New to forum: Husband is deteriorating

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Lauralai
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 6/12/2009 9:40 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi everyone, my name is Laura and I am new on the forum but have been reading all the posts for the last few days.

I am a mother of 2 young children aged 1 and 2, and their father is an alcoholic. In November of 2007 I convinced him to go to rehab but he left after 2 days. They had done some kind of enzyme test on him and the doctor told him if he kept up his level of drinking he had 2-4 years to live. He is 44 years old.

Well we are approaching the 2 year mark and he did not decrease his drinking at all. His symptoms have increased dramatically. He says he vomits 1-2 times a day, has occasionally had tarry stool, he has lost about 35 pounds over the last few months, and he looks terrible. His arms and legs are super skinny now, while his face is bloated. He says he can't sleep at night so on top of the beer he drinks Nyquill (sp?). At this point I have just had to stand back and let him destroy himself because I just don't want to fight anymore. I have never seen such denial. I tried to tell his family back in 2007 and from that point I have been a pariah and the scapegoat for all of his "problems". They won't even acknowledge that their son is very sick so it just allows him to keep on drinking. I'm just trying to raise my children in a loving home and I myself do not drink. My husband and I were childhood sweethearts and when we found each other again in 2005, he hid his drinking problem and I was just clueless about alcoholism. It's been a really nasty experience so far.

So last night Brian called me from a hotel to say he was hallucinating and he proceeded to rant on for about 20 mins. He was deranged and slurring his words and kept repeating himself. I had to put the babies to bed so I tried to call him back and no answer. In the morning there were about 5 voicemails from him that were so mean and nasty he was like a demon possessed.

Once I talked to him in the morning he was soooooo grumpy but that is an understatement. He talked about hating everything and everyone and saying horrible things....he was on his way to a business meeting. He is usually hostile when he's really drunk but this behavior was a whole new level.

Now it's the evening and he just called me to say he threw up a pint of blood. He says he must have an ulcer but I know it must be varices. He is at a concert now and is just going about his night like nothing is wrong!!

I have been researching liver disease to try and pinpoint what stage he might be in so any advice would be welcomed. I accept that he is probably not going to live much longer.

One thing I can tell you is that he would have to be unconscious to get him to a doctors office so the way I see it, he may not get a diagnosis until he's dead.

Does anyone know at what point in the disease the varices happen and what the prognosis might be? I know we are not doctors but I don't have a doctor to ask.

Thank you for reading,
Laura

rainbeau
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2008
Total Posts : 39
   Posted 6/13/2009 7:52 AM (GMT -7)   
Greetings Laura
Welcome to the forum. I bumped a few educational threads that I hope you find helpful. I'm so sorry to hear about your husband. You seem like a very articulate and together kind of gal. Please know that you are not alone. I read your post and was like"de ja vu". I have found everyone here to be knowledgable and caring.

I have seen my husband on death;s door, and back again. I have been on his roller coaster of sobriety for a long time. However, everyone is different. My husband has never had varieces. Anywho, read up on the educational threads. If you ever need a place to just vent, I think you may have found it.

Take care, Rainbeau

hep93
Elite Member


Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 12014
   Posted 6/13/2009 11:08 AM (GMT -7)   

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. 

Hugs,

Connie



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


Lauralai
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 6/16/2009 4:42 PM (GMT -7)   
Hello Everyone,

I am just updating because I am sitting here while my children are napping, and I'm going a bit nutty.

I have been reading the educational threads and they are so helpful to me! Last night Brian came home unannounced and totally intoxicated. While he was here he consumed 2 more 40 oz beers before passing out.

So today he left to go to a business meeting but instead got lost driving around and called me so he could get his bearings. Then he called me from Motel 6 and said he was just so sleepy that he needed to lay down and just hung up the phone. So of course I'm fretting thinking he was going to die right then.

But he just called as I was writing this post and he's awake but totally confused and slurring his speech. I don't think he is drunk. I am not even sure where exactly he is. I'm pondering whether or not to call his sister and try to get her to help. This would let the cat out of the bag and it had very bad results for me last time I tried to enlist his family. Not sure what to do here, wait to see if he feels better or call an ambulance?

I'm so tired of this drama....thanks for letting me vent!

Laura

hep93
Elite Member


Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 12014
   Posted 6/16/2009 5:56 PM (GMT -7)   

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.)

Hugs,

Connie


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


Lauralai
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 6/16/2009 6:14 PM (GMT -7)   
Thank you so much Connie, this is very good advice, and I will look for al-anon online tonight. I'm not too worried about staying here because my husband rarely comes home anymore. He typically drinks in his car parked at the airport and then sleeps there. How he has never been arrested for this boggles my mind. No he's never had a DUI but he did have an accident last week. He says he doesn't know what happened, he just fell asleep for a few seconds. Probably a black out. He talked his way out of it with the other driver and paid for the damage. He has an uncanny way of talking himself out of EVERYTHING!

I'm so glad you think letting him hit his own rock bottom is the way to go. I think so too! There is nothing I can do to help him and he will just make my life more miserable if I get involved. I tried that two years ago and it came back to bite me a hundredfold!

My best friend is moving in for a few months to help me with the kids and to get caught up on house maintenance that needs to be done so that's a positive thing to look forward to.

Thanks again for your help,
Laura

hep93
Elite Member


Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 12014
   Posted 6/16/2009 6:59 PM (GMT -7)   

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.

Hugs,

Connie


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


hep93
Elite Member


Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 12014
   Posted 6/26/2009 11:45 AM (GMT -7)   

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.

Hugs,

Connie


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


Lauralai
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 6/26/2009 12:44 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Connie,

thank you so much for thinking of us.

Yes my friend moved in and has been a big help so far. Also just having someone here to see what I'm going through has been an eye opener for me. This morning as I was making breakfast, I was just stunned when I realized how much pain I was in and how much I have on my shoulders right now. I have joined an online Al-Anon group and I know this will help. On top of all this I am also going through a very scary custody issue with my ex-husband. He kidnapped our daughter who is now 7 and left the country. I haven't seen her for 4 years and the window has just opened up where there is a chance I will regain custody or at least access to her. So I have this to deal with as well.

I just want to put my family back together. I'm a good Mom who has made VERY poor choices in partners. If I ever even date again it will not be until I have had some extensive therapy and know I can make a better choice.

Did I mention my 2 year old has been diagnosed with Autism? Yes, 25 hours per week of intensive therapy starting Monday.

My husband has overdrawn our bank account and hasn't paid any bills. I have no access to the money, he hides his assets. I'm not sure how to handle that one. If I apply for aid maybe they can get the money out of him somehow. Right now I am just so overwhelmed with the mess my life has become.

To be honest I wish Brian would just succumb to his illness and pass away. I saw last night how he is affecting my children even though they are so young. My son (the autistic one) threw a terrible temper tantrum when his Dad came home that went on for 3 hours.

But today he and his sister are happy and back in their routine. Hopefully Brian won't be home for a couple days to give us a break.

As for Brian, his symptoms seem to have let up but his appetite is gone. He didn't eat last night and when I spoke to him at lunchtime he still hadn't eaten anything. But he is at work and seems to be doing ok. I want to scream!! He had an episode last week where he was wandering around a familiar city totally lost and then finally found his office and passed out on the floor for 3 hours. He wasn't drunk so I'm assuming this was encephalopathy. But he woke up and went on like nothing was wrong.

I am trying to stay positive and know God will get us through this. I just wish it would end sooner rather than later.

Thanks for letting me vent!
Laura

hep93
Elite Member


Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 12014
   Posted 6/26/2009 2:06 PM (GMT -7)   

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.

Connie



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

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