My 38 year old brother has been a raging alcoholic for about 20 years. I am the only one in my family that saw it at all, and have been totally demonized each time I try to broach the subject.
Sadly, he has no family, no GF, no local true friends, and no job. Our mom has been supporting him 100% for a very long time - rent, groceries, booze, cell phone, car, laundry, cooking, pocket money, internet, and on and on and on. My brother just sat there taking and taking and taking from our mother. And she let him, despite my pleadings that she open her eyes! In fact, he lived with her for two years, up until December, mooching and mooching. She did not leave her house at all while he lived there, saying she was afraid to leave him alone. My response: MOM, IF YOU ARE AFRAID TO LEAVE HIM AT HOME ALONE, THIS IS A MEDICAL EMERGENCY - TAKE HIM TO A DOCTOR, GET HIS LIVER CHECKED, MAKE HIM GO TO AA, SIGN HIM UP WITH A THERAPIST - FOR GOD'S SAKE, DO SOMETHING! AND FOR THE LOVE OF GOD STOP BUYING HIM BOOZE! Of course, this totally backfired with my mom totally resisting and being angry at me for saying such things.
Last month, he was taken to the hospital, vomiting and pooping blood, had 13 liters of fluid siphoned off, followed by another 11 liters two weeks later. His legs and feet are totally swollen. He has spider veins on his skin and bruises all over. He is severely jaundiced - even to his eyes. He's battled fevers. His hands cramp into contractures. He was getting plasma injections. He is confused, disoriented, angry, and lashing out. Sometimes he's relatively lucid, but it comes and goes. He hallucinates about bugs that aren't there and was seen having a conversation with the wall. Though discharge does come up, it seems to be followed by some medical change that takes it off the table.
He was advised that the only way he could survive, of course, was to stay sober, and that someone with his history needs in-house rehab. Well, he thinks that's just stupid and that the people telling him this don't know what we're talking about. Indignant to the core, he is offended by it.
His solution (assuming he makes it out of the hospital at all) is to move back to his apartment, live alone, feed himself, take care of himself, drive himself to various doctor's appointments, and live happily ever after. It is so sad, but his vision is such a pipe dream. He just can't get there without some real treatment in between.
He can't even go to the lobby in the hospital without needing at least three breaks. He has a sign on his door that he's a fall risk. He falls asleep on himself all the time - often mid-sentence, he has no license due to his handful of dui's, he has no support there whatsoever other than a few new drinkin buddies. It is so deeply sad.
He is such a sick man - chronically and acutely, mentally and physically. I see his decision as ultimately meaning that he'll be dead in a couple of weeks. Even setting aside the reality of returning to the sauce, he's just not able to care for himself, to monitor his health, to remember medications, to get to the doctor, to grocery shop, to feed himself, etc. It is so incredibly heartbreaking, but I think he has alcoholic demintia and this is where his "plan" finds its root. It is not objectively realistic at all.
My mom has finally opened her eyes to the reality of his alcoholism which is actually has been an amazing transformation. She is crushed at his demise, at her unbelievably strong denial, and at her clear contributions to his self-destruction.
Please please please give me some guidance if you have any. I've read everything I can get my hands on, but still feel like I'm in a vacuum.
Last edited by YTREWQ; 06-10-2011 at 12:18 PM.
The following user gives a hug of support to YTREWQ: Benny A (06-17-2011)
i am so sorry that alcoholism has ravaged your family too. it IS one HELL of a really sick disease that the alcoholic will deny to their death,'i don't have a problem'. while their whole world is crumbling down around their ears. unfortuently for your brother, and where he is at, way past portal hypertension(and passing into much deeper more critical stages) hence the vomiting of blood and also having it in his stool too, he would have to remain totally sober for i believe now it is actually only 6 months in order to even be 'placed' on anyones transplant list(it used to be one year, but UNOS,the governing body of all Txs in the USA changed it). or they will never ever allow him another liver to drink thru if he has not gotten the help he needs to take the alcohol totally and completely out of his life. and then STAYS sober.
