So they’re prepping me for the OR this morning but the decision to go in hasn’t been made. I’ll know sometime just before I’m wheeled away. The chief radiologist and the hospital’s liver specialist, the wonderful Dr Hernandez, will meet about my case first thing this morning.
What happened to me? Well after brainstorming with doctors and senior residents we finally have a theory. This is not as rare a scenario as one might think. And one thing is clear – I’m very lucky to be alive.
A couple of days before christmas I had an old, cracked filling replaced. It went right down to the nerve and was pretty unpleasant. For a couple of days afterward it hurt too much to bite down on and was on the verge of that spongy, infected feeling when it just suddenly stopped getting worse and stopped hurting. Problem solved, I thought.
What actually happened was the budding infection traveled into my blood stream where a battle royal began. Despite having an excellent immune system my white cells were no match and my liver – the last filter on the blood trail – became severely infected. The flu-like symptoms two weeks ago that were so severe were my liver shutting down.
Now my liver is full of abcesses and what they want to do today is go in and drain the biggest ones to give the antibiotics a jump start. The smaller ones are too close to blood vessels and other organs or they would do them all.
You may be aware that the liver is a unique organ in that it can regenerate itself and you can live with a fraction of one that’s healthy and doing the job. Dr. Hernandez says mine will never look the same because of what has happened to it but that it should serve me well. Let’s face it, my liver was never that pretty to begin with. If it has to give up its dream of becoming a supermodel that’s a small price to pay for my return to good health.
One more note on dentisty. Apparently there are thousands of people who go on antibiotics prior to getting dental work done because of the risks. It never would have occured to me. I always took its safety for granted as do millions of others. How fragile we are, indeed.