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How can I be a support to someone in this bad of shape?
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How can I be a support to someone in this bad of shape?

My husband was diagnosed with hepatitis c genotype 1a officially in 2011. He was told that he had the rare genotype and the doc referred to it as "The Big One." My husband believes that he got hepatitis c because he was a dumb teenager with a two year history of drug use. He also has 4 tattoos from non-tattoo shops. My husband and I have been together for 13 years now and he hasn't done any drugs since we've been together. That I know was a part of his past, but it hasn't been a part of his adult life. We have two children together, ages 10 and 9, and they are both taking their dad's sickness very hard. I am making this post for mental help. I don't know how to support my husband the way he needs me to. My husband and I are young, and we both feel like no one, doctors, friends, family, NO ONE believes how sick he is. He has been to 4 different doctors and all 4 of them have treated my husband like he is exaggerating his pain. He was even denied Medicaid for help getting treatment. I am a student and I work at a job that does not offer insurance. I have no money to help my husband, so I don't know where to go for help. My husband continues to drink beer because he feels like it's the only way that he can deal with the pain, even though he knows it's harmful to his liver. I have had to watch my husband curl up in a ball holding his stomach while he cries how bad it hurts. My husband did concrete for 15 years before he found out he was sick, and he hasn't been able to work for the past 2 years now because of how bad his body hurts. My husband was a very hard worker and to observe him going from working so hard to not being able to work, I know he's not making it up. Our children have to hear their dad every single night throw up in the bathroom before they go to school. My husband's pain is becoming mentally unstable for us all. He is becoming angrier and angrier. He has suicidal thoughts and tells me all the time that he wants to die because he can't stand the pain that he is in. He feels like me and our children don't support him with what he's going through, but I know that it's angry talk that he doesn't mean and he's just saying it because he's in pain. I don't know where to turn for help or how to get my husband the help he needs. If anyone has any advice that would be great. How can I be a support to someone in this bad of shape?
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Avatar_f_tn
I'm glad that you got him to the ER, but he must stop drinking now. If he can't do it alone, he must go into treatment to stop drinking. He is further damaging his liver with alcohol. He won't be able to treat his Hep C if he's drinking alcohol. If he keeps drinking and if he doesn't treat his Heo C, he will get sicker and sicker until his liver fails or he develops liver cancer and you and your children will watch him suffer with end stage liver disease. He must not drink even one beer ever again, and then he can treat his Hep C.
Advocate1955
50 Comments Post a Comment
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315996_tn?1321809719
Is he still drinking alcohol? Sure sounds like either that or his liver it totally shot.
Of course, I am not the person to ask, I am not a doctor or expert.
What area is this pain?
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315996_tn?1321809719
Oh, I just saw that he is still drinking. He needs to stop. He is an alcoholic first, liver patient second.
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Avatar_f_tn
Yes he is still drinking beer, not liquor, every day.  He tried to stop drinking back in the Fall 2011 and went into shock from alcohol withdrawls on Thanksgiving night.  He also went through alcohol detoxification in the Fall of 2012, but we don't have insurance to pay for mental health treatment which is what he needed to help detox completely.  He went back to drinking.  His pain is in his liver.  His liver makes these gurgling, bubbly sounding noises every single morning.  My husband explains to me its because he needs a beer.  It sounds like the sound your stomach makes when you're hungry, only this isn't what it is because its coming from his liver and not his stomach.    
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Avatar_m_tn
I have a few suggestions.

I'm not so sure your hubby is getting good medical care.  I am a genotype 1a.  A Genotype 1 is the most common genotype in the USA, and so you can infer that it is NOT rare.  Neither is a genotype 1a as compared to a 1b.  It sound like the doctor has a flair for bad facts or drama.  A genotype 1 is the toughest to treat and I think you'd find some agreement that a 1a may be tougher to cure than a 1b.  ..... but a "big one?"  It makes me wonder about your doctor.  I just would not chose that adjective.  The flip side is that since it is very common in the US that it is a targeted genotye for companies to cure.  Yeah.....that is how rare it is in the USA.  : /

But then...... I wonder about your husband as well.  He has HCV and drinks to ease his pain.  
.......Hmmmmmmm the alcohol is causing him damage, causing him pain, and any doctor that he talks to and truthfully reports that he drinks..... well..... many people might think; if he doesn't care, why should I?  
Your husband would have to look hard to find a more damaging pain reliever.  Is it possible that he has a drinking problem and cannot quit?  

He may need to find a different doctor, he may need to find a different form of pain relief; even pot.....which I am not recommending, but it would be a better choice than alcohol.

I think your hubby needs to get an evaluation about his liver damage and general status.  For instance..... if he is cirrhotic and drinking alcohol he could be be nearing some point of no return.

Any doctor could order a biopsy, but a cheaper faster (and less accurate)_ test is a fibrosure.(it's a labcorp test)  It is a simple blood draw, and may cost 350ish dollars w/ no insurance, whereas a biopsy may be over several thousand. You may the results within a week.  
...Don't bother getting the test unless he fasts about 12 hours before the blood draw and I would wait a week of no drinking to help get a more reliable result.  If he is in bad pain you also need to watch his use of tylenol use.

There are programs for assistance with treatments if you are low income.  Trials are also available, but they will not likely opt for a drinker; I'm sorry.

He can apply for disabilty/ medicare, but understand that it may take several attempts, but at one time the benefits may also be retroactive.

