Monday, October 4, 2010

Did you know?

If you are anything like me, you probably haven't thought a whole lot about your liver.

I'll be honest, I had to do a quick refresher course to even remember where it was about six months back. :-)

Now it seems to be giving me a few problems, so I thought I'd look up some facts about it.

(if you don't want to know any facts just skip to where I write about my biopsy. If you don't want to know about my biopsy adventures just skip the post entirely. My liver won't be offended in the least:-)

Did you know....

* The liver is the largest organ of the body.

* The liver affects nearly every physiological process of the body and performs over 500 different chemical functions.

* The liver filters over a liter of blood each minute. (Wow)

* You probably don't think a lot about it, yet you can't live without it. (no kidding)

* You can't feel it working, yet it plays a central role in nearly all body functions.

* It's your body's "protector," and damage to it can result in serious, potentially life-threatening consequences.

I'm actually glad I wasn't "up" on all my liver knowledge before I went in for my biopsy.

I would have been even more nervous than I was because apparently the liver is a bit more valuable than my lungs. Not that I can live without my lungs, but at least one is dispensable.

I'm thinking those 500 chemical functions wouldn't do so well if my liver malfunctioned. No wonder my doctor is a tad worried.

And hence the reason you are now being treated to a play by play of my liver biopsy.

Simply because I know you've been dying to know what they are like.

I put very little thought into what I would wear because I knew I would be changing shortly after arriving. Just comfy sweats and a tank top.

Why am I sharing this? Not sure. It really has nothing to do with my biopsy.

I did, however, make time to paint my toenails. It seemed very important that morning, for some reason.

Probably the same reason you paint your toenails before you have a baby.

And when you figure out that reason, let me know, because it did seem a wee little bit foolish to be painting my toe nails minutes before I walked out the door for a biopsy.

Grandma Linda met me promptly for my check in.

I always feel like I lose control the moment I check in and get that tape put around my wrist.

It's a piece of paper, yet all of a sudden I become a little kid who must do whatever is asked.

It isn't bad, I've already agreed to everything, just feels..... I don't know, helpless.

So, I meekly followed my guide to the room and sat in the designated chair.

(by the way, I'm so glad Grandma Linda gave up her day to be with me. It made everything so much better!)

The lady across from me already had an i.v and hospital gown on.

I knew my moment for the inevitable struggle with the gown had come.

The nurse bustled around, got my i.v. stuff ready and asked if I had an arm preference.

Does anyone have an arm preference?

Yes, please, it feels so much better to be jabbed in the right one than the left.

I know they mean do some veins work better than others, but for me neither one likes to have a needle jammed into it.

I let them pick and close my eyes.

She started the process and mentally I wondered if she had forgotten the gown.

Not wanting to ruin a good thing I kept my mouth shut.

One jab.... not going to take. Hit a valve or something.

Next vein, which according to her are huge, worked out better.

I'm not sure if I am happy I have "huge" veins or feel a bit perturbed about it.

But, regardless of the vein size, the worst part was over.

She explained the risks - internal bleeding, lung collapsing (say what?), etc., etc., etc.,

Ok, maybe this was more serious than I thought.

Let the waiting begin. Grandma Linda kept my mind off the risks, thankfully, and if I had been on The Price is Right that day I would have won a awesome stainless steel gas stove. I was one dollar off.

My fellow waitee was in there for a liver biopsy, as well. She had talked to people on facebook that hadn't done so well with their biopsies. Lots of pain, etc.

Drat facebook. Who needs it?

My moment finally came.

Wait, still no hospital gown.

I asked the nurse and she said that for this procedure I didn't have to change.

Not that I wasn't excited, but it felt plain wrong to be climbing up on the operating table dressed in Capri sweats, a black tank and my Brazil flip flops.

Could the doctor do a procedure with me in flip flops?

I wasn't sure about that, but then the drugs started to kick in and nothing much bothered me. :-)

Good thing, too, because as the doctor was prepping the site the nurses came in and asked him what they should do for the previous woman who had a similar procedure done but was experiencing severe pain and having a hard time breathing.

I knew that I should probably be jumping off the table and protesting the needle being inserted into my liver, but....

What can I say, those were delightfully good drugs.

The biopsy went off without a hitch with only about five seconds of somewhat severe pain. Five seconds is nothing. I've had dental appointments that have hurt worse.

I'm telling you - good drugs.

After four hours of recovery time - they are very serious about making sure you aren't bleeding internally - Grandma Linda took me home.

My sisters kept the girls for me while I lay down and licked my wounds.

You know what hurt the worst?

My i.v. sites. They are still a little bruised.

However, even the bruises are worth it for.... you guessed it, the drugs. :-)

The best part is there were absolutely no complications that are associated with Liver biopsies - Praise the Lord! He was totally watching out for me.

Now.... it's just waiting for the results.

Patience, patience, patience.

1 comment:

MommaMindy said...

It always seems after years of bloodwork and IV's that my veins will end up with a permanent hole, like a piercing.

Praying for the results.

By the way, you are a really good writer. I love how you are able to feed me information, I do learn much from you, you make me laugh, and you make me cry.

Mostly, you just make me love you more.