End stage alcoholic liver disease

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Dolphinspirit
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 4/11/2009 3:29 PM (GMT -6)   
Hello I am the friend and caretaker of a 48yr old lady who is an end stage alcoholic who completely refuses to get medical treatment. She has been in and out of detox to many times to count. 6mo ago she begged me to move in with her to take care of her till she dies and I agreed (what are friends for) she will not quit drinking even though she is completely aware she is going to die. She says she just wants to die. Ok this is the condition of her body, unable to walk due to not being able to feel her feet, loss of bladder and bowel control (I have her in dipers), her skin color changes on a daily bases either very very pale, or yellow, just the other day for the first time she was a strange gray color. she has edema in her feet, noticed her right hand and arm appered to have edema, her food intake is at the max twice a day if I am lucky a couple small bits of whatever she asks for. Mental confussion, very weak, some days are worse than others she sits in her bed 24/7 she never even through the night is able to go without haveing her vodka and grapefruit next to her bedside. Her family and I just want to make her as comfortable as possible in the crazy way she has chosen to die. My question is how long can a persons body go like this, and what are some of the things I can expect to happen as her condition gets worse. How do I know when or if the liver has failed, and once the liver has failed how long can the human body hang on to life before the toxins induce a coma or something? I am at my wits end............ I am doing this alone.......Please I just need to know what to expect................

Pink Grandma
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 2445
   Posted 4/11/2009 4:03 PM (GMT -6)   
Hello Dolphinspirit and welcome to HealingWell,

Wow what a friend. Not too many friends would do what you are doing for her. It's sad, but I understand that she is picking her way to die. Read through our educational threads.......they are below this post and should be on the same page. They will give you a good idea of what can happen and some of things to expect.

Take care..........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.


Dolphinspirit
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 4/11/2009 5:31 PM (GMT -6)   
The educational threads you spoke of did not show up below the post nor on the same page as you spoke of in your reply to me today. Where is another location I could find these educational threads?
Thank you soooo very much..........

Butterflythree
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 954
   Posted 4/11/2009 8:03 PM (GMT -6)   
Welcome to the forum Dolpinspirit. I bumped some of the educational treads up that Pink Grandma was telling you about. I hope they help. There is not really a way of knowing how long a person can survive with liver disease, although, drinking alcohol will cause the disease to progress more quickly. You are really a good friend. I hope you find your answers, and I'll be praying that God gives you strength to deal with this horrible disease.
Butterflythree
 
There is always hope!


hep93
Elite Member


Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 12014
   Posted 4/11/2009 8:22 PM (GMT -6)   
Dolphinspirit, welcome to the forum.  The threads that were suggested are the ones that have Education in the title.  They are on this page, just below this and another post or two.

hep93
Forum moderator - Hepatitis
 
"But that was yesterday, and I was a different person then."
Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland


Middle Child
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 4/12/2009 12:57 AM (GMT -6)   
My 87 year old dad has late stage liver disease and cancer. He is at home living out his last days with my sister taking care of him. I live in another state, but I am going there this week for the second time in a month. I'm so afraid of seeing my dad in worse condition than he was when I left two weeks ago! He has a nurse during the day and my sister sleeps in his room at night. He can't get out of bed or go to the bathroom without assistance. He has fluid taken out of his stomach twice a week. He has trouble sleeping and no appetite. He gets confusion and itching. He has lost a lot of weight. He was a heavy drinker for most of his life and apparently he knew he had cirroshis for some time...and still drank. I am so sad about losing him, but he is 87. I am already going through the stages of grief...I had anger and sadness so far. I'm afraid he will die while I'm there and I have read all these posts about what to expect. I'm afraid...truly afraid to see him suffer. He is not in pain right now. He is actually cheerful, singing and laughing. I don't really have a question, just need some support and to hear from someone experienced with death from liver disease.

Dolphinspirit
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 4/12/2009 9:16 AM (GMT -6)   
Thank you so very much, I will continue to look for all the information I can. And from reading the posts here I can see that if I just need to vent and ask for emotional support that I will get it here. This is going to be such a releife to beable to talk to others that are or have gone through this. Again thank you!

pscwife
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 302
   Posted 4/13/2009 8:22 PM (GMT -6)   

 

Dolphinspirit,

 

Welcome to the forum.  Sorry to meet you under such sad circumstances.  As you know, so long as your friend continues to drink, there is no hope for her.  Every individual is different and there is really no way to determine exactly how long she has left.  Likewise, there is no way to predict which complications she will suffer.

 

I can tell you that the human body cannot survive for more than 24 hours without liver function. 

