The first of my hospital patient records turned up today...

Posted , 14 users are following.

This is will probably be better understood by the long term regulars that know my history. But it is a warning to anyone about the dangers of drinking.

For that reason, please do not go off topic and start talking about the sort of day you have had, please use another thread. I want this to be here for people to have another motivation to rein in their alcohol consumption.

So today, the first part of my records turned up today. This was for my stay at Warwick hospital, which was only for about 13 hours, from 3:00pm until 4:00am when I was transferred to Coventry for specialist treatment. There has to be about 30 pages, plus 20 in reports from other hospitals and a CD of my head X-rays and also my CT scan. God knows what I'm going to get for my nearly two month stay at Coventry, which I as good as self discharged.

The real shock is what I was sent in for. I always thought it was for my stroke and then a complication of liver problems, because Warwick told my wife that I had a bleed on the brain and that was why they were shipping me off to Coventry.

Today I read, that my GP sent me there from his surgery, because he believed I was having liver failure. It is written in black and white, no ambiguity. The initial doctor's notes made me smile, at the casualness - Pt appears very unwell? Cerebral impairment 2ndy (secondary) to liver failure. Placed in cubicle 11. Medic informed. Pt unwell and needs seeing sooner rather than later, nurse in charge informed.

There then follows a lot of standard paperwork, my details, any other issues, constant BP, pulse and temp. So many different medicines, including a Librium detox. Comments of suspected ascites, jaundice and subchondral haematoma of the left eye, which eventually went completely red.

Later they stuck a cannula in my arm, to give me a plasma transfusion to stabilise me and try and bring the platelet count up. They have what they call a MEWS score (modified early warning score) and I was up there with the best. Ream after ream of charts.

Then we get to the nitty gritty, the notes and scans and ECG. Well, we know about the liver failure, but then the ECG comes up abnormal - with Anteroseptal Infarct - you can Google it, but it is to do with the heart and it is not good news. Then comes the CT report, at this stage there seems to some question of whether I need to be in the liver ward or the neuro ward.

The CT doesn't let me down, it confirms an acute cerebral haemotoma of a size 2.2 x 4.00 x 3.5cm, and the cherry on top, a midline shift of 6mm. Google midline shift for details - Wiki describes it well and it is not good news.

I can now understand why they stuck an oxygen mask on me, shoved me in an ambulance and packed me off to Coventry. I haven't properly looked at the CT scans, as they do take a bit of understanding.

Roll on the records from Coventry. I was 48 when this happened, never had a problem with drinking before, never used to balck out or need a beer in the morning to get me going. Have a think next time you reach for that next bottle of wine.

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23 Replies

  • Posted

    Good Evening, RHGB.  I am so sorry to know that your hospital notes held shocking news to you.  I have requested hospital notes, in the past, well... I felt deep regret.  I wished that I had not found out even half of it.  I don't ask any more.  Ostrich Syndrome.  

    I suspect that you will deal with things better, when you come to terms with it all. You come across as much healthier, now.  Keep well.

    Manly chin up, etc.,

    Alonangel 🎇

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  • Posted

    An extremely useful and important post, RHGB.

    Thank you for sharing.

    And I am pleased that although you've suffered a lot through drinking, that is in the past for you now.  It shows that there is hope there for everyone and everyone, no matter how things may appear to be. 

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  • Posted

    Thanks, RHGB, for sharing this and I am appreciative also of all the support you offer on this site. It's so easy to believe you're OK when you're not really - lover damage really does happen behind the scenes. Just wondered how much you were drinking before all this, as drink didn't seem to be a problem.

    Wishing you all the best


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  • Posted

    It is scary to read all that. 

    I love getting my hands on the medical records and seeing what they THINK and say. 

    However, there is something with me...that it all gets minimized if I want a drink.

    ​What p*sses me off about all of this that you are finding out that WHY don't they tell you when you are potentially in LIVER FAILURE?  Maybe that would scare "pt" to STOP drinking.

    ​It really bothers me how they seem to look at alcoholics in the uk...just as "meat" passing thru and not human beings that they really want to help!


