Tuesday, February 03, 2009

The Liver Chronicles

When we last left you, Jay had just emerged from surgery to expand his common bile duct. The surgery was a success in that the surgeon was able to place a balloon in the duct and expand it, but there is also a lot of diffuse stricturing in the rest of the biliary tree preventing the flow of bile. Jay still looks like the victim of a Mystic Tan incident gone awry and his numbers are still the same.

Needless to say, I was a little nervous about what the doctor in Nashville was going to say when Jay went to see him today. But it wasn't anything really earth-shattering. The doctor said that he thought Jay would probably be ready for a transplant in several more years, so that was good to hear, and he also explained a little bit about the procedure for being placed on the transplant list. Position on the liver transplant list is determined by MELD (Model for End-Stage Liver Disease) number, which is calculated using the date of birth, bilirubin levels, serum creatinine levels, and International Normalized Ratio. You can see a calculator here. So even if the doctor were to put Jay on the transplant list today, he'd probably hang out at the bottom for awhile. Better to wait until things start to really go downhill, right?

So, per doctor's orders, no drinking, no smoking, and no drugs, which I'm sure will be a real hardship for Jay. Jay's supposed to call if he shows any signs of an infection in his liver (abdominal pain with fever and/or chills), and he's now taking both a Vitamin D supplement and another 5-ASA drug for his colitis. Hopefully this one won't send his liver function down the tubes like the last one did.

So here we go! Hurry up and wait!

Thanks for all of your prayers and well wishes. We appreciate it all so much more than you can know.


Aunt Lee said...

Mine is still available for a living donor deal should he need it in a few years or next year.

Mary Beth said...

Thank you. We don't know what the current research shows about living donors because we're trying not to learn too much before we need to know it, but your offer is generous beyond measure. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!

DENICE said...

Indeed a great post, Apart from this I am a medical student and I am researching about world’s pioneer doctors. I am gathering information about Dr Susan Lim Singapore . As far as I got to know she performed the first successful liver transplant in Asia. She has received many awards & accolades. Around the globe, cases have been directed to her because of her skill set and technical expertise, and her continued research in new technology and developing cures. I will greatly appreciate if you can point to any further resources about her.