Posted 10/17/2018 1:33 PM (GMT -6)
UPDATE: Major plot twist! My liver wasn't the primary cause. On July 2, 2018, I finally got a liver biopsy done, at UCSF Medical Center in San Francisco. It was supposed to be a one day in and out thing. But I ended up staying there for 6 and a half weeks - they had to do an open heart surgery on me! Turns out that there was no portal hypertension and no cirrhosis of the liver after all.
My liver was failing due to poor blood flow from the heart, which in and of itself was fine (clean coronary arteries). But the outer lining of the heart, the pericardium, had gotten infected or something, and had been swelling and getting hard, restricting the heart from pumping properly. The docs said most likely after they remove the pericardium, I would heal and eventually be at full health again, as if I had never been sick to begin with, and could live out my life accordingly. (the pericardium is not essential to life or longevity).
So in my case, all the liver problems were secondary, caused by the heart, and also the ascites as well. Here I am, 12 weeks after the surgery, and my healing is going as they expected. But there was a major complication. My kidneys failed after the surgery, and I have been on dialysis 3 days a week since then, but improving. Now they are about to discontinue the dialysis as I no longer need it.
When the blood flow is bad, the liver can get congested and that is what they say happened to me. All I can say now in retrospect is that I had been praying and believing for a miracle somehow, and I got one! Through a plot twist, and a very difficult surgery, but hey, I'll take it!
I hope this info will help others. I would say, if you have a difficult to diagnose liver problem, ask them to check your pericardium. In my case, if the various doctors had been quicker to get a biopsy done, or if they had known to consider the pericardium, then maybe this would not have dragged out for two years.
Like others have said, if you have liver problems, it is up to you to seek out the best medical care possible. Just doing what the doctor says is not enough. You must push to get the best doctors, and learn as much as you can about your specific condition so you are informed and in some cases, you might be able to suggest things your doctor didn't consider. Anyhow, may God bless you in your journey!