Thursday, July 28, 2011

It's here and almost over

I am having finally having surgery this Friday at 7am. They are removing my appendix and also removing a small part of my bowel that has a hole in it. Hospital stay is 3-7 days depending on how quickly my bodily functions start working+I can eat+I can walk. I am really not looking forward to the recovery part bc my last hospital experience was terrible. I'm just afriad I will be passing out and throwing up again this go round. I understand this will make me better in the long run it just seems crazy to plan something that you know will cause so much misery (for a short time though). I am still scheduled to be off work through the end of august. and my doctor said I will have a 10 lb weight lifting restriction for 6 weeks... so even if I go back to work end of Aug I will have to be on light duty for 2 more weeks. Imagine trying to stay awake all night when your only job is to answer patient call lights. We'll see how that goes...

Please keep me in your prayers. I am not a fan of the idea of having my abdomen cut open. It really kinda freaks me out.. yes I undersatnd I am a nurse but I can care for it on someone else better than I can handle it myself.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Me.. again.

My most recent doctor's appt was last Tuesday and we finally have a date for surgery: July 29. I will have the drainage tube in until that time, meaning I will be off work until then.. and 4 weeks after surgery for recovery.The tube has to stay in bc it has attched itself to the bowel so they will need to surgically remove it... and actually remove a piece of my bowel (looks like 1-2 inches) where the hole is (and where appendix is attached). He said I will be in hospital for 6 days after and it should not have any lasting effects on my bowels or body. I am not looking forward to having surgery and the recovery part but I will be so glad when it is all over! I cant believe I am off work for the whole summer and cant really enjoy it how I want to. The great part of it though is that I have been able to be home with Max as we try to train him and also we are going to Alabama in July to be with my whole fam. It will be a good time.

I will get to see this little man in July!!

Hes 7 months old and now crawling all over the place!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Appointment today

So my drain stopped draining for a few days after the last post so I was thinking maybe it isn't a fistula and that they could remove the tube earlier than expected. Well like 5 days ago it started draining again more than before and now we know it is a fistula. I went to the doc today and I am now scheduled for surgery on Friday, July 29. The doc said since it is a fistula (causing a hole in the bowel- which is draining into the tube) it would be most safe to open me up for surgery because of all the scar tissue that will be there bc the ruptured appendix. ANd now surgery will be taking out a piece of my bowel where the appendix was attached to and now has a hole. He said this will not have any long term effects like with bowel function or anything. I was hoping for a laparoscopic surgery bc that is just little holes and not an incision. Also less recovery time. But more than just the scar it will cause I am nervous about recovery. I know its not a terrible surgery but just the fact of having surgery makes me nervous... and I'll be in the hospital probably 6 days for recovery. And off work 4 wks after... for a grand total of being off work for roughly 16 weeks! Thank the Lord for the job that I have bc I am getting a percentage of my pay every 2 weeks. I am so thankful for that. This whole thing has been going on for so long now but at least there is an end in sight (as long as everything goes well!)

The doc said for having a fistula it is not draining as much as expected and there is a possibility of it healing on its own. If that happens there is a chance that they could pull the tube earlier and I could have laparoscopic surgery just to remove the rest of the appendix. So please please PLEASE!! continue to pray and that God would heal up the fistula and hole in the bowel. God is in control of all of this and can do miracles!

At least I've had this little sucker to keep my mind off of it all:

Don't let the sweet face fool you. He's a fiesty little thing. Its like babysitting a kid in their "terrible two" stage. He's sweet one minute and biting my hand the next. But he is smart and learning. He knows his name and "come". He has been a lot of fun. We are working on "sit" and walking on the leash. And wow... puppy farts are the absolute worst!

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Latest update...

I went to Dr. yesterday and he scheduled me an appt today with radiology to see if my drain tube could come out. So I went today and the plan was to inject dye into my drain port and take xrays to make sure the abscess and infection is all gone. Well, the abscess is not there anymore but when he injected the dye it lit up what looked to be the small bowel. This is something they warned me about so I wasnt completely surprised... but very disappointed. Ths means I have developed a fistula meaning the tube has attached itslef to the bowel and if they pulled the drain out it could cause a hole in the intestine plus more infection. He said the drain may have to stay in until I have surgery which probably won't be for 2-3 months. There is a small possibility that when I go in for my next appt in 2 weeks they will do a catscan and see that things have healed up or its not a fistula and could possibly pull it out then. But as for now it looks like I will be attached to my unfortunate buddy for maybe a couple of months. As far as I know they won't let me go back to work until I get it out.. but I'm not completely sure on these details yet. I'm not completely on "house arrest" though... they are saying my activity is as tolerated... except for like swimming, of course, or roller coasters or biking. But I can SIT by the pool and take walks and maybe even go camping. So today I've already had my down moments to be sad about it but have since thought about all the things I can and will do. Like enjoy time with my new puppy we are getting on Saturday... which will actually be good bc he will need that one-on-one time for his first few weeks... and I'll be off work. Through all this I keep telling myself there are people going through SOOO much worse than this. And this will pass. God has really shown himself to me through all of this. Probably because I have actually been watching and listening.. and CRAVING him. I am so humbled by Him. Maybe that is why all this has happened anyway. Wake up calls come in all forms. And one day soon I will be healed.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Home At Last

