I have been through the ascites thing so recently, I hope this helps you in any way.
The ascites puts pressure against all the organs in the belly, including the lungs. As my friend Bruce goes through it, he gets very very fatigued, and unable to get comfortable, with stabbing pains (which the dr. says is from the liver inflamation itself) up under the rib. I would speak to his dr. about it. It could be a sign of something, like gall stones, or infection. (Both happened to my buddy Bruce, right around the onset of the ascites).
I am so sorry to hear your husband is going through this. You are a wonderful soul, to share all you know about this terrible disease, while facing it yourself. I can only offer my thoughts and prayers, and words of support.
Post Edited (writeleft) : 10/14/2008 3:25:58 PM (GMT-6)
I agree that something else could be going on. Although I looked 8 mos. pregnant at times, I never had any abdominal pain, nor liver pain. I did have pain in my feet when they became swollen.
Butterfly is partially right--my AFP was above normal, but not what you would expect it to be with liver cancer, which I DID have. My blood work has never been a true reflection of what is going on. I do have a left-sided pain just below my ribs, but nobody seems to know what that is about. Nothing shows up on scans. I had this pain even prior to my cancer diagnosis...but it's gotten worse lately.
Bruce can go to the ER, but I think he needs to see his hepatologist ASAP.
I know what you mean about the deer in the headlight look at the ER. I had to take Jerry to one before his transplant, to get him stabalized to get to THE hospital and I knew when the doc got his labs back he was ready to get him out of there as soon as possible, but still yet knew he had to have blood before he could be transported, I actually felt bad for him, cause I knew Jerry was bad. If your husband is waiting on a transplant and is listed, he should have a coordinator and the transplant unit has an emergency number, call them and talk to them about the pain. You know if this is something you need to talk them about and it sounds like you should talk to them. I called when I was worried because I lived with him and I knew when things wasn't right. Our team called us back on messages and worked with us on any issue. I hope everything works out and he gets a transplant soon. The healthier they are at transplant time the better.
Mer, cirrhosis can cause pain. As far as the hydrochlorothiazide (HCTZ), it is a diuretic, but a very mild one. I was on it for years to keep my BP down, but after awhile it no longer worked and I was changed to Norvasc. If Bruce has bad ascites and edema, he needs something stronger. Usually Lasix and Aldactone are prescribed, or Lasix and Potassium.
A total body MRI with Gadolineum contrast will make cancer "light up like a Christmas tree" if it's in the body. I've had at least 3 of those scans, and I seem to recall another scan using Gadolineum with a CT scan.