Saturday, February 27, 2016

Partial List From Late Stage Liver Disease, Terminal Alcohoism

Extreme jaundice 
Horrifically, grotesquely swollen abdomen, getting ever worse
Horrible dead corpse smell (fetor hepaticus) 
Visible capillary breakdown under skin 
Mental confusion (perhaps it's already dementia)
Drastically increased need for sleep
Craving for sweets that can't be satisfied 

And, unlike three years ago, the doctors are really antsy about prescribing opioid drugs or other pain killers.   They will, though, schedule office visit after office visit and one inconclusive session of imaging after another, which he has to pay out of pocket since he has no insurance and Maine has not expanded Medicaid under Obamacare (thank you Supreme Court) and his application for SS Disability hasn't gone through yet.  He should have qualified three years ago.  

We don't know what we're going to do when he can't pay, probably as soon as next month when the last of his cash is gone.   He's got more than $300,000 in bills from the hospitalization alone.  And none of the doctors seem to think it's their responsibility to tell him just what's going on, they keep kicking that particular can of worms down the road to the next one they hand him off to.  I don't know if my neighbor is right, he says they would have an obligation to treat him if they admitted what was going on.  I might have thought that was a bit too cynical a while back, it's a plausible explanation for what's going on, now

Someone told me to watch out for being reported to the social workers for "an adult at risk" (it happened to them).   I'm not at the point of wishing someone would drop a dime in that direction but I can imagine it getting to that point,  I'd offer to let them take over. 

This is why I'd like them to put a stiff tax on liquor that would cover its consequences.   Considering how much rot-gut liquor he consumed to get like this, it could be like a health insurance program for terminal stage, chronic alcoholics.   

Since you ask. 

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