Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Labs, Labs, and More Labs

For those who read this blog and understand these numbers, here are Anthony's labs from one year ago, when they told us that Anthony's liver had shut down (Mark had just gone home, my mom and I were there in the hospital when the doctor told us what was going on, and that the transplant had to happen, almost immediately).

March 6, 2004:
AST: 1092 (normal: 0-46)
ALT: 725 (normal: 0-56)
Total Bilirubin: 17.9 (normal 0-1.2)

March 5, 2007:
AST: 35
ALT: 24
Total Bilirubin: 0.5

Here's the thing. Some of my liver moms will look at those pre-transplant numbers and think, "Those aren't bad for someone in end-stage liver failure!" But then they'll look again, and see that those are the numbers of someone whose liver has shut down. What does that mean? It means that those numbers are false. Those numbers really don't mean a thing because his liver was no longer functioning at all. His kidney function tests were the true tale of the story: BUN: 90.0 (normal is 9.0-22.0). This meant that his kidneys were starting to shut down, too. His entire little body was under so much stress that he couldn't even go into what is called "compensation mode" where the other organs try to take over for the failing organ. They had done that already, and his little body was entirely failing him.

Even now, three years later, when I see his liver functions come back so perfectly normal (as they have for MONTHS now), I cry. I'm just so thankful that life can be this normal. "NORMAL" is a word that a lot of us liver moms have a love/hate relationship with. We want our kids to be "normal" kids...but we know they aren't. Only a parent of a child with a chronic illness can understand...I promise you that. Yes, Anthony will live a mostly "normal" life. And I can be eternally grateful for that fact.

Stay tuned: tomorrow and Friday are special blogs!


Anonymous said...

I can't wait for the next chapter.

Love, Gram

Stacy said...

Amen to normal. Here's to more mundane, boring, and normal!

Renee said...

That's great, Laurie! I'm so happy that he's well. Nothing like normal numbers, eh?