My husband is an alcoholic, has been for over 25 years. Hes been hospilized on many occations with sickness and feeling unwell.The last admission was a month ago being sick and this time having blood in the sick,they kept him in just over the weekend. He is sick most days,has lost so much weight,lost appatite ,he is now skin and bones. sometimes hot to touch.His legs and feet ,started swelling up when he left the hospital and they are very painful for him to walk on.He gets confused alot, he used to be one of the nicest man you could meet but lately hes been so mean verbally to me and witnin an hour forgets he was mean. His sleep patterns are all over the place , sometimes sleeping for 20 hours. He looks like a frail old man,(he is only 48)Hes went to the doctors three weeks ago and had blood tests done, his kidneys are fine, his blood count is very low, his gammagt is 350...We asked his doctor if he could have cirrisos and she said no he didnt have that. She did no other tests,she didnt check his stomach, his blood pressure nothing, she gave him nothing but anti sickness tablets and advice on less drinking more eating. Could he have cirrios and his doctor be wrong? Not sure what else i can do as its so hard watching him dieing without a diagnosis, and is it better we dont know anyway? because from personall experience in my family when someone is diagnosed with a bad illness they go down hill faster,He has said if he has cirrosis he wont give up the drink because its a death sentence anyway..He drinks 3 quarters of ltr vodka a day with orange juice..Just so confused about al this.

25 Replies

  • Tell your husband that cirrhosis is NOT a death sentence. If he can give up drinking and live a better life he can get the help he needs. The hospital will not and cannot give the help he needs if he continues to drink. they will respond to emergencies and severe episodes of illness but he will not be able to get proper long term and life saving treatment while he continues to damage his liver through alcohol. His GGT is very high and he sounds like his liver is not working properly. The uncharacteristic aggression toward you is something you will see in somebody who has a damaged liver. My partner would tell you about how I was argumentative and unreasonable, I would become another person. I also had the swelling in my feet and legs as well as my tummy. I gave up drinking when I was simply too ill to take any alcohol without feeling sick.

    I did get the proper treatment and eventually had a liver transplant, so I'm living proof that cirrhosis is not a death sentence.

    Show him what I have written and get him to self refer to your local alcohol services. That must be the first step to beating the illness that he clearly has.

    In the meantime go back to the GP and ask to see a different doctor if that helps.

    I hope you get the help you both need as its not just your husband who is suffering the consequences of his use of alcohol.


  • Jim nailed it there. Cirrhosis is not a death sentence, but drinking with cirrhosis definitely is. He won't get anything more than patched up and sent home if he's still drinking.

    A high GGT would indicate the liver is taking a bashing.

  • ty rodeojoe for your reply.

  • Thankyou for your reply jim, his friend died of cirrois two years ago, and i remember saying to him if you carry on you will end up in the same place as ,,, 6 feet under. He tried to say that his mate drank more than him and he didnt eat.and ,,,,,, gammagt levels were 12000 when he died,,, my husband is the same he hasnt eaten in months, and as i stated how much he drinks alot. I agree the hospital cant help him ,he needs to help himself but he wont, because he thinks he isnt that unwell and when he does feel unwell he blames it on him having stomach problems, never blames the alcohol, him saying its a death sentence (i dont think he believes that for a second) think its an excuse to continue drinking. We have had so many rows over him drinking, that i have given up asking him to give it up and eat. When he gets up he is usually sick and can be sick all day to the point of being in so much pain but he sips the vodka and then when he is feeling better he makes up for the time he couldnt keep it down. He wont go back to the doctors because he says everytime he goes there his bloods are usually normal and the reason his gamma levels were so high the last time is because he had vodka before he went to have bloods done (thats what he believes).. I agree he isnt the only one thats suffering , its hard, the fact we have only been married 2 months and the thought that i might be a widow before we can even mae 6 months married breaks my heart but no matter what i say, ive even threatened to start self harming if he didnt even try or go and see someone to help himself, ive asked him what he wants at his funneral etc hping to put it in reality and when i first said it he was annoyed, but now hes talking about his funneral plans and sayign everyone has to meet their maker etc. I know he isnt ever going to change i just wish that he would have had a diagoses so we could prepare his friends, ive told his freinds he is sicker than everyone thinks he is but unless he is diagnosed they are only listening to him...They even tell him how well he looks.which doesnt help...Thankyou once again for taking the time to read and reply jim,, im really happy for you and your partner.:).

