what stage could this be? cirrhosis of liver

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cricket2
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2008
Total Posts : 12
   Posted 5/27/2008 11:00 PM (GMT -7)   
Symptoms
!. heavy drinker for 30 + years. now 1 gallon of wine (at least) per day
 
2.black outs often
 
3. mental confusion after he wakes up from a drunken stage
 
4. face is  difigured with swelling (past 4 months)
 
5. also abdomenal swelling (looks 14 months pregnant) 55 in waist (grdually worse in past 6-7 months)
 
6. ankles and lower legs very swollen (past 5-6 months)
 
7.diarrhea every day ( for past 9 months)
 
8. wakes in mornings vomiting (no blood) (past 2-3 weeks)
 
9. esophageal varices in throat (diagnosed 1 year ago
 
10. memory losses even when sober (much worse in the past 5 months)
Surely there is someone that can at least tell me what stage he may be in. PLEASE
He has gotten so much worse in just a few short months- his appearance w/swelling is the worse. I have read so much - some of it can be confusing. One article said that if cirrhosis has started and the patient does not stop drinking, he only has 5 years to live. Is one type alcohal better for him than another- maybe I can get him to change to something not as strong. Any suggestions? Thank You, Linda

JohnCT
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 202
   Posted 5/27/2008 11:46 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Linda,

First, I am not an expert - just a patient with 30 to 40 years of Hep and now End Stage Liver Disease. I think that most people are hesitating in responding because they don't want to break it to you that it is not that easy a question. There are two aspects: the stages, which you can read about in the thread on this site titled "Education: Stages of Liver Disease", and the physical state, that is determined by 3 blood tests that are combined to create a MELD score, which you can read about at http://www.unos.org/ (United Network of Organ Sharing). The http://www.CDC.gov is the place to read about the background.

You can determine the Stage from the thread, but you'll need a doctor to determine the physical status of his liver.

The type of alcohol does not matter. Every drop of whatever is nailing the top to his coffin. If he wants to survive, he cannot drink alcohol, period. Once he stops drinking for six months (and they will do blood tests), then he can be evaluated for a liver transplant if he is healthy enough to survive surgery.

As a layperson, I can say that I have some of the same symptoms, although not to his degree. I have mental confusion and memory loss caused by high ammonia levels from damaged liver; abdominal swelling, Ascites, caused by fluids in abdominal cavity (that can get infected and kill one), again caused by the failing liver; swollen ankles and legs, by retained fluids, again liver failure; Diarrhea and Varices, again see previous. Most can be managed with aggressive treatment but once the liver hits a certain stage, only a liver transplant will help.

The most painful part of responding to you is this: IMHO unless he does something immediately, I don't think he'll survive long, certainly not 5 years. So if he wants to spend some more time with you, he must take responsibility and deal with this deadly disease. He needs to be honest with a liver specialist and he needs to stop drinking.

I apologize for being brutally frank but if your symptoms list is accurate, the cirrhosis appears to me to be advanced. And that's not good. You should read the 'stages' thread and go to UNOS and CDC web sites, educate yourself and decide how forceful you're willing to be to try to save his life. But remember, only he can make it work.

Good luck, and let us know how you do with him.
John
I have to get up the creek! Now where's that paddle?
Mind-fogged again.


CaryF
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 505
   Posted 5/28/2008 8:30 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Linda,

John CT is right on. Only a Dr. can deteremone what stage of liver failure your husband is experieincing. Every drop of alcohol is a nail in the cofiin & will only hasten his
worsening condition. Please get him to a Dr. & then preferably a specialist, but if he is not willing to quit drinking it will not be time or $$ well spent. I'd say 5 years is very generous based on his behaviour - again, I am not an expert.

Best,
Cary

cricket2
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2008
Total Posts : 12
   Posted 5/29/2008 9:03 PM (GMT -7)   
Thank you for the information. Besides the abdominal swelling, his face and legs are horrible. He also has diabetes & high blood pressure. He looks like he could explode any minute. Thank you for your support. As I feel chained to the house. Linda

Pink Grandma
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 2445
   Posted 5/29/2008 9:12 PM (GMT -7)   
Hello Linda,
So sorry that you are going through this. It's very tough trying to help someone with this disease.

Is he on some sort of (water pill) like Lasix and/or Aldactone. He's retaining fluids which causes the swelling and contributes to the high blood pressure.

Is he urinating often?

Thoughts and Prayers...............
Pink Grandma
Forum moderator-Hepatitis

When the going gets tough....the tough get going! Don't always know where I going but I get there anyways.


cricket2
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2008
Total Posts : 12
   Posted 5/29/2008 9:21 PM (GMT -7)   
yes, he goes to the bathroom several times a night. What does that have to do with the liver??? Thank You, Linda

Pink Grandma
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 2445
   Posted 5/29/2008 9:26 PM (GMT -7)   
Actually Linda is has more to do with the kidneys. When the liver is in bad shape it starts to affect other organs. The kidneys are one of them. Is he taking any water pills?
Pink Grandma
Forum moderator-Hepatitis

When the going gets tough....the tough get going! Don't always know where I going but I get there anyways.


