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    1. #1
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      Drinking again after cirrhosis

      Hi,
      I will try and keep this short, I am wondering if anyone else has experience of this.
      My Dad has always been a heavy drinker and was diagnosed last Summer with decompensated liver disease and very nearly died. He had his stomach drained 3 times, his sodium levels went dangerously low and he was really confused even a few months after coming out of hospital. He was too weak to walk or even be able to feed himself for months. He didn't drink for about 9 months and started to look really well. He then got a minor skin cancer which was removed. He also had gall stones but not big ones. He had severe all over itching and couldn't eat much at all as it made him sick. That got better about 6-8 weeks ago.

      He has started drinking again the last month. My Mum thinks on average about 2-3 pints a day and half to a bottle of wine. Some days a fair bit more. He can go from OK to very drunk all of a sudden which makes us wonder if he has some spirits stashed. The itching has come back a bit along with some stomach pains - not surprising. I guess we are just wondering what to expect now really. What will be the first signs of him getting sick again? Up until now his liver function tests and blood tests have been normal which must mean his liver massively regenerated and recovered, but we don't know to what extent. I imagine he will stop again when he gets ill which I expect is a given, but his liver can't keep mending itself can it? How long can it cope with this? He's not even 60 yet and clearly can't stay off drink.

      Anyone who's been here, please tell me what happened.

      Thanks x

    2. #2
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      Panno's Avatar

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      Drinking again after cirrhosis

      Hi Whathappens

      Sorry to hear you are having to go through this, it must be so hard. I'm no expert on this and can only tell you what I have read, the liver is the most forgiving organ in our body but also will not forget!! Whilst blood tests do show signs that the liver can be working it does not mean it is not struggling, only scans and biopsy can define the exact problem. Itchiness is very common for somebody whos liver is struggling. It is often termed as the silent killer. Even 1 drink after liver disease can cause fatality...like smoking nobody can tell when the last will kill you. I really wish I could have given you more comfort but its a very sad disease and your dad really needs to stop, thats the only way he will get better.

      Sending you much hope

      P :l

    3. #3
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      Drinking again after cirrhosis

      Hi whathappens. I know you posted this several days ago, but in case you are still reading, I wanted to just extend empathy for what you are going through. Alcohol is cunning, baffling and powerful indeed when we are willing to keep drinking and risk our very lives.

      Does your father want to stop? If he does, there is always hope. Maybe he would be willing to see an alcohol counselor or talk to his doctor about some help from meds or attend an AA meeting? If he does NOT want to stop, then that is more difficult. If a person is determined to keep drinking, even when it is obviously killing them, there is not much that can be done.

      He is blessed to have family who love him and stand by him. I hope he decides to try to stop.

      DG

    4. #4
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      Drinking again after cirrhosis

      Hello,

      This is the power of addiction. The reason your father is getting drunk on a relatively small amount is as a result of his liver being unable to break down the alcohol and therefore it is remaining in his bloodstream.

      He is , as I am sure you know, playing with his life and, unless he stops drinking, there can be only one outcome. My heart goes out to you and to your father. As a former alcoholic I think I can understand the torment he and all your family are going through.

      All the best,

    5. #5
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      Drinking again after cirrhosis

      Thanks for your replies. He said he wasn't drinking spirits but I know he is, I don't know if it's daily but apparently he's having 2 pints and 2 glasses of wine a day - that he admits to so it's likely to be more. He's still taking some of the medication that he was prescribed when he wasn't drinking and has gained quite alot of weight, nearly 2 stone but it's fat not fluid, and he only eats once a day. He doesn't seem to be getting ill though which I find incredible. How long can his body take this abuse? He doesn't care, he won't go to the Dr even to get his pills reviewed which must be dangerous but he won't admit to them he's drinking again.
      Is he likely to get sick like he did before, on his death bed literally or is he unlikely to get a second chance? I can't believe his liver is functioning so well still although he's getting stomach cramps and diarhoea(sp) and doesn't sleep well. I don't want my Mum to walk in one day and find him dead.
      Thanks x

    6. #6
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      Drinking again after cirrhosis

      Hi whathappens. I'm really sorry to hear that your Dad seems to be drinking still. My husband and I watched one of his brothers die of alcoholism - it's not pleasant.

      Here is an article that has some insights, and also a link to another blog if you want to read it. This might at least help you understand what is going on physcially and mentally with your Dad, and what the progression of this fatal disease really is.

      End-Stage Alcoholism: Linda's Immortal Alcoholic

      There is nothing you can do if he is unwilling to help himself. I know this isn't easy.

      :l

      DG

    7. #7
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      Drinking again after cirrhosis

      Doggygirl;1209592 wrote: Hi whathappens. I'm really sorry to hear that your Dad seems to be drinking still. My husband and I watched one of his brothers die of alcoholism - it's not pleasant.

      Here is an article that has some insights, and also a link to another blog if you want to read it. This might at least help you understand what is going on physcially and mentally with your Dad, and what the progression of this fatal disease really is.

      End-Stage Alcoholism: Linda's Immortal Alcoholic

      There is nothing you can do if he is unwilling to help himself. I know this isn't easy.

      :l

      DG
      Pretty damn scary link there Doggy, Thanks for that.

      Be well, B-45

    8. #8
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      Drinking again after cirrhosis

      Sometimes the liver enzymes do not rise when the liver is so badly damaged that it does not work any more. The liver tests show that the liver is working and trying to get rid of the poisons. When it is in complete cirrhosis, the liver enzymes don't mean anything anymore. I am sorry to say that the liver can only regenerate so much and only before the damage is permanent - a true diagnosis of cirrhosis is end stage and the liver will not regenerate.
      I am so sorry for what you and your family are going through...

    9. #9
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      Drinking again after cirrhosis

      Let him go

      Dear whathappens, I'm 55, with cirrhosis, ascites, edema, and encephalopathy.

      I drink half a litre of gin a day.

      It's my choice.

      Do you have the right to make him live another 20 years?

      No.

    10. #10
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      Drinking again after cirrhosis

      You've had a lot of input. Some good, some distressing. A friend of 50 years died last year because she just WOULDN'T stop, unless she was tied to a tube in the hospital. We can't make anyone live, there's no simple answer. You can only tell him often you love him, take care of him when he's sick, and offer every kind of help available. Like some you've heard from, it has to be a conscious decision to get better, live a good life, else we cannot change the outcome.
      For the first 53 years of his life, AL was prominent in my Daddy's life. He later admitted he was arrogant about his 'choice'. We continued to love him, care for him, after a combination of maladies caused irreparable damage. He lived 15 more years after the first onset, and never drank a drop. Also, he told me SO many times, 'I did this to myself. I never want this to happen to you'. Those last years were the best of our lives, save his medical problems. But he recognized the problem, and chose life. Still, we lost him too soon, at 68. I adored him, except when he was drunk. And he was a remarkable man in so many ways. I pray for you and your family, and that he will want to stay with you all a bit longer. It seems he has so much to live for. I didn't readily take his advice, but I do now.

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