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Hello, my husband is 56 yrs old. He’s 350lbs and has diabetis and heart failure. He has high blood pressure and his legs, feet and hands are swollen. Sometimes his feet are a purplish color. He can’t breath hardly at all and sometime I hear him wheezing when he’s breathing. He’s on a diuretic and toprol and ramipril for his bp and he’s on insulin which he abuses like crazy. He’s also takes synthroid. He still works everyday but it’s getting harder and harder on him everyday. His sleeping is god awful, I don’t know if it’s the alcohol that causes him to moan, groan, scream, cuss, talk in his sleep all night and he tosses and turns. The screaming he says is from back pain that he swears is the bed and I tell him it’s his weight not the bed. His Dr retired in October but he told him at that time that he was basically giving him 6 months before he has a heart attack or a stroke and this month marks his 6 month. Besides having blood test done he hasn’t had any test confirming his heart failure but his Dr told him the he knows he has heart failure along with cirrosis of the liver from his diabetis, his dr didn’t know he was also a alcoholic so I’m sure drinking isn’t helping his liver any. His drink of choice is vodka straight. He drinks every night but tries to hide it from me but I find his bottles all over the place. Anyways I’m just needing some advice on how to handle all this. I have no idea what to do. All I do is lay in bed at night listening to him trying to sleep and wandering if tonite the night he’s gonna have a heart attack. By the way he sleeps in a different room due to his snoring and other noises while he sleeps. Thank you.

His cirrhosis of the liver is from being an alcoholic. uncontrolled diabetes can lead to blindness. Congestive heart failure can be diagnosed by cardiac ultrasound. The congestive heart failure can cause fluid to collect around the belly.

Alcoholism and diabetes are a dangerous combination. Uncontrolled diabetes in conjunction with alcoholism can lead to liver failure, kidney failure and complications of heart disease. Your husband should quit drinking but won’t if he doesn’t want to quit. His weight is huge issue. His weight is having a negative impact on his heart and his diabetes.

How owe is he abusing insulin. Is he trying to control his sugar levels by eating as he pleases then taking extra insulin?
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Janers Feb 26, 2019
He also has what’s called fatty liver disease which is from the diabetes, his drinking doesn’t help that at all. He goes thru 16 bottles of insulin in about a month, they are suppose to last him 3 months. He probably takes about 5 shots a day if not more. I think he does eat stuff he isn’t suppose to then just takes a shot. He very seldom lets his blood sugars get to high because he’s freaked out that it will bother his kidneys and liver, lol! Makes allot of sense don’t it. He don’t want his liver being destroyed by high blood sugars but he doesn’t care what the alcohol is doing to it, smdh!! On occasion his sugars will get up to about 350, but even if it’s at 150 he takes a shot, then it gets to low and I have to deal with him acting all crazy, me a 90lb lady trying to fight a 350 lb man to eat something sweet to raise it. I normally have to call the fire dept. he was once a fire luetinuit for the local fire dept so they all know him well. You’d think with all the dead bodies he’s scraped up off the roads from drunk driving he’d stop drinking and driving, but oh no he thinks it won’t happen to him. I’m thinking something’s going on with his liver or pancreas right now because his poop has been a clayish/green color for about a week now and from what I’ve read the liver is what’s happening. But he doesn’t have to many of the other symptoms of say liver cancer, but I’m thinking it’s still his liver going bad.
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You may want to join Al-Anon. My family joined after we tried failed interventions with my sister (twice). You will learn that you didn’t cause his alcoholism, you can’t control it and you can’t cure it. I think it will lift a great burden from your shoulders. They have on-line meetings too if you can’t get out. This is a journey for you too and it’s best to be prepared.
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Janers Feb 13, 2019
Thank you so much. I’m going to look into the AA glasses on line and see if they will help me out.
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I am so sorry for your situation. Of course the alcoholism affects your husband's other health issues. I think what you first need to do it look after yourself, and as has been mentioned below, gather up all the documents you need for the time when he has a major health crisis or passes. An Alanon meeting and/or a counselor could help you a lot. There is a newer method for help with an alcoholic called CRAFT (Community Reinforcement And Family Training). If you have a center or group for that near you it would be worthwhile trying. You have a life apart from your husband's health issues, and you need to develop that life and stop focusing so much on him ( I know that is hard) as it is doing neither you, nor him any good. Do you have hobbies, special interests, friends to lunch with? Fill more of your day with them. You can only change yourself, not anyone else. Do keep coming back. There is lots of support here. (((((((hugs))))))
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Janers Feb 13, 2019
I have 5 beautiful grandkids that I spent allot of time with and I go to lunch with a good friend of mine. I’m going to check into on line classes for family members of alcoholics. Thanks so much for yours and everyone else’s support.
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Hon--

