Monthly Archives: June 2014

Weekend Round-up: June 28-29

Today is the 3 month anniversary of our dueling liver surgeries, or as Rebecca coined it: Livernalia! How did 3 months go by so quickly?

This weekend was summer in New England at its finest. Sunny days, not too hot, and cool at night. We decided to push ourselves a bit on Saturday and went for a two-hour walk in the woods. Only after we were done did Derek tell me that he was planning on Saturday being his rest day. Whoops! Sunday we headed north and took an eating tour of Portland, ME. We took a lot of photos all weekend, which I will now share with all of you!

Saturday

I waffled a bit on our activity for Saturday at first–I was considering a trek to Somerville for the Harvard Book Store warehouse sale–but decided that visiting another state park and getting lots of steps in was a good plan. We made our way east to Pawtuckaway State Park. You may remember last weekend’s adventure took us to Bear Brook. We’re apparently doing an unofficial tour of New Hampshire’s State Parks.

Derek saw a snake, I saw a frog.

Derek saw a snake, I saw a frog.

A collection of ridiculous selfies, plus a shot of me that Google+ decided to "enhance." It makes me look tan, so I'll allow it.

A collection of ridiculous selfies, plus a shot of me that Google+ decided to “enhance.” It makes me look tan, so I’ll allow it.

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Back To Work

Last Monday, with very little fanfare–my choice–I returned to work. I work part-time so I figured I could manage my standard 16 hour work week. I got to the station and was greeted warmly, shared a few war stories and then got to work. I was only gone for about two months, but I was still pleasantly surprised that I remembered the process to follow in order to complete my tasks. There’s also a new coffee maker in the staff kitchen and it is super pretty.

I split my time at work between two departments, so my first day back I worked two hours in one area and then two on the other side of the building. When I reached my fourth hour, I was positively knackered. I was so confused, I felt great when I was at home, certainly well enough to decide to go back to work. Derek and I had been going on long walks, I’d been cooking all of our meals, why would I get tired after sitting at a desk creating web posts and editing sound?

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MRCP

The following .gif is comprised of many of the images I received when I requested my medical files from the pre-transplant tests and my post-transplant hospital stay. These images are of my abdominal region during my pre-transplant MRCP, or magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography on April 7th.

The procedure requires injection of a dye into the vein, and then the MRI picks up the dye as it travels around the body. Eventually, it reaches the liver, where it’s sent down the bile ducts and also collects in the gall bladder. The small white blob is likely the gall bladder, and the spider web above and to the left are the liver bile ducts. They’re supposed to be smooth and like tree branches, i.e. getting smaller as they go away from the main bile duct and gall bladder, but you can see areas where they’re more balloon animal-like with larger and smaller sections. That’s indicative of PSC.  I’m not really sure what the other white blobs are. I hate to guess and be entirely wrong. So I’ll let the comments to this post reign supreme. I just like looking at the abdomen spin.

 

MRI-Derek

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Week-by-Week Summary

Logan and I have a lot of data from the hospital such as my blood work results. I have also been tracking my weight since leaving the hospital to see the progress back to an acceptable BMI (body mass index). What we don’t have written is routine progress updates, other than what we write in this blog.

When Logan and I went into the transplant, the recovery time was given as anywhere from 2 to 6 months and Social Security considers liver transplant a disability for a minimum of 1 year from transplant. As someone who likes to plan, it was a little unnerving to have such an open-ended recovery timeline. I know someone will be asking me what recovery was like, and how long it takes so I’m writing down some of my thoughts and physical abilities from the past weeks:

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Root Beer Review #4 – maine root handcrafted rootbeer

Stealing (poorly) Greta's awesome photo style for objects.

Stealing (poorly) Greta’s awesome photo style for objects.

maine root handcrafted root beer is this week’s choice, and it’s a local choice – only one state away.  The label is mostly brown like a paper bag so you don’t have to conceal your root beer habits – the bottle has already done that for you.  The company prides itself on their Fair Trade Certified status, they use cane sugar instead of high fructose corn syrup, and their root beer is handcrafted. They have a link from their website to a ‘grassroots’ (I’m not sure how grassroots) campaign called FreeRangeRootBeer.com touting that all root beer should be “free from chemicals, artificial sweeteners and confined spaces.” I agree, the 47 bottles waiting in my basement have plenty of room to move around as they see fit.

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