At the end of 2011 I was diagnosed with liver disease. I was floored. In shock. I wondered how something like this could take hold when I was seemingly healthy, I have been sober my entire life and here I am. Liver disease. Told I will be in medicine the rest of my life. If the disease progresses I could need a transplant but that, is only if it progresses.
It’s been 4 years since the diagnoses. I’ve had my ups and downs. My weight has too. I had changed my diet in 2012 and lost 60 lbs that year. I changed medication in 2013 and was more fatigued, less active and it wasn’t until 2014 my doctor thought maybe it could be my medicine change. Sure enough after a liver biopsy and 2 trips to the emergency room they realized I had to be taken off a medication as my liver had gotten worse, the medication causing my enzymes to shoot up to over 400 which was too close to shutting down than you’d like to be. Normally you want your enzymes under 40. Mine hover around 130 on a good day.
I have good days. Lately even though I’m having good days I wear my disease on my skin. Bad skin. Dry skin. Rough skin. Flaky skin. Nothing seems to help. Diet change. Using all organic products and foods. Taking meat out of my diet. No sugar. No bread. And people, I’m a foodie. My drug is good food but I keep that in check. Good food is more of a reward now, shared with good people. Making and preparing food is one of the only joys I have left so when my nutritionist, nurse or gastroenterologist tell me I should have certain foods a piece of me dies a little. And not just my liver.
My twin sister is amazing. She may not understand my disease but she tries to help me stay active. If the fatigue doesn’t get to me I’m willing to do as she asks or forces me to do. She’s truly an athlete. A phenomenal mother and role model to her boys. I hope they understand what a gift she is. One year she signed me up for a 10k a half marathon and a mud run. I tell you I went out and bought the cutest outfits and best shoes. I even personalized a couple of t-shirts so the runs we did together, we were a team. Those events were about 2 weeks a part and I felt so relieved when I finished all of them. Did I train? No, but I finished.
This year it’s my turn to sign her up. We’ll be doing another round of the half marathon in 2016 that we ran a couple years ago. My sister has a time to beat and I have another pair of shoes to buy. It’s possible I’ll train more this time, but no matter what and how this disease looks, I know one thing. I’m going to finish.
Day by day. What I start. I will finish.