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Old 12-21-2011, 04:40 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Hello everyone. Last night I had a bit of a realization that I've got an alcohol problem. I have been drinking daily for the last couple years. Drinking heavily a lot of those days. Like 10-15 beers a nights.

Sometime last year I started feeling an uncomfortable dull ache in the area of my liver. I went to the dr had a couple ultrasounds, and he was able to see fatty infiltration, but all the liver enzyme scores came back 'normal'. I figured that meant everything was fine and kept drinking every single day.

My work provided a free blood test as part of a health initiative, and I actually got to see the scores. AST was within range, it was in the high part, but within normal, and my ALT was a little elevated at 64.


So here we are today. The feeling in the area of my liver is getting worse, never really painful, just a more severe dull ache, and I've been bruising easily for as long as I remember, now I'm starting to FREAK about cirrhosis. I have a long history of drug use, and am really concerned that something I've ingested in the past has done some serious harm.

I've brought all these things up to my doctor, and he hasn't seem all to concerned other than advising me to stop drinking so much.

This was mostly to get my story out there and some support in the coming weeks of hoped for sobriety. But I also have a question. Did anyone else have the dull ache, easy bruising issues, and being slightly itchy? Someone who's gone through the same thing and has their issues subside after being sober for a while would really put my mind at ease.


Thanks!
Krass
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Old 12-21-2011, 04:46 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Hi Krass, and welcome!

I've experienced that "dull ache" - by the very description I know exactly what you're referring to. It never bothered me regularly however, but mostly after a particularly rough night.

I went to detox around 6 weeks ago and my liver enzymes were only slightly elevated - much to my relief. I haven't felt the aching since detox; though I have relapsed twice in that time each time it was just for one night and then I got back on the wagon.

Fear of death SHOULD be enough to keep us from drinking but because we are addicts it is not. Learning to shut off our alcoholic voices is REALLY hard to do, and I just posted about that minutes ago. But we just have to keep trying.

Good luck. I look forward to reading your posts.
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Old 12-21-2011, 04:50 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Welcome Krass

I found all my aches and pains did get better when I stopped drinking - I still think it's a good idea to get them all checked out tho

If you feel your Dr's response is a little nonchalant, maybe get a second opinion?

D
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Old 12-21-2011, 04:58 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Hi Krass! Glad to have you with us.

I had all that stuff you described, and it all faded away as I got well. As Dee said, though - best to be safe & have it checked out.

Keep talking to us - we care.
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Old 12-21-2011, 05:00 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Krass,
If we all said no the aches stayed would that change the fact that you have a drinking problem? You don't know what will get better until you get better. One thing I do know is that when it is too late it is too late.
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Old 12-21-2011, 05:01 PM   #6 (permalink)
 

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I had easy bruising and toward the end I fell alot, so I had excessive bruising...even a black eye from falling and hitting a chair I also had purple, almost necrotic-looking feet. No appetite, watery stool, yellowish pallor, dull hair, and of course vacant eyes. All gone now...all of it I looked and felt ten years older than I was, now it is the reverse.

So glad you are here and I wish you the best on this journey.
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Old 12-21-2011, 05:11 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Krass View Post
The feeling in the area of my liver is getting worse, never really painful, just a more severe dull ache, and I've been bruising easily for as long as I remember, now I'm starting to FREAK about cirrhosis.
It sounds like your liver is taking a beating. Are you going to keep drinking?
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Old 12-21-2011, 05:37 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I hope that you decide to stop drinking and take care of your health.
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Old 12-21-2011, 08:08 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Welcome Krass!

The last few months of my drinking I noticed an ache in that area, too, and thought the same thing you did (it went away when I got sober).

Like you, it made me start thinking about what would happen if I kept drinking and I started reading about how alcohol affects the body. It turns out that alcohol affects every major organ (yikes)...... infact, more alcoholics die of heart attacks than cirrhosis. The list is really long, though....... pancreatitis, esophageal varices (where the vessels get weak and they can burst - too scary), all different kinds of cancer....... and on and on.

I guess I had wondered what it would be like to die from drinking (I wasn't really sure I'd be able to get/stay sober). One of the things that made me commit was realizing that I could be in and out of the hospital for years before I got to the merciful dying part.

I also came upon this forum while doing my research and it's been my lifeline now for 19 months. Sobriety is so much better - I've been amazed!
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Old 12-21-2011, 10:31 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Thank you everyone for your input.

To answer a couple of questions, I am in a situation where I know I don't feel well, and I know it's because of my drinking. Originally my heavy drinking started because my wife and I were pregnant with our first child, and at about 20 weeks we found he had a serious congenital defect. One that almost assured us of a disabled child if not the death of him. It turned out being the latter, and while not an excuse it became very easy to try an escape it on a daily basis.

I don't want to drink every day.

During the last couple of years I've become a highly functional alcoholic. I don't get violent, I haven't lost any friends, i have progressed at work and even been promoted. So until these physical effects I didn't really think of it as a problem.

Now I realize it's a problem. I am medicated for HBP, I have high cholesterol. I have friends who have recently been admitted for diabetic issues related to alcohol abuse. I just never assumed that it would lead to these problems, and truthfully making it through another night was worth whatever it took.

Now I am happy to say we have a new born who turned 3 weeks old today. He's given me a new lease on life, which is why I'm here. Last night I decided to be real with my wife and admitted my problem to her for the first time. She always harped on me for it, but my excuse was my functionality and she accepted that.

This is all why it's become acceptable for me. But, it's not anymore. I want to feel better, I don't want to hurt. For my son, my wife and for me.
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Old 12-22-2011, 07:32 PM   #11 (permalink)
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My first try... By 7:30 pm I'm usually 4-5 beers in. So far nothing yet. I am incredibly irritable and all I want is a freaking beer! I'm being kind of an a-hole to my wife, not bad, just being distant and short with her.

I didn't get much sleep last night, due to drinking and I'm kind of tired. Hopefully I can get some sleep in a couple hours and put this first day behind me.

Wish me luck!
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Old 12-22-2011, 07:48 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
I am incredibly irritable

all I want is a freaking beer

I'm being kind of an a-hole to my wife,

I didn't get much sleep last night

I'm kind of tired.
All you're doing right now is making excuses so that you can come to the conclusion that this will all end if you just drink alcohol. Be very careful Krass because your mind is trying any way possible to make up anything to make you drink again.

Why not drink some water? I went through an amazing amount of water in early recovery. I always had water by my side and it was amazingly helpful - along with exercising and looking at life in a more positive light.
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Old 12-22-2011, 08:52 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Welcome.

Aches, pain, irritability, being an @hole, not sleeping, cravings...that all pretty much goes away once you stop and make that decision that you will not, under any circumstance, for the sake of your new precious baby and your wonderful wife, pick up alcohol and put you and your family under more undue stress.

It all goes away sober...*POOF*...Gone.
Ok, not *POOF* but in time you will notice a HUGE difference in your newfound freedom from alcohol. Trust me.
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Old 12-24-2011, 12:33 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Day 3! Still going. Liver discomfort is going away, still feel it but only times when I stretch my right side. Itching is subsiding, irratability is going away, being that it's almost Christmas is keeping my mind off drinking.

Thanks for letting me document, and thank you for your comments. It's been a big help!

Happy Holidays!
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Old 12-24-2011, 01:18 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Well done, Krass. At this time in my sobriety, the insomnia was beginning to ease, jitters were passing, and food was starting to taste good again. Best of all were the positive feelings of accomplishment and self pride, a very nice way to be for a change.

Hang in, we're pulling for you.
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