Caring 4 mama,
I feel your pain in. I am caring for my mother in law, which we shall say that the relationship was strainde from the get go. Now I am her care giver. I too, give the medication to her, help her shower, cook for her, ect. My husband and I live with her, and we have told her for years that she has to stop drinking, before it kills her. She was diagnosed with Cirrhosis, in october of 08, and then she stopped dirnking all together. On March 4th of this year, I had to terminate my pregnancy due to it being eptopic. When my husband and I returned home that afternoon we found her in the bathroom unresponsive. She had been sitting there for at least 6 hours before we found her. I honestly thought that she was dead. And all of a sudden I felt this huge flood of guilt... why didn't I check on her that morning before we left, why didn't I speak to her the night before, maybe I would have noticed something.... But now I know that everything happens for a reason. Today, she is being evaluated for a liver transplant, and she had become somewhat closer to me. I can actually appreciat her more and definately respect her now.
You will have to face your mother head on, and tell her first and foremost that you love her. And what you are about to say to her is not coming form judgement, but from love. Although you've spent so long living your life away from her,,, ( I ran away from home when I was 14, because of my fathers drinking so I do relate) you have also been brought back to tell her something, or to learn something. So take this as it comes. It is not going to be an easy road, not even slightly. There will be good days, and bad.
As for the lactulose, you can manage the amount that she takes a day. If she is having more than 5 BM's a day, that is too much, reduce the amount that you are giving her, or only give it to her once a day. I find that by giving it to my mother in law in the morning makes her get out of bed more, which helps with the circulation. And it also allows her to sleep at night.
But if you notice that she is getting more confused, you can give her an extra dose. For my mother in law, I give her an extra dose, when she has not had a least on BM a day. I try to encourage her to eat lots of fresh fruit and raw veggies... as they also help her stay regular.
Does your mother have any swelling, in her abdomen, legs, face ect? She may need to be placed on a diruetic as well. Believe me you are not alone in this and I am glad that you found this site. It has been so instrumental in my own sanity, nonetheless, great advice. It helps me find out what questions I should be asking the doctors.
Be well and remember to take care of yourself too, I've had my moments of letting the stress get to me. No one will think less of you if you have to take a day off. If you can, contact her insurance, to see if you can get a case worker, and if you could get some type of home health. That will be a blessing, and if you get an aide, you can have two hours to relax, and breath.