Turning Over a New Leaf
If it were not for hopes, the heart would break. - Thomas Fuller
We just found out that Jeff had Class A liver cirrhosis. Hold on, I gotta suck down a clonazepam and scream into the void. Cathartic? Fuck no. I'm still scared, and worried, and angry that I didn't get us squared away so Jeff only has to worry about his health and daily life. In a house where we can thrive and function on a single floor. I should chase that benzo with a bottle of wine? Oh wait, there it is kicking in.
So, where was I? Oh, yeah.
Jeff had a liver scan today. The doctor called him after hours to tell him what they found. He grabbed all his junk food and threw it away. Jeff, not the doctor. Ridding the house of junk food is not going to cure anything but it's a good way to turn over a new leaf.
The news still has me screaming inside. I'm probably making a simple thing into a stage 4 nightmare that could kill him if he simultaneously farts and sneezes. It's my imagination feeding off the fears caused by the bank fucking up the loan.
Jeff broke the news to mum an half hour ago. She's heartbroken. I joined her on the back porch. We smoked. She expressed her anger at life. It wants to take him away from us. He's her son, even if he did call her an alcoholic back when her drinking was, well, on par with an alcoholic's.
There was a bit of positive news today, as well. Jeff went to the neurology clinic. They're determined to get to the bottom of his "passing out". We also stopped at ortho to set up a post up appointment. Those staples need to come out.
No worries. We have him scheduled now. Next week is going to be insane.
That aside, we need to stop fucking around and embrace each day together. Make more good memories to get us through the dark stuff. Phipps, driving over to Jefferson Lake with Mum, sort out crap and keep only things useful. As sentimental as I am, I will never have the strength to purge the garage and basement of all the fucking clutter all by myself.
Meanwhile, we can start off straight away with dietary changes. Here's a bit of information from Healthline "How to Follow a Liver Cirrhosis Diet: All You Need to Know".
If you have liver cirrhosis, it’s important to get enough calories and high quality protein each day. This can help prevent malnutrition and preserve lean body mass — the part of your body that isn’t fat.
The general recommendation is to eat 16–18 calories and 0.45–0.68 grams of protein per pound (0.45 kg) of body weight per day.
For reference, this means that a person who weighs 150 pounds (68 kg) should consume 2,400–2,700 calories and 68–102 grams of protein per day.
People with cirrhosis should prioritize high protein foods and incorporate both plant- and animal-based protein sources into their diet. Adding protein to every meal and snack can increase your overall protein intake and may help prevent muscle loss.
Because cirrhosis can impair your immune function, it’s also best to avoid raw or undercooked meat, eggs, and seafood. Otherwise, you run a higher risk of foodborne illness or infection.
In some cases, your doctor may also advise that you limit your intake of sodium to prevent ascites. Ascites is a common complication of cirrhosis, characterized by abnormal fluid buildup in the abdomen.
Because cirrhosis can increase your protein needs and impact your liver’s ability to store carbohydrates, eating several small protein- and carb-rich meals and snacks throughout the day may also be beneficial.
Lastly, certain vitamins or minerals may help manage your condition, since people with cirrhosis may be at a higher risk of deficiencies in nutrients such as zinc, vitamin D, vitamin K, and B vitamins.
About the diet
Liver cirrhosis is a condition characterized by scarring of the liver. This can lead to impaired liver function and other side effects, including fatigue, loss of appetite, weight loss, and nausea.
Cirrhosis has several causes, including liver disease, hepatitis, heart failure, certain autoimmune disorders, and excessive alcohol consumption. It can also be caused by nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, a condition linked to obesity and type 2 diabetes.
Thankfully, if you’ve received this diagnosis, following a liver cirrhosis diet can help you get the nutrients you need, protect against further liver damage, and prevent long-term complications.
Keep in mind that nutritional recommendations vary depending on several factors. While this article covers some basic guidelines for a liver cirrhosis diet, it’s best to work with your doctor or dietitian to find a treatment plan tailored to your specific needs.
Liver cirrhosis is a condition characterized by scarring of the liver. Following a liver cirrhosis diet can help supply your body with the important nutrients it needs and prevent further damage to your liver.
That's fairly straightforward. Let's review a synopsis:
Foods to eat
A well-rounded liver cirrhosis diet should consist mostly of nutrient-dense foods like fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and legumes.
Here are a few examples of foods to prioritize on a liver cirrhosis diet:
- Fruits: apples, oranges, berries, pears, peaches, plums
- Vegetables: broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus, tomatoes, peas, potatoes
- Protein foods: eggs, dairy products, seafood, lean cuts of meat and poultry
- Legumes: beans, lentils, chickpeas
- Nuts: walnuts, almonds, cashews, pistachios, macadamias
- Seeds: pumpkin seeds, flaxseed, chia seeds, hemp seeds
- Whole grains: quinoa, oats, brown rice, buckwheat
- Heart-healthy fats: olive oil, avocados, avocado oil, salmon, nuts, seeds
- Beverages: water, coffee, tea
- Herbs and spices: black pepper, cumin, dill, parsley, thyme
Foods to avoid
A liver cirrhosis diet should limit alcohol and foods high in unhealthy fats or sodium.
Here are some foods to avoid on a liver cirrhosis diet:
- Highly processed foods: fast food, convenience meals, canned soups, packaged snacks
- Unhealthy fats: margarine, vegetable shortening, fried foods
- Salty snacks: chips, crackers, pretzels, microwave popcorn
- Processed meats: hot dogs, sausage, deli meats, bacon, beef jerky
- High sodium condiments: soy sauce, teriyaki sauce, steak sauce, spaghetti sauce
- Undercooked foods: raw or undercooked meat, poultry, eggs, fish, oysters, or mussels
- Alcohol: wine, beer, spirits, cocktails
Healthline also has a good article that lists 11 food that are good for you liver. Their selection is doable.
For now, we plan a day at a time. It's easier to sort through the chaos this way. We'll work on menus, and see if we can tweak the recipes we absolutely love. We'll do this after my port flush
and visit to AT&T to get my sim card issue fixed. Fixed that by turning the phone off and on. Heh.
I woke up a bit miffed about the telephone call from the doctor. There are so many questions that didn't get asked. What is Jeff's life expediency? Can a proper diet slow down the progression towards liver failure? What meds should he not take because they strain the liver?
So I also woke up with another bout of stress-induced squirts. The thought of losing him absolutely terrifies me. He's my best friend, my confidant, my better half. I could live in a damn box after he passes, provided that every moment of his life is spent in a easy-access home where he has all of the things that bring him joy.
I'm so scared. What if the doctor was wrong about the diagnosis? That's what I'm hoping for. It's unrealistic, I know.