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Sanity Optional
Monday, February 14, 2005

Specialist Appointment

I got in to see the liver specialist today. She's a really nice woman, quite young (the older I get the younger everyone else is).

She took a brief history. I mentioned to her the bit of a disagreement my pdoc and I had regarding the potential causes for the elevated liver enzymes, fatty texture and enlarged spleen. I told her that he said he didn't believe that the valproic acid was causing the trouble because it wouldn't cause an enlarged spleen.

VINDICATION!

She explained that the spleen filters the blood and the blood flows from the spleen to the liver, and from the liver up into the heart. She said that some people, like me, have scar tissue on their liver. That scar tissue causes blockages for the blood flow from the spleen, causing the blood flow to back up, causing in turn the spleen to become engorged with blood. So YES, if the valproic acid is causing the liver trouble, it certainly can be causing the enlarged spleen as well. (take that you stupid little man)

She has given me a requisition for a number of more indepth blood tests, and some repeats of the other ones to see if the levels have altered. I also have to do a 24 hour urine sample (boy, am I going to be the belle of the ball carting around a huge tub of urine. But hey, I do know some people who are into that...don't ask. That test is going to take some scheduling - no leaving the house). I have an appointment to see her again in a month to go over the results.

But she also prepared me that it is very likely that I will have to have a biopsy on my liver. She said it's not as drastic as it sounds: they use an ultrasound to ensure proper placement and it's done with a needle - takes a microsecond in and out she said (I thought, must be some damned big needle). She said then I would go home and rest for the remainder of the day. That's likely to take place in about 5-6 weeks from now.

She was saying that there is definitely something wonky going on, but it is far too early to know if it's the valproic acid or something coincidental that just appeared due to the valproic acid tests. She said a lot of liver diseases have absolutely no symptoms and are discovered by accident, kind of like this. She mentioned that "You're still a young woman, and for some reason, quite a few of these diseases seem to be more prevalent in young women". But she's definitely not ruling the valproic acid out, especially in light of the weight gain. She said that is one of the reasons that the liver biopsy will be important: there are some things that there are just no blood tests for. The biopsy will allow her to see how long things have been going on, to what extent the scarring or fatty deposits are, what else may be present, etc. This is the only way she'll see it. Not excited at the prospect of the biopsy, but it's better than nothing, not knowing.

So I've got another month of limbo. But there's forward motion, we're moving toward a target. And that makes me feel better. I can't stand just sitting still. Must be the manic in me.

I'll keep you posted.


Blogger moodymicello said...
I couldn't stand the sitting still either. I think it is probably partly mania but also intelligence. Intelligence says do somoething now. Take charge. At least I find that attribute in most intelligent people I know.

I love the vindication part of your blog. Imagine...the small man doesn't even score on basic anatomy. That is kinda scary. Definitely think it qualifies for a new psychiatrist Regardless of the meds prescribed, I would sure want someone more knowwledgeable that Dr. Small Man.

Try to relax and do the tests scheduled by the specialist. if she is not concerned, then the month it is taking is apparently not harmful. Work on getting your mood calm for the new job. Given no change in your meds, its 100% mental and you can do it. You are the same bright, successful, competent person who interviewed for and accepted that job. Nothing has changed. You are just as special as you were before.  

Blogger Franikins said...
Thanks for keeping us posted about your situation. Vindication. Yeah! Take that, Dr. Small Man!

I wish you the best on your new job. I am sure you will be successful.  

Blogger Coach Rob said...
Nice blog baby!!!

Hello ladies and gentlemen of the blog generation. This is blondzila's "love of her life" here. My first time in the wife's blog. WOW! Quite the place. I have so much to share, but no time to share it.
Suffice it to say that what you read here is only a very small portion of life in our "land of knod". It's filled with lots of ups, some downs, but is never, ever boring. Between hockey, and kid stuff and manic and hypo manic and the downs and doctors with small man syndrome, as Rosanna Rosannadanna used to say, "it's always something".
I'm glad that blondy has found a place to share, vent, humour and hopefully enlighten the world as to what it's like, at least from one person's perspective, how fucked up the world can be sometimes but also what a cool place it is.
(Shameless plug coming...) I've been inspired by the lovely and talented blondzila to start my own blog. It's not nearly as deep and meaningful as hers is, but it gives me a place to share one of my passions, hockey. So, after a particularly cerebral session here following the trials and tribulations of this bipolar right winger, feel free to drop by and check into the life of a hockey player/coach as he attempts to climb the ladder of Canadian hockey supremacy.
Take care....  

Blogger xxan said...
Blondzilla, first of all thank you for your post and liking my farm. Haha.
Secondly: I'm glad you apparently found a professional specialist as far as you liver problem is concerned.
And as I said before you're in a stable mood, you have all the potential to go work, and I wish you the very best with it!!
(health AND job)  

Blogger Dreaming again said...
I have a question ...

In Canada ...are psychiatrists MD's & DO's like they are here in the US? or are they more like the PhD ... little to no medical training?

If he's an MD or DO he really has NO excuse for not knowing the basic biology that was described to you by the specialist!!

Little man ... geesh!

I'm glad you're on the path to finding out what's going on, and to getting help ... my thoughts and prayers are with you.  

Blogger Saemon said...
Hey ‘Sanity Optional’

I stumbled blindly across your blogspot this evening, after reading some of the inspired and sometimes misguided musings of my old mate and ministry colleague ‘Hotdiggityblog’

I to am having some liver issues (kind of sounds like parent issues) – My Doctor didn’t like a nice little ultrasound we had done last year, when I was having some issues (there is that word again) with my Gall Bladder. After some serious therapy, which involved a scalpel, some anaesthetic and 5 weeks off work, we solved the Gall Bladder issues, by having a trial divorce.

Now she wants me back in the waiting room, because she is not pleased with my latest blood results, in reference to my liver function – whatever that means in non medical lingo. Anyway, I have to go back in for tests on Monday (28th Feb) to see what is what.

Thanks for sharing your journey with liver issues; I will keep checking up with your blog, to see how you are going.

Like the previous commenter – I will be praying for you.  

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