I am a 49year old mum and have always been a drinker. I have been drinking for about 25yrs, with a few breaks in between (pregnancy and was drinking less when the kids were small). But the five years or so before that I was a very heavy drinker (everyday, and a bottle of wine.... at least)! I have also had a steady increase in my drinking over maybe the last four years (not to the same level as before, but at least double the recommended units per week.... but not drinking every day).
I have been very active for the last 10 years, taking in regular exercise and keeping my weight in check. But last September I felt as though I pulled something in my arm during a workout. In time it got very much worse and by mid November I contacted my doctor for help. As covid is effecting things, the process has been slow and I have yet to be accessed by physio so its been down to pain management.
I was given a high dosage of Naproxen and co codemol mid December and to continue taking over the Christmas break. It was in this time that I began to feel 'not right'! I had already been suffering from muscle aches in my legs that I was dismissing as I thought it would pass. I also had one episode of swollen ankles. But then I started to feel something just isn't right. To the point where I stopped even enjoying drinking (I of course continued as that feeling would go after my 3rd drink). It's hard to explain what I was feeling, but I noticed I was feeling the effects of alcohol very quickly. I just felt like I wasn't handling it very well (I have no idea if this makes any sense)!
Just before new years eve I noticed my stools had changed and had become very dark (almost black, and tarry). I contacted the surgery and had blood tests (including gamma), and a stool sample sent off. Bloods were all ok, but stool result is slightly abnormal, so I am being sent for an endoscopy and colonoscopy (hopefully in a couple of weeks)!
My stools returned to normal relatively quickly, but I am suffering from a noticeable change in bowel habit (constipation), and I have a pain that radiates from right side over towards the middle of my stomach (wakes me at night)!
You will be pleased to hear that I have done what many heavy drinkers have done and googled every known symptom of liver disease and of course got myself in a mental state that I didn't even know I was capable of!!!! (always thought of myself as quite a chilled person)! I have looked intensely at my eyes (for yellow), finger nails (white), hands (red)...... the list goes on!!
But I guess the reason to post all this, is just to know if this pattern of events and how I am feeling in general is relatable in any way to what others have been through? And if there are signs in all this that there could be something wrong, that my gut instinct is actually right? And would the two tests be able to identify if I have a problem with my liver!?
Thanks if you made it too the end of this post
P.S. just to add I haven't had a drink for 9 days (too scared)