I'm so very sorry that you are not getting answers from your GI Dr. I do believe that you need to be under the care of a Hepatologist as they deal primarily with liver disease.
As far as Pain Meds, you have to be careful that you don't exceed the RDA as that can be toxic to your liver. This could be one of the reasons why your Liver Enzymes are elevated. Alt/Ast.
It's common to have anxiety and stress when you don't fully understand what's going on with your health. I am not in the Memphis area but hopefully others will see your post and give a recommendation. Being faced with a situation in which you haven't been given clear answers can fill you with uncertainty. Once you know what's going on its easier to find some direction and have a better understanding.
Liver disease can be managed. You have cleared your Hep C and that is a huge step in the right direction. Hopefully over time your liver will slowly heal.
Best to you
Hi and welcome to our community.
Congratulations on curing your hepatitis C. That is a big step in stopping your liver disease from progressing any further.
I am sorry to hear you are having such a difficult time with your cirrhosis and its complications. Unfortunately curing the hepatitis C virus does not cure the liver damage that it has caused over the many decades of active infection. It can take many years for the liver to heal itself and the cirrhosis needs to be monitored and managed. Including the risk for the development of liver cancer. Which while the risk is lower after SVR is still higher than for people that have never had cirrhosis.
It appears that your cirrhosis and other medical issues require the help of a liver specialist (hepatologist) who work with cirrhotic patients and manage their resulting symptoms and complications on a daily basis. GIs are not experts in liver disease and are limited in how they can help. The hospital can also address your other health concerns while at the same time not negatively impacting your liver and causing further injury.
The easiest why to do this is to have your current GI refer you to Transplant Institute outpatient clinic at Methodist University Hospital in Memphis where they have a staff of hepatologists and a liver transplant program to help you mange your cirrhosis. Have him also send copies of your medical records so they won't have to start from scratch in putting together your history of hep C and liver disease.
Methodist University Hospital
Sherard Wing, First floor
1265 Union Ave.
Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
They have a great reputation and if it is good enough for Steve Jobs it should be good enough for us regular folks who aren't billionaires as well. Call them and find out how you can be seen by a hepatologist there. Tell them your history with hep C and the symptoms you are now experiencing.
They know how to fully assess the status of your cirrhosis and manage any complications plus they can bring in other specialists who know how to mange your other medical conditions without them having a negative impact on your liver disease.
If you are having issues with hepatic encephalopathy (HE) you should be at minimum taking Lactulose to manage it. Secondly, taking Klonopin, a benzodiazepine, is known to make make HE worse and should be mentioned to the hepatologist as well as all the other meds you are taking as they could negatively impacting your liver and your quality of life.
Please give them a call tomorrow and take the first step towards better managing your cirrhosis and its complications and a better quality of life.
If you have any problems getting access to the liver transplant program let us know.