the one and only thing you do have in your favor right now is that his 'dementia' that is in reality created alot too from just having a wayy too high ammonia level along with the brain damage he has too, you may be able to get some leverage here to 'force" certain restrictions and or conditions on him since he simply cannot make life or death decisions for himself right now? but this seriously is sounding alot like end stage liver failure to me from everything you stated here unfortuently. have they done what is called the TIPS procedure on him to reroute his bloodflow that used to flow thru his portal vein but cannot anymore? the thing about once he hit portal hypertension from no flow, his ammonia that is normally cleared thru that P vein as it simply passes thru it, can't anymore. so that blood backs up and does generate the varices in the throat and much more intracrainial pressure too since everything that 'should be' flowing down, no longer can so it goes backwards. the ammonia really does start impacting the brain with mental cloudiness generated by losing certain brain chemicals and needed synapses from certain neurons to others too. it, ammonia alone can create ALOT of mental issues, then you combine what IS direct brain cell damage within mostly that cerebellum(balance is also governed in that cerebellum too) where alcohol hits and creates that 'drunk' and it is a mental nightmare to deal with.
the TIPS procedure was also done on my son at age 12 when he actually presented in portal hypertension from a sick liver disease we did not even know he had. while this wont clear ammonia which is by the way generated whenever we eat ANY protien at all, but for some reason, red meats are the worst creator of protien, it WILL reroute the blood itself by creating another way(it uses a good vein in the liver that they snake a stent into) for it to travel down and finally relieve that P hypertension that IS what is generating the varices he has in his throat and stomach to break and then bleed out from that much much higher pressure that veins are not made to even carry like arteries do? veins just ARE very fragile. but they can also use a liquid med too which they probably already are called lactulose that simply genrates much looser stools to the intestinal walls are not absorbing as much ammonia that would also be in his stools too?
if you yourself can actually gain some level of power here over his decision making, it would help alot right now. he simply cannot make 'informed' decisions on the level he HAS to, and that can have deathly consequences as you are hearing from him right now. he is not at all even being realistic in his actual expectations for what he 'appears' to even think is coming here for him if he does not get rid of the alcohol and get placed into a good facility where he can recieve treatment. but that even getting to the "treatment for alcoholism' truely depends upon his overall condition and how his body is still functioning overall too.
unfortuently when you even have an alcoholic there IS going to be consequences, BUT placing a total enabler who i seriously do feel was totally in denial here but on some level also knew what was going on too, along WITH the alcoholic, it seriously gets wayyy out of hand in almost every way. its the way moms sometimes handle when things start turning to crap in their children. you simply do NOT want to even begin to believe that your child, no matter the age, is in THAT bad of a situation. its gutwrenching to watch as a mom who carried and gave birth to that child, trust me.
i hope things CAN get better for your brother YT. but DO tery and find out for me exactly what his overall status is per the docs and what the docs are feeling about his overall condition too. it would help me to try and help you in all the best ways right now. i am sooo very sorry that your brother succumbed to alcoholism at all. it is one of the sickest diseases out there that once it takes its hold on a person is soo very hard to stop. and having an enabler there just as you already know, did not help. i really think your mom seriously felt that this was somehow her 'duty' to him or something? and like i said before, that being in denial crap will and can so completely change how YOU see things very realistically vs the person who will not decide to see it, mostly becasue it is soo very painful to do.
unbeliveably, one of my husbands childhood friends whos mom and dad both were alcoholics actually 'caused' his friends alcoholism by giving his friend alcohol from time to time when this kid was ONLY a kid. so natually he grew up into and being a total alcoholic too. but was one of the sweetest/nicest people in the world. he died at age 26 yrs FROM of course cirrhosis IN portal hypertension which back then they did not have the TIPS procedure availiable so alcoholics even 'could' go that one year with total sobriety so they just died IN the very same stage my son first presented in, portal hypertension. it was rather ironic and very insane that the two stages were how they were in hubbys friend and how becasue of the past alcoholics who died from it, that TIPS actually saved my sons life. that TIPS would probably not even have been invented if alcoholics had not died while trying and some actually succeding in complete/total sobriety just to even "try' to obtain the chance at a Tx, just not 'long' enough time. its just a really ugly situation that i do hope for your familys sake has a good outcome. please let me know how things are going YT.marcia
11-20-01,placement of hardware for failed fusion
9-22-03,removal of cavernous hemangioma that was inside spinal cord. Neuro damage to L hand L leg and R leg.
I can't thank you enough for your thoughtful and thorough reply! Truly.
I do not believe he had the TIPS procedure but can't be sure. Though my mother has opened her eyes to some degree, she does not ask any questions. I know he is having serious clotting problems, so my guess is that they haven't done any cutting procedures (liver biopsy, TIPS, etc.)
