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Trying2help
New Member


Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 13
   Posted 7/26/2009 2:00 PM (GMT -7)   
I am watching my mom drink herself to death.  She comes from a long line of alcoholics.  A mother, father, and sister all died from drinking, one sister went into a coma and somehow came out and survives to this day.
 
My mom has lost a tremendous amount of weight.  Her legs and arms are bones with skin stretched over them.  Her stomach and ankles have begun to swell.  She has upset stomach and she is vomiting.  She falls alot and today her confusion level is out there.
 
I just got her to sign a living will and a medical power of attorney, because I know she isn't going to make it much longer.  She will not admit she is drinking, even though I showed her all the hidden empty wine boxes and bottles.  She refuses to see a Dr. or go to the hospital.
 
What can I do to make her get treatment?  I know I can't make her quit drinking, but can I somehow force her to seek medical attention?

hep93
Elite Member


Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 12014
   Posted 7/26/2009 2:18 PM (GMT -7)   

Hello and welcome!  I am very sorry about your mom.  You can get her court-ordered detox and inpatient treatment through the Myers Act.  It is specifically for alcoholics who are a danger to their own health and have lost control over their drinking.  Once she is sober, she can be encouraged to get medical help...but no adult can be forced to do that.   Do a Google search and you will find a lot of info on the Myers Act.  You can call your County Clerk's office and ask how you go about initiating the Myer's Act.  I believe you will need 2 doctors to testify that she is a danger to herself.  I think your mom is too far gone for an intervention to work.  If you are unwilling to use the Myers Act on her, there is really nothing you can do to stop her from drinking and harming herself.

Hugs,

Connie



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

Post Edited (hep93) : 7/26/2009 3:21:14 PM (GMT-6)


Trying2help
New Member


Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 13
   Posted 7/26/2009 4:34 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks for the warm welcome!

Is the Myer's Act only for Florida? I called an ambulance service today to see if they could force her to go to the hospital and was told no.

I called the local hospitals and Aurora about having her admitted and was told that unless she was threatening suicide or homicide they could not force her to stay.

My brother and I tried to physically pick her up and take her but she refuses. If I can't get her to go to a Dr, how can I get two Dr.'s to say she is a danger to herself?

I'm in South Carolina by the way.

hep93
Elite Member


Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 12014
   Posted 7/26/2009 5:02 PM (GMT -7)   

I am really not sure if Myer's is only for FL.  However, you could call your county clerk office tomorrow and ask them.  I would think that most states would have something similar.  If you could get her to an ER, perhaps one of their doctors could get the ball rolling as far as doing something similar.  Hopefully, when she is passed out you can get her to the ER.  But go ahead and try to find out if there is some kind of law that could be used to get her help.

I know that it's very difficult to get help for someone who doesn't want it.  There is another Act--the Baker Act-- that is similar to Myers, but not limited to alcoholics.  It is for anyone who is a danger to themselves or others.  I believe that one is nationwide.  When my sister tried to enact that to get our mom help in NY, my mother's doctor let her know what was being done to have her Baker-acted and she hit the roof.  She thought my sister was just trying to get her house, which is the last thing my sister wanted.  Mom never did get help, but was in a NH home when she died, so I'm assuming she had quit drinking when placed there.  We lost contact.

ETA:  I found some information for you that pertains to SC laws about involuntary commitment, at this link:   http://www.scstatehouse.gov/code/t44c052.htm

Hugs,

Connie



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

Post Edited (hep93) : 7/26/2009 9:02:53 PM (GMT-6)


1Shelly1
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 502
   Posted 7/27/2009 1:06 PM (GMT -7)   
Trying2Help, hi and welcome to HW. I feel so badly for you and the situation you are in. I can honestly tell you that your options are limited with getting your mom admitted. If your mom is lucid enough to answer questions she can not be forced to go to a hospital. The law is on her side there. I can appreciate your desire to get her the help she needs but again she has to want the help. Sometimes it is helpful to participate in a group setting for yourself. They can help you to develope better coping skills among other things. It seems to me that our most raw feeling is "helplessness". I do agree with Connie, you should find out what services are available in your area. When you call ask all the questions you want and don't be intimidated by anyone. Make a list of questions before you call and write down the answers so you can refer to them later. It will help to keep you focused while speaking to them. Keep us posted OK?
 Shelly
 

“Life is not the way it's supposed to be. It's the way it is. The way you cope with it is what makes the difference."

