Alcohol free for a year

Don't normally post, but have found the advice in this forum so helpful.

On 30th November 2015, I married my husband having been together since 1999.

On 5th December we had a party for all our friends.

On 6th December, I got a phone call from my GP (not the receptionist but actual GP) asking that I go and see him urgently, no time to think, or panic. Went to see him straight away and was told to go home pack a bag for 4-5 days and take a letter to Ayr Hospital, where consultant was aware I was on way.

I was in hospital for 10 days, waiting initially for bloods to settle and have scans and scopes, then was told my alcohol consumption over the years (never thought of myself as alcoholic/alcohol dependant, but did drink a bottle of wine most days, but was always able to function, and never drank while working) had caused liver damage. I swore there and then never to touch another drop. I was signed off work for six weeks to allow me to get into a routine with new meds, and to take me over the festive period, I work in a field where after meeting drinks etc. at this time of year is common.

Over the last year, things have steadily got worse, and now stage 3/4 liver cirrhosis, and have yet to return to work.

However there is good news, I have been dry for a whole year, and my marriage has remained strong, and I have admitted to myself that I had a drink problem, and to be alcohol dependant means different things to different people. You don't have to be rolling drunk all the time, or need a quick drink to get you going, for some, like me it was the routine but it is all the same.

Good luck to everyone over this festive season, I will say a prayer for everyone at midnight mass on Christmas Eve, first time in 15 years I will have attended

George

14 Replies

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  • Bless you is all I can say. You seem to be a "marvellous" strong lady ! ALL THE BEST.

    Louise xxx

  • George,

    Thank you for posting this for all to see how well you have done to give yourself a chance of a recovering liver.

    Its so important for people to get your message. A person doesn't need to be a "falling down drunk" to get alcohol related liver disease.

    Keep going as you are - an inspiration to those who need to know there can be life without alcohol.

    Jim

  • Hi,George,good on you to abstain from alcohol.I have been a regular drinker for many years and a few months ago was diagnosed with a very fatty liver several tests later I was told I did not have Cirrosis but had to have my Gallbladder out which I have had.I was also told to cut down my drinking to normal levels which I did drinking non alcoholic wine and Lager.recently (last 5 weeks) My bones have started cracking in most areas and wonder if still drinking lager and wine although non alcoholic if that is still affecting my Liver.I stopped drinking altogether 3 weeks ago and don't intend to again.Hope I am not too late.Barry

  • not a million miles from where I am...still have the gallbladder though. Well done on cutting down..

  • Good question - I have often wondered that...

  • Hi navy boy , just read your post , I was diagnosed with cirrhosis 8 years ago , nearly 9 now , I drink non alcoholic lager and just bought a non alcoholic wine , my Gp said it was ok . They was 8 yrs ago . Thank the lord my liver is still working just fine ! My on my problem now is I have to see my dr tomorrow due to my vitamin d levels being very low , so non alcoholic drinks have not harmed me at all . Best wishes Linda

  • Hi George

    Many thanks for sharing your journey with alcohol and liver disease so honestly and congratulations on your remarkable achievement...One Year alcohol free, Well Done.

    Alcohol dependence isn't always how we envisage it to be, I never once thought of myself as an alcoholic, in fact I initially felt so ashamed at the mere mention of it. I'd always associated it with someone drinking out of a bottle in a brown paper bag.....how very wrong I was and how much I've learned since.

    I'm proud today to say that I'm a recovering alcoholic with almost 10 years sobriety. I'm no longer ashamed to admit I had a drink problem, it affects people from all walks of life, it doesn't discriminate. Our drinking patterns may vary but the end result is the same.

    Be proud of yourself for stopping and staying stopped!

    My very best wishes to you and a belated happy wedding anniversary to you both.

    Jacqui x

  • Hi,jacqui,congratulations on stopping drinking for 10 years.its not easy because what do you drink when you go out.I drink water and its soo boring

    I could drink coke but that's full of sugar which is also not good for your liver.I am recovering from my gallbladder operation where they pumped a lot of antibiotics in me which I think has caused my bones to pop and crack.I also had a very fatty liver due no doubt to my long term drinking of course socially you don't think it does you any harm.by the way I had my gallbladder out because it was full of cholesterol stones which was agrivating my liver.I am 70 years old so have done well to get this far but I want to go much further.Barry.

  • Hi Barry

    Congratulations on stopping drinking completely for 3 weeks, believe me those earlier weeks are most certainly the hardest! It does get easier.