I've been on the full-force research mode trying to fill the gaps left by my mother's passivity. I had my father to call the doctor and get some actual facts. I got two of the three numbers that make up the Childs-Pugh score. Basically he's pretty well into Class C. My mom just doesn't want to know and in some ways I can't blame her.
I was finally able to talk to the social worker at the hospital and explained the actual picture of what he would be returning to - just him, alone in his apartment trying to care for himself. I explained that I know he is entitled to make really stupid decisions, as we all are, but that it is much easier to digest a stupid decision made by a sound mind than a stupid decision made by an impaired one. She said that he was legally competent, so really there is nothing to do to force the issue. She did hear my suggestion of trying to transfer him to a skilled nursing facility for a while so that he will at least be physically safe. Then he could conceivably go on his own. I also asked about setting up home care for him so that there is at least one sensible person checking on him every day - reminding him to take his medicine, making sure he is alive, etc.
He was hallucinating about bugs that weren't there, and a nurse found him talking to the wall about them. I know it's probably the ammonia, though he could still be detoxing too.
My mom desperately needs my support right now. I cannot imagine the guilt that has come with her eye-opening. I know it is all my brother's and alcoholism's fault, but I cannot help being bitterly angry with her complicity.
P.S. I'm so glad TIPS was there for your dear son. I am thankful that there are alcoholics in the world who paved the way to that resolution for your family. At least they served someone, if not themselves or their families.
YT, i am glad you understand just where your mom really is here. while i KNOW you have anger, when someone, esp a mom who simply loves their child and cannot think outside the box at the much 'bigger picture' keeps doing for their child, in 'her mind' she was just trying to help, not harm. believe me, you have MORE than a right to your feelings under these circumstances(esp since you did try, but someone also HAS to be willing to listen too. at least YOU KNOW you did all you could do), but this IS all sinking into your moms mind and heart and soul right now(this is why she does not ask the hard questions and YOU really need to step in as the 'go to person' right now for him, and not her as much as you possibly can), and there is NOTHING you could say or do right now to her that would make her truely 'feel' the impact she KNOWS she played a part in, and that IS her own guilt and hell she is living with right now too, ya know what i mean?
if he is recieving repeated bandings then he has not yet had a TIPS done to help take that very high pressure off from everything that is basically within and above his thorasic level. he is obviously currently living with very little if any real bloodflow thru that critical P vein and also not clearing ammonia well either. i am just shocked that ANY actual social worker could talk with him while he is seeing things and living a totally different unrealistic life inside his head here and think at ALL that he is even CLOSE to being in his 'right mind' enough to make good solid decisions here. i would ask that social worker if you can track her down just exactly what in gods name she is using to determine "overall legal comptency" in this type of situation??? while detoxing from alcohol would generate some level of hallucinations(i would think at three weeks the major part of the hallucinations FROM just the alcohol WD would have subsided. but there are other 'things' goin on too), there is also a very definite bulidup of toxic crap going on inside his body too at this point that is REALLY impairing his overall judgement as well. how well are his actual kidneys functioning right now? that too is being impacted and somewhat overwhelmed at at the very least his 'filtering level' that would be his GFR numbers on his labs. while that TIPS will not bring down his ammonia(like i mentioned above, "lactulose" is what will do that the best right now) it will get rid of the heavy bleeding he is having when the varices keep breaking FROM that backed up blood and much heavier pressure he is suffering. has ANY doc ever mentioned this procedure as an option? if not, bring it up yourself.
to me, when my sons docs even mentioned to us that we would have to keep bringing our son back to what was the U of MN over and over for repeated bandings when the varices decided to break/bleed, and there ARE alot of venous vessels that can become involved here, i honestly thought of this as some kind of barbaric torture that would be 'inflicted' upon my 12 yr old child. so when we showed up the first morning they were going to do the first round of sick bandings(and believe me i did not sleep at all the night before) and he was still sleeping and not being prepped for procedure when we got there at like 6-7 am with the procedure to be done around 8 am, i asked the nurse what the deal was and she mentioned his GI team had decided they were going to be trying something new on him. he actually was the very first ped patient at the U of MN to ever even have that TIPS done. and it made soo many things just 'go away" almost immediately. i really was amazed at what that one procedure did for him. he was actually able to back to school too after a few more days in the hosp and some time at home still. but this IS the only procedure that does take way that more immediate lifethreat of the higher overall 'pressures' within the GI on upwards and also should also stop the bleeds too so no more bandings should be needed either. then you just seriously watch the amount of protein he takes in and uses that lactulose daily as scheduled so the BMs just move much more loosely and quickly out of his body and try like heck to stay away from the protien, esp like i mentioned before, in red meats. its just very basic, the more protien he eats, that much higher that ammonia level becomes.
