IBD, PSC, and Me: The Mystery of the Ornery Body

IBD, PSC, and Me: The Mystery of the Ornery Body
For the last two weeks, I’ve invited my readers to join me on a quest to unlock the medical puzzle that is my body. I feel like Indiana Jones in "Raiders of the Lost Ark" as he tries to find the ark of the covenant before the Nazis do. In the movie, the ark is both holy and cursed. The Nazis believe it will empower them with invincibility to win the war. Indiana, on the other hand, realizes that disturbing the ark will bring only destruction. Making sure the ark finds its way into the right hands is a matter of life and death. My transplant team and I could be racing against time to discover the cause of my elevated liver enzymes. Like Indiana Jones must battle one obstacle after another during his pursuit, I must run a gauntlet of medical tests and procedures before my team can find an answer. Test. Review. Repeat. Despite continuing my weekly bloodwork regimen, I was able to briefly let down my guard after an appointment with my transplant hepatologist, Dr. Madhavi Rudraraju (aka Dr. Raju), was postponed. My labs from June 10 showed vast improvement from the previous weeks. My aspartate transaminase (AST) and alanine transaminase (ALT) levels, which were in the high ranges of 76 and 49, respectively, both returned to normal in the teens. Even my alkaline phosphatase continued to lower closer to normal levels. I thought my health was finally taking a turn for the better. After spending half my life as a medical enigma, I should have known this smooth ride on my health journey wouldn’t last long. When I logged on for my telehealth appointment last week, I met with Dr. Raju’s nurse practitioner, Ciara, instead of the doctor herself. Ciara went over my most recent bloodwork and the additional notes my transplant team radiologist made regarding my magne
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