So yes I am home. But I brought a buddy along with me- have to keep the drain in until unknown date. Will have dr. appt next week and if the draining stops by then he could take it out in his office. What I do not want to happen is they take it out then discover there is more to drain and have to put it back in. This drain is literally a pain in my butt. Gettingn used to it though. I am welcoming visitors this week and could actually use some help during the days- although i know most ppl work during the day- but Travis could prob use a break in the eves as well. So if youre interested I will be here. I;m not great fun right now. But I am able to hang out and watch movies :) Still working on the eating thing. At least my apetite is back some but I;m kinda on a low fat/low carb diet per the dr... but im pretty much gonna eat what I can bc my body is starving. Anyway... call me if you want to come. Otherwise... prayers still welcome bc i dont feel out of the woods yet.

Love you.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Sickness part 2: correct diagnosis

Update on what is actually happening with me. I left off from the previous entry on thursday, finishing up antibiotics. Well satrday was my last dose... sunday felt better... sunday night tossing and turning with stomach ache... monday severe cramps in lower abdomen. Called doctor- she said that we will plan on the colonoscopy for wednesday. Tuesday was terrible bc I had the cramps and had to be on just liquids for the day (had to drink two 62 oz gatorades with laxatives in them plus at least eight 8oz glasses of water or other fluids duirng the day). As you can imagine it was a very clear, liquid poopy day(I'm over modestY) . BUt painful throughout. Wed I headed for the colonoscopy.. "Oh that didnt hurt at all... I dont remember a thing.." is what everyone and their moms who have had a colonoscopy had told me. Well... they apparently didnt have what I had which was already severe pain in my abdomen. I was sedated and filled with pain meds but I vividly remember the pain of the dr pressing hard on my abdomen while manuvering the tube around my colon- ive never had such pain in my life.. and I remember her saying "Sarah, you need to relax..". Yeah.. try to relax with excruciating pain. The problem was part of my bowel was twisted and she was pushing on my stomach to try to get the tube moving aroud it or something. I thought I was giong to die. When I woke up in the sedation room I kinda remember the doc explaining to my mom and travis (who had unexpectedly rushed over from work) that it was serious. She said they saw pus around my appendix and we werent exactly sure what that meant. She wanted to keep me slightly sedated and sent me over to Christ ER expecting me to have major surgery. When I got there they wanted to do another catscan meaning I had to drink more contrast- this time keeping it down. Had the catscan... waited FOREVER as one would usually do in a hospital. Then a resident dr came in and sat down and said "sarah has a ruptured appendix." This was a shock and I think all our mouths dropped bc we were still thinking colitis of some sort and hoping for the best. He wasnt really sure about a plan but said I woul dbe stayin in hospital overnight and possibly havingn surgery in the AM, or a drain tube put in to drain the infection (there were several scenerios presented). this meaninng I couldnt eat or drink anything until they decided. I mean seriously? I had a decreased apetite for the last 2 weeks and now not allowed to eat or drink anything? Suddenly ice water became my craving. That night was terrible... having 103 fevers and covering myself in ice packs.. not allowed to have any water except a few sips with tylenol. I did not sleep a minute that night. The next morning came and they decided to do the drain tube. No surgeries yet bc everything so swollen in my abdomen could puncure something or cause more infection. I was Mildly sedated for procedure but could still feel the needle and tube through the upper part of my right butt muscle into my abdomen to drain infection. Too risky to put it through abdomen for risk of puncturing something. I was on bed rest for 4 hrs afterwards. Then I had to pee. Called in PCA and my mom to help me to the bathroom bc i was in pain. I got up feeling dizzy, put my hands on the bed and woke up on the floor. The pca and my mom had caught me and lowered me to the floor. They tried to get me back up and i went down again. Decided to get back in bed and from then on until this morning I had to use a bedpan- not a fun time. as of now fevers have gone down but havent been able to keep food down well until dinner but didnt eat much. So prayers are much apprecaited still!! I am able to get up to the bathroom now and yestereday I did take a shower. Plan now is to continue antibiotics, watch the drain, continue to attempt eating. May go home in a few days with or without the drain (no exact date set yet). Will be off work for another 2-3 weeks as least. Plan for surgery maybe in 8 weeks once all swelling is cleared to take out remainder of appendix. Hopefully it all goes as planned and I dont step anymore backword. Love you all, i understand this is long but easier than telling each person separatly. Not wanting a lot of visitors because I havent slept good and hope to catch up on sleep during the day when I can. When I go home though I welcome visitors because it will be a lot of days home alone probably so I will let you all know when that is if anyone wants to visit.

