And then the phone rang. I instantly recognized my hepatologist's voice. My emotions ran for cover, my heart sinking and my spirit rejoicing, as I realized a diagnosis was most likely at the other end of the line. Answers are good, but I knew the news would most likely not be of the good variety.
And so it goes.
After going over blood test and biopsy results, he uttered the two words that will forever be a part of my life: autoimmune hepatitis. A diagnosis. An answer that brought with it more than a handful of questions. He took his time, addressing each of my questions and concerns.
Recommended treatment includes Prednisone in combination with Azathioprine. Pred and I don't have a very good relationship, as he makes me very grumpy. Ok, very grumpy is an enormous understatement. Just ask my husband.
That I'm on Remicade may be my saving grace in all of this. With autoimmune hepatitis, my liver enzymes should be elevated - and they were until my increased dose of Remicade. Now they're NORMAL. This may indicate that Remi alone is successfully treating my autoimmune hepatitis, and that it isn't the cause of my autoimmune hepatitis, so we'll see what happens on just Remicade for the next few months until considering adding my friend Pred to the mix.
So much information to absorb and process. I'm not quite sure what I'm feeling right now. Relieved for a diagnosis and treatment plan. Scared about what this diagnosis means for me, and the ramifications of the medications I may need to take as part of my treatment.
I will journey forward in faith that God will help me through whatever it is to come. Or as the song says,
"With Christ as my vessel I will smile at the storm ... "