[NOTE:] This is a very personal article and one that has nothing to do with living in Romania. I just felt the need to write it and get it out of my system.
Earlier this year, I was saying that 2014 seems to be one of the worst years in my life. After an amazing 2013 when I was doing great in all areas, 2014 debuted with a big hit and I’ve lost almost half of our income. I was tired and depressed, stress was sky rocketing and I was starting to feel worse and worse. Then other problems came to bring more stress to my life: my accountant messed up some papers and I was expected to pay some huge tax this year (eventually, things got solved) and other minor things that kept me reminding that it’s a bad year, after all.
I was hoping that things are getting better: we managed to purchase an apartment in Romania, we had a great vacation here in Romania… but nothing was flawlessly perfect: the apartment renovations ended up costing a lot more than anticipated, so we’re on a really, really tight budget now (more on this in a future article); during our vacation, a fire started in our hotel, just two doors away from hours (it was a minor thing, but it was still pretty scary), so I couldn’t really enjoy everything. Still, things were getting better.
Or at least so I thought, until I decided to visit a doctor and run some tests because after the partying and crazy eating during our vacation, I wasn’t feeling very well. Except for the blood tests, they recommended an ultrasound, which I accepted. When I heard the doctor who gave me the ultrasound start seeing things, I felt that the sky has collapsed on me: liver’s a bit increased, there’s fat inside, fat inside the pancreas and many medical terms that I couldn’t understand. I was shocked.
In the end, the diagnose came: I have a fatty liver (non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, I found out after doing some research – although here in Romania they don’t seem to differentiate between the two). The ultrasound doctor told me it’s in stage one and nothing to be extremely worried about, while the specialist doctor told me it’s in stage two out of three. She explained that after stage three, it can evolve to cirrhosis and something even worse that I don’t even want to write here. A biopsy was needed. I was insanely scared. Biopsy equals very bad things in my books. When I got home, I simply couldn’t hold it and I started crying like a little baby. I was going to die. (Of course, no doctor told me that, but our mind has a great gift at drawing conclusions).
So in my mind, it was a disaster. And all that pain came from one major problem I was seeing as a result of the fact that I was going to die soon: I wasn’t going to be able to see my little baby grow. I wouldn’t get the chance to enjoy all those first moments with him and with my beautiful wife, I would leave them without some extra income, without a father. All these problems that my disappearance would’ve caused to the ones I love the most, these were more painful and scary than the tragic think that I felt was coming. These thoughts simply tore my heart. It was horrible and it certainly was one of the lowest moments in my life.
However, after I managed to get over this initial shock, I decided that I will not go down without fighting the best battle I can fight. Things started to add up: there was a new (but insanely expensive) blood test that could’ve been done instead of the biopsy to calculate the exact amount of damage inside my liver. People on the internet said that they were able, after solid and prolonged extreme dieting, to get healed and reverse the stage 2 fatty liver. I had the will to keep fighting and I still have it: it’s survival instinct, it’s more than that. It’s horrible, but I have to do it and hopefully I will be able to heal it. I read hundreds of articles. Diets. Opinions. One book about the fatty liver. And I still read and learn. Thank God for the internet!
Today I got the tests for the “biopsy,” together with the other blood tests. The conclusion was that things are a bit better than the specialist had anticipated and I am not in the second stage of the fatty liver, but in the first one and this should have no impact on my life. Actually, most of my results were still in the “OK” zone, which gave me an extra boost of confidence. The specialist says that I can’t get cured, but with dieting I can keep it at this stage for a very long time. But I actually plan to reverse it. So I really hope that God and all the people near me will give me the strength to do it. I want to do it.
This probably marks my rebirth.
I am dieting for almost ten days now and it’s not easy. I am not allowed to eat anything fried, no fast food, nothing with too much fat. No alcohol at all, not even non-alocholic beer. I have to reduce the meat intake and increase the veggies and fruits. I am not allowed to eat anything that has preservatives, no soda, no sweets. Basically, I say that if there’s something that tastes great, I am not allowed to eat it. And it’s difficult. Even though I consider myself a moderate drinker, I did enjoy a beer every now and then, during the evenings, after a long day, when it’s still hot outside. It’s difficult to look at all the booze that I have stored in the house, the whiskey and the wine, the beers and the soda, canned things that I am no longer allowed to eat. And I think it’s only going to be even more difficult in a couple of months. Which makes me sad. It makes me really sad, actually, but these are nothing but tests of my power of will.
And when my motivation is living near my family for as long as possible and seeing my son grow and helping him become a better man… well… then nothing else matters!
I have a fatty liver. I’ll do my absolute best to cure it!