dad just been diagnosed with liver problems

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spookyjan
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2010
Total Posts : 74
   Posted 7/2/2010 6:17 AM (GMT -7)   
hello everybody just come across this forum whilst looking for info,i am a forty something with a mum an dad who have always been independant,an my sister an myself see them regularly every week....after not seeing my parents for a 2 week period my mum rang an said dad was tired,an had gone to bed,mum has early althseimers.i rang her the next day an she said dad was still in bed!!!!2 in the after noon.we travelled to see them unannounced.when we got there dad was in bed totally out of it,he has always been so independant an would never leave mum to tend to herself,he was laid on the bed fully clothed apart from trousers which he couldnt fasten,he looked a funny colour kinda pale yellow,his legs an feet swollen an his stomach looked as big as mine when i was 9 month pregnant.no responce so i rang the ambulance.mum was still in kitchen mixing a jelly,an asking what flavour should i give dad!!!!when my hubby an i got to the hospital the doctors were asking how much does dad drink?i said not a lot cos he has to look after mum,as far as i know he only goes out once a week to local pub whilst mum with a friend.the doc said he suspected liver failure.i was in total shock dont know much about anything medical.dad came round a bit later on looked a bit better,an then it became so obvious dad would not say anything to the doc in front of us.we came home to mums an i was very upset ,mum still walking round with a jelly in her hand obviously not had her medication.sorted her out an began making her tea,on looking for a casserole dish i reached up to the cupboard ...an there i found half a bottle of whiskey hidden in a way it would not have been found without having to move other items about in front of it.now this would not have seemed so suspicious but the cabinet where the drinks for xmas are kept as older folk do,nothing been touched there.we asked dad when i went to visit him next day he got aggressive with us,an this is not my dad he is a lovely man!!!!the doctors are testing now an draining the swelling off his tummy.saying they do suspect a.l.d.i just want to know for mums sake what we up against ere an what stage if any they can tell us he is at.will this happen all the time going into liver failure.will he come home well for a while an then it all starts again,is it too late now even if he stops drinking.dont spare my feelings please tell me the truth as i need to sort my darling mum out.        thankyou in advance spooky

hep93
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Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 12014
   Posted 7/2/2010 11:26 AM (GMT -7)   

Spooky, welcome to the forum.  I am sorry to hear about your parents' medical problems.  It would seem to me that your dad is a "closet" alcoholic; i.e., able to hide his drinking quite well, but has been drinking a lot over a long period of time to end up in this condition.  The "being out of it" that you described is probably hepatic encephalopathy, where ammonia builds up and goes to the brain.  They usually prescribe Lactulose or Kristalose for this, which must be taken daily.  The ammonia is excreted through bowel movements.  The most important thing for him to do is to stop drinking completely.  This is absolutely necessary for him to have any chance of survival.  If he is unable to stop on his own, he will need to go to AA or to alcohol counseling.  Should he need a liver transplant, they will not even evaluate him until he has documented sobriety of 6 mos.  Also, if he does not stop drinking, your mom would have to be cared for by someone else.  It could be that the stress of caring for her led him to start drinking more than you thought he was.

Try speaking to his doctors or nurses to get a full assessment of his condition.  When he gets back home, it would be helpful if he eliminated beef and has a diet rich in fresh fruits and veggies.  Also, he should not be taking anti-inflammatory meds like Tylenol on a regular basis, as they are harmful to the liver and kidneys.

The most important thing, though, is that he stop drinking completely.  Hopefully, he will have quit in time.

I suggest you read some of the older posts here regarding alcohol and liver disease, and also read the info in the folder at the top of the page entitled Hepatitis Resources.  The best thing you can do in this situation is to become educated about liver disease.

