Sunday, January 03, 2010

Long time no post!

Wow! I just realized how long it has been since I have posted on my blog. I'll just blame it on Facebook. It is a huge time suck!!

I am off my feet again for a little while with a lot of spare time, so I thought I would take a few minutes to update anyone who might still be following me.

I've been sick off and on over the past year and had no idea why. I just seemed to feel bad after eating quite often and missed quite a few days from work over the year because of it. I always felt like my food was stuck and was not digesting and couldn't pin point it to any one type of food. I didn't feel nauseated or anything but would make myself sick to get the food out since it seemed like it wasn't go to go the other way any time fast. (blech - sorry!). Well, these episodes started too include pain that would last for hours. I had a bad one about 3 weeks ago but the pain went away and I was able to fall asleep finally, so I still didn't tell my Doctor about it. The "episodes" were always spread pretty far apart so when I got another one a week later compiled with the fact that the pain was more intense and had lasted for over 7 hours, I called my Doc at midnight to ask her advice. I got in touch with her associate who told me to get the ER because it sounded like my gall bladder and she was concerned that it might burst. WHO KNEW!!

So, Fred brought me to the ER and they ushered me right in. They did an EKG because I guess sometimes heart attacks mask themselves as abdominal pain in women (another who knew!), they drew blood for tests and they did an ultrasound on my gall bladder. In the ultrasound they found tons of gall stones which I guess most people have without being bothered and my blood work came back showing that my gall bladder was inflamed and infected, so they admitted me.

After about 36 hours of IV antibiotics they sent me home with prescriptions for 2 antibiotics and a low fat diet and told me that we would schedule surgery to take it out in about 4-6 weeks. When I got home we had a nice low fat dinner and I went to bed. The next morning, Christmas Eve, I felt nauseated and had the dry heaves all day. At 3pm we called the surgeon's office to ask them if it was a normal side effect of one of the meds they gave me since the pain had started again, they said to get back to the ER.

At the ER, they did the exact same things they did on Monday; the blood work, the EKG and the ultrasound and once again they admitted me. I was set up on a "nothing by mouth diet". Merry Christmas to me!

Fred was torn. It was Christmas Eve. Our plans for the evening were out of the question but the kids were still home alone. He didn't want to leave me alone on Christmas Eve but we also didn't want the kids to be alone. So, I sent him home with instructions to get the three presents in my bedroom for them marked Christmas Eve and have them open them before they go to bed like they do every year. Despite not having me there, I wanted things to be semi-normal for them and it's tradition that they get Christmas pajamas to wear to bed so that they will look cute in the Christmas morning pictures. I also asked him to bring them in to see me in the morning and to bring a couple presents for each of us and our Christmas stockings, which he had to stuff for me this year.

On Christmas morning they came into my hospital room still dressed in their Christmas pajamas. They told me that when they opened them the night before, they all cried because I still followed tradition even though i couldn't be there. They wanted to make sure I got to see them in their gift. Opening gifts there surely wasn't the same as it would have been at home in front of our Christmas tree with our traditional family Christmas music playing in the background, but we were together and that was what mattered most.

After they left the surgeon came in and said that he had a feeling one of the stones passed and got stuck so they had to do an endoscopy on me. My roommate assured me that she had quite a lot of those and that I would be heavily sedated and remember nothing of it. The rest of that day they continued me on the antibiotics and "nothing by mouth.

The next day they did the endoscopy. Unfortunately, it didn't work out quite the way my roommate described it. It's cruel and unusual punishment! LOL I was awake and remember every minute of it. But, on the bright side, they did find and remove a stone and a fragment of another, and also cut through the muscle at the end of the bile duct so that if any more stones passed they wouldn't get stuck.

The rest of Saturday and all day Sunday, I was allowed a clear liquid diet and continued to watch the Law & Order Special Victims marathon they had running on one of the 6 TV stations the hospital had. Then after midnight, I was back to the "nothing by mouth" diet in anticipation of my surgery. They had given me the choice to try to go home and schedule it for later to let the rest of the inflammation go down to make the risk lower for complications, but I didn't want to chance having another stone getting stuck or having any more episodes of intense pain. So, when asked, I opted to go ahead with the surgery on Monday.

I am not a needle person, and I am a hard stick with hard to find, tiny, veins. While I was in there during both admittances, I had my IV moved three times, and had blood work every single mother loving morning. My hands got beat up the most since it's easier for them to find veins. While in surgery, they attempted to move my IV a 4th time so that it was bigger for the anesthesia. When I woke up I saw three holes on my inner wrist! My IV was still in the same place it had been, so I don't know what they ended up doing.

I woke up thinking, "Yes, it's finally out and I can start to heal". Morphine wasn't helping the pain so they had me on something 100 times stronger than morphine. I was comfortable and able to rest, and more importantly, after one clear liquid meal, I got to eat solid food for the first time in nearly a week. It was a low fat diet, but at least it was solid and could be chewed!

I was still in a lot of pain on Tuesday, so I continued to rest on the higher dose of pain meds, and waited until Wednesday to go home. Ever since then, I have been here on the couch. I've started knitting a new Cardigan with a really awesome deep red chunky yarn. It has acrylic in it, but it's still soft and nice to knit with so, I don't care! I'm hoping it will be done before I have to go back to work. The pain is manageable as long as I stay on the couch and remember to take my pain meds every 4 hours. The kids and Fred have been awesome. They continue to check on me to see if I need anything, and they help me up to bed at night with all of my pillows.

They are all back to school tomorrow and I will be on my own. Hopefully I will feel OK getting up and down off of the couch more often. Cross your fingers!

So what is everyone else up to?

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