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My brother in law was diagnosed with acute pancreatitis along with liver disease about 4 month agoThat's all I know because no other information was provided because I'm not immediate family this information was from him.  This is what I know. He only drinks at night. Ussually about 6 beer and 6 hard drinks mon-Sunday and that's a easy going night for him. He's kept up that pace for about 19 years. I believe he's not telling me everything but this is what I see. Constant abdominal pain that has seen to weakened since his last two hospitalization. Extreme OCD with panic attacks, loss of memory, mood swings, constant restroom stops, jaunice or eyes with almost veiny like appearance to them,spooning of nails both hands and feet, he can't eat too much because he gets too full or the pain flairs up, it's hard to tell if his skin is yellow because of the Asian skin, he complains about diarrhea, always tired and as of lately his nose gets red when he drinks, his hands oddly look like rubber and has re rashes around his ankles and elbows. Works out a lot and drinks tons of water.  Few years ago he lost his wife and has two kids.  My wife and I have done our best to fill in and help with the kids.  My wife and I are 100% committed to taking care of the little ones no matter what happens.  Trying to stop him from drinking has failed over and over, to the point that my wife and I only fight about his drinking and at times ruined our relationship not to mention every trip or dinner is about if they have alcohol or not or else nobody can go anywhere. I understand it's hard to know how far along he is without results or lab test but I cannot get that information. But what else can be done??I fear that with the symptoms we may not have him around much longer. I have done research every night but they all have the same symptoms.  From cancer to liver failure it all sounds the same. The frustrating part at times is that from website to website the information seems to be different. I don't think I'm being told the truth about his health from him which would not surprise me.  Sometimes listening to other peoples suggestions helps a lot. Thank you in advance. 

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  • Posted

    I have chronic pancreatitis and help to run a pancreatitis web forum.

    I must be perfectly honest with you and say that having read your post, I think that you really have done all that you can to help your b in l. Unfortunately he has hit the self destruct button and from the sounds of it, unless he can be persuaded to pack in drinking completely, there is nothing that can be done for him. Sorry to be so blunt, but it's true.

    Stuart

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    • Posted

      Hey Stuart thank you for your post. I think that honesty is the way to handle everything in life.  Since you run a forum I been looking to read on people's experience during the time of no return. It's weird but with all those symptoms he is still super functional except for night time. Sometimes I think that I'm just being paranoid and other times I realize that it's getting too late. But how do you know when it's too late you know??.  It starts with him and I think that he does not want to live without the drinking. I do tons of research and play what going to happen in my mind over and over so that I'm prepared to support my wife and kids and family for when it happens. Reading peoples stories good or bad seems to keep me from going crazy watching this happen.  Thank you 

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  • Posted

    My heart just hurts for you all.  Sometimes a person has to come to their lowest point in life...laying flat on their back to look up for help.  My grandfather died when I was five.  2 years prior to his death he was an alcoholic for almost 15 years.  He looked to drinking after my grandmother died unexpectedly from medical reasons.  My father was just 12 years old.  My father had 3 siblings and all his aunts and uncles and grandparents all helped with the children.  It was a family bond that didn't end. Back in the old days it was just a condition everyone saw happen from a broken heart.  2 years before his death he made a change in his life.  He gave up the drinking and looked to God for help.  Damage was already done to his liver and could not be healed.  His last 2 years were spent with his family and I can remember seeing him tipping his hat every time we passed a church.  He was not a religious fanatic...he just found peace with God and asked him for help.  I tell you all this because there is hope!  Hope for your brother in law.  Hope for the children.  Hope for the whole family.  It's just getting your brother in law to get to that point to look for making that first step.

    I am on this site because my youngest daughter suffered from chronic pancreatitis due to her gall bladder shooting stones out...attacking her pancreas.  She never drank alcohol or did drugs.  She was just that 1% that had a bad thing happen to her. 9 months of chronic/acute pancreatitis.  2 times we thought we lost her.  21 months later she is now battling the withdrawals from the prescription drugs that they gave her for the pain.  They tell us she has 1 more year of the battle.  She couldn't do it w/o the help from God and support from the family.  