Sadly, you can't do ANYTHING to help him. He has to wanna, and he doesn't wanna.

My own Dh has put me through hell and back several times as he is simply non compliant in his own health care. He had hepC which caused his liver to fail. Liver transplant 14 yearas ago, massive systemic infection following....84 weeks of the most brutal chemo you can imagine, a stroke about a 9 months post TP, chemo ends, he relapses, so the Hep C comes roaring back---but Harvoni cured that..he becomes diabetic as he ate whatever he wanted whenever he wanted. Last summer has 2 massive heart attacks--which did scare him into better compliance---he has lost a lot of weight, but he will NOT exercise. Major motorcycle accident 6 years ago that should have killed him, but just banged him up and had him in bed for 4 months....plus multiple rock climbing accidents...oh, and needed a CPAP which he "sort of" wore from time to time.

So---I quit harassing him, 100%. If he wants to kill himself, slowly, he can. All I could do was pre-plan his funeral and such. I was living from deathbed to deathbed, it felt like. He has never ONCE acted like he felt bad he was putting me through this. Only his cardiologist said to him "Do you realize that you are married to an angel? 99% of women would have left you by now." Dh just looks at him like "why? what'd I DO?" And he truly does not GET IT.

I do love this man. We have created a wonderful life....and he does love us all. He's just bound and determined to not make it to 75, and I don't think he will.

I HEAR YOU. I LIVED/LIVE your life. You cannot love them enough to love themselves. While my DH never drank, he is self destructive in other areas. I learned many years ago I cannot change him, I cannot even make suggestions.

Sadly, I would tell you to plan all his EOL stuff--the funeral, burial, etc. The program for the funeral and in a way, pre-grieve the loss of a man who wouldn't/couldn't get well on his own.

I'm so sorry. I really am. But I get it. Every time my DH walks out the door on his was to some "adventure" I cringe.

Your hubby is real and truly a ticking time bomb. I'd say the edema in his legs is very telling, as DH had that pre-heart attack and he complained about it, but he complains about everything, so I ignored it. My DIL was in town (she's a Dr. and she saw his legs and I asked "what's this about doc?" and she said "oh, kidneys or heart" and went on doing whatever she was doing, 10 days later he has this massive coronary. She felt HORRIBLE as we were >10 minutes from the hospital and the ONE PERSON he listens to is DIL, She didn't force him to go and now she feels awful, Again, though, you cannot make someone do something they just don't WANT TO DO.

I wish you luck. This is a horrible situation to be in. I'm in it too. Lots of us are.

{{Hugs}}
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Janers Feb 13, 2019
Thank you so much for your support and advice. I’m going to check out some on line classes for family members who live with alcoholics. One question, you said your hubby had edema of his feet, are they swelled everyday, my husbands feet and legs are but a couple days ago I noticed the swelling wasn’t as bad and he’s done nothing different, is it normal for the swelling to come and go? Thanks so much.
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You are right to be concerned that he could go at any time. My sister was an alcoholic and she had heart failure and cirrhosis. She died one day of a massive heart attack. I hope this isn’t too harsh for this forum, but it’s best you know what to expect. He has everything going against him. Not only is his health life-threatening to him, (diabetes, cirrhosis and heart failure), but so is his way of life. (Alcoholism and food addiction). His doctor warned him. He is a ticking time bomb. When was the last time he had blood work done? He should be worried about internal bleeding about now too. Fluid retention around his belly from a failed liver will also put more of a strain on his failing heart.

