husband with cirrhosis and drinking again

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New Member

Date Joined Jun 2017
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 6/21/2017 5:59 AM (GMT -6)   
My husband was diagnosed with end stage liver disease 2 1/2 years ago and after being hospitalized he quit drinking and smoking. In March this year, he started drinking and smoking again and I've seen it slowly escalate. He's also not taking his a lot of his meds daily. The weird part is he hasn't looked this healthy in years. Other than mood swings, which he does suffer from HE he seems fine. I've thought of emailing his Dr but not sure because I have to still live with him. This disease (and husband) is driving me crazy. Every day I worry about what I will find when I get home from work. My youngest daughter doesn't come home anymore because of the stress. I'm just looking for answers and suggestions.

ppm guy
Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2010
Total Posts : 1209
   Posted 6/21/2017 6:46 PM (GMT -6)   
hi Lamb1231 and welcome,
so sorry about your situation. My brother has ESLD also. He has hep c and alcoholic hepatitis. He was diagnosed in 2010, with compensated cirrhosis. he cured his hep c in 2013. But didn't stop drinking..
A year later he was told he has a possible tumor. Then he stopped drinking..he now has stage 3 liver cancer, and now has esld. his chance for a transplant is unlikely at this time.

Im sure your husband is aware of his options, or lack of options when drinking with cirrhosis. It equates to throwing gas on a fire..

QUITING ALCOHOL is his only chance to recover, or be eligible for a transplant. And theres no guarantee he will be TP eligible. if he is eligible, his dr will require documented sobriety, from a rehab program or AA.

My family also has trouble dealing with his disease. I pretty much am in the same boat as you. He is also healthy looking, and disappears for a couple days at a time. he will go out without his HE meds, and get lost for a couple days. within a day or 2, I get a call from a hospital ER.

We have a few members who are dealing with or have recovered, from ALD. and hopefully they will chime in here. please feel free to to ask questions or just get things out. We care, regardless of how a person gets sick.
most of us, myself included, used drugs and alcohol.
best to you

New Member

Date Joined Jun 2017
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 6/22/2017 5:50 AM (GMT -6)   
Thanks you so much for the reply ppm guy. I'm just so frustrated with it all. I've tried so hard to keep him on a good diet of low sodium and protein, taken care of all of his meds, used up most of my sick time at work to go to appointments with him etc. and now it seems all a waste since he's drinking again. Our marriage ended just before he got sick and he has no one else or anywhere else to go. Our 2 daughters and myself are essentially all he has and he hasn't worked for 7 years due to an injury. He's unable to collect SS, he's been denied 6 times! It's so crazy. I really am at my wits end. I guess I mostly just need to know there are other folks out there unfortunately in the same situation but hopefully with some insight. I wish the doctors could answer how much time he has left or if he stops drinking again he'll be fine for another 10+ years. It would be nice to know exactly what I'm in for. Thanks for letting me rant.

ppm guy
Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2010
Total Posts : 1209
   Posted 6/22/2017 8:55 PM (GMT -6)   
Our forum has always been a patient and caregiver format. Because there are many of us out there that cares for our loved ones. And this disease is particularly difficult. hepatic encephalopathy tests our patience on a daily basis.

my brother got SSI and Medicaid after a few attempts. He had his drs, social worker fill out the application and his dr signed it. they filed his papers as a mental illness. It provided a caretaker for 4 hours 4 times a week. the caretaker can take you for dr appointments and can pickup your meds.

As far as how long he can lasr?? If HE is his only main symptom, he could probably last a few years, if still drinking. But he will get really sick. And cancer becomes a real possibility. if he quits, he may heal somewhat(best case scenario) and could last many years.. I don't know his age..and if he quits, he would be a good candidate for transplant, if his liver is too far gone..

write back anytime

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Oct 2010
Total Posts : 4834
   Posted 6/22/2017 9:47 PM (GMT -6)   
best advice is for you to join alanon...this is not your circus and he is not your monkey.

he is responsible for himself

that being said I have been in your shoes.

in 2003...a long time ago, my Mike has been a drinking man since high school. he had hep c and got treatment that year. he sobered up, took the difficult interferon but did not clear. darn! but he stayed sober a while. his liver doc said he had cirrhosis but, with sobriety and healthy eating, he could be OK for 15 years and surely by then the hep c med would be better.

so...that lasted a year.

as a heavy drinker, he totaled his liver in half the 2010 he was at deaths door...MELD 26...and not sober. we went to a tp center and dear sweet dr. Martin told him to put his affairs in order as he would be gone in 3 months. gasp.

Mike was awful with crazy he, vomiting, losing wt and muscle mass, slept all the time and was HORRIBLE to me. I cried every day.

dr. Martin gave him an out...if if if...he would join aa or go into rehab, they would evaluate him for tp. Mike decided since he had led such a bad life he didn't deserve a tp. but he felt so sick he really wasn't eating OR drinking alcohol. some ginger ale and water was about it. and I joined aa with him. he kinda liked it. I went every time but stopped going was his journey but he could no longer drive.

bit by bit, he got a little better, less he with lactose and xifaxan. and sobering up, felt better too.

then they found a tumor in liver...more bad news.

as it got towards the required 6 months of sobriety it started to look like he would make it...after all he lasted longer that his expiration date by 3 months so far.

he was transplanted may 1, 2011. he is good these days. he has had lots of other issues, but he is good, golfing, making supper every night, busy with friends, walks an hour a day, and has been sober since Sept 27th, 2010. not that I am counting...yes I am, it is a miracle.

I hope your ex can work this out...but it is his choice. don't drive with him if he is trying to drive. it is unsafe. and if he is a fan of our second amendment have a relative or friend store that stuff elsewhere. hint. til he is in his right mind.

ask questions...we are here. I am not on every day anymore, but you know how to get my attention.


mama lama
MamaLama, Forum moderator - Hepatitis
Partner received liver transplant (May 1, 2011) FL
Hep C 1a Treatment - Sovaldi/Olysio (March - May 2014)
Undetected since week 4. Undetected 12 weeks post treatment.
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