Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.
End stage alcholic.(38 Posts)
Could really do with a bit of online support thanks to covid.
Brother is an alcholic. Serious alcholic I had a phone call this week to let me know he was found collapsed and in an unresponsive state on Tuesday. His partner initially thought he was dead but called an ambulence. He has been admitted to hospital with what sounds like end stage alcholism. Cognitive impairements, incoherant speech, skin and eyes dark yellow, serious fluid retention in abdomen, lied to the A&E drs about his health history and is now not responding to anyone by phone because his partner DARED call an ambulence. Hospital is in lockdown and frankly he is too ill to manage to crawl out of the ward to find alcohol. None of his bottle 'friends' can visit as the hospital is still closed to visitors so I know this time he will not have any access to alchohol. I feel so sorry for the doctors and nurses who are trying to look after him as he can be so nasty when he cannot get hold of alchohol.
Struggling with that horrible mix of knowing this day would come and wishing his lifestyle choices had been better. Thanks to covid the gardens and all I would have vistied to give myself a restful thinking space are still closed.
I have missed and I still miss the funny, bright and caring brother I grew up with. He has not been there for too many years. IF he limps through this the level of damage he has doen to himself is not something he will come back from - ever. His poor partner, a deeply caring none drinker that my brother appears to have latched onto, does not realise just how deep and dark the whole 'drink' thing goes. He is still talking about when the hospital makes him better. Then he talks about how my brother has refussed to wash for over six months, refussed to change clothes, refussed to attend any of the support put in place by his GP and NOT attended hospital appointments for liver failure. It is not going to end well.
From some of the other symptoms his partner has now opened up and told me about he either has significant dementia or 'wet brain'. I have told his partner under no circumstances to allow the hospital to send my brother home without a full care package being in place. His partner has been working all hours to cover the bills as he was not aware brother has been recieving monthly money from an early medical pension from his old job or that he had found a way to empty out his trust fund - you can guess where all that money has gone.
I choose to go minimal contact as I decided enough was enough and my kids deserved better than having to deal with a nasty drunk uncle. I have said I would be happy to talk with any social worker or similar about his past drunken behaviours and the effects it has had. I am aware that this time it may require him to be placed into some kind of residential setting. As far as I am concerned his partner will be allowed to stay in the house for as long as he wants. IMHO he is a saint for putting up with and caring for my very ungrateful brother - its in a seperate property trust to protect it and its the only thing my brother has failed to find a way to cash in to buy booze.
It all darn well sucks as he is my last living relative. Once he dies I will be the only one left from my family. That is making me feel very, very sad. I wish I could talk to my parents about all this but they died within hours of each other over a couple of years ago.
That’s such a sad history @triballeader. You’re doing all you can 💐
That's really sad. I've known a few alcoholics, it's so frustrating as it's hard to understand how otherwise wonderful people with really interesting and fun personalities turn themselves into horrific, selfish arseholes. Hope your "brother in law" can keep his head above water and my sympathies to you!
That must be very upsetting and frustrating to deal with. [flower] [flower] [flower] xxxxx
IDK what happened to my flowers- oh I suppose there's an 's' on the end
@triballeader What a tragic situation for you, your brother and his DP. You have certainly taken wise & loving steps to try to protect them both, but sometimes there is nothing more that anyone can do. They are both lucky to have you.
So sorry, OP, please talk here as much as you want. I find in real life it’s hard to find people who aren’t shocked by the level of resentment alcoholic relatives cause.
My dh had this with his mum and dad. More so his dad as his mum caught pneumonia and died very quickly and unexpectedly but was an alcoholic. He dad had a decline very much like your brother. After his last hospital admission it was decided that a nursing home was the safer option for him and he was in the home just over a month before his died. He was 64. Dh was 35. We lost his mum 9 years previous.
I am very sorry to read this post. My ex husband was an alcoholic and passed away last autumn. With COVID coming I often wondered how he would have coped with the situation given how he used alcohol to manage his anxiety.
My ex had a brother and we stay in touch after we separated (I left about 4 years before he died). His brother who was very much in your position had made peace with the situation a long time before with full knowledge that he had done everything he could to try and help his brother.
People will always call it a horrible disease but your brother as my ex had choices. They have people who want to help and will help if they can then try themselves.
It is such an awful time and the day my ex brother in law got in touch to let me know he had died - we both took a moment to consider that he was finally at peace. Poor soul.
