This is me - bit of a greatest showman... - British Liver Trust

British Liver Trust
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This is me - bit of a greatest showman quote ;)

Chris-harris
Chris-harris

Hi All,

It’s been a long time since I was last on here and wanted to pop on to give any people at their lowest some hope for the future. I have had pretty much everything possible, Varices, nightmare itch, PUGH C on the scale (that's the scale that says how bad you are .. apparently C and your dead in 3 months), bilirubin level 450+, ascites (although never drained and managed with water tablets),loss of sex drive, sore breasts,pancreatitis and other bits bobs and levels off the scale ... that's not forgetting the inability to walk due to muscle loss and spontaneous vomiting, also extreme weight and muscle loss (17.5 stone to 11 when at my worst, now 15).

If you don’t know my fun journey it started back in December:

December 1st, sat at home minding my own business and decided to stand up. I collapsed and panic set in, off to hospital to be attached to more wires than I’d seen in someone and my family and doctors all stood around me looking very scared. I had been drinking all my life probably more than I should have but “never any more than the next man”. I thought, as we all do, that I was invincible, it turned out I was wrong! After a number of tests, I had pneumonia / liver failure / kidney issues etc and just about everything you could, consultant gave me a couple of days to live and followed that with "any questions", "what you up to at the weekend" now seemed irrelevant. I will be honest, it was a very scary time.

So I spent approximately 6 weeks in hospital, looked like Homer Simpson on a fatter day and felt like the grim reaper was about to knock at any time and ask If I'd like to take a trip with him. The odd friend came to see me but the look in their eyes said enough. My wife and children came every day though , Hepatic encephalopathy (HE) had taken over me and I was an absolute **** to them, how they put up with me I will never know but am eternally grateful that they did. I went through every emotion going including ending it all, the pain / confusion and life just didn’t seem worth it and something that I would never escape.

Anyway, released from hospital early Jan and sent home to a place that seemed like the krypton factor, took me a good 30 mins to do the “stair challenge” and that was before even contemplating the "getting in and out of the bath" round.

Every day was a struggle, a 1 min walk would put me in bed for a day, everything I ate came straight back up and many of my so called friends disappeared, I was getting more and more confused and could not sleep so turned to sleeping tablets, taking more than I should and basically sending myself even more confused. Crashed the car / slept all day / shouted at the kids and wife constantly and was a basic ***hole to everyone, I just wanted to hide away and for the world as I now know it to end.

Wife found my sleeping tablets, we had a big heart to heart and that’s the day things started to change. Yes, I was not sleeping great but I started to think straight again. I went to the docs to try and get some help with the dark moments and now pop beater blockers daily, not for everyone but have changed my mental thinking completely. Now each day for me is “what can I do” not “I’m going to die so what’s the point”. I am back full time at work and although a challenge I am coming along good. Joined a gym and out every day for walks etc. Just had a fantastic 2 weeks holiday all inclusive in turkey, alcohol is a thing of the past, Turkish tea is my new vice, just a word of warning, you are supposed to add more water to the tea, I drank it straight and although lovely the caffeine was off the scale and I couldn't feel my tongue:)

Spent the holiday doing all the activities and taking a good half mile swim in the sea every day, much to the disgust of my wife who thought I may drown and a shark could eat me, I told her shark attack sounds more exciting than liver damage and she can play the jaws theme at my funeral. 

Anyway, what I am trying to say is things do often get better, I’m not fixed, far from it, but every day is a new opportunity, not another that may be my last. Live your life to the best you can,try things you don't think you can manage, even just for a little time, the fun you have and the memories it builds are worth it. My latest was "down below", a series of trampolines going down a 500ft cave, I managed 30 mins of the hour but now have that experience to think back on .. and I survived.

Please if you are feeling low give me a shout I may not be here all the time but I get an e-mail and I will try and help in any way I can, I have been in the darkest of dark places and now walk in the sunshine every day (until the British weather goes back to normal that is) .....

Lots of love goes to anyone who has ever helped me on here, it’s a fantastic place and will help you over the hurdles that seem to big, you are all super stars

Here if you ever need a helping hand

Chris xxxx

P.S. A little thanks goes to pneumonia and liver disease, as awful as you both are you have given me a life of excitement. One where I'm now out and about all the time and loving it rather than sitting at home with a glass of wine wishing I had a different life.

14 Replies
oldestnewest

THANK you Chris. Keep up the good work. x

Well done Chris. Thinking and looking back to your early posts you were not in a good place, glad you've found this happier and a great deal healthier you. Keep up the good work.

