My Cirrhosis Is Not Your Litmus Test

Simply put, my diagnosis with cirrhosis does not make me an expert, nor does it make me the benchmark for your own symptoms.

This is really becoming one of my biggest fears, where people reach out to me and ask my symptoms for liver failure. It's not that I dislike talking about it, or that I'm ashamed. Actually, it's quite the opposite.

It seems most people reach out to inquire about my symptoms, so that they may self-diagnose themselves; even complete strangers.

My cirrhosis is not your litmus test.

That isn't meant to sound mean, but honest, and I see no point to sugar coat it. Nothing that I do or have gone through should be the standard for which you make decisions.

I can not tell you the countless friends who have reached out to inquire about my symptoms only to compare the ones they are experiencing. When the symptoms aren't the exact same, they use that as a green light to keep drinking whatever they want.

person taking blood pressure

Or when they are similar symptoms, they temper the drinking down slightly or stop talking to me entirely to avoid the possibility of even breaching the subject in conversation.

Oddly enough, falling out of contact again until the next symptom arises and their fears get the best of them.

I'm not angry, I'm just saying...

  1. My cirrhosis is not your litmus test to gauge your alcohol consumption.
  2. I was diagnosed with end stage liver failure (as far as liver failure goes that the last stop before dead) and ignored many, MANY, signs for years
  3. You are very inconsiderate if you are one of these people

-I don't feel bad saying this last one, because these people clearly have no consideration for the fact that this is a serious situation.

(Side note; I have MANY friends that still drink and we talk regularly no big deal. This is geared specifically to the people who ONLY contact me when they feel like their drinking is going to put them in the hospital. It's not fair to you to do that to yourself, and really it's not cool to do to me or anyone else who is fighting for their recovery.)

Honestly, I get that you need and in some cases want to quit, but I am already working on MY sobriety, I can't be responsible for yours too!

Did you ever stop to think about how it feels to the people in recovery, fighting to stay sober every day when you do these things?

Would you walk up to someone who survived skin cancer and goes, "Do you see this spot on my neck? Do you think this is just a mole?"

If that person responded with, "You should get it checked out," would you then sit and try and compare symptoms resulting in your own self-diagnosis?

-Just because someone has a disease, does not mean they are the expert in diagnosing or treating it.

It doesn't make me an expert to have cirrhosis. It makes me have some insight others might not have, but by no means do I know everything there is to know about the subject.

If you are looking to me as the master, and the master is still a novice, then it becomes a little more like the blind leading the blind.

That isn't my goal.

If I can help you find a treatment program that works for you, I will.

If you need someone to listen while you talk about how scared you are about your health, I'm here.

Please, do not hesitate.

Adversely, please don't reach out only to determine that the second-hand knowledge you do learn from my first-hand experience, makes you the qualified authority on the subject. Don't look at my cirrhosis as the litmus test to compare your own drinking or your own health too. Everyone's body is different.

doctor pointing at tablet laptop

You owe it to yourself to find out from a qualified professional if you believe your health is at risk, and not from the ill advice of someone who nearly died before they got the hint to quit drinking.

- life on the sober side is possible, but you have to be willing to fight for it.

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