Thursday, August 01, 2013




It was shortly after 9 a.m. on a puffy white cloud laden scenic sunny morning when Kelly & I rolled out of our driveway heading east for Stratford’s  General Hospital.  This was the day we were hoping to get some directional answers on Kelly’s long & troublesome medical condition.  We were at the hospital early & luckily Dr. Haffner, Kelly’s specialist took us in early.  First let me tell you that Valley Fever has been ruled out.  Tests came back negative.  Doctor did say he had quite a time tracking her results down & finally found them still sitting at the Public Health Department in London Ontario.


Kelly has been re-diagnosed with probable PRIMARY BILIARY CIRRHOSIS & that has to do with the liver.  It is a non curable rare disorder Auto-Immune problem that can be controlled with a specific drug.  Ursodiol (Actigall) is the only drug approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of primary biliary cirrhosis. Ursodiol assists the liver in moving bile through the ducts to the gallbladder and small intestine. Studies have shown that Ursodiol prescribed early in the disease improves liver function, slowing the time it takes to progress to liver failure and the need for a liver transplant.  Primary Biliary Cirrhosis is not to be confused with the more commonly known Cirrhosis of the Liver commonly associated with the over use of alcohol.


It was also determined Kelly’s severe fatigue a month or so ago was caused by MONONUCLEOSIS.  It is something she had as a 12 year old child & it has lain dormant in her ever since.  There are a few other related conditions going on as well but everything seems to be related.  It was nearly 10 months ago now when Kelly first began running into problems.  Several of the conditions at that time are still persisting today.


Recent tests showed some remaining fluid around her heart so she is in for another Electrocardiogram (EKG) in Goderich.  Doctor also wrote her out a long term Ursodiol prescription which will begin dealing with the liver problem but we immediately ran into a problem later at the Pharmacy when she was told that medication is not available in Canada.  Faxes went back & forth between the Pharmacy & her Doctor with the Pharmacist phoning late this afternoon saying he is having the drug shipped in from the States & Kelly should have it by noon Friday.  Dr. Haffner’s office is also arranging for Kelly to have a liver biopsy done at the Stratford Hospital shortly & he wants to see her again in early September. 



Kelly is also lined up for another series of blood tests & an appointment is being made by Dr. Haffner for Kelly to see a liver specialist in London Ontario.   Kelly’s Doctor figured the earliest Kelly could get in to see the liver specialist was October.  That pretty much scuttles our mid September travel plans for heading to Colorado.  But, we have to do what we have to do to get Kelly feeling better & that is all there is to it.  We may have to put next week’s Bruce Peninsula travel plans on hold as well until we know about some of these new upcoming medical appointments.   To date Kelly has lost a total of 18 pounds but is looking at that weight loss positively.  You know how it is ladies……………………..



GROANER’S CORNER:((   A young executive was leaving the office at 6 p.m. when he found the company President standing in front of a shredder with a piece of paper in his hand. "Listen," said the Prez, "this is important, and my secretary has left. Can you make this thing work?"  "Certainly," said the young executive. He turned the machine on, inserted the paper, and pressed the start button. "Excellent, excellent!" said the President as his paper disappeared inside the machine. "I just need one copy."

- Tourists see the world, travelers experience it.
- Home is where your pet is:))
- "If having a soul means being able to feel
love and loyalty and gratitude, then animals
are better off than a lot of humans."
(James Herriot)
- The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails -William Arthur Ward
- The only thing better than right now will someday be the memories of right now...AL.
- It is not so much having nothing to do as it is not having the interest to do something....AL.


  1. Glad to hear that you have a diagnosis. Sorry to hear it's such a complicated, rare disease. I hope that the medication will make her feel so much better. Putting plans on hold is so minor compared to her health.

  2. Best to Kelly. It loos like she might have a hard row to tow for awhile, but she should know there are many of us pulling for her.

  3. Glad ya'll have a diagnosis, great on catching this early, hoping the meds work as planned and sure hope that after it all settles down ya'll can travel as planned. Best and heartfelt wishes and hope Kelly starts to feel better soon. So sorry to learn this news.

  4. Best wishes for Kelly's health issues. That's number one right now.

  5. Heartfelt thoughts coming Kellys way. So hopeful the meds offer support to getting it under control. Sure your reading as much as you can now that you have some answers...just read nuts are good.

  6. Glad you have a diagnosis, but concerned that it took them so long to make a diagnosis. Two of my three children had mononucleosis, and were diagnosed on the first visit. One had a very serious case and she was watched very closely once the diagnosis was made because they wanted the mono treated before it could do damage to her liver.

    Terrible that a doctor can't see someone for over two months with a serious illness. Maybe it's me, but I think what we, in the states, have heard about Canadian medicine may be true. What is your opinion, Al? Am I overreacting?

