Wednesday, August 08, 2007

"Hi, I'm doctor so-and-so from oncology, ..."

"... your liver enzymes are elevated and we need to run some tests."


(Note: I am writing this on Wednesday morning; the event took place two days ago)


Okay, imagine the fear *that* brings you.

I'm not a doctor, nor do I play one on TV ... but even I can read WebMD and see what are the causes of Elevated Liver Enzymes (AST and ALT). Going down the list, the only thing I cannot check off is ... *gulp* ... cancer.

Okay, time for some math: elevated liver enzymes + no other cause matches my history + I'm speaking with an oncologist = ...???.

WHAT AM I SUPPOSED TO CONCLUDE???

This is all happening at seven in the morning, after being surprised to learn that I'm not to have any food. Uh-oh ... this isn't looking good.

I need an ultrasound of my liver, kidneys and pancreas.

So you know how it goes. This day that I'm supposed to have an ultrasound done on my liver, kidneys and pancreas turns out to be -- for some reason -- the busiest day in the ultrasound department in a long time.

So I wait ... and wait ... and worry. My life is rewinding in my mind ... the things I haven't done because of some stupid reason or WHATEVER! I'm depressed ... oh I see how it goes: eat right, stay active, take care of yourself, be a nice person and you get cancer. Yeah ... great ... while the heroin addict I met in the Emergency Room ("Joshua", and I added him to my prayer list) gets rehab and is good to go.

Yeah, at this point I'm as low as I've ever been.

FINALLY get me into ultrasound at 2:30. Of course, that means nothing because another doctor has to view and interpret the ultrasound.

At 5:00 pm, my doctor finally comes in.

Okay ... I brace myself. I know what's coming and I guess I'm as ready as I'll ever be.

"You're fine."

What? WHAT?? WHA?????? But ... but ... how?

"Then what's the reason for the elevated liver enzymes?"

"Dunno. But your ultrasound is great, you don't have cancer and you can stop worrying. You're in great health, actually."

A little small talk, "thank you"'s all around and he says he'll see me tomorrow (Tuesday).

He leaves and I break down. I have never been so scared in all my life. I didn't even realize how scared I was until he left, and this burden was lifted. I cried and cried.

So, at this point (Monday evening) I'm still in the hospital for PE, I have elevated liver enzymes, but I DON'T HAVE ANY SYMPTOMS! WHAT IS GOING ON???

I'll write more about that later.

All The Best,

-- Don

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