I have a friend

Old 03-29-2015, 04:53 AM
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I have a friend

I have a friend - he is one of my best friends partners.
He is 45 years old.
They have a young child.

He is in intensive care with critical liver problems.
I can only think it is from drink.
He is a very heavy drinker.

This has happened really quick.
He is sedated and intubated.
Its not looking good.
A few weeks ago we were at his child's birthday party.
He was not ill then.
He was drunk, but not ill.
I don't know what is wrong, what the diagnosis is. If its liver failure or hepatitis? I just got a message from my friend.

He has asked me in the past about me stopping drinking.
I've told him how I stopped, not much of the why I stopped.
Deep down, I know why he was asking.
I just treated gently and carefully.

I suppose you know when you see someone who is heading for trouble.
He shakes non stop, he is red in the face with spider veins, his stomach is bloated. He never eats.

I think he shakes because he is in withdrawal from drink.
I have gently suggested to his partner, my friend, this may be the case.
At first she disagreed. Then as it's become worse, she has come round to the fact that he drinks too much.

I don't know what the point of this post is.
Maybe to say this has almost been an overnight thing - he was at home heavily drinking, then in in ITU. No GP in between. No alcohol service. No fatty liver. Thats more due to the fact he dodged any medical help though, not the fault of the doctors. He would avoid them at any cost for whatever reason, in case they 'found out' he was a heavy drinker.

Of course everyone 'knows' now. I have nothing but love and care and no judgement for him. I can't imagine the shock of his family.

Please today, if you are thinking of drinking or you are scared of what drinking might have done to your body and health, go get help and advice and support.

Don't let it get to this stage where your life is hanging in the balance and your loved one's are sat round your hospital bed.

Don't be proud. Don't be ashamed. Don't take it for granted this probably won't happen to you.

Love to my family here xxxx
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Old 03-29-2015, 04:56 AM
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Prayers to your friend and grateful for your reminder.
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Old 03-29-2015, 04:56 AM
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Thank you Sasha much love to you and your friends.
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Old 03-29-2015, 05:06 AM
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Prayers for your friend and all who love him Sasha.

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Old 03-29-2015, 05:20 AM
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Sadly it is a rather sharp divide between those of us that do make it and those that don't. I used to think of skid-row but sadly it is the affluent that can afford to drink their livers literally to death. Women are the fastest growing group and at younger ages now. Sorry about your friend. I'm sure he was a good person like most of us here. My condolences.
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Old 03-29-2015, 06:12 AM
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Sending prayers to your friend and to his friends & family

Sorry Sasha
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Old 03-29-2015, 06:45 AM
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Thank you for caring enough to make that post, Sasha. You will help more people than you know

Thinking of your friend and those who love him xxx
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Old 03-29-2015, 07:15 AM
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Best of luck to your friend and his family Sasha. I watched an almost identical scenario with the husband of a friend at work last year, he was almost the same age and also had 2 young children. It's a stark reminder of how important our work is here and that sometimes there isn't even a "second chance". Perhaps there will be for your friend yet...that is my hope.
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Old 03-29-2015, 07:24 AM
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Thinking of you Sasha and your friend and his loved ones.

For an Alcoholic it is drink and die or stop drinking completely.
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Old 03-29-2015, 07:29 AM
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So very, very sad . . .

Prayers for all.
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Old 03-29-2015, 10:54 AM
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Thoughts are with everyone who knows him Sasha!!
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Old 03-29-2015, 11:55 AM
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Thank you for this reminder that ignorance of alcohol problems can lead to serious illness.
I hope for your friend, their child and his Dad that he gets a chance to change x

Driving my wagon of hope through beautiful views on my road to myself
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Old 03-29-2015, 12:14 PM
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I'm very sorry, Sasha.

A terrible reminder that we never know when the next drink could be our last, and may not end the way it could have.

Prayers for all involved.
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Old 03-29-2015, 12:29 PM
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Sending the best of wishes.
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Old 03-29-2015, 12:40 PM
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So sorry about your friend, Sasha.

Thank you for sharing.
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Old 04-07-2015, 07:27 PM
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My friend is still in the hospital.
He is out of intensive care.

I just want to make a few observations about how little is known and understood about alcohol and the damage it does.

He has ascities.
He has a life threatening bacterial infection as a result of the fluid.
The infection made him fecally incontinent.
His partner confided that she has no idea 'if' he has damaged his liver and she wants to try and ask a doctor.
The answer to that, which I don't think should come from me, is that ascities usually occurs in livers that have advanced cirrhosis.

She still thinks he may not have got to the stage where his liver is damaged.

There are 2 types of cirrhosis - compensated and decompensated.
Compensated means that there is some damage to the liver but the individual can still function, their bodies can still function. It won't kill them. Other organs will still be able to function and do what they need to do.

If a patient has decompensated cirrhosis, this means that the patient could die from liver failure and they cannot live with the damage they have done. At this point, there should be assessments done for liver transplants. However as most of us know, a patient has to demonstrate 6 months of no drinking, if the transplant is needed due to alcohol abuse. There are other stringent criteria that need to be met too.

There are certain signs that mean the cirrhosis has progressed from compensated to decompensated cirrhosis. One is ascities, another is hepatic encephapathology - which is a form of damage to the brain from toxins accumulating. Its not wet brain, but the symptoms can be confusion, memory problems etc, so similar.

She still thinks that he is 'not an alcoholic in the conventional manner'.
Thats because he never hid a bottle of whisky under their bed - according to her.
That sometimes he does not drink that much.
She still thinks he might not have liver damage.

He has 2 symptoms of decompensated cirrhosis.
She still thinks he has no cirrhosis.

He is seeing a dietician in the hospital.
Patients with ascities have to follow a low sodium, low protein diet, amongst other things.
However there is a fine line as too little protein can lead to malnutrition.

She things the dietician is seeing him, just to help him get better, get a few more vitamins. Put a bit of weight on. Bulk him up. Put a bit of colour in his cheeks.

She has no idea that the diet will be for life to avoid the fluid building up again.
It will be measuring food out and calculating sodium content for every mouthful that is consumed.
So no meals out on a whim. No trips for fast food.
When the fluid builds up, it is painful to breathe. Its agony to lay down. There is no room for food. It can lead to a life threatening bacterial infection.

She still thinks he might be able to drink the odd one now and again.

It makes me so sad that most of the people involved in this - my friend, her family, his family, his friends, think he is on the road to recovery and his liver has escaped any lasting damage.

In one corner of the room, they are breathing a sigh of relief. But are hugely mistaken. They have no realisation of how ill he is.

In the other corner, are the specialists, who are gravely concerned and using every resource they have to save his life.

One corner thinks he has dodged a bullet, the other corner knows he has been hit with one too many bullets.

Why oh why do we, as lay people and not medics, not know more about the horrifying destruction alcohol can cause?
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Old 04-07-2015, 07:33 PM
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Ican;t answer that Sasha. I do think denial can be very powerful tho, even for 'normies?

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Old 04-07-2015, 07:38 PM
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Dee, I now realise that it is probably very, very possible to die from denial.
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