coma and cirrhosis is what my 42 year old brother is going through at the moment. Not only has he this problem but he has also suffered with schizophrenia since the age of 19. Also about 3 months ago he suffered a heart attack but lived through it. We have just experienced the worst weekend in our life by seeing my brother going into a coma. Tonight he did wake up from it and as happy as i am i wonder would it have been better for him to pass on rather than keep on suffering. I get rather frustrated because you can never get a straight answer from the doctors on what to expect or will this happen again to my brother. I wonder if anyone else has had a family member with schizophrenia and cirrhosis and if they found some way to find treatment for them
I'm sure he's been dx with mental problems for awhile, and if he takes his meds, and monitored, shouldn't be a problem. The coma is a byproduct of liver faiure, encephalopathy caused by the livers failure to filter toxins from the blood, if he is a candidate for liver TP, that would take care of that, somrtimes coma sneaks up on the patient and the Docs because no one knows what leval of toxins will cause this. I hope they get him on dialylisis, until they find a liver, that amount of toxins can harm the kidneys.
Although I am new myself to this website, I just want you to know that my prayers are with you and your family. This forum of people that you sent this question to has without even meeting any of them some of the best informed as well as the best hearted people that I have had the priviledge of conversing with.
My brother was not schizophrenic but he was an alcoholic that went into a coma due to liver failure. He too was in his early forties. His coma lasted about a week and he was on life support and then amazed us all by coming back to us. Initially he was very confused and hallucinating and I kept following the doctors around saying "What does this mean, how much better will he get, how long can he live like this?" They couldn't answer my questions because it is a very individual thing. People who are compliant with medication and diet will live a lot longer than people like my brother who continued to abuse his body. I don't think my brother was capable of making good decisions due to the hepatic encephalopathy (brain damage)
I put my brother in a nursing home and he lasted about 8 months before they kicked him out for non-compliance and abusive behavior. He tried to get on a liver transplant list but was kicked off because of -you guessed it- noncompliant behavior. He was hospitalized many times due to high ammonia levels, and uncontrollable bleeding. He refused hospice and believed until his deat that he was going to "Beat this thing" At times he told me that he thought the doctors were lying to him and he just had some sort of virus. He was right about that, the virus was hep c. It is very depressing to watch someone you love destroy themselves. Supporting each other is the only thing you can do. Sorry I don't have more to offer. Take care.
as heartbreaking as your post is to us reading it, I can only imagine how soulbreaking it can be for those who love him and see him in so much pain.
perhaps there is an online support group for end stage liver disease that you can conference with?
can you clarify when he was diagnosed and what caused his cirrhosis? what state are you in, and what team of drs are tending to him? has he been evaluated for a transplant or is his disease too advanced?
My supervisor at work recently went through something similar with her 43 yr old brother, hep c infected and alcoholic, just starting to turn his life around.
He has to have the best drs on his side, those who are not afraid to act.
tell us a bit more when you can
I was in a very similar position at the same age as your brother. Was in eight-day coma with lots of hallucinations in the three or four days after emerging from coma, all caused by hep c and liver failure. Had complete absence of alpha and beta waves during encepholopathy. In my case, the encepholpathy was probably 99 percent reversed, but it took a couple of years and a liver transplant to get there. I returned to my job as a librarian three months after transplant and worked effectively for four more years before going on disability due to hep c recurrance. Am currently treating and close to undetectable (561 iu/ml at twelve weeks).
I know there is nothing scarier than watching someone get debilitated so quickly, but with liver disease as the principle cause, a transplant can do wonders. Not everyone has the same results with transplant, but it offers hope for the future and is often amazingly effective in undoing all types of problems.
Your brother no doubt has a long way to go to get healthy again, but there is a chance that it can be done. My prayers are with you and your family in this difficult time.
I just want to thank everyone for their good wishes and prayer. Just to clarify some of the questions asked to me, my brother is not a canditate for a liver transplant because of his schizophrenia. His kidneys have also now started to fail. I just wanted to ask another question if it is ok, and that is does anyone know if they are actually in pain when they go into the coma state. While he was in coma they actually had to later restrain him because his body was moving everywhere. I feel disheartend because you really dont get any answers from the doctors. I just keep telling them that if he is going to suffer, i would rather they just leave him alone and have some peace.
Hi Elaine, Thankyou very much for sharing your story with me. Im so sorry for the loss of your brother but he was very lucky to have had you to the end knowing you and your son loved him so much. I truly believe in my heart your mother made the right call at the end because i believe everyone deserves to leave this life with dignity. My brother is now out of coma and doing reasonably well but the doctors tell me it could be a matter of hours or days or weeks. I have to make the call if this happens again whether to put him on antibiotics or let him be. I guess i will have to make that call when the time comes like your mother.
God bless your family Elaine and i hope time will heal the pain.
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