 


BarbL64
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 26
   Posted 7/28/2009 10:06 AM (GMT -7)   
Hello,

There is only one way to force medical treatment on her. You would have to take her to court and have her declared incompetant and get legal custody.

I had a friend who did it with with his brother. But it is really hard to obtain.

Your best bet is to get her to a detox center and then encourage her to see the doctor if only to help make her more comfortable.

There is a forum where you might ask if there is a law that could help you get your mom into detox:

forums.officer.com

Give the link a try they may have an answer for you.

Barbara

Trying2help
New Member


Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 13
   Posted 7/28/2009 10:20 AM (GMT -7)   
I called everyone I could think of yesterday to see if I could do something, anything, and so far I've been told no everywhere I turn. The closest I came was clerk of court. They will issue a police pick up but again if she is not threatening suicide or homicide they will only keep her a day.

Yesterday and today I have had to pick her up off the floor because she fell and does not have the strength to pick herself back up. I asked her mom don't you want to go to the Dr so you can feel better. I'm just met with silence.

She does appear to have stopped drinking for the past 2 days. I went ballistic and slung her glasses of wine outside, then I ripped the cardboard off the box of wine and stabbed the bladder of wine with a knife. I told her this is the only thing you care about. I can't imagine treating my children the way you treat me and my brother.

She still denies that she drinks, so I threw the 3 empty wine boxes at her feet and asked her who is drinking this if not you? So she the admitted to only 1 glass a day, even though I threw 4 glasses out the door Sunday. I know its wrong to lose my temper like that but man it felt good to put all the ugly truths out in the open and to let my feelings be known. Hated having to clean up the mess I made. As a PS...... soaking your clothes in hydrogen peroxide removes the wine stains.

I've told her you have a new grandchild (brothers having a baby soon) coming in 2 months and you are not going to be here to even hold it.

I need to write my congressman and see if South Carolina could pass something like the Myer's Act for this state. I have a friend going through the same thing with her mom and she has also tried all the avenues without any help.

hep93
Elite Member


Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 12014
   Posted 7/28/2009 2:56 PM (GMT -7)   

Did you visit the link I gave above?  It seems to me that SC does have laws to enable her to be committed to detox and inpatient treatment.

I can understand your throwing out glasses of wine and destroying what alcohol she had...but it doesn't work.  She will somehow get more. 

I hope that she becomes too sick to drink and maybe then she will get the treatment she needs.

Hugs,

Connie


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


Trying2help
New Member


Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 13
   Posted 7/28/2009 3:30 PM (GMT -7)   
I did read the information on the link you provided and this is the part that stops me from being able to have her admitted.

(11) "Chemically dependent person in need of involuntary commitment" means a person who is suffering from chemical dependency as demonstrated by:

(a) recent overt acts or recent expressed acts of violence;
(((she hasn't threatened to kill anyone)))

(b) episodes of recent serious physical problems related to the habitual and excessive use of drugs or alcohol, or both;
(((everyone I've called said her falling down does not mean she is a danger to herself, because elderly people fall down, leaving food on the stove to burn doesn't count, she has to be threatening suicide to be considered a danger to herself)))

(c) incapacitation by drugs or alcohol, or both, on a habitual and excessive basis as evidenced by numerous appearances before the court within the preceding twelve months, repeated incidences involving law enforcement, multiple prior treatment episodes, or testimony by family or by members of the community known to the person relating to a lifestyle adversely affected by alcohol or drugs, or both.
((she hasn't been caught drinking and driving YET)))

I know throwing the alcohol out only helps for the moment. It just felt good to do it. When she broke her hip I removed all the alcohol while she was in the hospital, but she still managed to take her walker and make it to the car and the store to buy more. That really had to be a site to see. I begged and pleaded with her then please don't drink, she was taking Oxycodone and I told her the combination was deadly. That didn't stop her either.

