Thursday, December 30, 2010

Christmas 2010

We had a very good Christmas! On Christmas Eve day we went to my dad's parents house with his side of the family. All of his side of the family lives either in our neighborhood, or the neighborhood next to ours. It's great to be so close! There are 7 grandchildren, of which I am the oldest. We ate, opened presents, and spent time together. The best present I got? Well, I love everything I got, this is just my favorite right now. Some sweat pants and a sweatshirt! Oh it was the best thing ever! I was wearing jeans and a nice shirt for pictures and everything but when I got those sweats I ran, okay not really- and put them on. I no longer had to stuff Kleenex's in my pants to try and reduce the pain from surgery.
Around 7:30 we came back to our house to have Christmas with just us (me, mom, dad, brother, and dog. Can't forget the dog!). We opened presents and ate some more food! We always fix appetizers on Christmas Eve at our house. I headed to bed earlier than normal on Christmas Eve because I was exhausted and hurting! We woke up on Christmas morning and went to my moms parents with my aunt! After eating and opening presents, we played Apples to Apples and some other card games. Let me tell you, the competition got pretty intense! By dinner time, I was really worn out. Usually we stay there really late and watch a movie, but this year was different.
Actually, it's been different since I got sick, but especially this year. I didn't plan on being admitted to the hospital on December 4th, the exact time when all the Christmas festivities began. I had no idea that I would have to have emergency surgery on the evening of December 7th.
Diseases don't give you the holidays off. Yes, I might have had the cysts, endometriosis, and internal bleeding if I didn't have Lyme, but the appendicitis was from Lyme. The surgeon (who isn't a Lyme doctor) even said so. So this emergency surgery was mostly, if not all, because of Lyme. Lyme causes major hormone problems, so it's likely that the cysts and endometriosis are from Lyme too. When we were told I would need surgery, I didn't even realize how close it was to Christmas. I didn't have time to think about how I would be recovering over Christmas. Even if I had realized it, it wouldn't have mattered because surgery had to happen. Lyme gives you no choices. It takes over everything and leaves you to sit back and watch because you have no control.
I know Christmas is not about feeling well. It's not about the festivities. It's not about what I physically have or don't have. But the world says it is about all that and it's hard not to think about those things. It's so hard to just be in the world, not of the world like this verse talks about. I put 2 versions of this verse just to have different wording.
"Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect." Romans 12:2 (NLT)
"Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will." Romans 12:2 (NIV)
So while Christmas is a hard time of year because of Lyme from a worldly view, I will try and not conform to the pattern of the world. I will try and keep my mind focused on heavenly things.
Landon and I (and Tucker) on Christmas Eve. Notice I'm wearing my new sweats!
My bracelet with new charms! I didn't notice that this picture looks like a smiley face until someone pointed it out to me!

New duffel and makeup bag! My brother got me a journal and pen and pencil that matches these bags. How sweet!!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

You might have just had abdominal surgery if....

( Yes, I realize I had surgery 21 days ago so I didn't really just have surgery, but in a Lyme infected body that doesn't recover fast, I'm like 8 days post surgery)
...You haven't slept in your room since before you had surgery because it's upstairs and the stairs turned into a mountain that stabs you in the stomach with knives.
...You've worn nothing but pajamas for 3 + weeks.
...You've worn the same outfit for a week at a time and no one cares.
...On Christmas you decide to "dress up" and wear jeans for pictures but you have to stuff Kleenex's in your pants because they rub your incisions.
...Also immediately after your pictures on Christmas, you change back into your sweats because your jeans rub the incisions and are too tight from swelling.
...The best and worst night since surgery was when you went to the ER 2 weeks after surgery. It was the best because you got to get out of the house and see people. It was the worst because you hurt so much to go to the ER.
...You feel like you've accomplished so much when you beat levels on the game angry birds.
...You still can't believe Christmas has already happened because when all the Christmas festivities started, you were admitted to the hospital and had surgery. You haven't done 1 Christmas thing this year so it doesn't seem like Christmas. The first time you realized Christmas was soon was when your hospital nurses started wearing their Christmas shirts.
...You ask for more sweats for Christmas because you cannot imagine having to wear real clothes again. Too painful.
...You've been told that you look pregnant by your parents because your abdomen is so swollen. Kinda funny!
...Sneezing and coughing is the most painful thing ever.
...You're angry at yourself for not asking for an elevator for Christmas so that you could once again go to your room.
...You would be happy if your parents told you to go to your room and made you stay there. But, that won't happen because you can't be left alone, much less make it to your room alive.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Dr. Appointment, Caroling, Dad's Birthday

