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Ask T Khan Your Own Question

T Khan
T Khan, Doctor
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 1097
Experience:  UW Med School/UCLA Training/USC Faculty. Full Spectrum Family Medicine - Adult, Peds, OB/GYN
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My boyfriend looks like he is 9 months pregnant. He drinks

Customer Question

My boyfriend looks like he is 9 months pregnant. He drinks vodka daily and rarely gets any excercise and he is 58 years old. I lost my brother 2 years ago to alcohol and anti-depressant drugs and I saw my brother with the same symptoms. His color is not yellow yet but I imagine it will come with the shut down of his organs. What can I do?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  T Khan replied 3 years ago.
Chat Conversation Started
T Khan :

Welcome to JA - sorry you are going through this, let me opine. It does sound indeed like he has ascites (fluid in the belly) from liver failure (cirrhosis). The most important thing is getting him to a doctor to discuss treatment options.

T Khan :

The most important thing you can do is this:

T Khan :

You can really help him to try to quit drinking via AA or detox programs. In the US, if he's truly in end stage liver failure with a high MELD score (liver function score) then he may be eligible for a life saving liver transplant -- if and ONLY if he can have 6 months of sobriety documented.

T Khan :

So if you can get him to stop drinking, get him on record with a doctor as sober and keep it this way for 6 months, you may be able to get him on the liver transplant list -- thus possibly saving his life.

T Khan :

Does this help?

T Khan :

There are many detox programs to help him through this and your doctor will likely be able to help him with this.

T Khan :

Either way, the first step is always identyfing there is a problem and you have to help him identifying this as a problem.

Customer :

I can't get him to agree that his drinking may be causing him a problem. H e says he feels fine. But he coughs

Customer :

He blames it on my smoking and our close living arrangements to a freeway

T Khan :

can you get him to see a doctor for the cough?

Customer :

no...he says it's me and my smoking

T Khan :

if you can get him to the doctor for ANY reason, you can ask the doctor to do a "CAGE" screening for alcohol abuse and the doctor can take over from there.

Customer :

What is a cage screening?

T Khan :

CAGE screening is a screening tool doctors use to evaluate for alcohol dependence.

T Khan :

see if you can get him to a doctor for the cough and this may be the door that opens up for you.

Customer :

My problem is that I don't even like my doctor and would have no way to get him to someone I trust

T Khan :

that's really tough. you're in a real tough situation, i really feel for you. until you can get him to admit the problem, nothign can be done to help him. Unless he becomes a danger to you or someone else then the courts can get invovled.

Customer :

He's never been a danger other than to himself. Otherwise he's a good man. I just saw my brother die and it looks like he's going down the same path.

Customer :

I can't force him to get help.

T Khan :

not to be blunt but he is going to go right down that road. have you told him exactly how you feel...?

T Khan :

have you told him that?

Customer :

I've told him he looks like my brother before he died.

T Khan :

did that mean anything to him?

Customer :

I asked him to see a doctor and he said Why?

T Khan :

one way you may be able to approach this is by asking him if he loves you. if he does, then ask him to please just promsie you one thing for your birthday or anniversary or whatever holiday is coming up..... one visit to a doctor just for a check up.

T Khan :

if you can just get him in once to a good doctor, you may be able to get him into the system.

Customer :

What system? The doctors I've dealt with don't care. I haven't seen my PCP in over 5 years!

T Khan :

that's too bad. i wish you could find a good doctor. what major city do you live in?

Customer :

Outside of San Francisco. I am in the business as an HR Benefit Director and I find the health care professionals in the area to be very lacking

Customer :

Kaiser is an excellent option but I am not in that system and my boyfriend is self employed with only catastophic insurance coverage

T Khan :

How about UCSF Family Medicine?

Customer :

They are an excellent option but his insurance may not cover any preventative options. And then there is the "getting" him there.

T Khan :

I personally know Dr. Leung. UCSF is a safety net county hospital and they can take all patients regardless of ability to pay. So getting into see Dr. Leung at UCSF Fam Med would be a great option for you.

Customer :

I get the feeling that he has to experience a melt down before he will do anything for his health. I'll be left to pick up the pieces

T Khan :

Also, this is not "preventative". If he has cirrhosis, this is now treatement.

T Khan :

sorry to hear that, and it may indeed be the case. try having him promise you just one doctor appt for your birthday and get him into ucsf.

Customer :

I'll work on that. Thank you for just "listening"

T Khan :

not a problem. I really wish you two the best of luck.

T Khan :

Try to get him in :-)

Customer :

Thank you

T Khan :

Tell Dr. Leung Dr. Khan from harbor-ucla referred you over if you get in.

T Khan :

enjoy your 3 day weekend!

T Khan :

PLease remember to click ACCEPT so I may receive credit for my time here. Good luck to you!

T Khan :

Just a reminder that if you are satisfied with the question, please close the question by click ACCEPT so I may receive credit.

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