Thursday, January 18, 2018

Tap is not always a fun time

The Word Tap is not always a fun time.........

Most people in American society think of one thing when they hear the word tap.
Tap has a good connotation. Most American people (not entities like myself, the forever taken for granted liver) have good thoughts when they hear the word tap. High school friends meeting in the mountains on a Friday afternoon as graduation approaches, buddies meeting at the bar after work, family parties on a hot summer afternoon. All these have at least one thing in common and that is beer. Goodness knows Notbillybob enjoyed a fair share of it. That is part of the reason he has me the pickle I find myself in today. But I digress....
Notbillybob and I have a new connotation for the word tap. The new thoughts include a large needle, tubing, a liter plastic tub and yet another speech from the hepatology docs about the evils of sodium. In other words paracentesis. Paracentesis always includes an infusion of albumin (material in egg whites). Liver disease can mean weak cell walls because of low albumin. Weak cell walls allows fluid to seep from the organs into the space in between. If this is a new word see the prior post "Happy New Year from the Liver". The sodium lecture is important because kidneys like salt and salt likes water. Too much salt in Notbillybob's diet means we hang on to too much water. Notbillybob takes "water pills" to be rid of the extra water, but this is hard on the kidneys. His are in good shape so far but we cannot be too careful.
So today was to be a typical post hospital visit with the hepatology nurse practitioner. Instead she was concerned about the weight gain since our release. Upon exam of me and Notbillybob she went for the ultrasound. She then asked if I would like to be "drained". Knowing it would make us both feel better we agreed.

Today she drained 9.8 liters (that is roughly 2.5 gallons, without exaggeration 20 pounds) of fluid. No sign of infection. Today was a basic outpatient procedure. No hospital admit. When we arrived today Notbillybob weighed 216 pounds. After the tap he weighed 196 pounds. The last time he weighed this low number was at the 6 week mark of Navy boot camp.
Needle came out and the three of us headed home. By three of course I mean myself BillyBob, Notbillybob and the lovely Princepessa.
Before we left the building we indulged in a cup of homemade Chicken soup. If you are one of my docs I did count. This came to only 630 mg of sodium.

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