Back At It

Now that I have an almost 6-month-old, I realized it’s been about that long since I last posted and figured it was time to provide an update on my PSC journey.

Things continued to go smoothly for the first few months after the pregnancy. I did have the privilege of getting another colonoscopy in early April (my third one in four years) because I experienced a minor flare up with my Ulcerative Colitis. Everything resolved itself quickly and is back to normal.

During this time, I also began experiencing off-and-on itching and upper right quadrant (URQ) discomfort in my stomach.  I had a regular check-in already scheduled with my local GI doctor so I decided to run my bloodwork and talk with her about next steps.  Sure enough, my liver function tests (LFTs) were elevated. I was feeling okay at that point so we decided to check my bloodwork again the following week. If they were still elevated I would consult with my doctors at Rochester Mayo.

The next week I experienced a low-grade fever and upper stomach discomfort one night. My blood tests were even higher, so I was able to schedule an appointment at Mayo this past week. I continued to experience sporadic discomfort and fevers at night, but they quickly resolve after a couple hours.

I conducted more blood tests (as you can imagine needles don’t even phase me anymore), and conducted an MRI of my liver and the bile ducts at Mayo last Tuesday. The next morning we consulted with my specialist on the results. As suspected, there was a narrowing in the common bile duct and in a couple of the same problem areas as before.

For those of you not too familiar with PSC, the narrowings can cause bile to back up in the liver ducts, resulting in it pooling in one location for a while. This can lead to an infection and is likely what was causing my low-grade fevers and stomach discomfort.

We’ve scheduled another ERCP procedure for next week to open the blockage and stretch the ducts with a balloon-like tool and/or place a stent.

It sounds like this may continue to be a routine procedure for me when things worsen because it’s really the only way to alleviate PSC symptoms until I get to the point of a needing a liver transplant. Antibiotics can help prevent infections, but they are not an ideal solution to be on long-term due to the possibility of eventually becoming immune to them.

I’ll provide an update after the ERCP next week.

Thanks for joining me on this journey.

~Liver Life to the Fullest

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