Again... all prayers still welcome and so very much appreciated!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

There's no where to go but up from here

That's how I felt last wednesday at 4:30 in the morning as I crouched in a chair in the waiting room at Jewish hospital....
The day before, Tuesday, I had a bit of a stomach ache but I tried to ignor it because Trishia and Grayson were still in town and it was my last day with them. I thought my stomach ache was from eating too much junk the night before. I debated whether to take off work that night or not. After talking with a co-worker and hearing how crazy work was the night before, and considering how I felt at the moment, and that at my job its not like you can just leave in the middle of the night and pass my patients off to another nurse who already has 6 or 7... I decided to call off. Good thing though because the stomach ache turned to nausea which still hasn't let up. Late in the evening I began to have episodes of vomiting which did not stop. I tried to tough it out for the night but nothing would relieve it.. pepto bismol, water, nausea meds (I had from a previous food poisoning episode a few months ago)... it all came right back up. I was too uncomfortable to lay down so I would get up and walk around which would only make me puke. Only then would I have a few minutes of stomach pain and nausea silence before it would start up again. Around 4 I woke up travis (I had been trying to sleep on the couch at this point), and told him I thought we needed to go to the ER because it was not letting up. After one more puke in the sink we were out the door. It was the most excruciating stomach pains I have ever felt. Got to the ER and after about an hour of waiting, filling out papers, andn talking to a nurse and doctor I finally got some pain and nausea meds.... which didn't work. At this time I was just thrilled to not have puked again. I was really dehydrated so they IV'd me with a bag of fluids and in the meantime did find some pain and nausea meds that helped some. Got blood drawn- white blood cells came back super high which indicated infection. Decided to do CT scan of abdomen and gave me like a liter of what smelled like chlorinated water to drink. (smart to give with someone who is nauseous, huh?) I had an hour to drink the nasty stuff which seemed like a long time except I kept falling asleep. It was about 45 mins into it when I took the last drink and..... about 10 mins later it all came back up... all over the bed and me. At least at that time I had nothing else in my system so it was just like water. Anyway... still able to go to CT scan found out I have Colitis... inflammation of the colon. Unknown cause.. except that I probably got it from work. I stayed in ER until about 11 when they gave me antibiotics and made sure I could keep them down... then they let me go home. Last week was a very rough week. Not until about Mon or Tues of this week did my stomach pains and cramps go away. Related to that I had no apetite and was too tired to stay awake for meals anyway. At my lowest weight I probably lost about 15 lbs. Which in normal life that would be awesome but this wasnt healthy. I have since gained a few of that back but have only really been able to eat semi-decent meals (soup) since yesterday. This thing has wiped me flat out. As of today I only feel the occasional cramping (maybe 1 or 2 a day, compared to constant), so I am off pain meds and most nausea meds. Still on 2 antibiotics until saturday (which is probably the cause of my continued stomach issues with no apetite). It has really messed with me emotionally too, I have been so emotional because it just has lasted so long! I am scheduled to go back to work Monday and when I do I will have missed 7- 12hr shifts. I had to even fill out short term leave paperwork and send it in. All in all I am feeling much better but not 100% quite yet. I have until monday to be healed- I'm a little nervous about going back to work- especially nightshift, just as far as the keeping myself awake all night, and the fact that my apetite isnt back yet. Oh and I had to go to a gastro-specialist on monday who said if I don't feel better over the weekend she scheduled me for a colonoscopy for next wednesday. I was thinking about getting it done regardless of how I feel just to rule out anything else but I called today and you know how much a colonoscopy costs even with our insurance?? Over $900!! So I am really hoping I won't have to get it done. Its already enough that I ran out my PTO (paid time off hours), and getting paid less the next 2 checks, but having to pay $900 would just be that much worse. Oh and weird other thing.. its really been messing with my body- my mom and I are comparing hot flashes. Like last night I woke up and the room was cold but my body was like dripping with sweat. But I wasnt even really hot. Maybe my body is trying to sweat out toxins or something when I sleep. I do sometimes get hot during the night but not like night sweats.
Anyway.. I hope this terrible ride is coming to an end because I do not know how much more my body can take. I keep having these weird moments like today I walked briskly up the stairs, 2 at a time, and immediately got cramps in both sides of my butt! And I get a little winded using the stairs... gotta gain my strength back I guess. At least today I did not feel like I had to lay down all day. I did actually get a few things done. I just feel sorry for my husband because I dont think he's had a meal cooked for him in like 3 weeks- and I almost always would have it ready when he came home. He's been a great help though, and very supportive through all my break downs.

Until next time.... (hopefully I'll be healthy again!)....