but, the bigger thing here, if he actually CAN stop drinking(hopefully) and wants to live, that TIPS allows him, as long as he stays totally sober, the needed "time" OF sobriety proven so he CAN even be placed on the tx list at all. and like i mentioned before, this procedure was specifically invented FOR this intent overall in the very first place. it allows that precious and required 'time' to prove sobriety before they will even consider a transplant on anyone whos liver failure is generated by alcolhol use alone.
but i, like you, am just totally freaked out at this socal worker and 'her impression' of him, seriously. has he actually had ANY types of more 'REAL" cognative testing done that would tell much more about his overall decision making right now? it just seems crazy to me that they would even THINK he is a 'safe" candidate to leave that hosp, and attempt to go home and not have any major issues with many different parts of his overall care. it IS alot to stay on top of even just for the caregiver of someone in his stage, let alone HIM alone trying to manage this?? believe me YT, been there done that and soo much is simply depending upon how and when or if he even take his meds and making CERTAIN that he does NOT start drinking at all or he will be soo screwed. he seriously needs to go directly FROM that hosp and into a good inpatient alcohol treatment program for ANY hope at all in saving his own life. if that does not happen and he goes directly somewhere else where alcohol is just so much more accessable(even thru his stupid alcoholic buddies who could easily bring it to him if not 'in' a more confined place) and without alcohol treatment, it will not take him long to fall back into the same crap that got his where he is now. its just the true nature OF alcoholism itself.
he NEEDS to kind of be 'protected from himself' at this point, ya know what i mean? and the very BEST way to do that would be to hopefully gain at least "some" power over his decisions. he IS dealing with a disease here that also robs any person of their own decision making and what is the right and wrong things to do here at all, esp when he IS in that stage he is in. when ANY actual 'disease' is robbing someone of their own sanity and also HAS most definitely created a very certain level of real brain damage from the "disease' along with what they already KNOW higher levels of ammonia does, well geez, what the hell are they thinking here? just finding out what his overall kidney function is too here would help you in gaining a bit more leverage if that GFR is at all below 60 and his creatinine is out of the top of the norm which i believe off hand here is 1.3? our BMs and the urine are the only true ways we have in our bodies to truely expell toxic crap. and when these organ functions are not up to par, the toxins simply do not get filtered or let out in any real way so they continue to constantly recirculate in the blood and impair esp the overall brain functions, so this DOES impact his overall ability to even think clearly too and when adding in the higher ammonia, well...
the one thing we had to place our son on since HIS clotting factors were pretty crappy, which also DOES make the varcieal bleeds a much more impactful possible lifethreat too, was supplimental 'K" or 'mephyton'(sp?). it is just vitamen K that DOES help with retaining and creating more clotting factors in the event of the bleeds he has? it can/does help. if he is not already on this for some reason, he really should be.
i truely wish i could be of more real help top you YT, since i DO know the horrid nature of what you are all going thru right now. but soo much of how this is going to even play out is unfortuently more up to HIM and how he 'decides" things. one other thing here is most alcoholics ARE also pretty highly depressed as well and also addicts too. its kind of part of the 'whys' they even numb themselves continually with some type of "substance" as well? it takes them 'away' from everythuing they do not then have to think about(their life, their overall situation, feeling like a total failure). if he IS also depressed, that too will impact how his thinking just can be as well(higher risk of more suicidal tendencies/thoughts). so DO find out if this IS also part of his overall medical situation cuz if he has decided he would be better off dead right now, he will lose big time, ya know? i seriously do hope he will decide life IS worth getting his crap together and fight to live. but he also HAS TO feel that he actually HAS something good and positive TO live for too or he can easily just give up, or when released, go back to where he was. i am so sorry you and your family are even having to deal with this particular type of gruesome crap in a member of your family YT. i will hope and pray that he comes around to a more positive mindset and want to be here. just DO try and be there for your mom too. trust me YT, you could NOT possibly say anything to her that could make her feel any worse about this whole situation than she IS alrteady doing to herself in having allowed this to just go for as long as it even did. she IS also suffering from some VERY deep guilt. just becasue she 'appears' to be in denial, by no means she is not feeling things on the inside that i KNOW are eating her alive right now just seeing her 'child' even in this situation that she enabled FOR him. its a very heartbreaking situation for all of you. please do let me know how things are going YT, K? hang in there hon, marcia
11-20-01,placement of hardware for failed fusion
9-22-03,removal of cavernous hemangioma that was inside spinal cord. Neuro damage to L hand L leg and R leg.
