Scared I've damaged my liver alcohol problem

Hi all! Just joined & was looking for some support & advice as I feel extremely alone with this. I am a 35 year old Mother of 1. I have been drinking heavily for about 12 years. It started in a bad relationship I was in for 6 & a half years. I drank secretly in this relationship every Fri, Sat & Sun night a full bottle of wine & my partner or anyone would have no knowledge of this. This progressed to 5 nights a week sometimes. I have continued this habit up until now. When that relationship ended I kept doing this in the next relationship I was in & I am with my current partner for the last 4 years & are married since last Sept. He was the only one who suspected I was doing it & then found stashed bottles & confronted me. He thinks I've stopped but I still do it every Sat & Sun night drinking up to a half bottle of vodka each time. It's what I look forward to all week - during the weekdays can be fine I might do it occasionally. It just makes me happy. I think I started because I felt nervous nervous all those years ago with my ex partner when we were first seeing each other & it loosened me up & I felt more confident & as time went on he became more & more difficult as a boyfriend he was psychologically abusive & the drinking kinda was the happy relationship I was in. I love my husband so much & out 2 & half year old. On the surface I seem very well together. I am a professional dancer I train in the gym religiously so I am very fit quite independent & helpful & people say I'm very nice. I carry this deep secret which consumes me with guilt but I need it to look forward to the ritual of the drinking & the calming effect as I am a worrier by nature. 2 years ago I noticed a sensation in my upper right abdomen which got a little worse as time went on. It was just there niggling but didn't cause pain as such or stop me doing anything I'm quite active. As time went on it got worse would start mild at the start of the day & more intense as the day went on. When I exercised I couldn't feel it but would any other time. I told the doctor but said nothing about my drinking due to shame & total embarrassment & an endoscopy & everything looked normal. I continued to drink & have the discomfort the past 2 years which now the pain is more. It goes up the right side of my throat & into my arms sometimes. It can feel slightly different each day more in the abdomen one day more in the throat another it kinda travels around a bit. I drank last night & the right rib feels slightly bruised to the touch. I don't know if I have damaged my liver. Nothing came up 2 years ago but maybe it would now. My plan is to go to a new doc & try my best to admit my drinking but I'm so ashamed I'm afraid I won't let it out & just describe the pain. The thought of saying it out load is terrifying. My hope is to cut it down to one night a week & then part of me is saying I need to quit cold turkey. I don't crave alcohol it's the feeling it gives me & the my weekend ritual. Did anyone get this pain up right side of the throat sometimes in side of neck & arm. I haven't seen it online. I know I need to sort this & get checked & push for tests for peace of mind also as I am constantly worried. I want to drink tonight to just feel good & face it tomorrow. Thank you for reading I'm hoping some replies will give me strength as this is my secret my dark secret I've been carrying for so long & my son & husband deserved better than this.

Xxxx

8 Replies

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  • Welcome to the site, hopefully you will find lots of good advice and support on here.

    First off I think you've taken a big step by coming on here and although in type rather than face to face you have acknowledged that you have a problem with drink ............. it's a first step.

    Next off you really do need to seek professional medical advice. We can all share our experiences and type lots of stuff by way of advice but none of it will make a lot of difference until you have a diagnosis showing what sort of state your liver is in and what if any damage it has sustained. You do need to pluck up the courage (like you say) and go and front it out with your doctor, you will need blood tests and scans in the first instance to see what is going on with your liver (and other organs - since alcohol can damage other bits of you and not just the liver). The things you are describing could be symptomatic of a struggling liver but I am not a doctor, I don't have you in front of me and don't have the expertise to say yeah or nay .............. but a doctor does.

    You also need to seek some support with your alcohol use, there are lots of groups who have face-to-face support sessions or online guidance for reducing your intake. It isn't a good idea to just go cold turkey after such a large alcohol intake as doing so can make you very poorly through withdrawal. Again your doctor should be able to point you in the right direction of these supports or you can look online for yourself.

    You've had it tough in your previous relationships but you seem to have found a nicer chap now plus you have a young son and are relatively fit other than this. You are young and you do need to turn your life around soon because one thing I can say with some certainty is you do not want cirrhosis and all its complications, you don't want your son to loose his mummy or see you deteriorate in the way that people with end stage liver disease do. So for his sake and your own, bite the bullet, you've made the first step now follow it up. Your doctor should be professional and non-judgemental so do go and seek the help you need, no good worrying about something and doing nothing about it, if you leave it too long you may be too late.

    I wish you all the very best on your journey but urge you to get to your doctors as you have acknowledged you need to.

    Katie xxx

  • Thank you so much Katie for your reply. I see the truth staring me in the face with everything you have just said. I do need to turn my life around & I am finding it hard to do that by myself. I am going to make an appointment as soon as I can & face it out I'm hoping it will give me a sense of relief once I have done it. I don't drink during the week just heavily Sat & Sun so I thought I would be ok going cold turkey as it is not a daily occurrence.

    I am worried sick I have damaged myself & I do look at my son & think I don't want him to ever say my Mother had a drinking problem when he was growing up.

