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Husband with cirrhosis - what's ahead
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Husband with cirrhosis - what's ahead

Hello, I just found out that my husband has cirrhosis from years of drinking. He also has edema, high blood pressure, diabetes, stomach is distended and has nose bleeds. He has not quit drinking and it's doubtful that he will. He's 68 years old. My Dr indicates that he thinks he may die from a heart attack due to added weight he's carrying. I don't know quite how to phrase the question - if anyone has had a similar experience and their loved on passed away, could you please be honest and let me know how long your loved one lived? I don't know what to expect as the disease progresses, if he doesn't have a heart attack. As you may know, this is very difficult.
Thank you so much.  
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Two weeks ago yesterday I stood by my uncles bed as he passed away from cirrhosis. It is a very difficult disease to watch someone go through and it is extremely painful in the end. My uncle lived with it for roughly 10 years. Thankfully he did choose to stop drinking, but unfortunately the damage was already done. At first he was put on alot of medications. (Some medications make them really sick and some can make them unable to think clearly) They will be on meds the rest of their lives. Next came having to have his stomach drained, (this is a very painful process). My uncle would have anywhere from 2-4 liters of fluid drained at a time. If your husband qualifies he can eventually have a stint put in so he will not have to be drained. This of course is a surgical procedure, and there is always a chance the stint will clog. Sometimes they can replace them, sometimes they can't. They generally get to a point where they can not walk very well. So, your husband may end up needing a scooter or a wheelchair at some point. My uncle had a slight stroke at one point and that made him require even more care from my aunt. It is very hard for the care taker. You will basically end up having to feed, bath, wipe and do everything for him. When the end comes what will happen is the liver will completely stop functioning. The doctor explained that when it happened he would just go to sleep and it would just bleed out. Well that is not what happened. My uncle started coughing up blood and his entire body turned completely yellow when the poison went through his body. When I say yellow I mean the color of a banana. Even his tongue, eyes, nails, everything was yellow and it was like something I have never seen in my life. They will continue to cough up blood and as they get weaker, they will have to suction it out. They will be in alot of pain but they will still be coherant. They will have them on pain meds but that will be it unless your husband chooses to be on life support. The last hour of his life my uncle slip into a coma. You then will no longer be suctioning. We stood there for the last as we watched his respiration got slower and slower until it stopped. At that point they will call in the doctor to pronounce him dead and will send you out of the room so they can do post mortum clean up. They will then let you back in and ask you what funeral home you want them to call. You can stay with the body until the funeral home gets there to pick it up. When you get to view the body at the funeral home, you need to be prepared because the body will generally turn really gray from the poison which will be a change from the yellow he will be at the hospital. I hope this helps. If I can answer any other questions for you, I will be more then happy to.

No I am not sure what is ahead there for you, but I know that I got really scared when my father had a heart attack! The only thing I could think of was that he would probably die soon. He didn't. He is alive, 2 years later and has never been any healthier than now!

But! The sooner you know a diagnosis, the sooner you can start working with it and do self-improvements. Maybe your husband can take steps to a healthier life of a heart-considerate diet and get on the line of healthier living? It is a lot to pick up there that can prolong life.

I hope you and your husband have an understanding physician that see him as a human and not only the disease. There is some information on MedHelp about heart/coronary disease as well as cirrhosis.

Good luck and check back.

We are in the same boat ..
But my husband is 56 and no dr has told him he has it ..

I have done research and see the signs..
He is in 100 % denial he's living till 90.

I don't know how long this is going to take ...
I think once the eyes turn yellow that there are only days

As the liver does 1500 things for the body .. any of the
organs can likely cause death.

I know that we are more than our bodies we have all come
here to planet earth for a different experience ..

Still it is harsh to watch someone do this to thier life..

