It was Wednesday. We had just left the Cleveland Clinic, and I told Mom how excited I was that I wouldn’t have to come back for three whole weeks!! It had been months since I got a break this long, and with the splenectomy behind me and the fact that it was my one-year transplant anniversary, it felt so good. I knew the CT scan and ultrasound could come back with abnormal results, and I knew there was an ongoing issue with a vein to my liver narrowing, but I wasn’t worried. It was a good day.
Then Thursday, I got a phone call. Funny how one phone call always has the power to change so much.
It was my transplant coordinator. The ultrasound showed there might be more narrowing, but the radiologists and surgeons discussed my case and decided they’d need a different kind of CT to be sure about the plan of treatment. I had to come in Friday for an abdominal CT because the matter was urgent.
Phone calls like that have been getting familiar, so the future scenario had definitely crossed my mind.
I went in Friday for the CT with IV contrast – no big deal. I’d already had a few earlier this month, and dozens more in my lifetime. But at the end of the day, I got a phone call, again from Molly my transplant coordinator, saying the narrowing has worsened and the portal vein and left renal vein to my liver are too constricted. There isn’t enough blood getting into my liver, and my surgeon, the head of transplant at the Clinic, and a couple of interventive radiologists have discussed my case. They all came to the agreement that I need to come in as inpatient Tuesday morning (Monday is Labor Day) to begin a process to open the veins. Tuesday, they will put me on heparin therapy to thin my newly platelet-loaded blood, and Wednesday morning they will put me under general anesthesia (thank goodness) while they go in through my liver and feed a catheter through to the veins in question. They will then inflate balloons in the veins and pull out. If the veins stay open on their own, that’s great. If not, they will put stents in to keep them wide open. Knowing how I handle anesthesia, I’ll be in and out for the rest of the day, and then Thursday, I will have an ultrasound to see if the veins are doing well. If they are, I can go home. Let’s pray they will be.
So that’s my week. And there goes next week. I was supposed to start driving, go back to my nanny family, and basically get on with my life without my spleen, finally feeling good. But sometimes life has other plans in store for us, so I have no choice but to again, bow low and do what’s best for my body, reluctantly conforming the rest of my world to oblige.
Your prayers are so greatly appreciated. This is a risky procedure, plus there are so many risks to undergoing anesthesia. And lately I’ve been completely emotionally drained, and honestly, really struggling. Having a hard time staying afloat right now.
Thanks for always being here. I love you all so much.