It is helping to get it out. Yesterday I felt so depressed and helpless. Today I decided to just start getting things in order. She is choosing her path and I can only follow behind and pick her up when needed. I read so many posts on this board about how the people on here care for loved ones with such love and compassion. I pray that I can get to that point. Because right now, I have no compassion only resentment.

hep93
Elite Member


Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 12014
   Posted 7/28/2009 7:00 PM (GMT -7)   

Actually, I think you have plenty of evidence of b and c there.  Her liver disease is a direct result of her alcoholism.  The fact that she continues to drink in the face of it is harmful to herself.  Her falling down and not being able to get up by herself is certainly incapacitating and harmful to herself.  You have plenty of family testimony as to how her drinking is hurting her...and others indirectly.  You may need to get a lawyer, but I honestly think you have enough evidence to have her court-ordered to detox and treatment.

I don't think the people here who are dealing with someone who continues to drink, despite what it is doing to them, are feeling very compassionate.  They are just as frustrated as you are.  The ones like JoAnn and BratNewton (Karen) are caregivers whose husbands have stopped drinking, and even they are worn out from the caregiving and roller coaster ride of liver disease.

Of course, you can vent here anytime you like.  That is part of the purpose of this forum.

Hugs,

Connie


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


allie2631
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 313
   Posted 7/29/2009 2:44 AM (GMT -7)   

i know you are hurting right now and it does feel good to let that anger out. then you come to whats next.....

through the years i have been fullcircle and back again with my mum. she also comes from a very long line of alcoholics . its only been the last three years that her health has suffered badly. years ago she went tocouncillers, went on addiction programs, i took her to a.a. but i truly believe she just went to get everyone of her back, she did not once really say i want to stop.

i have been angry grabbed her when drunk forcing her to look in the mirror, ended up shouting all sorts of abuse but all it got me was a guilty conscience. there was a period of about a year that i hardly seen her, but i felt i could not cope if she died and i was not speaking to her. i have finally came to the conclusion that no matter how hard i try, how mad or stressed i get, that i cannot stop my mum drinking.

you can spend a lot of time worryingover your mum, exhausting yourself but even detox might not helpher if she still is in denial. try to deal with it the best you can without it takin over your life. believe me,cause i let it take over me it affected my relationship with my husband and kids and it still does to a certain extent, although i try not to.

maybe your mum will find strength one day and realise she needs help,you have been a good daughter in supporting her and when she needs help you will be there for her.


Trying2help
New Member


Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 13
   Posted 8/3/2009 10:35 AM (GMT -7)   
Finally!!! My mom came to me today and said she is tired of feeling like this and tired of suffering, she wanted to go the emergency room.

I told the Dr I think it's her liver and told him all the symptoms she has.

We are sitting here now. The Dr has ordered cat scan, liver function test, they just did a chest xray and an ekg. I asked him to check her amonia levels.

Anything else I need to ask them to do?

Thanks,

alanrm
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2009
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 8/3/2009 1:26 PM (GMT -7)   
Yes a liver biopsy.

alanrm
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2009
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 8/3/2009 1:51 PM (GMT -7)   
If you have Hep-c, you have to stop drinking.I found out when I had Hep-c , when I felt week 15 years ago and had a blood test from my Doctor.I can tell my story, from the begging to the end. One day I left work, and I started throwing up blood.I wen't to the Hospital, and had a blood transfusion.I had a great Doctor,and had all the meds that were avable. I went to None worked.I wen't to rehab 3 times , but could not stop drinking.I was in and out of the hospital 6 times in 4 years. I had to have a stint put into my body.That controles the blood to the liver.I had to go to the hospital many times to see if it was working.7 years ago I was in my house , I pased out.I was taking to the Hospital and I was in a coma.I had my last rights.Two weeks later, I got out of the coma.I could not speek, walk or even remember my famaly's faces.I had to start over to speek ,walk and talk.If you saw me now, you would no even thought I was that sick.I had the best Doctors, and the best Hospital.I just have some short memory,but I am fine.If you have any quistions, you can e-mail me at Alan

Alan I removed your email address for your own safety, please put your email address in your profile..........then only members can email you.