On Tuesday morning I had an appointment with my surgeon. I walked in and the nurse said, "you're back again?" I just smiled and quietly laughed and said, "yes. Yes I am". I've been to see them 3 times in 3 weeks and of course they remember me because most teenagers don't have Lyme, okay pretty much none. They also don't have as many problems as I do, like internal bleeding, blood filled cysts the sizes of oranges, endometriosis, and their appendixes out all in one whack
The surgeon started me on antibiotics for this cough stuff I have going on. He also said that the pain I'm experiencing is still surgery pain, along with pain from coughing and sneezing. I pulled a muscle in my back from coughing. How embarrassing. But he said that it would all get better, it will just take some time. Praise God that he doesn't think anything else is wrong!
I've been feeling pretty cruddy to be honest. And grumpy. I'm blaming it on the meds, since I am on meds, so why not. For information purposes, the youth ministers send out mass texts reminding us of youth group things going on. So Tuesday morning while I was at my doctors appointment, I got a text from the youth ministers saying that they were going caroling that night. I was so disappointed that I couldn't go. I haven't gotten to do anything "Christmasy" this year because of being in the hospital and having surgery. So I tried to forgot that they were going caroling, which is impossible since I am the youth group nerd, so I wouldn't feel left out. Once I came home from the doctor, I layed down on the couch for the whole rest of the day because I felt terrible. I also spent a majority of the day hanging out in the bathroom, but I won't go into details. I think the pain medicine was what was making me sick.
Several of my friends were acting weird on Tuesday, asking if I would be home that night. I didn't know what was going on because they didn't ask if they could come over. Why would they care if I was home if they didn't even want to come over? Then that night, one of my youth ministers texted and asked for my neighborhood gate code. I knew something was up. I fell asleep on the couch and was woken up by my brother yelling, "they're here, I have to get my gun!". Of course it's just a fake gun, don't worry. Thank goodness my brother protects us from everything. The door bell rang, and we were flooded with the sound of Christmas carols. I slowly made my way to the door, overwhelmed with what was happening. Good overwhelmed of course. There were probably over 20 people from the youth group on my front porch singing to us. Tears fell from my face as I listened to them sing. They probably wondered what was wrong with me and why I was crying. Blame it on the meds again. Seriously, pain medicine even makes you cry during commercials that aren't really sad. It's kind of humorous. Not at the time, but a few days later. I was so touched that they came to sing to ME! I love them all so much!! I haven't been to church in over 3 weeks, so it was so wonderful to see them all again! They sang 3 or 4 songs and stayed and chatted for a few minutes before moving onto their next destination. I hope they know how much they blessed us.
"Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing." 1 Thessalonians 5:11
Today is my dad's birthday. HAPPY BIRTHDAY DAD!!!!! Thanks for being the best dad EVER!!! It's kind of funny where we spend a lot of our time together; in the hospital. When I go to the ER late at night, he is usually the one who takes me. We've spent at least over 25 nights in the hospital together since I've been sick. For several months, we were going once a week. We find things to make it as fun as can be. Like my last ER visit this past Sunday night. We jumped in the car, okay not literally because that would be extremely painful for me, and drove the familiar route to the hospital. The ER was full because it was Sunday night, and a full moon. At least that's what the nurse said as to why it was so full. As you can imagine, there were many interesting people there. People watching is the best at the ER. Our best entertainment was watching a drunk lady and how she interacted with people. We watch people and make up stories about them and why they're there. When the triage nurse was starting my IV she asked, "have you had an IV before"? We quietly laughed. If only she knew. On Sunday night, we were in the ER waiting room for 2 hours. That is a lot of people watching and ease dropping. We saw at least 3 pregnant women come to the ER in labor in a span of an hour and a half. Then we were taken upstairs to the CT scan room. Of course we knew the way to the CT rooms, but the hallways were dark and abandoned at midnight. A person would pass through the halls every once in a while and we came up with pretty good stories as to what they were doing! After we were up in CT for 20 or 30 minutes, I was taken to my room back in the ER. We stayed there from about midnight until 3am. We ask the ER nurses a million questions about life in the ER and get them to tell us crazy stories. My dad tries to convince me that I just told him all my secrets after I am given each dose of pain medicine. I tell him that I have no secrets because I'm always home with them, which is true. When they call different codes over the speakers, we make up stories for those too. We got to spend about 6 hours in the ER on Sunday night. I think we've had our ER fix for a while. We have to make the most of each night in the hospital, or it would be much worse than it already is! It's always an adventure!!
Tonight we are actually going out to eat for his birthday! My first real time to get out!! I'm so excited. This afternoon I think my brother and I are making ginger bread houses!
Merry Christmas to you all!!!!
"For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given,
And he will be called
Wonderful Counselor,Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace" Isaiah 9:6