Hugs,

Connie

 


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


spookyjan
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2010
Total Posts : 74
   Posted 7/2/2010 11:56 AM (GMT -7)   
thankyou for your reply..i live in the uk so my post was a little early i realised with the time distance.my dad has been in the hospital 3 days now an says he feels much better,he does look better his stomach is still swollen,the doctors are doing a lot of tests,so i will have to educate myself on the medical lingo. dad is telling my sister an me that they said it was to do with the hernia op he had 4 months ago.we know he is lying,but very difficult as over in the uk doctors wont tell family anything without the patients consent,an he doesnt want us to know anything,he just keeps lying.this is my dad who i thought i knew well,he is a lovely man,kind,a gentleman.now he is lying my younger sister is very upset,we have to put some kind of care in for mum so busy with this at the moment. thankyou for your responce

hep93
Elite Member


Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 12014
   Posted 7/2/2010 12:48 PM (GMT -7)   

Spooky, just from the way you wrote, I knew you were in the UK.  Don't know what the time difference is between there and the East Coast of the USA.  I am not on here all the time, though.

Your dad probably has ascites, which is fluid in the belly.  They will probably try giving him Lasix (a diuretic)  for that.  He will also need Aldactone or potassium tablets, as diuretics cause loss of potassium.  In addition, he needs to be on a very low-salt diet.

We have similar privacy rules here that keep info from relatives and friends.  The way around that is to get Power of Attorney or Medical Advocacy.  Then they will legally have to make his records available to you and to discuss his condition and plans of treatment with you.

His hernia surgery didn't cause his present problem, but it may have "stirred things up."

Do keep us posted and feel free to ask questions.  We will answer if we can.

Hugs,

Connie


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


spookyjan
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2010
Total Posts : 74
   Posted 7/3/2010 2:29 AM (GMT -7)   
hello again been to see dad now his hands are shaking,i think the doctor said he had tremors of the hands,again dad is blaming it on the medication they are giving him.he has had a lot of tests he is black an blue with bruises from all the needles they have put in him.i will get used to seeing him like this but my dad is the kind of gentleman that is always fully dressed in his best suit even wears a tie in the house,very smart .people always have remarked "isnt he smart your dad"i have always been proud of him.my feelings are all over the place at the moment...how could he have got into this state an still have acted ""normal" mum a little better not as confused now had her correct medication,however this brings in a whole new set of problems.it now seems mum has been aware of dad drinking an she has let him have a drink now an again.he has never been drunk as in falling about she says,apparantly he has been asking her friend to come round to the house an sit with mum whilst he (just pops out for a while). i realise i am starting to rant on now to you all as we say over here..but i just need to get it off my chest.i feel i cant tell my friends the truth yet untill i get my head round it,they have always respected this man my dad as i do.even to the point of a friend of mine 2 years ago went to see him when she was in trouble with money an he helped her out an never said a word to me,as she had asked him not to tell me.so as you can see all these things are coming to light now,and i am also aware i have to wise my sister up,cos her dad is perfect to her can do no wrong...anyway thanks for listening i will know more in the next week when the tests come back.

spookyjan
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2010
Total Posts : 74
   Posted 7/3/2010 5:51 AM (GMT -7)   
hi again i have been reading some of the stories on here an learnt a little bit more,so we are going to the hospital tomorrow an the tests wil be back what they have done on tuesday.it seems to me if you dont know much an just sit there the docs will only tell you what they want,an not give you much info,so what do i need to ask so i may appear a little more knowlegable an they wont fob me off,mainly what levels do i need to ask about enzeimes blood etc.my father has now said he will let us talk to the doctors thank goodness.do i need to ask if it is esld.or cirrhosis? i am so confused myself i just dont want to miss a chance to speak to doctors,an then once dad out of hospital i wont get another chance. thankyou so much

Pink Grandma
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 2445
   Posted 7/3/2010 8:03 AM (GMT -7)   
Hello Spooky Jan and welcome to HealingWell. So sorry about your father and mother. Your sister and you are getting from both ends.

First of all take a note pad with you. Write down what the doctors says. Ask him what stage your father is at. And what his plan of action is for your dad. If possible have your father get copies of all blood work whenever he has it done. You can tell a lot from the blood work. Someone needs to go with your dad to every appointment, don't leave it up to your mom. She is too ill to know exactly what's going on.

