Today marks 6 years since my sister was taken by this horrid disease. She was 41, alcohol ruined her life, and finally ended it. I've said on this forum before that I strongly believe that alcoholism is an illness and not a lifestyle choice. Nobody would choose to become dependant upon a poison. They start off doing something millions of ordinary people do everyday. The taxes generated by alcohol and the influence of these giant business's on governments make tougher regulation impossible. So many people start drinking at a young age, then life events can cause the ultimate "abuse" of alcohol. In my sisters case depression, pain, abusive relationships all had an effect.
I watched my sisters deterioration, she was managing quite well, and then she wasn't. She would be impossible to talk to in the evening, she would slur her words, tell lies, get confused, abusive etc, then have forgotten it all the next day.
Alcoholic liver diseases jumped up and slapped my sister only weeks before she died. I'd imagine she had many symptoms but was too out of it to notice that she was unwell. Her first sign was her tummy swelling, I immediately said that's assites, and told her to see a Dr. Two weeks later she was jaundiced and in hospital, within days she'd had a massive bleed and was in ITU, 10 days in ITU and things looked hopeful, she'd come through renal and respitory failure, her brain they were very concerned about, but she was alive. However 3 days back on the ward she had another massive bleed, this time her heart could not take another lose, and she died of a MI. The drugs they had used to shut down her vessels had turned her legs black, she would have lost 1/2 of one foot and toes on the other, if she had been well enough to go through an op. So it would have been tough, especially due to concerns about her brain, however I didn't realise until using this forum how many people do survive these horrendous bleeds, and come out fighting. I suppose that has been the only sad thing for me using this forum, I had thought it was inevitable that she would die, that no body could survive that!! So anyone who has come out the other side and survived, please, please don't drink again, don't put your families, and yourself through that experience again!! Sorry I went off the point there???
So today is no different to any other day, she is gone every day, and thought of every day. It just so happens that today we have been doing that for 6 years!!
I loved my big sister Rachel, but alcohol took her from me, even before she died!!
P.s. my mum organised for my sister to be an tissue donor. I urge people to look into this when a loved one dies. Rachel gave sight to two people, can heart muscle to a 5 day old baby, and a valve or something to an older man. Each time tissue was used they wrote to my mum to tell her about what had been used and for what. This brought great comfort to my mum. Obviously her organs weren't in good shape, but tissue can be used and harvested a little later after death.