Father ill, need support

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Lucy05
New Member


Date Joined Sep 2010
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 9/3/2010 11:08 AM (GMT -7)   
Hello everyone, I am new here and just need some advice. Two years ago, I took my father to the hospital to have an umbilical hernia repaired. It was supposed to be a simple outpatient procedure. The surgeon came out and informed me that they would need to keep him overnight for observation because they had to drain a few liters of fluid off his abdomen. I was confused and the surgeon flipped through his chart and said, "it's probably a complication from his diabetes and liver disease." Well, needless to say I was shocked, mainly because I had no idea that he had either of the diseases. Later, while in his room, some Dr.'s from Internal Medicine came in to talk with him, and he made me leave the room! So, I have no idea what went on in there. This was very upsetting to me to be left in the dark. I am my fathers only child and he is no longer married to my mother. I was very distressed and scared, but I decided not to say anything to him because I wanted him to have a stress-free recovery from his surgery. He recovered and really seemed to be doing well, and I have never asked him about the diseases that he has been hiding from me.
It is now two years later, and I can tell that he is ill. I know he goes to the VA often. When I was visiting him last weekend, I sneaked a peak into his medicine cabinet and was amazed at the array of prescriptions that he takes. He takes high blood pressure medicine, but I knew that. He had medicine for diabetes, beta-blockers, medicine for cholesterol, diuretics, prescription vitamins, and anti-biotics that said they were for "fluid in the abdomen." There were others, I just cannot remember them all.
Needless to say, he has never discussed his health with me so I have no clue what the deal is. All of he research I have done on his symptoms leads me to Liver disease. My father is tough as nails and I know that he does not want me to worry or fret over him. He is the best dad in the world and I know he is just trying to protect me. My question is this: Do I continue to pretend that I am clueless to his health problems or should I confront him with this? I am scared that it would break his heart to find out that I know of his illnesses, as he is only trying to protect me. Are there anyone out there who has been in a situation like this that can help me?
Thanks.

Lucy05
New Member


Date Joined Sep 2010
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 9/3/2010 11:22 AM (GMT -7)   
I would like to add that I am reaching out today because I fear that he is getting really sick. He has obvious ascites and his skin looks pallid. He is always tired and is starting to be a tad forgetful. I'm just so worried and confused.

DGinSD
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 839
   Posted 9/3/2010 11:30 AM (GMT -7)   

Hi Lucy,

Sorry to hear of your dad's illnesses.  You'll find a lot of support here.  I would recommend sitting down to talk with him about how very important he is and how you will be there for him if he needs your support.

Sorry this is brief but I need to run...will touch back shortly...I'm sure some others will chime in soon.


Pink Grandma
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 2445
   Posted 9/3/2010 1:22 PM (GMT -7)   
Lucy,  it is a tough call to make........If it was me.......I'd have a conversation with him and let him know some of the things that you suspect.   Let him know that even though you are still daddy's girl........that you are grown up now and want to help him.   That the not knowing is killing you.  But you know your situation best.  It's a decision that you are going to have to make.  
 
At some point he will be unable to take care of himself and will need assistance.  And frankly he probably already needs some help.......if you notice that he's getting a little forgetful.  Did you notice any bottle of Lactulose in the cabinet?   It comes in a host of different names....it usually has the "lose" at the end it's name..... it is a syrupy liquid that at some point liver patients usually need.  If so, it means that he is having issues with his ammonia levels.  If that's the case.......he should not be living alone if he is. 
 
By the way .......welcome to HealingWell......glad you found us.........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.

Lucy05
New Member


Date Joined Sep 2010
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 9/3/2010 2:10 PM (GMT -7)   
DGinSd and Pink Grandma- Thank you so much for your quick responses. To answer your question PG, I don't think there was any Lactulose in with his meds, there was not any liquid medication there.
I'm really glad that I found this site, it makes me feel some relief just to be able to write all this down. I try to talk to my fiancé about my fears, but I just don't think he quite understands.
My dad lives a few hours away and I've decided that I'm just going to have to make arrangements to visit him every weekend that I can in order to get a better grasp on what is going on. This is all very difficult to absorb. I've been reading posts on this forum all day and I am very frightened. My heart goes out to all the people struggling with this illness and to the family members and caregivers.

hep93
Elite Member


Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 12014
   Posted 9/3/2010 2:36 PM (GMT -7)   

Hi, Lucy and welcome to the forum!  It certainly does sound like your dad has liver disease, most likely cirrhosis.  Was he, or is he, a heavy drinker?  Could he have been exposed to hepatitis?  The diuretics are for the ascites. 

