In June 2018, my blood work was flagged for high liver enzymes. I spent the summer bouncing around between my doctors having additional blood work, an abdominal ultrasound, and ended up seeing a Rheumatologist. From there I was referred to a Gastroenterologist who ordered a liver biopsy.
The liver biopsy was a whole new experience for me and I was very nervous. But, the medical team was fantastic!
In October my results became official- I had Autoimmune Hepatitis (AIH).
When meeting to discuss the biopsy results they said my inflammation was a level 3- “that’s great” I replied, thinking it was on a scale of 10. “No, Julie,” they told me, “it’s out of 4.” Clearly, I had no liver knowledge going into this!
As a 36 year old mother of two youngsters, I was shocked that something could be wrong with my liver. I don’t even drink- despite the youngsters and my job as a middle school teacher! I actively started to find out as much as I could about AIH. The more I learned, the more thankful I became that I was diagnosed quickly from that initial flagged blood work. I am also thankful I am faithful about getting my labs done every year.
My goal now is to continue to take care of my health so I can take care of my family. My other goal is to spread the word about the importance of annual checkups and blood
work, especially for other busy moms in my age group. We often are so busy with our kids and work that we neglect our own health.
I hope my story can help others take time out to get that check up and do those labs!
Don’t be afraid to reach out to others for help. Going through the testing/diagnosis process can be frightening as can getting used to a new diagnosis. But, we are not alone!
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