4boys4me, first let me say welcome to the forum and add how sorry I am about your dad. I went thru the same problems with my mom last year. She passed away on Nov 13,2007. My mom's condition deteriorated very quickly and it was like a nightmare for the whole family. She too left the faucets turned on, food cooking on the stove, and was very forgetful in general. She had horrific mood swings, and slept mosrt of the time. She was never a candidate for a transplant however. Like the others who have answered you I would do everything possible to keep all appts etc. Stay strong and always have hope. Just know that we are all here for you.
Ggirl, Welcome to the forum. I can only imagine how frustrated you must feel. Unfortunately you can't make your husband do anything. He has to want to stop drinking and from what you said he has not made that decision yet. Quite often alcoholics stay in denial about their health issues so they continue to drink. I don't mean to sound cruel or anything but are all his legal papers in order? (wills, life insurance policies, etc.)You don't have to answer that question publicly but you do need to take care of those things for your sake. You'll find that this forum is an excellent resource for information as well as an extremely compassionate group of people. The folks that post on this site are very educated about liver disease and will be able to answer most of your questions. You'll find that if they don't have an answer they can direct you to internet sites that do. Stay strong and know that we are here for you even if it's just to vent.
Butterflythree, 1Shelly1 and June 17th,
Thank you all for welcoming me and your responses. Your right it is very frustrating especially since we haven't lived in the same house for 3 years (or state), we stay married and love eachother very much. He takes care of me and our 3 boys very well financially, but he is not there emotionally, we only get to see him every 2 month because of his job and we are so far away. But everytime it gets worse. We have had him in in-patient, out patient and 1/2 way houses. He says they don't work for him, that he is wants to quit but is scared to go through the withdrawl part. I know it has to be very hard since this has been going on for years, I guess I just don't understand why he would keep doing it knowing he is so sick and is killing himself. He has made sure all of his papers are in order, etc., but that just seems to make it harder in a way. Our 12 yr old son was diagnosed with non-alcoholic liver disease (NASH) in november, and the doctors r just getting started on trying to find out the cause of that, but now he gains weight constantly and they said his liver is starting to harden. To be hones if I never heard of liver disease it bother me at all, I have place everything in Gods hands and pray constantly I just wish I could get that one miracle for my husband and family. Sorry this is so long, thank you for your compassion and careing. Bless you all and I will keep you in my prayers. ggirl
Ggirl, as a sober alcoholic (21+ years in AA), I have to address what your husband had to say about treatment. First of all, he needs to go to a detox facility. They do give them some kind of medication so he won't have DTs. Next, he needs to know that he CAN get and stay sober...he has to want it more than he wants to drink. AA DOES "work if you work it." In other words, it won't work for him if he just sits there and tunes out. He needs to go every day for the first 30 days, and then every day that he possibly can. He will need to read the Big Book of AA, get a sponsor, do the 12 Steps and daily meditations and gratitude lists. Those are the things that make it work...that and sharing and helping others.
He would need to go to AA and be sober for 6 mos. before becoming eligible for a transplant. I am really thankful that I had been sober for 6 years when I was first diagnosed with hep C. It was still difficult to deal with--just the idea of it. It came at a time when I was in a new marriage, a fairly new career that I really loved, and life was going so well. I went through all the stages of grieving, but did so fairly quickly, thanks to AA.
Ggirl, I hope your son gets the treatment he needs and will get better.
Hugs and best wishes to all,
June, Don't feel bad about forgetting your groceries at the store. I did that a few months ago, and it was more than a couple bags. And I don't even have liver disease. I was lucky though. I got back to the store before it was put back on the shelves. Sometimes we are just so preoccupied with other things that we forget what we are doing at the moment.