But at this point the one most important thing that your dad can do for himself is to stop drinking totally and start eating properly. He definitely needs to follow the doctor's orders if he is going to have any quality of life left. This disease is no joke.

As Connie said you or your sister needs to get the UK's form of Power of Attorney or Medical Advocate for your dad and probably for your mom as well. She should have noticed something not right long before this. Most liver diseases take a couple of years to get to the place where your father appears to be. So that tells me your mom's illness is progressing as well.

Have you read our educational thread in the resource folder near the top of our forum yet? It has a lot of good information about liver disease.


Glad you found us.........take care and come back .......we will be here.........
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.


hep93
Elite Member


Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 12014
   Posted 7/3/2010 9:58 AM (GMT -7)   
If you can get copies of his tests, the results should be marked as L or H for low or high. If unmarked, they are in the normal range. If you don't get the copies, ask the doctors how abnormal his results are. Ask them if he is considered end stage. They may be able to tell if he has cirrhosis by a CT scan or MRI with contrast, but the definitive test for how much damage has been done to the liver is a liver biopsy. He can have cirrhosis without having end-stage liver disease (I do.) Ask what the plan of treatment is. The doctors need to tell your dad that he cannot drink or he will die.

What you must realize is that alcoholism is a disease and is medically recognized as such. It is not a moral failing and does not make him a "bad" man. Lots of people are alcoholic without being falling down drunk or in the gutter. They are called "functional alcoholics." They go to work and usually no one is the wiser. There are also "binge alcoholics." They can be sober for months at a time and then go on a binge for days, then sober up again, and so forth. I think your dad is a "closet" or "functional" alcoholic. There is help available if he can't stop drinking on his own. The tremors might be from the meds, or they could be from alcohol withdrawal--or both.

Your dad is fortunate to have a daughter like you, who is eager to learn about liver disease and to do whatever is necessary to help him get better.

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


spookyjan
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2010
Total Posts : 74
   Posted 7/3/2010 11:18 AM (GMT -7)   
thankyou for your replys,you are very kind people when you have your own problems,an yet you still can reply to people here who are just in the beginning of thier problems.i wish you well an thank you again.i will let you know when i learn more about his condition

hep93
Elite Member


Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 12014
   Posted 7/3/2010 11:36 AM (GMT -7)   

Thanks, Jan, and remember to take care of yourself, too.

Hugs,

Connie


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


arneeb
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2009
Total Posts : 2350
   Posted 7/3/2010 2:21 PM (GMT -7)   
I understand how you feel about him always being a smart dresser... my partner... who passed away two months ago... was also a very sharp dresser... very nice looking man... and we went through much with this illnesses.... but I never never thought of him differently... once in a while I would step back... and would take in the whole thing... but doing what you're dong is the best thing.. this forum walked with me all the way to the end.. and still are... take a breath ... take time for yourself... do what you can... and let the rest go... easy to say and very hard to do... take care of you... the road ahead is going to be tricky to travel... my prayers and thoughts are with you..
There is no pit so deep that He is not deeper still... Corrie Ten Boom


spookyjan
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2010
Total Posts : 74
   Posted 7/6/2010 2:28 AM (GMT -7)   
hello evrybody my sister an myself went to see dad yesterday in the hospital,still having scans an tests done so all the testa are not back yet,so we still not much wiser.dad is not as yellow but his hands are still shaking,he is very thirsty drank 2 large bottles of juice whilst we were there.he said they are going to give him an endoscopy to check his throat,he tells us its becauce his throat is dry!!!i suspect this is not the reason,so if you could throw some light on this for me...he went to have a scan yesterday dont know what kind but they couldnt perform it correctly as he had too much fluid,so again i dont understand that procedure.i cant say too much to dad in front of my little sister(she is 42)but still looked upon as the my little sister.my dad did say that he isnt going to drink again....but then added i will still go to the pub an club but i will have soft drinks!!!!that would be like inviting me to a chocolate party an telling me not to indulge,i personally would not go.i suspect dad has not thought this through,i said have the doctors told ya not to drink then ?dad said no they havnt even mentioned my drinking.so as you can see he is still trying to fool us all.its so hard becauce i have never in my whole life had to have words with our dad.i see him in a ward with men who have a range of all different colours of yellow,all with big swelling tummys,an he still doesnt seem to be worried. thankyou for listening

