last stages alcoholic liver diease - British Liver Trust

British Liver Trust

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last stages alcoholic liver diease


This disease is causing so much heartache in my family. We are watching helplessly as my ex husband seems to be entering the final stages of this awful undignified disease which has changed him from the man I knew to a total stranger. He is now just vacant and staring into space, his limbs won't work, he can't talk. I don't think he can come back from this and I think the end is near although he has been near to death many times in the past couple of years... We are utterly in dispair watching him suffering a living heart goes out to anyone in this situation.

18 Replies

I'm so sorry to read this Diamond, it is a reminder of how damaging alcohol is, it's a shame they don't put scary photos on wine bottles or anything alcohol related, as they do with cigarettes, to show people the devastation it can cause.

I think the myths around alcohol and indeed the support out there is limited but improving. Many think you have to drink all the time, compare others to themselves, use it as a reward after a bad week, or simply get so far into drinking they just can't stop or don't want to.

Whatever your ex husbands reasons, it must be a devastating time for your family and please know you aren't alone, I hope he does pull through, it's lovely that you care.

Best wishes,

Michelle xx

My heart goes out to you as I was in a scary position last year. My partner was in end stage but we got the phone call for transplant & he's now doing really well. Is your ex not on the transplant list ? I know he would have had to stop drinking but was he not able to do this ? you are so right with the description of this disease......extremely undignified but thankfully the patient is unaware of what's happening most of the time.

Love hobo.xx

Diamond101 in reply to h0b0

He was refused a transplant. Thanks for your kind thoughts. He did stop drinking, too late to make a difference though. He's not really rehabilitated as still would drink today if he could and if he was well enough. He stopped because he literally became too ill to drink. His liver has been decompensated for over a year now but he had cirrhosis for 10 years before that and knowingly drank excessively still. Hence the reason he is my ex and those of you who live with an alcohol dependent partner have my full sympathy. We had children and were together a lot of years and whilst he loved me dearly, alcohol was the true love of his life. Very sad.

RHGB in reply to Diamond101

'and whilst he loved me dearly, alcohol was the true love of his life'

Please don't think that for one minute. I understand your reasoning for it, but it is not true. He loved you and he hated alcohol, but alcohol is a cruel mistress. Alcohol affects the brain in a way that it is almost impossible (for some people) to leave alone and walk away.

If for one second, our medical profession cared about people addicted to alcohol, so many could be cured. As it is, they turn their back on them.

I am very sorry for the situation you find yourself in and the helplessness you feel.

Lperica10 in reply to Diamond101

Sounds like my dad exactly.



We hope your ex husband is receiving the care he needs at this difficult time.

Have you considered contacting Al Anon for yourself? Al-Anon Family Groups provide support to anyone whose life is, or has been, affected by someone else’s drinking.

Here is the link;

Sending very best wishes,

BLT Admin

Hi Diamond, my heart goes out to you. My husband was also an alcoholic and would have only had weeks to live (so we've been told), if he hadn't stopped drinking when he did. He too had cirrhosis and was literally dying before my eyes. It's a shame your ex-husband couldn't find the courage to stop drinking before it was too late, but I can understand how hard it must have been for him. I tried everything to try and make my husband stop, I even went to my GP to ask if they could have him have him sectioned, but the human rights law doesn't allow this unless he agreed to it. I was on the verge of leaving my husband when he stopped drinking, because I, like you found it very difficult after years and years. Even though he's now your ex, I'm sure you have feelings for him, after all, he's the father of your children. Try and stay strong for your children. I hope the doctors will make your ex as comfortable as possible, so he doesn't suffer. Take care of yourself too xxx

Diamond101 in reply to Bonair

I do still care for him and it breaks my heart when I see him crying over this illness and what it's doing to him and how undignified it is. I know if he had realised how bad it was he would have given up sooner. One thing I say to people if they are blase about their drinking and say 'I've got to die of something it might as well be drink' well it's not quick, it's not pretty, it's a cruel and humiliating disease and it's very hard on the family who have to watch and very often do the caring that's needed in the later stages.

