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Lisa's 2nd Chance Journey
Oct 10, 2018
I mentioned a while back, that I would be starting a Caring Bridge page for ease of everyone wanting to follow my journey through transplant. My story started in 2010, just after my 40th birthday. I had been having epigastric issues on and off for months. I went in for day surgery to have my gall bladder removed laparascopically through my belly button. As is typical, I had labs drawn prior to the procedure. Upon reviewing the labs, Dr. Buchanan (ARMC surgeon) asked me had I ever had liver issues and I told her no. She stated that my bilirubin (the stuff that makes you yellow) was kind of elevated but meds, or other factors could have caused that, so she reassured me. I could tell when I woke up from the procedure that something was wrong. My husband was sitting beside me and I can read him like a book. Also, I felt SO sick. I was vomiting constantly. Not the reaction I'd ever had to any procedure. Dr. Frei (my favorite surgeon) had to be called in during the procedure. Due to the liver malfunction, one of my umbilical veins was engorged (backed up) and was "knicked" during surgery. This caused massive bleeding and from what I understand, the OR was hopping for a minute. I was in and out of the hospital a couple of times, but at that time, there were very limited GI physicians in Aiken. I knew my Mom's GI guy at University since she had transplanted not too long before then. I absolutely adored Dr. Schwartz. He did a biopsy and testing, and determined that I had Stage 2-3 Cirrhosis and referred me to MUSC as he did Mom. The Cirrhosis is tricky...… there could be a genetic component (Alpha-1 Anti-Trypsin Deficiency), but all of my doctors seemed to feel it was not the perpetrated but it was NAFLD, Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease from diet, weight, etc. That was my culprit. I have managed it over the years, but still advanced to Stage IV Cirrhosis. This is my page to keep everyone updated..... I have so many family and friends who stand by me and check on me, this is much easier and less exhausting to update. :)