Tuesday, November 1, 2011

A Little Update on Dad

I have a lot of people ask me how my dad is doing. My answer is pretty much always the same,

"He's doin' alright!"

Truth is...his condition was sort of freaking us out there for a while. He was swelling up like a balloon! Since then he has quit his job which means he doesn't have to be on his feet for hours at a time and he can rest whenever he feels tired...which is often since he doesn't sleep well at night due to his PSC . He has also been on a low protein+low sodium diet. Making these changes has helped to keep his swelling under control.

My dad had his first appointment at Mayo Clinic today. My mom and dad met with a Hepatologist there. My mom called me after the appointment. From what she told me, it sounds like the appointment went well! They explained to her their evaluation process and the process of being put on a donor list. He said that a new liver goes to the worst case scenario first...and that my dad will be evaluated to see where he is at. I guess they have some scale they "grade" your condition by. If my dad is a 15 or higher, he will be listed. (I hope I am getting this information right!)....and his place on the list is determined by how good or bad off his liver is. His place on the list can also change as they do follow ups and lab work. They were also told that people with PSC (scaring of the bile ducts) do better with a cadaver liver instead of a live donor because you can't take as much from a live donor...but that they will look into his candidacy for a live liver donor as well.

This is the first time I have really sat and thought about someone having to die in order for my dad to live.

This liver disease and organ transplant stuff is no cake walk...but dad is doing it! He still has a good quality of life. He's sick but we are getting answers. Mom said that the staff at Mayo seems to be very supportive. The doctor told her that they will be getting to know each other (my parents, him, the surgical team...) very closely and will work closely together. That support is so greatly appreciated! He will have a full evaluation to check his over all health soon and we will find out about him being listed for a liver after that.

One thing my mom and a couple of my siblings have been concerned about is having people judge my dad...and think that he "did this to himself" by doing drugs or drinking alcohol. That isn't the case. He doesn't know how he contracted hepatitis or if that is even the reason for his PSC. He has also been on prescription medication for years to keep his Chron's disease under control and that could have contributed to his PSC as well. But you know what? There are people out there who are bad off because they drank or did drugs or were immoral...and maybe they are still doing those things while knowing that they have an incurable disease. I don't think that is a reason to be any less compassionate. (that's my personal opinion)

Thanks again for your prayers, your donations and your support!


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