Nov2021 - update on hubby: Today hubby... - British Liver Trust

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Nov2021 - update on hubby

mumof3girls profile image

Today hubby is 149 days sober. His appetite has come back and he has gained 2 stone in weight. However his medication has been changed around, so he has been taken off of water tablets for the Ascites and put on water tablets for the Oedema. So I hope the weight gain is not also down to the Ascites coming back. The doctors have also put hubby on Pregabalin to help with the neuropathy pain, which seems to have helped. Hubby say the neuropathy is his worst symptom now and often stumbles and loses his balance. The tilt test he was booked for got cancelled 5 times, so were are still awaiting that. Hubby's hands at still shaking, so he has an appointment with Neurology later this month. Hubby's mental health and mood are much better too. He has apologised loads and loads for the thousands and thousands of pounds that he has spent on booze over the years. He has also apologized for his attitude which he was not aware of but that family and friends have told him about.

I had 9 sessions with a counsellor, so I feel a lot better and was able to offload quite a bit to her. I have also had a couple of massages to help look after myself.

So that is the positive stuff, now for the not so positive stuff. I have booked us a 7 day cruise in December to have a break away and booked another cruise in May 2022 to celebrate hubby's 60th birthday, but this time its a 14 day cruise. The problem I now have is that hubby is now suggesting that he will drink on the cruises. Our daughters have all told him no he cannot and should not do that, as he will then have to go back to day 0. Hubby commented no he would not have to do that and that he could just carry on and say he was on day??? but had a two week break/relapse. I am hoping that the 7 day cruise will show him that he can go away on holiday without drinking. It is a seven day cruise, but it is going to the xmas markets in Le Harve, Bruges, Amsterdam & Hamburg, so we will be on and off of the ship. In years gone past hubby would spend most of a holiday sat in a bar. Hopefully being on and off of the ship will mean that Hubby will be distracted enough. I know that there is nothing that I can do and that it will be hubby's choice, but I also feel that I cannot put my life on hold either. I almost feel that I am an alcoholic myself, as I do not feel that I can drink indoors anymore and when we go out as hubby is still not allowed to drive, so I still cannot have a drink as I have to drive. I have never been a big drinker but I now feel that I am missing out, silly really

33 Replies
Trust1 profile image
Trust1Partner

Hi,

Thank you for sharing. Its so positive that your husband is still sober but it is concerning that he is thinking about drinking on holiday.

Is he receiving any help from alcohol services where this can be discussed more?

Remember you can call our nurse team yourself if you need some support.

Best wishes.

mumof3girls profile image
mumof3girls in reply to Trust1

No he is not receiving any help from alcohol services at the moment, just family and friends

Trust1 profile image
Trust1Partner in reply to mumof3girls

Would he accept any support from alcohol services? The GP or liver team could refer?

mumof3girls profile image
mumof3girls in reply to Trust1

Not sure he still thinks he needs their help

I think Trust1 has covered all the important points.

It is wonderful that he has come so far, so I hope he does not throw it all away on holiday. Perhaps you could set him little goals, celebrate day 150, 175, 200 etc... point out he is getting close to these days. It may help deter him from a relapse when he can see he is close to reaching a key point.

And as Trust1 suggests, bring in support when you need it (for him AND for you).

As for missing out... well yes and no, you HAVE been missing out, not on drinking, but perhaps on a little bit of life. When I worked at a hospital I used to see people caring for a loved one and they seemed to put their life on hold, it is the same for you, you cannot look after anyone else unless you look after yourself.

The counsellor sessions and massages are a start but it would do you the world of good if you make a little time for yourself, my wife always loves a day in the city, shopping, lunch out, haircut or nails done or eyebrows threaded (whatever that is :) ) she will take our daughter or meet up with a friend and stop for regular coffee and muffin breaks while they gossip...

That works for her, but you need to do whatever makes you focus on you from time to time, whether that is shopping or parachuting, do what makes you happy.

Dave

mumof3girls profile image
mumof3girls in reply to Gravy58

Yes you are right, we have two new grandchildren on the way, so they are two wonderful goals for hubby to head towards. His next appointment with Hepatology is not until February, which considering in June when they only gave him months to live if he carried on drinking is great. I think that next appointment will be really important to see if the condition of his liver has changed in anyway?

Again you are right I need to do more things for me, its funny as one of my daughters was saying exactly the same to me yesterday. I have done parachuting already though

😜 The thing is I do not have many friends, as when he was drinking loads I did not want people to see what I was living with, so I always distanced myself. I think I need to reach out to the few that I kept at a distance to see if I can rekindle some of those friendships and bring them a bit closer now

That sounds perfect, reminding him of the grandchildren, those are great goals to aim for... and as for reaching out, again that is perfect. Sometimes, catching up with people and swapping news and having a laugh is the best way to spend time.

