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overdone
New Member


Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 5/27/2009 10:52 AM (GMT -7)   
Good Morning All,
 
I just found this forum and very happy I did. My husband is 65 years old and just out of Sub Acute Physical Therapy. He was there for 3 weeks following a months stay in the hospital for Acute Alcohol Hepatitis.  He started drinking when he was 15 and just before his hospitalization he was drinking 1 qt. of vodka per day. Over the past 2 years my husband was in the hospital 3 times diagnosed with Acute Alcoholic Hepatitis. Just 6 weeks ago, he was diagnosed with ESLD. He has hepatic encephalopathy, ascites, chronic pancreatitis. His feet and ankles were very swollen, but they are much better now. He is taking 12 prescriptions which include vitamins and supplements. Although, he is home and still very ill - he still wants to drink. He wasn't home 15 minutes before he started asking for a drink. He can barely walk and sleeps 18 to 20 hours a day. While he was in the hospital, one of the doctors said he was hospice qualified, then a few days later another doctor said he showed slight improvement. From lab results, I did his meld scores and they were anywhere from 20 to 29. The rehab suggested he have supervision 24/7, but I have to work and no one else is there. We go to his primary physician tomorrow evening for follow up. I need some answers on what to expect. You guys seem to have much more knowledge than I. What questions would you be asking the doctor? I don't want to miss anything.
 
Thank you,
Overdone

hep93
Elite Member


Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 12014
   Posted 5/27/2009 11:45 AM (GMT -7)   
Overdone, welcome to the forum!  Does your husband have a hepatologist (liver specialist?)  Unfortunately, primary care doctors are usually not very knowledgeable about liver disease.  You might want to ask an opinion as to how much he can be expected to improve if he doesn't drink.  After 50 yrs. of hard drinking, the damage may already be done.  However, if he doesn't have a viral disease like hep B or C, the liver can possibly regenerate...at least to a point.  As a sober alcoholic, I can tell you that it is more foreign to your husband NOT to drink, regardless of how sick he is.  But of course each drink throws fuel on the fire and further deteriorates his liver.  Has he had CT scans?  An MRI?  I would be curious as to how damaged his liver is and how much chance there is that he can recover.  Of course, when he starts to get a little better, he will be even more determined to drink.  He is the one that will need to admit he is powerless over alcohol...and has to be willing to do something about it.
 
I suggest you read the educational threads in the Hepatitis Resources folder at the top of the page.  They contain a lot of information, and may also prompt you to ask some specific questions.
hep93
Forum moderator - Hepatitis
 
"But that was yesterday, and I was a different person then."
Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland


overdone
New Member


Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 5/27/2009 12:02 PM (GMT -7)   
He has had scans and an MRI done so I will ask how damaged the liver is. He doesn't have a liver specialist, but he did have a gastro doctor in the hospital. This doctor asked that John follow up with him. John has admitted that he has a problem with alcohol and has gone into two inpatient alcohol rehabilitation centers. He has also gone to AA meetings. He said they don't work for him. It's unreal to me that he hasn't had a drink in 2 months and is still craving. Last night he actually asked and thought I would take him to a liquor store. Thank you for your advice and I will read the educational threads you mentioned. I'll let you know how we make out at the doctors.

hep93
Elite Member


Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 12014
   Posted 5/27/2009 12:59 PM (GMT -7)   

Overdone, do you know how many people I've heard say that "AA didn't work for them" over the years?  LOL!  smilewinkgrin    It's an excuse!   It's because they don't work the steps, get a sponsor, and most of all get honest, plus REALLY want to stop...and see it as their only hope for quitting.  One only gets out of it what one puts into it.

Good luck with the doctor!  See if you can make a follow-up appt. with the GI doc or get a referral for a hepatologist (better.)


hep93
Forum moderator - Hepatitis
 
"But that was yesterday, and I was a different person then."
Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland


overdone
New Member


Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 5/27/2009 1:11 PM (GMT -7)   
I agree, I watched him have a few drinks before he left for those meetings. He went to 4 meetings and was only sober for the 1st one. My father was an alcoholic, when he started to get sick. He went away for 3 days to detox. He started AA and didn't stop going until he felt he was strong enough to stay away from the booze on his own. He died at age 84 from lung cancer. He was sober for 44 healthy years. I will ask the doctor for a referral to a hepatologist. Thanks.

hep93
Elite Member


Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 12014
   Posted 5/27/2009 2:55 PM (GMT -7)   
Nope, it definitely doesn't work if you are intoxicated or been drinking at all before going to meetings.  I practically lived at meetings the first 7 years--4-5 a week plus working full time.  After that, I cut it down to about 2 a week.  I only stopped going in the last 7 yrs. or so, due to lack of transportation and my fatigue from Hep C, etc.  However, I still read the literature, work the steps, and sometimes go to online meetings...plus I have a very solid foundation.

hep93
Forum moderator - Hepatitis
 
"But that was yesterday, and I was a different person then."
Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland


Pink Grandma
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 2445
   Posted 5/27/2009 9:35 PM (GMT -7)   
Hello Overdone and welcome to HealingWell. I am glad you found us.

My husband was one of those who quit drinking on his own after many years of heavy drinking.....who felt he didn't need AA. Well the transplant center required him to go. It took him a month to finally go......He didn't like it at first.....but he grew love it.........I would have never believed it. He liked trying to help the younger ones. And he didn't want me there. This was his time.

I agree with Connie........A hepatologist is needed to stay on top of liver disease. Symptoms change almost daily it seemed to me.

Take care of yourself too during this difficult time. It's easy to forget about your needs while trying to help your husband. Thoughts and prayers........
Pink Grandma
Forum moderator-Hepatitis

When the going gets tough....the tough get going! Don't always know where I going but I get there anyways.


overdone
New Member


Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 5/28/2009 5:48 AM (GMT -7)   

Good morning.  It would take a miracle for John to go to AA, but I do believe in them. He threw away all the literature and he said he would never go back. My dad went almost everyday in the beginning also. He made two very good friends and they were together often even after he stopped attending the meetings. He preached to his kids often about abusing alcohol and none of his kids are drinkers. We still remember what a horrible perwson he was when he drank. When we go out to dinner on a Sat. night, we'll have a glass or 2 of wine. That's the limit.

When I got home John wasn't feeling well. He said his stomach was bothering him earlier and his legs and shoulders were achy. He gets his days mixed up and is very forgetfull. We have he doctor's appt. tonight and he thought it was last night. Can anyone tell me why he is always cold. He's been wearing sweats and a velour robe and has a quilt on him most times.

I'm glad I have my job, great family and friends too. I try not to stress and take one day at a time.
 
Thanks.
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