I would try to get his drinking fixed.  I would get his damage assessed.  I might consider a different doctor; is this guy a GP, a gastro or a hepatologist?  How many people has he treated?  Is it his specialty or does he do a number of other ailments?  It could be that your hubby needs a top notch doctor if you are wondering about yours.

Whereas I know nothing about your hubby, I would venture a guess that he could benefit from taking Vitamin D3, vit B especially b-12 and he may be low on several others or micro-nutrients, such as zinc or selenium. These are rather typical that many people are low on these, but far better to get tested.

my 2 cents

willy
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3122657_tn?1357436202
Im so sorry to hear about your husband but his drinking is a very very bad thing even if he does get on treatment the drinking is gonna hurt him in a big way somehow you have to try to get him to stop the drinking and also try to get him to a low income medical program i lost my job due to my illness and my insurance went with the job i do get all my meds free from the drug company there is always hope but his drinking is not gonna end well for him there is hope Hep c is not the end of the world
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Avatar_f_tn
Thank you so much for your responses.  This is my first time turning to the internet for advice.  I wish I could get my husband to think more positive.  He already believes hep c is the end of the world for him.  He's so far gone in depression from it that I don't know where to go for help.  I have applied for assistance in the county that we live in and were denied because we weren't able to prove how sick he really is.  Unless I take a video camera and record his every move and word every day, that seems to be the only way that I can proove how sick my husband really is.  He was turned away from the only mental health care clinic we have in my county because we don't have insurance.  They only take homeless people without insurance - even when I told them he is suicidal - they still turned him away.  I found a mental health care clinic in another county, but they wouldn't help him because we are not a resident of that county.  I have been told by numerous people that the Pegasys company would work with him for the treatments, but my husband has had such bad experiences with doctors that he feels like Why Bother?  He feels like any doctor I take him to won't believe him.  Yes he has had bad experiences with doctors since he found out about his disease.  He wants to quit drinking, but doesn't have the right support to stop drinking.  He blames his family for the reason that he can't quit drinking.  I know he's an alcoholic and so does he.  Most people in his situation do not have a loving, supporting spouse, and that is why people don't believe how sick he really is.  Most wives would leave their spouse for putting up with what I put up with in a day/week/month/year.  He had one doctor detoxify him with Cerax to help with the alcohol cravings and he claimed that it worked physically just not mentally.  He went right back to drinking.  I need any advice on where to take my husband.  Where is a good GI doctor or Hepatologist in Utah that will actually accept him as a patient no matter what county I live in?
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1856046_tn?1330240845
That sounds a lot my story except I quit drinking 18 years ago with the help of AA.
I thought my main problem was drinking and all I had to do was quit and everything would be ok.
I became what is known as a "dry drunk' which is someone who doesn't drink but never dealt with the underlying causes. That went on for 11 years and the last 5 years were full of depression and constant thoughts of suicide and self-loathing.
Once I went back to AA, got a sponsor, and worked the program like is suggested, my life turned around, my depression mostly vanished, my self-hate went away and I was able to see many things more clearly and let go of trying to control other people.
Of course you and the kids don't know what he is going through, how could you? Only another alcoholic or hepper really does.
My advice is to get him to go to AA and join a Hep C support group (like this one) and he will find people who do know what he is dealing with and how they have came to be able to deal with their challenges.
AA is free and they have a hot-line you can call and talk to them about getting your husband to at least think about it. There is also AlAnon for people who live or deal with an alcoholic. If you or he do go, it is important for you to listen for the similarities that other people have in common with you and let go of and NOT focus on the differences.
He really does need to stop drinking asap or it will mean death and not a pretty death either. Look up the symptoms that come with End Stage Liver Disease (ELSD). He has a grea deal of influence in his actions to stop or postpone this.
At one time I though that I was worth more dead than alive to my family as they could get SSI. I am SO glad I never went that route and come to realize that kids need a mother and father in their life if it is possible, which it is!!!
Good luck and God Bless,
Chris
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3122657_tn?1357436202
Have you tried taking him to the emergency room about the pain cant they give you something saying he is very very ill so he can get so kind of help as far as a doctor and insurance there has to be some place he can get the help he need

Big Daddy is right try to get him onto this support group site trust me every one of the caring and kind people will try to give him all the support he needs to try

It is a start

Best of luck to you
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4896357_tn?1360674504
He HAS to stop drinking entirely and eat a more liver friendly diet. He has to get help for his depression since he will not be treated until he does because the difficult tx raises to possibility of suicide. Deal with that first. Then stay on the internet and read all that you can. Call everyone you can find on-line. This means Doctors, support groups, medical aid programs, hospitals where trials are run. I started treatment a month ago. I'm getting $100,000 worth of drugs free. I found a compassionate Dr. who charges me half rate. He lets me get my bloodwork done directly at the lab of my choice. I found a lab who gives me 40% off because I have no insurance. He has to want this though and the fact that he's still drinking indicates that he doesn't even care at this point.
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Avatar_f_tn
I ended up taking him to the ER today and they prescribed him Librium to deal with the alcohol withdrawals.  They also referred me to 3 places where they take uninsured people so that he can get the mental health care that he needs.  I hope one of these places work out.  
I want to thank every one of you for your support.  I think it's cool to see so many Americans looking out for someone that they don't even know.  Hepatitis C is very real and very hard to prove the symptoms and it's good to know that there are people out there that do understand.

