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Falling Down Cirrhotic

Oct 15, 2012 - 13 comments

As I walked down the street this afternoon, a large man walked out of a nail salon falling onto the sidewalk.
A bevy of Asian manicurists immediately ran to his aide, helping him up.
He took a couple of steps before hitting the pavement again.
One woman ran back into the shopping yelling, " call 9-1-1, call 9-1-1."

By now, I had reached the man. He was a large guy with a protruding belly.
His eyes opened.
I knelt down and said, " do you have liver disease ?"
He replied, " I don't know ? Something's wrong, maybe that's it."

I didn't smell alcohol so I ruled out my initial thought that he could be drunk. then
Then I asked, " do you have hepatitis C?"
He said, " I don't think so."
I told him I thought because of his large belly that he could have cirrhosis and explained encephalopathy to him.

One of the women from the salon, phone in hand, asked his age.
"61," he replied. She spoke into the phone then said the ambulance was on its way.
Upon hearing that, he got to his feet.
" I'm fine, no really, I'm fine," he said and ambled down the street.
I followed, it was the direction I was going in anyway.

He walked over to a truck climbing into the driver's seat. When he saw me, he rolled down his window.
By now, I had scribbled down the name of a clinic that does free hep C testing, a place where they would recognize his symptoms, if he really did have cirrhosis.
He thanked me, as I continued to tell him about hep C and my experience with advanced cirrhosis.

He asked, " could that be why my urine is dark?"
Of course the answer was yes.
He commented on how he'd had a complete physical just a year ago.
All I could do was tell him it's sad that they do not test for hep C but he  should not delay seeing a doctor and testing his liver functions.

I told him that I didn't think it was safe for him to drive, what if he had fell while at the wheel driving down the road.
He said, he felt it coming on, thought it was just the fumes from the nail salon. He said he'd drive slow and pull over if he felt that way again.
Not knowing what else I could do,  I continued on my way.


post tx awareness

May 11, 2012 - 15 comments

From the time I stepped out of bed in the ICU after my transplant,
my central theme has been forward motion.
This concept served me well during my recovery and recent hep c  treatment,
always keeping focused on putting one foot in front of the other.

Following an urge to be close to nature, today I sat in the garden breathing in the gentle scent of wisteria.
My eyes fell on a heron near the water, two Mallards came and sat near me, heads cocked.
Enjoying the scene, a wave of relaxation overwhelmed me.
Yet, my mind habitually raced to the next moment, the next place to go, the next thing to do.

A thought arrived on the breeze~
Now, I no longer needed to continue pushing forward.
With healing comes change.

Quieting my mind,
I feel at peace, in the moment.

guestions for doctor for newbies to tx

May 05, 2012 - 4 comments

It is always preferable to have a hepatologist, a liver specialist and not simply a GI to help you with treatment. A GP is not trained in liver issues and should be the one to refer you to the specialist.

Questions for the doctor:

How experienced are you in dealing with Hep C ?
Do I need a biopsy before treatment?
How often will I be doing labs during treatment?
What is your protocol for dealing with low wbc or rbc?
What about other side effects?
How often will I be seeing you during treatment?
Who do I contact in an emergency ?

http://www.medhelp.org/posts/Hepatitis-C/Going-back-in/show/1785793#post_8220897
Will I be able to have copies of all my labs and tests ?
Will you be available via phone or email to answer my questions ?

If you are looking for a good doctor to treat hep C

Apr 19, 2012 - 0 comments