I realize that when I write about the medical complexities of organ transplantation it’s not always easy to follow, even for me. Even for the doctors, things are not straightforward and more complex than a “normal” liver transplant. Nevertheless, there are a lot of technical things going on at this moment that consume my daily existence in the hospital, so it’s these things that come out from my fingers to my phone key pad, written for you.
An account of today goes something like this:
Last night sleep came in little pockets. The sleeping tablet worked pretty well, I must say, but awoke to the same level of pain to the right of my central line of staples. As soon as I awoke I was informed the porter would be around to come take me for a CT scan; a large scanning machine the body passes through while holding breath, with a dye injected into the blood stream that enables radiologists to look for infections, tumors, enlarged organs and fluid in bile ducts, etc.
In this instance, the doctors are concerned if an infection has erupted in or around the liver as my liver enzymes are elevated, as are the bilirubin and white blood cells. Several of the lead doctors on the consultancy and surgery side came to discuss treatment; they conversed amoung themselves for a good hour before arriving at a joint desicion. They would do an ultrasound to assess fluid on the right lung and aspirate (pierce through with a needle) it, collecting enough to test it for bacteria or infection. At the same time, they have started IV antibiotics for a five day course, and will re-instate limited IV steroids to keep the autoimmune suppressants up in my system; something they were initially apprehensive about considering the possible infection.
To make a long story short, this shift of becoming less well happened literally overnight, and the doctors have been extremely proactive in assessing things and changing course. I’m feeling much better as a result of the medical intervention and my wonderful visitors who have streamed in throughout the day.
I’m hopeful that a few uneventful days ahead leave me stronger and one step closer to the slow transition home.
And now, Warning: Ugly Content! The picture some of you at have been waiting for: the staples!