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  • Posted

    You poor poor thing 😔 Sounds like you went through hell and back.

    In your last paragraph you say it happened when you were 48 but that you'd never had issues re drink before? What was your drinking like around that point for you to get so so poorly?


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  • Posted

    It also makes me so upset that the nhs let people get to this point rather than issuing anti craving drugs a little easier and catch the problem so to speak at an earlier stage than let it escalate. Surely would be a win win for all? Even the cri place and one of their workers who is an ex crack addict said you need to give up off your own back and learn self control.
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  • Posted

    This is a reply to h1954 and emma, who have effectively asked the same question.

    I know what you're asking and what your thought process is, because I ask myself the same question, I almost feel like a third party telling a story about someone else.

    I didn't drink at all until I was 18 and then only as a social drinker until the age of 25. I could have a bottle of spirits in the house for months and not touch it.

    Then I started drinking more heavily, as I started to get more of a buzz. I still preferred social pub drinking, but now I was happy to drink at home and get inebriated. So from the age of 25 to 48, I drank every day, except for 3 days when I was bed bound with bad flu.

    From my early 30s, I got a good promotion, but a job that got more and more stressful as the years went on. I started to drink more as a coping mechanism for stress.

    I never got hangovers, never felt fuzzy headed, never had trouble doing a day's work. But when work finished, I made up for it. Towards the end, I'd say I was drinking 6 - 8 pints every day without fail. But I never had any of the problems that I hear on the forum, no real warning signs. Years ago, I had had LFT tests and been told to calm the drinking down, but that is about as far as it got.

    It really was a bolt out of the blue. I was convinced I was going to hospital for something else, because I had just about lost the use of my legs and my wife had to help me into the GP's surgery. But he took one look at me and said, you're going to hospital. Then turning to my wife he said, he'll need an overnight bag because he won't be home, but take him to the hospital first.

    He picked up the phone and said he was calling the bed manager, what he didn't tell me was he was letting them know they were getting an emergency patient, but not via ambulance. Of course all of this was unkown to me and it being Friday afternoon and me having beers at home in the fridge, I said to him, can you make the appointment for tomorrow and I'll go in then. To which he said, no Mr.RH, that's not how it works, go straight to the hospital.

    Today, to look at, I look the picture of health, I am fit, walk miles every day and don't seem to suffer any ill affects. It is hard to believe all these things happened to me. It will be two years this Friday. The only reminder is the eight medications I take every day.

    I hope that answered your question and I'll leave you with one anecdote.

    When I was in Coventry, after I was off the danger list, about 3 or 4 weeks in, when I knew that I had left the critical list and was on the recuperation list, I spoke to one of the consultants. I can still remember the exact words. He had been good to me, and helped me with some issues I'd had. So, when he came to see me one day, I said to him, thank you for looking after me. To which he said, no, thank you. I said, I havn't done anything?. And these were his words, said with a slight Nigerian accent (not too fond of foreign doctors myself, but he'd lived over here for yonks and was very good), Mr.RH, I am not a betting man, but if I were and someone had offered me goods odds on your survival, I would not have taken their money.

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    • Posted

      Good Heavens, Mr.R.H.,  my flabber is gasted !  I had not realised how dangerous your health situation was.  Your are now even more inspirational.  Thank you for sharing all of that suffering and survival.  

      I wish you sooooo WELL.

      Alonangel 🎇

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    • Posted

      Oh my god, so you had no warning signs at all, well

      Not the usual ones most of us get. Is that the point you were detoxed, put on campral and never touched a drink since? Did the campral make it a bit easier? What other meds do you have to take? How is your liver now?

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    • Posted

      Erm, not quite. I stayed in hospital for two months, and don't forget that I had a severe stroke - I suggest Googling 'bleed on the brain NHS' and going to the bottom of the page and reading 'Outlook'. I would also look at 'midline shift'.

      I was discharged from the hospital with no advice and just my medication. The 18+ months since I have been out of hospital, have involved going to my GP for check ups, Warwick Hospital for gastroenterology and Leamington Stroke Rehab Hospital.