Bonair in reply to Diamond101

I totally agree with you Diamond. It's heartbreaking to watch someone you care about go through this horrible illness. Drinking itself is an illness and it's like any addiction, drugs, even food, you know you need to stop, but it's not easy. My husband said if he knew how ill he would have been, and cirrhosis is a slow death, he would have stopped drinking. That's easy to say though once you've stopped. He has offered to talk to people who drink to tell them what might happen to them if they don't stop drinking. I was working and trying to care for my husband before he received a liver transplant and I was just at the stage where I would have had to give up my job to look after him full time. It's so hard, not just on the person with the illness, but the carers too. This site has a lot of support though. x

I agree, its absolutely heartbreaking. My partner has been alcohol free for 9 months but it was too little too late and hes dying

Hidden in reply to Lilyrosemarie

Can you share more on how r husband is. My husband too is stage 4liver disease an dying.. Doctor said he thought he would have died by now. But he quit drinking too a yr ago. Be prepared for MANY ups and downs..some go on to suffer a LOT before leaving. My husband suffers still with this terrible illness....I hope you have support..

Thanks for your comments and kind thoughts. He is currently stable in hospital, stage 2 encephalopathy and doesn't seem to know what's happening to him. He's very confused and has become aggressive to staff. I'm sure they're used to this though. The hospital doctors continue to treat him and are talking about a further tipps procedure so looks like they haven't given up yet. The next few days are crucual I think...

Miche49uk in reply to Diamond101

Keeping everything crossed this end x

Hidden in reply to Diamond101

I don't understand how one can have HE as my husband did and then not have it..does it go away? Does it leave damage as I think it did to my husband. My husband had severe HE yet he came out of it A LITTLE..This is one of the most confusing illnesses I've seen. I think for one being with HE is a bit of a relief as they don't know what's happening and I'd much rather see my husband like that than to be in constant pain and suffering wondering what's going on with his prayers are with you

I know exactly how you are feeling and my heart does go out to you. My poor dad went through this awful time over the last few months and he passed away 12 days ago :(. Part of me felt relief as he is no longer suffering anymore. I wish I could give you a hug as I know how much it hurts. The only blessing was I think that my dad wasn't aware of much either towards the last days so I hope he slipped away unaware of how sad it all had gotten too. Please stay strong and take care of each other. Leanne x

I am so sorry to hear this. Your post is like a post I could've written a year ago as I went through it with my own dad. It is truly truly awful. Every last part. My dad did pass 10-12-16 from ESLD (and I was his caregiver). I just wanted to reach out and let you know I'm here for you. Thinking of you.

Mcmaddy in reply to Lperica10

I just saw this reply, sorry, I'm not sure why I still keep this app on my phone :(. I got it to help me through things with my dad when he was ill and try and understand this horrible disease more. I was thinking of deleting it when I saw your post. Thank you. That's very kind. How are you coping now?


That sounds so much like my husband who also literally fougght off death 2x yet he's still with me after a year. It is terrible to watch one go through it. Esp if its just the 2 of you.. hopefully you have help from family.. I dont have anyone who will come to our aid stay with him while i work.. We've talked about assisted suicide but as Christians its a hard answer. It's been valley's and hills so far...right now we're at a breathing time as a he was just discharged... so at home waiting for the next episode of whatever. Many times I wake up and get overwhelmed wondering where he's at with his condition..Hes like your loved one. And just for the record you have no other life...i choose to work still not only to pay bills but it's a break away..seriously.. I make sure he's given meds, his meals etc before I leave.. Call home a couple times they the night. The one thing that CONCERNS me is my husband still smokes and he has a burn in ALL his clothes, the couch and blankets he covers with. Even if I'm home this happens. I got off topic a bit but pray you'll find comfort in knowing others are in the same place as you. IT IS VERY HARD to watch one go through this.....

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