I had my husband read these comments and statements and he says that t you all have honestly helped him a lot and he wanted me to let you all know.  Thank you for the good advice.
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Avatar_f_tn
I'm glad that you got him to the ER, but he must stop drinking now. If he can't do it alone, he must go into treatment to stop drinking. He is further damaging his liver with alcohol. He won't be able to treat his Hep C if he's drinking alcohol. If he keeps drinking and if he doesn't treat his Heo C, he will get sicker and sicker until his liver fails or he develops liver cancer and you and your children will watch him suffer with end stage liver disease. He must not drink even one beer ever again, and then he can treat his Hep C.
Advocate1955
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4384361_tn?1400001830
I've been reading this thread since it was posted and you and your husband received some great advise.  I just want to add that it took me over a year after I was diagnosed to give up the alcohol.  I really felt like a piece of crap the entire time I continued to drink.  My liver damage didn't progress a lot but that was probably pure luck and good genes.  I read this forum for months before I created an account and started sharing.  MedHelp and the people who offer their experience and advise have been a lifesaver for me.  They helped me deal with my shame and offered me hope.  Through this site I've become very educated about my virus.  It's the second best thing you can do for yourself and it only takes a few minutes a day to read the new posts.
I will be thinking and praying for your and your husband.  There are many on this site who've struggled with alcohol along with our diagnosis.  
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Avatar_m_tn
i have or had genotype 1A and cirrhosis.  I finished treatment 25 weeks ago and am awaiting the outcome of blood test to see if i am cured.  about 7 years ago in 2006 my liver started to ache non-stop.  it was the first thing i felt in the morning and the last thing i felt at night.  prior to that time my liver ached intermittently  and seemed to be the worst after i drank.  I started treatment in September 2011 and treated for 48 weeks.  Within a month or two after starting treatment my liver stopped aching and has not ached since.  physically i feel better than i have for many years.  i pray that your husband can allow grace into his life and find peace.
many blessings
eric
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Avatar_f_tn

hi i am really pleased for you both that you have managed it get the help that you need. I agree with all the others this site is absolutey fantastic the advice and support is unbeleivable it as helped me and my husband so much . Your husband as taken the first of many steps and i wish you both good luck and best wishes please keep reading and using this site keep us posted best wishes cheflady, England
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Avatar_f_tn
Good luck...I hope everything works out well for you both.  Your husband probably won't be happy to read my comments but they are from experience, the heart and  I am a realistist.  It's very hard for a person to change. So take these in context of what they are.  You got good info & advice in the other posts. But please remember, it is him who has the drinking problem which is ultimately affecting you and your childrens' lives.
1. You can not stop him drinking.
2. The only one who can do that is him.
3. He has to want to.

There will be some who do not agree with me on what I am getting ready to say but coming from an alcoholic set of parents and 2 ex's who both had drinking problems and I thought "I could help them"... and I was an EMT who also worked the detox ward if I wasn't working in the ER. I was also a bartender for almost 20 yrs. I know drinkers.
Facts:
1. Alcoholics lie not only to themselves but to friends, family, bosses, etc.
2. No one can help an alcoholic until they are ready to admit they are one.
3. Most alcoholics have underlying issues that drive them to drink.
4. Or it is a habit that has been filtered in by their enviroment.
5. You can not fix them.
6.  AA tells you that alcoholism is not the amount you need to drink it is the need to drink.  If a person needs to have "a" beer every day after they get off work, they have potential problem.

I am a Workaholic...or was...worked fulltime the ER and worked fulltiime as a bartender. Several of the large companies here had excellent retinention programs for their employees who went through detox then to AA,  Would watch these guys do all the steps they needed to keep their jobs by day and then show up in the local bar the same night.  

You have yourself and two children. Your children should be your priority if he is not going to want to take care of himself for you or your children.

I am Hep C, ESLD stage 4, was not a consistent or heavy drinker but the day I got this diagnosis I put down the occassional wine glass and walked away from drinking,  My Hep C was most likely caused from a toxic overdose of prescribed meds over many years for excessive migraines and had had a frontal lobe concussion where I was in a coma for days, plus my second crazy drunk ex decided to drive off the Bahia Honda bridge and had to be literally put back piece by piece...so was in extreme pain for many years so to get hit 20 years later with the Hep C was another slap but I knew that I had to pull from inner strenght to get through this.

I miss a good red wine, I am intrigued by all the different beers they have now...but can't have any.  Can't even smoke my favorite plant. Walked away from all of that 20 years ago.  No one could do it for me.  No one can do it for your husband.

He just needs to realize that he is not a rare bird...he is in a flock of many. Some of us do good with treatment, others do not. Have done every type of treatment they have thrown at me...some I just couldn't tolerate.  But he can't give up.  Big Daddy kind of said it all in regard to AA. And as others pointed out there are agencies who will help those who want to help them selves.  Being from the medical field you really can't lie to them.  Can not tell you how many people would tell me that they didn't drink or smoke or do drugs...you can see right through it.  So what someone said it true. If he doesn't want to help himself, no one can do it for him.  

And here is some more unsoliticated advice.  Stop drinking, smoking. Drink more water.  Start trying to look at your nuitritional needs for your family. More fruits and vegetables.  Stop eating red meat.  Watch salt, sodium and sugars.

And I will say to your husband from the heart....those two kids are absorbing everything you do....I have an alcoholic brother who "learned" the habit from home...then went to college and it became worse.  He has underlying issues that he will not deal with.  Until he is ready to admit he is an alcoholic and has a problem, as much as we all love him, there is nothing we can do.  He calls his fellow cronies his support group but I can tell you this...when his liver goes...they won't be around to take care of him.

