Hi. I’m new here. I’m from the states and have been on the internet for the past 2 weeks straight and no matter where I turn I can’t get any straight answers.
My dad is in the hospital for the second time this month. His bilirubin was originally at 22, now it is at 42 (this is the measurement im given but I know there are different ways of measuring so idk what this means but that it is very high). My dad is incredibly yellow. His urine is the color of tea, he sleeps constantly, he seems dazed/confused, and has very diminished appetite. He can eat some times but other times it causes extreme stomach pain/cramping. There is some fluid but not enough for the doctors to drain. They said there is also portal hypertension. His other levels like creatinine are supposedly “close to normal” but seeing him this is hard to believe.
My dad has been an immensely heavy, daily drinker for 10 years. We almost lost him 2 years ago when he was diagnosed with decompensated cirrhosis and given a MELD score of 29, yet he made a miraculous recovery and was doing OK for the first year, but ultimately returned to drinking in the second. I know he was drinking heavily again recently and that has brought us to where we are.
They can’t get the bilirubin down, and even though there is no proof of infection they are treating with antibiotics. I have tried asking the doctors what is going on, and what is the prognosis. In short, I want a clear answer if he is going to recover again or if I should be preparing for end of life, but the doctors say short to nothing-the last thing they said is that “palliative care is only called once they have exhausted all options”. Can someone please give me some guidance as I am a young person, single mom, studying at a prestigious school and the sheer unknown of this situation makes it impossible to manage both practically and emotionally. Thank you for all who read this far.