LIfe expectancy for late stage cirrhosis

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Daughter02
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2012
Total Posts : 9
   Posted 6/10/2012 2:27 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi, Hope you may be able to help me understand what is going on with my dad and how long we should expect for him to live.
He has been in and out of various doctors offices and hospitals for years now with heart problems, kidney problems, diabetes,
rheumetory (sp?) arthritis, edema (stomach and legs and feet) is on 15 different medications a day, sleeps most the day and cant
sleep at night. Can barely walk even with a walker, gets aggitated very easily, bruises very badly from a minor bump, lots of bathroom
problems though these arent all discussed with me. skin cancer that has been treated and wont heal, very pale skin and very anemic,
mumbles when speaking often and cant articulate words frequently. has been falling more often and cant get up. He is always out of breath and
sleeps sitting up because he says he feels like he cant breath if he lays back flat.
Before when he would retain water it would be primarily stomach and legs but all of him would look bloated. Now he is all skin and bones and his stomach looks
like it could pop with belly button even popped out. He is in a lot of pain and he is still drinking heavily. At one point he was very itchy all over and my
mom said it was from dry skin and doesnt itch anymore. He wont tell his doctors that he drinks
though to me this should be obvious. His kidney function is very poor but no one has said anything about his liver or mentioned cirhossis to my mom.
This seems odd. I feel he is at late stage cirrhosis. He keeps loosing weight pretty quickly and I dont think would eat at all if my mom didnt make him.
The list of his problems goes on and on, but I covered a lot of them here.
He is 65. Does anyone have any idea how long he may have left at this stage. I want my mom to be prepared. I really dont think he will stop drinking.
Thanks in advance for any information for us.

hep93
Elite Member


Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 12014
   Posted 6/10/2012 2:42 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi, Daughter02, and welcome to the forum. Unfortunately, his continued drinking probably caused some of these problems and he definitely will not improve or even halt the progression of all his diseases unless he stops drinking--and it may be too late. FYI, it's rheumatoid arthritis, the crippling kind, as opposed to osteoarthritis.

You would think that his blood work and appearance would give a clue to the docs that he is alcoholic. Perhaps they have mentioned it and you weren't there to hear it.

I agree that he probably has late stage cirrhosis, but without a biopsy and other testing, no one can say for sure. Also nobody can really determine how much time he has left. Everyone is different. Some hang on for months, or even years, with ESLD, while others go quickly.

I suggest you read the info in the folder entitled Hepatitis Resources. It touches on the question of "How long?" It gives good information about liver disease in general.

With continued drinking, there is nothing the docs, you, or Almighty God can do to improve his status.

Hugs,
Connie
hep93
Forum moderator - Hepatitis


"But that was yesterday, and I was a different person then."

Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

Liver transplant recipient, Oct. 27, 2011, at Mayo Hospital, Jacksonville, FL

MamaLama
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Oct 2010
Total Posts : 3787
   Posted 6/10/2012 2:55 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi D02,

You might want to read carefully Rangi post about her mom, just down from yours. She describes in great detail her mothers last days.

Her case seems much like yours. She did not say her mother was an active alcoholic but I assume she was not.

The difference in the two cases, then, is that your Dad is an active alcoholic...which is very bad for liver disease.

In liver disease, when the body can not process wastes properly through the liver and on to the kidneys, those wastes stay in the body and become toxic to all systems...especially the brain and the kidneys.

Most have the symptoms you describe, but can go on like this for quite a while. My partner, Mike, was just so in the fall of 2010 and, at 61, he decided he wanted to live more than he wanted to drink alcohol and he stopped abruptly. He went to AA meetings and he got into a liver transplant program. Without the alcohol cessation, and the AA program, he would not have been eligible.

Many of the doctors are not too willing to give aggressive treatment to those who have not reformed, assuming the patient has made conscious decision to die of the disease.

I do not think your Dad has much time. But maybe some months or even a year. Though with the breathing problems he may have cardiac issues as well. Congestive heart failure or worse.

Maybe he doesn't want any more care. do you have hospice near you. Maybe see if they can help you figure out what his real status is,

This is so sad, and I am sorry you find yourself in this place. At some point, everyone will die...we just feel so helpless when it was senseless and could have been avoided or delayed by good health decisions.

Best,
Carol

Post Edited By Moderator (hep93) : 6/10/2012 2:20:08 PM (GMT-6)


**David**
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2009
Total Posts : 3262
   Posted 6/10/2012 4:45 PM (GMT -6)   
It's likely that your fathers doctor is aware of his drinking. Most docs won't do much more than do the minimum for people drinking themselves to death. This sounds like another case of slow suicide. As to how long he has left; it could be a day, or a couple of years.
No good deed goes unpunished...

arneeb
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2009
Total Posts : 2310
   Posted 6/12/2012 4:05 PM (GMT -6)   
I agree with David.. the process is different for everyone. Drinking hastens death. Educate yourself using the resource materials here. Come often .. we are here for you. Sandia
There is no pit so deep that He is not deeper still... Corrie Ten Boom

Daughter02
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2012
Total Posts : 9
   Posted 6/14/2012 9:38 AM (GMT -6)   
Thanks everyone for your responses. It has helped me understand that each patient with cirrhosis is different. It really is a slow road to his death. Seems like
he has been going downhill for years! I agree with you Carol, I really feel he has less than a year. I am not sure he wants to live anymore with the state his body is in.
I gave all the information I've learned about the disease to my mom who brought it up to his primary care doctor yesterday.
He agreed there was a problem and looked at a past scan they had in the office of my dads kidneys. It should part of his liver in the scan with notes on it.
I guess it was not addressed to them because it was his kidneys that were the issue of that hospital visit along with his congestive heart failure (yes Carol, he does have that and I think
was diagnosed with it around 5 years ago). The doc referred him to the hospital to get the fluid from his stomach drained and then to some sort of gi doctor to evaluate his liver further.
He said to make sure he does these things right away.
My mom tries to go to all the office visits with him, but is advised by my dad that she can only go if she keeps her mouth shut.
I'm happy that she did not this time. The word cirrhosis was brought up at this visit and my dad did not say a word about it to my mom after the visit.
He went home and drank. This says to me he probably loves alcohol more than life. Guess these next few weeks will tell. I wish I had a crystal ball for my moms sake.
Sounds like it could be a rough road ahead (as if it hasnt been for them already).
Is there anything we should be concerned with about him getting this fluid drained from is stomach? I thought I remembered reading something about lungs sometimes collapsing if they do this...
Hope to know more about his state in the next couple weeks assuming he cooperates with going to the doctors visits!
Thanks again for all your responses.

hep93
Elite Member


Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 12014
   Posted 6/14/2012 1:25 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi, Daughter02. In regard to your question about paracentesis (draining of fluid), the biggest concern is infection. If the lungs collapse, they can be reinflated. I had a partial collapse when I had my transplant and never knew it until later. They corrected this while I was still under anesthesia.

Sometimes, the fluid will return quickly, requiring draining as often as every week. Of course, the more he has this done, the greater the risk of infection. A TIPS (Transjugular Intrahepatic Portosystemic Shunt) procedure may be suggested, to redirect the fluid and decrease the ascites. That also has possible side effects, such as increase of HE (hepatic encephalopathy.)

Hugs,
Connie
hep93
Forum moderator - Hepatitis


"But that was yesterday, and I was a different person then."

Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

Liver transplant recipient, Oct. 27, 2011, at Mayo Hospital, Jacksonville, FL
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