For Caregivers

Tracey Nettell

Paul

Paul

Caregiver for Husband

As the caregiver for the 7 years 9 months my husband waited for his transplant, HE was by far the most difficult side effect of liver disease to deal with. The first symptoms were confusion and an inability for him to speak for short periods. He would go into strange catatonic phases and then snap out of it just as quickly. Two days after the first episodes, he started on lactulose. He was good about taking it and I nagged constantly.

In the early days, examples of the odd behavior included him trying to get out of a moving car (thank goodness for central locking), and walking straight out into traffic. Once the lactulose was a daily part of his life things were ok but I watched him like a hawk. 5 weeks before transplant, when he was dying right in front of me, HE returned in a big way. Early one morning, he was so catatonic, he was slipping in and out of consciousness and I had to call an ambulance to take him to hospital. He has no memory of that event. Three and a half years later, he is in outstanding health, working hard, playing golf and life is wonderful.