Good friends will always be there.

Dave

Hello! Wow, fantastic news on the abstinence. I don't have much experience with addiction, but it occurred to me whilst reading your post that it would be nice if you could enjoy and experience completely new adventures together. I personally think that a lot of drinking involves habit - he's clearly worked hard to break the bad habit, but is trying to match your old lifestyle pushing it too far? Maybe you could sign up for something on the cruise totally new and different to past cruises - or even have a different holiday all together? Just a suggestion.Also, your counsellor will be able to help you deal with feelings of loss - don't forget, with an ill husband and life style changing illness to deal with as a couple, you have to adjust too, and will experience feelings of loss. I have certainly struggled with this - it helped me no end when professionals pointed that out to me.

Lots of love

Ewife

mumof3girls profile image
mumof3girls in reply to Ewife

That's what I was thinking. We have only been on two 3 day cruises previously and both times all hubby wanted to do was sit it the sports bar. So this time I am going to get us more involved in activities. I hope then if I can get him through the seven days without drinking, that he will then feel more confident for future holidays

Hi mum of 3 girls, I do so hope he does not relapse on holiday. Still sounds like he’s combatting the after effects of the habit and would be so sad for him to go back to where he was after coming so far.

I think there are many of us drinkers/ex drinkers on here who know we are incapable of controlling amounts we drink despite trying to persuade ourselves, and our nearest, that we can. Our addict side of the brain tells us that we can, our sensible side knows that it’s highly likely to lead to failure. We know it, we just don’t want to accept it.

I have tried some very nice mocktails, that I’m sure cruise will have list to or can make up. He could try those, albeit I do know some people say that’s a bad idea, as is alcohol free drinks generally? Lashings of hot chocolate and whipped cream at Xmas markets are definitely more preferable than a cold beer 🥶 😀

Does sound like he still needs some outside support at this stage to ensure keeps on track, but not sure how easy to access in your area. Some services are really stretched, whereas others seem to be able to fit people in very quickly.

I think you do have a right, after all you’ve been through, to ask that he does not drink alcohol during the 7 day cruise. I would expect my partner to say same to him in this situation. I also think it will be an important milestone for him to challenge his view that he needs alcohol to enjoy himself. I’m sure there are many ex drinkers on here will tell you that they have had great holidays or nights out completely sober.

I really hope he is able to continue and that you have a lovely cruise together. 🥰

I agree. I hope he will realise that he does not need alcohol to enjoy a holiday

I'm coming up to ten years being sober, and the legacy of drinking has been neuropathy, I was warned never to drink again, I honestly thought I had got away with the years of drinking, but around 3 months after stopping, I got all these horrible symptoms, I'm now with constant pins and needles, burning pains, and was told if I ever went back to drink again these pains would be even worse! Er no thanks, not that i would even consider drinking again, I've come to far to even touch a drop of alcohol, these pains are a constant reminder of the bad old days of alcohol, and all its unhappy times associated with my encounters with the demon drink, like your husband I'm on pregabalin, and take mirtrazapine to help with my sleep, I know what I want, and what I need, I don't need alcohol, I live a clean and healthy lifestyle, which keeps my head in a happy place, I'm sure you'll be on edge with the upcoming cruise, but he's starting to realise the misfortune of his ways, hopefully he'll understand he can never go back to the bottle again.

We all have our own suggestions, and solutions, but you know your husband better than anyone, and if his apologies are heartfelt, you can start to trust him, enjoy your cruise, we all start somewhere without a drink, and he seems to be doing well in his general well-being, I wish you both in the future 😇

mumof3girls profile image
mumof3girls in reply to Cb1963

Thank you. Hubby really struggles with his sleep too, the dr gave him 7 days of sleeping tablets but that was all. I will ask her about the tablets you have mentioned. My hubby has also been getting discomfort in his hands as well? Not sure if that is connected or something else?