Dear FeelBad. Thank you so much for all of your thoughts.
What a total mess.
I really don't have much actual sway. I've been estranged from my dear drunken brother for eleven years. I believe that he has truly hated me all this time. I don't think my presence could possibly do any good to the situation. Thus, I am trying to orchestrate something from behind the scenes: supporting my mom, having my dad call the hospital to get actual information, doing research, calling the social worker, trying to make him helping himself possible, etc. The doctors won't talk to me b/c my brother would go through the roof (!) if I even tried. This hidden stuff is all I can do.
I will try to find out about TIPS and the other things you mentioned. (I already asked my mom to try to arrange a neuro-psych eval, but she didn't follow-up with it.) There is a point, though, where the professionals just need to do their jobs and my bro can either take their advice or give it the finger.
I do believe he is legally competent - not competent in the actual sense of the word, but legally so. He can understand and follow instructions and can communicate his wishes and needs, etc. No doubt he is severely impaired in a lot of ways, but he does have regular lucid times, though they are short-lived. Also, there is no legal avenue to have him held against his will since he is not - again strictly legally speaking - a danger to himself or others. I know - he is absolutely a danger to himself in the true meaning of the phrase, but not in the legal meaning.
Poor guy is his own worst enemy. And there doesn't seem to be a way to save him from himself other than telling him he needs to go to rehab or he is a dead man in no time, stopping all financial support so rehab looks like the best option, celebrating every day he goes without a drink, and telling him that we support him having a sober future and some semblance of a decent life with meaningful connections to other people. He has lost so much.
I pray for him. I hope he at least tries. I hope I hope I hope.
My brother was released from the hospital yesterday. My mother took him home . . . again. She had a few days of clarity during his one-month hospitalization, but when it came down to it, she couldn't resist scooping him up again. Ugh. He was so close to going to rehab! If she had stood her ground, he might have just done it. Now he and my mom are right back where they were before he was hospitalized. I am so angry at her. I feel like she robbed him, again, of the opportunity to actually hit rock bottom and get himself some help. I want to close this book. I know it will end disastrously.
sorry i didn't get back to you right away YT, been having some family medical issues here. things seem stable now tho, thank god.
ya know, my siter(my only sibling) and i are kind of the very same way you and your brother are as far as the resentment and i swear to god, our mom always always HAD TO get into my sisters life and fullfill ALL her little expectations while growing up as well(started actually when she was like a toddler and taking 'commands from a child? really insane). and forcing ME to give in and give up FOR her as well(or mega tantrums would always result). so now we have an adult(around 50) who just seems to think that if you did not simply 'do' what is in her head how something should be as in meeting HER level of expectations, you have 'done' something TO her? my mother started this, but fortunetly now actually sees what SHE created. so at least NOW(thankfully), my mom and i have a really great relationship that i never had as a kid or teenager either(not even CLOSE). and she has been there for me as i have had to deal with one medical nightmare after another(my sister chose not to), which started with my youngest sons 'suprise' liver failure then tx. although, she DID manage to be there some for THAT nightmare(trust me, my mom and i were stunned), i really don't know if it was out of guilt for the way she chose to treat her own nephews(not great) and of course me, or she really wanted to help? but after that, she took herself "out" of any other crappy situations that we kept finding as medical insanity inside my body. my last ten years have been totally sick and my son has also been hit with just unbelivable medical crap as well. if she does not 'aknowlegde it, its not real to her?
i DO think this is where your mom actually is too, and continuing to simply 'do' what she 'knows/has known" esp as a mom has been the 'normal' as far as your brother goes, very sadly of course.
