Opinions please... sorry it’s so long

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My father has been an alcoholic for roughly 30 years, drinking a 12 pk or more day.  He is a functional alcoholic as he has always held a good job and takes care of himself.   At the beginning of December he suffered a heart attack and required three heart stents.   Since then he completely quit smoking and drastically changed his alcohol intake, granted he was still drinking anywhere from two to six a day.   Skip ahead to last week... he didn’t feel well, no energy, sick to his stomach and vomited maybe 4 times during the week, along with overall stomach discomfort.   He told my mother he wanted her to take him to the doc yesterday, Monday morning to get checked out.  She went to wake him up from the sofa and he was completely disoriented and incoherent.    He genuinely didn’t know my name or my mothers and didn’t know where he was.   He was taken by ambulance to the ER where they found his thiamin, magnesium as well as potassium was very low.   His BP was good. His sugar was high at 191.  The nurse observed a bloodied and bitten tongue and asked if he had a history of seizures, which he doesn’t.   The initial ER preliminary diagnosis was Wernicke encephalopathy.    The neurologist doesn’t agree.  But there is also no signs of a stroke according to a partial MRI.  Still waiting for an EEG to confirm or deny a seizure.    Today he was alert and speaking normally.  He seems almost back to normal.   Has no memory of yesterday but can’t recall his last memory.  He is still missing words, some confusion is present, asking the same things over and over.  He is also very agitated and quite mean.    I know we need to wait for more testing but I was just curious if anyone can share experiences.   We just seem to have differing opinions from the docs at this point.    Thank you for any help 

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  • Posted

    Sorry about your problem. I'm thinking an alcoholic needs to be weaned slowly off alcohol with the help of drugs to prevent a seizure. I think he's detoxing and needs medication to help. That's what they do in rehab. I'm not an alcoholic but know a few and have heard similar stories. Make sure the Drs know of his drinking extent. I'm not a dr. Either. Just thinking could be related.

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    • Posted

      He did in fact go through detox.  They were aware of his alcoholism and he ended up going though DT’s.   He had to be transferred to ICU since his health rapidly declined and became extremely disoriented and began hallucinating.   He was finally discharged yesterday and will be going to a treatment facility tomorrow.   Thank you for your reply 
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  • Posted

    That's good he's going to rehab. It's impossible to detox yourself with such long term alcoholism without supervision. Good luck!

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    • Posted

      I appreciate that.   I’m just glad the critical health aspect of detox is behind him. Now we can focus on treating the alcoholism.    He seems like he truly wants to be better.   
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  • Posted

    Just remember he has to want it. You can't make him. If he's forced hell just relapse. It's a chronic condition that will always have to be monitored. Perhaps meeting like AA after rehab. And possibly you and other family members could go to al anon, which are meetings for people who have an alcoholic in their lives. It will help you to learn how not to be an enabler. Unfortunately, many family members are enablers without realizing it. Remember, it took 30 years to get to this place, it's not gonna go away in 30 days. It's a life long commitment for him. One day at a time.

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    • Posted

      The inpatient facility has an outpatient follow up location that’s close to home.  The outpatient facility is 4 hours away.  My mother and I went to an alanon meeting last week.  We plan on going for as long as needed.   We haven’t given ultimatums since we don’t want him to feel forced into it, but we told him this was totally his choice and we hoped he made the right one.   He seems different about talking about it this time.  I am hopeful for the first time in a long time, but I’m also cautious and prepared to make hard decisions if he doesn’t follow through.   Thank you again for being so kind 
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  • Posted

    Hi Ashley sounds like you're doing all the right things. Hopefully you'll get the gift you want most a sober father. Yes, there are ultimatums that are put in place if your dad doesn't comply. Wishing you the best. Zap

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