Monday, December 20, 2010

Another night in the ER

This is a quick update because I don't feel well. My family and I have terrible colds/bronchitis so we feel pretty bad. But I was doing well until Saturday night. By last night, I was in so much pain. The pain medicine wasn't helping my stomach and I just felt worse. We called the on call surgeon and they told us to go to the ER because they didn't know what was wrong. I had a ct scan and bloodwork done. Those both looked pretty good so they felt comfortable sending me home. I had several doses of Dilauded and Zofran while I was there and that helped a lot. Before I left they also gave me IV ativan to help me sleep. I slept well last night. Today my cough and congestion are so much worse and I've spent a lot of time feeling like Im going to be sick. We called the surgeon and Im going to see him tomorrow morning. The nurses and doctors at the hospital aren't sure why Im hurting so much but they said that coughing along with other things could be irritating it. We'll see what the surgeon says tomorrow. We got home from the hospital at 3 this morning. It's been a hard couple days. Thank you for your prayers!!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

pathology report

the surgeon called and I did have acute appendicitis. Not sure why it didn't show up on my bloodwork. Thankful we got it out before it burst!!!

Couldn't ask for better doctors and nurses!

We are working on a detailed post about everything that happened last week. But I want to tell you about the doctors and nurses we had last week. I always talk about the bad doctors that we run into. We had the BEST care at the two different hospitals I was in. When I arrived in the ER on Saturday December 4th at Mercy Hospital, we had a great ER doctor. My dad actually knew him. He was caring and wanted to figure things out. The doctor that told us to go to the hospital was in contact with the ER doctor and they talked back and forth with us about things. Once they decided to admit me, they got it done fast!
I was on the pediatric floor at Mercy Hospital. It was so great because I was 1 of 2 patients on that floor. The other patient was older so I was the only pediatric. The nurses were so wonderful! They were so much fun and would hang out in my room and just talk. We laughed so much! They made us fresh iced tea and went out of their way to do things. I loved them! It was actually not a bad hospital stay. I know part of the reason was because I was on so much pain meds so I was in lala land, but it was also the great care we had. We didn't have any problems at that hospital at all! They all actually said, "yeah if you don't catch Lyme early it's hard to deal with and get rid of". Then they moved on and didn't make a big deal about it!! It was wonderful.
I had surgery at a little hospital that we had never heard of before! But it was also so great. I was the only patient there because my surgery was at 5pm. The nurses were amazing again! They were also fun to be around and just took great care of us. We laughed and talked with them a lot! I love nurses that turn something that is not fun, into something that is enjoyable. After surgery, my surgeon took lots of time to talk to my family. My mom is going to write a post about that.
We are so thankful for all the wonderful nurses and doctors that took care of us at both hospitals!!!! We couldn't have asked for better people.
Landon and I with one of my nurses before surgery

Friday, December 10, 2010

A tour of the luxurious hotel I got to spend 3 days in this week.