i honestly think that in HER mind here, she feels she is truely actually 'doing something for him' in her very own and very sick way? its just actually aknowledging that her son is dying is simply too much, and i am certain she is really feeling her level of guilt and complicity in the enabling too(despite what you may see or think about her.when she is all alone, she IS thinking about her enabling.). as a mom, i can see 'how' she would do this, but it really sounds to me that 'she' has her own possible depression and issues too in her own head that she either has never dealt with or it is too scarey to go there and esp NOW deal with 'her' own reality of this huge situation she helped create for many years? simply even doing what would be the 'right things' here by her for your brother, i think in her mind is simply 'too much to handle' so she goes right back into her' mothering nurturing role instead(and old behaviors only because there IS a level of 'normalcy" in 'everything IS the same? there for her). it IS those hard choices that some people simply cannot actually do even when they KNOW it just is the right/best thing to do. this is also why alcoholics, despite knowing where they are at when alcohol dominates choices and also brings big consequences, they just continue to drink, and to numb themselves from the true reality of what is crashing down around them. but he IS without a flippin doubt, esp with no TIPS being done to even try and rid that P hypertension, WILL be going back to the hosp again, SOON, once the blood vomiting really starts up again. so maybe this time around, your brother WILL do the best possible thing for himself? hopefully it will not be too late.
in trying to explain the 'dynamics" here(believe me, i have spent my whole life trying to figure 'our" familys situation out too), my sister, and i do NOT know why really, was always jealous and very resentful of me, but for what i have no clue. but i never "felt' like i was ever actually accepted BY her AS her sister and 'into our own family" since we were little(she is one yr older than me). but the one bigger thing i think about you and your brothers relationship is the mere fact, he sees HIS life and then sees and has continued to see yours and HAS to be 'wanting that' for himself but was not ever willing to put in the work to acheive it? that is ususally where and how that resentment even begins in someone, esp siblings. thats a biggie there. and then simply even having your mom there interfering in his life, seriously just never allowed him to HAVE TO grow up, or take on the challenges in life that create real actual growth in us as human beings either. while i spent so many years resenting my sister and my mom, it was really our mother who started this FOR her and constantly had to also make everything 'better" for her too so she did not HAVE to 'feel' life. which does also take away a childs, then teens opportunitys to even GAIN those very 'needed" lifeskills to just even be ABLE deal with what comes as adults, like good coping skills when having things forced ONTO you that YOU have to deal with and figure out too? ya know what i mean?
soo, just like my sister did(alcohol and drugs starting when she hit junior high,age 12-13), your brother chose alcohol to 'cope/deal with" life. but my sister DID seek out treatment at like age 19 and has been sober ever since, but the lack of those skills, combined with never actually bothering to 'deal' with her feelings created towards me that started as a child, are unfortunetly still there. when any real resentments simply do not ever get explained or really dealt with inside that persons head, they just sit and fester and become MORE ingrained as i have found out with her too.
if you and your brother have never ever sat down and talked about the things that i KNOW based on his behavior with turning to alcohol and the way he continues to 'see you' too and just dealt with them and resolved them, that IS the way your relationship is still being 'seen and felt" by him, OLD crap in his head. i know my sister, whenever i have tried to talk to her, walks away, changes the subject, or will not take any real responsibility for alll the tons of crappy stuff she decided it would be fun to just 'do to me' while we were growing up, and has continued to do too, she will get hyperdefensive and attack back at anyone who dares to let her know that she IS less than perfect too?
it can get soo flippin crazy when esp only two siblings are there in any family, and then you have a mom who 'decides to simply 'do' and then keep on doing for one of the children and not the other(trust me YT, you ARE lucky here). i have a feeling that yours and your brother and your moms situation was/is kinda thew same as mine and my situation with my mom and sister? just a guess there that would explain a ton of the 'whys' in how he is and how your mom simpy insists on keeping on doing FOR him. and knowing where he is at medically/physically even does not appear to be able to even stop that old and very consistant behavior she started with him.
she is soo totally into an insane level of denial right now, and it unfortuently will end up as you stated, in disaster. i am sooo very sorry you could not actually just seperate those two for once and get him into treatment where they FORCE you to take responsibility for yourself. i sadly feel here that your mom is going to be the one who will suffer the most with MAJOR major regrets and guilt once he passes. that will simply happen, probably much sooner vs later if that 'toxin' for him of alcohol just continues to go into his system. his liver just has already pretty much thrown up its hands and said either you stop, or we 'cannot' possibly 'keep up' anymore.
