Back to Square One! (Hepatitis C / Liver Transplant (Hep C) HCV Blog)

Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Back to Square One! (Hepatitis C / Liver Transplant (Hep C) HCV Blog)


It seems like ages since I last sat here and typed a note for my blog. In actual fact, I’m lying in bed with my laptop, much the same as I did before my transplant. Much has changed since then, in fact it's fair to say I'm not the man I once was! At that time I had no energy, no appetite and a jaundice yellowy colour. I didn't know whether I would make it to the top of the transplant list or whether hepatitis C would finally have its way and shutdown my liver and me a for good.

The good news is obviously that I did get to the top of the list, however I find myself yet again with no energy or appetite. When I first came out of hospital I felt on top of the world. I believe now that that was mainly due to the amount of drugs and steroids I had been given following my operation. I thought from there that I would go on to get better and better. I really pushed myself at every opportunity. Even whilst walking the dog I would march rather than walk. I had gone to my local leisure centre to enrol for full use of the gym and had even dragged out my rusting bicycle from the garage!

I felt like I was doing fantastic, we had booked to go on holiday to Center Parcs long before talk of ever having an operation and seeing as how I was doing so well we decided to go. I was warned not to go in the pool area due to risk of infection however I found when I got there that the thought of even leaving my cabin seemed like an insurmountable task. Suddenly it all seemed to be catching up on me. I could do nothing else other than sleep and sleep and sleep. I was forced to return home early from my holiday as both my children had contracted a cold and I knew that in my condition I would be bound to catch it quickly. Once home, again all I could do was sleep. The following Friday I was due at St Jimmy's for my weekly clinic. A friend of mine had offered to drive me to the hospital which I accepted. Surprisingly on the day I woke and felt quite good, probably due to the amount of sleep I had just had. Unfortunately whilst travelling to clinic we were hit by an eight wheeler truck on a roundabout just out of Leeds! Glass smashed, airbags went off and we were sent hurtling down a slip road with the car on its side. The truck struck us in the left hand side of the car, my side. Surprisingly as we came to a stop and the car righted itself on all four wheels I realised that we were both unscathed even if the car was completely written off! After being checked out that the hospital I was allowed home.

At this point I was still feeling good and I remember announcing on Twitter and Facebook that I felt like I was really ‘getting there’ and ‘coming out the other side’ However, within a week my condition seemed to worsen daily until eventually Mandy called the hospital and told them that she thought something was wrong. I was feverish, running a temperature and felt in pain. I was readmitted and found under ultrasound scan that I had a ‘collection’ in my abdomen of fluid. It turned out that my new liver was leaking bile into my abdomen. As I had been given only part of a liver, the leak was coming from a bile duct that would have run from the right lobe to the left lobe. Normally the bile duct would have repaired itself however I believe that overdoing it and subsequent car smash had caused it to stop repairing itself and to start leaking.

A ‘drain’ was put into my abdomen (which was bloody painful) and then I underwent a procedure to place a plastic ‘stent’ in my liver to stem the leak. This was done by putting a camera down my throat, going through my stomach to the liver (again bloody painful). I was then placed on intravenous antibiotics and painkillers and left to my own devices over a very long bank holiday weekend. Fortunately I slept and slept and slept until after a total time of just over three weeks in hospital I was released.

I have now been home for a few days and have realised that getting up and trying to do too much is the surest way back into hospital! People keep telling me to listen to my body but I have realised that my body is a lying sod! It keeps telling me that I'm fine until the point comes when it decides it's just going to shut down without warning! I don't want to eat or drink and have no energy, I can just about manage to take my daily intake of tablets and then all I can do is sleep. Which pretty much leads me back to where I started from, back to square one! Actually I have much to be thankful for, I am alive and can just about kick and have lost my horrible yellow colour! I'm just learning to calm my arse down a bit. I spend a lot of time in bed for the moment but every morning I have my two children crawl into bed with me for a cuddle and a fantastic wife who loves and cares for all of us, and if I ever needed more reason to be thankful to my donor then that is all I need. I still have hep C and will have to address that one day but for now I have all I need.

Thanks to everybody who have written words of encouragement and support and I'm sure in good time I'll get back to you, but no rush, eh!

Keep well everyone... Ian.

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What Is Hepatitis C?

Hepatitis C Information:

Hepatits C is a blood-borne viral disease which can cause liver inflamation, fibrosis, cirrhosis and liver cancer. The Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is spread by blood-to-blood contact with infected person's blood. Many people with HCV infection have no symptoms and are unaware of the need to seek treatment. Hepatitis C infects an estimated 150-200 million people worldwide. It is the leading cause of liver Transplant...

Hepatitis C is an inflamation of the liver caused by infection with the Hepatitis C virus is one of the five known hepatitis viruses: A, B, C, D & E. Hepatitis C was previousley known as non-A non-B hepatitis prior to isolation of the virus in 1989.

Symptoms of Acute Hepatitis C:

Acute Hepatitis C refers to first 6 months after infection with HCV. Remarkably, 60% - 70% of people develop no symptoms during the acute phase. In the minority of patients who experience acute phase symptoms, thet are generally mild and non-specific, and rarely lead to specific diagnoses of Hepatitis C. Symptoms of acute hepatitis C include decreased appetite, fatigue, abdominal pain, jaundice, itching and flu-like symptoms.

Symptoms of Chronic Hepatitis C:

Chronic Hepatitis C is defined as infection with the Hepatitis C virus persisting for more than six months. The course of chronic hepatitis C varies considerably from one person to another. Virtually all people infected with HCV have evidence of inflamation on liver biopsy however, the rate of progression of liver scarring (fibrosis) shows significant inter-individual variability.

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