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British Liver Trust
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Advice on how I can help my mum

Hey, wondered if I would be able to get some advice from someone. Over the summer my mum was told she had stage 3 cirrhosis and two thirds of her liver is completely damaged. She was jaundice had ascites and was in hospital. After coming out she went into rehab and managed to stay sober for around 4 months which was pretty amazing since she's been an alcoholic over 20 years. Unfortunately it didn't last so she went back into rehab but this time it only lasted a couple of weeks. She is back drinking at least a bottle of wine a night and is very weak and frail. She needs a liver transplant but I assume she can't get one of she is still drinking??? I realise I should prepare for the worst and hope for the best but I don't know how to help her or what to expect. Any suggestions?

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So sorry to hear about your mum and you are correct they won't consider a transplant until she has been "dry" for six months... I honestly don't know what to suggest as if the person themselves doesn't want too we can't force someone to do... I hope and pray she does whilst she still has a chance... Maybe one of the others who had an alcohol problem could help but I am sure they will say the same which doesn't help you much (sorry about that) but here for you anytime x

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Best wishes to you. It is not easy to watch someone you love give up on life or be unwilling to change to behaviors that might improve their life. I don't know of anything that might improve her outlook enough to change her behaviors, unfortunately.

Again, best wishes to you. Mary

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May be worth contacting a group called "Al-anon" (or something like that) who can help with advice for family members of heavy drinkers.

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Hi,

Welcome to the forum.

As Paulio has mentioned, you may find Al- Anon useful. Al-Anon Family Groups provide support to anyone whose life is, or has been, affected by someone else’s drinking.

Here is the link to their website;

al-anonuk.org.uk/

Best wishes,

BLT Admin

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I hope your mom stop drinking. You mention she is drinking a bottle of wine every nite.Did she drink more before finding out she has cirrhosis? My mother is going thru treatment (scans) and i have met people that drink hard liquor for years and after being diagnosed they stated it was hard to stop cold turkey even with medication. Most stated, they drank a glass of wine or two then taper off that way....but I don't know if that's what your mom is trying to do. Good luck

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Yeah she did drink more before she found out she had cirrhosis which I guess is good but I assume a bottle will still have a serious effect in her condition?

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I'm sorry about your Mom. My Mom was diagnosis was non-alcoholic cirrhosis of the Liver, Ironically she was an Alcohol/HIV counselor for Veterans for over 30yrs. She didn't drink. Her liver was destroyed due to meds given to her in 96 for breast cancer. She didn't want a transplant, but family and doctors convinced her to proceed with one. She had the transplant, and liver was bad, it lasted a year. Only to find out later that the liver came from an autistic Male 45yrs old, who has been with Autism his entire life. I was upset about this since her liver failed do to prescription drugs. Did they take in to consideration the medication he was taking for 40yrs related to Autism. It was a horrible death watching her suffering with no answers from doctors. Just stringing her and us along like they were trying to help her,but there was no hope. I watched my Uncle pass with cirrhosis related to alcohol. The reality is at this point in her life she is what she is and your not going to change it. My Dad just recently told me his last words before he died, Was he just wanted to get out of bed and walk outside, barefoot in the grass. Of all the things in life most get caught up in, it was something so simple at the time of departure what meant most to him. I'm sure he was regretting his decisions made in life at that point. Just very sad. I pray for the loved ones left behind. God Bless.

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Hi x so sorry to hear about your mum x .. nothing can fix your worry but you need to know it is possible. She can stop drinking x I also have been alcohol dependent for many years due to personal reasons and it became that severe I nearly died and was I was in hospital for a month. Anything the could have gone wrong did and I also find out out on have got Chirossis which is quite significant. Luckily I was detoxed in hospital as would have been too dangerous do it alone and i can say I haven't drank for 7 months and never Intend to. Drinking is a nasty disease especially when it grips you and at my worst towards the end I was drinking 3 bottles a day all day !!!.... she sounds like she needs medical help to detox. Having the supprt is what she needs and sounds like you give her that. 7 months on I am healthy 44 year old and have a gorgeous husband and 2 children and held down my job and realise what I could lose!!!! I was very lucky but did have all symptoms like acites and jaundice and hepatic encephalopathy and live with the fact I don't know if something might happen with my liver. I am under regular follow up and thst helps. Drink hides everything you worry about and that's more than likely why she continues to drink. I really hope she can come through this x sending you hugs too x

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she needs to stop drinking straight away if she dosnt stop they will not offer her a liver transplant but she would not deserve one

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My answer is not one you will wish to read. I had a liver translation 5 years ago. Before I was placed on the waiting list I had a year of blood tests to determine my fitness for transplant but also to check if I was still taking alcohol. If the patient is still drinking then she will not be put on the list. NO ALCOHOL ! When I was placed on the list I waited for 18 months until a suitable liver became available ( they are in short supply ). The time also depends on the number of people on the list before you. My operation took 10 hours, only around 6 hours is normal. I was so ill afterwards I was put into an induced coma for 2 weeks before I came round and my convalescence took weeks. I now have a walking disability (periferal neuropathy). In spite of all this I would still opt for a transplant because I am now once again a member of society enjoying my family and vacations. I am now 72 years old.

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Hope you are doing well ancient - we haven't heard from you in a good while. Hope life is treating you well.

Katie x

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