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The Gift of Life
Jan 3, 2018 Latest post:
Mar 13, 2018
Welcome to our CaringBridge website. We are using it to keep family and friends updated in one place. We appreciate your support and words of hope and encouragement. Thank you for visiting. As many of you know, Chuck has been battling liver failure for the past 4 years. It started out as "fatty liver" and an enlarged spleen. It took 3 years to pin point his exact health issue. He" supposedly" had non-hodgkins lymphoma. So we began the cancer route, bone marrow biopsies, pet scans, enlarged lymph nodes etc. When the cancer docs threw up their hands and declared that Chuck didn't have cancer, back to the general practitioner we went. After discussing our options, it was decided that we would go to the Mayo. We had a diagnosis within 10 minutes of our arrival. Chuck was diagnosed with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease or NASH for short. So we spent all of this time treating the symptoms until this past year when the liver really started to decline. In May 2017, Chuck started losing weight and vomiting. He lost 40 pounds in 3 weeks! He spent a week at the Mayo for testing and hopefully securing a spot on the transplant list. The diuretics that he was taking was causing kidney damage and ascites in his belly. The ascites had to be drained every other week from 6-9 liters at a time. He still was nauseous all the time and because of this, he became emaciated. The hardest part was that he would go to the hospital, get his numbers back up and be released, just to start the vicious circle all over again. Up until this point, Chuck has lost 70 pounds, a walking skeleton. Who wants to eat when you know it will make you sick?! The final straw happened one night as I came home from work( I work 3:30-11:30 pm ) I found Chuck unresponsive on the couch. I called 911 and they took him to the hospital. His ammonia level was very high and he was so weak he couldn't stand or talk. The following week we were at the Mayo for routine check-ups. When labs came back, the doc thought the samples had been contaminated, because the numbers were unusual. Then we were admitted to St.Mary's hospital to build up body weight and have a feeding tube inserted in his nose past the stomach and into his small intestine. We were placed on the gastrology floor and labs were taken again. As soon as the bloodwork came back, they rushed us to the cardiology floor because his potassium was so high. He was then hooked up to heart monitors until his potassium level stabled. After 2 days and a feeding tube addition, we head back to the gastro floor. The team did all they could to nourish him, but the liver wasn't having that. They felt it was best to consult with the liver transplant team and he was transferred to Methodist Hospital- Mayo Campus. The liver is worsening and his kidneys are failing because of it. On a positive note, he has gained 4 pounds and is keeping his food down. What a way to spend the holidays! Chuck is also diabetic, so that complicates things even more. To our friends and family out there, sorry we haven't touched base with most of you. It takes a lot of energy to deal with this and think about our future. Tomorrow, the doctors are going to put a port in for dialysis as we await for a liver to hopefully reverse all the problems it has caused. I have been down here for the last 3 weeks as his caregiver, friend and lover. Thank you to all that have visited and called. It really helps pick you up and makes you feel you are not fighting this alone. Let's hope tomorrow will be a better day! Chuck is at Methodist Hospital-Mayo Campus, Eisenberg Building, 10th floor, room 234. His cell number is still the same: 651-747-7379.