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New Member

Date Joined Aug 2009
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 8/13/2009 12:14 PM (GMT -7)   
Hello everyone,
We were just told my dad was in the end stage of liver failure (he is an alcoholic).  First, let me say that we love our dad very much and he's always been there for us.  The doctors aren't really telling us anything, or maybe we just don't know the right questions to ask.  I am not there right now, I live in another state but will be leaving to go home tomorrow evening.  In the meantime the Doctor is suppose to call me in the morning.  I was hoping ya'll could give me some idea about what to ask and what his answers may mean.  My dad has had cirrhrosis of the liver for about 5 years now (he would quit drinking and start back, but never quit for good).  He was just hospitalized again and the doctor said he is in the end stage of liver failure.  He doesn't recognize people that he should, including my sister, my aunt, and when I was talking to my mom on the phone and he ask who she was talking to and she said my name, he asked, "Who is that?"  Among other things, he acts like he's chewing tobacco, drinking something, or giving something to my mom when theres no tobacco, no glass, and nothing in his hand.  He's using the bathroom on himself.  He keeps taking off all his clothes (and he's really a modest person, and it's not that he's hot, because he stays cold all the time, its 97 degrees outside and he wants you turn on the heater).  He's very yellow all over (almost orange).  He's not eating very good.  His stomach has been swollen since he was diagnosed, but lately his ankles are so swollen and red they look like they are going to burst!  They done a brain scan (it shows he had a stroke), they've done blood work and a liver scan, and the doctor said that they were going to do one more test and he would probably go home tomorrow.  He said there is nothing else really that they can do.   My mom ask him what that means, that she needs to tell her kids something (2 of us live out of state), and all he would say is he is in the end stage, he may get a little better or he may not.  Can anybody tell me anything more?  What to expect?  How much time he has left?  Signs to watch for? And maybe what questions I can ask the doctor that would tell me more.  I don't know, like are there certain blood count numbers to look for?   Any replies will be very much appreciated.
Thanks in advance.

Post Edited By Moderator (Pink Grandma) : 8/13/2009 6:27:58 PM (GMT-6)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 502
   Posted 8/13/2009 3:27 PM (GMT -7)   
Hello Cantfocus, Welcome to HealingWell. I am so sorry that your dad has been diagnosed with endstage liver disease. Have you read the educational threads in this forum? It will help you alot to figure out what you are facing with your dad. It is located under the new topic area and it says Hepatitis Resources. There is alot of great information in there. To answer just a few of your questions based on the information you provided it sounds like your dad has encephalopathy. The confusion, disorientation, and memory loss can all be attributed to this. His ammonia levels are probably high. Also, if he indeed have a stroke those symptoms could be very similar. Like a double whammy. If he is jaundiced his skin will be yellow to orange as well as the whites of his eyes. That is due to retention of the toxins in his bdy. His liver is so disease that he can't dispose of these toxins via his kidneys and stool. Usually their stool is clay colored and their urine is orange. In the educational thread in the Hepatitis Resources section you will find the stages of liver disease. Unfortunately, it doesn't look good for your dad. I think the possibility of any significant recovery is slim. On the other hand I never give up hope. I am trying to be honest with you and I hope that learning about this disease will help you to ask the right questions of the Dr. There ar elab values in that area too. That may help you. The best advice I can give you is to tell your dad how much you love him, let him know that you will always love him. Your mom will need more support from you then he will. Give her some time to breath. Encourage her to take a walk, get her hair done, or whatever gives her pleasure. She will need the love of the family to get though this believe me. Prepare yourself as much as possible for the shock of seeing your dad like this. It hurts alot I know. I have been there too. For me it was horrible to see my mom so confused and in so much pain. I was sad when she passed away (actually devastated) but at the same time relieved. She didn't have to suffer anymore. My mom took her clothes off too. The Dr said it was because of the toxins, it actually caused her skin to hurt. Her clothes felt heavy and were uncomfortable. Everyone is different. Your experience may be entirely different then mine or anyone elses. You will probably have to help your mom to get Hospice involved with his care. They are a great organization. Let us know how it goes. You can ask any questions you like on this forum or just vent. We are here to help you.

“Life is not the way it's supposed to be. It's the way it is. The way you cope with it is what makes the difference."


Pink Grandma
Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 2445
   Posted 8/13/2009 5:27 PM (GMT -7)   
Hello cant-focus and welcome to HealingWell.   Can't add a whole more than what Shelly gave you.  This disease is a doozy.  Lot's of ups and downs.........The taking off of the clothes is very common.  My husband did it also.  Like your dad he was a very modest person normally. 
After you go through the educational'll probably know what questions to ask.  But write them down and also write down what the doctor tells you.  You are in a very emotional state and will probably forget what he has said to you. 
We are glad that you found us.   And we will be here when ever you need us.   You are not alone in this journey.........
Lot's of thoughts and prayers............
By the way I gave your post a title so that you'd get more responses........I hope you don't mind. 

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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