I agree with PG that you should sit down with him and calmly let him know that you are aware he has diabetes and liver disease and want to help him.  Tell him you are an adult now and can handle the truth.

Please let us know how it goes.

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 9/3/2010 2:42 PM (GMT -7)   
Lucy I think that is a good idea.  You need to find out where he is at with this disease.    Good luck........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.

arneeb
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2009
Total Posts : 2350
   Posted 9/3/2010 7:35 PM (GMT -7)   
Sorry to be pointed Lucy... but a straight up conversation needs to be had.. with the responsibility falling to you in the event of more serious illness... need to talk about a medical directive and power of attorney in case of his lapsing in to coma etc... my thoughts and prayers are with you Sandi
There is no pit so deep that He is not deeper still... Corrie Ten Boom

Lucy05
New Member


Date Joined Sep 2010
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 9/4/2010 8:33 AM (GMT -7)   
Connie-My parents divorced when I was 5, I am 33 now. My father lived 4 hours away, I can only assume that if he was a heavy drinker that he kept it well hidden from me. He was always a social drinker, a glass of wine at dinner or some beer while fishing. It's just hard for me to fathom him being a secret alcoholic or something. He was always present in my life driving 4 hours every other weekend to be with me, never missing a holiday or birthday. He was a career man respected at his company until he retired. He worked overtime when I needed braces or college tuition. If he had a serious drinking problem, he was the most functional, well behaved alcoholic in the world.
He has struggled with his blood pressure for 40 years or so, he has always, (my whole life) taken medications to control his blood pressure. And when he got into his 50's he had to start taking meds to control his cholesterol. I always thought it would be his heart, as heart disease runs in our family.
I am trying to prepare myself to have a talk with him. I don't know where I will find the strength. I am glad that I can talk openly and honestly in this forum, your kind words and advice do help.

hep93
Elite Member


Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 12014
   Posted 9/4/2010 11:22 AM (GMT -7)   

Lucy, he could be a functional alcoholic.  Actually, with his diabetes, elevated BP and high cholesterol, he should not have been drinking at all.  What the doctor said could be true--that the liver disease is a complication of the other health problems.  Generally, though, it will be the kidneys that start to fail.  However, cholesterol meds can harm the liver.  While a patient is on them, they generally have to have liver function tests.

Good luck with your talk and let us know how it went.

Hugs,

Connie


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

rupok
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2010
Total Posts : 21
   Posted 9/4/2010 11:50 AM (GMT -7)   
Dear Lucy
Welcome to the forum, and thank God you are here.Lot of people will help you and you are not alone.I am also a ne comer here, but the way i m getting informations from connie, pinl grandma, arneeb you will find it more helpful you ever guessed.

I myself is a liver cirrhosis patient, just hatched in one week, I am trying to get most from this forum,and these remarkble peoples.
Lucy you are adult enough to take care and share of your father's responsibility, take it well. Definitely he will let you do so.

Talk to him calmy, gently with kind and tender that we most human want for. definitely he will help you, once you can talk to him everything will be clear.Let us know of your advancements.

Good Luck
Rupok

**David**
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2009
Total Posts : 3708
   Posted 9/4/2010 2:19 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Lucy,
Why not tell your father what you just posted. He has been there for you, and now, you're going to be there for him. All you have to do is open your mouth, express your love for him and let your feelings take over. Don't wait, and someday regret that you didn't let him know how you feel.

arneeb
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2009
Total Posts : 2350
   Posted 9/4/2010 4:27 PM (GMT -7)   
whatever your choice Lucy... my thoughts and prayers are with you in these tough times... Sandi

Butterflythree
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 954
   Posted 9/4/2010 8:05 PM (GMT -7)   
Welcome to the forum Lucy. Maybe your father is trying to protect you. I agree with everyone else. Just open up and tell him what you are feeling.

My thoughts and prayers will be with you.
Butterflythree
 
There is always hope!

shadowsghost
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 489
   Posted 9/4/2010 8:17 PM (GMT -7)   
Lucy, As a parent I was thinking about this dillema you have, I remember how difficult it was to talk to my girls about women stuff, sex etc.....! I caused myself so much stress to get to that point and it really wasnt as bad as I thought it would be!! Now you have to take a deep breath, dont stress about THE TALK.... remind him that he would be worried if it was you that was sick and not telling him. Parents can be a stubborn bunch, take all the learning from here and use it to help him to help himself, you to help him. Good Luck
Sue
Adapt yourself to the life you have been given; and truly love the people with whom destiny has surrounded you.
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