Sunday, August 30, 2009

Visit with surgeon

I am finally getting around to updating this from my visit to the surgeons last week. Sorry it's taken me so long. I want to include in this update a few of the blessings that the Lord has showered on us during this time. The surgeon really didn't have much new news to share with us. My mom and husband both went with me to hear everything he had to say, and ask lots of questions.
His name is Dr. Graves (not the best last name for a surgeon :) ). He is a very serious, lay-it-out flat like it is type of man. He explained to us that a major surgery like this gets the best results when split up into 3 smaller surgeries. This process however takes a good part of a year, anywhere from 9-12 months. Each surgery is still major, and will take many weeks each time to recover from. The first one would be the complete removal of my colon and rectum, and putting in place of an ileostomy. Essentially, this would be removing the disease from my body. An ileostomy is an outside bag (if everyone can understand that). This is kinda embarrassing for me. Dr. Graves will want to see not only me recover well from this first one, but also my general health to be improved before they go in to start surgery #2. The second surgery is reconstructive surgery. This is where they will actually take the end part of the small intestine, and shape it into a "J" shaped bag that will later act as my new colon, and then they will attach that to the rectum. Sew me back up and let that heal. Once that is all healed, they can go in for the third and final surgery. Here they will take off the ileostomy (Yeah!!) and redirect my bowels to run through the new "colon" and out like a normal person.
I'm sorry if this gets a little detailed and gross for some of you. :) It is what it is, and I am trying to explain it in the nicest way I can. This news of 3 surgerys that would take close to a year to complete was a surprise to me. I wasn't really expecting to be down and out for so long, and believe me I am not looking forward to having an ileostomy for that long either. The dr. said that I have definately been dealing with this for long enough, and have exhausted all the medical options out there, and that I am a perfect case for surgery. He didn't say however that I need to get the surgery done right away, and that he will leave the choice of when I get it up to me. He would not want to push something as serious as this on anyone unless it was life theatening.
After talking to us for a while he had my guests leave, and did a very invasive exam on me. He found out very quickly how inflamed and sensetive I was, and that I was not too prideful to let him hear how painful it was for me! It is a good mom who has a good strong vicaden to give me after something like that! :) I am blessed to have such a wonderful mother who cares for me so much! She is so bad, she puts so much stress on her own body worrying about me so much. I love her, and wouldn't trade her for anything in the world! David's family as well has done so much for us....I am very lucky to have married into such a wonderful family!
Last Sunday David came home with 2 very large fruit baskets from our church family! These things were huge, and full of all kinds of snacks and fruits, and drinks. We will eat for a year from them! :) Something that we treasured even more was the large stack of cards from the church family. We sat down and opened card after card. There was money and gift cards to all kinds of practical places like H-E-B, Walmart, Target, ad more! So many poeple who cared so much, and took the time to write us and tell us that they are praying. One card I was reading out loud said, "may the Lord give you a scripture or a hymn during these difficult moments, and may He sprinkle blessings around you reminding you how much He loves you, and how very near He is". I could barely finish reading it, and I was balling! I looked up at David and then down at everything and said with tears in my voice, "babe, look, He is here.... He is watching over us!" Sometimes in the midst of it all we get caught up in the stress and pain, and in each other or even ourselves and we loose sight of God. Almost as if we go blind. It has been almost impossible to lately with so many church family and friends and family there calling and texting letting us know that they are there to help. It is such an encouragment to have such good friends and family! We love you all!
I will say quickly that David and I are praying and talking seriously about starting the surgery sooner rather than later. My overall health has just dropped down to a lower level, and I don't think that there is any coming back from it. I am in constant pain, and not sleeping much. I don't really want to live on 6+ presciptions for the next 6 months while my health keeps going downhill. We want to make the right decision, and are spending much time thinking and praying about this option. I will ask for you to pray with us about this. We will be talking more to the surgeon this next week, and flooding him with even more questions. If and when we set anything in stone I will post an update. Thank-you all for the prayers!

Friday, August 21, 2009

hospital visit

Well I lied :) I said that the next time I would update would be after my appointment with the surgeon. I did not know when I wrote the last update that I would be spending 3 days in the hospital. I will quickly tell how I got here, and what has happened since Ive been here.

