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It started out with a cough, how did it end up like this?

Posted Jun 28 2009 12:00am

Friday night, I developed a little bit of a soar throat and cough. It was nothing a few Luden’s couldn’t help and so I went to sleep soundly that evening. The next morning at 8:30 am, Aviva, my wife, woke me up to go to synagogue. She knew something was up when I accusingly said, “Why do you love Starbucks so much? Does it bother you that I know you go to Starbucks so often?” Anyone who knows my wife, knows she hates Starbucks, it’s just too expensive. When I then told her the Yankees were breaking into the house, she knew something was wrong. See, I know nothing about baseball and even less about the Yankees in particular. I had never suffered from encephalopathy, a common symptom of a cirrhotic liver where ammonia builds up in the liver. This harmful chemical, which the liver is supposed to detoxify, can often lead to confusion and loss of memory. I had taken an ambien the night before and so figuring I was just tired, Aviva told me to go back to sleep.

When I woke several hours later, though, I was still very discombobulated. I felt very uneasy on my feet and very weak. Although I was no longer speaking nonsense, when I spiked a fever, Aviva knew to call the doctor. The doctor told us to come to the hospital right away and we came to emergency room. Fast forward 36 hours and I am still in the hospital. Although over a day has passed, the doctors are still not sure why I have the fever and why it won’t go away. Most likely this is another cholangitis flair-up, but as it developed so quickly no one is quite positive. An x-ray and an ultrasound both came back negative for cholangitis, but tomorrow I have an ERCP (a procedure where they look at the liver endoscopically) scheduled so we can better find out what is wrong. If everything goes smoothly after that, I can hopefully be discharged in the next couple of days. Until then, though, I should have some extra time for the blog and I will keep everyone posted as I know more.

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