husband has been diagnosed with cirrohsis

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New Member

Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 12
   Posted 8/11/2008 5:20 PM (GMT -7)   
hi everyone, i'm a new member my husband has been diagnosed with cirrohsis about 12 years ago, when he was first diagnosed the doctor only gave him 5 years if that long. I am greatful that he has been around this long. We have a daughter that is 14 yrs. But hear lately he keeps having blackouts, can not understand anyone and gets frustrated at everything regardless. He keeps up with the doctors visits. He does not work anymore I got him approved for Disability almost a year ago. His health has gotten to the point that i do not want to come home after work and have to deal with his anger towards me. I am trying my best to keep him going and not show any anger towards him. This disease is really tough when you don't know what if going on. All he wants to do anymore is just lay on the couch and sleep with the blinds closed. He is still drinking, although he did stop for about 2 years but he started again. He blames his drinking on saying that he is so stressed out?? How can that be possible?? His son just turned 28 and lives with us, he never knew in how much bad shape his dad was in. Lately my husbands illness has been affecting me in not being able to sleep. I worry so much about him if I'm going to find him dead on the couch, or am i going to come home one day and find him on concious with daughter home.


Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 131
   Posted 8/11/2008 6:36 PM (GMT -7)   
Welcome Cely,

I have only been a member for 1 1/2 weeks and have already found comfort and so much knowledge here. Sorry your husband started drinking again. he is only hurting himself which I am sure he knows. Does he realize how much all this affects you? Is he receiving any kind of treatment or is he selfmedicating with booze. Hang in there. This is a wonderful support group and let off steam etc anytime

Karen in Nevada

Pink Grandma
Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 2445
   Posted 8/11/2008 6:40 PM (GMT -7)   
Hello Cely and welcome to HealingWell, So sorry that you are going through this. It's a very stressful disease to have to deal with.
But you have found the right forum. Have you had a chance to read over some of our older posts? We have covered just about covered everything there is related to liver disease.

As a caregiver you also need to take care of yourself. Give yourself some respite time. If his adult son is living with you hopefully there should be no problem you getting a little break everyday.

Everyone here is so nice and compassionate........Most have been there done that you are amongst people who really understand.

Thoughts and prayers....... roll
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.

Elite Member

Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 12014
   Posted 8/11/2008 8:15 PM (GMT -7)   

Hi, Cely.  I just wanted to welcome you to the forum, although I'm sorry for the reason you are here.  There are many supportive people here, both patients and caregivers.

It sounds to me like your hubby is having problems with encephalopathy, which is a condition caused by build-up of toxins in the blood.  A damaged liver cannot process/eliminate those toxins effectively.  The usual treatment is with Lactulose.  Your husband's anger and other personality changes are probably a result of the encephalopathy.  He really needs medical treatment.  Since he is still drinking, he would not be eligible for a liver transplant.  He will hasten his demise if he continues to drink.

I have hepatitis C, cirrhosis, and just over a year ago had surgery for liver cancer.  I know if I drink I will be dead in short order.  Fortunately, I'm a sober alcoholic with 22 yrs. of sobriety, thanks to AA.  Your husband needs help, if he wants to live.



Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 202
   Posted 8/11/2008 9:59 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Cely,

I'm sorry that you need to deal with this. And I'm particularly sorry that your husband is still drinking. It WILL kill him. My unsolicited advice to you is this: Please understand that only he can decide to stop drinking. If he doesn't stop, you must find a way to relieve yourself of the inevitable guilt that you will feel. It is a natural response, but wrong. Only he can control whether he stops. I hope that he comes around and decides to spend more time with his family -- stopping drinking and going onto a liver-gentle diet.

I am a Hep C, End Stage Liver Disease patient, awaiting a transplant. Among other symptoms, I suffer from encephalopathy, which is kept in check with Lactulose. From what you describe, I assume that he falls into the Stage 3 to 4 area. You should have a serious talk with his doctors and make sure that his matters are in order.

Here is a copy of the stages that Shelly has posted for us; it's called the West Haven Classification:

"Hi Everyone:

Many of you are aware of the different stages that determine how advanced the diagnosis of liver disease is determined. On the other hand many do not. I thought that it may be helpful to post them so we can all see what the criteria is and what the symptoms are for the different stages. The following list may seem a bit ambiguous but to date it is what Dr’s are using. It is called the West Haven Classification System.

Stages of Liver Disease:

Stage 0: Minimal encephalopathy. The changes are almost undetectable because the changes are minimal. Some minor changes in mood and concentration. The marker is the inability to maintain concentration.

Stage 1: Sleep disturbances (often sleeping during the day and awake at night, hypersomnia, or insomnia), mood swings including depression, irritability, and sometimes euphoria. Increased talkativeness, poor concentration, poor attention span, restlessness, and often some tremors in the hands. Mild confusion is noticeable. They have minute changes is concentration, memory, and coordination. The patient isn’t able to do some basic arithmetic like adding and subtracting numbers or drawing figures like stars or circles. Possible Asterixis (arm flapping when arms are extended).

Stage 2: Some noted arm flapping (asterixis) when the arms are extended, changes in reflexes (usually slower), difficulty with articulating words, and uncoordinated muscle movement. Lethargy or apathy, slurred speech, noticeable difficulty performing mental tasks, inappropriate behavior, drowsiness, noted personality changes, disorientation especially regarding time, possible sweet odor to their breath called “Fetor Hepaticus”, and a decrease in body temperature may be present along with rapid breathing “hyperventilation”.

Stage 3: Aggressive behavior, talks in monotonous tones, an increase in reflexes, decreased level of consciousness, sleeps a lot but can be aroused when you wake them, increased confusion and disorientation, at times incomprehensible speech (muttering nonsense) occasionally they will have fits of rage, amnesia, and can not perform mental tasks. Probable “Fetor Hepaticus”. Decreased body temperature is often noted. They sleep most of the time.

Stage 4: Coma

I hope this helps you all to at least have some idea at how the Dr’s determine how severe the liver disease is. This does not address lab values. It is solely based on behavior both physically and mentally.


I hope that you and your family will be well, John
I have to get up the creek! Now where's that paddle?
Mind-fogged again.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 954
   Posted 8/12/2008 6:48 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Cely an Welcome to the forum, You have come to a great place for knowledge and support. There are many people here that understand exactly what you are going through. I am so sorry that your husband has started drinking again. I agree with Connie. It sounds like he is suffering from encephalopathy. That is my husbands main problem with this disease. He takes lactulose to eliminate the toxins from his body. It has helped alot. Is your husband on any medications?

You will be in my prayers.
There is always hope!

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