My mom has just been diagnosed with Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease. She has always been a very big drinker which has increased over the years. She also has post-polio syndrome so her mobility is compromised as well. She entered hospital this past weekend with extreme fatigue, no appetite, nausea, occasional vomiting, chronic daily diarreha, as well as a very swollen leg. Initially, the doctors thought they were dealing with a bowel cancer based on her symptoms but once blood work, xrays and an ultrasound was completed they diagnosed Fatty Liver Disease. They did tell my mom a few days ago that she could not drink anymore. She SEEMED to hear them and understand. However, once the diagnosis was confirmed she seems to think that she is fine to go back to her old ways or at least moderate drinking. We keep telling her she can't drink anymore if she wants to live. She then said that the doctor told her that this was reversible. She now has it in her head that she can stop drinking for a couple of months and then once her liver is "fixed" then she is good to drink again. I have been trying to do research to prove to her that this has to be a forever lifestyle change. Unfortunatey, everything I find just says it is reversible. Knowing my mom her rationale will be that it took 60 years to get this bad and if she reverses it then she can drink again for another 60 years until it gets bad again. She is VERY stubborn. Can anyone give me any advice or imput on how to talk to her about this? I was so afraid I was going to lose her earlier this week, I really want her to understand how important it is not to drink. Thanks for any ideas, advice etc.
Hi AliRieg, It's very difficult to convince drinkers the time has come to say goodbye to alcohol... Perhaps you could start by agreeing with her! No more alcohol until her liver is completely healed. Set a initial target date for 90 days, with a new doctor visit for updated blood labs to see how her liver is doing.
If her labs aren't perfect, then insist, lets wait another 90 days and get re-tested. If she can go 6 months without alcohol, odds are, she may discover she likes the way she feels now and may not need to drink again.
If she "cheats" during this time, you will have an argument she is not being realistic about her recovery, and needs to work harder on this.
In the end, it may be an exercise in futility, as drinkers tend to drink until they get in really serious trouble; but any vacation from alcohol you can inspire her to take will do her a world of good.
Getting sober for even 3 months can help prove to the patient "it can be done"! Usually there is a relapse, but when health problems reoccur, the memory of previous successes with abstinence can create a positive mindset this may be possible again.
It's hard banging your head against a wall of stubbornness, but trying is the best you can do. Please try to find a temporary solution. It may not hold, but it may also plant a seed in her mind. If she can live without alcohol for 3 months, she can quit again, and regain her health.
Best of Luck to you both!
Last edited by BillinSD; 02-21-2013 at 10:47 PM.