  • Lyn,

    I just wish I could have ten minutes with your husband. I could tell him my story and show him the before and after pictures of myself. It could mean more coming from somebody who has been there and knows how he feels and what he's going through. You are so right when you say he will not listen to you. Its because he's scared of the truth.

    Before they would consider me for a transplant I had to prove that I would stop drinking then and after a transplant. So I went to an alcohol counselling service against my will but if I wanted to live thats what I had to do. I saw an individual counsellor at first then joined a group of people for a weekly meeting. The meetings were good because we were all in the same boat and we were not being preached at. Although I could have stopped going after the transplant, six months later I still go to meetings and give support to those who are still drinking. Its not AA but an organisation called Lifeline. I dont know where you live but if you are in London I would recommend them.

    The confusion and aggression are an indication of quite sever liver failure. Don't want to worry you but on the British Liver Trust website look up Hepatic Encephalopathy and you might recognise some of the symptoms in your husband.


  • Thank you jim so much you are so kind to take the time to try and help . A few of his relatives have all died as a result of alcohol so i guess he also sees that a as a trate i dont know...I agree he has all the syptoms and its the sereve one..he was given thiamine but he wont even take them..Thing is what makes it harder is he was assulted a year ago sept 2015 badly to the point he was hospitlised and almost died on me then, which resulted in a bleed on the brain, so on top of all this he also has a bleed on the brain which affects his thinking and personallity.So i guess he has double...Im so happy to hear about your success story , even if i mentioned meeting you and talking to you he would go mad because he is a private man, he wouldnt be happy if he knew i posted on here, but i didnt know what else to do because i dont have anyone i can talk to about it without them talking to my husband, and i agree its always better to speak to someone that knows how it is and has been there...I have shown him a picture (in fact its on the shelf opposite where he sits) of a year ago of how healthy he looks back then and showed him a picture of how he is now and he says oh its because i havent eaten properly once i start eating properly ill be 100 percent again., but he dont eat and he always makes excuses not to eat, as i imagine you know what i mean? who knows maybe he will come to his senses before its too late..

  • No one but the alcoholic gets the alcoholic sober. That's how alcoholism works. I left a great human being I lived with for decades, I meant to get sober. He saw neither of us needing to do that.

  • your right.:)

  • Absolutely !! My mum has been an alcohol since we were little, I'm mid 30s now. A few months ago she ended up in hospital through alcohol abuse with fluid everywhere , she had just ballooned. So while she was in they put her on detox tablets and drips and she's had litres of fluid drained. Since that day she hasn't drank a drop :) because she realised how selfish she had been and actually wanted to stop, which is the only way anyone can X

    She had the same painful feet and legs which we now know is nerve damage through alcohol and for a while there she definate wasn't the same person but 4 ish months on she is back to the person she was a long time ago :)

    She has cirrosis and her score thing is 37 which is done with a fibroscan and if she hadn't stopped drinking she would be on the transplant list now, if she was very very lucky :)

    Don't think the doctor always knows best because there are lots of different test to find out exactly the state of things. Either demand a second opinion or go to A&E if you think you need to.

    I wish you so much good luck in getting through this but remember sympathy doesn't always help people and I mean that in the nicest possible way but the fact is , with medication and professional help like a hospital stay, your husband CAN STOP being so selfishly destructive and STOP DRINKING, it is that easy. Just decide.

