For Caregivers

Melissa Jugeat

Caregiver for Mother

My mother was diagnosed with NAFLD in August 2012. In no time her symptoms worsened and she passed away in January 2013. She had a couple of HE episodes starting in December. I had learned about HE prior to her episodes and tried to prepare myself for it. I noticed her gradually having many of the symptoms listed on the American Liver Foundation website. What I wasn’t prepared for was the severe symptoms that seemed to have happened so quickly.

My father found her on the floor one day. She had dead weight and he couldn’t pick her up. She wasn’t responding to his questions. The ambulance came and she wasn’t answering their simple questions. At the hospital, for a good day and a half, the only thing she would say was “please help me” over and over again. It was as if her mind was locked on that moment when she was on the floor.

I am a volunteer at a nursing home and am familiar with the residents who have dementia. My mother’s HE episodes came as a complete shock to me. She was only 66 and there I was comparing her to an older person. Only a matter of days before her first episode I was able to interact with her and never saw this coming.