Saturday, July 28, 2012

He ate the liver with some fava beans and a nice Chianti

When I checked in at UCLA Hospital via Foursquare I wrote, "They're eating my liver and drinking my blood!" I hope that made someone's day. When I was lying around in pre-op waiting for that blasted Moriarty! to show himself I jokingly said to my nurse Beatriz and mom, "He's going to eat my liver with some fava beans and a nice Chianti."
To which my mother replied, "Yuck! Chianti is too sweet! You want something dryer than that!"
Thus ruining my Silence of the Lambs joke but making me laughing my ass off nonetheless.

My procedure got pushed back by an hour and there was no television to watch or drawers to rifle through as I usually like to commit petty acts of larceny whenever I'm in for a few hours. I can always blame it on the loopy meds if I am caught.

So, I suppose I am doing that thing wherein I assume Everyone Important To Me Ever just automatically understands why I am having a liver biopsy but I've found myself having to explain over and over again. Time to just explain in blog format so I can impersonally redirect any inquiries to this post.

A long, long time ago (in a galaxy not so far, far away) I had a two-part procedure called The Norwood and The Fontan. It was in its, ah, third? revision phase at that time and my surgery was performed by the titular Dr. Norwood himself. In other words, I had the best surgery at the time, performed by the best guy who could have done the job.
One of the drawbacks to the Fontan, however, is that my pulmonary veins put pressure on my liver. My liver is slightly enlarged and extra sensitive because of this. TEAM RACHAEL! likes to keep an eye on my liver in addition to my heart because of the relation by surgery. We keep a lookout for erosion and cirrhosis. So far, external and on-invasive methods have come back with very reassuring results. However, the only way to truly know what's going on with a liver is to conduct a biopsy. Hence, yesterday's procedure.

I won't know my results for a little while yet but my cardiologist, ever two steps ahead of the game, sneaked in to take pulmonary function measures. My NP's swung by to visit when I was waking up and told me my function is "11" which I am told is the best it can possibly be. Good news to hear indeed!

I would be feeling a lot better right now if it weren't for my eyes, of all things. I was asked to forgo general anesthesia in favor of heavy sedation; meaning I'd be asleep-ish and so out of it that I'd have no knowledge of what was going on and would not feel or remember anything. In spite of its date-rapey overtones, I agreed so long as I'd not feel a damn thing including the numbing agents. The anesthesiologist was very professional, friendly and confident. True to form, I do not recall anything. However, when I came to, my eyes were in excruciating pain. Most likely this is because my eyes were open and sucking in all of that dry, artificial sterile air. Joy. So they're extra sensitive at the moment and I am carrying around eye drops to help along the re-hydration process.
Otherwise I have two incision sights:
1) Where the tube for the paracentesis went in on my right side, which is only tender if I attempt to sleep/lie on it.
 2) My neck, where they went in through a vein to fetch a piece of my liver. It really does look like a botched vampire attack. I secretly tell myself it was Louis Pointe du Lac; he grabbed me, tried to take a bite, realized he was fucking up and ran away in guilt and shame.

Thanks for your well wishes. I am looking forward to getting back to my regularly schedule of mindless cat videos and deadline avoidance.

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