How is he still functional?

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Ok, I need some insight please.  My husband was diagnosed with Pancreatits back in 2010/2011.  He’s 55 yrs old now and is an alcoholic.  He has never stopped drinking and after about 4 hospital stays in the beginning, he realized that treatment is simply starvation until the pancreas settles, so he hasn’t been to a doctor in years – he self-treats.


He’s 5’10” and weighs about 130 lbs – sometime more, sometimes less.  He throws up on a daily basis.  He was prescribed enzyme tablets which worked for him at first, but he has since stopped taking them.

We went on vaction last week and got there on Thursday morning.  We went to the grocery for water and snacks for our hotel room and there happened to be a liquor store attached.  He bought a fifth of Wild Turkey and had that gone in less than 24 hrs.  He went back the next day and bought a 1/2 gallon – that lasted a little over 3 days.  On top of all that, he had multiple double shots at restaurants and also took anxiety pills.  When I asked him after we got home, he couldn’t remember if he kept any of the meals he ate down.

Back in 2011 when he was in a major hospital in our state, the doctor told me that any attack could be fatal.  I try to talk to him, but as you can imagine, it never ends well.  What I don’t understand is how is he surviving this major self-abuse?  Can anyone who understands this disease as well as alcoholism help me understand what’s happening?  Every morning I wake up wondering if I’ll find him alive or dead.  I fear the stress of the situation is sending me into depression.

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  • Posted

    You are suffering more than your husband. 

    My daughter-in-law is a 13 year sober alcoholic, she helps a lot of alcoholics who are ready to accept help.  She says that no-one can do anything for an alcoholic until they are ready to accept that they need help.  They have to reach out themselves. No discussion, no health threats, no being told of a deteriorating family life, nothing at all will make any difference until they make the decision to stop drinking themselves and get help.

    You can't do anything so please stop making yourself sick about it and get some help yourself.  You should think about getting support for your own well being, there's plenty of help available.  You have your own life to live too don't forget. 

    Your husband obviously has chronic panreatitis which for some means no pain.  It doesn't always stay that way however and I'm pretty sure if he experienced the level of pain that can occur he'd re-think his drinking, maybe, maybe not.  He knows the danger of his actions.  I'm more worried about you.


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    • Posted

      aawww...thank you Reefsider for your concern.  95% of the time, I am just fine.  I don't talk to many about this, so I'm very grateful for this forum, but I do read a lot about both alcoholism and pancreatitis, and do my best to detatch.  Every once in a while (like last night) it sneaks up on me and temporarily takes over.  

      I've considered Al-Anon in the past...maybe it's time to consider it again.

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  • Posted

    Hi Sad and Lost, My husband is an alcoholic and had his first pancreatis attack about one month ago. The pain and vomiting were so bad he went to the emergency room and has been hospitilized 2x in the past month. I did convince him that the alcohol caused pancreatitis. He realized that he needed to quit. Luckily he has not had a drink in over a month, and the pancreatits is finally subsiding. He is lucky he is still alive. Does he work?

    My hsband is 67 years old and has chronic depression. If he forgets about his pancreatitis in time and goes back to the booze I will try my best to get him to AA.

    other than that there is nothing I can do to help him. You can't help someone who won't help themself. I think it might do you some good to go see a counselor yourself. It can't hurt.

    My husband thus far has lost 16lbs. He is 6' 2" is now weights 157lbs. I now weight more. He is not starving himself as I am giving him small meals. His PCP also reccomended he drink wth supplement Boost. It can make up for a little of the nutrition lost from the lack of food. Hang in there and don't forget to help yourself too.

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    • Posted

      Thank you Barbara for your reply.  I'm so happy for you that your husband realized what alcohol was doing to him.  I pray he stays his course towards a sober and healthy future.

      My husband has a seasonal job, so winter (off-season) is always tough.  And yes, I know I can't force him into helping himself, that's why I try to learn as much as I can about the situation.  I'm a very logical-minded person, so I learn for my own sanity.  As I sat here thinking about our vacation last night, it just boggled my mind that someone as sick as I beleive he is could abuse themself like he did, and then walk away "normally".  I guess I was just looking for a medical explanation on how that can happen, because I know if I tried to drink that much, I would have been as sick as a dog for days, and I would expect worse for him.

      Thanks again for sharing and your kind words.

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