Hello, Laura, and welcome to the forum. Thanks to Rainbeau for bumping the educational threads. Actually, they are now stickied in the Hepatitis Resources folder at the top of the forum. I hope you will read through those and maybe find some answers. Please bear in mind that liver disease is very individualistic. Not everyone experiences the same symptoms or at the same point in their illness.
Of course, your husband "hates everyone and everything"...he hates himself. He knows what he is doing to himself and his family, believe me. To admit it would mean he would have to quit drinking and he can't imagine life without alcohol. Have you been to any Al-Anon meetings? You might find them helpful to you in coping with the disease of alcoholism, as it relates to you and the girls. Another good group for family members is Co-Dependents Anonymous.
He could have an ulcer or he could have bleeding esophageal varices. No way to know for sure, but if it's varices, he could bleed out very easily. You mentioned a "business meeting." Is he still able to work? That would make him a functioning alcoholic.
Remember that your #1 job is to take care of yourself and your children.
Laura, if you read my above post, you know I have some familiarity with alcoholics. I have been a sober one for nearly 23 yrs., thanks to AA. I was also married to 2 practicing alcoholics. Every alcoholic has to reach his own "bottom" before he will accept help. Rescuing him is the worst thing you can do. In doing so, you are silently condoning his drinking. Let him get lost, pass out in a motel, get arrested for DUI (has that happened yet?) and all the other things that go along with being a drunk. An alcoholic usually has to lose everything (job, home, family, health) before acknowleging he has a problem. Then he has to become willing to do something about it.
I've been where you are, wondering if your hubby is out there passed out in the street or wondering if he has been in an accident, or how he's going to behave when he gets home. You never have any peace because you are always in a state of worry and turmoil. The best thing you could do for all concerned is to take the girls and go somewhere for awhile. Do you have family who could take you in? It would be hard to get him out of the house unless he becomes abusive and you tell the cops that you are afraid of him.
Your girls are very young and you may think they don't know what is going on or understand it. But I can tell you that they do feel the stress in the house and hear you when you're fighting. It makes them insecure. Somewhere deep inside, they know their dad isn't like other dads. Of course, their awareness will increase with age.
I know you are wondering what to do for or about your husband. However, I'm more concerned about you and your children. I implore you to go to Al-Anon. Find Alcoholics Anonymous in the phone book and ask for the nearest Al-Anon meeting. There are also online meetings, if you are unable to get a babysitter or take the kids with you.
If your husband is ever somewhat sober, that is the time to try to get him to see a doctor. It's also the time to "tell it like it is;" that he will die soon if he doesn't stop drinking and get help both for alcoholism and his liver. Let him know what you've read. Don't do this in a confrontational way, but in a very calm, caring manner. You may get nowhere, but it's worth a try. You probably already know that it's useless to discuss anything when someone is drunk.
Please keep coming back here for support and information. And if you want to talk things over at any time, feel free to e-mail me (click on my name for my profile and it's in there.)
Laura, I'm glad that your friend is moving in. Also that your husband is seldom there. Believe me, I understand that it's better he's not. At some point, he will get arrested or something else will happen. It's inevitable. For some it just takes longer than for others. Meanwhile, take care of yourself and your children and make that your priority.
Lauralai, are you still around? I'm thinking about you and wondering if your friend moved in as planned. If so, is that a help to you? How is your husband doing? The same? As you know, my concerns are for you and your children, as there is nothing to be done for him until he decides he wants help.
Post a few lines to let me know you are okay, or e-mail me if you prefer. My address is in my profile.
Laura, it's good to hear from you! I am glad your friend is there for you. I feel sure that if you apply for food stamps and perhaps some emergency cash assistance, you would be approved. You can actually apply online (do a Google search for food stamp program + the state you are in.) Just say your husband abandoned the family, which he did. Don't even mention that he comes home occasionally, if they ask. If you have no or little income I'm sure you can get help almost immediately because of the children. How about health insurance? If you all are not on your husband's insurance, you should be eligible for Medicaid, again because of the children. There's help out there if you look for it.
I'm glad to hear you have joined an online Al-Anon group. Try to make it a habit to go frequently so you get to know the people and what it's really about. At some point, perhaps you could go to a live meeting while your friend watches the children.
Does your husband own his own business? It is just beyond me why he hasn't been fired by now. I'm sure that his alcoholism is apparent to those he works with. I know that personally I could never hold a job for long when I was drinking. Too much absence from hangovers or lateness from oversleeping. Once I got sober, I was the best, most reliable employee anyone could hope for.
I'm sorry that your son has a diagnosis of autism. I have another friend with a young son who is austistic, but given the wonderful therapeutic programs he has been involved in since he was 3, he's now mainstreamed in school and doing great. You may know that there is a spectrum of austism, so it's possible that your son will turn out to be only mildly affected. I'm sorry your daughter was taken out of the country but hope you will soon get custody or at least have some contact.
Keep the faith and let us know how you are doing.