British Liver Trust
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Cirrhosis and help

Hi there , my dad has just been diagnosed with cirrhosis his 74 an alcoholic was very ill has lost 3 stone due to constant sickness and diarrhoea in 2 months, didn’t eat for a month. He actually had nearly stopped drinking himself due to feeling so ill first time ever. Had 3 detoxes in past never lasted more than a couple of weeks as soon as felt better was back in it. I had to put him on floor and say his collapsed to get an ambulance to take him to hospital. Had doctors in but just wanted to run tests he could hardly stand. Was in for 3 weeks had enlarged liver and spleen started to go yellow. They pumped him with everything going had CT scan no cancer but has portal hypertension. Has gastritis, hiatus hernia, tears in his oesphagus due to drinking showed on recent gastrophy. They managed to get him back to a better stage of health best I’d seen him in years apart from suffering from tiredness, muscle wasting etc from cirrhosis. To my dismay and absolute heartbreak his started drinking again. I really can’t get my head around someone who had actually been that ill and who actually thought his liver was on the way out could start again. Waiting to see gastro team to find out results from biopsy of stomach acid and see what stage his at ???? I’ve been so upset as it’s me that will have to pick up the pieces and watch him suffer again. Can anybody give me any advice as what to do. ??? I’ve told him exactly how I feel and how ill it’s making me. Part of me wants nothing to do with him but his still my dad. He went to AA once but was drink there I went with him was a disaster X

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I understand, because i am now taking care of my father in law, he just got his test results back yesterday (only Labs) which was showing signs of liver problems. He is refusing to get any type of scans due to his insurance might be canceled. I love my father in law because he has been more of a dad to me than my own dad. He lost his son which was my hubby and this causes him to drink more. I really didn't think e was an alcoholic because he worked all day and had 3-4 glasses of wine at night(about a bottle each night). I guess I didn't look at the amount because he never got drunk..he only went to bed and got up the next morning for work (i guess you can say a functional alcoholic). He is now feeling bad and looks like he has ascites but i really can't tell. His belly is hard when he is standing but goes softer when he is lying down so i really don't know. All we can do as caretaker is do the best we can. You can tell him to stop drinking but many people on here will tell you until he is ready...he won't. good luck.

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Thank you for your message , my heart goes out to you too x

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Bubbles, my heart goes out to you.

By the sound of it, you've done everything, a person can. You can only do so much. The saying about taking a horse to water seems pretty apt in this case.

This is the addiction working. By the sound of it, your Father hasn't really been honest with his determination to want to quit drinking. Alcohol is the hardest of addiction to kick, and in your Fathers case needs to be done under medical supervision. Alcohol dependency is also a mental thing.

People don't always understand a persons mindset with it comes to alcohol and as to why they began drinking in the first place. Identifying that is important aspect in dealing with the therapy. The other problem here is the effect the alcohol is having on his mind. A person who has an alcohol problem may develop psychological problems. For some, by drinking alcohol, they are locking themselves away inside a bubble. They are shutting themselves off from the outside world, those close to them are pushed away, and all that person want's is to be left alone. It's a bit like climbing back inside the womb, where a person feels safe and warm. It's a form of escapism, where the rules of responsibility don't exist. Now comes the problem.

That bottle becomes a persons best friend as it has the ability to put the user in a safe place. When that bottle is taken away, it's like losing your best friend and this in turn may bring about a form of bereavement. This is why some people find it so hard to quit. That best friend is/was always there when they need it. And it's that best friend that so many find hard to let go of.

Your feeling of wanting to just give up is totally understandable. You may feel it's a bit like flogging a dead horse. But, please try and stay strong, try not to make threats, or forms of mental abuse. Nagging will also cause him to want to climb back inside that bubble as he'll feel threatened. Just let him know that you love him, and that you'll always be there for him.

If he truly wants to stop drinking, then this has to be a conscious decision made by him. He's got to be the one to let go of that friend and say goodbye for ever. He needs to do this because he wants to, not because he has to, or because he's been told to, it's because he has said enough is enough. Try to just talk, not nagg, just knowing that someones there for him may be enough. Both the mental and the physical have to be treated in this case.

I hope some of what I've said helps Bubbles. Please try and stay strong. You'll find a lot of valuable help and support here.

Good Luck and kind Regards

Richard

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Richard i have never heard a truer word! having lost my mum 3 weeks ago you are spot on, its so hard but sometimes there is nothing more you can do until it is too late! can i ask jabe you also been through the same?

sending love xxx

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Thank you so much for your kind reply. I understand what you saying. It just took me so much to get a doctor or hospital to even take any notice if him he was in s terrible state. He was in diarrhoea soaked pyjamas that the doctor in AE said he’d been in for some while and his personal hygiene was appalling His got carers now so that takes a bit of pressure off me. I know I can’t change him. I watched my mum die a horrendous death and now my dad too. Life just sucks some times X

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Hello again Bubbles, I forgot to mention that a lot of people are turned off by the Alcoholic Anonymous, their method of recovery isn't everyone's cup of tea. I personally have had my own bad experience with their technique, but I'm not going to bad-mouth the work they do or their concept. Anything that can help someone to come off alcohol then that can only be a good thing.

There are other support groups out there which can be very good. Nearly every local council funds a drug and alcohol support group in their area. Just google "Drug and Alcohol Support".

