The Good, Bad and my Beloved Mother


Ok, so where were we??

Well I had my big appointment to meet the “Transplant Team” at UCSD Abdominal Transplant Center over there on Executive Way in La Jolla.

I got there and checked in and all was well. Started checking my phone to see what the latest gossip was on Perez and all of a sudden, my name was called. Well, there was only one person they could want since I was the only one sitting in the big waiting area…

I was then escorted to a treatment room where I put my purse and 3 – yes – 3 binders on the table and proceeded to lay my tired ass down on the treatment table. And no, I needn’t be on it, I was just tired and in fact, lazy as feck!

I got comfortable just enough and in walks my mother, wait, let me edit myself, she likes it when I refer to her as “beloved Mother”, and my cousin, Mitch.

There goes my perfect blood pressure and namaste moment.

Anyhoo, no sooner in walked my new “bestie”, Joanie Salotti (my nurse), and my Transplant Hepatologist, Dr. Irine Vodkin (yes, Vodkin, as in VODKA! Ha! What a last name. But as most of you know, vodka was not my drink of choice…).

12246800_10207125379840382_6274128016664586292_nShe talked about why I was there, transplant, the TIPS Shunt (in my immediate future, I surmise) and going forward.

She talked about treating my Ascites by increasing my already high Mg of diuretics (Lasix and Spironolactone) and if it didn’t work itself out then we move on to the TIPS Shunt.

The TIPS shunt has it’s own set of risks, good. bad and ugly, but because I am going through the massive battery of tests for the Liver Transplant, I am ready for transplant if my kidneys, etc., start to fail and my liver regresses due to the shunt. My MELD score is currently 13. Either way, I need a transplant to live.

So moving on.

Finally my beloved Mother can ask if my liver will ever get better (and FINALLY move out of the DeNial River, Egypt). One can only tell my beloved Mother so much. Thank God Dr. Vodkin shut her down!

My beloved Mother has returned to the United States and can assist in moving my beloved Godmother out of DeNial, Egypt as well.

And so Dr. Vodkin talks a little more, checks my breathing, ordered the final battery of testing and prescribed some new medication called Rifaximin (550 MG tablet) for my Hepatic Encephalopathy that sometimes drives me crazy. As a lot of you know, I have always prided myself on my speech, proper English and Grammar and Spelling. All that has gone out the door. I type words completely different from what I am thinking in my mind, I stutter, misspell words, can’t think of even the simplest of words and names, and sometimes feel “a little off” when doing normal tasks (driving, etc.). IT’S FRUSTRATING!!!

I then met with my nutritionist because I am severely malnourished and extremely thin, as well as the team social worker (all my procedures and the transplant are covered by my insurance).

Three hours later, I am excused.

I then quickly made my way to Thornton Hospital to have my usual Paracentesis (the reason I have been at Thornton all this time).

I went into my appointment and my mother went into the “restaurant” of the Thornton Hotel (it truly does look and act as if it were a gorgeous 5 star resort!).

A little under 5 liters removed and both of us were on our way to do more blood work and grab the bottle for my 24 urine collection. Yeah that was fun. Just finished it as of 0430 this morning and I will not go into the fascinating experience that was!!!

When I got home I rested and yesterday spent the day doing my “work”. Reorganizing my life, making appointments, etc etc…

I made my appointments for my Mammogram (yeah, would love to see how they are going to do that on 32A titties), ECG and NM PFT (nuclear medicine stuff). There is one last test but I will call for that on Monday.

So basically, I’m in transition with all this.

On a lighter note. I have been going to a meeting Saturdays at 4pm (it does sometimes coincide with my Notre Dame games, but thank God for DVR!). I have gotten to know these men and some of which I have been drawn to and I am becoming quite invested in their sobriety as they are with mine and my overall health. I now visit when I can and am always asked how I’m doing or what is the latest. They are invested in me as I am in them. They know my story. They don’t want this to happen to them. I hope they take this with them when they are discharged. Most of them I may never see again, a few I plan to keep tabs on. I am becoming a mentor. Perhaps this is my calling.

I guess this is where I leave you. If I think of some things I missed, I will post them…

Love to you all and you prayers are much appreciated.

With love in my heart and soul,


PS. Don’t forget to become an organ donor – it will save lives!


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