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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Christmas Lights

Last weekend my brother and dad spent almost all day putting up Christmas lights at our house. They look amazing!! My brother planned it all out and he did a great job!



Last night at school we had the Lighting of the Commons. I think there were around 500 alumni, faculty and staff, and students. There was hot chocolate, Christmas music performed by different singing groups on campus, pictures with Santa, and real carrage rides! 

We all gathered outside and counted down to when they turned on all the Christmas Lights. Then we sang Christmas Carols! I really didn't get any good pictures of all the lights. But here is one...it doesn't show much.
The tall tower in the middle is the clock tower. It changes colors at night!

Alex and I 
I love this time of year!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Thanksgiving

I know this is almost a week late, but it's been a little crazy. We had a great Thanksgiving. I got home last Monday so I had a week off. I did have a class that day but I didn't go since I still wasn't feeling well. Both of my parents had most of Wednesday off of work so we were all at home. It was like 70 degrees that day! We went to church Wednesday night. My brother read a scripture and my dad said a prayer during the service. On Thanksgiving we went to my aunt and uncles house (dad's side) and on Friday we went to my grandparents on my mom's side. Thursday night I decided that I wanted some Roman Noodles...I know that it was thanksgiving and that there were a million other delicious foods. But that whole day I really didn't feel like eating much. I had bites of stuff and it was great, but food just didn't sound good. So later that night I decided that I wanted Roman Noodles. Crazy, I know. Well and hour later we were watching tv and I got so sick. My heart rate shot up to 130, my face was so red and itchy and burning, I was dizzy, my chest hurt, my eyes were swollen, and I was so scared. It hit so fast. I thought I was going to pass out. My parents took turns listening to my heart with a stethiscope while running to the gas station to get benadryll. The benadryll really didn't do much. It might have slowed my heart a little. We didn't know what else to try and by this time I was freaking out. We tried hydrocodone and that finally relaxed me enough to calm the symptoms down. My parents think it was the MSG in the Roman Noodles. How wonderful. That teaches you that you should really eat good thanksgiving food and not go for the nasty, packaged stuff.

I slept in my parents room with my mom. My dad got to sleep on the couch (happy thanksgiving dad!). Thanks to the benadryll and hydrocodone, I thought there were earthquakes all night whenever the bed would move. Gotta love what medicine will do to you!

I woke up Friday morning and my eyes were still swollen. I actually felt pretty good. As we were getting ready to leave to go to my grandparents, I started not feeling well again. I took more benadryll and it helped. The symptoms returned that afternoon and finally calmed down later that after evening after more medicine.

Saturday night the symptoms came back with a couple more symptoms. After a couple hours they calmed down too. Sunday was better. I came back to the dorms yesterday and only have 2 weeks of school left.

Lesson learned: Don't ever eat Roman Noodles on thanksgiving....


Saturday, November 19, 2011

Update

It feels like this has been the slowest week ever. I finally moved back on campus last Friday after being at home for almost 2 weeks with the flu. This past week I had 2 papers due and a test, which is a little crazy since I'm only taking 3 classes. By Thursday I was done with everything!

This week has been a hard week because of pain issues. Monday I was working on one of my papers and had to stop because my hands were hurting too much to use them. The body and joint pain all over has been bad. I'm hoping that it's from either the weather changes or my body still getting rid of the flu because that's when I started hurting more. Thursday night I decided to take an anti-inflammatory instead of just pain medicine to see if that would help more. An hour or so after I took it, I broke out with a red rash all over me. My skin burned and itched so much and I was very nauseous. I took a prescription medicine like benedryll since I was out of benedryll. It stopped the rash and most of the burning and itching. However, my body was still not happy. I was up almost ALL night because I just felt weird. I finally fell asleep around 6am for a couple of hours and woke up at 8am or so. I decided to try and get up and get dressed for class. I then realized that that wouldn't be happening. I couldn't move. At all. My body hurt so much that I couldn't bear to move. I also had temperature problems. It's hard to explain, but I'm hot and cold kind of like when you have a fever. You're cold, but sweating. There's no way to get comfortable. I didn't really know what to do since everyone was in class and I couldn't get up. I laid there for a couple of hours while waiting for the medicine to kick in. After a couple of hours I was finally able to get up. I went to the bathroom and then got back in bed. I was still hurting too much to do anything.

I asked one of my friends to get me lunch because I knew I had to eat. For the rest of the afternoon all I could do was lay in bed. I had to pick up a prescription so I made it to the pharmacy and back. Obviously I didn't go to class yesterday which was okay since we had just turned in our paper.

I actually slept last night and slept until 11 this morning. Once again, I woke up feeling like I got into a fight in my sleep. Thankfully I was able to shower and get lunch, but that has been the extent of my activities today. Today has been better than yesterday, but is still very rough.

