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British Liver Trust
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Help please

Hi all

I know I can rely on everyone for some help with this. You all know I have a liver condition and thanks to everyone I have got a good idea on the risks I'm facing if I don't sort myself out. I also know that even if I do some problems will remain.

My problem is I have a friend who used to drink but stopped a while ago when he realised the damage it was doing to him. At the moment He seems ok with his liver but, he desperately loves his wife who is having difficulty giving alcohol up. She has mobility problems and cirrhosis which make weight loss difficult for her. She is also having to deal with all the various emotional problems that can go with those issues. She is in a lot of pain and it is tearing him apart not knowing how to help her. He has also said medical people have told him it is her choice. So that makes him feel he hasn't got any support. She has been through detox but it clearly didn't help long-term.

I have offered to talk to her but my liver is nafld related although with cirrhosis behaviour, so she is likely to tell me I have no idea what it is like having to give up alcohol. It also doesn't help that I have lost some weight despite mobility problems, which could make her feel worse and I truly don't want that.

I aim to try and see them both in the next couple of weeks so any messages to help her to see that a lot of people are having to deal with the really difficult issue of kicking alcohol would be really helpful. They are not on the internet so I aim to show them this post. I also want her to know that there are people who care.

Many thanks

Gillx

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Good day Gillx and good on you for helping out your friends. I can offer some insight on quitting the drink as I stopped 5 months ago. The main thing is your friend has to want to quit it is no use pushing it on them if they are not ready. I found that quitting has to be done for yourself I quit because I have 2 young kids that I want to be around for but the reason I'm still sober is I truly wanted to stop nobody pushed me it was all my choice. Drinking I found for myself anyway was a selfish act I did it for my own escape and didn't care how it effected anyone else. Getting sober is a lonely thing to do as I felt nobody understood how hard it was to put down the bottle but as time passed I found that I became proud of myself and it became a sense of pride. Your friend can also feel this pride if they are ready to quit I'm not going to lie it's been dame hard to do but I'm so much better off for it.

Good luck I'll keep you all in my thoughts

Boone

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Thank you Boone. I wouldn't for one minute think it is easy. I plan to let them read all of the replies I receive to try to help them know there are so many people who know it is difficult for them and they are not alone. This forum has helped me.

Gillx

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They are definitely not alone I'm thinking of you all. Quitting drinking was the hardest thing I've done but in the end it was also the most rewarding,

Truly

Boone

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Thanks Boone

I am truly hoping that when I see them they both feel strong enough to face the big A and that together they can beat it. I know it is going to be so hard for the wife, but in a different way for her husband. I think the messages of support from people on this site will help.

Gill x

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Hi Gill,

Quitting drinking is very difficult. I am a recovering alcoholic who hasn’t had a drink for 15 years now. I suffer with cirrhosis, liver cancer (HCC) and without a transplant my life would be shortened. I was also extremely overweight and would not meet transplant criteria due to an excessive BMI. I lost the weight, made the transplant list, got the call and the procedure was aborted after about an hour as I had a major haemorrhage and needed 25 pints of blood to make it back to ICU albeit in a coma which went on for 12 days, with my family being told on 2 occasions that the end was nigh. 14 months later I am still here, still with the old diseased liver, transplantation is no longer an option, but hey what can I moan about, there are countless people who would swap with me in a heartbeat.

The hardest thing I have ever done in my life is to stop drinking. I believed it was “the glue” that held everything in place, when in reality it was slowly destroying everything around me. It made me a very selfish person who cared more for his booze than he did for his wife and kids. What I have discovered is that I suffer from a disease that one drink is too many and a thousand is never enough. So if I don’t take that very first drink I will NOT get drunk. I will not set off the craving or (The Flavour) for a second or a third etc etc.

I could not do this on my own, so I sought out the help of AA. This is the last place on earth I ever wanted to go because of the pre-conceived idea I had planted in my brain, about the type of people who go to these places.

15 years later I can definitely say that it was the best thing I have ever done. I met people who were from all walks of life, who suffered from the same disease as I did, and they gently taught me simple things to keep me sober.