    Good luck X

  • That's a magnitude of vodka. I am no authority but I was an alcoholic for at least 25 years. I did not drink hard spirits. He must stop to continue living. Can you get him to a liver specialist? Alcoholism is such a heart breaking disease for everyone that knows the alcoholic. I wish you luck. Just remember whatever you are doing its out of love for him. It's human compassion. Humans just like animals suffer terribly over their mates and families. Bless you. Also right now the mental confusion is brought on by his drinking. It's not your fault. This is always the out come of alcoholism. There are no exceptions to its rules. Sooner or later it destroys us.

  • thankyou catfish for your reply,,,,he started drinking that much vodka about 6 months ago before that he was on the largers .15 pints a day.Vodka seemed to be easier on his stomach.Yes it is out of love for him, i love him to bits wouldnt have married him other wise :)...It is hard watching him slowly kill himself but he has to want to stop and he doesnt want to.last night his mate rang and said mate if anything happens to you dont worry ill take care of your girls (they are 19 yr old twins) ill take over the dad role, not even that made me think hold on what am i doing i dont want some other man being their dad...Think his attitude is if im going to go out im going to go out doing what i love doing.Unfortunatly i have to be witness to all this and just be there for him...I have come to the conclusion through all this that alcoholics are very selfish and think only of themselves, i understand his addiction but its not just the killing himself but the attitude as well in asking me to do things for him (which i dont i make him do it himself unless he is totally unable to..I watched him last night an dhe can hardly walk.Its like being married to a 90 yr old..

  • Now none of this is my business but you are right, it's best to tell him he is a quitter. It's best if you leave him alone a lot. Go out do for yourself. Begin getting used to being without him. This is what alcohol does. Sounds like you are about to be alone with your children. I'd start organizing everything. He is near death. He could turn it around. He is not going to. So many are trapped in the disease of alcoholism. It takes over the mind because your organs learn to survive on booze not food and they demand to be fed their fuel, booze. I am very sorry. Try to think of organizing you and the children's lives and not your anger. Anger can confuse you and make you weak. Live instead. Do some new things. Help the children by doing that. They must start over too. He is lost already. He needs a miracle. Most alcoholics do not get sober from a miracle. Do no waste your life. Go live. Sit in the sun. Best wishes

  • Thankyou catfish.I do go out everyday and come back when i have done all i wanted to do that day.....We live alone together, we have 7 children between us but they are all moved out and moved on with their lives...Your right though all his body craves now is booze and it does take over their minds, causing their minds to want one thing and one thing only, booze...All on my mums side were alcoholics and my dads side never touched a drop, my mum stopped drinking when she was in her 60s from a young age and died of organ failure june 2015 of organ failure.Im afraid thats what is going to happen to my husband. Ive started keeping a diary so i can show him in a few weeks time how much he has deterioated just in a few weeks, who knows it might work but then again it might not make any difference but at least i tried.:)..His drs rang him out of the blue yesterday and said that they need to do more blood tests,kinda weird because they have never done that, who knows it may come back bad and he sees it and it might hit home that he is dieing and do something about it, we will see. Its next tues...catfish your a star ty.

  • Hi chris, im so glad you listened to your wife for you to be here and tell your story..Unfortunatly i have tried all ways like i said from selfharming (dont worry i wouldnt sh again just said it to frighten him ) to when he isnt here i would be free to marry someone else(not that i would even go into a relationship ever again,was married 28 yrs the first time, told my freind if anything happens to him and she even so much as catches me looking at a man to punch me in the face lol).Asked him what songs he wants at his funneral and played a few ,his mum and dad have pleaded with him, his daughter (who unfortunatly is going down the same path as him but she wont listen,it goes down from generation his husband grandfather was an alcoholic and his father before that) asked him when was he going to die.Nothing is changing his mind to get the help, nothing anyone says is making him want to give up the drink, or even eat, since sept 2015 he has eaten the equivilant to 4 child size sunday roasts,how on earth he is still alive i will never know.I had him read the posts thinking it may help if he sees it in writing and stories and he went mad telling me to stop talking to strangers about him. I am so greatful to you all for taking the time to read and reply to my posts, it helps to know im not alone in this because its such a lonely place to be most times,especially when im awake all hours worried. He was choking on his vomit two weeks ago,the only reason he is alive is because i woke up because i heared him making weird noises , i told him about that an he was well maybe you should have let me die. As we know alcohol is a depressent.....You know even if something happens to my husband (which i know it will if he carries on) i know i can look back and no one can never say i didnt try....As i said thankyou all once again,it means alot to know that others care enough to help a stranger..:).