    I must admit in the early weeks I used to get really bored and a little agitated when out socialising, felt like my back teeth were floating with all the water and Diet Coke!!! Instead of being the last to leave the party (which I always was when I was drinking!) I'd get to a point where I'd had enough and seemed to always be the first to leave!! However, I learned that was ok...it was about self-preservation so always had a good excuse lined up for my early departure. The best advice I was given from another AA member was "don't frequent wet places if you want to stay dry". Makes sense really, so in the early days I only went to social occasions that were necessary and always had my escape plan ready!

    It's not like that anymore, I can enjoy myself just as much without alcohol, although I do have to vary the soft drinks between sparkling water, Diet Coke, orange juice and lemonade, even a nice coffee (yes, I'm every bar tenders nightmare!) but you know, just have to spice things up a bit!! Have never touched non-alcoholic drinks as AA advise against it and to be honest they wouldn't work for me, if they tasted too much like the real thing without the effect I'd likely want the real thing so I choose to play safe.

    Sounds like you've had a bit of a time with it re your gall bladder but thankfully you've caught it in time to take the best care of your liver. I also suffer from osteoporosis so my bones crack quite a lot! I have very low Vitamin D which is treated by the doctor...still have a lot of spinal problems but keep taking the calcium & vitamin D meds in the hope that they're helping.

    You've took the best action possible for your liver, you've stopped drinking and that isn't easy, especially this time of year. So a massive Well Done, I'm sure your health will continue to improve.

    I wish you a happy and healthy Christmas and New Year.

    My very best wishes to you.

    Jacqui X

  • Thanks,Jacqui,and a very happy Christmas and new year to you and your family. When did your bones start cracking? Mine started about 6 weeks ago and am due to see the doctor about it next week.Do they give you pain? Does get on your nerves.what did your doctor say about it? Regards and best wishes Barry.

  • How very uplifting and a big "well done". Liver probs are all ways blamed on alcohol in my experience. I have HH (hereditary haemochromatosis) & diagnosed with cirrhosis. I have a liver scan every 6months. I also have varisces (oesophageal) & they have to be monitored. Very scary stuff! I gave up alcohol for a while but occasionally have a drink if I really fancy it. Amazing how much extra cash I now have! You're doing great!

  • Thank you for your positive post,

    Warm wishes,

    Rebecca

  • Well done that's great you've found the strength to stay sober. Just take each day as it comes and I wish you well with your health and future.

  • Hello George, I'd like to give you a virtual hug. You've achieved so much. Takes a lot of inner strength. Happy belated wedding anniversary for 30th November .

    This will be my first Christmas without having an alcoholic drink. I won't go into my journey with the wine too much, but it is very similar to yours. I Liked a drink but I never thought I was anything more than a moderate drinker. My intervention with the doctors came into play in august 2015, resulting in ten days in hospital. Severe Gall bladder infection and liver inflammation.

    I was then told 3 months later that I could have a drink over Christmas, and that my liver results were looking good. I had a couple of glasses over the two week period. In march I was back in hospital with the same Gall Bladder issues, and also a severe bile duct infection. My liver reacted and got inflamed again.

    I'm was told i had cirhossis. Devastated does not describe how I felt, and still feel. The journey of adapting ones life without alcohol is .......I can't find a word to sum it up . not because I want an alcoholic drink , but its a whole different perspective you observe and experience. Other peoples reaction s , when you insist your happy with a soda and lime, how annoyed I get at the point when I realise, the people I'm with have gone into the 'unpleasant drink/drunk mode'. The point I realise I'm going home now on a night out. My social life has changed, my married life has adapted. Our first holiday without any alcohol, my first birthday without. Our wedding anniversary. They are all achievable, but require a little reflection first. Any change , from how you've always done something , like you said 'routine' requires a little thought. New years eve, is another night that I have changed what we do. We are going to the seaside this year. I can sit with strangers drinking, but I struggle to be in a social group of friends , all getting merrily drunk. I think its their laughing, that gets to me. Not having a drink does make me take a back seat. Therefore , for me, when friends are excessively drinking, I have to give this a miss. I have had to learn a lot about myself, and I have made changes in my life as a result. Good changes.

    Another consultant has recently queried my diagnosis of cirhossis, and so another journey is on the way . Two consultants seem to have different interpretation s of a mrcp scan which picked up a course liver structure.

    I thank you , for sharing your story. I wish you well on your journey with your health, and most of all a great many fantastic memories with your hubby .

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