(This is the story of my recent hospital stay, told with humor to make it interesting)

We didn't anticipate spending a few days at this "hotel" called Mercy (hospital). We thought it would just be a quick pit stop on our journey. Boy, were we wrong!

Warning- going to the ER might result in not being able to leave for several days. You might be subject to countless pokes and visits by the nurses.

(On Saturday, the pain got so much worse so we called the on call doctor and he told us to go to Mercy Hospital. He called them and told them I was coming, and continued to talk to the doctors in the ER.)

Upon arriving on Saturday afternoon, we spent a while waiting in the lobby because it was the place to be apparently. I was treated so nice and even had the privilege of having someone push me around in a wheelchair. Such good service. We were then taken to a room in an area they call the emergency room. The man in charge of the emergency area came in and ordered a CT scan and some pain medicine and fluids.
This was my room in the emergency room
In order to receive medicine and have tests, they had to start an IV on me.
By this time, the ER doctor and on call doctor decided to admit me to keep the pain under control and make sure my appendix didn't rupture. Again, I was escorted in a wheelchair to the floor. I even had a double door entrance!
This hotel has the cutest bracelets ever! I got 3 of them!! Look how cute they are.

The next few pictures are of my luxurious private room. I even had a private bathroom!
Look at that comfy bed!
Such cute wall decorations.
There's even a tv tray so I can eat in bed!!! WOW! Not very many hotels let you do that!
There was a tv hanging from the many hotels have you stayed in that have that?!
Let me describe the bed for you. This is like a sleep number bed. Every 10 minutes or every time you move, the bed forms around you. It makes a terrible noise and moves constantly which definitely didn't bother us all through the night.
If you want to sit up in bed, all you have to do is press a button and there you go! And, the coolest thing the bed does is...
how high it goes!!! My dad discovered this. We had lots of fun playing with this!

Look at that view from my room!

It even had a great view at night!
In case you are scared of the dark, this hotel has lots of nightlights that glow in the dark.

Now, lets talk about room service.

Every night, you have turn down service. During the day, maids come in a clean your room and they don't even kick you out for it! They bring everything you need!

Saturday night, sleep was not there. Nurses came in and out so much. At 5 stinkin AM, this lady comes tearing in my room, grabs my arm, sticks a needle in, and draws blood. Then she leaves. She didn't say anything.

At 6 stinkin AM, the hotel manager decided it was time to talk! He comes in my room and flips on all the lights. I have never in my whole life seen someone as happy as he was at 6 stinkin AM. Good grief, I tried to ignore him to see if he would just go away but he didn't. He decided that I needed exploratory surgery in the next few days.

When the happy guy finally left, we tried to go to sleep and I'm pretty sure I was asleep until 8am. At 8am, they do a Bible reading over the loud speakers. Could we maybe read scripture a little later in the day? I would love to read scripture with you anytime after noon. They did it at 8pm too.

The food service is great. You can order anything you want and they will deliver it to your room! The only problem was that they put me on an all liquid diet so all I could have was pudding, ice cream, some soups, and drinks. But I could order it anytime!
Mmmm doesn't that look yummy?

On the side of the bed at this hotel, there is a button that calls the nurse if you need anything. They come running whenever you call and will get you anything you want!
You definitely won't get lonely at this hotel because there are people coming in and out of your room every hour 24/7.

The floor that I was on was the pediatric floor. There was only one other person on the floor besides me and they were older. Since the hotel wasn't full, the service was great! The nurses would hang out in my room since there was nothing for them to do. It was nice having the floor to ourselves.

Here are some other perks of this hotel.

You get to wear your pajamas and no one expects you to dress up. You're not expected to wear make-up or do your hair.

Showering is optional. With all the IVs and monitors, along with being sick, it's hard to take a shower.

