My sister's 45 year old common-law husband has liver disease-I believe it is cirrhosis. He was diagnosed close to 2 years ago but he has been very vague in telling my sister details's (they have lived together 5 years) so the Dr won't talk to her about what is going on due to privacy issue. His Dr did say 2 years ago if he stopped drinking he could live a while and if he continues to drink the Dr gave him 2 years to live. When he was first diagnosed he was admitted to hospital twice for alcholic seizures and this is when all these tests on him and diagnoses began.
He is alcholic and continues to drink (vodka/beer) my sister finds his vodka bottles hidden all over their house. He is really showing some serious mental and physical things going on with him. The most prevalant one being his legs have almost totally given out on him, he apparently was seen crawling to the bathroom a few times in the past week. A friend of theirs had to carry him to his bed the other night because of his legs.
My sister said he pretty well stopped eating food about 2 weeks ago. He drinks 1-12 ounce mug of water when he takes his meds and that is all the water he takes. My sister called tonight while he was out and she was crying and told me he never even got her a Christmas card. It sounds kind of silly but she loves him so much and is so worried about him. He loves her so much and every year until this one he has spoiled her with lots of little gifts at Christmas, he felt good giving them to her and she is so appreciative. So it is out of character for him to not even give her a card. He does get out at times during the day so he has time, he is on disability.
He is a small built man to begin with maybe 5'6"-145 pounds but he is now so thin, my sister has no idea what his weight is but it must be low. She said his belly is swollen, but he is so thin. I haven't seen him for sometime and he was thin then.
Has anyone ever seen a person with liver disease lose their faculties like their legs? Become so evasive towards the person they love. Are these signs that immediate DR attention is in order?
I am so concerned for him and my sister-she said they always seem to be fighting now she said. They fight because she is worried and angry because she feels helpless and that he just seems so neutral about her complaints. She tell's him they can't even do the things they used to be able to do like go to a restaurant for lunch because his legs are so weak.
My sister works at a Legion pub and her man goes down on Tuesday nights to play pool. So he was playing pool tonight and one of the women my sister works with called her and told her he was dragging his legs so much that people were going to the bar saying he should be cut off because he looked so loaded. My sister says it is just because he has lost muscle strength in his legs, which could be true, but on the other hand if she is finding vodka bottles everywhere maybe he is loaded as well. Either way if his legs are weak and he is also drinking can't really help much.
I was just wanting to see if other people who are going through liver disease if their legs have given out? His legs have seriously gone out now he can barely walk at all anymore.
Sorry this is so long, but in order to create a picture I had so much to say.
Maybe my message is confusing. I am surprised 110 people have read my post with no responses. I wrote regarding this on Christmas day as well and 280 people read my post and not a single reply.
Basically what I am asking is if it is a symptom of the liver disease for a person's legs to give out. This man can barely walk and his legs are getting worse every day. He has to drag himself along the wall holding onto tables, chairs etc to hold him up. I don't understand why his legs have gone out or if he is maybe drinking more than he is letting on and blamming his gait on the disease. It is hard to tell if he is drinking he conceal's it well.
Last edited by ebrena; 01-06-2011 at 01:50 AM.
Reason: added some items
I'm sorry, I cannot anwer your question about his legs and I just don't know the answer. My husband is an alcholic who also has ESLD and the past two weeks has gotten worse. He is not having the problem with the legs that your sister's SO is having but that doesn't mean it's not possible. The one thing I have learned over the last 3-4 years that my husband has had this is that it is a very very unpredictable disease. Two years ago, right around this time, my hubby was near death, in a coma, on a respiratior for two weeks and in the hospital for two months, some how, by the grace of God he pulled thru and has been feeling fairly decent until like I mentioned above, the past couple of weeks.
I hope someone with more knowledge will come thru and answer your question.
Keep in touch, let us know how he is doing and I will do the same.