      It has been playing on my mind as to what really happened, which is why I decided to get my records. Plus the fact that nobody was/is telling me anything, I only found out that they detoxed me by accident, when I got hold of a report from the Rehab hospital to my GP and it was mentioned.

      As for your scenario, no it was a bit different. For 12 months I didn't have a drink, which was easy, I was in post strokemode with after effects and alcohol didn't really enter my mind. Then in the latter part of last year a few issues came into my life, as well as the age old one of I wonder what it feels like to drink (don't forget, up until yesterday, I didn't know that I had liver failure) and I started drinking.

      Shortly afterwards I told myself that it had to stop and went and saw my local alcohol recovery services - who I now know, were like every other one in the whole land, a complete waste of space. I tried telling them I was under the care of the liver specialist at the local hospital (they knew him - obviously had dealings with him) but they wouldn't even pick up the phone and speak to him.

      They wanted me to do 2 - 3 months of group therapy and drinks diaries before they would consider me. Not being one to accept no, I told them to shove it and got some diazepam off of my GP.  Of course I wasn't ready, I did not understand the problem and a month later I was back on the alcohol.

      That's when I came here, to learn about the problems and the solutions, to do research on how I was going to tackle this. I learnt that Campral was probably the best medication for me, and I was probably not going to achieve it by will power alone. So the beginning of January this year, I got another prescription of diazepam and again detoxed.

      I then contacted the director of Addaction that I had complained to after my last visit and said I wanted another go at another branch, but didn't want to hit the same brick wall. And in fairness, he was very receptive when I first spoke to him and followed up with emails and he also sorted it out with the new branch. And that is how I ended up on Campral

      My current medication list is as follows and is subject to a 2nd anniversary review in June.

      Lactulose - Hepatic Encephalopathy

      Carvedilol - Congestive heart failure

      Thiamine - Short term memory & cognitive ability

      Amlolipine - Calcium channel blocker high blood pressure

      Spironolactone - Treats fluid retention as regards heart failure/cirrhosis

      Vitamin Compound B Strong - helps cirrhosis recovery

      Omeprazole - Esophageal Varices

      Folic acid - helps alcohol related damage

      Acamprosate - Alcohol anticraving

      I'm not sure how my liver is now, because nobody ever tells me. But I'm about to start getting more demanding. I have an appoitment with the gastroenterologist next month and I'm going to ask him a number of questions, along with, I want to see the blood test results and have them explained to me in detail, request my six month liver scan which I never had and ask them why I have not seen anyone to do with my heart medication, as he mentioned that I should never skip the Spironolatone or Carvedilol and I see he said the same to my GP in a letter that was in yesterday's records.


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    • Posted

      I just don't see why they are not honest with you. Did they say all the issues you have faced see down to drink, well said it in reports rather than to your face? I see egat you are saying about the alcohol services they are a joke. They say you need to show you can cut down on your own before they well provide meds but in that case you don't need meds cis can do on your own. The fact an ex crack addict said to me to try self control! I bet if you gave him a tiny pinch ( or snort - I don't do crack so no idea) I bet it would be game over. No amount of oh try not to do so much next time will ever help.

      So you found your dr best to go to to get help? I had one which was great but lived area so going through it all again now.

      Can't believe they wouldn't even say to you it was the drink. Transparent huh 😔

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    • Posted

      Very little has been said to my face. I had until yesterday just assumed it was a stroke and a bit of liver complication from my drinking. I knew that I had over done it and I had to take it easy, but no one mentioned liver failure or alluded to it being of that nature.

      I intend to rectify that situation now. It doesn't really comment in the reports about the overall position, more about individual things.

      My doctor at least gave me diazepam twice to home detox myself, but would not prescribe Campral or any other medication for alcohol dependency treatment.

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  • Posted

    very interesting and shocking read for certain and just shows how strange life is...thanks for the NIgerian doctor and all the tests and final medicines you are taking. Very very strong signals that drinking for 23 years like you did and no breaks or days off will take its toll. Strong notes and this has made you reflect on life very often. Thanks from Robin.
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