeth and squeeze my hands into fist. Just aggravated and irritaed. ARRRGH! Good thing I am going be a priate for Halloween no one will question me screaming Arrrghh! all day long. i can't seem to type today. My fingers keep hitting the wrong keys and it makes me want to bash this keyboard in. I did blog. I enjoy blogging a good way to vent. tahnks for the support I will be back, 3 hours to 5 o'clock....UGHHH...I mean Arghhh!

Jo
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Old 10-29-2009, 12:18 PM
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Hi Jo! I didn't get any shakes or physical withdrawals like that, but my emotions were all over the place. I was paranoid, angry, depressed, and really, really off my rocker at times. Everyone's body reacts differently. As far as what I said about giving yourself and your body time away from it and then choosing serious methods was because its hard to think straight when you are concentrating on the fact you aren't going to drink for the next 24 hours or hour or whatever it may be. Just get through it and then start the serious thinking.

I did not drink in the morning. I did not lose my family to alcohol. I did not lose a job to alcohol, BUT it all probably would have happened soon. Husband was really sick of me and threatened to leave at one time. He would have taken my son with him and no court would have let me parent him over my husband.

Husband is diabetic (type 2) and gave up drinking as soon as he found out. Doctor said he was committing suicide by drinking. He had no problem giving it up. I continued to drink. Nice not! I would have hated me had I been him, but he was very patient with the whole thing. He can't drink because he is diabetic and I can't drink because I'm an alcoholic.
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