Weight loss can come from both diverticulitis and ulcers. But the weight loss indicates a worsening of her diverticulitis, which can be fatal. Drinking alcohol on top of all this ulceration and diverticulitis can hasten this outcome. If she would simply quit drinking and follow her physician's advice on how to control the diverticulitis and how to control her ulcers, she would not lose anymore weight and she will live.
You can tell your aunt If she will think of what it would feel like to pour rubbing alcohol on an open wound in her body, that's what alcohol is doing to her inflammed and pock-marked guts. And you can tell her a few things that can happen if she keeps all that up, just pick and choose from this list.
1. If the inflammed diverticuli rupture, waste will spill into the abdomen, and this causes peritonitis, which is a medical emergency requiring immediate surgery.
2. If surgery is necessary, the procedure can require a permanent colostomy where waste goes into a bag outside the body, or the procedure itself can cause death.
3. Both diverticulitis and ulcers can cause scarring and blockages, which can cause weight loss, bad digestion, poor appetite, and can also ultimately be life threatening. This is likely where you aunt is at in the progression of her diseases.
4. She can get an abscess from an infected diverticuli, which can cause sepsis, which that is a blood infection, and that can result in death.
5. Uncontrolled diverticulitis can allow fistulas (tunnels) to form, which can make passageways to all sorts of places, including the vagina, which would allow waste to pour into there, causing infection and untold misery.
6. Since she is in her 40s, she can still get pregnant, and if she is drinking alcohol heavily before she realizes this, she can wind up with a baby that has fetal alcohol syndrome, which means her child will never be normal.
7. And alcohol, even minus her other conditions, can damage the liver AND BRAIN. And when a person dies of liver failure, they go downhill within two weeks, cannot walk and feel like choking, wind up in emergency, and just before they die, they puke up horrible black liquid and become somebody other than themselves, which is witnessed by her loved ones.
And this brings me to you. You have a lot of power over her abuse of alcohol whilst she has these two disease processes. In a lot of "interventions" on TV, they will ask the family to tell the addicted person what they risk losing from them personally if they keep it up, which for you might include something like, if you visit her often, that you won't visit again until she's sober, or if you live with her that you will move out, or whatever would cause her to think she would rather have you than the alcohol.
The way people quit, and she already knows this since she's a recovering addict, is they need something else more than they need alcohol. Everyone who drinks wants to quit, the hangovers are so severe. Plus she MUST realize that at her age, it is not attractive to show up in a bar and drink. So, she should make a list of why she wants to quit, and compare that to what might happen if she doesn't quit, and then pick a day to quit, and, as the great actor Spencer Tracy said, find something ELSE to do!
Smoking marijuana I do not think will make her disease or weight loss situation worse. But it IS illegal, there is no smoke or liquor in jail. And alcohol is also illegal if she drives a car, especially if she kills someone, could be she won't get out of prison until she's a senior citizen. You can tell your aunt you have a friend (me) who used to drink, and at some point she had a vision (sorry, but I do) of herself in a wheelchair ten years hence if she didn't quit. That made my list.
So, I hope your aunt will clean up her act, get addicted to TV or artwork or martial arts. But just keep in mind, while you are being very much hurt by all this, could be this behavior is somehow getting her through life, because for SOME of the time at least, she is not suffering.
I WOULD LIKE TO THANK YOU FOR YOUR RESPONSE... YOU HAVE OPENED MY EYES TO THE SEVERITY OF THE SITUATION... AND I THINK ME AND MY FAMILY NEED TO HAVE TAKEN ACTION A YEAR AGO. I AM GOING TO READ WHAT U POSTED TO HER SO SHE KNOWS THE FACTS THAT THIS IS THE REALITY. AND ONCE SHE HAS THIS INFO SHE CAN CONCUR WITH HER DOCTOR.. I WILL ALSO LET HER KIDS KNOW WHAT U TOLD ME. I CAN NOT THANK U ENOUGH FOR THE INFORMATION.. THANK U SO VERY MUCH... M.JOHNSON :) SN: I HOPE ALL IS WELL WITH YOU