The intrepid walker has plans to walk, somewhere, today. I was released from Portage Health hospital on Saturday, and spent yesterday not accomplishing much. I have already been back to Portage Health for follow up blood tests this morning and I am awaiting results. I hope they remember to call me...
When released on Saturday, my hemoglobin level was at 7.9. I believe that is a new low for me, but is apparently not scary low or they would not have let me go. My bilirubin, which sprung to a high of 5.5 on Thursday, was at 2.0 -- high, but not out of my range. I had no fever to report for the last three days of my stay. So, as I understand the situation -- my liver appears to be going back to normal, my pancreas is well-rested and functioning normally, and my gall bladder is healing quickly. In fact, they were a bit surprised at how quickly I responded to treatment.
That was nice to hear.
I am still taking some strong antibiotics (Cipro and Flagyl) to provide ongoing, broad spectrum treatment -- for six days. After that, I will be back on my normal "dirty dozen" of medications and supplements each day.
It appears that the crisis is over.
Tell it to the surgeon...
However that does not mean that my gall bladder should not be afraid...very afraid. They don't recommend taking it out now, but feel it should come out in the not-to-distant future. As long as old GB behaves, they want to let him hang around while I continue my journey toward a functional immune system. In this case, time truly is on my side. Also, if this is done when my gall bladder is not inflamed, it can likely be done as microsurgery, or what the surgeon called "four Band Aid" surgery. Cool...
I can hardly believe it. 175 days have passed since my stem cell transplant from my brother, Kevin. His T-cells are still making their presence known from time to time, and we are still constantly on the watch for signs of their handiwork. So far, however, the chronic GVHD (Graft vs. Host Disease) period has been rather uneventful.
The whole gall badder episode had nothing at all to do with GVHD or my transplant or my leukemia. According to several doctors over the past week, it was just rotten luck that my gall bladder cast a stone into the biliary duct (or biliary tree, see image) and it stuck, apparently plugging up the system for awhile -- inflaming the liver, causing pancreatitis, and a secondary infection in the gall bladder. An MRI showed nothing, so it must have dislodged, passing from memory and from my system.
Why no new photos?
Would you believe my new Nikon CoolPix camera is on the fritz? The viewing screen shows, not the image (or menus, etc.), but something resembling modern art -- blocks of color or black and some small fragments of images. So, no pictures until I send it to Nikon for repair (under warranty, I hope).
Thank you all for your prayers and good thoughts, both while I was in hospital and ongoing as I endeavor to heal.
God bless and good afternoon,