GK, you are only 19? And you feel that you are caregiver to a druggie and a very old granny? You mention your Dad and Mom, but don't say if they live in your household? Do they?
If they do, then this is NOT your responsibility alone.
Could you tell us if the parents are there and are in reasonable health?
I am assuming this aunt is another child of your grandmother...a sister of your Dad or Mom.
And I am assuming that but for her age, your Nana is little but pretty healthy...after all she is living home and helping out her falling down daughter.
No, they don't transplant folks who are drugging or drinking. But not for punishment. They only transplant those who are MOST LIKELY to stay healthy after transplant. They require a lot of a person to be ON THE LIST.
They have to be: strong enough for a major major major operation...this means heart and kidney have to be really doing well...they will make exceptions and sometimes do a liver/kidney transplant the same day, but that is unusual. This requires a letter from a cardiologist and nephrologist.
They have to be non smoking, non drugging, non drinking before transplant. Usually for 6 MONTHS before they get on the list!!!! Active abusers have to go to a program and get documentation from an AA sponsor or a counselor.
They have to go to a psychiatrist and get a letter than they are in good mental health and are likely to remain substance free and are mentally well enough to comply with a complicated medicine schedule that must be followed for the rest of their life.
They have to see a nutritionist to be sure they are following a good diet and are likely to follow a good diet after transplant -- low fat, low sodium, no red meat, lots of fruits and veggies...kind of a normal good diet.
They do cancer screening and must not have tumors in the liver that exceed 5 cm. If there is a small tumor they can treat that before the huge surgery.
They have to demonstrate they can comply with a complicated frequent doctors appointments....pre transplant you go often for tests and labs. After transplant you go more often for tests and labs. You can't be messing with your appointments.
Right now, it does not seem like you beloved auntie is prepared for a transplant. And so she will likely continue to get sicker and sicker.
This is too much for you to take on yourself. Your parents or grandmother must have her medical power of attorney to help her make medical decisions.
If she is drugging, that's on her. The rest of you are powerless to make her change. The only thing you DO HAVE POWER over is yourself. You need to go to school, work, stay nourished, get enough rest and learn from others mistakes that drinking and drugging lead to a really bad end.
Liver disease causes uncontrolled bleeding (from mouth/bowel) , hepatic encephalopathy (changes in mental state that are often negative/angry/confused -- lactulose helps with this to get the toxins OUT), loss of balance or bowels, yellowing of the skin and eyes, brown or coke colored urine, swelling of the belly (ascites), swelling of the feet and legs (edema), fluid in the lungs (pulmonary edema), coma, and finally death. Some have all these symptoms. It is truly a bad way to die.
I'm sorry this is happening in your family. Is there any chance you could live elsewhere as you are 19?
Post Edited By Moderator (hep93) : 6/21/2012 9:01:45 AM (GMT-6)