I was in a speciality clinic recently and the doctor tapped his pen on a piece of paper. My blood work showed significant problems with my liver.
He said "Either you are drinking yourself to death, or you have hepatitis."
I blinked. "Um, well, I don't drink, so I guess we can go with the other hypothesis. Or wait, maybe I had it? No. Yes. Definitely. I remember, I picked it up in the hospital in the middle of the cancer years."
The doctor started taking notes. "Which kind? A, B, or C?"
He dropped his pen and smacked both hands to his head (I am a terrifically interesting and terribly exasperating patient). "Why?"
"I was twelve years old!"
"But hepatitis C is dangerous! You might die!"
"It hadn't been invented in 1983, right? Anyway, I had other things to think about. Like the gangrene in my stomach cavity. Seriously, hepatitis would not have seemed important that year."
He shook his head and ordered more tests. I went back for the results a couple of weeks later: hepatitis A, not lethal, just destructive. In the interval I had remembered that during stomach surgery a few years ago my liver was found to be wrapped in scar tissue, and the doctor in charge that day had hoovered off whatever he could reach. Leaving me with a vague prognosis for further trouble, but no advice.
Why did I forget that?
Why would I remember?
Thinking about my internal organs bound up in scar tissue is creepy. I'm no fan of horror, especially when it is located in my gut.
The new doctor was mainly poking around in my ladybits and he found nothing out of the ordinary except the same old scars on my ovaries ("perhaps your intestines adhered and were ripped away"). This would be a victory - cancer tests negative, ahoy! Except the liver thing seems, oh, I don't know, important? The doctor shrugged.
From what I can gather I don't do anything that hurts my body. No alcohol, no smoking, no greasy or junk food, in fact I largely follow the vegan-ish and gluten-free habits of my family members. My only real indulgence is jellybeans, and they are restricted by cost as luxury import items.
I mentioned the liver issue to the acupuncturist working on my fucked up hands, and she jumped in shock - what were the doctors prescribing, what was the prognosis? She seemed to think that "go home and ignore it" was not the best course of action. Though even a masterful alternative medicine practitioner is flummoxed by the notion that all of my internal organs are trapped in a web of scar tissue. She can give me needles to help with overall health, but the only way to really fix it would be to go in surgically and move stuff around. Again. Which I'm not keen to try.
Nobody wants to think about it. This makes me feel better, because it is in alignment with my own desire.
However. If my blood tests show "significant" problems with liver function, I reckon I should at least try to do… something.
I don't know what though. Herbal tea?