I wish you all of the best for you, your husband and children.
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Avatar_f_tn
I completely agree with you that I cannot change him and that he has to want the change.  It sounds like you have had some bad experiences with alcoholics and I'm glad that I haven't experienced anything that hard.  I always try to remember that somebody out there has it worse than I do. As far as more underlying issues, yes of course there are!  Too many to even go into on this website.  I have watched his alcoholism become the way it has since he found out about his disease and since he has been unable to work for the past two years.  My husband became an alcoholic from doing concrete work.  When we first started dating 13 years ago, we were both social drinkers.  When he found out about his disease, that's when the drinking became worse.  His boredom from being home and stuck in the house has not helped his problem.  He went 3 months in 2012 without drinking all on his own.  He went back to drinking because he was sick of feeling flu-like symtoms (symptoms) every day since he stopped drinking and he believed that if he drank, that he would go back to "normal."  Of course, that isn't what happened.  He's never been to a head doctor before and he's never been diagnosed with anything so I'm hoping that this will actually help him.  Again thank you for the advice and good luck to you.
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3122657_tn?1357436202
I  have to say i  agree with heart_in_the_keys that is that same as for any type of addiction me myself it was street drugs as a teen i never got help because after about 3 years of doing drugs i just got tired of that life and just stopped using and it did not matter not one little bit that my family all tried to help me i went into a shelter for bad kids a few times and jail a few more times but none of that ment anything to me until one day a light just came on in my head and i decided i did not want that life anymore and i stopped

i think the point i was trying to make was no matter how much help you get and no matter how much love you have around the decision to make that change in your life  has to come from inside ones self yes support is very helpful but he has to want to make that change

Well said heart_in_the_keys  : )
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Avatar_f_tn
Talia, it still doesn't make sense to me that he knows that drinking is further damaging his liver, his liver damage is what's causing his pain, and yet he's continued drinking because of the pain. I hope he will get the treatment he needs for his alcoholism because he won't be able to treat his Hep C or qualify for a liver transplant while he is drinking alcohol (even one).
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4670047_tn?1375734001
I second that! Well said!! Talia  one of your statements bothers me so much. Your husband says he feels like you and "the children" are not supporting "him". That should be your ticket out. If he doesn't go into one of those places within lets say 48 hours' please take your children out of the environment. You can always go back when things get better. But you can't reverse what's coming next. Please go back and read heart_in_the_keys. And then go back to some of your comments. I could go on & on and never get through to you. I'm not punishing you, trust me as bad as I sound. This all comes from experience. I will be hoping he goes in to one of the places offered. You sound very strong! That's great for the kids to have, but your husband needs to lien on others with addiction. Bless you talia!!!
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4384361_tn?1400001830
Great advice from Heart_in_the_Keyes.  I want to add that I went through treatment three times.  Was sober for seven years.  Quit a a few times on my own for months at a time and received all types of counseling.  My doctor wouldn't treat me for my Hep C until I addressed by depression and alcoholism.  I saw a psychiatrist for 1-1/2 years.  I continued to drink.  I have two granddaughters who I am extremely close to.  They are the love of my life.  One day my shrink told me that if I died by my own actions, their lives would be forever defined by "my grandmother died when I was XX years old of alcoholism".  It was that one statement that became the turning point for ME.  Blessings, Talia.  
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Avatar_f_tn
Thanks for your reply...I know my post might have sounded harsh. It was not meant to be.  This website is to help ones who are ill and/or their family members with how to deal with Hep C.   You are the one who posted for the help, so my focus was more on you.  You are very important. Please do keep posting so we can back you up and help YOU.

First step is to inform ones self about the disease itself.  
1. You and your children are not to blame.  
2. Where or when your husband picked up Hep C isn't important at this point.  It happened.  He has it.  He needs to do what is necessary to face it. There are millions of people out there with the same virsus.  Some of them who have never even drank...there are many reasons and ways one can get Hep C.
3. Everyone feels like it's the "end" when they 1st hear but it is not the "end of the world" if you try to fight it.  
4. You can't take care of anyone who won't try to take care of themselves.
5. Alcoholics have a compulsive physiological need for and use of a habit forming substance.You can not fix this. Only they can.
6. You signed up to be a marriage partner... not a co-dependent.
7. His liver doesn't "gurrgle" to indicate he needs another beer...what bs.
8. Stop feeling sorry for him. He needs to be responsible for himself.
9. #8 is hard..it took me way too many years to realize that I couldn't help or fix my 2nd husband no matter how much I loved him.
10. Oddly enough, all my relationships were with people who I thought I could help or fix...stemmed from my childhood...all were alcoholics.  
11. Finally had to save myself.  Painful? Yes. Scary? Yes. Freeing? Yes.
12. My 1st husband died from a heart attack and was an active drinker, cigarette smoker and overeater who would not face what he needed to do to get well.
13. You are the mother. Of a 9 and 10 year old. The mother is the memory maker for the family. 20 years from now when they gather, what stories do you want them remembering?
14. When I was diagnoised with Hep C 20 years ago I was in total shock since I worked in the ER and did the Hep A/B shot. But since then I realized that there were many ways I could have gotten it.  
15. I have worked 60 - 80 hours a week or more since I was diagnoised until this last year. I just took a deep breath and did what I need to do. So you can work with Hep C.
16. Proper blood work will tell a person if they have Hep C.  And yes, it is one of those diseases that doesn't show outward physical symptoms at first or until many years later.  

