New year 2012

In 2011 through rehab, I learned to walk and  to eat. It was a pretty good year. I was hoping the worst was behind and I still wish that today. I was in and out of the hospital with all the normal things transplant patients have to deal with.  Colds, stomach flu and etc that I needed help to conquer because they keep my immune system low.  What added to this was that my body had used up its reserves while I was in the coma and while I was gaining strength.  It took a hospitalist doctor to actually look at me as a whole person instead of as a liver transplant patient.

At the beginning of to 2012 things were going pretty well. Then on February 15 my speech was slurred and my blood pressure was way too high. They admitted me into the hospital and decided I had a TIA.  A TIA is a mini stroke. Little things like this happen now. Luckily my wife had noticed my slurred speech and got me to the emergency room.  By the time I got there,  I no longer had the slurring and I had never noticed that I was slurring my words.

There are things they don’t tell you you’ll have when you have hep c. I found out that I had rheumatoid arthritis or at least rheumatoid arthritis like pain.When you have hepatitis C, they can’t tell you one way or another. They first treated me with 4 mg of medrol. This made it possible for me to walk with a walker. Once again it was very hard for me to get in and out of cars or sit in chairs. So at this time my wife and I stopped going to restaurants or going to family functions.This is when we also found out that hepatitis C can attack your kidneys. Knowing that my kidneys were going to fail we proceeded with the procedure that would give me a working fistula. A fistula is where they attach one of your veins to your artery.  The pressure slowly causes the vein to expand in size.  This allows easy access when you have dialysis.  Just like all the other times the first time it  did not work. So we tried again and yet again until we finally got a working site. Then the site had to be moved to a better location which took another operation. The good thing  that happened during this time was that they gave me another 4 mg of medrol. So now my dosage was a total of 8 mg of medrol. This allowed me to walk without the aid of a walker. Once they finished with all the operations they wanted to drop me back down to 4 mg of medrol. So I asked if I could continue on the other dosage. They said this is a steroid and could do damage to my liver. I called my liver doctors and told them of my dilemma. They asked me if I wanted quality-of-life or quantity of life. I said I wanted to walk. With doctor’s permission I am still on 8 mg.

We have learned over time that you must learn to communicate with your different doctors, because they will very rarely communicate with each other.