As promised, I wanted to provide an update this week once I knew more about the next steps with my PSC. I’ll start with the good news: I have been feeling really good the past week with no more bouts of nausea and very little itching. Knock on wood…
THE BAD NEWS:
I had an MRI a few days ago and received the results from the doctor’s office yesterday. It showed some strictures (narrowing) in the liver bile ducts again and the doctors would like to conduct another ERCP to dilate and place a stent or two to open them up.
As you may remember from a previous post, the last time I had an ERCP procedure I ended up in the hospital with an infection. In order to prevent this from happening again, the plan is be placed on antibiotics before the surgery and take them for 10 days.
I was able to schedule the ERCP for next Tuesday and if all goes well, I’ll be home that evening with just a mild sore throat. The doctor will also need to remove (or replace) the stents with another ERCP in approximately four weeks.
As always, I’ll provide an update if things change (which they seem to do often with PSC). 🙂
Thanks for joining me on the journey.
~Liver Life to The Fullest
If you were you ask my family, friends, coworkers, and myself (even just a few months ago), they would all tell you I am not a writer and I’m not very outspoken. I’ve never been one to journal and have always dreaded large writing projects at school or work. So you may be asking yourself, “Why is she starting a blog?”
The Short Answer:
God placed this blog on my heart to share my PSC journey with others.
The Long Answer:
I was recently diagnosed with a rare chronic liver condition called Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis (or PSC for short). Instead of giving in to my writing fears, apprehensions, and urges to run away, I want to bring as much good out of my diagnosis as possible by sharing my story. In thinking through the idea of a blog, there are three main reasons I’m starting this adventure:
- To Increase PSC Awareness/Education
When most people learn of a new ailment or diagnosis they often turn to the internet for some reassurance that they’re not alone and/or look for guidance on what to expect. This is true of me (and my family) when we first learned I had PSC. I know, I know… all doctors tell you not to read about diseases on the internet… In my case it really helped me understand the condition better and learn a little about what to expect or what questions to ask (I’ll cover some of this info in another post for those of you not familiar with PSC).
Fortunately there’s some great PSC resources/forums/foundations already started. One thing that helped me the most was reading other PSCers’ stories but I often found they were from people who were at the stage of waiting for a liver transplant or post-transplant. (Disclaimer: I’m currently in the early stages – more details on my journey later.) My hope is that this blog can provide a glimpse of what it’s like living with a chronic condition from the early stages to wherever it may lead.
If sharing my story helps one person learning of their PSC diagnosis or encourages someone to consider being an organ donor, all this writing will be worth it.
- To Update My Family & Friends of My Journey
Many of you reading this may be freaking out a little thinking, “How did I not know she was sick?!” Mainly because it’s a newer diagnosis, I’ve primarily been feeling good (more on that later), often there are not a lot of external signs with PSC, and I’ve gotten good at pushing through some of the symptoms.
I’m hopeful this blog will be a good way to stay connected with my support system and provide updates in one place as they happen.
- For My Own Internal Processing
I’ve had some time to process what my diagnosis means, but have also learned my thoughts and feelings about PSC can change in an instant. Every person with the condition has a unique experience and no two PSCers have the same story. I’ll be using this blog to help reflect on my journey and what it means for the future.
Additionally, living with this chronic condition means countless doctor visits, blood draws, hospital stays, Radiology scans, etc. – all of which can quickly become a blur and hard to explain with new care providers. This blog will be a good resource to keep track of key events in my PSC life.
In the next few posts I will give you a little background on PSC and walk you through my PSC story starting at the beginning. Forewarning: Those posts may be a little long as we have some catching up to do. Once I’m caught up with posting all the details, my goal will be to post when key updates occur.
Thanks for joining me on this journey.
~Liver Life to the Fullest