Today, was seriously a wake-up call.
I went to the funeral of a gal who I have been acquainted with through our volunteer activity with Canadian Liver Foundation. I am not going to use her last name, because I do not want to go through the rigor-moral of getting consent when the funeral was …. today. But I will say that she was only 34 years old when she passed.
My interactions with her were few, but when I first got involved with CLF in 2008, she was one of two actual humans I met with AIH. Prior to that, I had the condition already for many years, so it was an exciting to talk to her about her experiences. She had a transplant (whereas I haven’t), so her story was in fact more eventful than mine, but post transplant, she was doing well and living her life.
During the years between 2008 and 2015, every time I saw her, she was a picture of health. She was extremely active and loved the mountains. She was a beautiful woman with a big smile full of straight teeth, vibrant skin and bright eyes. We played in a golf tournament for CLF together and most recently, saw her at a CLF gala in November, and she was her happy, larger-than-life self.
I do not claim to know her extremely well, or even know all the details of her death. Under the circumstances did not want to ask a lot of questions since it is pretty raw today. However, in some of the details, I got a wake up call. I wanted to share with you some high level facts, that I am sure only tell a small piece of the full story.
If you are going to have liver disease, AIH is the one you want. For most, the treatments are effective and the prognosis is good.
Based on what I was told, there was two things that led to complications for her.
- About 3 years ago, she was in an accident. Sadly, she received a significant injury to her liver.
- Also, I cannot confirm this, but I was told that she was not consistent with taking her prescribed medications for her liver.
She was in the hospital for 5 weeks leading up to her death. The medical team fought like hell to save her but it was too far gone.
I am sure the story is not that cut and dry, but what spurred this article was to give myself, and those of you living with AIH a reminder to TAKE YOUR MEDS. We are not invincible. And more importantly, asymptomatic for many (like myself). Take your pills. In case you didn’t hear me the first two times – take your dang pills. There is so much in life that we cannot always control, such as getting this disease in the first place, or getting an injury in a car accident. Taking our prescribed medication we CAN control. Do it. Just…. do it.
Rest in Peace Meredith. ❤