arneeb
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Date Joined Nov 2009
Total Posts : 2350
   Posted 7/6/2010 2:37 AM (GMT -7)   
With the endoscopy probably looking for varices which are weak blood vessels... that can burst... that's what they did for Mike my partner... he had bleeding.. and throwing up blood ... but they may just be doing it as precaution or because they see something there... but go to the information .. resource directory and look up varices...
There is no pit so deep that He is not deeper still... Corrie Ten Boom


arneeb
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2009
Total Posts : 2350
   Posted 7/6/2010 2:40 AM (GMT -7)   
I didn't find it there but google it... varices... also google liver disease.. and read old threads here will help you immensely... sorry for your troubles right now... Sandi

There is no pit so deep that He is not deeper still... Corrie Ten Boom


spookyjan
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2010
Total Posts : 74
   Posted 7/6/2010 2:59 AM (GMT -7)   
thankyou arneeb for that i will have a look spooky

hep93
Elite Member


Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 12014
   Posted 7/6/2010 8:42 AM (GMT -7)   
I agree with Sandi. The endoscopy is to check for varices. As for the other test they couldn't do, could be most anything but probably an abdominal scan of some kind.

Regarding your dad's drinking and outlook, it is most advisable for him to go to AA after discharge. He will learn that he must change his playmates and playgrounds if he is to stay sober. He is fooling himself if he thinks he will go to a pub and drink soda. It might start out that way, but he will quickly revert to his old ways and land in the hospital again--and perhaps not be so lucky next time.

Also, if he is thirsty (again, probably alcohol withdrawal, though also perhaps a result of meds), it is better for him to drink water. This will flush the toxins out of his system and keep his blood sugar from going too high.

You are doing the right thing in being his advocate and learning everything you can about liver disease.

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


worriedgirl
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Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 1130
   Posted 7/6/2010 11:14 AM (GMT -7)   
if your dad stops drinking he can still live a productive life, depending on how advanced his liver disease is and if he cuts red meats, salt, and alcohol out of his diet. if he keeps drinking he will not make and will suffer. liver disease is a horrible disease i would not wish my worst enemy. i hope he gets h elp. he will not be able to care for your mom either and it may be a good idea to look for a home for possibly the both of them
The only person who can make you happy is you. Be your own self and love who you are because each and every one of you are wonderful for who you are
 
"No one really dies because they have loved. Because they love they stay in the hearts of the people they have touched so in that their memory lives on." Ghost whisperer-i know corny but this touched me deep down and i see so much truth in it.


spookyjan
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2010
Total Posts : 74
   Posted 7/6/2010 12:56 PM (GMT -7)   
thanks for all your replys ...worried girl i know what you are saying but i am not there yet to put either of them in a home.the news today is that dad has started bleeding from the mouth an he is very constipated an in a lot of pain.i have to say an i feel guilty for saying it ......i absoulutely hate going to see him in that hospital.he is not my dad laying there he is a shadow of his former self,its like looking at someone else.there i have said it,i wouldnt admit this to anyone else,i couldnt,i feel guilty for feeling this way,i think i am trying to protect my feelings,an my sister.i am drained an cant sleep for thinking about him in that hospital,i feel sad all the time.i cant write anymore at this point a bit upset... spooky

hep93
Elite Member


Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 12014
   Posted 7/6/2010 1:27 PM (GMT -7)   
Spooky, your feelings are entirely normal. I am sure all the caregivers here can relate.

