Thursday, August 7, 2014

things have got to change around here...

Health is a funny thing.  People say things like "when you've got your health, you've got everything"...which is pretty true.  When you feel sick, it really takes a lot out of you...even a little sick.

Having grown up with a father who had MS and was progressively getting worse, you'd have thought that all of us kids (there's 5 of us) would have gotten a clue about the importance of taking good care of ourselves.  There is not a one of us that wants to even come close to what our dad had to go through...especially in the last days.  Or what my mother had to go through while being his caregiver.

But alas, we all have our crosses to bear.

I've felt a little sick every now and then for a good portion of my adult life.  Sometimes is was self-induced, such as a horrible hang over, but I haven't drunk like that for years.

At the beginning of the year I noticed a pain in my stomach, perhaps my intestines...right under my ribcage.  Went to see a new doctor who did some blood work and informed me that I have chronic kidney disease, stage 2...but it's nothing to worry about.  Just stay away from Advil (metabolizes through the kidneys)...I decided that I'd stop drinking pop (specifically diet) and replace that with mostly water.  Also, I thought that I should stop eating fast food.

Then I set myself up with an appointment with a GI doctor.  The doctor I chose to see is related to me through my mom...his father and my mother are cousins.  So what does that make us?  Well, we're pretty much strangers.

He had blood work done and prescribed a CT Scan and Colonoscopy and EGD. So far I've done the blood work and CT Scan.  I did this on July 8 and never heard a thing from his office about what they might have found.

I was all ready to have my Colonoscopy on August 4 but the week or so prior, my heart was fluttering so much that I thought it would not be wise to be put under, so I called to postpone until mid-September.

While on the phone to reschedule, I asked about my CT Scan results.  I was placed on hold while they checked.  The doctor got on the phone and quickly told me I have a blood tumor, it's benign and it's nothing to worry about.  He wants me to get another CT Scan in three months.  He told me to get an EKG at my PCP's office and he would be fine with me rescheduling the colonoscopy.

When I hung up with him, I was a bit stunned.  Tumor.

I called my sisters and my mom and they had so many questions that I couldn't answer, such as how do they know it's benign?  Where is it?

So...I called back and was told by the nurse that it's in my liver.  Oh!  I asked if there was anything that I can do to fix this?  She said "all you asked me was where it is...that's the only thing I asked the doctor, but you can pick up the report at our office".  More stunned.  Liver.  Liver...my grandma died of liver disease...

Friday I picked up the report and tried to make an appointment to go over the findings.  He wouldn't be free until the beginning of October!  I waited and read the report when I was with my sister and my mom.  So it seems I have a 9mm X 13mm "tumor" and a cyst in my liver...the liver is also diffusely fatty infiltrated, which means widespread fatty throughout...probably would make a good foie gras for a cannibal.  And a small hiatal hernia.

So, if you're counting, that make three organs; heart, kidneys, liver...

On Monday I went to see my PCP and asked him and the nurse practitioner a bunch of questions.  As it turns out, the "tumor" is a bundle of blood vessels that are intertwined like a rubber band ball.  It's possible I've had this for quite some time.  Nothing I can do about it other than if it starts bothering me (as in pain), then I can get a minorly invasive procedure done to have it removed.  Should not worry about it at this point.

The fatty liver can be addressed by diet.  He said any diet will do.  But I have decided to try really hard to stay away from white refined sugar, coffee and I looked up what foods are good for the liver and try to incorporate at least one of those items in my meal plan every day.  Also, I am either biking or walking just about every day.  And in the meantime, trying to lose weight.

I am once again using the MyFitnessPal app and have lost a pound already.  That's 1/30th of my goal ;-)

In three months, I'll have the CT Scan again and see how I've done with the diet, my fatty liver and see if there is any difference in the size or shape of the blood tumor (also known as hemangioma).

UGH.