Hello it's ggirl again, I was just thinking that maybe you could give me a little insight on some things going on with my husband. As I mentioned before I only get to see my husband every 2 months (5-6 days at a time), but the last couple times I have noticed that he is constantly sweating, shaking and when he sleeps it is almost like he is having some kind of nerve attack, he jerks around a lot in his sleep and moans often like he is in servere pain. He says he isn't but I can't see how that is possible. I am so worried about him, he admits he is a severe alcoholic but denies he is seriously sick with liver disease and just down right refuses to go to the doctor until he is in a lot of pain. I have read so much on symptoms and stages of liver disease I am going nuts, I'm not sure if he even has alcoholic hep. He works in the oil field service and is a truck driver, he's terrified if he goes to the doctor that he will have his CDL pulled and loose his job. He stays sober when he is on a job, says its because he has no choice (the job could last for 3 days) but when he gets back in he can't wait to have a drink. Are these symptoms just going to get worse, we are so far away from him I fear anything could happen. ggirl
Ggirl, thank you for your kind words. As for your last post, it's hard to say what is going on with your husband's symptoms. My first thought would be that he's going through some withdrawal if he is not drinking the amount that he normally drinks. However, it could be symptoms of worsening liver disease. I'm not a doctor, so I'm just guessing here. It sounds like he is a "functional drunk," able to hold a job and fool most people regarding the amount he drinks. I was never like that, but my ex-b.f. was. I think it's harder for those people to admit complete defeat and seek help. Same for "periodics." Those are people who binge for a week or two and then sober up for anywhere from weeks to months. My grandfather was a periodic. I, on the other hand, was a drink-everyday alkie. I had a hard time holding onto jobs because of lateness and absenteeism (hangovers, bruises and broken eyeglasses from falls, you name it.) Even still, when I first got to AA, I just thought they would help me with my "emotional problems." I didn't accept right away that I was alcoholic and that my problems were a result of drinking....or made them worse...and that I would have to give it up. For the first 4 mos., I would stay sober during the week and go to meetings, but drink on weekends. I only stopped when I was no longer getting anything from it...it did not even put me to sleep...yet I had a hangover and felt awful.
With your husband not wanting to go to a doctor, I'm sorry to say that there's not much that can be done to help him. I think you should concentrate on yourself and your kids, especially the one that is ill.
Ggirl, I think that spouses or significant others and family members of alcoholics are so brave. I had so many relatives that suffered from alcoholism I couldn't even begin to count them all. My own parents were never drinkers but their siblings, aunts, and uncles were. I watched in horror as a youngster as my relatives suffered from chirrosis and esphogeal varices. My favorite uncle bled out several times from ruptured varices and finally died from it. He would never seek help or stop drinking even tho he was so incredibly ill. He stayed in denial until the end. The family stuck by him and loved him no matter what. As an adult I find that a courageous thing to do. I guess we see the inside of the person or remember them how they were and not what they have become. I agree that you have to take care of yourself and your children. Your husband has made a choice not to stop and to not take advantage of AA. It is so darn traumatizing to watch a loved one suffer and for everyone aound them to feel so helpless. I think you should continue to offer him help and never give up on him. Even if he gives up on himself. On the otherhand you have children and yourself to take care of first. God be with you and I will keep you in my prayers.
Alcoholism is a disease of denial. Who would want to cause themselves so much sickness and remorse on purpose? No one. But it is a case of "can't live with drinking and can't live without it"...or think we can't. Talk about being between a rock and a hard place! I had to write off my own mother when I was about 40, as I simply could not take being hurt by her any longer. It got to the point where she was hurting my daughter and grandkids, as well--by asking them not to call her "grandma." She was convinced the young men she was involved with thought she was MUCH younger than her actual age (in her 60s by then), when they actually were just using her and taking her money. I believe by that stage she had what is known as a "wet brain." Alcohol does kill off brain cells, and when a person drinks heavily for years...it does take a toll mentally as well as physically. Between the alcohol and all the drugs I did, it's a wonder I even know my name (my mother didn't by the time she ended up in a hospital prior to dying of cardiac arrest. So sad.)
So for those of you who cannot understand why your husband or other significant person will not stop drinking when they know they need to, you have to realize that is the nature of the disease...not just the person being obstinate.
Connie is right! Alcoholism IS a disease. Again, no one chooses to be an addict. I think it becomes the norm for them to drink and they are sometimes unable and/or unwilling to do otherwise. I believe that is why so many are not in AA or other programs to help themselves. It is so very sad and seems like such a waste of human life. I wish we understood more about addictions and how to help people who suffer with them.
Post Edited (hep93) : 1/13/2008 2:38:27 PM (GMT-7)
Hi Butterflythree, I wanted to clarify something you said in your post, "I also wanted to add that alcoholism is inherited genetically." That statement is only partially correct. Many studies have been done to find out if alcoholism is genetic or not. So far as I have been able to assertain the answer is NO. What is true is that there is a genetic propensity to become an alcoholic. Or maybe it's easier to understand if we realize that chidren of alcoholics are at greater risk of becoming an alcoholic. Also, you have to add the environmental influences. If someone has the propensity to drink and they are influenced by family members (especially parents) they are more likely to become alcoholics. I think that's what you were trying to say anyway.