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Old 09-23-2008, 03:51 PM
 
Location: SE Alaska
959 posts, read 2,112,190 times
Reputation: 453

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I was recently diagnosed with acute pancreatitis due to alcohol--despite the fact that my drinking habits are not over the top and certainly had not been just prior to developing stomach pain. It seems that I also had Giardia (intenstinal bacteria gotten from unfiltered water) at the exact same time (lots of the same symptoms); however, my doctor insists I had pancreatitis as well. I'm perfectly well now a couple weeks later, but my Dr. says that the only thing I can do now to prevent pancreatic damage/pssible other awful complications (including death) is to abstain completely from alcohol for the rest of my life. I'm 31.

Any one on here have experience or knowedge of this disease? PM me if you wish.

If this turns out to be accurate--here's a warning for all you folks in your 20's--slow down on the booze! It's pretty effing scary at 31 years of age to be told that you have a disease which kills 10% of those diagnosed, can cause lifelong pain, and/or multiple surgeries to fix. I fully admit I was quite the party animal during much of my 20's and apparently that may have cost me huge.

Get medical insurance, get regular physical exams...and...Keep your drinking habits to a dull roar.
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Old 09-23-2008, 04:12 PM
 
7,079 posts, read 34,517,375 times
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In addition to alcohol, steroids and thiazide diuretics (along with other things) can give you pancreatitis...NOT a nice illness.
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Old 09-23-2008, 04:23 PM
 
Location: SE Alaska
959 posts, read 2,112,190 times
Reputation: 453
The funny thing is...acute form goes away fairly easily. I feel perfectly normal now, and stomach pain only lasted 8 hrs. or so. But Dr. says pancreas has a "memory" and, once tweaked, gets tweaked almost automatically in the future (from alcohol use, etc).

I've only seen one doctor about it but he's a good one so my wishful thinking about mis-diagnosis probably is self-pitying BS. I should be happy my pancreas is still healthy (according to ultrasound/xray) and that my prognosis is good.

It's messed up what your head does to you when something like this comes down on you, that's for sure--could be a study in itself!




Thanks for any feedback on this topic.
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Old 09-23-2008, 04:25 PM
 
Location: The 719
14,540 posts, read 22,406,075 times
Reputation: 13845
Sorry to hear of your condition and at such a young age.

A sufficient reason to totally abstain I would agree. That's sort of a bummer, but you won't be missing much. I've been without for going on 5 years and have tried to abstain for something like 15 years. More important that you take care of yourself now.

I'm just now starting to "smell the roses."

Filtered water, abstain from booze, whatever it takes, right?
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Old 09-23-2008, 04:34 PM
 
Location: SE Alaska
959 posts, read 2,112,190 times
Reputation: 453
Thanks. You know, I never considered myself an alcoholic, though I was perfectly able to admit I liked alcohol a lot and probably drank too much. Now that I may have to abstain "forever" I feel almost as if I've lost a good friend. Perhaps that signifies a bit of self-denial about my use level in the past, so it may be "all for the best."

Still, I'm very effing depressed about it at the moment--I will tell you, it actually is comforting to know I'm not alone...maybe AA would help me cope in the beginning, whether or not I feel as if I was an alcoholic.

I don't want to go on anti-depressents (though my doctor recommended them and prescribed me one)--any ideas on that twist to the plot??
Thanks for the responses.
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Old 09-23-2008, 08:22 PM
 
Location: The 719
14,540 posts, read 22,406,075 times
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The problem with your situation is that whether you are or were a hard drinker or a real alcoholic, you have to quit and abstain for the rest of your life regardless.

Now, there's some very watered down AA, I like to call it BB actually;

There's some BB meetings where they'll give you this nice little rosey-covered sugar coated path to sobriety where they'll pump you with chicken-bleep middle of the road solutions like, "One day at a time" and "put the plug in the jug" and "We don't need no Whiskey-sour, We got us a Higher Power!" Oh, and "Keep Coming Back!" Or here's a good one, "Think through the drink!"

It's middle of the road BS. If you're the real deal, you can't and won't be able to stop until you die, get incarcerated, loose your mind, or accept Spiritual help (as in GOD) and follow a few simple rules. But you don't have to buy "their" religion. You get to invent your own GOD. And you get to have a personal relationship with this new found Power.

That's the real deal of AA. Choose God or choose Booze. And that's the last choice you need to or get to make. Then you do these crazy steps.

