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retrofade

I alluded to this in a different thread

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A couple of people here know what's been going on with me lately, but I figured I'd post something here as well. 

I went to the hospital on Wednesday of last week with leg soreness and bloating issues. Long story short is that after multiple tests (and a whole ton of blood being taken for said tests), a CT, an MRI, and an ultrasound... it turns out that I have cirrhosis of the liver. Doctors aren't exactly what caused it a of yet. Whether or not it was autoimmune or if my copious drinking until February 2020 (when I quit) has come back to haunt me. 

The leg weakness played in a bit with that because the bloating was making it difficult to eat, and so my electrolyte (it's what plants crave) levels were all screwed up. I had also been sick with some kind of stomach bug a few weeks ago, and the week before that as well. The working hypothesis there is that my muscles suffered from some sort of autoimmune attack, and it went after my leg muscles. Still waiting to get tests back on whether or not the liver problems were caused by the same thing. I legitimately was so weak that when I went to urgent care, one leg gave out in the parking lot, then again when I was being taken to an exam room. 

At the end of the day, I'm staring at having to make some pretty serious lifestyle changes. As of right now, I'm hobbling around with a walker (happy almost 40th Birthday, retro) for the time being until I get some muscle buildup in both legs. I'm also looking at a likely liver transplant within the next 5-7 years. A couple of people have already volunteered get tested to possibly be live donors. I'll be visiting GI specialists as well as my PCP within the next couple of weeks if I can get in. 

I was released from the hospital on Thursday evening because there wasn't really anything more that they could do other than wait for more test results to come back. My legs are getting a little bit stronger, but are still nowhere close to where they need to be. Bloating from my enlarged liver has gone down substantially over the last few days as well, so that's a relief. 

I have two morals of my story.

  1. Take care of your body. It's the only one you're going to get (unless we make it to the singularity).
  2. When your spouse/partner/SO asks you to go to the doctor (like mine did for a month), you should probably just do it. If I had, I wouldn't be hobbling around with a walker like I'm 87 years old. 
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My brother is going through similar things (liver disease from heavy alcohol use) and lost a lot of use of his legs, and has severely reduced platelet counts (had a transfusion for it just last night).  He is eating better, but still has 3.2 beer, smokes and doesn't exercise.  He isn't getting better.  Don't be him.  Get the blood flowing, listen to the doctors, enjoy life, don't let it ruin your relationships by giving up.  Embrace the grind, my man.  

 

Best of luck in the recovery.  You got this.  :cheers:

 

(Those are root beer floats being toasted)

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Retro, you are one of my favs. I also know the reason you shared this story is awareness for other people here. 
 

We need you around buddy. Use your good logic in your recovery. One question. You mentioned you’re possibly looking at a transplant in 5-7 years. What is this timeframe based on? Will a lifestyle change and your recovery change this entirely or just slow down the inevitable?

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Really sorry to hear this, this kind of thing hits close to me as my partner had a breast cancer scare (runs in her family) and the stress was really difficult. 
 

Hoping for positive test results and a quick and speedy recovery. 

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On 11/23/2022 at 10:46 AM, utenation said:

Retro, you are one of my favs. I also know the reason you shared this story is awareness for other people here. 
 

We need you around buddy. Use your good logic in your recovery. One question. You mentioned you’re possibly looking at a transplant in 5-7 years. What is this timeframe based on? Will a lifestyle change and your recovery change this entirely or just slow down the inevitable?

The 5-7 years is just an average of people with similar conditions. I could make it longer, or shorter. Hopefully through meds and a healthier lifestyle that can be pushed back by a number of years. 

As far as recovery goes, the liver doesn't generally grow itself back, at least not to my knowledge or what I've been told. The damage has been done; but I rank pretty low on the scale of people who need transplants, so it should be a while. 

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On 11/23/2022 at 10:20 AM, East Coast Aztec said:

My brother is going through similar things (liver disease from heavy alcohol use) and lost a lot of use of his legs, and has severely reduced platelet counts (had a transfusion for it just last night).  He is eating better, but still has 3.2 beer, smokes and doesn't exercise.  He isn't getting better.  Don't be him.  Get the blood flowing, listen to the doctors, enjoy life, don't let it ruin your relationships by giving up.  Embrace the grind, my man.  

 

Best of luck in the recovery.  You got this.  :cheers:

 

(Those are root beer floats being toasted)

Thanks man. Alcohol fortunately isn't really a temptation for me after all of this. Drinking heavily again might just very well kill me. Plus, I have three kids counting on me to be around for a while yet to come. Once I get my legs working properly, it's back to the gym and going walking... can't be a lazy ass anymore. 

Here's to hoping that your brother can change his lifestyle. 

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Keep a positive and strong mind, retro. Many of us are rooting for you. 

At the very least, keep your fingers 🤌 strong. We want you to keep posting 😀

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On 11/23/2022 at 9:05 AM, retrofade said:

Thanks man. Alcohol fortunately isn't really a temptation for me after all of this. Drinking heavily again might just very well kill me. Plus, I have three kids counting on me to be around for a while yet to come. Once I get my legs working properly, it's back to the gym and going walking... can't be a lazy ass anymore. 

Here's to hoping that your brother can change his lifestyle. 

He won't.  I will watch him go because of it.  Which is why I don't want you to, but you will knock this out.  No shit, if you want to plan ahead (a year or so lead time), I will tackle some of the AT with you if want.

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Do the work! If you fall back, get those fingers working here. I’m sure many of us would be happy to tell you to get off your ass and get back at it, maybe even semi-nicely.

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On 11/23/2022 at 10:03 AM, retrofade said:

The 5-7 years is just an average of people with similar conditions. I could make it longer, or shorter. Hopefully through meds and a healthier lifestyle that can be pushed back by a number of years. 

As far as recovery goes, the liver doesn't generally grow itself back, at least not to my knowledge or what I've been told. The damage has been done; but I rank pretty low on the scale of people who need transplants, so it should be a while. 

You got this. 

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Best of luck.   I deal with auto immune all the time and it is not fun.  Well innate immune system in my experience.  Hoping the liver damage stops and you stay stable.   

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