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July 6, 09 Eve of the Biopsy

Jul 06, 2009 - 0 comments
Tags:

Liver

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Pain

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biopsy

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eve

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CT

,

Abdominal CT scan



9:40 PM: Was having pain Sunday and Monday. Went to ER at suggestion of GI. Had a wonderful blend of lemon Crystal Light and Barium. Kak! Had to drink two huge glasses in 2 hours, then have another gag inducing cup in the CT room; later to be followed by many visits to the ladie's room. Then into CT for a look at organs from the pancreas to ovaries and everything in between. No bleeding, no enlarged liver, no gallstone, kidneys were fine, etc, etc...  They're sending all results to GI and PCP. All cbc, enzymes, everything normal except one slightly elevated pancreatic enzyme, lypase (sp.?). Could indicate the beginning of gallblader problem, they say. Came home after 9 hours in ER with Vicodin (because, ER Dr says, ast/alt normal), and instructions to follow up in 24 hours if not better.

This morning I woke up feeling just fine~~sans Vicodin. Went to pelvic ultrasound this afternoon for the pain in LLQ. Results to be sent to my PCP. Tomorrow I drop my lil guy off at a friend's house, and hubby will take me to have the biopsy. Have to be there at 8:30 AM. Outpatient, but I have to wait four (4) hours before I can be discharged, so they can monitor for bleeding.

Going to have to go to bed soon, I'm one of those 10-12 hour sleepers...and don't even try to talk to me before my second cup of coffee, which, I now realize I can't have tomorrow. I have to be fasting. Yippee!!!  :|  If I go to bed RIGHT NOW I'll get 8 hrs. I know, I know, whine over 8 hrs of sleep. I can hear it now. But I swear, it's the meds I take at night that do it to me. Speaking of which, please excuse me a moment. ha.

OK, yeah, so I'm gonna go play dominoes awhile and zone out before bed. If I feel ok when I get home tomorrow I'll write about what it felt like. 'night. 10:15pm



July 1, 2009

Jul 01, 2009 - 2 comments
Tags:

family

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friends

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tests

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appointments

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Exercise and weight loss



Just came back from the gym. Took all my effort to get there today, due to being the most skilled procrastinator I know, and nothing else. I worked hard on the circuit, as hard as usual, but it seemed easier somehow. Maybe since I startecd a month ago my endurance is coming up. I think it's too soon to be having real cardio progress, but then, what do I know? Started with the jump rope for the first time since grade school today; I lasted an entire three minutes. LMAO Whatever, I'm off the couch anyway.

Thinking about all the medical tests I have scheduled and pending sceduling. Very overwhelming. There are 2 tomorrow, one on the 7th, one on the 22nd, and 2 in the first week of August, already. I'm trying to write all of them down redundantly in different places so I might be able to keep stumbling upon them and eventually force them into my little brain. I have business cards, prescriptions, and referrals, notes, lists, scraps of paper, and messages on the answering machine...and try to explain to the family what's going on. Ha! It's taken me a couple months of research and study, learning achronyms, and talking to people with experience, as well as numerous conversations with doctors to even BEGIN to understand all of this. I keep trying to boil it all down into a few easy sentences. It just seems to defy explanation.

Alright, I have to get out of my head now. Going out to my friend's house for a while. Maybe write more later....Until next time.

Checking in after GI visit--June 30, 2009

Jun 30, 2009 - 10 comments
Tags:

biopsy

,

treatment

,

virus

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test

,

Q&A



Got home from GI earlier. Here are the things he has to say:

1.My liver enzymes have gone down from (ast/alt) 90/66 respectively, to 13/20 respectively.

2.Viral load 561(titer) (confirmed by repeat testing) yes, fivehundredsixtyone...no typo there. He said it's the lowest he's ever seen, and only recognizable due to today's technological advances in the sensitivity of the testing. Used to be that you were negative if you were below 50,000, then you were negative if you were below 10,000, then below 1,000, now the test today shows less than 50 as normal. So, if I had been tested 10 years ago instead of a few months ago, I would have shown up as normal, and therefore, negative for Hep C antibodies.

3.No genotype could be detected because of not enough virus in my blood to sample (not enough quantity, the lab said).

4.TREATMENT IS UNLIKELY..due in part to my normal liver enzymes, and in part to my low viral load. Says enzymes indicate either a great response by my immune system, in which case, interfuron is unnecessary, or the HCV is so bad, my immune system has stopped fighting it...unlikely.

He offered me the option of whether or not to do a biopsy bearing in mind it probably would not affect his inkling not to treat. I accepted, saying I want as much information as I can have about this, so he wrote me a referral to have it done.

I asked him if, hypothetically, I didn't see him again for 6 mos, or a yr, what would he expect my 561 viral load number to do...go up? down? stay same?  His answer was the PCR can vary greatly even within a day, and is no indicator of liver damage; two biopsies (now and later) will better tell the story of liver damage or not. Says only 50% of people with HCV ever go on to cirhossis (sp?)...Unless one drinks alcohol...then odds go up to 90%

I also asked him, since my viral load is so  low, why not treat now? Wouldn't it be easier to get rid on NOW? He says no..either I have the virus or I don't, and the viral load doesn't necessarily mean treatment. I asked if I shouldn't be having fevers, sweats, chills, flu-like symptoms if my immune system if fighting it right now. He said no.

There were some other findings unrelated to HCV indicating more tests...Upper  G.I, LLQ pelvic ultrasound, CBC, PT, PTT tests before biopsy.

So, I think this is another case of hurry up and wait :]  I'll keep writing; maybe not so much for you all, but so I can keep a record for myself. But, perhaps, as I post my Q&A with my GI Doc, he'll be answering questions some of you have as well.

Take care, you..yeah, YOU!  :]