The bleeding from the mouth is probably an indication of bleeding varices. When he strained, he may have burst them. This can actually be a life-threatening situation, but I'm sure they are aware of it at the hospital and taking care of him. He is probably not bleeding a lot or they would have to band the varices--which they may end up doing anyway.

If you can, try to go to a movie or do something to get your mind off of your parents for awhile. This really is not selfish, but necessary to prevent "burnout."

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


arneeb
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2009
Total Posts : 2350
   Posted 7/6/2010 3:12 PM (GMT -7)   
I think we caregivers are plagued with guilt... guilt that didn't get him to stopping drinking.. guilt that didn't do enough.. don't do enough.. guilt cuz wanna run... guilt.. guilt .. guilt.. and when he was in the hospital.. I couldn't sit there hour after your... I had to take it four hours at a clip and then a couple off... and I felt guilt for that... and still do... and then guilt for decisions made... and the bottom line is... I dedicated a good part of my life to my partner who did not value his life as much as I did.. who make healthy choices too late in life... and in everything I did... I did the best I could... and this too is your legacy.. to your loved one.. you are doing the best you can.. and that in no way has anything to do with loving that person...you must go forward the best you can.. and take care of yourself...just do the best you can... it's just gotta be enough...my prayers and thoughts are with you... Sandi
There is no pit so deep that He is not deeper still... Corrie Ten Boom


**David**
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Date Joined Nov 2009
Total Posts : 3708
   Posted 7/6/2010 3:47 PM (GMT -7)   
I can't speak for other people with liver disease. My case is different from many, in that my behavior didn't cause, or hasten the effects of Hep C and liver failure. I will say this. I don't expect help from any one, other than the medical community. I do appreciate people who have helped me, but in my mind, that's above and beyond the norm. Caregivers, don't beat yourselves up, because you feel helpless. It's not your fault. In many cases, it's no ones fault. Of course, you're going to hurt for those you love, that's as it ought to be. No one can make anyone do the right thing, unless they want to. Be well.
"No good deed goes unpunished."


shadowsghost
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 489
   Posted 7/6/2010 8:30 PM (GMT -7)   

You know I sometimes would feel quilty if I missed am important sign of something going on like I wasnt doing enough! In my heart I knew I gave Doug the best I could and then some but still the could haves and should haves sink in. Today I came across an old e mail of a picture from when he " as Doug would say " got into a fight with a table. He had 2 black eyes,broke his nose, cut open his nose and fractured his leg...... not on my watch he was in the hospital and the table obviously won! One thing I noticed in the pic wasnt all the injuries.. but finally I saw those big blue eyes and that grin I loved so much. it is hard to be the caregiver and not become the nurse.... I beg of you to stop and remember the heart and soul of the person, look in their eyes, touch their face and say I love you!!!

Sue, the nurse, the taxi driver, cook, researcher......many hats but most important the love of his life


Adapt yourself to the life you have been given; and truly love the people with whom destiny has surrounded you.


hep93
Elite Member


Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 12014
   Posted 7/6/2010 8:47 PM (GMT -7)   

Beautifully said, Sue.

And, as we say in AA, "Don't should on yourself!"

Hugs,

Connie


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


Michigan
New Member


Date Joined May 2010
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 7/9/2010 11:25 PM (GMT -7)   
Hello everyone :)     Just like always the nice people here have it correct again.  I too had a liver transplant like david; i was thirsty always and found a great LOVE for water and for some odd reason sugar free candy.  I didnt question it, i was told the shakiness of the hands was interference in the brain from toxins.  I dont know what to say about the drinking that may be happening; i was drug tested every week since day one until after transplant.  One mistake and they will kick you off the waiting list!  They kicked my mother-in-law off the list many years ago and she is now deceased because of it.  Come on people who cant put the bottle down to save their life? i dont know exactly because i was never a heavy drinker.    Life is Great :)    Scott 

Pink Grandma
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Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 2445
   Posted 7/10/2010 8:33 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Spooky, how's things going? Just know that we are here for you.

Lot's of 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.

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