So here we have the Trinity. All connected, all related. All of them life-threatening, all of them awful. All of them symptomatic of End Stage Liver Disease, all of them part and parcel of life with cirrhosis.
Ascites, Varices and Hepatic Encephalopathy. All due to portal hypertension as the root cause. None of them curable.
Shall I repeat that, in case you missed it? Ascites, Varices, Hepatic Encephalopathy, all life-threatening conditions, none of them curable.
Let us also be absolutely clear about one other fact. Irrespective of how we got into the catastrophe that is cirrhosis, whether it be by alcohol or hepatitis, obesity or auto-immune, the disease is the same for everyone. Individuals may suffer different symptoms to a greater or lesser extent, but the underlying disease is the same, with the same awful consequences.
But, I hear you say, “What about all these pills and potions and magical lotions that I get prescribed”? “What about all the MRIs, the Cat-Scans, the Ultra-Sounds, the endless poking and prodding, the hospital stays and the needles”?
The simple fact is that none of this stuff is a cure. None of this stuff is designed to cure. All this stuff does is to maybe alleviate some of the worst of the symptoms. None of this stuff stops the symptoms.
None of this stuff even starts to addresses the damage that your liver has undergone.
This is the end of the line for the medical profession. If there is no cure for the symptoms then there cannot be a cure for the disease. if there is no cure for the disease then the only option is to remove the offending organ and replace it with someone else’s.
In order for the offending organ to be replaced either someone else has to put their own life at risk to save yours (with a living donor transplant), or someone has to die.
Scary isn’t it.
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