Joyce Olson

Caregiver for Mother

I currently take care of my 77 year old mother who has had cirrhosis for over 10 years and has frequent bouts of HE. What complicates matter is the fact that she also has diabetes. What’s the most frightening part is that when I go to bed at night which mother I will have in the morning. The normal mother I have always known or the mother who thinks every day is Thursday and thinks that bathroom doubles as a kitchen. She takes Xifaxan and Lactulose to fight HE. Even with insurance the copay for the Xifaxan is almost as high as our rent.

The worst experience I had with HE was in December of 2011. My mom was nearly in a coma and I had to call an ambulance. The Dr. treating her told me she had about 2 weeks left to live and recommended that I put her in hospice. Against my better judgment I agreed. The ambulance took her to the Hospice House that night. The next morning mom awoke and asked where she was at. I told her where she was and explained what it was. She then told me to get her the hell out of there that she wasn’t ready to go yet. Because of paperwork she had to stay for the weekend, all the while getting better. Monday morning mom went out of Hospice House through the front door, and she’s still with me to this day.