Hi, my mom is 51 years old and she's been an alcoholic for as long as I can remember and she drinks straight vodka from the bottle 100 proof. She found out in October 2007 that she has stage 4 cirrhosis of the liver and that she needed a transplant.
It's been over 5 yrs since she was diagnosed, and I can't really tell a difference in her physically wise. She looks and acts fine to me. Her eyes have always been kind of yellowish and she has a big belly. Unfortunatly she continues to drink almost daily and I worry about her everyday and night. She also has thyroid issues which has contributed to her liver damage.
I guess I'm just looking for some answers on how long someone can live like this?
No one can tell you how long, but I can tell you she is significantly shortening the time she has. Sometimes the color of urine and stool is a problem that helps you know what's going on in this situation. Urine would be very dark and her stool would become light in color.
1 Mar 2013
My mom was the same. Continuous heavy drinking and smoking heavily. She had given up on life. How long? Sooner than you think. Now is the time for you to start your grieving. Acknowledge her sad deficiencies to your self. Thank her for giving you life. Be ready to take her to the hospital when she is vomiting and in great pain. Stay strong and remember it is her disease not yours. Find a rehab center to put her in for her last days. Now is the time. I found it too hard under pressure by the doctor. If you have sibs, get together and discuss. Have her sign a power of attorney and a living will. That way you know if she wants machines or not, same with family to know and agree. Ask her if cremated or buried and where the remains go.
Yes, this is sad and real. It has nothing to do with you. No guilt or fault lies upon you, no matter what you were told all those years before now. You are strong and capable. My prayers go with you. Yes, I know this well. Karen
3 Mar 2013
First of all, I am sorry. This is a really crappy situation to be in - watching your mother basically kill herself. I say that because I lost my mother three days ago. She was 48, and she died of cirrhosis. She was diagnosed two years ago, was basically brought back to life by her doctors, and was released. She attempted AA for maybe a month, and swore she wasn't drinking to the end. Then the coroner called and said they found eight empty bottles of vodka by her bed. Share my story with her. Share the other stories you are hearing here, and all over the internet, because the previous poster was right- you don't have any idea what time you have left. Make end of life plans, tell her you love her. I thought I would have my mother for years, but she thought differently. The liver is not meant to withstand that kind of heavy drinking, which is what causes liver failure to begin with...
if it's already that damaged, its just a matter of when, there is no if if she is still drinking. She's already had longer than my mother of the same condition. Good luck, you are not alone.
18 May 2014
If you were to ask a Hepatologist/Gastroenterologist, given the little information provided; 'how long?'. Given the presence of advanced cirrhosis, jaundice and ascites? Less than 2 years most likely (I'm not sure why she is still here except that everyone is different).
Giving up drinking and getting medical advice/attention is her only hope of life extension as she will never qualify for a transplant (6 months of abstinence is a normal requirement for listing). Maybe diuretics for the ascites and a short course of cortico steroids would extend her life possibly but the drinking has to go or it (death) will be sooner rather than later.
12 Nov 2016
I am going through the exact thing. Im 42. My mom has been drinking since i was 4. She was diagnosed about a year ago with stage 4 cirrhosis. Almost died. Sobered up for a month and last night i caught her drinking. She is up visiting me right now for a few days. I dont know how to feel or really what to do. I told her i love her. What else can i do? She chose to die instead of live. Help my heart. Thank you
5 Jan 2017
Wow! I had no idea how common this is! I'm 21 and my mother is 38, currently at stage 4 cirrhosis of the liver. For the past probably 3 years she's become quite ill with a lot of pain due to drinking.
I recently got back from visiting her (lives in another state) after she bled out to 20% of her blood left due to the liver disease (this is about the 6th bleed)! I hadn't seen her in about 18 months because of her drinking issue, I was shocked to see that she was practically skin and bones with a huge "pregnant looking" belly, yellow, massive swollen purple legs (due to the fluid) and she probably looks about 60 now! Her mind is deteriorating, she's no longer the mum I once knew ! She's been drinking for as long as I can remember, it's the only reason we never held a good relationship! I feel for anyone else going through this, it's so hard, especially when all you want is just a loving/caring mum! Sometimes you just can't help people that don't want the help! We are going to lose our mum any day now and there isn't a thing anyone can do about it.. just a waiting game to clean up another mess of hers.
17 Jan 2017
I lost my husband December 13th 2015 to cirrhosis. He became ill on December the 11th (throwing up blood) and it was something I would not wish on my worst enemy. It is a horrible way to die. I hope no one has to go through what I did. Please try to get her to stop drinking.
28 Apr 2017
is your mum still with us --
17 Jul 2017
Hello, I have a similar situation. My mother was diagnosed in April, she is 45. I found out today she still drinks occasionally, arbor mist she says it's okay once and a while... she is also diabetic, obese, and heavily dependent on pain meds. She's had hypotonis c when I was in elementary school and has always been a heavy drinker ... so I really just want to know her chances of being around in December to see me graduate???
6 Aug 2017
With that history and current lifestyle I would say that every day is a bonus. A dear friend of mine in her late 30's lasted 4 years drinking neat vodka. Your mother is one tough lady; she has made her path. Please don't walk it with her... it's too destructive .
18 Feb 2018
I had to go to AA and the whole treatment kick back in the 80's and 90's. I got an eye full of sickly looking people and an ear full of stories about sick livers and such. The word was to never drink any alcohol in any form for life. The reason for that was alcohol would continue to damage leaving the poor unfortunate to die a slow miserable and painful death. They said they would die drunk and alone. I had a few relatives die from alcoholism. They died drunk. The key to surviving alcoholism is to not drink. It makes sense to stop doing something that is harmful doesn't it.?
25 May 2018
I don't know if I have an answer to your question. I'm a mother with major liver probs I've told no one the extent. Yes from alcohol, u got depression from all lit of things at one time. Now I'm looking for any hope to help me want to fix my issues. All I keep reading is months with no hope at all. I SO wanna see my baby graduate and her success,thats all I want. I know I screwed up big but need someone to say yeah it's possible. My ex was alcoholic for many years, hence our divorce... I drank/drink half the time and I get liver disease. Is there a point in this? Please someone tell me a good outcome of this!
20 Nov 2019
I was diagnosed in 2008! Had TIPS procedure done! I’ve had no issues and have been extremely healthy for 11 years! During a hysterectomy a few years ago the doctor looked at my liver and said he saw no sign of disease! Two possible outcomes here... 1. God healed me... 2. Doctors were wrong!
16 Dec 2020
I have the same situation, my mom (50 yo) was diagnosed with stage 2 cirrhosis four years ago and hasn't stopped drinking even though her symptoms are really bad and she often becomes psychotic when drinking. I have so many bad traumatic memories from my youth relating to my mom being drunk and not taking care of me properly and even today she mostly causes chaos in the family and is a burden in many ways. It feels so bad to say it but sometimes I feel like I don't even care anymore that she is going to die from alcoholism. I wonder how much she has left.