Cruisin with the Real"s

Cruisin with the Real"s
Joe and Nancy Grand Cayman 10-07

Loma Linda Medical Center

Loma Linda Medical Center
Where the magic happens........

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Then until Now

After Christmas we all went back to our various corners and we spent a quiet New Years at home this year. The last several years we have made a point to do something special and really celebrate but this year we decided on a quiet one at home.

I have had more Dr's visits including one to the big guy at the transplant center, Dr Mendler. He is my lead Dr in all of this and I haven't seen him since my first appointment and the transplant center a couple of months ago. Basically he told me that I will be listed as soon as he gets clearance from the heart institute. I was under the impression that my case would have to go back before the committee but he said, no. I was ready to be listed as soon as next week if he gets the OK.

Well, Joe was with me for this appointment and we were both excited and apprehensive all at the same time...Let's just say the butterflies came out to say hello.

Dr Mendler is a very quiet Dr. He is very thoughtful, analytical and doesn't talk much. You can tell there is way to much going on in his brain. I have a lot of trust in him and like him you just need to be ready with your questions as he is very busy. Like a lot of specialists he speaks his own language and you need to know some of it to communicate and ask the right things.

He seems pleased with my health otherwise. The cardiac issue seems to be whether or not my heart can withstand the grueling surgery. Some previous stress tests that they put it under seem to still indicate some questions in that regard.

The other issues that are common for cirrhosis patients are:

Ascites: fluid in the abdomen which can get huge like a pregnant belly (seriously...belly button pops out and everything) and would have to be drained.

Encephalopathy: where the ammonia builds up inside and causes dementia of various degrees from mild confusion to convulsions and comma. Everytime I can't remember where I put my keys I freak a bit.

Varicies: enlarged veins in the throat area that can cause acute and deadly bleeding if ruptured

Kidney Failure: we won't even go there............

Loss of appetite, weight loss and mal nutrition. Doing OK fact, note to self, start watching the ice cream intake!

Those are areas that we are watching for very closely and so far so good. I am on medications to help prevent them but it can get past the point of the meds not stopping what the non-functioning liver can do.


Dr Mendler said that once I am listed because of my blood type, body size and my high MELD score...(still 25) that he anticipates a new liver could come my way within 2-3 months. !!!!

Now, that is, if one presents itself and of course no one has control over that. But they are transplanting my blood type at Loma Linda in the mid 20's. (Each transplant center differs depending on how many are listed with different melds and blood type)

BUT, OMG!!!!! Hence the butterflies appearing.....scary and exciting. I didn't know whether to run or jump up and down!

I go see the social worker tomorrow and the cardiologist on Tuesday.

Side note:

People keep asking me when my transplant is *SCHEDULED* Have they NOT watched ER????? and seen the helicopter land and Dr Hotstuff jump out with the igloo with the organ in it??????? Another one that hits me funny everytime I hear it......

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