1Shelly1
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 502
   Posted 5/30/2008 9:39 AM (GMT -7)   
Hello Linda and welcome to HealingWell. I know that you want an answer to the stage he is in but the reality is that only a Dr can assess that accurately. The stages listed in this forum are the general guidelines used but does not include labs, MRI's or other results. It is simply a diagnostic tool to assertain a stage based on physical symptoms. As far as your husbands fluid retention goes he needs to be evaluated and treated by a reputable specialist. Pink Grandma is absolutely correct..............when the liver begins to fail other organs become involved; especially the kidneys. Therefore his kidneys can no longer put out the urine and toxins that it normally would be able to do. Then as a result the body retains the fluid and you see the swelling in his feet and legs. This is called edema-when it is severe it is called pitting edema. The belly fluid is called ascites. The Dr can put him on medication to help reduce the fluid buildup and do  what's called a "paracentesis" which reduces the belly fluid. I must confess that as sad as it is for me to tell you this-he is not going to survive if he doesn't stop drinking and doesn't get help immediately. Without proper treatment on an immediate basis he will in all liklihood drown in his own body fluid. I don't want to sound harsh or mean but I am always honest to my own patients so I feel I must tell you what to expect if he refuses treatment. I must also add that the decision is ultimately his. As his wife you can present the facts to him but he will decide if he wants to get the appropriate treatment or not. Everyone involved in this forum are some of the most intelligent and well read people you can ever meet. They are always ready to help other members with advice, councel, personal experiences, and above all....understanding. So keep posting and we will all help as much as we can.

 Shelly
 

“Life is not the way it's supposed to be. It's the way it is. The way you cope with it is what makes the difference."

 


cricket2
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2008
Total Posts : 12
   Posted 5/31/2008 10:12 AM (GMT -7)   
Thank you so much. I do know that at this time he will not consider any type treatment. I cannot make him go. He says he will not even discuss any problem (drinking). In fact, if I do mention it, my life becomes worse, because he gets angry, mean and verbally abusive to me. So I will not talk to him about this again. He drinks from 7AM till he passes out- wakes up enough to drink more , to pass out again. It is like this  every day. His face is so red...?? I have concluded that there is nothing more for me to do, but watch over him, help him when he falls. I've had to shave parts of his head where he has cut it during falls- then I use steri-strips to close the cuts. He was diagnosed with esaphageal varacies in the throat about 3 years ago. I know this is caused by the blood backing up from the liver. They can burst. Sometimes he coughs so hard & chokes, he turns blue and quits breathing. He can no longer sit back in his recliner, he must sit leaning forward to breath. Does anyone know why his face is so red??? Thanks to All, Linda housebound. 

1Shelly1
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 502
   Posted 5/31/2008 11:10 AM (GMT -7)   
Linda, The most common reason for red faces in alcoholics is broken blood vessels and capilaries just under the skin. It is often most noticable in the cheek and nose area of the face. Also, he probably has hypertension (high blood pressure) that can cause red skin on the face. His heart is working extra hard to compensate for the hypertension and liver disease so he may have a rapid heart rate as well. Since he is unwilling to accept or recieve any treatment he is bound to have an increase in symptoms like you described earlier. The swelling will not go down in his belly and will probably increase in size. This will eventually lead to his being unable to breath adequately due to the pressure the fluid will have on his lungs. With no place for the fluid to go his lungs will undoubtly start to fill with the excess. I am just trying to prepare you for the eventuality that this will occur. It will be very difficult for you to watch to say the least. Does he have all his paper work in order? If not this may be when you and he can discuss what he wants done. It is a miserable place for you to be in I know but it will have to be done at some point. Keep us posted.

 Shelly
 

“Life is not the way it's supposed to be. It's the way it is. The way you cope with it is what makes the difference."

 


cordovian
New Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 12
   Posted 7/24/2008 7:11 AM (GMT -7)   
Linda, I stand in the exact shoes as you. My husband has been drinking 1/2-gallon of Vodka EVERY DAY for about 4 years now. He has the same symptoms as your husband, INCLUDING the refusal to seek medical care. I don't know what to do either.
It's so complex when you don't know what is actually going on INSIDE the body - all we see are the physical "outside" symptoms. I did manage to feel his liver last night and it's hard as a rock, but I don't know what that actually means..........
He is only 43 years old and slowly dying. That I'm sure of.

MiMi in Memphis sad

hep93
Elite Member


Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 12014
   Posted 7/24/2008 7:42 AM (GMT -7)   
Cordovian/MiMi, you picked up an older thread.  We have not heard from Cricket in some time.  I am sorry to hear that you are in the same situation as she.  Since that was your first post, could you please introduce yourself in a new thread on the first page?  (Just click New Topic and give it a title.)  I don't want to see a new member get "lost" and fall through the cracks in an older thread.  There are a lot of supportive people here, with a great amount of information, so please keep posting.
 
Connie
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