My wife and kids and now grandkids, have a completely different man/husband/father/grandfather in their life who actually likes who he is and I do not have that daily struggle that any active alcoholic has. Your friend must firstly want to stop drinking, then her and her partner can go to one or more “open” meetings of Alcoholics Anonymous, where he can sit with her and just listen to what people say. My advice is they go with a completely open mind, and my experience says they will be blown away by the honesty of how people describe their experiences. Depending where you are in the country there are meetings on various nights of the week, and you can find where and when by searching The AA website.

Stopping drinking is easy, I did it regularly. Staying stopped is the difficult bit, and if I don’t know how, where better to get my answers than from people who have already been where I am.

If you have any further questions please feel free to ask. I write a sporadic blog about my cancer journey and it can be found at 1liver1life.wordpress.com you may find it useful, entertaining, sad, uplifting, hopeful (these are words other people have used about it)

Ray

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Ray

Thank you for that. Again you have been very honest, which I really appreciate. I really wish people would understand that there are a lot of people out there who need help and that dealing with things isn't as easy as some outsiders think.

I'm a way this group has felt a bit like an extended family to me. I feel that we are really trying to be there for each other.

Gillx

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I agree the people here make me feel like family . My own family has no idea about Chrosis or type 2 diabetics. So I have no one to listen .

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Hi Catherine

Thanks for your message. I'm glad you also find the forum helpful. My husband has type 2 diabetes. A friend of ours is a brittle diabetic so I know it can be hard work managing it. My friend's wife has to watch him like a hawk because his sugars can go way up or down within a short space of time and he now has neuropathy in several parts of his body. My hubby is fairly careful and uses meds. The main thing we have to watch is that he doesn't go too long between meals. He can become a bit light headed and very crabby. He has cholesterol but we shared it out and I have the liver behaving as though it has cirrhosis.

How do the two affect you?

Take care

Gillx

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Thank you so much for your reply yes it is a struggle. I have the neupathy also . Good luck and wellness for your husband and you.

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Be very careful with the neuropathy.

Gillx

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Thanks Gill,

AA is also like a mirror image of this forum, everybody is there for the same reason, no judgments, no opinions on lifestyle, just hey I have this problem is there anybody that has had the same, what did you do?

Very simple in theory, but throw in a complicated head and the result can get lost in translation.

Ray

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Hi Ray

That's a good description.

Gill x

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It's like this when there' something wrong with the liver' alcohol is a definite no go area think your liver full of bubbles and every time you have a drink some burst till your liver has non left then there none left to burst one outcome.death

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Thanks Cjjj

That is a good way of looking at it.

Gillx

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I have never drunk alcohol so, your friend may feel I have nothing to contribute but I do. I lived my childhood in fear of alcohol. Why? Because my father was an alcoholic and when drunk, was violent, nasty, abusive and didn’t care who in the family he hurt or destroyed. All he cared about was the drink and getting his fix. He was extremely unkind and selfish to the extreme. Not all alcoholics are like this, I do know that. I also know that once one crosses the barrier into alcoholism, there is no going back. You become hooked, addicted, and, then it is a serious illness which is hard to overcome and stop drinking. If a person will not stop for themselves, say due to liver destruction, then you’re on a difficult path. Turn to their less selfish nature and let them see the physical, mental, emotional and psychological harm they are doing to their family. I at 68, have still never recovered from the harm done to me by an alcoholic father. Dig deep into any semblance of altruism they have left and bring them up sharp with how destructive they are being, not only to themselves but to their family. If that doesn’t work, you are on a lost cause, with a self destructive person and a person who doesn’t care about their family or themselves. They cannot be helped then. I’m sorry but it is true and any relationship with that person is doomed.

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Hi Splodge

I am so sorry your childhood was so hard for you. It is so hard when you have not been able to feel safe. The good thing for you was that it probably stopped you ever touching alcohol.

Thank you for sharing this with us because it is a very good reminder that things we do affect others as well as ourselves.

Keep strong and live long and as healthily as possible.

Gillx

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Just a reminder. I'm seeing my friend next week so any more comments would be helpful.

Thanks everyone

Gillx

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Thank you everyone for your help. I will let you know this week when I see my friend how things are. Unfortunately I couldn't see him last week.

Gillx

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