2018 Bay Area LIVEr Champion
In the summer of 2015, I suffered from an acute pain in my stomach that took me to the ER. There they did a CT scan of my abdomen and found my liver to be enlarged and a splenorenal shunt present between my kidneys and my spleen. This event catapulted me into the world of “Ologists” and I learned in short time, anachronisms such as NASH and NAFLD. I also learned of a condition called Portal Hypertension, Fibrosis and of Metabolic Disorders. To add one more element, I learned about a genetic mutation, which results in a condition called hemochromatosis, which had deposited iron into my already struggling liver. I learned that genetics can play a huge part in such things and from then on began to educate myself on how best to live with genetic predispositions and contributions to Liver Disease. I have NASH with mild Fibrosis. It isn’t anything I have done exactly or a cause that a doctor can specifically tell me to be the reason. But I do know that accepting the condition, and living my life as healthy as I possibly can is the key to being happy. Nourishing the body with a diet prescribed to me by my medical team, taking my medications for my hyperinsulenmia, cholesterol and pain as well as controlled phlebotomies, help me to feel my best so that I can continue to exercise and be active. I teach inclusive yoga to those who have health challenges because I understand. I continue to walk my corgis everyday and do light weight lifting when I can. I try to make good choices. I don’t always succeed but I work daily to listen to my body and do the best by it. Mostly, I’ve found that surrounding myself with others who support me, being grateful for my family and staying active in my community are the best medicine yet. I am honored and privileged to be a part of the American Liver Foundation and look very forward to being involved in providing education, inspiration and understanding to those who have liver disease.