My father drank himself to death. He got throat cancer and still drank then. It’s no consolation but I’ve made peace with it saying to myself that he clearly was not able to deal with life and the world and might be better off dead. He had a lot of help and also went to hospital several times. He never used that chance. I really hope it’s different for your brother. I’m sure you have tried your best in your life. Low contact is just to protect you and your family and I fully understand that.
I’m so sorry O.P. My heart goes out to you.
I lost my beautiful, unique brother to this self-destructive illness and he was only in his mid 40s. I honestly think he chose not to live. I and other close family are just left with the sadness and the waves of guilt because we think we should have done more. But it’s irrational guilt. Alcoholics leave a trail of ‘what ifs’ and ‘if onlys’ but then bottom line is this; you are powerless to help them - they can only help themselves.
Today I contacted the hospital.
I did so so they would know how long he has been drinking for - not the since my parents died claim he had made. I also made it very clear that under no circumstances, no matter what my brother says to them otherwise, was I part of any of his 'at home' care grandiose plans. In the past my brother has lied and claimed I would drop everything to care for him so he could bail himself out from hospital care. He knows there is no way on God's green earth that I am ever putting myself out for an aggresive, surly and nasty drunk again. I no longer think he has the mental capacity to care for himself.
The poor nurse I spoke with who has been trying to care for him sounds like they have had a skinful of my brothers attitude towards the staff. From the sounds of it he is at the Father Jack level of niceness but without any of that characters charm.
Waiting to hear back from his partner this evening as to the outcome of his mental capacity assessments - he has been refussing anti-biotic treatment for infected wounds that he did not seek treatment for after falling whilst drunk. He has been verbally aggresive with the ward staff.
Whilst I have accepted one phone call a week from him I have not seen him for nearly three years and I do not think I will make the effort to go and see him in the final stage if he is continuing to treat people so badly and behave like this.
I think I would prefer to remember him as he was.
triballeader I am so sorry you have endured this. His death is not if - it’s when and how much more collateral damage will he leave behind. Both of my DH parents died in this way. I also have a family full of alcoholic uncles and siblings.
I am assuming your DB has no DCs who have been emotionally injured through this? If so that’s a blessing.
It’s really a slow suicide. They are full of self loathing - likely as a result of some conscious or unconscious childhood trauma.
This is his destiny. You don’t all have to go down with him. You are 100% correct to protect your DCs from a nasty, aggressive drunk. Be v proud of that. I wish someone had protected me from that abuse as a child.
You have also followed the Al Anon guidebook to a “T” - detached love and not enabling.
But it’s v tough emotionally. There is anger and there is hurt. Alongside deep sadness, frustration and sorrow.
You have grieved the brother you used to know - and now you have to grieve some more. And this is a v different bitter and guilty grief - but if you take care of yourself and get some support you will find your peace.
Maybe his partner will be your new family as he sounds like a very loving and caring guy. Such a shame your brother has been taken over by the demon drink and it’s tragic really on so many levels. I hope he and you can have some peace.
Look at Korsakoff's syndrome - my mum had it. She was an alcoholic. Her death cert said decompensated liver disease and cirrhosis.
The reason he's the colour he is is because his liver is not breaking down old cells and the toxins are staying in his blood. The ascities (fluid in abdomen) is also caused by this and kidney damage.
There's nothing anyone can do - just support one another and remember who he was before the alcohol claimed him. I'm so sorry
I’m so sorry to read this OP. I lost my DH to alcoholism. I can sadly only agree with the other posters on this thread. @Gutterton the truth in your post moved me to tears.
for you OP.
So sorry to read this however where theres life there's hope. Quite likely he's aggressive due to withdrawal (DTs).
A family member of mine also chronic alcoholic was believed to have developed "wet brain" as he was very incoherent and extremely ill. Thankfully it wasn't. His behaviour/symptoms were due to serious withdrawal symptoms. The hospital treated him with high doses of sedatives to prevent seizures and slowly made progress. The hospital he was in referred him onto an addictions unit for a further six weeks.
The addictions unit alongside AA were amazing and helped him stop drinking.
Maybe an idea if his partner could discuss this with the hospital. Even if a member of the addictions team could visit him for a chat?
Just hoping to send you a little bit of light in the darkness
Sadly he went well past the 'there is some hope stage' some time ago. The aggression and plain verbal nastiness is there with constant alchohol. He has been offered everything by his GP and CMHT to beat this. He has even had in-patient rehab but i think he just went along with it till he could get out and go straight to the nearest off-licence and drink. His partner found some of the recipets for booze stuffed into all kinds of crevices this year and its come to well over £20K. Thats just the reciepts he found whilst cleaning the house.
