Renal failure?

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New Member

Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 1/16/2010 8:17 AM (GMT -7)   
I'm a new member, but I have been a lurker for a long time, so I feel like I know most of you even though you don't know me. I can't tell you how much help you have been or how much comfort I have taken from all of you. I am so sorry that you are all going through so much.
My story...Husband of 31 years, alcohol induced ESLD. Has been getting sicker and sicker since 2004 when ascites first showed up. Would not quit drinking, still wants to drink. Fell at work  in early November because of low sodium, head injury caused seizures, stayed in hospital 5 weeks. Home for 4 weeks now. Has had fluid drained 4 times in this 9 week time period. As of this past Wednesday, he is on hospice home care.  Our living room is now a hospital room. My 26 year old daughter is helping out  so I can continue to work since he can't be left alone anymore. (Father/daughter issues... a whole other story)
Has been on lactulose, spironolactone and furosemide. It is getting harder and harder for him to urinate. Now his sodium is down to 115, creatinine is 2, so they told me not to give the furosemide and restrict his fluid to 1 quart a day until Tuesday when the hospice nurse will come and draw blood again. My question...Does this sound like he is going into renal failure? I know that it was a renal panel that was ordered for the blood work. He has never been given a MELD score, probably because he never stopped drinking or showed any interest in trying to get on a transplant list, but for my own information I would like to know what his score is. I asked the nurse about it when she came to admit him to hospice but she didn't know and didn't see it in any of the many reports she had from his doctor. What information do I need so I can figure it myself?

Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 489
   Posted 1/16/2010 8:43 AM (GMT -7)   
You need Billiruben, INR and creatine.....liver function, blood and kidney respectively if you have those numbers you go to UNOS and they have a calculator. Little or no urine output and also a dark colored urine is part of kidney failure I am sorry to say. The fluid pills play havoc on kidney function. I am so sorry you and your family are going through all this, hospice is a great source of help.
When I started counting my blessings my whole world turned around.

Elite Member

Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 12014
   Posted 1/16/2010 12:35 PM (GMT -7)   
Redhen, welcome to the forum. Sue gave you correct information. Here is the link to a site where you can calculate your husband's MELD score, if you have the labs to input:

I had been on diuretics since '06 and noticed that my renal scores were gradually getting higher. So, with my hep doc's encouragement, I have decreased the amount I am taking and hopefully will be able to come off of them entirely. I noticed that in the 2 wks. I had decreased them to every other day, my renal panel is now almost entirely normal.

I'm glad that you have Hospice involved. They will be a great help to your family and your husband. I'm glad you decided to post and hope that you will continue to do so.



New Member

Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 1/16/2010 1:26 PM (GMT -7)   
Thank you both. I will try to get those labs from the Hospice nurse when she comes again.
"I will do it myself," said the little red hen. And so she did...

Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 313
   Posted 1/18/2010 2:16 AM (GMT -7)   
Hello Red Hen, welcome......I am so sorry to hear what you and your family are going through. I know it is difficult for you as it is the same for me trying to be there for my mother who is an alcoholic in denial, with liver disease. the anguish you are going through is torture, educating myself and the help from others on this forum has really helped me a lot.
I only discovered recently why doctors were not talking about MELD scores etc, i did not know if the patient is an active alcoholic then they do not really discuss that unless there is hope for transplant. It is like being left in limbo a little, all doctors know whats happening, you can see with your eyes what is happening but no one is coming right out and telling you the facts. what you would have read that each case is individual. I know you look at your husband,looking at the things that are happening to him and you try and fit the peices together like a jigsaw. Getting these results might give you peace of mind, it might tell you what you already know or maybe things might not be as bad as you think. You are doing marvelous, hang in there and keep strong. we are all her for you....

New Member

Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 1/19/2010 7:45 PM (GMT -7)   
Thank you for making me feel welcome. I am in awe of all of you, your strength and compassion are amazing. It really helps just to know that I am not alone in this fight and that I can come here and get my questions answered.
The hospice nurse came out today and drew more blood. I told her about the MELD score and she is going to try to help me get the labs so I can figure it out. The hospice people have been so kind and helpful. I really struggled with the decision to call them but I am glad now that I did. There is someone to call 24/7 if I have questions or need help. So much better than trying to get through to the doctor's office.
"I will do it myself," said the little red hen. And so she did...

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