I was informed I had liver problems about 8 years ago during a routine insurance physical. I have always been in good health and have been a non-drinker all my life, so as you can imagine, it was a big shock to me. My local doctor sent me to Vanderbilt where I’ve been followed for the past eight years.
It is unknown as to why I have cirrhosis, being a non-drinker, but I am told that about 15% of liver disease is non-alcohol related.
In August, 2009, my MELD score reached a serious level and I was placed on Vanderbilt’s transplant list. (MELD is a calculated score which determines the severity of a patient’s liver disease.) I do not know how long I will need to wait before a liver is available. The unknown is difficult and the anxiety can be overwhelming.
I try very hard to keep my condition from affecting my family life. I am exhausted when I come home from work and usually need a nap. I can’t go as hard as I used to without stopping and resting. I don’t have much appetite and just don’t have the get up and go I used to. I am trying to stay as active as I can to keep from losing muscle. According to the doctors, it will be possible to regain most of what I have lost once I receive my transplant.
My wife and family are very understanding and supportive. They try not to show they’re worried, but I think my condition and the unknown are always in the back of their minds.
I am, and always have been, registered as an organ donor and now realize just how important it is. Lives can be saved. I hope each person reading this will say YES and become a donor.