Jake went back to see his doctor in about the 3rd week of September. His MELD score is still at an 8, so it seems that he has plateaued, since it was at an 8 the last time he went to the doctor a few months ago. Still, Jake's health (and mood) just seem to be getting better and better. I really think he would have had better blood test results if I had been making him his shakes (with supplements) more regularly but I was going through some stressful stuff, and just didn't have the time to make them every night. Luckily, Jake is good about taking his most important supplements (alpha lipoic acid, selenium and milk thistle) regularly. His doc also recommended Zinc Sulfate, which he's taken since January. He's about to run out and we need to get some more.
The best thing I can report is that Jake is VERY CHEERFUL lately, and a lot of fun to be around. I am so relieved and happy about this... I feel like this is the man I married!
My last update for Jake's prescriptions can be found here. I've highlighted his most current doses of his medications in lavender, below.
Please note that Jake has been sober for over a year and it has taken him a long time to get to this point where he is able to cut back on his prescriptions. I am not recommending that anyone give up or cut back on their medications just because this is what my husband did. I want to give people hope but it's up to you to decide what is best for you. Jake was generally very careful about cutting his medications back, gradually, while monitoring how he felt every day.
To sum it up, Jake has been able to get rid of most of his diuretics (I think this is in part because he uses a PEMF machine every day... you can read more about PEMF by clicking here). He no longer takes Furosemide (Lasix), and is down to just 25 mg. of Spironolactone daily (though his last prescription directions said to take 100 mg/day). He got rid of Pantoprazole (though he does take Omeprazole as needed for his stomach). He still does take lactulose (same amount since he started, 30 ml/day) and Digoxin, same amount he's always taken (250 mcg/day).
|Jake's prescriptions||Recommended dose (in August)||What Jake actually takes:|
|Furosemide (Lasix), 80 mg. (used for edema - swelling, fluid build up)||1 tablet by mouth every day. Although it's written on the bottle that he's supposed to take 80 mg/day, on his last trip to the liver specialist, his nurse practitioner told him he can take half a pill (40 mg/day).||Jake told me he was cutting the pills into quarters, and taking one in the AM and one in the afternoon, but he admitted he would forget to take the one in the afternoon most of the time, so he is really only taking about 20 mg of furosemide per day (in the morning). *UPDATE: His doctor said it's ok to discontinue the lasix / furosemide and only take "as needed." It's been several weeks and he has not taken Furosemide at all, and I can see his skin is starting to look a lot healthier.|
|Spironolactone, 50 mg, (diuretic, antihypertensive)||1 tablet by mouth, twice a day(50 mg/day)||Jake cuts them in half and just takes 25 mg / day, in the morning. UPDATE: His doc confirmed that it's fine to just take 25 mg./ day. He does take this amount every day.|
|Pantoprazole SOD Dr. 40 Mg. (||1 tablet by mouth (40 mg / day), 30 minutes before breakfast (for his stomach... he does take it regularly... someone told him it's like an antibiotic).||He takes this as directed, 40 mg/day. He was told it's an antibiotic and it's supposed to help his stomach. I am very AGAINST antibiotics. Jake wants to get off this one, so we're hoping that at the next Dr's appt they tell him he does not need this one. UPDATE: IS NO LONGER TAKING PANTOPRAZOLE. HE HASN'T TAKEN THIS FOR OVER A MONTH. You can see my rant about Pantoprazole, here. He is, however, taking 20 mg tablets of Omeprazole (recommended by his doctor) per day. He did say that when he stopped taking pantoprazole cold turkey, his stomach did hurt a bit. He said he would like to experiment with half a dose of Omeprazole, but the prescription he got is in a capsule and it's hard to divide, so we are going to look for tablets that can be cut in half (Costco does sell Omeprazole and I'm hoping it's in tablet form). Jake said he wants to try cutting back his dose.|
|Lactulose, 10 gm/15 ml solution||30 ml (2 tablespoons / day)every day||Jake said he only takes 1 1/2 to 2 tbsp at night Update: He still takes this, 1 1/2 to 2 tbsp at night.|
|Digoxin, 250 mcg (for his heart... Jake has atrial fibrillation, which is likely to have been caused by alcohol||250 mcg (1 tablet) per day(taken in the morning)||He takes this one as recommended (250 mcg / day) Update: He still takes this, 250 mcg/day.|