Kat, I have brought over a couple of our educational threads. You will find them now near the top of Page 1. Read The Stages of Liver Disease. That will give you a better idea of where your husband is at.
Given his other problems, I don't know if he would be a candidate for hep C treatment. Is he seeing a hepatologist? You need to ask what they plan to do for the hep C.
Ascites, or fluid in the abdomen from liver disease, is causing the bloating and slight swelling in the feet/ankles.
He's depressed because he feels lousy. Hep C causes a person to be very fatigued all the time, regardless of how much one sleeps.
The best thing you can do for both your husband and yourself is to read the threads here and learn as much as you can. The American Liver Foundation (americanliverfoundation.org) is also a reliable source of information.
Has he filed for Social Security Disability yet? I suggest he do so, or you can do it for him. It sometimes takes awhile to get it, but when approved they will pay from the time he first applied. Depending on the family's financial status, he may be able to get Medicaid. If approved for SSD, he would get Medicare 2 yrs. after when he applied for the disability. If he is approved for SSI, he would get Medicaid immediately, but also may be able to get Medicaid now. SSD is for people who have enough work credits, while SSI is for those who don't.
I know it's easier said than done, but try not to worry. That's just a waste of energy and is nonproductive.
Welcome to the forum. I'm sorry you have to deal with so much. Your husband's case is very complicated and I'm certain the doctors are having a tough time balancing treatment options. You really do need to learn all you can about both his Hep C and the hemochromtosis.
The hemochromtosis (excess buildup of iron in the body) really disturbs me because you mentioned that you have 6 children and 8 grandchildren. They should be tested for hemochromtosis because it is more often hereditary. It is often goes undiagnosed until organ damage occurs. This takes decades of iron build up and problems usually develop in men between the ages of 40-60, and in women age 50-65. The simple screening tests are Tranferrin Saturation which measures the total iron binding capacity and Serum ferritin which measures the long term storage protein for iron. Organ damage can be prevented if hemochromtosis is diagnosed early. Iron levels can be controlled by regular blood draws, avoiding iron supplements and high doses of vitamin C.
I’m sorry to say that you have a long road ahead of you in helping your husband through this crisis. You will find a great deal of insight and support in this forum.
My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.
Penny, thanks for the info. I had also researched the web at one time and saw many others complaining of this same undiagnosed pain. My blood work never shows a low magnesium, so I don't know if taking it would do any good. The last doctor I saw said it is probably adhesions. The thing is, I have had this pain before I ever had any type of abdominal surgery. The Calmag might be worth a try...depends on cost, as I'm trying to keep expenses down these days.
For Kat's husband, I've had the thought that it could possibly be pancreatitis.
Kat, thanks for letting us know that your doctor okayed trying this. And Penny, thanks for the info. Much appreciated.
Kat, you have so much on your shoulders. Please try to find a few minutes for yourself each day, and get enough rest.
Kat, do they think the pain he was having was from that kidney stone?
Also, I'd be very interested in how he does on the clinical trial. Do you know the name of the drug or drugs they will be using?
Please keep us updated whenever you can!