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06/10/2011 08:37 AM

New, and very scared

Brogin
Posts: 11
New Member

I posted this in the introduction section, but then noticed that it does not get much traffic, so I am posting it here as well, hope that is ok.

Hello, I am a 26 year old male and have had a pretty long history with drug abuse, but turned to heavy alcohol drinking about 5 years ago. I would drink 20oz or more of hard liquor 3-4 times a week.

About a year ago I went in for an unrelated check up and had elevated liver enzymes and an enlarged liver, the doctors assured me that it was merely fatty liver and that it is not a serious condition. Fast forward to december of last year and I begin to get pains in my upper right abdomen after heavy drinking. I stop for 2 weeks, the pain subsided and stupidly I continued drinking. This cycle went on for another 5 months until I finally got the sense to quit.

I was feeling like I was getting better but then 3 weeks after I stopped I got some pretty serious pain in my liver and nausea, along with the sort of drugged, foggy mental state, I also started having some serious insomnia at this point. This filled me with intense fear and so I began researching cirrhosis and fibrosis on the internet and come upon hepatic encephalopathy. I went to the doctor and got blood tests and an ultrasound. The results came back yesterday and all the blood tests were normal and the ultrasound says 'mild diffuse increased echogenicity of the liver which probably reflects fatty infiltration or other diffuse hepatocellular process.' I told the doctor about my foggy mental state, but she assured me that my liver did not have the kind of damage that would lead the hepatic encephalopathy. I am very scared and don't know what to think, I haven't been sleeping much at all and my doctor and family are trying to reassure me by saying that it's just stress and being tired. Someone please help me.

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06/10/2011 10:10 AM
mpmom
mpmom  
Posts: 3275
VIP Member
I'm an Advocate

Brogin,

I know you are scared.

Please understand that alcohol can cause many of the same symptoms as Cirrhosis.

It's great that you have stopped drinking. It takes a long time for the liver to heal however. Sometimes years.

The stress and fear can cause some of the issues you mention. Keep copies of all your test results and try to be as healthy as possible. No alcohol ,eating right etc... the in several moths if be rechecked, But remember it takes time.

In the meantime we're here for you


06/10/2011 10:43 AM
Brogin
Posts: 11
New Member

Thank you so much, that really makes me feel a lot better. I just hope that there's a chance to live a healthy life for me. I'm so ashamed with what I've done to myself and the guilt and regret is completely overwhelming. I've been eating almost exclusively fruits and vegetables and drinking only water since this has happened.

06/10/2011 12:09 PM
sammy566
sammy566  
Posts: 339
Member

Brogin,

Just to give you an idea. I was diagnosed with the same thing in........ready for this?

1992. I did continue to eat bad and over use NSAIDS, now I was diagnosed with Cirrhosis 2 years ago.

So, maybe is not time to panic yet, but follow closely your doctors instructions.

Good luck.

Sammy


06/10/2011 01:19 PM
mikealpha1
mikealpha1  
Posts: 2286
Group Leader

Fruit and veggies are great, but don't forget to get the protein your body needs.

06/10/2011 01:33 PM
dmanflan
dmanflan  
Posts: 1735
Group Leader
I'm an Advocate

Hey Brogin!

Welcome to the cirrhosis group! I think everyone has given you some great advice. My cirrhosis was caused by alcohol. As Gail says, it takes a long time for the liver to heal. The best thing that you could have done, you did! Stopping the source of aggravation to the liver is the first step in the organ's recovery. Great job on getting clean!!!

Nobody has yet to invent a time machine to go back and change the past (at least not that I know ofSmileSmileSmile ) The future hasn't happened yet so there is no way to change that. That means that the only thing you can control is right now! I know what you are saying about having guilt and other emotions about your past. It doesn't really matter what you did in the past. Learn from it, build your thoughts towards never going back there again and now concentrate on getting your health back.

We are all here to help so feel free to PM any of us. Read our diaries and the posts that we have participated in as far back as you can. There is a lot of great information here!

Dennis


06/10/2011 02:35 PM
Brogin
Posts: 11
New Member

Thank you all for the support I really needed it. It's comforting to talk with others that have gone through what I am right now. Do any of you have experience with Hepatic Encephalopathy? Does the mental fogginess go away?

06/10/2011 02:56 PM
rpooo
rpooo  
Posts: 103
Member

It seems that you are have realized this is a chance to save you your own life! I wish you the very best my new friend.

I was an alcoholic for 20 years. The last couple of years I drank 23 beers a day and spent $600 a month.

03-23-10 I was diagnosed with stage (C) End stage Cirrhosis. It took me only a few days to stop drinking completely. No AA, No rehab. Today marks 444 days since I quit and never will I be tempted to drink again. Quitting this way can be very dangerous and in rare occasions even fatal. I do not reccomend it to anyone.

After I quit drinking learned three things right away!

The quality of my life was much better.

I quickly gained self confidence.

Also I had an extra $600 bux! he he

I deal with HE on a daily basis and since your fortunate enough to have a heathly liver still I think that the hazziness you are experiencing is probably just from the drugs and alcohol over the years. You cant just treat your body this badly and not feel any effects from that. I expect it will go away as your body heals. I wish the best for you. God Bless.

Randy

Post edited by: rpooo, at: 06/10/2011 04:28 PM


06/10/2011 02:57 PM
dachsiefan
dachsiefan  
Posts: 595
Senior Member

I have HE and find it is a daily thing. I am on Lactulose syrup and the antibiotic Xifaxan to try to control the effects of the ammonia levels in my body. I find on days that I feel groggy, I have to take a little more lactulose.

Symptoms of grogginess for me are short term memory loss, lack of concentration while trying to read for example, and difficulty finding words.

My ammonia level was 400 at its highest. Right now, I am averaging 100. Normal is up to 50.

Susie


06/10/2011 05:25 PM
mikealpha1
mikealpha1  
Posts: 2286
Group Leader

Brogin, I had to laugh just a little when you asked if anyone had experience with HE, I've experienced it in all it's levels, from mild confusion to coma. If I were in your shoes, especially knowing what I know now, I'd believe your doctors when they say your liver is not damaged enough to cause the HE. Stress, worry, etc. are sure not helping your insomnia or confusion. Reading through your post, I'd say it was lengthy enough and complex enough that you don't show signs there. I probably wouldn't have been able to type that much without falling asleep at least once.

God Bless you and I hope you don't have to experience the encephalopathy.

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