 

You are a wonderful friend.  Be sure to take time for yourself throughout this ordeal.  You are going to need the rest. 

 

God bless,

 

Penny


Middle Child
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 5/3/2009 12:00 AM (GMT -6)   
Middle Child said...
My 87 year old dad has late stage liver disease and cancer. He is at home living out his last days with my sister taking care of him. I live in another state, but I am going there this week for the second time in a month. I'm so afraid of seeing my dad in worse condition than he was when I left two weeks ago! He has a nurse during the day and my sister sleeps in his room at night. He can't get out of bed or go to the bathroom without assistance. He has fluid taken out of his stomach twice a week. He has trouble sleeping and no appetite. He gets confusion and itching. He has lost a lot of weight. He was a heavy drinker for most of his life and apparently he knew he had cirroshis for some time...and still drank. I am so sad about losing him, but he is 87. I am already going through the stages of grief...I had anger and sadness so far. I'm afraid he will die while I'm there and I have read all these posts about what to expect. I'm afraid...truly afraid to see him suffer. He is not in pain right now. He is actually cheerful, singing and laughing. I don't really have a question, just need some support and to hear from someone experienced with death from liver disease.

hep93
Elite Member


Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 12014
   Posted 5/3/2009 12:23 PM (GMT -6)   
Middlechild, how is your dad doing?  How are YOU doing?
hep93
Forum moderator - Hepatitis
 
"But that was yesterday, and I was a different person then."
Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland


Middle Child
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 5/3/2009 1:53 PM (GMT -6)   
Thank you for asking. I didn't have many responses to my post. My dad passed away on Thursday, April 23. I was there with him for a week prior to his passing. He went through all the end-stages of liver failure that I have read about: jaundice, loss of appetite, loss of ability to swallow, loss of ability to speak, trouble breathing. He was comfortable for the most part until the last two days. Hospice put him on morphine and ativan which helped greatly. The last two days he was asleep or in a coma but he wouldn't let go. Finally, my siblings and I realized that he may want to be alone. We told him we were leaving the room and he passed within 5 minutes! The funeral was perfect and everything went very well. I returned home to L.A. from Houston on Friday. It still seems unreal and I can't believe my dad is gone. I'm glad he is no longer struggling. It was difficult to see him like that.

hep93
Elite Member


Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 12014
   Posted 5/3/2009 4:39 PM (GMT -6)   

Middlechild, thank you for posting.  I am SO sorry for your loss, but I know that you were having a really difficult time seeing your dad in that condition.  I'm glad he went peacefully.

Feel free to come here whenever you like.  When you are up to it, your experiences can be a great help to others.

Hugs,

Connie


hep93
Forum moderator - Hepatitis
 
"But that was yesterday, and I was a different person then."
Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland


Pink Grandma
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 2445
   Posted 5/3/2009 5:17 PM (GMT -6)   
Middle Child I am so sorry for your loss. And I am sorry that I didn't see your post below. I would have responded to it. That's why we ask the new members to start their own thread. When you reply to someone else's thread it very easy to miss you especially if there is a lot of posts that day.

I lost my husband to this dreadful disease so I realize that what you went through was devastating. It's not easy to let someone go even when you know that they are going to a better place and won't be suffering any longer.

Take care.........and as Connie posted.........do come back.........this forum is still helping me 2 years later.

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.


toolost
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 29
   Posted 5/3/2009 5:46 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Middle Child - I am so sorry for the loss of your dad. My dad has been gone for 4 years and I still miss him dearly. Just try and remember the times you shared, that sometimes that helps. This disease is so terrible, but glad I have been able to connect with these wonderful people that come to this forum. At first I just started coming here for information, but now I feel that I know everyone and have developed a special bond. Hang in there and try and take one day at a time. I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers . Toolost

Middle Child
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 5/7/2009 12:24 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Friends,
I'm still absorbing the fact that my dad is gone. I had him for 50 years and he lived for 87 years, so that is pretty good! I always thought of an 87 year old as sitting in a wheelchair at an old folks home just waiting to die. My dad, Carl, had a life and he was active. He was the president of a widow and widowers group and he arranged for trips to hear music, go to museums and out to dinner. He met his girlfriend, Louise, through this group. They had a steady relationship and she made sure he had a good dinner every night. My dad lived in his own home and had a little dog (my sister has the dog now). He drove, ran errands, went on walks...he was loving his life. He liked to laugh and tell jokes. He was laughing until he could no longer laugh. Fortunately he regressed through the stages of late alcoholic liver disease very quickly. I found out he was going to die on March 10. He died on April 23. He spent the last few weeks at home with private nursing care. He had a beautiful young nurse who greeted him each moring with "Good Morning, Handsome!" And he truly looked handsome! I am seeing that life doesn't change that much with age unless you let it. Both of my parents remained youthful up until their deaths. My mother looked beautiful and radiant while she was dying of metasticized breast cancer in 2003. It gives me hope that I don't have to lose my physical and mental abilities as I age. My parents aged well! I'm glad they each passed peacefully. But I miss them! I don't think I've started grieving for my father yet. It's like I'm waiting for it to happen. Thanks for all your notes. It helps so very much to get your support!