Lots of people want to see your awesome room so they come see you! Okay maybe they don't care about the room.

Well that pretty much sums it up!

I'm writing a more detailed post so that will be coming soon!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

quick surgery update!

I'm home from the hospital and the surgery went well! I will update in detail in the next few days as Im recovering. The surgeon was shocked at what he found...he took out a cyst the size of an ORANGE, he took out my appendix which was HUGE, he found that I have endrometriosis, and found a TON of internal bleeding. My WHOLE abdomen and pelvis was filled with blood. He said that he would operate on someone with just ONE of those problems and I had 4. Once I have recovered, we will have to figure out a plan to control everything so that this doesn't happen again.
That's the very short version! I have 3 incisions that are pretty big. Bigger than my gallbladder incisions. We didn't know they would be this big! One is 3 inches and the other 2 incisions are about 2 inches. Please pray for a quick recovery with no complications! Thank you!!!!
"the Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song i praise him" Psalm 28:7

Surgery today at 5

My surgery is scheduled for 5 this evening!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Surgery Monday or Tuesday

I will be having exploratory surgery either tomorrow or Tuesday. We should find out tomorrow morning. I've been on a liquid diet to prepare for surgery. Im so thankful to have had so many visitors today and yesterday! It made my day. Im on dilauded for pain and it helps so much. I will update as soon as i know anything. At midnight tonight, i have to be Npo which means nothing to eat or drink. Thank you for your prayers and encouragement!!!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

being admitted to the hospital

I'll explain in detail later but Im being admitted to the hospital. I might be having surgery in the next few days if the pain isn't better. They are keeping me on pain meds to try and control the pain. I'll.update as much as i can.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Cyst gone, appendix out?

Yesterday we went to the doctor and it was very shocking! My appointment was at 10am and we didn't leave until noon. I actually saw 2 doctors. The first one did an exam and was going to send me home to wait and see. They said to call if I got worse. We then explained that I was already worse. I have been to the ER twice and I'm on so much pain medicine. I told her that I could go to the ER everyday because it hurts so much. They finally understood how much pain I'm in. I actually saw a nurse, not the main doctor first. Apparently it takes months to get into the doctor. Once the nurse understood how much pain I'm in, she went to get the main doctor and he wanted to see me immediately. He came in and asked if we had had my appendix checked. We said yes just by blood work. He pressed on my stomach and I about died. Once he did that, his whole demeanor changed. He didn't talk about my cyst anymore. He said in the past 3 weeks, he has seen several women who come in with what they think is cyst pain, and it turns out to be their appendix. He said that he really thinks that's what's going on with me. We talked some more and he wanted blood work and an ultrasound. The blood work is to check my appendix, the ultrasound is to see about my cyst.
I had the blood work before we left his office. My ultrasound was scheduled for yesterday at 3. The ultrasound technician said that my cyst is gone...that's right GONE. So that is not what is causing the pain. That makes it more likely to be my appendix. We were shocked. We thought my appendix was ruled out. The doctor said that we should get the blood work back soon and if it is my appendix (which he's pretty sure about), then he would remove it as soon as possible. You don't want to mess around with that.
So, why did the ER say my appendix was fine? He explained that they just look for infection. The extensive panel that he did, shows more like inflammation and things in detail. It would still need to be removed asap.
It would make sense that it's my appendix because I just haven't been feeling well since the pain started, and a cyst usually would just cause pain. We thought it was weird that the doctor never went back to the cyst, he was focused on my appendix. He's pretty sure that's what it is.
I have an appointment with the doctor again on Wednesday. If I get worse, I will go in sooner. Until then, I can't be alone incase it were to rupture, which most likely is not going to happen but we have to be careful.
It was a crazy day yesterday with many unexpected things! I'm just ready to get whatever it is taken care of.

Video about the 2nd year of treatment!

2 years ago today I was diagnosed with Stage 3 Lyme Disease and I started treatment. Here is the video I made about the 2nd year of treatment. I also added it to the right side of my blog so you can get to it easier.