  • Thankyou Chris for your reply, Im hoping that he will realise what he is doing to himself as well as his family one day he might wake up and smell the roses.I have mentioned to him that his daughter might stop if you stop but its not the case as he hardly sees his daughters, not because they dont want to see them but because they have moved out and live their own lives now at the age of 19.A friend of mine asked me the other day am i stressed about it? i said no im worried, worried that i will find him, she said i would be really stressed, i said i think its because i have come to terms that it is inevitable that the obvious is going to happen.He slept till 6 pm last night from going to bed at 1 am, and was falling asleep again at 2 this morning....

  • i know what u are going thru I watched as I put my wife through it the drinking. Once i was diagnosied with stage 4 cirrhosis I decided it was selfish for me to put her through anymore. why she stayed with me for 20 years of drinking i dont know. so I have now been sober for 11 months now and not missed drinking. now we are going through the process of learning to live with it. i guess it saved my life for now and made hers better i hope.

  • Thankyou jeff..:).

  • Congratulations to you and your wife hehe :) my mum is going through the same right now , she's almost 4 months dry.

    Don't be so hard on yourself because suffering with alcoholism might be more, self focused perhaps? Rather than selfish. Possibly just from personal experience but I have seen alcoholics who are completely selfish and really don't care about anyone else and then others, maybe don't realise, but like you, when they do, they decide to stop and be free and live !!! :)

    Good on luck on your journey

  • Six months post op, and as somebody who 6 months ago found walking hard work, yesterday I spent 40 minutes playing table tennis. Looking back its hard to believe I was so close to death.

    If only your husband would read what what Chris 1698 just wrote and my story , I think he might change his mind

  • ty LA,,, its so lovely to see good news..I tried again to get him to read the posts an he read some of it and said that he isnt that ill..he is so much denial, he drank nearly a full bottle of ltr of vodka last night, his parents were on the phone to him last night having a go and saying all sorts of nasty things to him, i explained to him that its only because they care and are worried about you, people react differently to news that their love ones are killing themselves. He said im not killing myself im only in pain with my legs and cant walk but they are getting better,,its very frustrating but im calm about it and think, he is an adult, all the nagging,shouting,screaming,threats arent making any difference to him but what its doing to me is putting me in an early grave, so now i dont scream and shout at him, i dont threaten him, i just get on with life, im there for him if he needs me and i know some think well dont be there for him then he will do something about it, no he wont because he tiold me of the story once about his mate that died two years ago of organ failure through not eating and always drinking ,(he told me this at his mates funneral (before my husband showed signs of dieing) That his mate drank alot and his wife went through hell and in the end she left him to try and get him to see sense and stop drinking , he drank more because he knew he didnt have to hide the drink, she got back with him and he died 6 months later, when his mates heard he had died alot of them blamed her for leaving him and causing him to drink more, when and i said when not if because he will die if he carries on , i dont want to be blamed for his death, no one will have any reason to blame me for his death.He is my world and i love him to bits and i obviously dont want to loose him but i know its going to happen, and as i have said i am greatful for all comments made, you guys are my strength right now, so once again i thankyou.

  • wow my hubby has the same condition and you are right to see that he is dying every day in front of your eyes and your family I am going to keep in touch with you because we have the same thing going on with each other's Hobbies I will get back to you and yes you should go and see a a liver doctor my hubby has the same symptoms

  • thankyou paula, im sorry that your going to through the same thing,its so hard isnt it watching them kill themselves? Has your husband been diagnosed with cirrosis? Will be nice to keep in touch, ty..

