PNut, thanks for starting a new topic, as I'd requested. I've already posted a reply to you in the other thread, so I will leave it to others to add their suggestions.
You are a wonderful daughter for taking care of your parents the way you do. I think it is beautiful that they have been married for 64 years! How incredibly blessed they are to have shared so much time together and to have shared their lives with you.
It is difficult to say what you should expect as each case is very different. God has mercy and she will likely succumb to the hepatic encephalopathy and slip quietly into a hepatic coma and pass away.
I am concerned about the use of Xanax. Xanax is very hard on a failing liver and will accelerate the cirrhosis. It will build up in her system because the liver is too sick to process it. It will rob her of her consciousness. She will end up in an incoherent state unable to communicate effectively. It will also be difficult to discern whether she is in a drug induced coma or a hepatic coma. I would discuss non-narcotic measures to keep her comfortable with her doctor.
Let’s face it, your parents are mature adults and know that death is inevitable as it is for all of us. They have been together for so long that they likely fear being separated more than they fear death itself. I’m sure your Mother is concerned about how your Father will get along without her. He will need to reassure her that he will be okay. With love and support you can all find peace with this and turn a frightening experience into an enlightening experience. She can return to God peacefully and with no regrets.
I agree with Worriedgirl regarding Hospice. The nurses at hospice are trained to help you through this experience. They will afford you the break that you so desperately need to get your second wind. You are going to need your strength to help your parents through this difficult time.
You will be in my prayers. May God bless you all.
Post Edited (Pnut4044) : 5/24/2009 10:11:09 PM (GMT-6)
“Life is not the way it's supposed to be. It's the way it is. The way you cope with it is what makes the difference."
mymom2, welcome to the forum. You have replied to an older post. I suggest you start a thread of your own by clicking on New Topic, to introduce yourself and your situation. In this way, you will get the most responses. Otherwise, it would be easy to overlook you.
Again, welcome. I'm glad you found us.
mymom2 - my 72 year old mother is also currently dying from non-alcoholic cirrhosis. We were just told today that she has 1-2 weeks. Her symptoms were accelerated when she fell on April 25. Since then her kidneys have also started to shut down, she is retaining fluid which has led to congestive heart failure. To complicate matters further my mother is also diabetic and has suffered mini-strokes. Just this past Sunday I was able to help her eat and she was able to communicate with us (however sometimes she was not lucid). Monday we believe she suffered another stroke and cannot communicate with us at all. She is not eating and sleeps the majority of the time. She was in the hospital for 2 weeks and has now been moved to a Skilled facility where Hospice will oversee her care. From all that I have been told, cirrhosis can be a very painful death and this is something we do not want. They do give pain medicine but for now it is only when we feel that she is in pain (she becomes agitated and will moan). While I do not want my mother to die, I want it to be painless. It has really been hard going thru all these ups and downs - at the beginning of May she was progressing really well and doing therapy - then all of a sudden we are back at the hospital. People handle grief different ways. Some will be right there and others chose not to be. I personally will be there to the end. While I am scared - I know that my mother would do that for me. I will truly miss her. I will keep you and your family in my prayers as I do know how hard it will be.
grtmom, welcome to the forum. My heart goes out to your mom, you, and your entire family. It's not an easy disease to deal with, for sure.
Please keep us updated.
Matt, welcome to the forum. I am sorry that your mother is suffering from liver disease. Regarding the drowsiness/sleeping, it is a part of liver disease and nothing you can really do about it. Just make her as comfortable as possible as it appears she is in an advanced stage of disease.
You will find a lot of support and information here, as so many here are experiencing the same things or their loved ones are.
VancLisa, I'm so sorry that your mom is dying from this horrible disease. I do wish you had found our site sooner, as there is a lot of support here, as you can see. Usually, at the end, the patient's kidneys shut down and urine is very dark and sparse. They also stop eating, though may take a little water through a straw or squirted into the mouth. Quite often, they will slip into a coma before passing on. There really is no way to predict how long your mom now has left. If Hospice is involved, they are very good at predicting when the end will be when it gets to within a week or a few days. They also will make sure to keep the patient comfortable and be a support for the family. Even if she is in a NH or hospital, you could ask that Hospice be involved.
Please continue to post here, even after your mom passes.
My Mother passed away this past Monday evening at 9:58 p.m. We were able to get her back to the Lutheran home on Friday as Hospice was full. Just the Sunday prior, I was feeding her and she was communicating to us. The next day she took a turn and she quit eating/drinking. She was pretty much in a coma - even if her eyes were open she could not see us - but she did hear us as we continued talking to her until her last breath. The Sunday morning before she passed the sound of the "death rattle" was apparent. I am not trying to scare you (as it did me) but it basically sounds like she was drowning. The nurses assured me that she was not (they may have just been trying to ease my mind). Sunday evening she looked so peaceful and her breathing was at 6 breathes per minute at 2:00 a.m. and we were sure it was the end. The nurses came in to turn her and it evidently was not her time as she became restless and her breathing became more labored. This went on until 6:00 p.m. on Monday when she became more restful and the labored breathing eased just a bit. While holding her hands and talking to her, we were also monitoring her pulse which we felt become more faint. My dad, my brothers and sisters, and her grandchildren were in her room and around her bed when she took her last breath. My heart is broken but I know that my mother is no longer in pain. My sister and I, called ourselves "Two Sisters Bathing and Beauty Salon" as we would bathe her and fix her hair twice a week. After she passed, the nurses were going to bathe her prior to the funeral home picking her up. We asked if we could do that. So I washed her hair (shower cap wash) and bathed her. She was so swollen - it just does not seem fair that someone so special and good has to endure so much pain. I so desperately miss my mother and watching my father mourn is just so sad. Please keep my family in your prayers.
Grtmom, I am so sorry for the loss of your mom. I know how difficult it must have been, but you were very loving in giving her a final bath and hair wash. My heart goes out to you and your family. Please be comforted by the thought that she is at peace and not in pain now.
Post Edited (Pnut4044) : 8/26/2009 7:31:20 AM (GMT-6)