Post Edited By Moderator (Pink Grandma) : 8/3/2009 6:56:24 PM (GMT-6)


1Shelly1
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 502
   Posted 8/3/2009 5:30 PM (GMT -7)   
Trying toHelp,
I am so glad that your mom decided to go to the ER. When the Dr runs all the tests and he is able to review the results he will send her to a hepatologist. That is of course assuming her labs are abnormal. At least you have taken the initiative and requested the appropriate tests. Please let us know what happens.
 
 Shelly
 

“Life is not the way it's supposed to be. It's the way it is. The way you cope with it is what makes the difference."

 


Trying2help
New Member


Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 13
   Posted 8/3/2009 5:56 PM (GMT -7)   
CT scan showed cirrhosis, fluid build up,  a mass in the liver, and something not right in the small and large intestines.
 
She was admitted into the hospital tonight, a biopsy is scheduled for tomorrow.  I never expected cancer.  I was prepared for the cirrhosis diagnosis, but now I feel like the rug has been pulled out from under me.
 
I just watched my father die from pancreatic cancer 6 months ago.

1Shelly1
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 502
   Posted 8/3/2009 6:45 PM (GMT -7)   
Trying2Help, I think that you are stronger than you think you are. You appear to be a realist and you know that the results are not good. You have every reason to feel sad at the possiblity that it is cancer, On the other hand you don't know for sure yet. They may be able to treat it and I would wait until they tell you what the prognosis is before you panic. Try to be optimistic and get all the facts first. I will pray for her and for you. We are here for you.

 Shelly
 

“Life is not the way it's supposed to be. It's the way it is. The way you cope with it is what makes the difference."

 


Trying2help
New Member


Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 13
   Posted 8/5/2009 3:51 PM (GMT -7)   
Day 3 in the hospital.
Quick update. Mom's blood is too thin for them to do a biopsy. They have been giving her Potasium, vitamin K and liquid proteins to thicken her blood. If they can level out her blood, they are scheduled to drain the fluid tomorrow and run scopes through both ends. The Dr's are now saying they think the lesions on her liver may just be signs of the cirrhosis and not a primary tumor. They did a brain scan last night and that came back clean. They told me they will test the fluids, and see what shows up on the scopes and decide if a biopsy should be done.

She is still very weak, but has lost her balance only once. The pressure in her stomach has built up enough that it is hurting her. I asked them to give her some morphine in her IV. She barely eats and when she does I notice she burps a bit and goes into a dry heave. This part really bothers me, these are the same symptoms my father had with the pancreatic cancer.

She's angry with me for telling the Dr. she is a drinker. She thinks because she hasn't drank in a week, she can truthfully answer the question no. She is beginning to complain about being in the hospital and wants to go home.

1Shelly1
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 502
   Posted 8/5/2009 7:53 PM (GMT -7)   
Trying2Help, it sounds like the Dr is doing all the appropriate things so that is good news. Keep your chin up and just take one day at a time. Are they thinking of draining her belly? I guess that depends on if it is fluid or something else. Have you asked them? Don't be afraid to ask questions. At this point whether she is angry or not it doesn't matter. She is getting the care she needs. Her anger will have to take second place to her treatment  now.
 Shelly
 

“Life is not the way it's supposed to be. It's the way it is. The way you cope with it is what makes the difference."

 


hep93
Elite Member


Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 12014
   Posted 8/6/2009 6:25 PM (GMT -7)   

Trying, I am really glad that your mom is in the hospital and getting tested, etc.  You did the right thing in letting the doctor know that she abuses alcohol.  This is the reason she wants to get out of the hospital--to get a bottle.  As Shelly said, let her be angry.  She is where she needs to be.

Hugs,

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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