Guest Article By: Laura
My husband has been diagnosed with Alcoholic Liver Disease/Cirrhosis for almost 2 years now and is at the end. Having fluid drained from his stomach every 3-5 days, 5 liters or more each time and now the hole from where it was last drained has been leaking fluid for days and he will do nothing about it. He has withered away to nothing, just bones and a huge stomach. He went to rehab and was sober for about 3 months and was on his way to prepare for a transplant and then gave up and started drinking. It is horrible to watch him go and horrible to live with the anger he has towards me. I have been in counseling for a year now and it helps and so does praying, but at the end of the day I feel so lost and alone. I cannot help him and the doctor told me to call hospice and get his final paperwork in order. I have not told him this because I guess I am in denial too. I still hope that he will change.I have no family and his family does not want to deal with it. I am lost and lonely, please offer any advise and prayers you can.
Guest Article By: Laura
With a brain injury, your brain cannot heal if you are drinking since it is making your brain work to hard. That is why I am so stressed about my husbands drinking, he will never recover fully if he keeps drinking.
Hi Amber – I totally agree with Ross, you need to get to an Al-Anon meeting, or personal counseling or something – I’m in a similar situation as you, my AH’s parents believe everything he tells them and nothing I tell him, and my AH is abusive on top of it which really makes things ugly; I often wonder if my AH is brain damaged and after 30 years of drinking it is inevitable .. I can totally empathize with you and will put you in my prayers – quit worrying about him and do what’s best for you . . he’s been doing this behind your back all these years – he doesn’t deserve your sympathy regardless of the brain injury; that’s his own fault not yours . . God bless . .
The brain is an amazing organ and can heal. The bleeding and swelling can be controlled by medications now to help the healing but NOT while drinking. First off since you know he’s driving while under influence and maybe your children are with him–please put all car keys under lock and key–Do Not Allow One of your children to be next with a brain injury or worse. Please get the safety issue under control immediately and then seek counseling. May God Bless!
Amber, You are NOT CRAZY or loosing it. Its your husband and soon his family will see its not you but him. My brother fell all the time injuring himself with gashes and cuts, bruises, He hit his head from blacking out so much that my nephews had to keep an eye out for him cuz he lived alone. It was sad and horrible he had to deal with this alone. But, when he started getting worst like your husband he was in total denial, They do that and they hide evidence. They also use food and breath mints to mask smell.
We didnt know then but when he was falling from blacking out that is ammonia levels in his body built up which means his liver isnt functioning correctly it is damaged from all the drinking. If your liver is not functioning well the foods you eat your liver goes threw detox. processes and breaks down everything. If it cant your body gets toxic full of waste from the liver not able to filter it and clean the blood then ammonia starts building in the bloodstream causing “Ceph” which can make them erratic, unstable, violent. hallucinations, seeing things like my brother though his nephews wreaked his truck when no one was driving it. Its been sitting for the last month and 1/2. Then coma if Lacuclous is not given for the ammonia release.
I’m so sorry Amber, but I see where this is going for you. I don’t want you to be scared. Your husband is in denial and thinks he has no A problem and will make you look like the nag and bad guy. You are not.
Hang in there and tell us what happens hun, ok b/c I want to help you threw this. I wish someone would of told me all this and step by step how it plays out. I want to help people cuz I went threw it. One A ( Alcoholic ) forum the ppl were begging on there for help, advice, questions, answers, so on…not one person answered and my heart just ached for them. I cried while reading them looking for my own answers and was in fear for my brother, I was in a panic state. Relax take a deep breath. This is the beginning and I feel so bad for you as I see it all ending up the same with every posts I read. Its like the shot gun theory Debbi mentioned above, which is a good analogy on what takes place. My brothers was the rifle where it spread and afflicted his whole body not just one part or two but its like a domino effect. Hang in there please and find out all you can from his Drs b/c they will tell you like it is and not lie to you if you tell Drs you want to know everything on what they find and what it means.Your husband will fight you tooth and nail b/c he doesnt have a drinking problem, hes fine sereno. But, you know and see different, I also had a alcoholic husband, father, grandmother, grandpa, on down the line. There is such a thing as I mentioned an alcohol gene that is passed onto families, especially fathers to sons. Is/was his father a alcoholic?
