Hello, Mrs. Fox. I am so sorry about your mom. It is good that you are getting Power of Attorney, but also be sure to get a Medical Surrogacy. That is often in the forms for a Living Will. You need to find out what your mom's wishes are while she is still cognizant.
When is her next doctor appt.? Is she seeing a hepatologist? You need to find out exactly where she stands medically. Has she applied for SSI/SSD? If not, she should do so, or you can do the paperwork for her. She also needs to apply for Medicaid, if she is financially eligible. They could pay for a nursing home or perhaps assisted living, if that is necessary.
Read some of the older posts here and you will get an idea of what to expect and what you should be doing. If you mom's doctor does not think she has much time left, you can get Hospice involved.
I know we can be of great support to you, and hopefully be some help as for as information.
Realwoman, welcome to the forum. I am so very sorry for your loss. There is such a thing as non-alcoholic liver disease and cirrhosis. I know there are women here who have lost their husbands to liver disease, one being my co-moderator, PinkGrandma. I know these women can be great support for you, as they have been through the exact same thing.
Hang in there!
My mother had the same problem and they gave her Nexium. The fluid causes gas to build up in her digestive track. Once she was on the nexium she stopped having pain. You can get any over the counter gas pill until you can get the doctor to perscribe something for her. Just a word of advise Nexium is $400.00 a month and a lot of insurance companies will not pay for it.
Dear Sad Daughter,
Thanks for your noting that pain can be caused by gas. My friend often winces when she moves. I know she has back pain but it never occurred to me that it could be gas related. I'm trying to understand as much as I can about what is happening to her and posts like yours help me. Thank you. Joan
WithoutTears, you may have ascites (fluid in the belly), which most of us with cirrhosis have. It is very uncomfortable and I had a hard time finding clothes to wear. I had to get large tunic-type tops and stretchy bottoms to be at all comfortable. Are you taking any diuretics? If not, ask your hepatologist about them. If you have cirrhosis, you have lesions, or scarring. I doubt they are waiting for you to get cancer before listing you for a transplant. The criteria used is the MELD score, although there are sometimes extenuating circumstances that will override the MELD. Did they mention banding the varices (varicosities in your esophagus?) If those bleed, you could be faced with a life-threatening situation.
Another cause of bloating is constipation. I personally need to have a BM every day or become distended and uncomfortable. I was prescribed Miralax for this, but also use cascara sagrada, an herbal laxative. Lots of fresh fruits and fiber help, too. I ate about a pound of grapes the other day and I sure didn't need a laxative! And finally, gas can increase bloatedness.
Depression meds usually do cause weight gain and sometimes it shows up most in the stomach.
Hope this helps.
Post Edited (hep93) : 1/24/2009 1:53:10 PM (GMT-7)
Andalena, welcome. I hope you will start an introductory thread as suggested by my co-moderator. However, I just briefly wanted to tell you that there really is no treatment for cirrhosis and it is incurable at this time. The best one can do is keep a very healthy diet (no red meat, fresh fruits and veggies, and absolutely no alcohol.)
Hope you will stick around and post more.
NC, I'm so sorry you are still in so much pain from the loss of your wife, though I think that is very normal. I want to suggest that you search for a bereavement support group in your community. Hospitals sometimes have them. You can also look in your yellow pages under support groups or social services. Your church may also know of something like that, or be willing to start a group if there are many members in your church.