In nine days our amazing pal Jim will be taking on the fitness challenge of his life:
My weight going into surgery on April 14th was 165 lbs. I’m now within a pound of that starting weight!
In high school, I played soccer, lacrosse, hockey and was co-president of the math club; I weighed about 173. Freshman year in college I kept in shape playing rugby (and working on advanced quadratic equations*) until I broke my cheekbone and stopped playing. I remember at some point in college stepping on a scale and seeing 199. I’m pretty sure that’s the most I’ve ever weighed.
One of the symptoms of PSC and ulcerative colitis is weight loss because of the body’s inability to absorb nutrients. As my disease progressed, I fluctuated between 140lbs and 170lbs, never really getting back to my high school weight of 173. I’m very excited to have made so much progress returning to a healthy weight. The nurses and surgeons have warned us that many transplant recipients become a little too portly after a year and need to be reminded about portion control. I don’t think I’ll have that problem.
I’ve been getting a few requests from people wanting root beers to be tasted. I want to remind everyone that I have 40 root beers still in my possession from the initial purchase waiting for me in my basement. At one per week, that’s almost a year’s worth of root beer! If it isn’t in the current stock, it will take a while before I can get to tasting any new suggestions. But, rest assured, I’m taking notes for future purchases.
This week, I chose a root beer from the basement boxes that’s been on the market for a long time: Dad’s Old Fashioned Root Beer. They celebrated their 75th anniversary recently and according to their website, in 1986, Dad’s Root Beer had the second largest share of the root beer category behind A&W. How’s that for market share? You could just call this the Pepsi of the Root Beers.
A couple of liver related items before we get to the photo show from the weekend.
Derek had labs done last week on Monday and Wednesday because of a little miscommunication. On Wednesday, you may recall, his bilirubin was 4.2 and they told us to chill out about it, plus upped his ursodiol to see if that would get the ‘sludge’ in his bile ducts to make their way out. On Friday he got the results from the lab that drew blood in Manchester on Monday and his bilirubin was 2.5. The lesson here is that Bill & Rubin are indeed constantly in flux, and maybe we really should just chill out about it.
Also on Friday, I got a call from my nurse who had the results of my liver volume scan from my MRI last Wednesday. Prior to having 60% of my liver lopped off, my liver volume was: 1132. After about 3 months of growth, my liver is now: 981.99! That means that my little liver is back up to 86.7% of its optimal size. Pretty good! That’s at the high end of the scale according to the doctor. Here’s the super crazy thing about livers: they know when to stop growing. For example, if they do a live donor transplant in a kid and they end up giving him/her a bit too much liver to start out with, say somewhere in the neighborhood of 120% of their original volume, the 20% that isn’t needed will shrink down and THEN, grow as the kid grows. We had this conversation because Derek asked if anyone’s liver has ever grown back to more than 100% and the answer is no. It is pre-programmed or hard-wired to be what it needs to be. The doctor said if we could figure out how it works we’d win the Nobel prize.
The liver continues to delight and amaze me.
Today, July 21, is Ernest Hemingway’s birthday. To celebrate, here are a three things you may not have known about him:
Happy weekend to you all! Here’s some fun stuff from the internet. See you next week.