    I know how to Hope and I know there is a Great Healer!  miracles do happen!  You sound like you have a big heart searching and looking for the the best for your b-I-l and your family.  But it does have to begin with him making the commitment to quit.  Hope & prayers sent your way!

     

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    • Posted

      Right after my sister in law passed I thought I understood. They were ment to be and I kept thinking to myself that if I were in that position I would do the same. It's not just the sadness but it's the constant reminder that she is gone. From just waking up in the morning to end of the day I could not live without my wife.  Everything reminds him that she is gone. High school sweathearts like my wife and I.  The devastation would be too great I thought.  

      Then came our little baby. He's 9 months now and I cannot imagine what your going through Diane. It angers me that there are people that don't do anything yet they become that 1%. Yet there's people that abuse it.  I think they don't see what it does to the ones around.  I will keep your little one in my prayers and hope this one last year of recovery is an amazing one year. 

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  • Posted

    Elias, I completely understand where you’re coming from.  My husband of 20 years is an alcoholic and was diagnosed with acute and then chronic pancreatitis in 2010.  He continues to drink heavily, getting drunk on whiskey multiple times per day, and also still smokes.  He knows what’s going on, yet does nothing to change his behavior.

    He hasn’t gone to a doctor for a year now.  When attacks happen, he spends the recovery time curled up on our couch in pain, not eating…just existing.  I guess he’s just getting used to the pain??  It is heartbreaking to watch.

    Both his doctors and I have tried to get him help – he doesn’t want it.  So I find myself in a similar situation as yours…how long will this continue and what should I look for and/or expect in the end.  Are there telltale signs?  At times I think I should leave him – maybe that would snap him out of this self-destructive behavior.  But then I fear it will put him over the edge.  So I wait, hoping he’ll tire of the pain and decide to take care of himself.

    So readers, I ask for your stories as well.  Not out of morbid curiosity, but as a reference to understand the progression when the patient chooses not to fight for their life.  Other sites don’t address this side of things so there’s nowhere to turn but to those of you who have witnessed it as Elias and I are.  So please, help us prepare.

    Thank you!

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    • Posted

      Sadandlost i guess your name said it all.  Its not the alcoholic that is sad and lost its the loved ones around him.  Watching it as everyday the needle continues cause pain in our hearts.  From my understanding and watchinig my brother in law.  They pain seems to dimmer after you pass from acute and move on to chronic pancreatitis and thats why they can bear the pain without going to the doctors but thats is not a good sign.  Some say because of less areas left to damage or because the focus moves to other areas like the liver, kidney or stomach.  I guess that majority of the diagnosis is based on past history of drinking and how much they currently drink, which is why cancer isn't always diagnosed till late because most alcoholic think they are ok or dont tell the doctor everything so theres ussualy no need to look because they can't check every patient just because.  (i'm no experct or a doctor so i'm just speaking from my experience or constant research)  

      I dont thinks there a telltale sign but if there was i'm sure your husband and my brother in law are way past that stage.    Its all the same because the answer is simple.  They need to help themselves and nobody else can.  My heart is broken only because I can't watch the kids grow up around an alcoholic.  Its funny because people that dont understand they  look at my brother and law and say what a bad person, or how irresponsible of him.  They dont realize that its a dissease, they dont realize how hard this battle is.  I do research all day because of my wife.  I watched her go through lossing her older sister in just 3 days of pnemonia and more importantly my brother in laws kids are going to need us to be strong if and when it happens.  I have some what come to peace with my brother in laws drinking.  You can judge if you want but I done everything i can and have not moved the needle a inch.  One of my sister in laws wishes or request was that he'd stop drinking.  The way i see it, if that didn't get him to change nothing I can do is going to change him.  Instead what i decided to do is just be there for him.  Help with picking up his kids and taking them out.  Devote as much time as i can Hanging out with him as much as i can so that I can try and make the remainding time a memorable and wonderfull time.  I was going crazy because i thought there was something i could do but turns out, It's all on him to change.  There is nowhere to turn but reading about others going through the same battle helps me go through it.

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