Allie, it's fine. We all need to vent once in awhile. The good news is that she is in detox, regardless of how she got there. The bad news is that they cannot hold her longer than 72 hours since she is there voluntarily (at least that's how it works here.) You have seen the pattern repeat with her over and over, so of course you feel "here we go again." Since you come away with nothing but bad feelings when you see her, and she will not accept your help, I can only suggest that you try to keep some emotional and physical distance for your own self-preservation. No need to feel guilty, either. She has brought this all on herself, and nothing you do or don't do will change it. She has to want to change and she's given no indication that she really wants to. You know I call it as I see it, and that's how I see it right now. Be good to yourself and try not to dwell so much on what's going on with her. Pay a visit if you feel you should, but make it brief and expect nothing from her.
We are always here for you, Allie. I am glad to hear your were able to give the nurse a "heads up." Hopefully, she will make a note in your mum's chart so that other nurses/doctors will see it. I know how frustrating it is. I went through the same thing with my own mother, though she never went to detox. She half-heartedly tried AA a couple of times and also went to a psychiatrist a few times. But a person has to be 100% committed to wanting sobriety more than they want the booze and willing to go to any lengths to achieve sobriety. She wasn't, so I gave up and went on with my life. Surprisingly, she lived to be 81--but 41 years of it was a life of misery.
Take care of yourself, sweet Allie.
Allie, that's great that you will have the opportunity to attend such a meeting. If they give you a chance to ask questions or tell THEM anything, please do so!
That would be a really good thing if she could get full time care, which I imagine would be in-patient. Her partner will just have to deal with it. He hasn't been any help to her in the times she has been released home. Of course, she will probably fight it, but I agree with the addiction team that this is what she needs. Be sure to follow up on the x-rays. They can actually do portable ones, right in her room while she is in bed. There is no reason for them to be so slow about doing such a simple thing. If the falls she has had prove to have compromised her hip replacement, then there's another reason for her to have full time care.
When does the meeting you previously mentioned take place?
Allie, write down some things to ask/tell when you attend and take the list with you.
Allie, she could have a spinal disk issue that is causing the leg pain, if they've ruled out hip damage. How long has she been in rehab now? I think I would insist that they check her ammonia level. Just because she's having regular BMs doesn't mean her ammonia isn't high. Of course, the confusion could be the result of her alcoholism...even though she's not drinking now. It kills brain cells. At the end, my mother didn't even know her parents' or children's names (I got her medical records from the hospital she died in.) She had been delusional 20 yrs. prior and it just got worse. However, in your mum's case, it could be from the brain bleeds.
Remember to take care of YOU!
Detox doesn't necessarily have extensive knowledge about liver disease. Toxemia is a blood infection. Maybe that's what the nurse meant by "not toxic." What is the big deal with them doing an ammonia level? If that tests normal, then her problem is likely from the brain bleeds and from brain damage from alcoholism. Just guessing here from my limited knowledge base. But agitation, anger, confusion are all signs of elevated ammonia. What blood tests are they doing?
In these days of specialization, one doctor may be very knowledge in his specialty, but not know much about something else. I've learned never to assume anything. I ask a lot of questions. A liver panel doesn't automatically include an ammonia level. To my knowledge, with all the blood work and testing I've had, I've never had a test for ammonia...probably because there was no indication for it based on my behavior. If you are able to go to the next meeting, flat-out ask them to do an ammonia level. But it's true that it's no good for you to obsess over something that's not going to have a good outcome, regardless of what's done or not done.
It could well be Korsakoff's, Allie. I still think something is going on in the hip, particularly after all the falls she's had since surgery. They are probably talking about carotid artery stenosis, which is narrowing of the artery due to plaque. The usual treatment is stent placement, but I don't know if she's well enough for that kind of surgery. It's obvious that not drinking for over 3 weeks has been beneficial to her liver.
Do keep us updated.
P.S. The correct spelling for encephalopathy and spider nevi are in our Medical Word List.
Post Edited (allie2631) : 8/26/2010 1:21:07 AM (GMT-6)