For your kids...my 1st hepatologist told me not to waste time on how I got it but to focus on doing what was necessary to get better.  Here is what he told my granddaughter who was with me one day who wanted to know what Hep C was...she was 10 so he broke it down very simply to her...the older posters here will have a laugh with this but:

"You have a body. Your body has a liver. The liver is the washing machine for your body. It is important because it pumps approximately a gallon of blood per second from your liver to toes to brain.  The liver removes all the poisons and toxins you ingest. There are interferons in the liver. The interferons are like the laundry detergent for your liver. The Hep C kills the interferons. Once the interferons are all gone then the Hep C related problems will start occuring."

It made sense to her...as she has gotten older and is getting ready to go to college she is going to study nuitrition and physics at Purdue.

Follow some of the other posts & their advice. He needs a hepatologist, not a regular doctor. His stomach area could be gurrling from other issues.  He needs to advoid alcohol, cigarettes, pain meds, tylenol. Other over counter pain relievers can cause stomach ulcers. Drink water, water, water. Black coffee is okay too, but be sure to drink the water.  He surely doesn't want to be at the stage that I find myself in or some of the others on this site do.  

Here is a real fact:  If he is in pain right now...he needs to come to grip with it.  If he does not, it will only get more painful as he goes on. Then what happens?  He can't live without a functioning liver.

Keep posting...read posts that are already posted...I found info within a post that helped me that wasn't even titled like anything I was looking for. This website is one of the best. They have been a God send to me and there are many, many compassionate people on here that want the best for you, your children and your husband.  Take a step back. Take a deep breath. Evaluate what you can and can't do.  He has to take responsibility for his body.

Everyday that goes by, the options for those with Hep C become better until one day there will be a cure.  But at this moment there is not, so we have to follow a protocol of health and good behavior...and this coming from an old hippie..... for those who follow the protocol there are many options to stop this disease before it becomes too late.  For most they work.

IGod Bless you Talia on your path.
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Avatar_f_tn
Thank you everyone!  Again I took him to the ER for reasons unrelated to my post.  They prescribed him Librium and so far he isn't drinking 4 days now.  I am taking him to the clinic for pyschiatric help on saturday.  Hopefully everything works out.  Thank you all for your help and advice.  My husband is one of a kind and I don't want him looked at as a bad person.  He knows he has a problem and he wants for the first time in his life to actually pursue doing the treatment and getting help.  He is really scared to do the treatment because of one example being his grandmother passed away from doing chemo because she had lung cancer and she never smoked a cigarette a day in her life and 2 months into it she died.  He is feeling a lot of anxiety about it, but he is actually telling me now for the first time in 2 years that he wants to do the treatment and do what he needs to do.  There are so many things I could go on and on about what he's scared about.  Like I said earlier my husband and I are the couple that are different from everyone else.  Anyone that meets us can tell the love that we have for each other.  
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Avatar_f_tn
No one doubts that you love each other. We just hope that you are not enabling his alcoholism inadvertently. He can't treat his Hep C until he has stopped drinking for a period of time. He needs to stay quitting drinking, and then treat his Hep C, and follow all other doctor's orders to protect his liver from further damage (no acetaminophen, low iron, no drugs, no alcohol, fresh fruits/veggies, drink water, no iron supplements), and have blood work and liver scans or ultrasounds every 6 mo or so.
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yes I understand he needs to be alcohol free for at least 6 months before treatment can be an option.  that is the goal.  I don't know if it's the state that we live in, but there is no good help here.  My husband was prescribed tylenol 3 by one of the doctors that he saw and he threw up blood.  When he went back they diagnosed him with strep throat even though his test came back negative!!!
Then the GI doctor that he saw complimented him for losing weight when my husband brought it up as a concern!  There is only one GI doctor here in the county we live in and we will not go back there.  We are going to ask the clinic on Saturday to refer us one in Salt Lake County.  Unless anyone out there knows of one in Utah that would help that would be great!  I'm almost willing to drive to another state to get him the help that he needs.
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I got to thinking about your kids. I feel sorry for them having to grow up too soon.
The best thing than can happen is for you-know-who to change his ways, quit drinking, deal with his Hep C and come back as a good role model by setting this example.

It is very good example for kids when a parent can say:  "I changed my ways for the better".
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  The symptoms he is describing dont pertain to Hepatitis C.  Hepatitis C is called "The Silent Killer" because it usually doesn't have any symptoms at all, until it is too late, and a person is cirrhotic. Then the symptoms are edema in the legs, and ascites in the belly, and "bleedingout" from backed up vein, usually in the Esophugus. A person will cough up giant chunksof blood.
   We do get "extra-hepatic" symptoms, usually after 20 yrs, like joint pain, sometimes. But I have never heard of anyone with Hep C having severe stomach pain, he may have an ulcer, does he take Ibuprofen? That, mixed with beer, would cause this.
   Has your husband had a biopsy? Iused to think all my physical symptoms were related to my Hep C, but I cured my Hep C,and I still have the symptoms: they were night-sweats, from hot-flashes...I woould get dehydrated, etc.
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  Oh, I didn't answer your question...hmmmmm. All my husbands were alcoholic or addicts also, and it made me miserable all the time.  An alcoholic has to make the decision to stop, them-selves. I did try everything though, but nothing worked.
   I did support myself though, by going to Alanon meetings. I learned that I didn't have to be angry with my husband all the time, because it was killing me, the stress, and it was unfair to my children.
   Alcoholism is a tricky and difficult disease to treat~
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Just a thought. After reading your posts it seems a possible avenue to follow would be presenting your story to the Dr. Phil Show. Having two children affected by the situation would be helpful when his staff make a determination. I watch the show and it seems that your husband would be a qualified candidate. Give it a shot. Can't hurt to try. Good luck!

