The doctor we saw is well respected within the practice, but hadn't seen me as a patient for years. He admitted he had spoken with another GP who knows me and updated himself. Said my 'story' made his hair stand on end.
Sorry Dr L, you don't really look like this!
Knowing that each appointment slot is brief T had summarised my history in a business-like way onto one A4 sheet.
Dr L thinks my aches and pains are more likely polymyalgia than the cirrhosis. Standard treatment for this is the same as for most autoimmune conditions - steroids. Just the thing Dr C advises not good for dormant viral hepatitis! Dr L's plan is I take steroids for a week and then stop taking them and see how long I remain pain free. Yes there are potential risks that if I came to rely on the steroids it might compromise the hepatitis. On the plus side steroids dont compromise cirrhosis. If I rely on painkillers I'm more likely to damage the liver further and risk internal bleeding. It's a risk assessment situation. After 8 months of living with these debilitating symptoms whilst recovering from surgery and trying to get back to a normal life balance, I'm happy to live with this risk. I'm due another set of pre-biopsy blood tests on Tuesday 22nd Feb, and these should show if the steroids have started to reduce the inflammation.
Wednesday: Averagely active day including 2 hours at work. Shoulders, neck and hands stiff and sore. Took half dose tablet pm. Excellent night sleep.
Thursday: Neck and hands slightly stiff on waking. Flew down stairs no problem at all, hurray! Tablet at 11am. By 1pm no stiffness at all except slightly in right hand. Low energy levels but feel brighter and less 'foggy'.