Katie :D

Trust1
Trust1Administrator

Hi Chris,

Thank you for posting an update. We are delighted to read that you are feeling more positive and healthier.

Take care and very best wishes from us all,

Trust1

Hidden
Hidden

What an inspirational story and beautifully written..... continue to enjoy your new life to the full xxx

Inspirational :-) gives hope to us all. Carry on enjoying life, wishing you continued better health xx

A great story. Thanks

Chris.. I'm in the same boat... diagnosed with liver cirrhosis 10 years ago..my dark past with drugs was the culprit with me..catching hepatitis 20 years ago..I went yellow jaundice..a doctor told me that I could lead a normal life for years ,but I could develop cirhosiss over time...my father passed away with liver cancer in April 08..drink related..but I had symptoms which he had...so I took myself to docs,who sent me for a liver biopsy..two weeks later I got the dreaded news...that I've got liver cirrhosis...that was ten years ago..I then had treatment to clear the hepatitis virus..which I finished and got rid of that virus..but still had cirhosiss...and about 3 years ago..I met a new girlfriend..sandy..a lovely girl 6 years older than me at 53..all happy I was managing my cirhosiss..but started drinking occasionally with my girlfriend..not every day mainly weekends..my weight was 15 stone...I attend the hospital twice a year for ultrasound scans,,and gastroscopy,s I was told 2 years ago that I had osephagul varices that needed banding..but I thought nothing of it.. because my GP was aware...then in July 2016.my girlfriend met me and I felt very nauseas..my partner said to me lie down..as I got by my bedroom door I vomited a huge amount of blood up ...my varices had ruptured...then two more bouts of blood ...which we all know who suffer with liver disease is very dangerous..it could put you in shock..I was rushed to my local hospital aintree in Liverpool..where I was very poorly.. surgeons banded veins and kept me in Ozzy for a week..then my hell started since that episode...my weight fell off..I went anemic.. plateles low ..felt like death day after day...my spleens enlarged...causes me bad pain day after day....I give up drink..because four cans of lager would give me a hangover from hell....I'm very scared I know my life expectancy is low....but when I read similar stories I know I'm not the only one going through this terrible ordeal...I can't even get personal indipendent payments or ESA as I am too weak to work ..but I am going to see a councior....

Hi, I am so sorry you are going through the mill at the moment. Please stop the drink, I know I could probably survive a pint or 3 but really what is the point, no drink is worth the pain that comes with this illness. looking at your story it was drink that put you back a few steps after you let it back into your life, drink is an evil thing, its taken your dad from you, nearly killed you, twice, and it may have just given you one last chance. How do you know your life expectancy is low, is that something you have been told or you have decided based on facts / internet searches etc? I ask as everyone's case is different, 7 months ago I was told I had a day to live, last week I swam a mile in the sea, your body is a tough old cookie and if you look after it you may have many years left in it ... whatever you do though stay off the booze, there are plenty of none alcoholic ones if you can't control the urge, good luck!

Hidden
Hidden

I had to take ill health retirement and I get pip, I think you should be able to get it xxxx

What a marvellous post ! Things are not exactly brilliant for me at the moment and that has cheered me up no end. Cheers mate and take care

Hi Chris-harris,

I really enjoyed your post.

My husband went into liver and kidney failure in November of 2015, he stopped drinking when the doctors at the hospital told him if he started again he would die not long after. He is still sober although he does drink non-alcoholic beer now, with the consent of his liver doctor.

Your story sounds similar to his and he has gained back muscle and is doing things around the house again. He had surgery on his neck to fix some bad discs and we put down his difficulty walking to that. I think the disc thing was only part of the problem, but so it goes.

I think you have a lot to offer those of us who come here.

Thank you and best wishes,

Mary

As I sit here on a wet Sunday afternoon, on my own with my 4 crazy cats... Can i just say a big THANK YOU Chris-harris.

10yrs cirrhosis, f4 end stage fibrosis, mobility issues, lethargy, insomnia, hospital visits, occupation therapy, cbt therapy.. 10 yrs ago I had 6 months if that left to live, going through a divorce from my ex pig of a wife beater.

But guess what..

I have achieved so much in those 10 yrs.

You made me actually reflect on what I had done as opposed to what I haven't or can't no longer do.. may you continue to enjoy life.. my best to you and your family.. Linda 👍

So great to hear how you are doing Chris. I had been thinking about you. Wonderful to hear you sounding so positive. An inspiration indeed. I wish you continued strength in your recovery. x

That made me cry!

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