Lifting and carrying with ascites - British Liver Trust

British Liver Trust

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Lifting and carrying with ascites

Sunflowerblues profile image

Hi all. My partner has been up and about for about a week, following an extended time in bed. He has been pretty much laid up since November (I'm sure some of you will remember) and last week saw the doctor following his latest blood tests. The doctor said his results had deteriorated in areas and she felt he should have an appointment with the specialist at the hospital ASAP. I called and he's on the pending list apparently and will get an appt in the next 8 weeks...

Thing is, since his blood test he seems better in himself and has been getting up and down all week. We've had a decorator in this week and my partner has been trying to help and do little jobs. However, he helped move a dresser today (when I wasn't looking 🙄). He has ascites and is on Spiro but his fluid loss has been really slow. I'm concerned he'll do some real damage if he's not more careful. He's back in bed now because he's overdone it. Also his anxiety is massively through the roof and he's bombarding me with questions about where this or that is when he neither needs it or wants it. I'm not sure if it's another sign of his HE, which I believe to be mild and he thinks is non existent, or if its just anxiety. Any thoughts? I know it's hard to understand if you can't see it...

7 Replies

Hi! I had ascites for about 8 months, I was also on Spironolactone, and it was a long slow process. I probably had about 250lbs of fluid drained during that period. Fortunately I haven't had it for about 2 years so don't give up hope! My anxiety goes hand in hand with cirrhosis, just ask my husband. I'm no doctor but his constant questions could just be a way to divert his worry about the unknown, what he can't see. I can tell you first hand that when you know you have something every little pain can send you into an annoying panic. Please have patience with him. I consider my husband a saint for putting up with my worries. Lol Best of luck to you both and hang in there. 😊

Thanks for your reply Katewaj. I'm really worried he'll cause internal bleeding if he lifts heavy items. This is his second ascites since his first in November. I understand what you mean about the anxiety but think it might be more than that as there's no real logic to a lot of it (not to me, anyway). Just running out of steam I guess. Wishing you all the best with your health 😊

Trust1 profile image
Trust1Partner

Hi Sunflower,

We are sorry to read your partner is still unwell. Can he possibly call his specialist or liver nurse to get some guidance? We know that this is hard due to Covid but people are accessing their liver teams more now.

Thanks. We don't know if he has a liver nurse.. I'll try to find out x

As you’ll now know, with ascites, fluid builds up in the abdominal cavity. As this fluid increases, some organs can be pushed up under the ribcage. If you imagine from the image below, the build-up of fluid can put pressure on the liver and the stomach. Bending forward could diminish lung capacity and ultimately put pressure on the heart.

Lifting and carrying out any physical tasks should be avoided, especially if the ascites hasn’t been drained for a while.

Abdominal Cavity

That's a good diagram Richard, thanks. I had a terribly inflated abdomen from Ascites I went from a 34" waist to a 44" waist which really depressed me. Bending down to put on socks was extremely painful and I would advise anyone including Sunflowerblues' husband with Ascites to limit bending and crushing of abdomen. There's still plenty of exercise that can be undertaken to maintain some fitness without the above.

Thank you. I'll show him this. I can't stop him doing things, although I've been clear he mustn't climb ladders! Trouble is that his anxiety kicks in then and I have to drop what I'm doing to complete unnecessary or non urgent tasks. All very frustrating for us both I feel. 😥

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