AA Meetings before Liver Transplant

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Shel
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 122
   Posted 8/23/2006 12:14 PM (GMT -7)   
Hello everyone, I have a question.  From what I have been reading throughout several months on this forum, is that in order for someone who has cirrhosis as a result of alcoholism, AA meeting attendance is required to be placed on the liver transplant list.  How often must one attend these meetings?  Once a week, daily, monthly?  Is AA meeting attendance also required after liver transplantation if one is lucky enough to get one?
My husband has been told that he may or may not need a liver transplant because he is doing well.  He is doing well from his liver functions and has had no recent varice bleeding in about 4 months.  Robert has not had a drink in 8 months and has no desire to attend AA meetings.  He says he doesn't need to attend and is doing fine.  That very well may be how he feels, but I do keep telling him that if the time comes that he needs to have a transplant, he will need to attend them.  His GI doctor and primary care doctor have mentioned this to him as well.  Does anyone have any ideas on how I could possibly change his mind or even why he doesn't feel that he needs to attend the meetings.  He has attended two this whole time and has no comment on them, so I don't even know what he thinks.  I know that in the beginning of his illness, his GI doc did say that he would be the one who has to make committments to attend the meetings. So I don't know what my husband could possibly be thinking that he would not want to attend these, especially if his health is in jeopardy.  I have even offered to attend with him.  Your thoughts please?
 
Shel
*Hugs, Thoughts, and Prayers*
   *Shel in New Mexico, USA*
 


hep93
Elite Member


Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 12014
   Posted 8/23/2006 12:51 PM (GMT -7)   
Shel, it's called denial...and it ain't a river in Egypt! :0 Because he has not had a drink in 8 months, he feels he does not have an alcohol problem. However, he would not have alcoholic cirrhosis if he did not have an alcohol problem. Alcoholism (or drug addiction, overeating, etc.) is just a symptom of a greater problem. Your husband has "put a plug in the jug," but has done nothing to address the deeper issues or to ensure that he will not drink again. However, it really does have to come from him. Sometimes people are ordered to attend meetings for a certain length of time as part of DUI sentencing. Sometimes such people end up being seriously committed to the program of AA, but most don't.

I have no knowledge of requirements for AA attendance for transplant candidates. The general thinking within AA is if a person drank every day, then he/she should attend a meeting every day. There are different types of meetings: 12-Step meetings, discussion meetings on a topic, speaker meetings, etc. If your husband has been to a couple of meetings, then he knows the people attending are not bums (though there is one occasionally.) There is generally a lot of laughter and things shared that other alcoholics relate to easily.

There is an online AA meeting on AOL that is in "real time" and run just like a face-to-face regular meeting. However, I wouldn't recommend it for anyone new. It has been good for me the past few years, with all my health problems and surgeries, but I have 20 years sober in AA. If you want more info, or if your husband wants to communicate with me, I can be e-mailed at DancingDigits1@aol.com.

Hugs,
Connie

TDT
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 402
   Posted 8/23/2006 12:53 PM (GMT -7)   

Hi Shel,

Mark had to attend A.A. meeting for 6 months before they would consider him for a transplant. The clinic we are at requires at least 2 a week for 6 months, before they will even put you on the list. The insurance companies will not pay for a transplant without it either They also have to continue going after transplant also, the clinic's want the gift of life taken care of and if rejection occurs you still qualify for another transplant. I don't think you will be allowed to attend the meeting's with him it is anonymous. Mark also had to get a sponsor.  I don't how you can convince him to go, but if he gets pretty sick he will definitely wish he had been going. Mark actually felt the same way as your husband, but he bit the bullet and now he doesn't mind attending them at all. He is the only one at the meetings that needs a transplant, so he does open their eyes to the reality of what can happen to you healthwise if you continue to abuse your body. Wish I could have been of more help to you!

Teresa


hep93
Elite Member


Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 12014
   Posted 8/23/2006 1:22 PM (GMT -7)   
Teresa, Eileen (and you) can attend "open" AA meetings. There are really very few that are "closed" to nonmembers. However, an alcoholic is more likely to open up and share if no family members or significant others are there--at least in the first 6 months or so. ;) That is great that Mark is sharing about what happened to him. That is how AA works. His experience can definitely help others and his sharing can save a life.

Hugs,
Connie

Shel
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 122
   Posted 8/23/2006 3:16 PM (GMT -7)   
Thank you ladies for your comments, I do appreciate them. I guess I'll just have to wait and see what happens. Robert will be going for a liver transplant evaluation in November sometime and I'm sure he'll be asked if he has been attending AA. All I can do at this point is leave it in the hands of the lord and hope that Robert will make the right choice for himself.
*Hugs, Thoughts, and Prayers*
   *Shel in New Mexico, USA*
 


hep93
Elite Member


Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 12014
   Posted 8/23/2006 8:27 PM (GMT -7)   
"All I can do at this point is leave it in the hands of the lord and hope that Robert will make the right choice for himself."

Wise words, Shel. Keep us posted!

Hugs,
Connie
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