Slurry Beta

Infrequent ruminations on nothing.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Life is Precious

I've had a strange week and a half. One of my strangest.

My nose was broken when I was a kid and I wish I could say that it was in some sort of fist fight but it was, in fact, from a baseball I missed while playing catch with my Babe Ruth coach. He was throwing hard. I was scared and barely put my hand up to catch one of the balls and it hit me right in the face and broke my beautiful nose. Ever since then, I've had no ability to breath through my left nostril and very limited ability through my right. You don't care, I know, but bear with me here.

A few months ago, after doing some disability research for a case at work, I realized that my busted ass nose may be negatively affecting my sleep patterns. So I went into the doctor to get it checked out. Multiple appointments (one with the oldest, most awesome E.N.T. doctor ever) and an awkward sleep test later and I'm signed up for a septoplasty operation in June. Before I can undergo the operation, I had to get a pre-operative physical to make sure the Slurry Parts were all in working order.

My doctor was a somewhat high strung, thirty something female with a surprisingly gentle touch and warm hands. (inappropriate? yes.) Everything checked out fine, we rapped a bit about testicular health, she took some blood and said they'd call me if anything irregular showed up on the lab test.

Two days later, she called me to tell me that I had elevated cholesterol, my liver function tests were abnormal and my precious liver was producing certain enzymes at four to five times the normal amount. When I asked her what that meant she started dropping words like "Hepatitis A, B, and C," "liver scarring," "liver transplant", and "possibly resembling Cirrhosis." She said that whatever the condition was would require anywhere from significant lifestyle changes to an organ transplant but they wouldn't know until a definitive diagnosis was reached. First, a follow-up test was necessary to find out for sure if my liver was consistently over producing said enzymes and if it was, they would have to do a series of imaging scans and biopsies to diagnose the condition and deduce its severity. Needless to say, things got serious very quickly.

I scheduled the follow-up appointment with Dr. Gentle Touch for her next available time, which happened to be the morning after I was to return from the Twins-Brewers series in Milwaukee. Now, if there was ever a time NOT to check my liver function, it was after three days of professional tailgating and extremely inappropriate behavior with a dozen of my best friends. I called to reschedule but that was the only possible time for the next month and a half. I don't know much about being on a transplant list but I'm sure the general idea is "the sooner the better" so I kept the appointment. I don't play a professional sport so bypassing people on the transplant list because of celebrity status was not a realistic option. That's right, I'm talking to you, Alonzo Mourning.

When you think you might have a condition, internet research is enormously depressing. WebMD is the worst; you could type in something like "itchy nose" or "broken fingernail" and it will shoot back "cancer" or "ebola virus". Has anyone else found this out? When you type something in, it gives you the worst possible scenario like it ranks search results by how many people are clicking on a topic and not by likelihood or severity? Nobody? Not reading this anymore? Fair enough-I don't blame you.

Anyway, despite the dark cloud hanging over me and my largest organ, Milwaukee was spectacular. I had initially intended to turn it up to about 12 or 13 but kept it at a modest 7.5. Slurry B made a brief appearance to keep the crowd happy/annoyed and everyone held up their ends of the bargain by making the most of the 36 hours we were all in Sin City....wait, Beer Town.

So I reported to my appointment on Monday for more discussion on what my future may hold, which was basically more tests if the second lab results came back with the same readings. I wasn't optimistic. They took more blood. It ruined my day. I yelled at my boss. At the gym, I shouted things like, "You can beat this, Slurry! C'mon!" while smoke billowed out of the treadmill. It was a rough couple of days.

Yesterday, my phone rings and it's Dr. Gentle Touch. She tells me that my liver function tests came back completely normal and I have nothing to worry about. It was a 30 second conversation and that was that. It seems I'm just fine. She still wants to see me in July but it looks like I get to keep my liver for the time being. I'm glad because we've sure been through a lot together, through the good times and bad. I'm still going to keep up with the workout and diet routine, though, but with a little less intensity and desperation.

So the moral of the story here is: don't ever go to the doctor.


At 12:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Looks like binge drinking is the best medicine after all! I knew it all along.

At 12:48 PM, Blogger mindy said...

Wait, did the doctor have a gentile touch or a gentle touch?

Sorry, I couldn't help myself.

At 12:51 PM, Blogger Slurry B said...

Duly noted. I need to fire my editor.

At 12:54 PM, Blogger mindy said...

She could've been a Gentile, I just wasn't sure.

Well, I'm glad you get to keep your liver. It's a good organ to have around, so I hear.

WebMD once convinced me I had ovarian cancer, which is probably one of the worst cancers you can get. Turns out I don't, but WebMD really scared the shit out of me. Bastards.

At 2:56 PM, Blogger Sean said...

Who's your editor, Sam?

At 3:40 PM, Blogger Slurry B said...

Oh Sean, you are a delight!

I'm glad a stupid misuse of a word tainted the emotional outpouring I just displayed.

I'm taking my blog and going home.

PS. For the record, my doctor isn't of the Jewish faith.

At 11:42 AM, Blogger mindy said...

For the record, I am also glad you are not going to lose your liver.

At 2:12 PM, Blogger mindy said...

I feel like the pulic deserves a picture of this mustache we've heard so much about. How 'bout it?

At 2:12 PM, Blogger Kraemerica said...

I think this blog entry violates some HIPAA Standards.

At 2:11 PM, Blogger John said...

Get better soon B


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