Thursday, May 8, 2014

Go, Tarheels ???

"You're a remarkably well educated patient.  Are you IN medicine ?"

"Not by choice, Doc ...."

And so it begins.

I'm being referred to another Hepatologist -- this one, at University of North Carolina.  I spoke with him, this morning.  As of right now, he concurs with the Chief of Allergy, at Mayo: don't take ANY drugs unless "there's a strong indication for doing so, and with considerable care."  

But ... I reiterated ... if this truly WAS caused BY the immunosuppressive effect OF the anticonvulsant I took in October ... reactivating a latent virus (or infection), then this was NOT a "pure" Drug-Induced Liver Injury, right ?

He agrees it's possible, and would have me be seen by their Infectious Diseases guru, along with their Liver Center.

For now, I'm sitting in Mayo's lobby, "flying standby" to be seen, if possible, by General Internal Medicine, and -- hopefully -- Infectious Disease.  May as well try to get my theory explored while I'm here.

The referral came about as a result of my cousin talking TO my Mayo Liver Doc.  The Liver Doc says the requisite testing is beyond the capabilities of Mayo.

But he's still talking about a clean Drug-Induced Liver Injury.  I'm not.  I need to be 100% sure (if at all possible) that this was NOT infectious before *I* believe it was purely drug-induced.  That may NOT be possilbe (being 100% sure), but ... if they DO decide that I AM infected with Epstein-Barr Virus or Cytomegalovirus or Human Herpesvirus (or similar), and DO find antibodies in my blood ... well ... we may yet prove it was NOT cleanly drug-induced, but ... rather ... immune-mediated, meaning .... just avoid EVER taking an anticonvulsant again, and you'll be okay.

Unless I've BECOME allergic ("neosensitization") TO any of the drugs that I was taking WHILE the Anticonvulsant Hypersensitivity reaction took place.  It happens.  It's documented.

My theory is a desperation move, but .... their theory is an extreme long shot, too.  My theory also implies I treat the underlying infection, if possible, avoid ONE class of meds, try to explore new allergy to the OTHER classes of meds, and ... maybe ... move forward with a longer leash than I have, today.

I'll stay in Rochester until I can be seen by Internal Medicine, and any other specialty they deem appropriate (eg, Infectious Disease, Immunology).  

Meanwhile, I'm gathering up my records, and will forward them to the UNC Hepatologist for HIS team's review ... once I'm finished at Mayo.

I'll be seen in North Carolina within a few weeks.  May go from here TO there.  Dunno' yet.

"Flying standby" means sitting in the lobby for hours each day, waiting for an opening in the schedule.  They think I could get in within a few businesss days.  I'll extend my hotel, and cancel my Saturday flight to hang out here a while longer.

Stay tuned.......

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