You are doing the right thing, also your girls are seeing this to, tell your husband what hes doing to his girls and they are watching him. Theres not much you can do to keep them from seeing this deteriorating down fall. In your mind you need to prepare yourself so you can be there for him and your girls. Hide your purse, keep watch when you can. Do whats best for you and your girls. Keep yourself healthy and cared for your daughters need you and your husband will only get worse. I was in so much denial. He’ll quit drinking, he’ll get better and yes my dear it very scary and you cant seem to phantom the idea of having to go threw this, what we all have gone threw. I feel for you and feel your pain.
I remember just 4 weeks ago I was panicking and seeking answers, finding all those horror stories I read, my heart sank. What!?
OMGoodness, I thought how can that be. My poor brother if he only knew or would face it. He did face it but it all took place just like the DR said it would.
Keep your chin up, dont let his family blame you. You did not put the bottle in his hand and force him. Don’t bother to confront him it does no good but to get you upset and stressed out. Listen to him talk, let him know, print out some articles on Alcohol Cirrhosis of the liver, like some ppl have done with there loved ones. Read it to him, then keep it by him. He wont read it front of you but he will read it.
Trust me when you feel alone, please know that there are millions of us out there that are going threw, or will be, the same thing with our A’s,. you are NOT alone and your battle is not alone there are Alanon groups, this forum for ppl that will help you and talk with you, write your concerns, fears, whats going on we want to know for you and maybe we can help find answers and bring some comfort to your troubled heart. There will be times when you dont feel like writing on here and just become to weary. But, you will want to write in time it will make you feel better, even just to talk/type it all out where you know someone will be reading it.
Its very sad that I know so much about all this Iv’e lived with alcoholic family members all my life I can write a book on it.
Im wondering why along with many others WHY they dont do more research on this dreadful disease, why it effects some and other can drink into a Bolivian and not have liver damage at all!
Im like you I had no idea or was not educated on this disease until my beloved Brother, R.I.P. I just lost him Monday. ( August 26 )
Im so sad and grieving wondering why this and why that.
The worst part for me in the beginning of all this was my denial. He’ll get better. I will pray him better, I will do this and do that.
Prepare yourself and know that if he is in this stage it wont get any better,cirrhosis of the liver is a irreversible disease. I wrote about that as well. Im so sorry to paint you a grim picture but, I just want to be honest with you. With his brain injury and him drinking he will just worse. Ask God to help your husband, he will he did my brother. He woke my brother up from a coma he went into from a high ammonia level that most ppl do not wake up from. The ammonia went to his brain that why he went into a Hepatic coma.
Im sure you read my story above. God woke him up for us to spend time with him and say our good-byes. I didn’t know it then August 6th but I am glad I got to see him and talk to him before he passed, tell him I love him….. Thank you Lord! I will never be the same, I still cant believe hes gone.
God Bless you and I am thinking of you and praying for you. Sending hugs to you and your girls.
Hi Amber, How are you doing and how is your husband, haven’t heard from you for a couple of days, Hope everything is ok.
Sending hugs and prayers to you and your hubby and girls.