    At the moment I'm fighting the urge to drink tonight & telling myself it'll be the last time before I go to the doctor & get sorted so I know my thought process needs to change - I feel ugh it will be such a boring night if I don't.

    Thanks again I really appreciate the support Katie it did bring me to tears that I let it out & you were so kind in response.

    Xxx

  • I've been caring for my hubby for 3 years now, he has cirrhosis but he has never drank in his life and his condition is due to auto-immune hepatitis and we never found out he was seriously poorly until he had an upper GI bleed which could easily have killed him. He's been on although is currently off the liver transplant list.

    You've had a warning, you can do something about your condition which sadly hubby and I can't so I do wholeheartedly wish you all the best going forward and I urge you to do this for yourself and your little boy.

    That first step will be the most difficult and after that you will have every opportunity to turn your life around. You sound like a strong person, you've moved on from abusive relationships and this is just another of those which you need to kick into touch.

    All the very, very best to you. Keep in touch on the forum, you'll get support from those who have been on your journey and come through the other end.

    Love and best wishes, Katie xx

  • My heart goes out to you & your hubby this must be so difficult for you. I hope you can get him back on the list. I feel so selfish when reading this & knowing what I'm doing is self inflicted & your poor husband through no fault of his own & I admire that you responded with such kindness.

    I will definitely keep posting my progress as I will be keeping it from my husband & family for now as I can only handle facing the doctor at this point & I think a new doctor rather than our family one that we all use.

    I wish you & your hubby all the best & thank you again Katie

    Xxxx

  • Thank you so much Katie for your reply. I see the truth staring me in the face with everything you have just said. I do need to turn my life around & I am finding it hard to do that by myself. I am going to make an appointment as soon as I can & face it out I'm hoping it will give me a sense of relief once I have done it. I don't drink during the week just heavily Sat & Sun so I thought I would be ok going cold turkey as it is not a daily occurrence.

    I am worried sick I have damaged myself & I do look at my son & think I don't want him to ever say my Mother had a drinking problem when he was growing up.

    At the moment I'm fighting the urge to drink tonight & telling myself it'll be the last time before I go to the doctor & get sorted so I know my thought process needs to change - I feel ugh it will be such a boring night if I don't.

    Thanks again I really appreciate the support Katie it did me to tears that I let it out & you were so kind in response .

    Xxxx

  • Hi

    Firstly dont feel guilty. millions in the UK drink a bottle of wine a night. The government is also at fault because they dont tell people what booze can actually do to you, which is horrendous.

    I havent had a drink in over a year and Im never going to again, its easy once you fear the damage it can do to you, its a terrible slow death. This might turn out to be the best thing that has happened to you, fear is a great motivator.

    I binge drank on and off for about 20 years, usually either going out 2 or 3 times a week or a couple of bottles of wine in the house. I have had 3 sets of blood tests all good, an ultrasound all good and a Fibroscan 4.2kpa with a slight bit of fat above normal.

    5 bottles of wine is about 50 units a week, its not extreme and my 46 year old sister drinks a bottle every night and has had a normal blood test and CT scan. She was getting some blood in her stools and because all her tests are normal she is refusing to even think its because of alcohol. she was diagnosed with some diverticulitis, which im sure is down to the alcohol anyway.

    50 units is enough to cause some damage in some people, but its a lottery. some things that go in your favour are your thin (i assume, pro dancer) and exercise. Some people never get Liver issues despite drinking 100s of units a week. You need to fess up to your doctor and get some tests rolling, a Fibroscan would be about the best scan you can get. one thing that makes the alcohol damage you much easier is pain killers and long term medications, hopefully you dont take any.

  • Hi

    As has already been said recognising your drinking as a problem is a great first step. You need to be honest with your doctor so you can get all the help you can. Register with a new one if you find that easier and try to find the strength to tell your husband so you have his support while going through this. Easy for me to say I know , but he probably knows something is wrong. My mother was an alcoholic/drug addict for most of her life. I became aware of it at about 10 years old and it ultimately led to the total destruction of our relationship. Don't let that happen to you. You only drink at certain times so do something now.

    The main reason I am posting is the pain you mentioned. Last year I experienced pain that felt like it was running up the back of my throat. I thought I had pulled a muscle somehow, it also ran up towards my left shoulder. I also had pain in my jaw which I didnt really connect with the throat pain. This happened about 4 times over a few months. Each time it eased off and I thought nothing about it. However it turned out this was angina and I had a heart attack last September. I was so lucky to get the best treatment I could , had 2 heart stents fitted and have recovered fairly well with no heart damage. I have been diagnosed with PBC since which is why I joined here, but that was only picked up by blood tests. I dont drink at all but the point is your drinking is unlikely to be an issue as far as the throat pain is concerned.

    I'm not trying to alarm you but dont let being frightened/embarrassed about your drinking stop you getting this sorted. A t least go to your doctor about the throat pain and get that checked out.

    Good luck and be strong. xx

  • i know what you mean i feel the same way i have only been drinking for 3 years and have just found out i have ald it has scared me so much the test are all coming back abnormal even although i have not had a drink in mths like you i i feel i need support cant tell my family as i feel ashamed tc and thank you for sharing your post i thought i was the only one who felt like this but your post has helped so much

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