Prayers for you and your family. I hope everything is in order. I don’t want to seem harsh. I’ve been down this road too. So sorry for all your worry. I know it’s not easy.
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Janers Feb 11, 2019
His last blood work was a year ago. He wouldn’t let his dr draw blood back in October. When he did have his blood drawn a year ago it showed that his C reactive protein was like a 15.40 when it’s suppose to be I think like a 0.3-3.0. I don’t know exactly what that means though I just know that that’s what stuck in my mind when I was looking over the results. Even though he abuses his insulin like crazy and he’s obese his A1C numbers weren’t to bad. It was right at the top range. But since I can’t talk to his dr I have no idea what any of the numbers mean. As a matter of fact if I didn’t check the mail everyday I would of never known the results of his blood work because my husband won’t tell me and the dr can’t tell me. I don’t know if he has fluid retention around his belly because it’s so big from being obese that I don’t know if it’s fat or not. I do know he has fluid retention around his feet and calf’s. From his knees down his legs are really swollen. Some days they are really bad and other days they aren’t as bad. But he does have pitting adema because he gets really big indentations in his feet and legs and they stay indented for a long time. I’m just tired of it all. I’m sorry if that’s sounds bad but I’m exhausted.
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Hugs! What an awful situation to be watching and knowing that your loved one is playing russian roulette with their lives. Something that hasn't been mentioned, you can go blind drinking with diabetes.

He is the only one that can change his actions. So you need to focus on helping yourself not get sucked into the chaos of alcoholism. Try to find a AA meeting near you to help you cope with your life living with a functioning alcoholic.
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Riverdale Feb 9, 2019
Don't mean to critique but I think she needs an ALAnon meeting. I didn't know that about potentially going blind with drinking and diabetes. Not my area of problems but it is interesting to learn that.
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Agree with above that you are going to end up a widow or caring for a patient.

I would make sure his affairs are in order. Will, living will, POA, etc. Hubby and I have everything joint to avoid probate which is time consuming and a waste of money.

Does he have any life insurance? Short term and/or long term disability insurance?

Does he have no interest in bettering his health? He sounds like quite the mess. Very scary situation.

But, as stated already, you have NO control over what he does. But you should plan for the future, whether he likes it or not.

Re: sleeping - glad to hear that you're in separate rooms but sounds like he's still keeping you awake. I would try to do something like close your door, get a noise machine, use ear plugs, whatever. You NEED sleep. Don't be sleep deprived and unhealthy because of his choices.

Good luck!
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Janers Feb 9, 2019
Thank you and yes he does have life ins and short and long term disability with his job, but it’s probabky not enough for us to live off of.
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I would start planning on what you will do when he has his heart attack that may debilitate him. Are you going to want to be a Caregiver for a 350 lb man?

He is doing this to himself. There is no way he doesn't know how diabetes works. If not controlled it effects every organ of the body. He is killing himself. Not really anything you can do or say. This sounds harsh, but plan on being a widow. Do what you need to do to secure your life.
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Janers Feb 9, 2019
thank you and no I have no plans on taking care of him if he has a stroke or heart attack and he can’t care for himself. I’m only 100 lbs and there is no way I can take care of a 350 lb man.
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This is a senior forum but I’l give a response.

Your husband’s PCP is correct in that your husband is a ticking time bomb healthwise.

There is not much to do unless he realizes he needs to lose weight & make the commitment to living healthy.

Alcohol is loaded with sugar and will cause blood sugars to elevate. Long term poor blood sugar control in diabetes can lead to kidney disease, alcohol can lead to liver cirrhosis, and by the sounds of it, your husband has obstructive sleep apnea.

Chronic alcoholism leads to liver cirrhosis. Cirrhosis slowly kills liver tissue which then the liver cannot perform the myriad of function the liver does to keep us healthy.

OSA causes increased blood pressure in the blood vessels that feed the lungs (pulmonary hypertension).

So yes, your husband is one hot bed of risk factors.

But unless he is ready to make a lifestyle change there is not much you can do about his poor choices.
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Janers Feb 9, 2019
Thanks for your advice. He will never lose weight because he will never quit drinking. I just discussed it with him last night and told him the only way to quit drinking is to get help and in order to get help he has to admit he has a problem which he won’t do so there fore he won’t ask for help. I’ve given up on him. Sad to say but I don’t know what else to do.
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