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Mindful Monday #4 : Heart and Soul

Updated: Oct 13

About a year ago I was told my gallbladder as well as my liver were in jeopardy. To

make a long story short, due to the amount of medication my body was digesting, my gallbladder needed to be removed. During the surgery, they would also take a piece of my liver to be tested. Afterwards, the test results came back that I had a fatty liver. Before the surgery I had tried my best to control my fat and sweet intake. Seeing the test results, it was more than obvious I needed to try harder.

Initially we made vegetarian menus for the week. Both Dale and I grew up on meat

and potato family meals. You can imagine how strange it was coming up with ideas at first. Before long it became like second nature to pick out healthier options at the store. My biggest weakness are French fries. We finally bought a Ninja Foodi which has an air fryer. We’ve made our own fries and they’re wonderful! I switched to healthier snack and food choices to grab when I was out running errands. I had a regular exercise routine and had lost fifteen pounds. Then I’m not sure exactly what happened. I cannot blame anything or anyone but myself. It was my personal domino effect. My back pains got much worse, which started the depression, and finally I wanted the “comfort foods.” Do you want to know the wacky thing? I was still active despite my back hurting, the depression, and I was losing weight. So, I didn’t think anything about it. About two weeks ago, I got really sick with what I thought was a stomach virus. There was a moment one night where I almost went to the hospital. I contacted my general physician and thankfully I got better. Naturally my doctor was worried about my pain and thought there may be some blockage in my liver. Shortly after my conversation with her, I went to do a blood test. I have this blood test done every three months to make sure my body is in good shape due to all the medication I take. Sure enough, my blood test results came back showing that my liver is worse than last year.

My Alkaline Phosphatase, SGOT (AST), and SGPT (ALT) blood counts are off the charts:

· Alkaline Phosphatase 194 U/L 46-116 U/L

(“is an enzyme found in several tissues throughout the body. Elevated levels of ALP in the blood are most commonly caused by liver disease, bile duct obstruction, gallbladder disease, or bone disorders. This test measures the level of ALP in the blood.”) https://labtestsonline.org/tests/alkaline-phosphatase-alp

· SGOT (AST) 51 U/L. 0-33 U/L

(“AST (SGOT) Hepatitis C for Patients; It is also known as serum glutamic-oxaloacetic transaminase, or SGOT. AST is a protein made by liver cells. When liver cells are damaged, AST leaks out into the bloodstream and the level of AST in the blood becomes elevated”).https://www.hepatitis.va.gov/hcv/patient/diagnosis/labtests-AST.asp

· SGPT (ALT) 57 U/L 10-49 U/L

(“Alanine aminotransferase (ALT) is an enzyme found mostly in the cells of the liver and kidney. Much smaller amounts of it are also found in the heart and muscles. Normally, ALT levels in blood are low, but when the liver is damaged, ALT is released into the blood and the level increases. This test measures the level of ALT in the blood and is useful for early detection of liver disease.The function of ALT is to convert alanine, an amino acid found in proteins, into pyruvate, an important intermediate in cellular energy production. In healthy individuals, ALT levels in the blood are low. When the liver is damaged, ALT is released into the blood, usually before more obvious signs of liver damage occur, such as jaundice.") https://labtestsonline.org/tests/alanine-aminotransferase-alt


My heart literally fell out of my chest! It took a couple of days to accept that I might be facing another surgery. I have a sonogram on Wednesday plus a meeting with my gastroenterologist afterwards. If it comes to it, which I hope to God it doesn’t, Dale might be able to help me with his liver, because he has type B positive blood and I have type AB positive blood. Which makes it possible for him to be my donor and he wants to be tested if it comes to that. Mentally, I feel like I have been knocked down. I am brushing myself off and looking at things with a different perspective. Until I can see my gastroenterologist, I’ve looked up foods that can help clean my liver. If I can avoid another surgery, I will try anything within reason! 15 Foods that Cleanse Liver showed me some items that I include in my diet: Almonds, apples, avocadoes, blueberries, and pomegranate (tea).

Meditation is something that I’ve never really given much thought about. I have been an illustrator for several years now. However, I’ve never considered how my art as being a form of meditation. I’m in my own little world when I’m creating art. I’m in a zone where I don’t notice anything at all. So yes, indeed I have spent half of my life meditating. Upon writing this blog, I was not even aware that I was doing it. It’s so cool when you can step back and discover things about yourself that you’ve never noticed before. Instead of keeping all of this news bottled up inside, I’ve shared it with family and friends. By sharing everything it made me realize that once again that I am never alone. We all need someone to talk to. I am making extra time for myself. This is not because of recent events. I spoke last week about how I put others before myself. Things are changing. It’s been a long time coming and it feels good! Time will tell what the test on Wednesday will say. I am saying my prayers and keeping myself positive until then!

Have a great rest of your week purple butterflies!

Till next week!

Be well!

Rachel

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