I finally had my appointment with the Hepatologist (liver specialist). I’m happy to report that he was extremely nice and at least my first impression tells me, he is quite knowledgeable. I know a lot of people think that the whole electronic medical records thing is creepy and kind of 1984ish, but I’ll admit that it was convenient to not have to request my lengthy records from this doctor or that doctor, the hepatologist was able to view years worth of tests and blood work while I was sitting right next to him (thanks to my Rheumatologist who did the initial gathering). He told me that I have already had quite a work up blood wise and that some tests only need to be run once and all of those were negative. He said it was clear that I was having some sort of liver inflammation, but what is causing the inflammation is still a mystery. His two biggest suspicions are either my lupus or the endometriosis. A thorough physical exam was completed and he was happy to tell me that I had absolutely no signs of having liver damage. Labs were ordered for everything that he couldn’t find labs on and I am to follow up with him in about two weeks to see if the labs found anything new.
Now I am not at all lily-livered when it comes to blood work, but they ended up taking 9 viles of blood and as I saw vile after vile pile up I did get a little woozy. It wasn’t so much the taking the blood but the visual of all that blood laying there that unsettled me. I guess I can say goodbye to my career as a CSI (though really without Grissom I wouldn’t want the job anyway).
I suppose I’ll also have to take extra care never to chance upon an encounter with a vampire; sparkly or otherwise. I’d probably end up starving.
The Hepatologist said that at this point he doesn’t see any reason why I couldn’t do the fourth IVF. If I do end up proceeding, he would like labs to be done every two weeks just to keep an eye on my liver enzymes. He told me he had a patient once who had Lupus and had liver enzymes that were so high they put her on a liver transplant list right away. When he did a liver biopsy however he found her liver to be perfect. He said that there are a lot of new studies and new information coming out about lupus and the liver. Biopsies are not something that he likes to do or something that he takes lightly. He said that they are a lot riskier than people think and he doesn’t see any reason to do one on me unless absolutely necessary. That was a relief and it gave me confidence in his judgment. So now I must wait again for two weeks to follow up and see where we go from here.