We can share our experience and be of some help to each other.
if you like?


on dec 2002 my portal vein reptured because my liver couldn't filter my blood by not allowing blood flow in to the liver see from the time i was 11 years old i did drugs sniffed touloue every day untill i was 17 and i drank for 34 years well i got to the hospital in time they found the tear and fixed it and i was also given a shunt and when i lost most of the fluid, then they put in a stint the dr told my wife that he never seen a liver so bad on a live man and i would die in 6 months top's well i prayed to GOD and i got a positive feeling that was 6 years ago. also i think he turned to GOD  i take 4 different medicines, and if these individuales keep drinking,and keep doing dope, eat any other meds like asperin let all doctors know of your situantion, when it comes to meds get on your knees talk to the HOLY SPIRIT and tell your internalist to look at the idea of a stint or call DR Lucas in andover kansas out side of wichita kansas his name is E Lucas ask about the portal shunt this saved me after GOD guided  DR LUCAS'S HAND AND THE KNOWELEDGE OF THE PORTAL SHUNT FEW DOCTORS NOW OF THIS PROCEDER                        BUTCHIE
My husband of 54 years is in Final stage Liver disease and renal failure. He also has Hep C, his labs are way over the chart and stomach distened. Yellow very, so awfull to see him in this shape. Also he is in prison so I cant take care of him. It is so hard when he really shouldnt be there to begin with. He was in the hospital but they couldnt do any parathenteses or any thing had a foley in but took it out, I just want to cry and wish it was over for him. I just wish I could take care of him. Also wish I knew how long but I expect not long they said there is nothing they can do for him. Ideas???? Loving Him
Usually, I would not write this because the pain is too much to even write about from early to mid stages of cirrhosis. I know its like watching a person kill themselves daily by drinking too much daily. I will list what happened to my father who is 63 yrs old. He believes his life is unstoppable so that is part of the reason why he kept on abusing his own body with alcohol daily.

First signs of trouble was that my father was having chronic constipation,
malnutrion, sleep deprevation, being irratable, depresssion and nose bleeds.

Stage 1 of Cirrhosis.
Doctors said my Dad only had a few months left to live.
Doctors prescibed Lactulose to stop the chronic constipation which will help get rid of the toxins in the body. If my father continues to drink he will surely die within a month or sooner because the liver is already shrinking.

Luckly, my father stopped drinking after his failed attempts on medicating himself back to health. Thinking he could speed up his recovery by taking more medication like Lactulose. Or even no medication at all. Only made him get even worst. It got soo bad that he had to depend on us to take care of him. He finally came to terms with his own life about drinking and did not continue to drink or could not drink.

At this point it looked like he was going die within days.

After finding out his failed attempts on his self-medication routines. We decided to follow as doctors ordered on taking the proper daily dosage of lactulose which is the primary medication against early stages of liver failure. There was no way we would of known if my Dad was taking the medication improperly because it was already too late to find out. My Dad was soo incohernt that he could not really speak or even remember.
How did we find this out? It literally took us 4-5 months to find this out because we assumed he was following doctors orders from the start. When he really wasnt. At the 5th month we saw that he was has gotten better from the last emergency visit to the hospital. But, when they released him home to us he had gotten worst.  We thought the hospital must be doing something right and we are doing something wrong at home. We copied the hospital's daily routine, similiar types of foods, liquids etc. We even made a chart for my Dad for his daily symptoms, habits and bowel movements. Daily lactulose intake after being released from ICU. Spoke with our family doctor for advice, and researched symptoms.  The dosage of lactulose is soo important that if given too much is dangerous. Giving too little is dangerous aswell. Lactulose dosage has to be closely monitored.  We ended up giving as the doctors ordered and he slowly got better. He got soo much better that our Doctor told us to lower his daily dosage.

To do the right thing you will have to know if you are doing the right thing or not. Pray for him and hope that he will change before its too late. And sometimes you have to dig for the truth to discover the lies.

God Bless You

my husband is 64 did alot of drinking in the 60,70,80,90,until 2004 when he had a 5 way heart by pass then he also found out about he's cirrhosis and edema 2 weeks ago he was out of it high potassium level high ammonia levels and something about his sodium was high i have never seen anything like that i was told he was seconds away from going into a coma so is this how it is what next??????
My husband has been diagnosed with cirrhosis.  Well, the doctor's have diagnosed him.  He still insists its not his liver and the doctor's are crazy.  All so he can have another beer.

He is on double doses of two different diuretics, a heart medication, aspirin regiment.  He has had 2 posterior sinus bleeds that had to be repaired surgically.  He has ascities and edema, and has had to have his belly drained twice.  He is also retaining fluid around his heart, and had to have a cardio paracentesis while he was in the hospital for the ascites and edema, hooked up to IV's with mass amounts of Lasix, and having his abdomen drained.

And yet he still thinks its not his liver, and refuses to quit drinking.  Says he has "lived his life."

He is 50.
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