but, as i mentioned above, he IS going to be back in that hosp soon if that alcohol simply does not stop going into that liver. i would think, at THAT point that someone would almost have to step in and actually 'do' something FOR him since in THAT stage, his ammonia would be sooo very high,and combined with the very definite brain damage that is going on, he simply cannot make 'clear headed' choices for himself? i have never truely understood the hows and the whys of allowing someone WITH a very well understood type of real 'disease' that in ANY other case/type of disease process that someone would have less clarity/levels of dementia, decisions WOULD very much be made by somone else. just not with alcoholism. it really IS rather sick. this is really no longer that 'choice" for him to drink that it started out as ya know? it IS progression OF a real disease process. and unfortuently impacts everyone around the alcoholic too, and in ALOT of different ways.
the one thing tho YT that i would really seriously just 'do' here for YOU and for him is to sit down and write him a letter telling him how much you love him, what you 'hope' he will do FOR himself, and make sure you also put into this anything that you just truely WANT him to know as well. unfortunetly if he will not stop drinking at the stage he is in right now, there really is not much more time here if this continues on in what would be the next stages here. i am pretty sure you already know that, but i WOULD start preparing yourselves for the worst. his overall body systems, not only the liver, simply cannot keep taking in anymore alcohol and how it is impacting him systemically right now. you may also want to write a letter to your mom as well. she NEEDS to start dealing with his reality and hers as well. i honestly do not know just how she will be once the inevitable occurs if he gets beyond that one stage that you cannot truely come back from. i just feel so badly for you and your whole family here YT. but the one thing i DO know, is things simply DO happen for very specific reasons in our lives. the good, the bad and the ugly. while we do not always know or even really ever find out the whys in all this, something will or has been changed becasue of this tragic situation. or someone you know and care about may NOT decide to ever drink alcohol after knowing or even watching what your brother did to himself, ya know what i mean? it is just an all around very sad and sick situation that while it does involve choices, IS also a disease. but i DO wish the medical community would treat this in the worst situations like your brothers as they would any other type of disease process tho when it comes to even having a persons real true brain functions simply impaired so families can at least be given the options of placing someone into treatment. while it IS then up to the alcoholic to want that help, at least they would be in a place, and with no alcohol to help clear their heads while others who KNOW alcoholism could at least try and to speak with them, and over and over using different methods with them and truely try and get them on the road back to health.
take care YT, and please do keep me posted. i really am so sorry that he is where he is, and your mom soooo very much onto her own denial and alot of other crappy things also playing out in her own head. she is going to need some big time help here at some point too. hopefully he will be able to see the light here before its too late. marcia
11-20-01,placement of hardware for failed fusion
9-22-03,removal of cavernous hemangioma that was inside spinal cord. Neuro damage to L hand L leg and R leg.
Thank you so much Marcia for all of your thoughts. I read them several times, gleaning a bit more in each round. Thank you. Thank you.
I find myself just totally giving up on them, then I see some emergency that no one else seems to see and I step in again. Then right back to giving up.
My mother has not yet taken my bro to a doctor and somehow overlooked giving him two of the meds he was supposed to be taking - for over a week!My god - he has to have his $*(*&#)Q* medicine! I had asked her several times during his first week at her house about the meds he had. She didn't mention the missing two until a week after his discharge. I climbed all over her: Do WHATEVER it takes to get those pills in his mouth! Turns out a couple of follow-up calls would have done the trick. Still he hasn't been to a doctor.
I know/hope that once he's gone I'll have a long life ahead of me, and I want to make sure that I am really doing all I can. So I jump back into the mix, even if it is largely futile. She is very angry with me, saying that I don't think anything she's doing is good enough or right. Well - if the shoe fits.... She is making obvious errors - not just with the meds, but also with bringing him home instead of dropping him off at rehab, and now moving him to his own place even though he can't take care of himself, let alone resist the urge of the bottle. I jump up and down, say my peace, hope for the best, and quit again until next time....
It is all terribly sad. Terribly frustrating. Terribly disappointing. Kinda makes me want to crack open a cold one Instead, I look at my immediate family, my lovely house in the woods, my meaningful job, and my incredible friends and try to compartmentalize participating in the drama with my family of origin... Not sure what else I can do.