I could continue to relate all the symptomology but it would be repeating basically what I've told you. I sort of learned through all this that if I removed myself from me and looked at what was going on in different parts of my body that it helped keep the pain controlled longer and I could be up more... not particularly helpful around the house but I could do my own laundry and do the dishes some evenings. Bless Carol for being sooo very patient through all this. She just continued doing around the house and in the yard and if I was up she would talk about what was going on with me and check to see how I was feeling and didn't push me about not being up or sleeping too much. I had talked with her about not wanting to add any more medications to my body until the liver doctor got back all those results from the blood tests so that he would have as clean a slate as possible for me when he decided what my treatment would be so that if there were side effects with any of the meds he would be able to make whatever necessary changes without the waters being too muddied, as it were, and she understood where I was coming from about not pressing for more pain meds or trying to rush the doctor about getting to see me. Believe me, when you are waiting to make an appointment with a liver specialist for the first time and you get a phone call and the voice says, "This is the Liver Transplant Center calling for Helen Gardner" it tends to get your attention and I wanted to fully cooperate with the doctor to avoid the possibility of a transplant.
So time passed and I fogged in and out of the pain and time came for my appointment to find out what all the blood work indicated was going on in my body. A dear friend drove me to Oklahoma City to the Transplant Center, seriously that is the name of the clinic. I didn't trust myself to drive because of the pain and the drugs I had been taking. I told the doctor that it felt like my body was trying to rip itself to shreds. I had a war going on inside and he agreed that my good guys were attacking what they perceived as my bad guys in my body and trying to eat them and destroy the invaders. What it basically all boils down to is my autoimmune system is AWOL. Every test it seems that is checking autoimmune markers is out of range. The doctor said that he really wasn't in the mood to transplant me so how about if we try to get you back to some semblence of a normal life by the use of medications. He also told me that if I hadn't been so pig-headed about getting off the steroids I wouldn't have had to go through all I'd been going through for the last month or two, something that I'd already figured out for my own stubborn self. I told him that he was right, that I had been so frustrated with nothing seeming to improve that I was just fed up with all of it. The doctor said his goal is to get the liver enzymes back in a somewhat normal range and controlled for three years. After three years my antibodies might forget about the ones they thought were bad and he could then try getting me off all medications. Sounds good to me... I'll only be 70 and I'll be ready to go dancing!
He started me again on the prednisone and I'll be on it until I see him in January. Within two days the pain was nowhere even remotely near what I had been dealing with for almost two months. I still have had to take pain pills occasionally but not 4 - 6 times a day. I'll have to get blood drawn in another week, but will not have to go back to the lab during the holidays. That sound like a great Christmas present to me. I walked the dogs for the first time in over two months and they were happy babies to go poop somewhere other than their own little yard. Carol and her sister went to Habit For Humanity and found carpet squares and I actually was able to help lay down new carpet in the living room, hall and front bedroom. Nancy, Carol's sister, took up the old carpet and padding and we decided that when the mobile home was built they must've paid the workers by the staple because there was a butt-load of staples used to put the padding down. My brother had given me a multi-use tool on one of my trips to Ft. Worth and I figured out that one of the attachments would cut the staples off even with the floor and Carol's eyes lit up and she became a staple and old nail cutting mother! She is in a wheelchair most of the time now but she could bend where she could make the tool flat to the floor and cut those nasty staples off. She got after it, which is good because I still wasn't up to being able to help much but when all the cutting, cleaning and prep was done and the glue was rolled on the floor I was able to help lay the squares down. I was so excited to be able to help do SOMETHING around the house that I was almost in tears. The best part about it was I was able to do something to help two days in a row. Not like I used to be able to do but able to help and do some of the repair/fixit around the house stuff that I so have enjoyed doing over the years. I'll have a good day or two in a row then I will still have a fall out and sleep a good portion of the day spell. I really feel like maybe, just maybe I am on the road to being able to do around the house and next spring maybe I can get back out into the garden.
What it all boils down to is I have missed visiting you all and wanted to let you know that I may be back on the road to getting back to my ornery self. Or at least 2/3rds of my ornery self. Thank you all for caring what's going on with me and checking up on me. My doctor said that I'm not done with things in my life and he wants to get me back to taking care of business. I totally agree with him...
I'm not done yet!