Tomorrow will be better.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

On Saturday I finally got to meet Caity, aka my twin! She has Lyme and we have had almost all of the same problems. Some of her family lives here and saw my story in the newspaper. They told Caity and her family about me because it was like they were reading Caity's story because we are so similar. Caity and her mom then found me on facebook! Caity had abdominal surgery 2 days after I did in September so that's when we started texting back and forth. We text almost everyday and it's so wonderful to have her to talk to! 



It was wonderful to be able to meet them in person! So blessed to know her and her family. 

Friday, November 11, 2011

Warning:these pictures will make you not want to go to the ER...

 Wait. When does anyone actually want to the go to the ER? (There have been times where I have begged to go to the ER because I was hurting so much, but I didn't want to go there)

Once upon a time there was a nurse. This nurse was supposed to learn how do IVs while she was in school. She was supposed to learn when IVs are okay, and when they are not. Unfortunately, this nurse did not learn how to tell the difference between a good IV and a bad IV. Therefore, this happened.


At my last ER trip, I was very dehydrated. The nurse couldn't find any veins and couldn't use my port, so she put the IV in the worst place possible. In a tiny vein on my thumb on my right hand. Usually needles don't bother me. This one did! Wow. Most painful IV ever. After she drew blood and put the IV in, I was sent out to the waiting room. They usually do that to save time. They put the IV in and just don't hook it up to anything yet. I had had enough of the pain from it in the waiting room so I finally told someone to look at it. She said, "Oh sweetie that looks terrible. I'll be right back." Then she came back and said they would be taking me back soon and they'll start another IV. I was relieved. Well soon actually meant another hour. I was not very happy. I was about to pull the IV out myself. 

Once in my room several people looked at it and agreed it looked terrible. So they looked at my veins and tried once. Here's what happened then.


So I decided to just deal with the first IV since they couldn't get another one in. When my nurse pushed the Dilauded (pain medicine) through the IV, the veins turned bright red and you could see the medicine going through them because the veins were so small and the medicine was so strong. It was weird! It also burned so bad when it was going in. After the medicine kicked in I forgot all about it. It never hurt after that unless she was putting nausea or pain medicine into it. 

The next day I couldn't even use my right hand because it was so swollen and painful from the IV disaster. Since then it's turned every shade of the rainbow and is almost normal again! 

This wouldn't have happened if they would have used my port, since that is the purpose of a port you know. Writing out the story makes it sound like a big deal but it really wasn't. It was just frustrating. But it could have been worse! I just got a pretty impressive bruise! If that's the worst that happens at the hospital, I'll take it!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

You know you go to Walgreens too much when.....

I go to Walgreens multiple times a week to get medicine. I usually go through the drive through when I drop off and pick up prescriptions. I'm there all the time. I often wonder if they think that I have a drug store or something since I'm there so much. A couple weeks ago, I pulled up to the window to wait for them to ask me my name so they could go get my medicine. Instead, the little box opens and there is my medicine! They knew who I was and I didn't have to tell them...how lovely. I'm known by name at my primary care doctor, the gynecologist, an after hours place, a couple ERs, and now the pharmacy. You should definitely be jealous that I'm so popular.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Never boring!

This week I am not lacking in things to post! Wow. It's been a week that I won't ever forget. Let's review.

A week and a half ago, my parents left for Costa Rica for a missions conference. While they were gone, I helped take care of my brother. A week ago today, my brother flew down to Guatemala with a group from church. My dad met them at the airport in Guatemala while my mom stayed in Costa Rica for the rest of the conference. My dad, brother, and the rest of the group were on a medical mission trip.

So last Tuesday I dropped my brother off with the group and all the sudden I was so sick. I hadn't been feeling well since Sunday but all the sudden I got sicker. I went to my primary care by myself. Found out I have the flu. Fever of 101, fast heart rate, chills, body pain, headache, nauseous and very dehydrated. As soon as I left I dropped my prescriptions off and went to my grandparents. Told them I needed fluids so off we went. Went to one after hours clinic and they didn't do fluids. Went to another one and they did do fluids, but the doctor was stupid so we left with no fluids. So we went to the hospital. I got 2 liters of fluid, nausea and pain meds, and benedryll. Had the best doctor and nurse. Felt wonderful after I had a little fluid and meds! Finally after 6 hours I got to go home.

Spent the rest of the week resting at home with lots of meds. Friday night my aunt stayed with me. Around 2:30 am Saturday, I was peacefully sleeping in my room upstairs. Then, the house started shaking! I wasn't sure if it was an earthquake OR me hallucinating from pain meds. That has happened before. In Nevada this spring, we were staying at Lake Tahoe for the weekend and there was a blizzard. The heater in our hotel was so loud. The whole night I was convinced that there was an avalanche thanks to the morphine. Our hotel was at the bottom of the mountains so it made perfect sense. It's so funny to think about now but I was TERRIFIED the whole night.

