Mother in law has acute decompensated ... - British Liver Trust

British Liver Trust

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Mother in law has acute decompensated liver....worried

Ginaebbs profile image

From my Mother in laws last hospital notes it says she has acute decompensated liver.

She has Cirrhosis from NASH.

She has been hospitalised in July and we nearly lost her , she had sepsis, pneumonia, her fluid from her ascites was infected.

Bu t she did pull through and has been hospitalised a few times since, mainly from fluid draining to HE.

Lately she is getting depressed, struggling with balance, jaundiced, very emotional and sleeping a lot. She does have thin blood and when she wakes up in the morning she has blood on her pillow.

she does see her consultant every six weeks and has blood tests weekly.

Her blood tests are high but are stable.

My mother in law is 71 , she is not down for having a transplant or TIPS procedure.

Any advice on how we deal with all this as we are trying our best to keep my mother in law positive but it seems like she has given up.

Thank you for any advice.


16 Replies

Hi Gina. What a very tough time you have all been through. As you probably know decompensated means that the liver is struggling to cope with doing some of its day to day jobs and needs a little bit of medical help. The good news is that with the right help it can return to being compensated and work ok. No wonder she is feeling depressed, she has really been through the mill. Has she spoken to her consultant about how she feels? Quite often the hospital can put you in touch with the best councillors to help in our circumstances. I found having counselling very effective when I went through a similar time a couple of years ago. Also just knowing that you are there for her and listening if she wants to talk will help her so much. She may seem like she’s giving up but remember she’s got the fighting spirit that has got her this far. Naturally she will get tired easily as she’s got a lot of things going on in her body. Last but not least look after yourselves, keep up what you’ve been doing so far, share any worries with the consultant. Your doing great xx

Ginaebbs profile image
Ginaebbs in reply to Smyally

Thank you for your reply, it is most appreciated.

We have been to my mother in laws today and she seems a bit more in high spirits. We are taking her to buy a new dress tomorrow as we are taking her to see Franki Valli on Thursday, so she is feeling happier.

We will speak to her consultant, as she has an appointment on the 27th December.

She has been low as she lost her husband in June to dementia.

I hope that you are ok, take care and thank you again for your reply.

Gina xx

in reply to Ginaebbs


What a tough time you've all been having and what a lovely daughter in law you are. At her next appointment write down everything you need to ask, I do this because I know that I will forget otherwise. Also , get the consultant to talk in laymen's terms because otherwise they start to talk in their medical jargon!!, Please take care. Love and hugs Lynne xxxx

Ginaebbs profile image
Ginaebbs in reply to

Thank you again for your reply it is most appreciated.

My Mother In law is In hospital, we called the ambulance today as she was confused, emotional and very lethargic. Although her SATS were all ok they could see she wasn't right and she agreed ( though she didn't want to go) to go to hospital, they have kept her in for tests to see what is happening.

I have done so much research on Cirrhosis I think I am getting quite an expert on all the names of medication and keywords,lol.

Hopefully they will sort her out and get her back home,

thank you again


Hello, sorry for your MIL’s issues. You are a super-kind DIL! One question… I noticed you wrote that a person can go from decompensated back to compensated again. I did not know that. Is it common? How does that happen? Thank You, and no hurry and reply. You obviously have a lot to take care of right now. Good wishes!

Thank you for your reply it is most appreciated.

Mother in law has been taken into hospital today so hopefully they will get her sorted.

I think it was Smyally that said about decompensated back to compensated, I hope that they can answer your question.

Thank you again


Hello, Smyally! I noticed you wrote that a person can move from decompensated back to compensated. I did not know that. Is it common? How does it happen? Thank you so much!

Decompensated is when the liver is damaged and can’t perform its everyday jobs. People with decompensated cirhossis will have the symptoms such as jaundice, portal hypertension ascites (swelling of the abdomen) Hepatic encephalopathy and probably others I may have forgotten. If once in hospital these symptoms are addressed in time the medications your consultant gives you can keep these symptoms under control and decompensated can revert back to compensated. I would like to stress that this does not always happen, and even when it does it does not change the fact that the liver is badly damaged, just that the medications are helping it to cope better. I hope this makes sense. Take care Julia xx

This makes a lot of sense, Julia, thank you so much for taking the time to reply. Hoping for the best for everyone.

Trust1 profile image

Hi Gina,

You may already have these, but here are the links to our Cirrhosis of the liver and Hepatic Encephalopathy publications;

If you need to have a chat on the helpline it is open Monday to Friday 10am to 15.00

Best wishes


Ginaebbs profile image
Ginaebbs in reply to Trust1

Thank you for your reply it is most appreciated,

I have read the publications and printed them out to show my mother in law and family, they are very helpful and useful, thank you for the info about the helpline, I may ring one day.

Thank you again


Hi Ginaebbs,

Sorry to hear about your MIL.

I saw in another post that she is in the hospital and hopefully her doctors can get things sorted out enough for her health to improve. Losing her husband and having her own health deteriorate must be hard on you all.

I have heard that stress can have an impact on HE greater than we might realize, and I know for my husband his lack of balance was also a big issue - goodness knows we all get upset when walking becomes difficult.

Best wishes to you all.


Ginaebbs profile image
Ginaebbs in reply to mncold

Thank you for your reply

We have been to see mother in law today and she seems much better, she is on a antibiotic drip and the usual lactulose, which she has at home anyway but we know sometimes she doesn't take it the same. So fingers crossed after a few days she will be back home.

It's not easy for us, but it must be horrendous for those dear to us going through it all.

Thank you again for your reply I really appreciate the support.


mncold profile image
mncold in reply to Ginaebbs

Hi Ginaebbs,

Hoping to hear that your MIL continues to improve.


Thinking of you and your mum in law xx


Ginaebbs profile image
Ginaebbs in reply to

Thank you xx

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