Blogging about life in Minnesota, raising our six kids with Down syndrome while battling Breast Cancer.

Be the kind of woman that when your feet hit the floor in the morning the devil says, "Oh shit! She's up!"

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Building your medical vocabulary

If there is one thing Angela has done for me throughout her 19 1/2 years on this earth, its to build my understanding of medical terminology and anatomy.

Angela had an ultrasound yesterday, and another more detailed study today. We're looking for something very specific, and we're hoping we find it. We need to find it.

Our vocabulary lesson for today includes the following term:

Congenital Intrahepatic Portosystemic Venous Shunt

Congenital = present at birth

Intra - inside

hepatic = liver

Porto = point of entry

Venous = vessel that carries blood

shunt = bypass or diversion

On ultrasound, it appears that Angela has an obstruction of blood flow within her liver. Liver blood flow should be smooth, and pulse with the heartbeat. Angela's liver blood flow is turbulent, meaning it is being blocked or hindered by something. The body's blood supply needs to go through the liver to be filtered of waste products, including ammonia. When the blood flow is "shunted" (diverted) in any way, that blood is not getting filtered. That would cause her ammonia levels to spike and fall continuously.

Orders have been written for her to have an MRI under anesthesia (because it will take a long time and she can't lay still that long). We're hoping it can be done tomorrow but if she isn't stable enough we'll have to wait until Monday.

Please pray this is it. There are a few different ways to address a liver shunt, some more invasive than others, and they all depend upon where, how big or small. If we can solve the problem it is curative. That is best case scenario and its what we NEED to happen.

Angela needs this. 

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