  • Its been a few days since i commented on this site...An update on my husband...He had blood tests a few weeks ago and they came back that his liver was 350 and his kidneys are ok..two weeks later he had more tests done just for his liver and kidneys and His drs rang and said that his blood tests are the same ,,,,My husband decided to go to the drs this morning because he cant stand the pain anymore in his legs and feet, they are still swollen....The dr explained that the reason for this is because of the liver being badly damaged, my husband said my liver is ok because the other dr said it was, he said its not ok , i then said to the dr does he have cirrois, he said yes he could have it, so i then said but the other dr said he def didnt have it,,,he frowned and said you cant tell if anyone has cirrios from the blood count, the blood count is to see how much the liver is functioning, i said so how bad is his liver just from the blood test, he said there are two types of damaged liver, there is composed liver and decomposed, now composed is where the liver is damaged but the person is generally well. decomposed liver is where the liver is badly damaged and the person isnt at all well.. He then said if i may be blunt you arent and dont look at all in other words you have decomposed liver....the other reasons for the swollen and painfull legs is his protein levels are very low caused through not eating and when you do manage to eat your sick, so the blood isnt getting the nutreins so its causing fluid to leak into the flesh causing the swelling and the pain is from the tightness of the skin..His liver bloods had raised in two weeks even though the other dr said they are the same....its gone from 350 to 359.

    Hes given him water tablets to take but said that unless he gives up his drink and is able to keep food down they can only really make him comfortable.

    I am all too exuasted to argue with him over eating and drinking,,,besides his parents are on his case all the time and it makes him more determined to drink.Who knows hes gone for a sleep maybe he will wake up and realise he needs to stop drinking and eating, or he will proberly say the dr dont know what hes talking about and say the other dr was right (the one who says all is ok)..

    Thanx all for takin the time to read and just to say i find this page amazing and so supportive..Thankyou..

  • Sorry to hear you find yourself in this situation Lyn66 and that your husband isn't taking on board how poorly he is.

    Just for some guidance for yourself and perhaps to leave lying around the British Liver Trust has an excellent page on cirrhosis and a downloadable leaflet (or you can get it mailed to you), detailing signs, symptoms etc. etc.

    It will also help with the medical jargon that is banded about whilst describing cirrhosis and it's various facets. In your post you've said decomposed and composed whilst you've got the jist of what these mean the actual terms are decompensated and compensated. At the moment your husband would appear to be well and truly in the decompensated category and if he continues drinking he will inevitably follow those who have been claimed by this dreadful illness.

    Look after yourself in all this too, it must be hellish to live with this condition with someone who doesn't want to or isn't able to help themselves. I know my hubby would stand on one leg on the hospital roof and whistle the birdie song if he thought it would reverse his cirrhosis (his is auto-immune related so there is hee haw he can do to stop his from getting worse!).

    Thoughts with you, Katie x

  • Hi katie , thankyou for your reply, Oh he isnt at all well, he has lost all his muscle, he is skin and bone (where when i met him 3 and half years ago he was quiet chunky) ,Hes sick most days vomiting blood, has been hospitilised a few times,hes incontinent sometimes, always has diorea hasnt eaten in months and when he does its only a piece of toast or food of that amount and then he cant keep it down and is in agony, he has spider veins,It is hard living with him mostly in the nights because he gets paranoid and he can keep me awake most of the night making all sorts of accusations, im lucky if i get 3 hours sleep a night, if he isnt being paranoid he is being sick...He did have a sleep after being to the drs (he is tired most of the time ) and when he woke up he said ill stop drinking when i want to not because the dr told me too, and said so im going to cut down and drink less and eat more,, i know they are empty words ,as what he says and what he does are two different things.He still managed to down three quarters of ltr of vodka and a pint of larger yesterday.....Thanyou once again for your reply and ill look at the link you shared..:)..

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