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The Sounds of Acute Bacterial Cholangitis - a bacterial cholangitis parody song

I’ve written a parody of the song 'The Sound of Silence' by Simon and Garfunkel

I remember lying in bed and groaning with pain in December 2020 and the lyrics 'hello darkness my old friend' were going around my head, as when you've had a lot of cholangitis attacks they become familiar but unwelcome (like depression, loneliness etc). As the lyrics and tune went around my head, the line 'the sound of silence' became 'bacterial cholangitis' and the rest came from there.

Rewriting the lyrics helped me through that night

The original song is quite dark and melancholy which is where I felt I was with the night time cholangitis attacks, just writhing in pain in the darkness. Listening to the song, reading the lyrics and rewriting them helped me through that night. I went into Derriford Hospital the next day and was there for a week because my body had undergone enough cholangitis attacks that it had become immune to the antibiotics. The photo of me in my PSC Support t-shirt was a selfie I took during that week.

I think that cholangitis attack and hospital stay probably moved me up the transplant waiting list and I received my transplant just over a month after writing this song. So in some ways it was the beginning of the end of all the horrendous symptoms that had been growing progressively worse for years! I guess now I really need to write a counter song!

Katherine - cholangitis
Katherine - itching
Katherine PSC Support t-shirt

The Sounds of Acute Bacterial Cholangitis (with apologies to Simon and Garfunkel)


Hi Cholangitis, my old 'friend'

You've come to torture me again

Because infection softly creeping

Left me in pain and stopped me sleeping

And bacteria that was planted in my liver

Still remains

Amid the sounds of groaning

In restless dreams I clutch my side

Itch and chills I can't abide

'Neath the haze of sickening nausea

I wonder once again what caused 'ya

When my eyes are stabbed by the glow of yellow jaundice -

Acute cholangitis

Bacterial cholangitis

And in the Facebook group I saw

Two thousand people, maybe more

People talking 'bout their symptoms

People sharing their condition

People writing questions to each other

And they all cared

About my cholangitis

"World" said I, "If you don't know

PSC like cancer grows"

Hear my words that I might teach you

Take your PSC Alert Card with you

So that all the NHS professionals

Can quickly treat

Bacterial cholangitis

And the people heard my call

"PSC Support for all"

Alert Cards hold an urgent warning

With the symptoms that are forming

And the card said, "Please give this person immediate medical attention

And antibiotics

To treat acute cholangitis."

Katherine received her liver transplant in 2021 and has been recovering well since.

Katherine before her transplant
Katherine before her transplant
Katherine after her transplant
Katherine after her transplant

Sometimes people with PSC experience infections in the bile ducts called 'acute cholangitis' or 'bacterial cholangitis'. These infections can happen at any time, even in those with otherwise good liver function. Therefore it is important to be able to recognise the signs and get the right treatment when it is needed.

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