Providing Comfort in the End Stage of Disease
Answered by: Susan Eagles
Question from: Name not given
Posted on: May 21, 2006

My father has been diagnosed with primary biliary cirrhosis. He was diagnosed with the disease about three years ago. We were told that he was in the beginning stages and because of his age it was not really that bad. Last year, he has starting bleeding from veins in his throat and had to have them banded. Now, the doctors say he is in the end stages of the disease and it’s just a matter of time. They say they didn’t expect it to progress so fast. They are giving him diuretics to reduce the swelling in his stomach, but they don’t work. He doesn’t eat well because his stomach is so compressed by the swelling. He also itches really bad and stays cold all the time. He is cold and stays covered with blankets when it is 80 degrees. If there is anything out there that can help him we would really like to try it. The doctors offer no hope for relief of symptoms or illness. May God bless you for your time. Oh yeah, my father is 85.

I can offer only suggestions for your father’s comfort.

For itchy skin, wipe the areas with Witch Hazel water, then apply zinc and castor oil cream. Both of these products are available at pharmacies.

In the diet, ensure that all of the food your father is able to heat is high quality, avoiding all sugars, white flour products, and processed foods. Protein should be high quality. Choose a little wild salmon over fatty meats. Organic foods provide the most nutrients and the least toxins.

Ginger tea is warming.

Massage provides comfort, relaxation and stress relief.

Provide music that your father enjoys.

Some of the flower essences provide uplifting or comforting smells, for example rose, lavender and ylang ylang.

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