Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Epic Fail!

   It is never a good sign when you wake up from your endoscopy and the doctor greets you with: "You're starting to worry me."
   After Lois mumbled something like, "That doesn't sound good," The doctor went on to say that he didn't like what he was seeing and followed that with, "We need to get you transplanted."
   The doctor told us that I had a tiny leak in my esophagus and that he wasn't worried about it, what worried him was the varices in my stomach that looked like they were swelled up and and ready to burst. He explained that he wanted a CT scan and that I probably needed to get a Transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt (TIPS) procedure done as soon as we can do it.
   The procedure is done by connecting two blood vessels in the liver. A radiologist will insert a catheter into a vein in my neck that has a balloon and metal mesh stent attached to it. Using X-ray equipment, the catheter is guided to a vein in the liver to where the balloon is blown up to place the stent and then they connect the portal vein to one of the hepatic veins. Once this is done the blood should flow better and take pressure off the stomach, esophagus, liver and intestines. In the meanwhile he told me to watch for any bleeding and to get to the hospital immediately if I had any problems. "If you start throwing up blood, have black stools, you call 911," he said. "Don't screw around."
   I'm not very worried about the varices bleeding, but I am more concerned about the procedure itself. There are a number of risks such as bleeding, infections, damaging blood vessels and soreness in the neck. All of that sounds awful to me. Plus, we were told, that even though this procedure was something I needed it could also increase my encephalopathy. This is a whole new monster of its own.
   I guess they feel it is serious, though, because by the time we got home the clinic called to schedule my CT scan for this Friday. I imagine they'll want to set up the TIPS soon after that.
   I am somewhat spooked. I'd be lying if I said any different. So much is happening all at once and we have still not heard anything on Lois' biopsy. That just makes me mad. Big breaths ... big, big breaths.
  Maybe we can set it up for my 50th birthday, which is Monday.


  1. Ugh! That sounds awful. Thinking good thoughts and hopefully expecting a good outcome.

  2. Oh my goodness- I had to read that twice... I go to bed tonight with prayers for you and your family- xoxo teri

  3. oh Beaux...I am choosing to see this as GOOD news...they are going to get moving finally...get you healthy...as the doctor said "no screwing around"...relax about Lois...often if it takes this long for biopsy results that's a good thing...focus on that powerful healing breath, in and out...the calmer you can remain the better for your body/mind/heart and spirit...I am sending you reiki my friend and lots of prayers (and for Lois and the girls too)

  4. Hang in there - just think of this as your next step closer to a transplant - cuz in the end - that's what it's all about. Praying for you. Pam and Ron

  5. Yup, one step at a time. Just go slow and breathe slowly.

    It does seem like a good sign that the biopsy wasn't rushed, usually that means they are not too worried. But waiting is the pits, hopefully you'll have that resolved soon.

    Happy coming birthday! The procedure doesn't sound like a fun way to celebrate, but it's great that it exists and can help you. Hang in there.

  6. Praying for you and Lois both Beaux. Please dont' hesitate to call on us if you need anything at all. The girls are more than welcome to come and hang at our house anytime!

  7. Hang in there Brother. All my Prayers and Love are with you 24/7. I'm here for you at all times. I love you Bro! god is definitely on your side. Happy #50. God Bless, Dave

  8. Let me just state the obvious by saying....you need a new liver! But I am happy that they found the problem before it became an emergency and I am glad there are procedures available to get you by until you get that new liver. Hang in there. This too shall pass.....

    Linda, Wichita