Friday, 6 March 2015

Liver donation and a chook with a sore vagina

My father in law has been waiting for a new liver (slightly used, one owner) since late last year, and being on the transplant list has meant moving 3,000 km away from family and friends, to be near the hospital with all the very clever liver mechanics. 

I'm lucky to have fantastic in-laws. My second mum and dad give us and our kids all the love and support we need, it's just that lately that has been a long distance, skype-type of love. 

After two false starts - twice he was called to the hospital, only to learn that the donors' livers were "no good" - he now has a cancer-free liver and first impressions are that his body has welcomed it with open arms. Another few months and hopefully he'll be home.

The liver is obviously an organ with borderline-magical abilities. Being able to regenerate lost tissue is just the start of a long list, probably incomplete, of what it does for its host. I do a bit of familial hypercholesterolaemia paper reading from time to time - and it seems a liver transplant can be quite handy for the homozygous FH patient
everyone over 50 should skip the statins and just have a liver transplant.
In papers such as this you will find a lot of comments that, if the situation wasn't so serious, would generate plenty of laughs. As it is, there is just bewilderment that the smart people in lab coats are so obtuse.

For example:

"In spite of treatment with a low fat diet, cholestyramine and simvastatin, his cholesterol remained greatly raised."  

Which is just plain weird considering they explain on the third page how useless statins and diet changes are for the unfortunate homozygous FH patient. 

Why they felt the need to mention that patient 2 was the son of a "first cousin marriage" is, sadly, not expanded on. Maybe they think FH is one of God's many sadistic punishments for sinners, it's not clear where they are coming from.

It would have been great if they'd gone to the trouble of measuring other things like coagulation factors prior to and after the transplant, but i guess you can't expect miracles from people with very large blood-fat blinkers on. 

Back to me, because this is really what my blog is about. My wife, understandably and with my encouragement, flew down to support her parents, which means I've been a single dad of three for just over a week. Which means I haven't had time to scratch myself or stop for "thinking time". The most exciting thing that happened in a week full of school lunches and stepping in puppy wee was one of our chooks laying the biggest egg I've ever seen.
Exciting stuff - yes, it was a double yolker

next to one their normal size and an XL from the shop
I'm aware that chooks don't lay eggs from their "vagina" - but I did think that for a long time, which is what you get when you live on Rick Mayall comedies while growing up.