I have regular blood tests due to having IBD. And when I say regular, I mean at least once a quarter; though it has been a lot more frequent than this. At one point, it was one a week. I was forced to alternate arms as one would have only just healed when it came to have another.
For the past couple of years, my ALTs have been raised. This is a pretty standard liver marker. The doctors have always put the elevation down to a ‘fatty liver’ and chastised me for being overweight.
However, before I went on holiday this year – end of August time – my blood tests came back crazy. My white cell count was too low and most of my liver markers were all over the place. My ALT was up as usual, but this time it was joined by its friends Mr ALP, Mrs GGT and Master
Billy Reubin bilirubin.
I went away on holiday a bit scared.
When I came back, it was straight to the doctors for more blood tests. The results of which show my white cell count as being normal for me but it seems that my liver has been partying hard. Some more tests are ordered and it seems like my liver is an animal.
So off I trek to the Churchill hospital, Oxford for an MRI. My liver was about to have its first photo shoot.
About 3 days later I get a call from my IBD nurse who says that I need to come in and see a liver specialist as my MRI showed ‘a few abnormalities’.
So, Friday morning I traipsed into Oxford to the John Radcliffe hospital to see what they had to say. I met my specialist, a lovely man called Dr Chapman – the UK leading expert in Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis – which, he informed me, I have.
To save you following the link, I’ll sum it up:
- Quite rare
- No diagnostic pattern, so in some it progresses fast, in others slow
- My liver will eventually destroy itself and I will need a transplant.
So, that kind of bummed me out.
I have a great partner. He is wonderful, caring and mine. We have been together for nearly six years and about two months ago we decided we should make it formal and have a civilisation. This is planned for May 2011. Known to us as ‘2011’.
‘We should invite this person to 2011.’
‘Do we want champagne in 2011?’
‘Be nice to me or we won’t do 2011.’
Without him knowing, I decided that it would be good to order some engagement rings; or should that be enGAYgement rings?
I ordered two rings of the same type from Justin Duance, a small independent jewellery maker in the south of England. What is wonderful about them is he works with both metal and wood. So even though I ordered the same ring, I changed the wood in one of them so they were unique to each of us.
They generally take about two weeks to be made and turn up. I placed my order on Tuesday last week and when I got into the office on Friday – bummed as you can imagine I would be – I had received an email from the person who looks after our mail saying that I had a package that had set off the scanner.
To my amazement, it was the rings. More than a week before I expected them.
All in all, I think the ups that day, outweighed the downs.