Friday, September 23, 2011

Worry and Stuff

   Back in January, Lois had to have an endoscopy to see why her acid reflux was giving her so much aggravation. She found out that she had Barrett's esophagus. The condition is when the lining at the bottom of the esophagus starts to replicate that of the stomach lining. It is usually found when people are in their 50s and men get it twice as often as women. We also found out that she had a hernia and ulcers. The trifecta. The doctor schedule a surgery to fix the hernia and esophagus. They fixed the esophagus by creating a sphincter muscle between the stomach and the lower part of the esophagus by wrapping part of the stomach around the joining of the two. The only problem was that Lois becomes violently ill when she has anesthesia.
   That first night while Lois was retching repeatedly, she kept telling the nurse that she needed something for nausea. The nurse would disappear for an obscene amount of time and couldn't be found. This went on throughout the night and often she was denied meds because the nurse kept saying it was too soon. In the morning when the doctors finally made their rounds, they prescribed a patch for her and the vomiting stopped. But apparently a little too late; when Lois was finally released she was having a difficult time swallowing and they assured her it would eventually go away. It never did.
   Over the months it has steadily gotten worse and Lois had another endoscopy done the other day. The doctor said that the place that was tied off has slipped further up into the esophagus and the esophagus tube was 14 millimeters around instead of the 20 that  it should normally be. This caused a smaller hole and has made her life unbearable because swallowing food is too hard. So now, she has another hernia and more acid reflux. All of this should have been fixed the first time, but we believe all the retching that happened in those first days probably led to the problem because it never did really heal right. Now we are waiting for the doctor to talk to Lois' doctor and they will probably have to set up another operation.
   I have mentioned the hardship our loved ones go through while taking care of us before. My Lois has endured a lot of her own. In the past couple of years our lives have been trying. Her work load has increased and friends and coworkers have been laid off due to the recession. This alone has brought her a fair amount of grief. She is physically exhausted all the time and I worry about her. Now it looks as though she'll have to go through the same surgery again. A surgery, we are told, that is generally harder the second time around. I wish she didn't have to do this again. We will know more in the following week and I'll keep you posted.

Monday, September 12, 2011

New MELD score

   I have been itching a lot and it is starting to drive me crazy. It's right in the middle of my back where I can't quite reach it. If I wasn't already on Enbrel, I would think that it was my psoriasis. Now I am wondering if it could be my bilirubin. I just had my labs done and my MELD score went up from 20 to 22. My bilirubin is a little high at 3.3, the normal range is between 0.2 - 1.3. My creatinine was perfect and my INR was also in average range. I seem to be doing pretty good, but I have been awfully sore lately. I am also grinding my teeth. That bites.
   My score hasn't been this high for nearly a year. After adjusting my coumadin dosage my INR went down and I have maintained an average score of 19 to 20. I really won't be able to tell if this new score is indicative of things to come until my next labs are drawn. One thing I do know is that the higher my score goes, the more real it all feels. Your mind swims with wonder. I have to admit I worry about my kidneys, but so far my numbers are doing well. I pray that they remain healthy through this.
   Well this is it, wishing everyone good health and happiness.