By Gillian May: For Entire Post, Go Here…
And not enough alcoholics are educated about this.
My father died of alcoholic liver cirrhosis four years ago. It came as a surprise to all of us, even though it was clear he had a severe drinking problem for many decades. Most people know about cirrhosis, but few people know how a liver goes from early damage to end-stage liver cirrhosis.
It was especially surprising to me as a former nurse and a recovering alcoholic. You would think I’d know more about liver problems and alcohol use than the average person. But the truth is, in the months before his death, I had no idea my father’s liver was struggling at all.
The combination of my father’s death and my personal background lit a fire in me to know more. He was admitted to the hospital on June 24th, 2016, and he died on July 18th, 2016. That’s only 24 days between the first sign there was a problem and his subsequent death.
Now, hearing that he was in end-stage cirrhosis didn’t surprise me, given his heavy drinking. What did surprise me was that he’d visited several doctors and specialists in the months before his death, and no one knew his liver was struggling either.
So what happened? Does end-stage liver cirrhosis really sneak up that fast? Were there other signs that would have alerted someone to his failing liver?
As for why the doctors and specialists didn’t know what was happening, that mystery was solved reasonably quick. The plain truth is that alcoholics rarely divulge the amount and frequency of their drinking to their doctors. This was the case for my dad. He had many health issues that he was trying to solve, but he protected his drinking habit fiercely. So he refused to spill the beans, even when it mattered.