First of all, I can't wait for Spenny to be the new Bachelor on Channel 5. Thought it was starting today but my aching heart must wait another 7 days for that car-crash-so-bad-yet-so-unbelievably-watchable series. I bet he's going to be a right nob, but hey, isn't that why we love him?!
Talking of Made in Chelsea, I was re-made in Chelsea this week. After coming home from the last A&E visit of previous post, I was back down to the Fulham road the very next day with all the same symptoms. Another endoscopy, and they found a tummy full to the brim of blood and 5 bleeding varicies as the culprits. They were banded with elastic bands to stop any more bleeding by the lovely Dr Steel, who later said to me "I'm never giving you that much valium ever again." Dammit. Bloody worked though, don't remember a single thing unlike the countless other times of retching wretched hell.
They then continued to ply me with drugs to stop this that and the other - antacids, fluids, beta-blockers... anything to reduce the pressure in my portal vein. Beta blockers are never given to chest patients because they cancel out all the broncho dilators (which are beta-antagonists - god you get so geeky living with this), which I bloody need! My chest was tight as hell, and I swear it took them 3 days to order a new blue puffer for me. Wankers. I was also given IV cipro. I am never having that ever again! Cipro in tablet form are known for their crippling tummy aches, but IV's are a whole other ball game!! Never have it! Those of you who have - you know. Think running to the loo. Fast. Eventually I refused the cipro, to junior doctors' horror. I never refuse treatment because I know in the long run it'll do you good, but I did. Took tablets instead. (compromise!) I wanted to refuse everything else, because I was in one of those jaded, discontented, pissed-off moods, but I knew I needed the three days of the reducing the pressure meds if I wanted this whole trauma to stop. They also made me really queesy, and the anti-nausea drugs made me feel EVEN MORE nauseous! I don't get that at all.
After the first day my haemoglobin was hovering around 6 (should be 10). Just before they knew this they sent me down to have a liver ultrasound, and I passed out while waiting for the porter to take me back up again. 1 day and 4 units of blood later I had regained some colour in my cheeks, and was feeling much perkier. The 'hovering mass of freckles' Laura finally had a background on which they could be placed. Not so Twilight-chic, which is always a good thing. I was really quite worried though because since Sunday night I had had hardly eaten or drank anything - I think because I was feeling so sick on the meds and, well, i'm not really sure. A tummy full of blood maybe? After the banding I wasn't allowed to eat for almost a day, and my food pipe remained unbelievably tender for quite a while... but even today i'm struggling. I managed some thai coconut soup and a bit of sticky rice from my fav Thai place, but it startles me how my appetite has diminished. I really hope it bounces back super quick, otherwise i'm in big trouble with Addenbrookes, and the Brompton of course.
Addenbrookes were aware of all that was going on - Chelsea and West phoned them constantly regarding what was going on - do you think they'll bump me up the list if they knew my liver is failing like this?! To be honest i'm not sure how long it can hold on - this happened quite out of the blue and I suppose it could happen again at any time. My ultrasound wasn't pretty - 20cm spleen, 14cm distended portal vein (yeah wtf?! surely they mean lengthways not width, otherwise that's craaaazy big) and my liver has so many scars and nodules and bumps. Thankfully STILL no fluid - it'll be a sad day if/when I start to get fluid. I think i'll pop.
I hate to think that some people bring this upon themselves. Drinking related liver disease and whatnot. Surely if people knew how traumatic, uncomfortable, painful, tedious, AWFUL this is, they wouldn't do it! But people know what smoking does, yet continue to smoke. They know drugs kill, but continue taking them. Once you've reached a point of pain, it's too late. It's sad. I would never wish this upon anyone. I'm often cynical "yeah they brought it on themselves", but it's hard to stop when you don't actually know what it feels like to hit that wall at the other end. Lucky are those who can jump over it or break through it, but many many don't, do they?
Saying that, I often think about drinking post tx. Haven't decided what i'm going to do, maybe it'll become obvious. Maybe i'll be a changed wee lass and be all "life is amazing I don't drink I just drink naturreeeee and all it's beautyyyy!". (Yeah the Romantics said that but still drank. Just think of Byron. Hardcore leg-end.) But if it works, why not give it something to work for? I'm never going to go bonkers - I think that'll be really bad taste - but i'll treat it to a g&t or two every now and then... everyone loves a g&t every now and then. If you don't... um... hello?