What You Don't Realize When I Refuse to Have a Drink With Dinner

No, I’m not an alcoholic. I have autoimmune hepatitis. Please don’t get offended when I refuse to have wine or beer at dinner. Forgive me for canceling our plans. I’m exhausted 24/7 and constantly struggling to maintain my health. My condition is genetic or environmental, but the doctor’s don’t have a clear or concise answer. I have been living with this disease for six years now, and there is no cure. I will not allow myself to become victim and don’t mean to complain, but please understand, we struggle with the simplest problems every single day.

Today a friend of mine asked me if I recently got my wisdom teeth removed. Great. I knew people were starting to notice. This is proof. “Why does your face look like when you get your wisdom teeth taken out?” Puffy and swollen. This is just moon face, a side effect of prednisone.

Pardon me, as I fiercely itch my legs in public. Yeah, I should know better than to wear leggings or fitted jeans because it makes me utterly uncomfortable. How can I look presentable for society when my entire body is aching?

Rule of thumb is to drink eight glasses of water a day. I would but after two sips I feel like I have a UTI. The urge to go never subsides, so don’t ask me why I get up three times in a row before bed just in case.

These are just the everyday problems of a person with  autoimmune hepatitis. Long term, there are a lot more problems like side effects of medication, concerns regarding pregnancy, and many more life-altering issues, so please stop asking me, “How does it feel not being able to drink?”

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