It sounds like this is a very difficult time for you and your family. Hopefully your mom will slowly but surely continue to get better and out of the hospital. However, it does sound as though she is critically ill. Any catastrophic medical illness (such as perforated diverticulitis
) is potentially more severe in the setting of cirrhosis because of the central role the liver plays in eliminating toxins and regulating so many of the biological processes that keep the body functioning properly. The cause of your mom's cirrhosis and the length of time she has had this (and any associated complications) can be very important in helping determine just how serious this combination of problems may be - which is why it is important to discuss this with her physicians. The problem with patients with ascites and intestinal perforation is that this creates a perfect substrate for bacteria to grow. With leakage of fecal material into the abdominal cavity, the likelihood of overwhelming infection is very high. Even with the best treatment (surgical evacuation) and antibiotics, this kind of infection can be life-threatening. The important thing to remember is that when a patient such as your mom has a critical illness, it is important to focus on both the very best treatment *and* keeping the patient comfortable. It sounds like the doctors
caring for your mom are doing all of the right things and she is comfortably sedated while her body is trying to heal. You should definitely sit down with her primary care physician
or treating physicians to discuss your questions and concerns moving forward.