But hey! Cheer up! Maybe you're not an alcoholic! Wouldn't you be lucky if you could just quit and stay stopped?

I'd do that if I could. I've tried many many times. But hey, that's just me.

I sent you a DM that's a little more personal than this, but people need to know what AA is and what AA is not. Everything that AA is not, is BB.

As far as anti-depressants, I don't know. I ain't no doctor. But your recovery is 100% responsible to YOU. It's all up to you. Nobody has the power to save you or kill you. Ask yourself with regards to pills. Are you willing to risk your life on it? The doctor is not GOD either. When you look doctor up in the phone book, you'll find them under "Practice". I wouldn't pill if I didn't have to. I'd suffer a bit first. If I'm in pain, I take a pill. If that doesn't work, I take another pill. If that doesn't work, I suffer. And I haven't suffered nothing compared to the mental torture and guilt and humiliation that I've put on myself. The spiritual stuff is cool. God is everything or God is nothing. What's your choice? Do you go to the Ocean with a thimble or with a water truck. Either you're gonna do this stuff or you're not. You have a choice. And that's the greatest statement of hope you can get. Ask a person with Leukemia what they'd give to be able to choose out of their disease or choose into remission. It's a pretty good deal really.

Last edited by McGowdog; 09-23-2008 at 09:15 PM..
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Old 09-24-2008, 09:37 AM
 
Location: NW Nevada
14,154 posts, read 11,625,680 times
Reputation: 13243
Unfortuneatly I have had a lot of experience with this nasty disease. When first diagnosed I was told it was alcohol related and I needed to quit drinking. At this point in my life my alcohol use was VERY small. Thus, I was confused. After more testing , however it was determined that the culprit was EXTREMLY high triglyceride levels. ( An inherited trait). There is more than one cause for pancreatitis it seems. No matter the cause though, if you have had this condition you should cut out the drinking , watch your diet, and exercise as much as possible. It is extremly painful and can be fatal or ( in extreme cases) cause diabetes or cancer.
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Old 09-24-2008, 10:17 AM
 
4,016 posts, read 7,669,871 times
Reputation: 3508
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alaskagrl View Post
Thanks. You know, I never considered myself an alcoholic, though I was perfectly able to admit I liked alcohol a lot and probably drank too much. Now that I may have to abstain "forever" I feel almost as if I've lost a good friend. Perhaps that signifies a bit of self-denial about my use level in the past, so it may be "all for the best."

Still, I'm very effing depressed about it at the moment--I will tell you, it actually is comforting to know I'm not alone...maybe AA would help me cope in the beginning, whether or not I feel as if I was an alcoholic.

I don't want to go on anti-depressents (though my doctor recommended them and prescribed me one)--any ideas on that twist to the plot??
Thanks for the responses.

If you start popping some milk thistle you may be able to sneak a few drinks every now and then.
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Old 09-24-2008, 11:10 AM
 
Location: Twin Cities, MN
638 posts, read 2,854,011 times
Reputation: 296
I had to make a decision for health reasons a number of years ago that I couldn't drink anymore; but I'd always been a light weight drinker anyway. Two drinks and I was "under the table" so that was the most I'd ever had. I always paid for drinking because (for me) alcohol triggers severe migraines lasting at least 2-3 days. It took me many years to figure that out; and it's really changed my life for the better.

You can still have a good time even if you can't drink. At first you may feel a bit strange ordering a soda; but just keep in mind that your health is at stake. I can go out with friends and have as much fun as anyone drinking now; so don't think you have to give up your social life.

My brother is a severe alcoholic and he stayed with us last year so I went through Al-Anon while he was here going through 3 months of daily AA meetings. He has developed a seizure disorder and was told that if her drinks again, he will probably die. I found Al-Anon very helpful; my brother (an agnostic) did well with the AA program, so McGowdogs' comments are more negative than the experiences we had.

As far as loose cannons' comments about milk thistle; well, it's your life and your decision to make as to which is more important. I don't know enough about milk thistle; but consider that the "sneak a few drinks" comment is talking about endangering your life. The only one who you would be
"sneaking" around is yourself.

Good luck.
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Old 09-24-2008, 11:13 AM
 
Location: The 719
14,540 posts, read 22,406,075 times
Reputation: 13845
Quote:
Originally Posted by loose cannon View Post
If you start popping some milk thistle you may be able to sneak a few drinks every now and then.

Milk thistle, huh? Does it come in cases?
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