God bless you and I’m truly sorry for your pain and what your going threw. Take care
Thank you for all your posts. And yes Julie I did read your story and I was the one who thanked you for reminding me my husband is not the villain the disease is. Bryan is the neatest man I have ever known and everyone who knows him feel the same. That is why he was able to hide his disease for so long. He is loyal, he will do anything for anyone to a fault, he is so smart, if he doesn’t know something, he will learn. He has been drinking since he has been home from the hospital because I saw charges for the same amount in our account that I would see before the accident at our local convenient store. If it was $16 dollars I thought it was a burrito, pop, chew and some kind of snack. If it was $11, I thought it was every thing except chew. I just thought he got the exact same thing every time. Instead one was a case of Busch light and the other was an 18 pack. I wasn’t in denial, he is such a good man I didn’t have any reason not to believe him, I would’ve never dreamed it was in his nature to lie, now that is all he does. I tried ala non but the meeting I went to, all they did was read and I was trying to ask questions and try to find out other stories I wanted to share my story and I couldn’t stop crying because I was desperate for answers. Then this lady told me ” you will eventually get your whole story out in time, and eventually you will hear our story, but if it is ok with every one else I think we should continue reading.” I was so embarrassed and humiliated I wanted to run out of the room. Ala non was not what I expected. I need answers and know how to live with my husband who I know now to be an alcoholic. I feel so blessed to find this web site it has helped me greatly. I love my husband, I do not want a separation, I will take him brain injury and all. I almost lost him many times. When he was in ICU I had to stomach the nerve just to look at him because my heart ached for him how much pain he was going through at that moment, and agony he must have been living with for years because I know how much he loves me and I do not drink and I didn’t think he needed to so it had to kill him with every sip he’d take and that he would’ve done anything to quit. Then I watch him in ICU swollen from detoxing, machines helping him to breath then I was with him the first time they took the ventilator off, he couldn’t breath on his own, his veins in his neck looked like they were going to burst, his whole body was red, and he just couldn’t breath on his own. They tried 2 other times and almost lost him. But the 3rd time he made it but it wasn’t over then he had to battle the brain injury. Then watching him go from moving his eyes and you would ask yourself, I think he made eye contact with me. Or the 1st time I saw his typical look that he gave the therapist when she asked if it was the year 2013, he shook his head like “yes but you are the idiot asking” because he couldn’t speak at the time. He went from a newborn baby to a knotty toddler, then he went thru this stage where he would throw raging fits, fighting and getting physical with the nurses trying to destroy the machines breaking the bed. At the clinic they do not believe in restraining but at times they had to because he was so strong. I didn’t feel frustrated seeing all that I was seeing. What I saw was little miracles going from stage to stage because that meant he was recovering. Going from ICU unable to breath on his own then watching him try to unhook himself from the wheel chair to walk and fighting to become whole again I saw him succeed with baby steps, he is a great fighter. I can’t believe that this disease will be able to take his life because all I have seen is him fight. My family wants me to leave him until he gets help. It will do no good because all that will happen, his family will think I am a horrible person for leaving him and feed him with toxic hate. I need his family to be supportive of my decision so they can be there for him to tell him he needs to go to rehab and get better so he can get back with his family. The one thing Bryan loves most of all is to all of us with his family together. But I told him as long as he is lying to them and making me out to be the crazy one I will be no part of his family. I have turned to his family so many times but they quit answering my calls or texts and they told him to tell me to leave them alone about him drinking. He wanted me to meet his brothers girlfriend, when they were here I stayed in my room. He asked if I would come out and I said I can’t and he respected that because he knows. Everyone in our community were shocked when they found out Bryan was an alcoholic. I got a overwhelming support from our church and residents. I know they care but it is like our family secret is out there. The sheriff has been here 3 times to try to get Bryan under control, I needed someone with authority to calm him down. I never called them because I was afraid he would physically harm me or my girls. This isn’t who we are in the community. I have distance myself from all my friends. Now I feel like I do not fit in and I do not know what to talk about. One of my friends called me because her husband thought Bryan was driving under the influence. That is one night that I had to call the sheriff because I confronted him on giving me the keys and that he couldn’t drive anymore. He would not stop ranting and raving, it could go on for hours. That is not the Bryan I knew before the accident. Nothing ever got him upset before, it took a lot to get him upset. Every summer the girls and I spend it at the pool and I hang out with all my “pool friends”. This year I was there only one time and that was to drop off my daughters snack money. I saw my friends sitting there in the exact same spot where we would always sit. I said hello how are you guys and that was it. Every summer right before school starts I am on edge to find out if my girls would get the teacher I requested, I had stresses that I thought would be he end of the world. This year my stresses could be life threatening. Thanks for reading this, just writing about what I am experiencing is very therapeutic. And I appreciate all your responses. Thank you.
