01/20/2004 - I fininshed and posted narrative 6.
01/07/2004 - Had a scheduled sclerosing on Monday. We were hoping not to find any more varices, but they did. Two "category 2" and two "category 3". So, I'm scheduled for another one in six weeks. I don't know how high the categories go. Maybe they go up to 5 like hurricanes. I fininshed and posted narrative 5.
11/25/2003 - Just got back out of a three day stay at Bronson hospital. I had internal bleeding again. They found three more esophagael varices to sclerose. I didn't expect to have any more bleeding from those, so it scared me more than usual. I thought it was my stomach bleeding. Gave me time to do a little catch up on my journal though. I finally finished narrative 4.
8/19/2003 - Had biliary stent replaced, this time with a larger, permanent, self expanding, metal one. Since this one can't be removed, I trust its warranty is longer than mine. After 24 hours, no sign yet of infection or other problems. The jaundice seems to be draining fast, though I've been helping it along with time in the sun. It had been making me pretty weak and ill the past couple weeks, though with a tan the color was less obvious.
8/15/2003 - Had abdominal CAT scan done to try and find source of left side pain. It will also give us a tumor growth check. Updated Medical Summary with date ranges for some symptoms.
8/10/2003 - Updated the Medical Summary page. Added CBC test results for 7/21/03 and 7/24/03. Added 5 pound weight loss, jaundice, dark urine, and back pain to Current Conditions. Moved or added fevers, blind patches, brittle finger nails, and heart murmer to new "Recent Conditions" section.
8/10/2003 - We just returned Friday from a two week car trip to the Badlands, Yellowstone, Grand Tetons, and Mount Rushmore. This was, I think, the first time we have had a two week vacation since we've had kids. One or two people were concerned that spending money on a vacation would offend people who had given us money to help us out with our medical and financial situation. But this is likely the last chance I'll have to show my kids the Rocky Mountains, and everyone we spoke to who had helped us out thought it an excellent idea. Anyway, we camped for half of it so the cost was less than cash gifts we had gotten from our immediate family.
Besides that, of course, there was a certain amount of risk involved. Blood banks and surgeons were frighteningly few and far between. It was going to be a lot of stress in general for me and for my digestive system in particular. I was rather hoping I would experience the rejuvenation effect from fresh air and exercise that I had encountered a year ago, backpacking for a week.
No such luck. Riding in a car is as hard on me as backpacking was good for me. I had to visit doctors twice to treat fevers with antibiotics. I went through more pain medication than I had in two months. I lost five or six pounds. I developed lower back pain.
Never the less, it was all worth it. I got to touch the mountains again. The kids loved clambering all over the Badlands mud spires and hoo-doos. We felt the power of Yellowstone Geysers. We saw wildlife they had only seen on TV before. We looked up to the faces of Mount Rushmore. We trod the dark galleries of Jewel Cave. And of course, we stopped at Wall Drug and the Mitchell Corn Palace.
I don't think I sustained any permanent damage. I've mostly slept since we got back, thwarting my intentions of catching up on my web log. I did manage to stay out of the hospital the entire month of July, breaking my string of checking into a different emergency room every month. Here's hoping I can keep that up. I have another Endoscopic sclerosing scheduled for the coming week, and probably will have my stent replaced the following week.