    To be frank, I'm starting to wonder whether the surgery I had was in anticipation of the Obamacare kicking in full force. Seems strange that now I'm told that they don't do surgery to fix pain in the back, they do it to fix pain in the legs. I never had pain in the legs and still don't have it. I have given my doctor the benefit of doubt...hoping it truly was to prevent further damage to the spine. As far as change since before surgery. Treatment? Remain on pain medication for the rest of my life. No fix.

    In any case, I hope that Kelly has better luck and her treatment makes her feel better and can keep the damage to a minimum.


  7. I am glad Kelly has a diagnosis,and that she is getting the medication she needs. Priorities change pretty quickly don't they.

  8. Not what I was hoping to hear for Kelly but hopefully this new drug will make her feel better.

  9. I so agree...not exactly what we all wanted to hear, but at least there is a plan now for her to get better.

  10. So sorry to hear the serious diagnosis. Hopefully the new medicine will put Kelly back on track to better health. Glad you were able to get the medication.


  11. Gosh, Kelly, this information has been a long time coming .... Feel bad that you have not only been dealing with the illness but also the worry and anxious waiting .... Sure hoping you are now on the right track and the meds will take care of things .... You need an award for your patience especially since you seem to be a person on the spot and finding the solutions to problems at hand.... Al always give you credit for your problem solving skills !!!!
    We are in your corner and hoping for some speedy results...
    All the best, SallyB

  12. Al and Kelly, well at least now you know...I had mono when I was 20. I've NEVER been the same since (I'm now 61!)...This last school year nearly did me in and school starts in 24 days! I'm NOT ready for it to begin again. Take care and God bless.

  13. Hopefully, now that they have something to work with, Kelly will start to feel better. It must be most depressing for her to feel rotten all the time. Fingers crossed on this new drug.

  14. At least you have a diagnosis and can go from there, hopefully she will soon begin to feel better and that the following tests prove positive.

  15. A common cause of liver cirrhosis is Hepatitis.

    Too many people just think of Alcohol.

  16. At least you are getting to the bottom of "things," and thank goodness they can treat her liver problem.
    May the other problems be as resolvable, too.
    Box Canyon Mark

  17. Our best to you and Kelly. She's a tough lady handling a tough combination of problems, and she's got a good man standing with her. I had mononucleosis shortly after we were married -- had to stay down five weeks to get over it. Don't remember much about it, except that the bed at home was totally pink -- sheets, blankets, headboard, everything, and the bedroom was painted pink also. Keep me away from pink!

  18. Perhaps this 4th diagnosis will prove to be the correct one. IF the test results were correct you have eliminated Valley Fever plus the previous 3 diagnosis. The medical profession moves in the same way as Thomas Edison did when he said: "I am not discouraged, because every wrong attempt discarded is another step forward."

  19. What a huge diagnosis for such a wee lady. At least you now have something to work with and knowing Kelly she will be exploring alternative methods of healing and repairing her body.

    As to the liver specialist I suggest a phone call next week with an explanation of your travel plans and was there anyway things could be moved up.

    Wishes you all the best in getting things organized.

  20. Sometimes a little trip in the Hiker helps me...Hope you can make a short trip to relax...I really can't see where Kelly HAD 18 pounds to shed!!..Guess I'll be happy to have just hypertension...

  21. I truly hope this is the correct diagnosis for Kelly.

  22. Our positive thoughts are coming your way. At least now, you have a starting point toward recovery.

    As a stupid American, I am confused. The drug mentioned being approved by the USDA. Does Canada follow US guide lines? Why would the US have any influence with drugs used in another country, no matter how good our Canadian neighbors are?

    Just wondering.

  23. Good that you got some positive news and a medication that will help slow the disease. Praying that all continues to improve:)

    I believe that ship passed right by us here on the St. Lawrence if it was heading out to sea! The ship traffic has been heavy lately. The channel is so close to my mother's house. We sit on the porch and watch the ships come and go.

  24. happy to hear you have a diagnosis and that it is treatable. Hopefully, the liver damage is minimal. I will be traveling to Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN in three weeks and hopefully, I will come out with more knowledge than I currently have. Good luck with the medication...prayers for you!


  25. All the way around we are wishing for the best ..... very
    hopeful a turn around is about to happen ..... Al, thank goodness Kelly has you as her CHEERLEADER and Pheebs as her MASCOT ...... now that is A #1 support !!!!
    Keep up the great TEAM EFFORT !!!!!
    All the best, SallyB and The Duke

  26. Sorry I must have missed your post yesterday. I am so sorry to hear that Kelly will be on meds for a year, but at least they seem to have found the problem. My best wishes for a complete recovery.