Ya'll do know that since the colonoscopy procedure I havent been doing the best. Each day after the procedure I was able to eat less and less, and each day I got sicker and sicker. By monday and tuesday, food was pretty much not appetizing, and the pain was just getting more severe! I had a bout of vomiting that lasted for about 5 minutes solid, I knew I couldn't let myself keep getting worse. I then called my Dr. on Wednesday morning, and he highly suggested that I came in to the hospital. He called in before me to make it easier to get through the ER.

Once I made it back to the ER room, they immediately started me on a bag of IV fluid, and pushed some heavy narcotic pain med and nausia med through. Whew! That stuff hit me in less than 60 seconds, and I felt for a few minutes like I couldn't breath, or hear anything. I started just crying and crying.....I rolled over on my side, and fell right asleep. It was amazing the instant relief I felt from it. It was almost as if everything in my whole stomach area was able to release from a strong hold it had had on me for so long, and I could relax and breath. Made me instantly glad I had gone in! They told me later I was very dehydrated and malnourished, and would be admitted. It was a blessing that they got me into a room so quickly! Only had to be down in the ER for about 3 hrs. Once in my room they were running all kinds of stuff into my veins......Heavy pain meds, iv steroids, potassium, anti-biotics, and lots of fluids! The first night was so much better when it came to pain. The nurse came in though at 3 a.m. and took my blood pressure which was at a very low 58/37! They did as much as they could to get it up into the low 70's, and then waited til morning. In the morning they took some blood, and found out that my anemia was really low as well! It was running around an 8 instead of the normal 14. They then decided to give me a blood transfusion. Took most of the day to run in the 2 units of blood. I almost immediately started to get color and feel lots better! My little sister Katie was with me the whole day on Wednesday so David was able to get out for the afternoon and go take a shower and catch a nap since the recliner in the room did not tend him much sleep. I found out last night night that I am still in quite a bit of pain but have been numb to it since they have had me on a rotation of vicaden and morphene every 4 hrs. I tried going last night without any and paid for it. I gave in early this morn and went ahead and took some. So many friends and family have come to see me and let me know of there on going prayers. What a blessing!! We haven't had to worry about any meal either because there has been someone there each time ready and willing to bring us anything we could want or need!

David and I are very glad that we made the decision to obey the Dr. and come in. I don't know how much worse I would have kept getting if I would have just stayed home.

Still here right now, but just got the confirmation that I get to go home later. Thank-you everyone for your prayers!!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

So Sick.....

I set this blog up simply for my health updates. As of now, what will go on here will most likely not be good or exciting news. I cherish each of your prayers, and each of you that take the time to read about the battles I am facing.

This past week since the colonoscopy has been one of my worst weeks. The Dr did say that it was inevitable that my colon would be bother by the procedure. While in there the camera is just bunping against the bleeding ulcers. It has nevertheless caused intense pain for me ever since! In 5 days I have lost 8 lbs. The pain has been so bad it causes me to be so nausious, and therefore making food unappetizing. I do try and eat what I can, but fight it staying down. Last night I think was one of the most painful nights of my life! Could not rest because the pain was so severe. At one point, I was sitting on the toilet moaning out from the pain, and almost passed out....instantly from the tips of my toes to the top of my head I broke out into cold sweats, my heart felt like it was beating out of my chest. I say all this to explain how down-hill I've gone in just a few days.

Yesturday the Dr called me and wanted to see me right away. Instantly David and I were worried. Dr's don't call you in to tell you good news. We started expecting the worst, so that way anything we heard that wasn't that bad would be good news. It worked to. :). We went in half way expecting the biopsies to have traces of cancer, and what we heard was not even close. My Dr. is just guenuinely concerned about me. He wants me to go see a rectal surgeon right away. He said that dr's like to drag their feet when it comes to surgery because they dont like to see their patients get cut. He said that he keeps reviewing my file and is just very concerned with how bad it is. He wants a surgeon to make the decision of whether we should give it more time or not. And he wants me to go now, in a few days if possible and is gonna help me get in. The next update on here will be after the apt with the surgeon.

David and I were able to go to lunch with pastor and share with him our stuggles.We are so lucky to have such a good pastor who loves and cares for us! He wants to take the time tommorrow during church to poor oil and pray over me. I am not worthy, but more than grateful! I want to say again thank-you all who are reading and keeping me and David in your prayers!!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

2nd Colonoscopy Result

Everyones heard of the saying "When it rains it poors". The problem is that I know what this means a little too much. I feel as if it hasn't stopped raining in a very long time! Sure, some days its only a drizzle, and yes there has been a few sunny days. