Congestive failure and other conditions

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New Member

Date Joined Jan 2013
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 1/3/2013 4:58 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi guys,

It is very likely that I'm not posting on the right topic, but due to the array of conditions I have found it difficult to make a proper identification.

My problem goes like this: my father in law has congestive heart failure, which is the main condition, type II diabetics, cirrhosis and type B hepatitis. He also developed ascites and a generalized edema in lower body. He hasn't been able to move for the past 4 months and has been released from hospital due to end stage conditions.

Also, he has very large varicose veins and his legs are filled with puss which is leaking through skin cracks.

Lately his urine output has decreased to about 200 ml/day, his food intake decreased to the equivalent of one slice of bread a day, has a disturbed sleep pattern (doesn't sleep at night, sometimes naps during the day, sometimes he falls asleep in the middle of a conversation etc) and he is very emotional (cries then laughs, then yells, then cries again).

My husband and I are aware of the fact that his conditions are terminal, but we have found out that he smokes (he had quit more than 4 years ago) and drinks (wine, martini, brandy) and also he self-medicates.

He lives with his elderly mother and has 2 nurses taking shifts. The nurses do not give him alcohol or cigarettes and they throw away everything they find, but we believe that his mother gives in to his every demand and purchases the items for him.

We can not keep an eye on him 24/7 and there is no log term care facility available in our area. No hospital will take him, claiming that he could die at any moment and nothing remains to be done for him.

So we are virtually watching him kill himself. I believe he is not aware of what he is doing, especially mixing alcohol and medication, because he claims that he is regaining strength and that he will be out of bed in no time. Also, he is not aware that he has edema or ascites (he claims he has gained weight), nor does he see the puss coming out of his legs. He thinks that the puss is sweat. Also, he feels no pain at all, and I have noticed that he has lost sensation in his legs. If I touch his legs and he is not aware, he does not feel that, not even tickling his foot.

I really do not know what to do, how to put a stop to these habits. He is killing himself and we seem unable to do anything.

Any suggestion?

Elite Member

Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 1/3/2013 2:06 PM (GMT -6)   

Welcome to HealingWell

Hello and welcome to HealingWell.  Glad you've found our online community. It’s a great place to connect with others traveling the same'll find much support, encouragement and advice from others who understand.

I am truly sorry to hear about your Father-in-law but I suspect there is nothing you can do about your FIL and his drinking and smoking.  You mentioned you think your MIL is giving in to his desires to drink and smoke.  Has your husband sat down with his Mom and asked her ?

She may feel that this man has a short time to live so why deny him what he wants as many people feel that way when the patient is in end-stage organ failure and are receiving hospice care only. If you have talked to his nurses and they do not have any other ideas than your only option may be to have someone else stay at your FIL's home to make sure no liquor or smoking is happening.

I know this is not a lot of help and this is a sad position for all of you to be in.  Please know I will be keeping all of you in my prayers.



Moderator: Anxiety, Osteoarthritis,
GERD/Heartburn and Heart/Cardiovascular Disease.

“Have courage for the great sorrows of life and patience for the small ones; and when you have laboriously accomplished your daily task, go to sleep in peace. God is awake.”

New Member

Date Joined Jan 2013
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 1/4/2013 5:43 AM (GMT -6)   
Thank you Kitt for your help and kind words!

The only viable option we have found so far was to provide everything they needed so that no money be left around the house (if there's no cash left, then cigarettes and alcohol can not be purchased). We pay the bills, we buy food and medicine and medical supplies... It might seem odd do do this, but it's better than watching him kill himself.

My FIL does not live with his wife - my MIL- but with his mother, who is my husband's grandmother - it's a very odd situation since alcohol abuse has lead to violence, violence meant a broken home, a broken home lead to lack of support to overcome alcohol abuse. We have tried talking to her in every way there is, but sometimes she seems eager to plan his funeral.

As I've told you, there is no long term care facility, no hospice for end-stage conditions in our area so my FIL has to be taken care of at home. But then again, the time left for him seems to be getting shorter: he has developed a hoarse voice, coughs, seems to be experiencing portal tension, the veins on his arms and fingers are showing, there are bruises showing up out of the blue (he does not move, so he can not bruise his hip or pex) and he seems to be totally out. If we talk to him, he does not respond, but stares at the wall and only minutes later he comes into the conversation with a totally different subject.

The only positive thing about this situation is that he experiences no pain and that he is not aware of what is going on (he said he is planning to bake a cake).

Thank you once again!
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