Hello all, this is my first post here and I just need to get some things off my chest.
I'm 21 and have a four year old daughter, and the only other family we have is my disabled veteran dad, who has stage 4 cirrhosis due to Hep C. He also has diabetes and high blood pressure and a history of bronchitis and other lung problems. He switched from the pills to the insulin shots earlier this year. He was hospitalized once last year for chronic bronchitis and again this week for what I thought was the start of the end.. elevated ammonia levels. When I found him he was extremely disoriented and confused, was slurring his words and had sustained a bad head injury the night before. I was terrified and had no idea what to do, so I dragged him to the hospital (he never admits to being sick enough to see a doctor) in hope of finding out what was going on. The doctors didn't tell us much at all. The ct scan and ekg all came back normal so that compounded my confusion and panic. When the blood work came back they told us his ammonia levels were high, but didn't bother to explain to us that that can cause confusion, memory loss, black outs, etc. Thanks to you guys here on this forum I feel more confident in understanding what's going on.
They prescribed him the Lactalose for the short term and after doing some reading here it seems that I might should pick up something with electrolytes in it to keep him healthy while he takes it. I'm still scared, and I feel terrible that I let this happen right under my nose. This is the first time we've dealt with high ammonia levels. Is there anything I should know that might come of this? Will he need to be on this medication forever or do these ammonia levels ever sort themselves out, and what causes these levels to go wonky in the first place? Is there anything I can do or anything I can watch out for that would point to his condition deteriorating? The doctor at the hospital was very blunt and told him that he is going to die. I feel like my time with him is slipping through my fingers.. I don't know what I can possibly do to make this easier on either of us.