"There's a myth that anyone who has a liver problem has brought it on themselves" This quote is from a Crohn's disease patient living with a blocked portal vein hoping for a liver transplant (Independent 31st Oct 2010)

Monday, 28 June 2010


Reese Witherspoon goes through the test results with me. Something called Alfa fetoprotein is raised. Healthy adults don't have any in their blood. I've got 42 too much! I look it up on the internet, as my only memory of AFP is the test done in pregnancy to see if the baby has neural defects. Reese tells me in healthy adults a raised AFP indicates three possibles: 1) hepatitis 2) cirrhosis 3) liver cancer. For liver cancer it's typically 400+, so as I know about 1) I assume it's that. I never get 3 apples on the slot machines, or 3 numbers right in the Lottery, so it couldn't be all three, could it?
Reese isn't convinced and gets in touch with a consultant chemical pathologist. He recommends a liver ultrasound and a referal to a gastroenterologist.

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

Early June

GCSE's in full swing, helping with revision at home.
Muscles aching and sore all over. Getting up and down stairs is painful, standing up from the sofa takes effort. I borrow MIL's ex-girl guide crafted walking stick! It's probably the 13 hour days of care shifts I'm doing at the moment.
T persuades me to go to the doctor. It's a new GP, covering for maternity leave. She reminds me of Reese Witherspoon. Although she describes my symptoms in vague terms of "fatigue,malaise and general myalgia" she orders lots of blood tests: full blood count, immunolgobulins, electrolytes, liver function, thyroid. Fans of ER or Holby City would rattle these off as FBC, LFT, ALT, ESR, CK U&E etc!