I fully understand the reason you are staying. If I left my spouse under those circumstances the guilt would be overwhelming. But you need an outlet. I had the same issue when I went to Al Anon–I found better success sitting in on open AA meetings and talking to some of members who had been in recovery for many years, they gave me more insight than I ever received in Al Anon. It is in the AA meeting I obtained a sponsor (the wife of man in the AA). He put me in touch with her and her help was tremendous and it stayed just between us. See if there is an open AA meeting you can attend. If your one friend called you because she saw him driving intoxicated, you need to reach out to this friend. It seems to me she is concerned for his safety. Don’t close out all your friends. Be selective with one or two who you can confide in but you need to talk to someone. The stress is starting to overwhelm you. You are in my thoughts.
I tried reaching out to her. Have you ever opened up to someone and you talk but they never answer. She doesn’t want to here my sad story. She was there for me when Bryan had his accident, and her husband would visit him, took care of my kids. Her and 3 of my friends had a fundraiser for our family. But now she has distance herself. Her husband is the fire cheif and they do not want to get messed up with a family where the sheriff has visited 3 times. So I guess she wasn’t as a good of a friend as I thought. My 2 other friends husbands would sit around and drink with Bryan, and my other friend her and my daughter are best friends and we are friends but our husbands are not. And she is so busy she has 2 kids under 2 and she moved into the city. So I have distance myself from my close friends. Besides they do not want to hear my problems. Despite Bryan’s drinking we have a very happy home. All four of us love to be together. Bryan and I are very close and we use to tell each other everything. Well I thought we did, I always told him everything but he lied to me about everything. When I find out he has drank since after the accident, I will cry. And he will ask what is wrong? I will tell him I can’t tell you, and he would say you can tell me anything. I just say, I can’t tell you about this. He use to be my rock. I was weak but he was my strength. If I ever worried or stress or was just sad, he would pick me up. But now I have had to dig deep and find my own strength. And I feel I have. I do not sleep all day and depressed and do nothing. Like I always I am up at 5:00 showered before the sun comes up and excited start the day. I take care of the house, our dog, shuffle the kids around. I am not depressed at all, I am stressed, and I only get sad when Bryan drinks. It is hard to be sad with so much love in our home. Bryan is such a gentle soul. I do not think he has ever told me no. He loves his 3 girls. When the girls are physically or emotionally hurt you can see the hurt in his face. We just had a heart to heart about his drinking again. I tell him there is nothing to be ashamed of and I won’t be mad. There are moments I want to believe him. But I just politely tell him I know. There is no fight about it. The only time we would fight is when he 1st came home and he was drinking and I would confront him about it. But I learned to quit doing that. Neither of us like to fight. I never called the sheriff because we were fighting or I was afraid Bryan would physically harm us. He was going to drive all three times and I couldn’t calm him down. And I have thought about going to AA. Bryan has a past co worker that would visit him when he was recovering and I have reached out to her when I sent Bryan to detox and I was afraid to pick him up because that would’ve caused a fight. But his brother picked him up. Bryan was very mad about me sending him to detox, but all he did was open the bedroom door, gave me an ugly stair then left. Nothing else was ever said. It takes a lot to get Bryan mad. The reason I talk about Bryan and our life because I want you to know, it is not bad in our home. He is the neatest man I have ever met. And his drinking has never held him back, from a job, or any activites and doing things with me and the girls. That is why he was able to hide it so well. I have a question for whoever is reading this. Is he a typical alcoholic because I have never known an alcoholic. When I think of an alcoholic it is nothing like him. It has been almost 5 months since the accident and I am still living in disbelief. There was never alcohol when I was growing up. I never drank in high school, go to any parties. I went through a phase when I turned 21. But I had to many other things going on to party all the time. I have so many questions.
Amber. your posts touched my heart. I know your dealing with so much right now. Keep praying for your husband, you and your girls. Have faith, keep doing what your doing. I know its hard to get the support you need and figuring things out and you will. Its a process. Sounds like you really love your husband I know you want him to get better but also know the reality of it and be prepared for anything at this point. Educate yourself to this disease and keep going with him to his Dr. apps, ask his Dr questions, and get answers.
I hope everything works out for you and your family. I’m praying for you and your Husband. God Bless. Sending thought and hugs. Ttyl
Laura, we havent heard from you, How are you and how is your husband?