Cb1963 profile image
Cb1963 in reply to mumof3girls

I have pins and needles running down my hands these days, but I'm unsure if this is related to my B12 deficiency problems , which I now have 3 monthly injections for, I find that the cold weather affects them even more, alcohol causes nerve damage, so maybe this has affected his hands as well,I don't think the doctors want to prescribe sleeping tablets on a long term basis because they are addictive, hopefully mirtrazapine will be prescribed, its an anti depressant, but acts like a mild sedative, and comes in different strengths, i sincerely hope you husband takes this chance at a new life ,and keeps to a healthy regime, it worked for me, and of course I wish you both the very best 😇

Hi, im so pleased to read your hubby is much better and on day 149 of abstinence, absolutely fantastic to hear, i know this has been a long hard journey for you and your family. I am concerned that he said he could drink on holidays and then stop it when you get back! Alarm bells would be ringing for me tbh, because it just dont work like that. I speak from experience, my husband was 9 months sober a few years ago, doing so well and his health improved so much, we then went abroad on holiday for 2 weeks, the first week he was ok but struggling, the second week he gave in and drank himself into ablivion, then continued to drink when we got home, it was so disappointing.

Im not saying that will happen to your husband and i really hope it doesn't, if he's determined to stay off the booze all well and good, but it will be a learning curve for him and will test his strength and determination. Hope it all goes well for you and you have a a brilliant holiday, and congratulations on having 2 grandbabies on the way xx

Take care x

Julie

Thank you. I am really hoping that he does not drink on holiday, but not a lot I can do if he does. He knows the dangers

Yes at the end of the day its up to them we cant control what they do can we. All the best xx

I’d be careful about him going back to drinking. Even if it is intended to be just for the holiday. I’ve not touched a drop since my hospital admission back in March 2021. I’ve been to social events and even to a family wedding in that time, and the risk of touching the stuff is far too great for me, both from a health point of view and an alcohol dependence point of view. I know that one glass wouldn’t be one glass or even 1 bottle! I’d be back to square one. In the last 7 and a bit months my health has been really improving and I feel well. Better than I have in a long time. I’m now the weight I was at 21, and running 2 miles a day. Everyone who sees me that hasn’t seen me for a while just goes wow what a transformation. My skin is clear and no puffy red eyes. I’d be mad to jeopardise my health again having recovered to this point. I still have cirrhosis but I feel well. I’ve an alcohol support therapist working with me, which was part of my discharge package from hospital, he’s been fantastic and I really do owe him and the doctors and nurses who looked after me my life. Perhaps your GP could offer some advice on local services to him and make a referral. It really does help and will take a bit of the pressure off you too. Just a suggestion.

He is doing well with stopping booze. It would be a very bad idea for him to pick it up again, he will cause further damage. Feeling better after some sobriety doesn't mean he can start drinking again, he will be back in the hospital pretty quickly if he does.

mumof3girls profile image
mumof3girls in reply to Smegmer

Yes I agree

In my personal point of view puting him in the environment (cruise) where all what he used to do was siting in the sports bar is a major risk especially if he is already thinking about drinking. If he thinks about drinking it means he doesn't fully realize the seriousness of his situation. When my cousin was told that if he doesn't stop drinking he will die in a couple of months, he never even thought about touching this stuff. It gained him a few more years with his family. I think you should not underestimate the risks.

I have been on a couple of cruises since quiting and found it bloody hard not to indulge.Apart from the feeling of not getting our moneys worth from the all inclusive there's the fact that all around you people are getting pie eyed!

Also ALL the entertainment is centered around party atmosphere and there's masses of time to fill between stops.

A weeks boozing is probably going to knock a year off his life.

Worse still it WILL result in a long term relapse.

I know you have your own life to lead but if your drinking he has little hope of staying sober.

You said you feel you can't drink indoors and can't if you go out because your driving.

You don't have to be a full on alcoholic to have a drink problem.

If not drinking is stressful to YOU then there's certainly a problem lurking just around the corner.

Also have you checked the cost of his travel insurance?

It's probably costs more than the cruise if he declares decompensated cirrhosis!

Glenfaba123 profile image
Glenfaba123 in reply to Roy1955

I totally agree with you roy, a cruise is centred around a party atmosphere, where everyone's drinking and having a good time, i think it will push him over the edge and he'll relapse, the alcohol team my husband used to go to said to him a all inclusive holiday is a recipe for disaster for a alcoholic, i think it'll be a big mistake.

I agree with Roy 1955 and Margolia. I agree that you need a holiday, but my goodness I don't think going on a cruise is the answer. Don't you think you are testing him putting him in that environment. It's a bad idea, book another holiday but skip the all-inclusive. There is too much temptation for him at the moment so choose a different style of holiday.

I think it will be a big mistake to go on an all inclusive cruise, i would definitely change the holiday there's only one way this will go 🙈

Absolutely agree with you.

We are not going on an all inclusive cruise. My husband wanted to go on this trip, I was not sure about booking it, but he said he wanted to give it a go. The cruise we have chosen has four days off of the ship exploring Xmas markets.