Back to Saturday morning. I finally realized that it was an actual earthquake so I flew down the stairs. My aunt was awake waiting for me to come down. We watched the tv and got on facebook since every one was on there. The earthquake was a magnitude 4.7. We finally calmed down enough to go back to sleep. There were a dozen small earthquakes all day that we didn't feel.

Saturday night, my mom called to say that her plane had landed and she would be home soon. Around 11pm, just a few minutes after she called, we had the biggest earthquake in the history of Oklahoma. My aunt and I were in my living room which has 2 walls of windows. When it started, we jumped up and ran out of the room. I thought the windows were going to break. The shaking went on for what seemed like forever. All the phone lines weren't working cause so many people were trying to call people. The earthquake was a 5.8.

Before the Haiti earthquake, we never felt earthquakes here. We had small ones, but never felt them. We started feeling them after the Haiti one and they started getting bigger. There's a fault several miles east of us.

Sunday we had lots of earthquakes but I didn't feel any of them.

My dad and brother got home yesterday afternoon from Guatemala. It was raining all day. Last night the storms got really bad. There was flooding, tornados, lightening, and thundering. Then, we had another 4.7 earthquake. All at the same time!

Today there are several schools closed because of flooding or earthquake damage. I got an email that my Bible class room at school is flooded.

We are all fine. My brother is home with nausea, probably something he got in Guatemala. So we are having quite a party today with me still recovering from the flu. It's been a very crazy week.

Several people posted this picture on facebook. It is perfect!


So the earthquakes really have caused that much damage. But with all the facebook posts and everyone getting excited, you would think that it is the worst thing ever. We just aren't used to earthquakes so it's a big deal!

That's all the excitement I have to share at the moment!

Monday, November 7, 2011

At this moment in Oklahoma, we are having tornados, flooding, lightening, thundering, and earthquakes. ALL happening right now. Over the weekend we had the biggest earthquake in our history. It was a 5.6. We've had at least 8 a day this weekend. It's crazy. We hadn't had earthquakes here until the Haiti earthquake. There has to be some connection.
The earthquake just now was a 4.7. I'll post more later

Friday, November 4, 2011

Who needs trauma and ER shows when you can witness it in person?!

This post was actually supposed to be short and have one point, but as I was writing it, it got a little crazy and random. But that's how I'm feeling now. A little crazy and random! So here you go..

As I posted in my last post, I had the privilege of spending another night in the ER. As I'm sure you know by now, this is not uncommon. In the past 3 years I've been to the ER over 50 times. No, that is not an exaggeration. I could whip out all my hospital bracelets and show you if you really want to see proof. My current record for the longest I've gone without going to the ER, since I got sick 3 years ago, is 2 and a half months! It's a big accomplishment.

So, Tuesday night to Wednesday morning my grandparents and I were just hanging out in the ER (my parents were out of town, actually out the country doing mission work, so my grandparents got to go with me). I don't prefer to go to the hospital without my parents, but I think I did well. I didn't get in any fights with the doctors, so it was a success! You see, when you have Lyme disease, it is almost always a game when talking to a doctor. I told my grandparents not to say a WORD and to let me do the talking. I walk a fine line of what to say and what not to say. One wrong word, and the fight with the doctor begins. However, the hospital that I now go to has never really been a problem! The doctors there don't question that I have Lyme Disease. The other hospitals in this area do.

The fights almost always starts like this.
   "Um ma'am why do you have a port?"
   "I have Lyme Disease, but it's more under control now". Sometimes I actually lie about that. If I leave out the "it's under control" part, there will always be a fight.
   "Ma'am you cannot have Lyme Disease. We don't have that here."
I come up with smartalic things to say like,
   "then please tell me why you have your dog take medicine to protect them from ticks". Or, "I didn't even tell you where I was from! I could be from New York and just in Edmond visiting. I could have gotten Lyme Disease there." Or, "then how is it that Lyme is one of the most common infections seen in dogs here in Oklahoma? Do ticks that have Lyme JUST like dogs and not people? That makes a LOT of sense."

It makes me feel so good when they get this stupid look on their faces and either change the subject, or just walk out. But a lot of times they get so defensive and start saying very unkind things to me. Sometimes security has almost been called because it gets so bad. It's one of the worst things to deal with. Sometimes I'm so sick but am terrified to go to the doctor because I don't know what will happen. I should have my own tv show. My life is a lot more interesting than some of those reality shows.

I'm done with that tangent now. Thankfully that hasn't happened at the hospital I go to now! They are wonderful!

