As if it could be cut and dry! On Tuesday I had more blood tests ran in preparation for my appointment with the surgeon. After speaking with the surgeon, I inquired about the test results because I was concerned about my liver being sick, or what-not. The doctor told me that all of my liver tests were fine, great in fact. But he was still concerned because my bilirubin count was extremely high (in a common person, their count is 1, mine was 4 in Arkansas and was 8 as of Tuesday). Biliruben is a yellow pigment excreted by the liver into bile. The doctor said with a count that high, I should be as yellow as a banana, but only my eyes were a little yellow - like usual.
The doctor didn't know what was going on and suggested that we perform an ERCP along with the Gallbladder surgery. In an ERCP, a tube would be inserted into my mouth and snaked down into and past my stomach, and then would inject ink into different ducts around my liver and pancreas. Then an x-ray would be taken to see if there were any more stones blocking fluids - which could mean an inflated biliruben count. But before the doctor would schedule that, he wanted me to go meet with another doctor in the hospital.
Speaking with the doctor at the hospital was exactly what I needed. He looked over all of the information and logically came to the conclusion that I have a condition called "Gilbert's Syndrome". Which basically means that my body is constantly running at a higher biliruben count than most people. It affects 3-7% of all adults and doesn't mean anything except that my eyes and skin may turn yellow in times of fatigue and/or stress.
The doctor at the hospital understands the importance of an ERCP, but hesitates to do them unless he feels they're absolutely necessary. He informed me that 1 out of 10 could develop Pancreatis, which is sometimes fatal. Since my surgery would be Monday, he said to eat normal and have more blood tests done on Friday...he fully expects my liver counts to stay normal and my biliruben to decrease.
So, if all goes well, Monday's the day to have my Gallbladder removed. Tears of joy were shed. Happy New Year.
+ original post date: January 1, 2004 10:25 AM
+ categories: I Have No Gallbladder