I'm so sorry your sister is going through this. I also have a husband who has Cirrhosis of the liver and has continued to drink. It's a hard time to watch someone destroy themselves in front of your eyes. It was the hardest thing for me to understand that I have no control over another adult and what they decide to do even though it effects me. You need to have your sister and yourself read info on Cirrhosis of liver and Hepatic encephalopathy. It is common for weight loss and muscle loss-which I'm sure as he gets weaker causes his legs to be too weak to support him. Encephalopathy can cause tremors, and difficulties with coordination-it can also look like they are drunk when really it is Encephalopathy. The brian can cause problems with the arms and legs as the poisons build up in the body and damage the brain-effects their nervous system. Also for the stomach to become enlarged and hard due to fuild retention-which with weight loss but with weight gain in stomach it's very hard to walk. Also with the liver not functioning and processing the poisons from our body they stay in the body and damage the brain. A failing liver cannot remove toxins from the blood, and they eventually accumulate in the brain. The buildup of toxins in the brain—called hepatic encephalopathy—can decrease mental function and cause coma. Signs of decreased mental function include confusion, personality changes, memory loss, trouble concentrating, and a change in sleep habits. My husband goes back and forth with anger and confusion and then seems fine. It can be so simple as constipation and too much protien they eat one day that causes more ammonia in the body. My husband was dx/by biopsy 1 1/2 years ago. Most that continue to drink with a dx of cirrhosis of the liver only live 5 years. It is hard for a doctor or anyone to tell you the life expectancy of someone as it differs with everyone what will happen. Some have a event that takes them quickly and others manage to live for years. Watch the fuild on the stomach as infection can set in. Watch for fever-need to go to the hospital for treatment. There are many things that can be done to control symptoms -it is best if he sees a doctor-which you said he was-although not sharing info with her-I guess nothing she can do about that. Being knowlegable on the subject will be a great help to her-understanding the disease and knowing when to seek help for him. Below is a link to info on cirrhosis. I hope this helps. I understand how fustrating it is to not get an answer. I also submitted a question back in sept that hundreds of people looked at, but got no replies. I guess most people are trying to understand their own problem and are at a loss at what to answer. They just don't have the answers either. Your best option is to do a search of google- cirrhosis of the liver/encephalopathy. I hope this has helped. Tell your sister-to talk calmly with him-it does no good to fight and yell-as they just become more angry and unable to calm down-as they are confused and sick and don't think clearly. When he gets too sick she will have to call the ambulance and the hospital will treat him. That's the best answer I have for this situation. You can care and love someone, but can't make them do what is best. We are not responsible for another person's choice. My prayers are with you both as it's a very tough road. May you try to find some joy as you go thru life's journey.
Sorry to hear your husband is not doing as well as he has been for past 2 years. Hope it gets better, and no hospital stays.
My husband is doing ok. Just up and down with problems with Encephalopathy, diet, and medicines. He seems fine for days then doesn't matter what you do-everything is wrong. I have learned to ignore most things and just talk calmly back or walk away. They really can't argue when no arguement back!! Not sure if you remember but he has a heart problem and liver disease. So in next couple of months he needs the ICD (pacemaker/defibrator) replaced. He has had the current one now 4 years, and battery is low. His stomach gets larger, and having trouble with him not taking his medicines. I work at home and he leaves before I'm done working and comes home after I'm in bed at night. He really has his night and days reversed badly.
I believe it's very important for the caregiver to take care of themselves. I have friends I can go to dinner and a movie, and they will listen to me talk. There isn't anything anyone can do to change things for you, but it's good to talk and have someone listen. I hope you have some good friends.
Stay in touch. Would like to hear how you are both doing.
So glad he got to the hospital. I'm sure there is much they can do to make him more comfortable, and many tests they can do to see exactly what is going on. Let your sister know she is not alone. Will be praying that things work out, and he is home soon. You are a good sister to listen to her talk and try to help. Keep us updated!! Would like to know how they are doing. Let your sister know that being informed with info on this disease has helped me so much deal with the progression of the disease and to deal with each new stage of the disease so much better.
Also wanted to say that the family usually notice the changes with the family member first-like personality changes with encephalopathy. Your sister just thought something was different about him-with Christmas, etc. I have seen this also, and even though it may hurt-try to remember they are a different person when the encephalopathy is aggravated for some reason. They aren't doing this on purpose-they don't realize anything is wrong. She will just need to watch in future for this problem and can realize that something may be wrong like infection, constipation, electrolyte imbalance, etc. That he needs to be at the hospital. The more she reads info the more she will understand the things to watch for.
Your brother in law may have had problems since had not eaten in 2 weeks and he was probably dehydrated. Electrolyte imbalance can cause enceplalopathy to be aggravated. Good luck! I'm sure the hospital will get down to the problem with tests and treat it.
Keep us updated.
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Thank you so much Happy you have been a real help. I have been forwarding all the suggestions you have sent to me.
My sister went to see him in the hospital this afternoon, apparently they gave him an ultra sound and he is on a drip with antianxiety medication in it as well the electrolites and fluids. They will be keeping him in there for the weekend anyway, so that will help my sister not having to worry about him. Besides there are no Dr's working over the weekend other than emergency Dr's. Thanks again-I really appreciate all you have posted.
Yes, my fience' had the same problem, his legs would hurt so bad. He finally could only walk just a short way, then he would sit down to rest, or he would start feeling very wobbly. He also drank vodka daily. As you can see in my profile, this is what finally killed him. He went to the hospital nov 22, he was so weak, extremely jaundiced,and the whites of his eyes were like the color of mustard. He died on Dec 22. If you need anyone to talk to about this, im here.
__________________ Just cause you got the monkey off your back doesn't mean the circus has left town!