Hi, Jacbrilyn, and welcome to the forum. I have hep C that resulted in cirrhosis and also had liver cancer twice. I had a transplant last Oct. and am doing well now, after a few post-op problems. Transplant does not rid one of hep C, so I still need treatment. However, it will have to wait awhile until I'm fully recovered from transplant and some issues resolved.
Your mother should be seen by a hepatologist, as ML mentioned. Even GI docs are not as knowledgeable as hepatologists. The thing about
transplant is that one has to be sick enough to qualify for transplant, but well enough to survive the surgery. She should preferably be seen at a large medical center with a transplant dept. Her primary care doc would need to refer her, unless it's Mayo where you can request an appt. online without a referral. Insurance also plays a big part in who will treat her.
For information about
hep C and liver disease, read the particulars in the folder at the top of the page entitled Hepatitis Resources. It also touches on "How long does he/she have left?" This is a very individual disease and nobody can say for sure how long your mom has left without treatment or transplant. Is she clean and sober? If not, she will not even be considered for transplant.
The clots from the mouth could be caused by bleeding esophageal varices. These are large veins in the esophagus or stomach that leak or rupture. If she starts bleeding profusely, it is a life or death situation and she should be taken to the ER immediately. These varices can be banded to prevent this.
Is she taking Lactulose? That is the treatment for hepatic encephalopathy (HE) which is causing her confusion. Sometimes a patient will also need Xifaxan.
Her having a 12-year-old is a difficult situation. Kids these days are very smart, so I'm sure he realizes his mom is ill. You should be honest with him without giving him excessive info. Tell him the doctors are working hard to get her stabilized. Ask if he has any questions. With the info you get from the forum, you will be better able to answer them. He may ask if she is going to get better or if she is going to die.
If you have any other questions, please feel free to ask. Someone here should be able to help you.
Forum moderator - Hepatitis
"But that was yesterday, and I was a different person then."
Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland
Liver transplant recipient, Oct. 27, 2011, at Mayo Hospital, Jacksonville, FL
Post Edited (hep93) : 7/7/2012 8:02:00 AM (GMT-6)