Be on the Show: (www.drphil.com)

Here is a sneak peek behind the scenes of Dr. Phil and the topics we are working on. Click on a show topic below to read more about it. If you're under 18, you must have a parent or guardian fill out the form. If you would like Dr. Phil's life strategy advice, and are willing to appear on the show, please send us your story. Sending us an e-mail is your consent that the material may be used on the show or Web site.



Dr. Phil is a renowned life strategist and best-selling author. As host of his own show, he continues to offer his unique tell-it-like-it-is brand of advice on a full range of topics. He does not and will not administer individual, group or medical therapy; his advice, opinions or statements should not be considered individual, group or medical therapy or a substitute or replacement for those therapies.



You might receive a call from one of our show producers inviting you to share your story on the air, and you might be asked to join us in the studio to speak face-to-face with Dr. Phil. Unfortunately, due to the volume of letters we receive, we are not able to respond personally to every e-mail. We do not pay for suggestions or ideas. We look forward to hearing from you!

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You mentioned that a doctor gave him Tylenol 3. Tylenol is very damaging to the liver for someone with Cirrhosis. I'm not sure about the coedeine in Tylenol 3, but I do know that Tylenol damages the liver further in someone with cirrhosis and can even cause the liver to fail. We need our livers. Any doctor treating your husband for anything at this point should be talking to a hepatologist before prescribing anything.
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If his gastroenterologist prescribed Tylenol 3 for him, he either needs a new/better gastroenterologist wh is familiar with hep c, alcoholism, and liver damage, or he needs a hepatologist, preferably the latter. Usually you will find hepatologists in liver care clinics or liver transplant centers located within university based medical centers. His next steps should be alcohol and prescription detox, a thorough eval by a good hepatologist, and depending on sobriety, later treatment for Hep C. As noted in other posts: drink water, reduce sodium, no iron supplements, increase fruits and veggies, no over the counter or prescription meds unless approved by hepatologist, and no alcohol or recreational drugs.
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I would like to say you have got some very good advice from some people that has been in your shoes and your husbands also.As for the big1947 up there,you can tell he hasn't been on here very long and not much sympathy either.I would like to help you out..
Find you a transplant center closest to you.Go to the Social services Desk and ask to speak with someone about getting on the Charity Program and get you an appointment with Hepatologist.They will take it from there and it will make him feel better also. Hep C takes decades to kill you. He needs some test ran by the Hep doctor to see how much damage he has and to see how much liver is functioning.I have Cirrhosis and have been treated for Hep C,do not know yet if I am undetected.You can do all the foot work as ( I call it) to get him where he needs to be. Once you get him in they will get him into treatment for the HepC , all the Clinical Trials are free for treating.I also want to say that HepC tx is nothing like Chemotherapy and now days they have hardly any side effects.Here is a link that will help you get started...Transplant Center - - University of Utah Health Care - Salt Lake City ...
healthcare.utah.edu/transplant/
University of Utah Health Care's Transplant Center offers patients and families comprehensive treatment and care for all transplant related diseases and ...
Hope he gets the help he needs..

God Bless you all.
~Country~
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You're absolutely right Country that was my first post. I am a tenderfoot. I apologize if I came across as not having much sympathy, but that is the furtherest thing from the truth. Didn't have anything substantual to contribute so I added what I thought might help. Oops! You people are doing a great job helping Talia and others and I am very impressed. Keep up the good work and best of luck to you and family, Talia.
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Hi Talia~  I still dont know why everybodyis responding to this post, like your husband has cirrhosis, has there been a biopsy? Like I said, stomach pain is not a symptom of Hep C~  He may be having an anxiety attack, and like I said, stomach ulcers.
   The current Treatment out right now, with Interferon, can frequently cause anxiety and stomach problems, and the patient has to be mentally stable, enough so, to take the meds exactly on time, without ever forgetting, due to drug tolerance issue.
   If your husband does NOT have cirrhosis then he would be better off either waiting for the new Interferon Free treatment , which includes sofosbuvir, and hasn't been approved by the FDA yet, or he could try participating in a Govt Clinical Research Trial, which is Interferon free
   If your husband actually does have cirrhosis, from his Hep C, then I apologize for not seeinghtat anywher on this post.
     Has he had his Hep about 20 yrs now, as in...he shot up when he was 18 yrs, and he is 38 yrs now?  It is hard to help when we dont have these pertinent facts. I did read that you are in Utah, and I've spent some time there. It would be a very difficult place to find Hep C Treatment, I imagine. Oneof these Studies may be yiur best bet.
  It sounds like a cycle is happening: your husband is having panic/anxiety, concerning his Hep C...he drinks to self-medicate his worries, he becomes more worried, because he drank, around and around he goes.
   Stick around here, and we will try to get help for him, there are many knowledgable people on here~  
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This is in the beginning of the Post...
  My husband was diagnosed with hepatitis c genotype 1a officially in 2011. He was told that he had the rare genotype and the doc referred to it as "The Big One." My husband believes that he got hepatitis c because he was a dumb teenager with a two year history of drug use. He also has 4 tattoos from non-tattoo shops

I was mainly stating if Hep C wasn't treated it will eventually turn to Cirrhosis,as I have done..You and I pretty much said the same thing in our post,just two different perspective's.. LOL.
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Go to the Hepatitis Social Community Forum and read the one that says Treatments by Creewoman..Hope that helps him decide to get help and to not drink..Please read it.

