May 7 will mark 5 years since my life-saving liver transplant. I am amazed at all the life I’ve squeezed into five quick years. My grandchildren have to be my greatest blessing, by far.
As far as my health is concerned, I’ve got very little to whine about. I’ve had a couple little rejection scares that were nothing. I’ve stayed out of the hospital and I’ve been very active. Side effects of medications have been no more than annoying.
But, this past year has probably been the most difficult in terms of colds, stomach bugs and non-liver stuff.
Last Spring I had a “simple” procedure to treat some blown out veins in my legs. It was called “laser ablation” or something like that. I was told I’d be back to normal quickly. But, we imuno-supressed folks heal more slowly so it cost me my cycling season and now I have deep, dark black, permanent bruises where the veins used to be. The good news is that the stinging pain is finally gone when I ride. I’m back in the saddle.
I think I’ve caught every bug going around since last fall. I’m pretty sure that’s mostly my own fault because I’ve been so much less diligent in hand sanitizing and steering clear of sick people. I think we transplant recipients who have few issues start to think of ourselves as just like everyone else the further out we get from surgery.
In February a cardiologist told me I now have a thickened heart and enlarged aorta. He didn’t seem concerned at all and said we’ll check on it again in a year. That seemed odd to me.
But the weirdest thing going on has been that I’m super exhausted all the time. I push through it but it stinks. I go to bed early and am now getting a solid 8 hours most nights but I wake up feeling like I haven’t slept at all. Yeah, I’m up by 5 am but normally in bed around 9.
I asked my doc about it and he said, “well, you’re getting older; it’s normal.” I’m 54 but I don’t feel like that is old!
I’ve also been trying to stay on top of my weight because I know that fatty liver & NASH can return. But, despite diet and exercise, my weight has been gradually climbing.
The weight management doc was puzzled so ordered a few more viles of blood be drawn at my lab visit.
It turns out that my thyroid is misbehaving. When I read the symptoms I was surprised that I didn’t see my picture next to them. Holy cow, 8 of the 10 top symptoms were dead on!
So, I’m kinda bummed that it’s another thing added but also relieved and hopeful that answers are coming. It means another doc gets added to my list, another regular appointment, another daily pill and another vile of blood drawn at each lab visit but that’s all fine with me if I stop feeling like I haven’t slept in a year!
I’m going to keep PUSHing until they figure this newest challenge out. I’m thankful, hopeful, positive and ready to PUSH through whatever is next.
If you’re a praying person, shoot up a prayer for wisdom for the docs, good results and that I respond well and quickly to treatment.
I’m pretty pumped that we finally have an answer and it isn’t just that I’m an old fart.