A New Adventure Begins

My AIH story begins just a few short weeks ago. I was furiously preparing for my husband's surprise 50th birthday party and as the day approached, the more tired I became. I chalked it up to stress and thought nothing more of it.

The day of the party I awoke with serious abdominal pain, but there was no time to allow that to interfere with the schedule. Thanks to good friends, I was able to get the food done, decorate the house and get the hubby out of the house for a few hours. By the time the work was done, I was exhausted and in so much pain all I wanted to do was go to bed! But, it's poor etiquette to leave a house full of guests.

The following day the pain was unbearable, and every passing day brought new symptoms (itchiness, nausea, dark urine, pale feces, unbelievable fatigue). When my husband and coworkers mentioned that my eyes were yellow, I finally broke down and made an appointment to see my PCP.

After the initial round of blood work and a CT (they thought it was gallstones) I was sent on my way with a referral to a GI. My LFT came back with elevated bilirubin, AST/ALT levels. As the 10 days slowly passed between the PCP visit and the GI appointment, my condition worsened. By the day of the appointment, I was the color of Big Bird.

I'm thankful that my GI responded so quickly. He demanded a liver biopsy that day and ordered so many blood tests, I didn't think I'd have anything left after they had taken what they needed! LFT panels done that day showed that the bilirubin, AST/ALT had all doubled and everyone just kept "tsk"ing and shaking their heads when they looked at the results.

I was given a script for 60 mg of Prednisone and told to start taking it immediately. After my first dose, I felt like a brand new person. Too bad the progress hasn't continued. I'm still surprised at how differently I feel from one day to the next, but still thankful as it beats the alternative.

Since my diagnosis, I've researched AIH as much as Google/Bing will allow. I was surprised to learn that other AI disorders have been linked to this disease. I also have Hashimoto's Thyroiditis and Discoid Lupus. AIH must be lucky number three! I've read a ton of stories posted in this group and my heart goes out to all of you fellow AIH-ers.

Since my diagnosis, I've been learning to take each day as it comes. I don't know what to expect from one day to the next, or whether the AIH or the prednisone side effects will dictate the schedule. I'm thankful to have a fantastic, supportive husband and great family and friends to help get me through each day.

PuffyBuffy PuffyBuffy
41-45, F
Dec 3, 2012