Country
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I like what  BoceprevirGal says about "sticking around and we will help".
I know this forum has helped me.
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You received good advice from the great people here... I hope you find the support and impetus you need to help yourself and your husband make some forward movement in your lives.  Whatever the two of you have to do... you have your children to think about, and hopefully your husband will find the strength and courage within himself to care about them, you, and himself the way he should.

Whether or not he has cirrhosis, as others above pointed out, he will get to end-stage sooner rather than later if he continues on his current path. The pain and misery and depression he's experiencing now is only a mere glimpse of what end-stage will do to him, and to you, and to your children -- and then some.  Untreated, accelerated hepatitis can kill... and the pain and suffering on the way to that unspeakable death... will make what he and you are bearing now -- mentally, physically, emotionally -- simply pale in comparison.  

Your husband can choose to live and love and fight the ills life handed him, or he can choose to wallow in his pain and pity... I hope he makes the brave and right choice while time is on his side. He's fortunate to have a caring, supportive spouse by his side who loves him, and I hope he realizes that ... so many don't, and have to go it alone.  

The hep c treatments that currently exist and the medical interventions available today are such that your husband has a better opportunity now than ever before to beat this disease, but only if he chooses to seize the day. My husband was diagnosed with hep c so far progressed that there was precious little opportunity to save his life... there comes a point with this terrible disease when no amount of love, support, or work or will can make any difference... hopefully your husband realizes he still has a chance to save his life before it's too late for him.  

Welcome to the community. ~eureka

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Again thank you everyone.  Thanks to this site, for the first time in 2 years my husband and I both feel like there IS someone out there that can relate.  In case your all wondering he still hasn't drank this week, although he has brought it up that he wants a beer, but hasn't gotten any.  Tomorrow I take him to a head doctor.  And we don't know if he has cirrhosis, but we know his viral level is at 6 million.  I don't know anything about stomach pain and it being related to Hepatitis C, but I know what he tells me, and he explains to me how his liver feels like it's twisting in a knot, like wringing out a wet rag.  He dry heaves every morning when he wakes up, or all through the night on bad nights, but nothing ever comes up.  He has no appetite - I can hardly ever get him to eat anything.  Since he hasn't been drinking beer this week, he's been drinking a lot of cabana lemonade (if this is harmful to his liver we had no idea), but not eating much food.  I've looked up diets for Hepatitis C and I've started buying those foods for our family.  I understand fresh fruits and veggies, proteins (but not red meat), spinach, and dairy are good for this.  When he does eat, he eats healthy.  Any      
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my husband has struggled with doing the treatment (obviously) and he struggles with the fact that there really is no "cure" for hepatitis at all.  He looks at these treatments as "experimenting on a guinea pig" and he feels like this medicine is just an experiment on him.  He's known people with Hepatitis C that did the treatment that still died and another that it made their viral levels go up.  He's freaking out, but for the first time since he found out he has the disease, is actually willing to accept that he has to do it.  BTW we are both younger than 38.  Let's just say I tell people I stopped counting after 25...
My husband is one of kind.  Someone you have probably never met and will never meet.  He was born different and has a different life story which led up to his problematic teenage years.  When he lived in California, he claimed kids out there were just "smoking pot" but when he moved back to Utah kids out here were "shooting up." He shot up for 2 years and quit because he wanted to go out with me and he knew that I didn't want to date a loser dope addict.  He quit cold-turkey and never went back to it again.  He never had a desire or a temptation to go back to it ever again.  In fact, drug addicts are people he despises to be around now in his adult life. He has cried to me so many times how angry he is with himself for giving himself this disease and ruining our lives (me and the kids).  He has told me so many times that if he had just one wish that he wishes he could go back in time and not shoot up.  All we can do is educate our own children on what not to do.
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Well I agree with Bocep. What your saying does not sound like cirrhosis to me. Ulcers, Gallbladder, and other stomach related issues come to mind.Sounds like your husband took the first step in ending the booze.

Find a good doctor and taking care of this is the next step, he's still a young man and the odds are very good he can take care of this. not sure what you mean about not really a "cure" for Hep-C as really there is.

Read all you can and get yourselfs educated  and then getting all this behind you will be a lot easier...... And for what it's worth just about all of us have done stupid things growing up. It is what it is.

