I ended up being rejected from the study for several reasons, one being the amount of scarring on my liver. I was referred to a hepatologist who did an ultrasound and found nothing amiss except some asymptomatic gallstones, but still wanted to do an ultrasound "just in case." Never have got around to that.
So last week, I was contacted by another researcher in the same group for another, similar study/trial. This time I got rejected after some blood work, before we even got to the point of scanning my liver.
It seems my ALT score is just too ... normal. They wanted at least a 30, I only got a 26 (both are well within normal range but apparently lower is better).
My personal theory about the scarring on my liver is that it occurred during Desert Shield/Desert Storm. I was exposed to a number of weird things:
- An anthrax vaccine from tubes marked EXPERIMENTAL! DO NOT USE ON HUMANS (I had to be threatened with a court-martial before I let them stick me with it).
- Smoke from thousands of burning oil wells in the Burgan Field (I spent about two months within sight of the flames and within a constant soot cloud).
- Some weird yellow powder that locally sourced contractors spread all over the place to keep flies down.
- Probably sarin.
- Probably PCBs from used motor oil that was poured on in-camp roads to keep the dust down.
But I could be wrong about that. Apparently the damn thing is still ticking within normal human function range, so there's that, anyway.