The real issue has always been his unwillingness to engage with available support or to work with anyone to come up with better coping mechanisms for his own internal demons. He has been warned countless times that if he does not stop drinking his liver failure will continue to progress and he will develop all the other symptoms that go with it. He now has a form of early onset dementia from alchohol but again he skipped out of care once the hospital spotted that one. This time they are holding onto him as his mental capcity is under scrutiny.
TBH he has worked long and hard to get to this last awful stage and even IF a miracle happened and he did finally listen to the doctors that the long term damage he has done is already too far gone to come back from even with the best medical care.
To the rest of you. Thank you for responding. For years my brother ranted I had 'no right' to describe him to others as an alcholic. That I had no right to say what he did deeply effected our parents and me. That I had no right to warn his nieces and nephews to refuse to go out with him.....I knew he would dump them wherever and be drunk someplace else. I have had to fight to prevent him from moving in and leaching my then elderly parents dry becuase he was 'ill'. I have tried to protect his finanacial interests with trustfunds he found a way to bleed dry. I have authorised payment for serious residential 'rehab' as a one off chance to 'get his life back on track'. There is nothing I nor anyone else can do. Its been so isolating his actions and behaviours have cost me friends who could not cope with his behaviours and actions. He would go and hassle them as 'no-one understood him' and raid every drop of alchohol in their homes. If you blocked his access he would report you to social services for abuse....its been a ghastly 25 years of sheer hell that just grew worse and worse over time.
I may have reached a level of forgiveness for how he treated my parents when mum was dying horribly from very aggresive cancer but I cannot forget it. The dying do not need someone who 'pops in' to see them to take money from their purse and their dads birthday bottle of whiskey. I did not need him screaming at me that I had no right to tell him mum was dying - what about him his needs must come first.
And people wonder why I refuse to touch alchohol or why my kids prefer not to drink at Uni.....sigh. Drink is a horrible way to commit slow suicide that is for sure
Sorry about your brother OP. It such a sad but all too common situation. You sound like you have made sensible Decisions and done what you can.
The hospital staff will be very used to his behaviour and I'm sure it won't phase them. They will also know not to believe a word he says. I also think that they will
Still treat him compassionately.
Alcoholism is a terrible condition.
I am so sorry to hear this. I lost my H to alcohol too - heart disease got him before he could reach end stage. He was 58. I recognise everything you are saying and you are handling it all so well.
Last year I also lost my mum to alcohol - she started drinking heavily when my dad developed dementia and it accelerated after he died. She was about to have a mental capacity assessment and would undoubtedly have been sectioned when she fell down the stairs in her house (on the way to get a midnight top up) and broke her neck.
It didn't take 25 years for me, only a total of 9, but I remember the stress, the fear, the helplessness. Going to a support group has helped me immensely.
All you can do now is be a supportive presence for your brother's partner. And look after yourself - you may need bereavement support.
I'm so sorry to hear about your dB and all the pain he has caused you. Alcoholism is a horrible illness I speak as a recovering alcoholic. Please look after yourself and your family. Your dB has made his choices. All you can do now is remember the lovely brother he may have been before alcoholic stole him.
Sadly my brother died in the early evening yesterday.
I did travel up to the hospital to give what support i could to his partner. Poor bloke was sobbing his heart out and pleading to be allowed to take my brother home just one last time. He was even more upset when the ward sister explained that whilst she could come out to talk to me about him I could not go and sit with him to give his partner a chance to go out for a break. Bloody covid!
My younger brother- he has died well before me and I am left alone from my family. There is no-one left I can share memories with quite like a sibling yet I know in my heart life for him was such a burden with so few joys all he longed for in the end was for death to take him.
How could I have demanded him to fight to stay. Going to do all I can to make sure his partner is darn well provided for. Caring for my brother was a full time thankless job that interupted his career. Covid will not have made getting back any easier for him.
Feeling very, very sad and hoping he finally found the peace that elluded him in life. I know I will be okay - just so sad his life had to end like this. I would not have wished it on anyone.
I'm so sorry for all you have endured triballeader. I'm glad your brother isn't suffering any more. It's kind of you to care for your brother's partner.
Join the discussion
Registering is free, quick, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Get started »
Please login first.