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Pancreatitis in an alcoholic

(15 Posts)
Celery Fri 19-Sep-08 13:45:02

Can anyone tell me anything about this, especially with someone who in all liklihood will not stop drinking? Or is it best I don't know the gory details?

It's my mum, she's always considered herself invincible ( obviously ). Is the the beginning of the end? I know the answer to that really. . .

WideWebWitch Fri 19-Sep-08 13:46:26

I had a friend who had tihs and was admitted to hospital. She was told she was on an escalator going downwards towards death and if she stopped drinking immmediately she might not reach the bottom. She was 47 shock, no idea whether she stopped, last saw her about 2.5 years ago. Can you ask her doctor?

Celery Fri 19-Sep-08 13:58:27

She went to her GP two days ago in a lot of pain, and he just sent her home with come codeine. My experience with most GP's is that they are totally unsympathetic towards alcoholics. She phoned an ambulance herself in the middle of the night, and has just got a diagnosis today. She's in hospital now. I'm far away, with three children, and can't see her, although my brother is going in this evening. She's 62. I know nothing can be done. We've all been waiting for something like this to happen for years. Just, y'know, sigh.

Celery Fri 19-Sep-08 13:58:59

some codeine, not come codeine!!

WideWebWitch Fri 19-Sep-08 14:00:01

I am sorry. Can you go and see her?

NobodysPerfect Fri 19-Sep-08 14:08:22

So sorry to hear about your Mum.

I had a boyfriend years ago who had pancreatitis and had done so since he'd been a child. He was very careful about his diet, ate no meat or fat and mostly just steemed veg - needless to say he was very very slim. He also didn't drink and had never done so.

I remember he told me that once he was away on holiday in the Uk and was very ill, when the friend he was with called the local doctor they refused to come because it was pancreatitis. A lot of Dr's are very unsympathetic to is because it is usually due to alcoholism.

As far as I know he's still around and this was almost 20 years ago, but he was extremely careful about his health.

bodiddly Fri 19-Sep-08 14:20:11

I think www is right - my brother had it (not through alcoholism) and it is incredibly painful.

jill60 Fri 19-Sep-08 14:29:15

I had pancreatitis a few years ago (not due to alcholism...I'm virtually teetotal) mine was due to a gallstone escaping from my gall bladder and blocking up the entrance to my pancreas. I was in hospital for about a week on a drip with some heavy duty antibiotics in it. I felt like crap for about 2 weeks afterwards. It varies incredibly in its degree of seriousness, I had a fairly mild version and I was still in alot of pain, puking and jaundiced. Basically I think you need to find out how serious a case it is.
Not sure I'm helping as mine was due to different causes, hope it gives your mum the shock she needs to give up the booze iykwim.

janestillhere Fri 19-Sep-08 14:30:34

Don't know much about pancreatitis but do know about alcoholism. I lost my mum in April to liver disease.
You can't make her stop my love. Only she can. Don't beat yourself up about it. It destroyed my soul trying to get her to stop.
She has missed so much already re: the kids etc and it is just all so sad. Really feel for you xxx

lisad123 Fri 19-Sep-08 14:32:52

I had it last year due to gallstones too
It can cause organ failure if not treated so shes in a good place. I believe it can also cause dibeates (and i cant spell). She'll have to watch her drink and drink, but im sure the hospital will advise this.

LaDiDaDi Fri 19-Sep-08 14:33:42

It really varies in severity and can be extremely serios indeed. Unlees your mum gives up the booze then she will get it repeatedly sad.

I remember when I'd not long qualified seeing a patient in A+E who we'd justsent home from the wards a day or two before after an episode of alcoholic pancreatitis. She said "Oh I'm pleased it's you LaDi, the pain came back when I went home so I drank some vodka to ease it..."

LaDiDaDi Fri 19-Sep-08 14:34:04

Rubbish typing!

Celery Fri 19-Sep-08 16:08:21

thanks everyone. She won't stop drinking, I know that. Janestillhere, thanks - I've come to terms with the alcoholism, stopped beating myself up and trying to get her to stop a few years ago. She has been hospitalised before, collapsing through dehydration, falling downstairs etc but this is the first time she's been diagnosed with a chronic condition that is caused by the alcohol. It's been a long time coming, and now I know I've probably got to watch her die a slow and painful death. Knew it would happen one day. It's very sad.

AtheneNoctua Fri 19-Sep-08 16:26:58

Celery, I;m so sorry. I think I know how you feel. When I was at Uni in Houston, I got a call from my sister to say she and ny other sister and brother were buying me a plane ticket so I come home and say goodbye before our father died. He had been a ragin alcoholic for many years. He was in the hospital with serosis of the liver. He was jaundices. And I tell ya, he looked like death. It was so horrible I can't possibly come up with words to replicate what I saw. The doctors said he was dying and that was it, it was just a matter of when. Miraculously, he got better. Then he smoked an incredible amount, he had a stroke. Now he's better from that too. But, I think he has started drinking again. sad

You possibly right that you can't stop her from drinking. She has to do that. I just wanted to say that I think I know how you feel.

It's very hard to watch a parent destroy themselves.

susiecutiebananas Fri 19-Sep-08 20:11:40

I specialized in GI medicine, so do know a great deal about it.
THe pancreatitis in itself is not necessarily the beginning of the end. It depends how her liver is as well. Also, how her GI tract is and various other factors.

If she is on a GI ward, I can assure you, her alcoholism will not be judged in the way you feel it may be. She will e given the same sympathy and empathy, as any other patient. Alcoholism is a disease. It may not be a disease in the usual sense of the word, but it is impossible to cure. Its an addiction which can be controlled by the person suffering with it.

I hope that she is able to get over her current problem, and perhaps, even it will make her stop and think about what she is doing to herself. You know, it does happen. I've nursed many patients in varying stages of alcoholic liver disease and alcoholism, and its not unheard of that after an admission, often a painful admission, such as your mums, that they do rethink their lives.

If you do want to know more about any of this, let me know wink

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