Brother So Sick

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2407
New Member


Date Joined Sep 2008
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 9/24/2008 2:01 PM (GMT -7)   
I am brand new to this forum, but it seems many people searching for answers and hope come here.
 
My sweet brother has been a chornic alcoholic all his adult life.  He is 54.  He hasn't worked for over 12 years now and for the last 5 years or so he has looked terribly sick - cold all the time, discolored, bleeding gums, moved very slowly, swelling, etc.  Two months ago in July he went into the hospital with esophagus bleeding - he needed 8 units of blood over the first couple days.  He was in coma state for about a week and very, very, very slowly has come out of it.  Now, two months later he is home and somewhat stable taking lactulose through a feeding tube as his ammonia levels were very high and he was extremely confused and sleepy/sleeping all the time.  The lacltulose is keeping his head clear and making things better.  But he is still very weak and tired.  I am so sad to see him go through this.  He was always good to me.
 
His wife, an angle on earth, has been by his side the entire time.  But she hasn't really said if he is beyond repair or if these symptoms indicate more severe liver damage.  Is anyone familiar with this set of symptoms?  We are sick not knowing details and wondering if he would have a chance to recover enough to get on the transplant list.  His wife has just not gone into detail much and I am afraid to ask.
 
Hoping & praying for improvement,
 
Sandy

mer
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 613
   Posted 9/24/2008 8:23 PM (GMT -7)   
Sandy,

Welcome to the forum!! I am so sorry to hear that your family is having to deal with the horrible thing of dealing with liverr disease. First and foremost, your brother needs to stop drinking before the doctors will look at any treatment options. Most of the symptoms you are describing are verry typical of liverr disease, and especially ESLD.....I would urge you to read through some of the earlier threads that describe the stages of end stage liverr diesease and also the encephalopathy he is experiencing (the mental confusion, elevated ammonia levels, etc....). My husband was diagnosed with Hep C and cirrhosis of the liver (stage 4) 4 years ago...stopped drinking two years ago and in January was accepted into the liver transplant program at a transplant centerr near us.....it is not easy watching a loved one suffer like this, and I will keep you and your family in my prayers.......hang in there!

Mer

hep93
Elite Member


Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 12014
   Posted 9/24/2008 10:31 PM (GMT -7)   

Sandy, welcome to the forum.  I am sorry your brother is so ill.  Mer is absolutely right about the alcohol.  He will have to stop and not drink for at least 6 mos. before a transplant would be considered.  From his present symptoms, it sounds like he may need a transplant.  Ask his wife to try to get him to eat fresh fruit and vegetables and drink pure water.  No red meat.  If you think she knows more than she is saying, don't be afraid to ask.  And tell her about this forum.  She will need support and information.

Hugs,

Connie


frustrated_n_wv
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 469
   Posted 9/25/2008 3:24 AM (GMT -7)   
Sandy

Wanted to add my welcome to the forum. I am sorry that your family is having to deal with this horrible disease.

Lucy

Butterflythree
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 954
   Posted 9/25/2008 6:41 AM (GMT -7)   
Welcome to the forum Sandy, I am so sorry that your brother has this terrible disease. Connie is right. You and his wife will need all the support you can get. I came here looking for answers when my husband was diagnosed with cirrhosis about two years ago. Everyone here has been wonderful. It has really helped my attitude with the disease learning of other peoples experiences and being able to talk to others that are in the same boat.

My prayers are with you.
Butterflythree
 
There is always hope!


2407
New Member


Date Joined Sep 2008
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 9/25/2008 6:57 AM (GMT -7)   

Thank you, thank you to those who responded.  I truly appreciate your honest, caring answers. 

I have read a lot of this forum and am realizing my brother's condition sounds worse than I was hoping - perhaps it is ESLD.  So far my brother has not had a drop to drink since the bleeding two months ago.  I thought 6 months of being sober was the requirement to begin to be considerd for a new liver, and it seems as if he realizes he simply cannot drink any more and has even said he doesn't want to drink.  That's a great start.  My mom somewhat looks to me for answers and I am learning all I can to help her understand what is happening.  We've been hesitant to press his wife for specific answers/details on his condition - not wanting to upset her and I think mostly not wanting to know the truth.  It is all so heart wrenching. 

I forgot to mention in my first email that my brother is having some bad problems with his teeth - a lot of pain, a couple pulled, etc.  Is this common?  I can't figure out how that would be connected to liver problems.  Does anyone have any experience with that?

Thank you again for your warm welcome and caring support. 

Sandy


CaryF
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 505
   Posted 9/25/2008 7:46 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi 2407 & welcome,

I concur with Connie & others here that your best immediate course of action is to look at improvement in diet. I wish you well.
I've not heard of teeth being connected to liver disease but could certainly be connected to diet and poor health overall.

Cary

Pink Grandma
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 2445
   Posted 9/25/2008 5:37 PM (GMT -7)   
Hello Sandy and welcome to HealingWell. I am so sorry about your brother. This is a very ugly disease as you probably have read already.

Everyone has given you great advice already. The only thing that I can add is ........try and talk with your sister-in-law. Let her know that you are getting educated on this disease and if she needs an ear to listen... you're there. That may be all she needs to break the ice. It's hard to talk to people who know nothing about it. It makes a world of difference to talk with educated people who will listen and who actually care.

And as far as your brother ........it does sound like ESLD. So that is not a good thing. Continue to get educated because I am pretty sure your sister-law will need assistance to get your brother through all this.

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.


hep93
Elite Member


Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 12014
   Posted 9/25/2008 9:28 PM (GMT -7)   
Sandy, that is great that your brother hasn't had a drink in two months.  However, as a sober alcoholic myself (for 22 yrs.), I can tell you that if he starts feeling better he may pick up a drink.  The family needs to watch for that.  wink
Hugs,
Connie

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