Cat510
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 5/16/2009 9:54 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Middle Child,
I am so sorry for your loss. My Dad is very ill with liver cancer and I am sad. He also lives in another state and my sisters and I go as much as we can to see him. He seems so cheerful to us too, I think he just loves having us around. I know only a miracle will help him now and I pray for one every day.

Middle Child
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 5/16/2009 11:07 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Cat,
Your situation sounds so much like mine...I have two sisters and a brother. One sister and I live in another state from where my dad was living. We all spent time with my dad, especially at the end.
 
I believe that the liver toxins which affect the brain can cause the person to be really cheerful. My dad was laughing and singing until he lost his voice. He was smiling until he lost consciousnous.
 
We found out he was sick in March and he passed away in April. He was 87 but seemingly in very good health. His first symptoms were loss of appetite and sleeplessness. He started losing weight. That really was all he noticed until he was hospitalized for anemia.
 
What are your dad's symptoms? I can pretty much tell you from my experience that he doesn't have much time left if he is not getting any treatment. You might want to go and be with him now until the end.
 
I'm so glad that I did that for my dad. We treated him so well and it's very comforting to me now that he is gone. 
 
Middle Child

pscwife
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 302
   Posted 5/19/2009 9:03 PM (GMT -6)   

 

Dolphinspirit,

 

How are you and your friend getting along?  I haven’t seen any additional posts from you and I am growing concerned.  Please let us know how you are doing.

 

Thanks,

 

Penny


pchesmmm01
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2013
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 8/28/2013 9:50 PM (GMT -6)   
I have a few questions I am so sorry for everyones losses but my husbands father has been having some signs and he is refusing to go to the dr at all. He is 63 and his stomach a few months ago his stomach started to get bigger and then he stopped eating like he will eat a small meal every 4 days now. he is drinking boost in the morning. He is still drinking jack and coke but now that he cant make it himself his mom makes it really weak. He will just sit in a chair and fall asleep his stomach is bigger than his almost 9 month pregnant daughter. He is jaundice and if he bumps into anything he will just bleed. Like 6 months ago his legs were leaking fluid. Everything I have read it leads to this and My husband is taking it really hard can someone help me figure out something My mind is just spinning. confused

Mae be here
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2012
Total Posts : 1256
   Posted 8/28/2013 11:30 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi pchesmmm01

Welcome to the forum. You picked up on an old thread from 4 years ago. In order to get the most exposure, try copying and pasting your post using the "post new topic" button at the top.

Then you will have your own string of posts just for you.
Many people will respond with advice/support. If you need help doing that, one of our moderators will be along to assist.

Please don't go away. We want to help you and we are a very caring group. It sounds like your father-in-law is indeed a very sick man.

Do you know anything about his medical history, past diagnoses, hepatitis? Why is his mom giving him alcohol? The very worst thing he can do is to continue drinking, He will surely die.

He seems to have the classic symptoms of end stage liver disease (ESLD) but its hard to know without getting him to a doctor, preferably a hepatologist. It sounds like he needs to have the fluid removed from his abdomen (paracentesis) among other things.

I'm sorry you have to bear witness to the effects of this horrible disease, but unless he stops the alcohol immediately, and goes to the doctor to be treated, it's a pretty ugly and painful way to die. It's sad for his mom to enable him but she is probably torn between love and duty, too sad.

Hang in there, help is on the way before you know it. Meanwhile try starting that "post new topic" and just copy your post there.

Hugs
Mae
Mae

"I don't like to make plans in advance because then the word 'premeditated' gets bandied about in the courtroom"

Caregiver for brother's liver transplant
Blessedly rec'd liver 1/13/2013 at Mayo Clinic, FL

Mae be here
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2012
Total Posts : 1256
   Posted 8/29/2013 9:16 AM (GMT -6)   
Connie can you "fix" this too?
Mae

"I don't like to make plans in advance because then the word 'premeditated' gets bandied about in the courtroom"

Caregiver for brother's liver transplant
Blessedly rec'd liver 1/13/2013 at Mayo Clinic, FL
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