Moving on. I've always been fascinated with trauma and ER shows. I really don't know why. It's always so entertaining! One of the best parts about going to the ER is getting to be live in the action. This past trip to the ER was not lacking in excitement! A lady in labor came through through the doors yelling,
   "it's coming! Hurry! I can't stop it, it's coming!"
That was entertaining to watch her try to fill out paperwork while making sure everyone knew the baby was coming. There was a guy who needed stitches around his mouth. There were a couple people whose loved one was in critical condition, and they were not allowed to see them yet. There were several very hard phone calls. I spent a lot of time praying for those families. There was an older lady in a wheelchair in her robe and nothing but her robe. She was waiting for someone to pick her up and asked everyone who walked by her to call "them" to see when "they" would be there. I still don't know who "them" is. The 2 ladies who direct people when they come in the door are so sweet. One of them recognized me since I've been there so much. I thought they were going to strangle that lady. It was hilarious to watch. She was convinced that "they" were never coming to pick her up. Ten minutes seemed like an hour to her. There was ANOTHER lady in her robe and nothing but her robe. Apparently it was robe night. That was all in the ER waiting room!

This was the view from my room. It's one of my favorite rooms in that ER. Yes, I've been in all of them multiple times.
I like it because it's right by the nurses station and across the way from the trauma rooms. There's always lots going on in that area. You can't see it in this picture but to the left of the curtain is one of the trauma rooms. If the curtain was pulled to the right you could see right in the room. A couple hours after I had been in my room, EMSA was bringing in a guy on a stretcher. There were at least 5 EMSA guys with him. At this time, my curtain wasn't closed very much, so I had a perfect view into his room. Is that against the privacy policy to watch other patients and listen in? Why yes it is. But I couldn't help it. I was not allowed to get up because of my drugged state and all my monitors and IVs, and I didn't want to ask my grandparents to get up and close the curtain. So that means that I HAD to watch what was going on. The guy had on a neck brace and was immediately surrounded by nurses and doctors. They were talking to him and hooking him up to monitors. After they got him settled, he was in his room alone and was holding his cell phone up in the air above him. It looked like he was taking pictures of himself. Maybe he was texting, but it sure looked like he was taking pictures!

That was all that I remember about him because the nurse came in and gave me a hefty dose of IV Benedryll. Two doses of Dilauded (a form of morphine that is 10 times stronger than morphine) doesn't knock me out, but then bam Benedryll hits and I get so sleepy! I never fell asleep but I was very out of it.

It may sound like I enjoy people watching at the ER too much. I feel the need to say that I in no way wish for people to be hurt or sick and have to come to the ER. While it is entertaining, I wish that they wouldn't have to be there and be hurting.

But who needs Trauma and ER shows when you can witness it in person?!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Update

It's been a crazy 24 hours. I went to 3 different doctors doctors yesterday because I was feeling horrible. I first went to my primary care doctor who said that I have a flu like virus. I couldn't eat or drink because of the nausea, I had a 101 degree fever, and my body and head hurt so bad. 

After I left the doctor, I went to an after hours clinic to get fluids because I was very dehydrated and IV fluids help my body pain. The doctor there thought too highly of herself and decided without even examining me that I didn't need fluids. Actually she is just a P.A. so she isn't even a real doctor. She made me feel stupid for even being there. So we left since she was not going to do anything because I was "fine". So off to the ER we went. 

We had to wait for over 2 hours to been seen. While we were waiting in the waiting room they took me to do a chest xray and drew blood to speed up the process. Once in my room, the nurses and doctor came in. My nurse just graduated from the nursing program at Oklahoma Christian so I enjoyed talking to her! I've had the doctor that was there before and he is GREAT! He is so calm and humble, unlike the doctor at the after hours clinic. He agreed that I have a nasty flu virus. I was given 2 IV bags, which is 2 liters of fluid. Obviously that means that I was very dehydrated. I really wanted to go back to the P.A. at the after hours clinic and tell her how dehydrated and sick I really was. They gave me nausea and pain meds too. Pretty soon after the IV fluids were started, I started feeling a lot better. I'm sure that also had to do with the morphine and nausea medicine! I also got benedryll because the pain medicine made me itch a lot. After 6 hours in the ER I got to go home! By then I was feeling great! It's amazing how fast I started feeling better. By the time we got home and settled it was 2am. 

Today I'm feeling better. I still have a low grade fever and am hurting and nauseous, but that's to be expected because of the virus. I ate some soup today and have been trying to drink a lot so I don't get dehydrated again. I'm staying on top of the pain and nausea with the medicine they gave me. The only thing to do is treat the symptoms and let the virus run its course. I think the worst is over and I should just get better from here.