This morning, after talking to some other cirrhosis patients, I figured out that yesterday’s symptoms had nothing to do with a kidney flare up. It was because I hadn’t eaten! When my blood sugar gets low, I get so sick. I get shaky, nauseous, sweaty and loose my appetite. I don’t understand why, I don’t have diabetes. However, maybe they should check that again… anyways, the good news is that I really don’t think it was my kidney acting up, this girl just needing to eat some grub! Mmm and let me tell you, Kelly (I’m staying at her house for the week) makes some ridiculously good food! Last night we had tacos (with my brother-in-law’s awesome salsa).
Today Kelly and my mom went to San Francisco again. I would love to be able to go with them but unless it’s necessary, it is just too much for me right now. I’m a certified couch potato! Haha However, I can’t wait to be a certified energy-addict post-transplant. I can’t wait to get back on the wakeboard! (Speaking of, you should see my adorable 8 year old niece, she was practicing in the living room standing on her wakeboard having her daddy and uncle pull her with a rope, she is a wakeboarding pro for being 8!) Ok back to San Francisco, sorry for my rabbit trails, today Kelly is having a chest x-ray, EKG and a physical. I hope and pray it goes quick and easy for them!
Now, I wanted to write a little about my paracentesis. This is mostly for the benefit of other cirrhosis patients who don’t know what to expect. It was my first time (and I’m sure everyone has a different story of how theirs went) but thought I would tell a little about it. For those reading who have no idea what a paracentesis is, here is a quick blurb I copied from webmd. Also, if you don’t like hearing the details of medical procedures, stop here. =)
“Paracentesis is a procedure to take out fluid that has collected in the abdominal cavity (peritoneal fluid). This fluid buildup is called ascites. The fluid is taken out using a long, thin needle put through the belly. Paracentesis also may be done to take the fluid out to relieve belly pressure or pain in people with cancer or cirrhosis.
I went in and unfortunately had Dr. Evil (you know, the one from austin powers), ok not really, but he could have been. He numbed my stomach with a lidocaine shot, it felt kind of like a small bee sting. This wasn’t as bad as the lidocaine shot they gave me for my liver biopsy though. The doctor was working with an ultrasound tech. The tech used the ultrasound to locate the best spot to insert needle to remove the excess fluid. It was kind of neat to see where all the fluid was. I’m not gonna lie, it did hurt when he stuck the draining needle in but it wasn’t too bad. I layed there for about 45 minutes while they drained off 3 liters of excess fluid from my stomach. The doctor left as soon as the needle was inserted. At the end, when the fluid was gone, that is when the pain began. Now I don’t know if that is normal or if it is because my body metabolizes pain killers at a very fast rate and the lidocaine had worn off by that point. It was severe stomach cramping type of pain, so the tech called the doctor. After he didn’t show up, she just pulled the needle out. That hurt even worse. I don’t want to scare anyone and of all the stories I have read about having these procedures done, I haven’t heard any like mine. Most of them are easy and pretty painless. When the doctor finally decided to show up again, I told him how much pain I was in, his response, “well I would give you more lidocaine but that would mean that I have to watch you because I would be giving you a drug” (he also said something about being too busy!) Well, how rude of me to even think of being an inconvenience to him!
Anyways, I was super excited to have the procedure because I wanted to be skinny minny again. However, that was not the case. I was really disappointed that it didn’t take off all the weight. This was probably because not all of the fluid/edema/ascites was not in my abdomen but the remaining bit was in my tissue. You can’t exactly stick a needle into tissue. So I was happy to get off 8 pounds via paracentesis (the remaining I lost with diuretics and homeopathics) but at the same time I was sad that it wasn’t more. In the end, I just have to make up my mind to be thankful in everything and remind myself that it could be so much worse!