Symptoms and feelings associated with end stage kidney or liver disease
Palliative care may last weeks or months - each patient's experience is different. During your treatment you will feel well to start off with, but as your condition progresses and gets worse you may suffer from some, or all of the following symptoms:
- Pain, shortness of breath, feeling drowsy (lethargy), loss of appetite and a general feeling of being unwell - these are the most common symptoms.
- If you are in pain you will be treated with medicines for pain relief. These medicines may cause constipation.
- Towards the very end of your life you might feel that 'you can't get comfortable', or that your body is 'a constant problem'.
The psychological feelings people have when they are getting close to the end of their life can be very different. Some people have a sense of 'it's time to give up'. Others become depressed - not clinically depressed but rather sad that the end of their life is approaching. These psychological changes might make the physical symptoms worse.
Advance Decision for kidney or liver failure
In the late stages of either kidney or liver disease, your condition may eventually lead to your death. During this time you will be in full control of your life and be able to make all decisions about your health and the treatments offered.
A small number of patients go into a coma towards the very end and in this situation an Advance Statement of preferences and wishes as well as an Advance Decision to refuse treatment are most useful.