I'm so glad there is place like this where there are people who understand this terrible disease. My brother lived with me and was an alcoholic. He died recently this past August from end stage liver failure at the age of 57. I'm having tremendous problems dealing with it. He knew he had liver problems for many years but didn't get any symptoms until 2 or 3 years ago. He lived with me for a long time and I was the one who basically helped with his health problems. I got him to doctor appointments, tests, other procedures, and the emergency room when he needed it.
His last 3 or 4 days at my house,before he went to ICU, were spent laying on my couch where he usually slept. Normally he was at least somewhat up and about. At first I got concerned when I noticed he had not taken his latest dose of pills. I gave him his pills but he was very groggy. He got them down, but not easily.I went about my usual business around the house (I'm retired). I kept checking on him from time to time. He seemed to be sleeping most of the time. He hadn't been drinking because he hadn't left the house in this whole time. He did have some pain pills from his doctor that could have made him groggy but I don't know if he took any of them and I didn't give him any. I could see him rolling around under the covers, so I assumed he was OK. I asked him once if he was OK and he grumpily said that yes he was fine.. I was still concerned about him but just wasn't sure what to do or if I needed to do anything. Something definitely seemed wrong, but I thought maybe I was overreacting, because sometimes I do overreact to things.
His TV usually was on 24 hours a day which was normal, but he hadn't changed the channel this whole time.Unusual. I never saw him leave the couch but figured maybe he have been getting up to eat at night while I was asleep or while I was out doing my stuff around the house. I continued giving him his medications and keeping an eye on him. Same thing as before, seemed to be rolling around in bed was groggy and had difficulties taking his meds.
On the 4th day he ended up collapsing on my kitchen floor. He was trying to get a glass of water, which I got for him. Then I called EMS.They took him to the local emergency room where he was given blood and then transferred to ICU. He died about 10 days later after one day in hospice.
I'm just wracked with guilt.Looking back, it seems obvious I should have done something sooner. I think I should have called his doctor for instructions or just called EMS sooner. With this disease there are so many crises sometimes you just get confused and don't know what to do.I never failed him in the past. Always got him to the emergency room or wherever he needed to be. Got little help from my family or anyone else. People just didn't seem to care because he was an alcoholic.
I'm seeing a psychologist now who says I have nothing to feel guilty about. He seems to think my brother knew he was dying and didn't want to go to the hospital in the first place. I just don't know. Maybe I should have asked my brother this question, but I didn't. An ICU nurse told me that my brother was in end stage liver disease and even if he were to have survived this incident, he probably still wouldn't have survived much longer. Hospice nurse told me that it probably wouldn't have made a difference even if he would have been brought in earlier.
Can anyone tell me how to deal with this? Have any of you ever dealt with anything like this before.? I just can't stand any more guilt. I really didn't expect him to die.
I'm so sorry for the loss of your brother. He spent his days and nights watching tv and drinking, two of his favorite past times, and he had a companion and helper in you that kept him company and made his days brighter. He is a lucky man to have you as his sister. Please know that he watches over you everyday, many times a day and wants you to not feel ANY remorse or guilt for the choices he made in his life, that would have him pass from liver disease. If he could , he would thank you instead, and tell you how much it meant that you didn't judge him, and that you kept a home for him, when no one else on earth would. You are his hero, please, allow him to see that you are well, and happy and knowing that you will one day walk arm in arm , healthy and happy, together.
What the doctor's and the therapist have said in no way indicates that you made any mistake that would have prolonged his life.
Do you have friends that you are close to? If not, please consider maybe joining the YWCA and meeting a bunch of women that maybe are doing an exercise group in the pool. ? Maybe even join a book club. I'm so glad that you found us here, and i'd love to stay in touch. I lost my husband to Juvenile Diabetes in his 44th year, and although I remarried, I know how hard it is for you right now. I'm here if you need a friend.
God bless you for being such a dear friend and sister to your brother (a fellow alcoholic, although i am in long term recovery).
The Content on this Site is presented in a summary fashion, and is intended to be used for educational and entertainment purposes only. It is not intended to be and should not be interpreted as medical advice or a diagnosis of any health or fitness problem, condition or disease; or a recommendation for a specific test, doctor, care provider, procedure, treatment plan, product, or course of action. Med Help International, Inc. is not a medical or healthcare provider and your use of this Site does not create a doctor / patient relationship. We disclaim all responsibility for the professional qualifications and licensing of, and services provided by, any physician or other health providers posting on or otherwise referred to on this Site and/or any Third Party Site. Never disregard the medical advice of your physician or health professional, or delay in seeking such advice, because of something you read on this Site. We offer this Site AS IS and without any warranties. By using this Site you agree to the following Terms and Conditions. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your physician or 911 immediately.