"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)

Thursday, 17 February 2011

Doctor's diagnosis

Went with T to see my GP yesterday. Apart from a home visit just after surgery when I was worried about fluid retention and a couple of phone consults about my work 'sick note' I realise I haven't seen a doctor (as opposed to consultant at the hospital) since I had the liver resection over 4 months ago.
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.

Stiffness diary
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'.


  1. Love the picture. Glad you're feeling brighter and less 'foggy'. Let that sunshine in! I'm jealous of the excellent night of sleep. We probably all are. Well done. I hope your pre-biopsy blood tests show reduced inflammation. You've been inflammatory long enough. :-)

    Have a great weekend,

    Steve xx

  2. Fantastic news about the tumour marker from the previous post. You must be very relieved.

    It must be hell having to work with such low energy levels and stiffness. I hope the steroids work a little miracle for you and yo can find a dose that doesn't aggravate the hepaptitus.

  3. Thanks Anonymous. How sweet, I like the idea of a Hippy Happy Heppy Hepaptitus day (it is hellish to spell!)