Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Booze Clues

About a month ago, newFNP was lamenting the effects of hitting the bottle a bit too much. She had sent a gentleman to the emergency room, only to have him return - angry - with absolutely nothing done about his ascites. NewFNP has won him back over, has increased his Lasix and has serially monitored his bilirubin, albumin and weight. She gave him prenatal vitamins as that is the only type of vitamin available in her clinic. She gave him protein and salt guidelines.

She hasn't seen much improvement.

The good news is that the bilirubin is approaching normal and he is abstaining from alcohol.

The bad news is that one might mistake the rotund abdomen under his t-shirt as a basketball but it is, in fact, ascites. It is no exaggeration to say that his panza is 40-week-gestation-sized large, taut and in need of a paracentesis. Now, in addition, the cirrhosis, portal hypertension and ascites are leading to hepatic hydrothorax -- his lungs are wet and he has orthopnea. He has decreased one lousy pound since starting high dose Lasix. He smells like an ammonia factory.

NewFNP is far from being a liver specialist, but she thinks that the situation is not good. He needs a new liver and, even more so than the perfect flattering trouser, they are not so easy to come by.

And he still doesn't have insurance.

1 comment:

lesbonurse said...

That sucks. There are few things more frustrating than not being able to get someone specialty care because they are uninsured.
As a side note, I learned Spanish in California, where "panza" is used to mean abdomen...only to move to the East Coast where "panza" is usually interpreted as "fat belly." Whoops.