Last night, Derek realized that we have officially passed the 6 month anniversary of Livernalia Part I.
A quick recap of the events of April 14, 2014
- 60% of my liver and my gallbladder were surgically removed.
- 100% of Derek’s liver plus his gallbladder were surgically removed.
- Derek also had a procedure called Roux-en-Y jejunostomy which is not named for the cooking technique involving flour and butter but a guy named Dr. Roux.
- 60% of my liver was surgically inserted into Derek, officially making him the owner of two separate types of DNA.
- We both experienced a bit of a fugue state post surgery:
- I remember seeing my mom for a brief moment.
- Derek remembers seeing his parents and his brother.
- We both remember me getting wheeled over to his area in the PACU, having a bizarre conversation about pain and discomfort, and then me insisting that “I needed to get back.” Get back to what? Was I late for an appointment?
- I also remember some kind of drama happening across from me in the PACU. Some guy wouldn’t stay in bed and a bunch of nurses had to restrain him.
- Oh and squishy ice nuggets and sponges on sticks.
The liver is amazing, I will never stop reminding all of you faithful blog readers of that. After having 60% removed I can tell you that not having a fully operational liver is pretty awful. But almost immediately, my little liver started to regenerate its missing half. Or more technically, the remaining portion began to grow larger to make up for its missing lobe. At 3 months my liver had regrown to 86.7% of its original volume. That’s a 46.7% increase in just 3 months. In the weeks following my surgery, every night like clockwork, I would wake up drenched in sweat. My hypothesis–which none of the doctors would confirm definitively–was that the sweat was a byproduct of the massive amount of mitosis happening while I slept.
Now, 190 days later, Derek has calculated my current liver volume (96.5%) and because of complicated math that makes my brain seize up, he doesn’t have an exact date for 100%. Something about a asymptotic approach (???) it’s difficult to calculate when it will officially reach 100%, but I am confident it will get there, and that it will stop once it gets there, because the liver is amazing. If you’d like to read a scientific paper on hepatic regeneration, here’s a link.
Happy Anniversary to my super duper liver. Thank you for giving up a lobe like a champ and keeping Derek alive for 28 days. While you weren’t in it for the long haul, you did your best.
*Derek here: there’s not a lot of scientific information on the exact rate of liver regrowth (another article here), and you can make any line fit two points (t=0, and t=3 month) so I decided to model Logan’s liver regrowth as an RC circuit with a step response. It’s a fun equation that approaches 100% steady state, and you can think of it like the inverse of radioactive decay. That probably makes no sense, but just remember: Logan’s not a circuit and she’s not radioactive, but I decided to model her liver regrowth that way.