I was just wondering if your poor mothers horrendous death has caused your father to drink more?

When some people have a tremendous traumatic event happen in their lives, they can seek solace in alcohol. If someone already has an alcohol-related condition (I hate the word alcoholic) then this could be a case of using alcohol as an emotional crutch, by locking himself away in that protective bubble he's not having to deal with the emotional aspect of the lose of his wife, and is just blanking it out.

By the sound of it, your father has just given up on anything and everything. He just doesn't seem to want to care about himself or anything anymore, hence him not even bothering with personal hygiene.

This is so sad Bubbles. He really does need to deal with these emotional problems as I'm sure here lies the root of his problems. I think he's in need of counselling or some sort of psychological therapy. Just to be able to talk and open up. Some people find that they can't handle group therapy and feel uncomfortable talking and sharing their troubles with others. While for some people it's easier to open up to others in a group who have experienced a similar situation and understand what their going through.

It's easy for me to say, but I firmly believe that your father really does need to confront his demons once and for all. Sometimes it's easier to just push these problems and memories to the back of our minds and not deal with them. But because they've not been dealt with, will always come back to haunt us. If a situation wasn't our fault or we have just been a victim of circumstance (as I like to call it). Then this can't be dealt with as we weren't to blame, it wasn't our fault. Here all that can be done is to draw a line in the sand and move on. But even in doing this, you've at least acknowledged the problem and have dealt with it.

I hope some of this helps, or gives you food for thought. Please don't right your dad off, he does need help. Just please continue to be loving and supportive daughter I know you to be.

Please take care and good luck.

Richardxx

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Thank you Richard for your kind words. I’ve tried everything to get him to open up about his drinking and deal with my mums death I had councelling after he refused. When his had detoxes in the past his had some counselling but never opened up. Had a wonderful lady come to the hospital from synergy another support group said I would go with him. Was going to send him an open invitation but his hid that from me. Other than get him by the scruff of the neck and drag him there I don’t know what else I can do. I suffer from anxiety and panic attacks on medication and I’m struggling at the moment to stop them happening. I won’t disown him but for my own sanity I’m having to take a step back Xxx

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Bubbles,

Have you ever contacted Al- Anon?

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/

We hope you will also find the support you need on our forum,

Warm wishes

Trust1

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Thank you so much looked at a link and there’s a meeting near me will go along X

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You are very welcome :)

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hi, im so sorry you are going though this! i complete sympathise with you..... i lost my mum 3 weeks ago due to cirrhosis age 55! in the end i got fed up with trying/begging but at the end off the day as you said they are our parents and you would flight tooth & nail for them! the 1st time i knew mum not to drink was when she was so unwell also! can i ask if the docters are draining fluid from the tummy? and have they put him on lactulose? sending all my love xxx

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Hi there, thank you so much for your reply. So sorry for the loss of your mum , I lost my mum at 59 she had a heart condition. Yes he has been on lactulose but when he got taken into hospital he had diarrhoea and sickness for a month so was no need for lactulose. His tummy was very swollen when he got admitted but they didn’t drain anything off. He was supposed to go back to see the gastro team soon. He had a biopsy taken from two places when he had his gastrophy waiting for results from them. My heart goes out to you X

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no problem at all ☺ im also new to this forum as i never spoke or told anyone about the problems with mum (embarrassment mabey). ok i see when mum got took to hospital she had the same swollen tummy, severe confusion, yellowing off the skin ect she was on lactulose to help with confusion! (build up off toxins) mum also got a CT scan which found cancer in the liver too. she was suppost to be getting her tummy drained the day she passed. We later found out the fluid in the tummy caused sepsis also! is your dad now out off hospital? if so thats a big step for both off you! i hope and pray the results are ok for you i really do & on the other hand i honestly know how you feel and how much pressure/stress you are going through. stay strong and keep me updated💜💜💜 xxx

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I was the same never told many people about my dad unless they personally knew him and knew he was a alcoholic. His out of hospital but drinking heavily again stayed sober for about 3 weeks so god knows what will happen to him next. His on beta blockers for his portal hypertension but has been getting a few nose bleeds recently. They pumped him with everything going when he was in hospital. Thank you and you take care Xxx

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hi💙 oh dear god love him & yourself as its a constant worry and puts a heavy load on your shoulders! are you going though this alone, do u have siblings, partner ect? i hope the test results come back soon for yous! xxx

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Thank you, I have my husband and a fantastic best friend to help me through XXX

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so glad you have them 💜 please dont hesitate to message me at any time if u need a wee chat. stay strong ❤❤❤ xxx

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Thank you so much ❤️❤️❤️

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Bubbles- I just wanted to send some love and support your way. I am in a very similar situation with my father (since diagnosis he’s almost begun drinking more than before). My advice? Don’t forget to take care of yourself. I know I became so consumed with caring for my father and trying to “fix” him, that I forgot to take care of myself and my own life. Continue to tell him how you feel and be honest with him. I can tell you have a fantastic heart. Be strong and know you’re not alone!

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Thank you for your reply, I’m learning to be be a bit kinder to myself. My whole world was revolving around my dad and his needs I was beginning to lose myself and my life and become ill myself. I can see my dad loosing himself again in alcohol and it’s really hard watching someone you love destroy them self. I can totally agree with you and where your coming from. I’m here if you need to chat anytime.

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