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Question
Posted by: How | 2012/05/15

Dad Liver Shrinking

My dad 80''s liver is shrinking, he is not doing very well and in lots of pain. He doesn''t know about his liver shrinking, he only know he has heart failure as we were adviced not to tell as this will put him in a major depression. Do you think he feels death is close by? I know he is in Gods hands and it is up to Him to take my dad home when he is ready, but what can I do, knowing he is not going to life for long, what can I say to him. I am scared to say the wrong thing. He is not a religious man, I would like my pastor to go see him, but again scared that he might find out about how serious he really is. What if I tell him the truth? If I was him I would like to know the truth. This was never going to happen to my dad, he was going to life forever ... and yet after all he is mortal and needs to leave this place sometime.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

Whoever gave you that advice might not be the best informed person to do so. Obviously there are, occasionally, situations in which it may not be adviseable to tell a person the truth about their medical condition and outlook, generall lying is a bad idea. Of course the telling should be done skillfully, and really good doctors will be well able to do this.
When someone is very seriously sick and feels awful and fears the worst, either being told unrealistic lies about how well they are, or not being told anything at all, may be much more frightening and demoralizing.
Don't concentrate so much, as one easilt does, on what to say to him, as though tere's a magic formula that'll make everything all right - but chat with him, over time, about his condition, what HE thinks is heppening, and how he feels about it, and what he wants.
He p[robably knows more about what's happening than his doctor thinks, and if he is mistaken about some aspects of his illness ( he may be imagining things even worse than they are ) nobody can comfort him without knowing that.
If he was a religious man, and had a pastor he knew, it would be good for them to meet, but for a pastor he doesn't know to arrive out of the blue would probably be more worrying than helpful - but if at some stage he says to you there are things he'd like to discuss with a pastor, offer to arrange that. Talk about what he wants.

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

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Our users say:
Posted by: cybershrink | 2012/05/16

Whoever gave you that advice might not be the best informed person to do so. Obviously there are, occasionally, situations in which it may not be adviseable to tell a person the truth about their medical condition and outlook, generall lying is a bad idea. Of course the telling should be done skillfully, and really good doctors will be well able to do this.
When someone is very seriously sick and feels awful and fears the worst, either being told unrealistic lies about how well they are, or not being told anything at all, may be much more frightening and demoralizing.
Don't concentrate so much, as one easilt does, on what to say to him, as though tere's a magic formula that'll make everything all right - but chat with him, over time, about his condition, what HE thinks is heppening, and how he feels about it, and what he wants.
He p[robably knows more about what's happening than his doctor thinks, and if he is mistaken about some aspects of his illness ( he may be imagining things even worse than they are ) nobody can comfort him without knowing that.
If he was a religious man, and had a pastor he knew, it would be good for them to meet, but for a pastor he doesn't know to arrive out of the blue would probably be more worrying than helpful - but if at some stage he says to you there are things he'd like to discuss with a pastor, offer to arrange that. Talk about what he wants.

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