I do not have a drink problem and never have. I have always been the sober one and the designated driver. I was just trying to be honest about how being married to an alcoholic has left me feeling. None of my girls drink either, as we have all seen what its like living with their alcoholic dad.

It is not a major issue but it does annoy me sometimes, that due to my husbands choices I now have restrictions put on my own life and choices. Maybe this was not the right forum for me to try and explain how I feel.

Cb1963 profile image
Cb1963 in reply to mumof3girls

I admire your honesty, and its difficult trying to give advice out, we are ALL DIFFERENT, and non of us can be sure of how life pans out, my mum still asks me even now after nearly tens years of being sober would I ever touch a drink again, its so difficult trying to reassure family members after them seeing us nearly destroy ourselves with drink, but we have to start somewhere without a drink. I keep on telling her I won't EVER do it again, and bless her she's 86, i think you should take the positive points from all the advice from the people on the forum, sometimes trying to explain how you feel can get lost in the initial conversation, so sometimes we feel like a broken record repeating ourselves.

My whole family have seen my utter destructive mode, and have seen the new person inside me, my personality has changed, my physical health has changed, and my whole outlook in life has a different outlook, its been a rollercoaster of a ride, but with determination, and help, and cherry picking information I have made the right choices in life, and I'm sure you and your family have the understanding of what is required to help your husband continue to his journey on being sober, so may I wish you my best wishes 😇

BetulaT profile image
BetulaT in reply to mumof3girls

I think this is the right forum to explain how you feel as we, the partners / carers, are on the same ride and how we feel matters. And you are allowed to feel annoyed that you have to put restrictions on your life.

I worry all the time about my husband's health and I also miss the person he used to be, the life we use to have... but sometimes I'm just annoyed that he put us in this position.

I hope I'm wrong but if your husband thinks he can drink on a cruise, even if you cancel it he might find another special occasion where he thinks it's ok to drink (if he's in that frame of mind). It's a tricky one! Hopefully he'll change his mind!

Take care x

A common thing that they tell people with addiction is to “play the tape forward “. Perhaps in these type of situations it would be helpful for you to do the same.

Put yourself there. What would it look like if say he did drink.

It would be a miserable trip honestly for both of you.

Often “the relapse happens before the relapse” ,

If he’s already fantasizing about drinking on the cruise he WILL.

I think would be best NOT TO GO

If its not all inclusive the first thing they will do is offer a drinks package.He will accept because even if he only has coke and you have a few cocktails a day its still cheaper and easier than charging it to your cabin.

Then it will be a shame not to make the most of it.

The choice of holiday is probably because of the booze.

Then there the gluwine that dominates the Christmas markets, got to give it a try, it's rude not too.

I have the same alcoholic mind as him!

Hi mumof3girls,

The good news is great - so happy for you both.

The not so good news is daunting. Have you considered calling the cruise line and seeing if they offer non-alcoholic beer & wine? My husband was hospialized in 2015 with liver & kidney failure. His doctor team told him that if he did not quit drinking he would end up back in the hospital and next time he would not be leaving. He quit on his hospital bed and has not had a drink of alcohol since. Of course, now we are dealing with lung cancer, but at least it is currently going ok.

Husband's liver doctor allowed him to start drinking non-alcoholic beer and he has stuck to that since. He says it works for him, not quite the same, but worth it. We do live in the US.

I wish I had some sage advice to give you that would help him see that falling off the wagon just puts him and his liver further behind on the recovery road. Of course you tell him that many of us with spouses who want to return to drinking want to smack them upside the head with a cast iron skillet - lightly, of course.

Wishing you the very best!

Mary

Hubby has been asking our 3 girls what their thoughts are on him having a drink on the cruise. They have all told him very clearly how they feel and that he would be reducing his life further, which could mean, he would not get to meet his next two grandchildren who are due 31/12/21 & 14/3/21.

In October we went to a family wedding, that hubby was dreading due to it being the first big social event since he gave up drinking in June21, when he was told he only had months left to live. I took with us various different sift drinks and I also took de-alcoholised wine and 4 0% bottles of beer, just in case. Hubby did not touch any of it and drank the soft drinks on offer at the wedding. His sister, nieces, nephews and family friends all told him how proud they were of him and how well he was looking since they last saw him. Hubby did not have any alcohol. When we got home Hubby said he found it easier than he thought he would.

Hubby is now saying that he thinks the cruise is his next big hurdle/test. He thinks it will be tough, but he wants to be able to go on holidays again. I think we just have to show Hubby that there is so much more to a holiday, than sitting in a bar drinking.

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