From what the doctors explained to us, the liver would give out and the signs would follow. Which is why my uncle was able to do what he did everyday on the day he died. After it gives out, death will soon follow.
I know this must be so hard on you to know what you near future holds, and for him it must be even worse. I can not imagine being the one walking around knowing I was going to die at any moment.
For my uncle, he was blessed with the ability to doubt what the doctors were telling him, because he had proved them wrong for so many years. Sadly he could not do that this time because of the cancer. But at least in his mind he had peace about it
Thanks- I feel so terrible for him knowing this is going on, i don't know how he has done what he has done for the last 18 months. I do have another question inreference to you last note, since he had the TIPS procedure in Nov of 2006 does his liver work at all or is it "bypassed" ?? They said a year ago that about 8% of his liver was alive but was degenerating at a steady pace, I guess we have been blessed to have had all the time we have had. I pray every day for a miracle, i still believe in them. :]
My uncle had is for 5 or 6 years, it did sustain his life. Eventually they say that the shunt will either get clogged, or that it will collapse as the liver continues to scar.
It is hard to say if your husbands liver is still working. If it is, I would say it is less then what they told you last year.
Have the doctors given you a time line?
I am thinking they may have given him one and he did not relay it to me. I think he is at a stage where he thinks this is his problem and not affecting anyone else. I sent paperwork to the Dr yesterday to please fill out the Child Pughs Chart and the MELD chart and send back to me, I am APPROVED for information from all of his DR's and i think I need to know so I can make sure I have the best possible assistance and treatments for him lined up for when he needs them. They have started him on a high does of neomyacin (sp?) for the ammonia. He was back to the pajamas and very gray last night when i got home from work. Curled up with 10 blankets on the floor and still freezing. He doesn't hardly drink anything at all this last week ( he used to have a drink constatly saying he was dying of thirst ). I read and ask questions and read and there is so much information but none answers my questions like you have. thanks so much!
You are so welcome. Please keep me posted on how he is doing, and if I can help you with anything else, please let me know.
Why - oh why didn't I find this thread last year?
My husband was feeling bad -- he didn't start going to the Dr. until January. After a series of visits and over 13 different blood tests - he was mad at them. He said they didn't seem to know what was wrong with him, just getting old. He was all of 58! He said he wasn't going to go back any more. It wasn't until late July, when he was so sick I needed to drive him to the hospital, that I found out he knew all along what it was, he just chose not to tell me. The symptoms -- the dropping of appetite, confusion, fluid retention -- they were all there. It wasn't until July 20 that I saw the jaundice -- he had a visit to the ER on July 26, two days in the hospital (July 29-30) a dr. visit on Aug 6 , back to the ER on Aug 11 and he died on Aug 14. His "release" to return to work was still on the kitchen table.
I wish he'd talked about it with me -- he planned a short vacation for us last May - and we had a good time, except for his fatigue. But it was something he really wanted to do. We went to Lousianna (just 2 states away) and he showed me all the places where he went/lived/hung out when he was young and was working down there. I see, in retrospect, that once we returned from that trip, it was downhill all the way. We both talked of the future though, and of when he got better ---- I didn't "get it" even afte those July hospital visits -- shoot! The doctor told him he could go back to work! (He later said my husband got an infection and that's what did him in) I got the picture though, the night before the final hospital run -- I came home from work, and he called to me "MA! we have a problem." I went into the bedroom, he was sitting in his recliner (yes, we had one in the bedroom, he was more comfortable reclined than in bed) and he'd thrown up blood all over himself.
So, I'd guess his"final illness" lasted about 8 month -- but the "final stages" lasted from about July 20 - Aug 14. I did see the short-term memory loss -- I guess since about last spring. I remember that I was wondering how he was doing at work, and I wondered if it was the beginning of alzheimers'. It seemed to come and go, some days, some hours were better than others. The last two days were pretty bad. They suggested I go home the night of Aug 11, and get some rest -- they'd moved him from the ER to Intensive Care. I said goodnight to him, kissed his forehead, and went home for about 6 hours. When I came back he was -- they said it wasn't a coma -- I don't know what it was. He did not respond to much - and only moaned with his eyes closed. The Dr's asssured me he wasn't in pain, it was only the toxins had made their way to the brain. But he tried to say one word during the day, and I can't be sure, but I think it was "hurts" Is there a word for that state? Sometimes when we'd ask him to squeeze my hand he would, but most of the time he did not.
What I know of cirrhosis, is that it is a slow and painful death. My mother died years ago of cancer -- cirrhosis is not so very much different, is it.