Mum just been diagnosed with Cirrhosis

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Hello

My mum (60 yrs) has drunk every day for at least 30 years she admitted to hospital at weekend after vomiting blood and clots, black tarry stool (sorry) diagnosed with tear in oesophageas, however all blood test came back ok for liver, further tests since her stomach was distended showed cirrhosis, while is hospital she had alcohol withdrawal fits and lots of confusion At present we are still waiting for more test results, the whites of her eyes look slightly yellow, along with her other symptoms it seems to point to stage 4 cirrhosis, however apart from being weak having to use a walker she doesn't feel ill. can you have stage 4 and feel well ? Tired but well ? Thanks for taking the time to read my waffle.

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15 Replies

  • Posted

    Really sorry your having to deal with this, I'm sure there will be others who come on and give you better advice than I can, just thought I would give you a virtual hug, I'm sure if she's coming out the other side and can manage not to drink her outcome will be a lot better, take care and try not to worry, easier said than done

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  • Posted

    yes.   consider 30 years, it is a slow progression so the feeling of 'well' may be distorted....compared to last week she may feel well...compared to 30 years, though, may be too long to remember.

    sorry for the situation.   went through the exact same thing with my Mom.

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    • Posted

      Yes that's a good point, I just assume that she would feel unwell, I dont really know enough about the disease, google is a big scary place. Thank you for taking the time to reply, would it be rude or upsetting to ask what happened with your mum?

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    • Posted

      not to me...but i don't want to upset you.....

      she lived about another 10 days after landing in the hospital.

      I was diagnosed stage 4 over a year ago and survived, feel much better now....but back than the odds were against me me being around very long, and the spector of a transplant is still very much in the picture, but people can and do live with it.

      google is a scary place, it's a good resource to learn if you want to go through medical school technical kind of stuff...but using it to diagnose or predict outcomes could drive you crazy.

      I might have some personal experience with that :-)

       

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    • Posted

      Blimey ! Personal question I know but is your cirrhosis caused by alcohol? I know there are other causes. I know it (stopping drinking) can be done, my MIL is 26 years sober, but I know many more close family members that struggle despite the warnings from medical professionals.

      Thank you for your advice I really appreciate it.

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    • Posted

      Can I ask you some more questions? Obviously you can refuse but when you were in hospital and diagnosed what symptoms were you exhibiting? Here legs and stomach are swollen, the fluid in the stomach has been tested and carries an infection. The consultant just says her liver looks like popcorn but he can't tell how bad since he can't look in it, as far as I'm aware a biopsy hasn't been done,and originally her blood tests showed her liver was ok. She has a 3 tears in her oesophageal tract as well.

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    • Posted

      it's fine.

      i refused hospital admission (they don't serve beer) so went through all of the tests over two weeks or so on an outpatient basis.

      anyway, other than the general fatigue that just seems to be part of the price of admission, i had some bleeding in the digestive tract, was passing fresh blood.

      I had fluid in the legs, feet, ankles and lungs (edema), had started to lose weight and had a condition referred to as tense ascites, which is severe swellling of the abdomen.  i looked pregnant, maybe with twins.  Finally i had early symptoms of something called hepatic encephalopathy....kind of like alzheimer's,  caused by toxins in the bloodstream making their way to the brain.

      I started doing a procedure called paracentesis every month where i'd go to the hospital and have 3-8 liters of fluid drained from my abdomen, but it would all come right back within a week or two despite heavy diuretic use.

      I started getting infections, including in the fluid (called Spontaneous Bacterial Paranitis), and, factoring the weight changes aside from the paracentesis lost about 30% of my body weight over the first couple of months following diagnosis. 

      I finally had a TIPS procedure to relieve the portal hypertension (blood backing up because it cannot move through the liver) a couple of months ago.   That fixed the bleeding and ascites...but has made the encephalopathy much worse, and we really haven't dialed the drugs in quite right to control it.

      I've gained some weight back, about 20 pounds and look a lot better.  Working on getting some physical strength back.  Today it's mostly just fatigue and bouncing between hyper- and in- somnia.

      Thats more than you asked for, but the point is: the disease treats everyone differently and while there are some commonalities, symptoms can vary widely from one person to the next.  And the path beyond diagnosis and immediate crisis is even more varied.

       

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    • Posted

      Thank you for you reply, just like alcoholism this disease effects people differently, I need to remember that. I'm glad you are gaining weight and starting to look better, hope it continues for as long as possible.

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  • Posted

    Back in 2003, my husband was taken to the hospital with the same symptoms.  He was 52.  He drank all the time yet never drunk.  I had coffee in the morning, he started with bourbon and Diet Coke, continuing until he went to bed at night.   He always said, "If I am not 40% by volume, I will not survive".  The doctor told him he had to stop drinking or he would not be here very long.  He told him max 6 months.   He did not head the warning.   Walk out of the hospital and into the bar for a drink.  2 days later I found him in the bathroom of the bar, covered in blood.  No one could get him up.  Ambulance came and back to the hospital.   That was his wake up call.  He never had another drink, pretty good for someone who had been drinking since the age of 14 on a regular basis.   His liver was so scarred the blood would not flow through it, backing up into the veins in his stomach causing the bleeding.  He had what they call a "TIPS". Transinterhepatic portal shunt.   I just call it a liver bypass.  My husband lived 6 years and they were pretty good years, some low times, some short illnesses but because he stopped drinking.  It will totally be up to your Mom as to how she deals with this.  The varicise in her esophagus can be controlled but not with continued injury to the liver and a transplant is always a possibility, but not for someone who continues to drink.  I hope that helps.

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    • Posted

      Thank you for sharing your story Robby I'm sorry for your loss. That must have been scary for you. She is quite adamant she won't drink again, my MIL is an alcoholic who hasn't had a drink for 26 years so I know it can be done.

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  • Posted

    I don't very often read posts on this site that bring me to tears but these have, I'm so sorry that any one has to go this way but alcohol can be a very hard task master and its really sad that sometimes its not possible to get it under control, you only have to look at someone like George Best, he had the chance of life but sadly it wasn't meant to be and for him it was only a second chance at drinking.

    I hope your Mum can stop drinking and stay stopped, and that whatever time she has left will have a quality she want have if she can't stop.

    I take my hat off to those that have managed to quit, may your health stay good and your life better.

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