Best to all of you........ good luck
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Agree with can-do-man. This is the best time in history to be treating Hep C. Depending on many factors (genotype and other factors) many people w Hep C have almost an 80% chance of curing their Hep C which means getting rid of the virus forever and stopping it from damaging his liver further. Another thing you should know is that how high or low his viral load is has no bearing on how much or how little damage the virus is causing to his liver. It's simply the presence of the virus in the bloodstream that damages the liver, regardless of high or low viral load. Glad he's decided to stop alcohol, hope his liver damage is minimal, and hope he can cure his Hep C soon! Tell him there is a cure now, and lots of people on this forum have treated and cured.
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hi so glad your hubby is taking the librium and managing to dtay of the booze it cant be easy but he on the right track also i think he will start to feel better when he gets help for his depression at the moment i bet it feels like a vicious circle. Good luck with it all and keep us posted so we can try and give your family the support you are going to need, hang in there x
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  Hi Talia~  It sounds like your husband needs to see a Doctor who specializes in digestive disorders, so this may be a G.I., but I'm not sure.  My G.I. only did colonoscopies.  But there is also a procedure where they can put a lil camera down the throat, to look at the digestive tract, it;s called an "endoscopy".
    Your husband doesn't even have to mention how he caught Hep C, but you may get better treatment, if you just say it was the Tattoos, which it may have been. We understand how/why your husband probably got it, and I probably got it the same way, but people that havent walked in our shoes can be ignorant.
   Only 20%  of the population may get cirrhosis, within 20 yrs of having Hep C, but it sounds like your hubs hasn't had it that long, so that is very hopeful.  Also, yes there IS a cure for Hep C, especially genotype 1's, the new meds were approved in May of 2011!!!   And, an even better med is on it's way to being approved, with the next 1~3 yrs.
   I was cured of my Hep C within thelast year. I started on Feb 7th, and did  28 weeks with Interferon, Ribaviran and Victrelis.  I found out 2 weeks ago that I still dont have the virus, and I havent taken the meds for over 6 months. The virus isn't going to come back, this is a medical fact, it is called, "Sustained Viral Response".   All the things that were wrong with my blood are now normal!  If you and your husband read thru the Social Side, and this forum, you will see that so many of us Geno 1's have just recently been cured, since the DA has approved the two new meds, Victrelis and Incivek. I feel like I have taken place in a Miracle
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So the clinic turned him away because he wasn't Hispanic.  I am not racist, but you had to be there to understand.  We walked in and it was full of hispanics.  We were the only white people that walked in.  The receptionists were both Hispanic.  Even when I told her it was an emergency and he was suicidal she snobbishly turned us away.    We didn't have our pay stubs with us so they turned us away.  Nobody told me I had to bring them with me!!! Their communication *****.  Meanwhile, they were letting other hispanic people in without their pay stubs, but we HAVE to have ours?  I speak Spanish fluently and I don't think that she realized that when she was letting other people in around us.  My husband isn't working, but they still wanted my pay stubs.  So we drive all the way home 20 miles away in a blizzard and back and they tell us that they're not seeing any more patients today that we have to come back on Monday!!!  
Do you see what we are dealing with as far as the medical system here in Utah goes?  It *****.  They are unprofessional here and don't know what they are doing.  One mental health care place turned him away because he is not a bum on the street.  Now this one turned him away because he isn't hispanic.  We watched the receptionist, while we were walking toward the door to leave, let the hispanic guy in back of us in for the next appointment.  Like I said, you had to be there to understand, and I guess you need to live in this area to know what I'm talking about. I am not a racist person and I have many friends of all colors and religions and backgrounds in my life.  
Sorry to vent, but some of the things that my husband has to put up with in his life and how strong he really is just amazes me.  I'm watching his care fade away and we both want to help that before it's too late.
We are on our way back to talk to someone from the ER from the other day.  I will keep y'all posted.
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This is absolutely appalling, I am so sorry you had to go through that.

I can't keep my mouth shut and if I would have been fluent in Spanish I would have told her what I think and I would have also said that I will get my lawyer in to establish if their process is applied to everyone equally

That looks to me like discrimination, wonder if you cannot get a pro bono lawyer from somewhere, must be something which can be done
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One day at a time. Look forward. Make a list of what you can do today, then get your mind away from it. Tiny steps. And if you can't do anything today, know that you thought about and decided that.
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It's really hard to support him.  My original post was for help supporting him.  I don't know how to comfort him when he's upset.  I try so hard to keep him calm and happy, but he tells me flat out that he doesn't want to be happy and that nature is already taking its course with him.  I found a good clinic Saturday night that referred us to a hepatologist at the University of Utah.  My husband is still having alcohol withdrawals but hasn't given in and bought any beer.  They prescribed him a bunch of anti-depressants, but he refuses to take them because he hates pills.  He's worried that he will throw up from them.  He's also worried about being "too happy" because if someone was to break in to our house in the middle of the night he thinks that he wouldn't be able to stop them if he's on medications.  
Like I said, I don't know how to support him when he's so depressed and angry.  
I like scratchinghead's advice: One day at a time.  Look forward.  Make a list of what we can do today, then get the mind away from it.  Tiny steps.  And if we can't do anything today know that we thought about and decided that.  
Now if my hubby would follow this excellent advice...
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  Try to make sure he keeps his appt,once it is made, with that Hepatologist at University of Utah, that is a good referral. Once he has a biopsy, he may find out he is still at Stage 0 and has no damage to his liver, I have seen this happen before.
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Bless i cant believe what is happening to you both,please try and get him to take is anti depressents the should really help him and i cant see them making him chuck up, isnt the Librium tablet form? I hope he gets better treatment at the other clinic on Saturday Good luck and keep us posted also tell him a massive well done sticking with the librium and saying no to a beer.you should be proud
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As a person who has had to deal with both Hepatitis C and alcoholism, I suggest treating the alcoholism first. Until he stops drinking there is no way to know just how bad your husband's liver is or isn't. As far as the alcoholism goes, I only ever found relief from the help I got in AA.  AA saved my life.  I tried detoxes, rehab, talk therapy, but it wasn't until I became very actively involved in AA that I found relief.  It didn't matter how badly I didn't want to drink or how many good reasons I had not to, I just couldn't stay away from the first drink. Maybe a week, or a couple of weeks but the mental craving always won out in the end. Anyway what may or may not work for your husband is for him to figure out for himself.  AA worked for me. It took me a couple of times, but it eventually worked. Hope all works out.
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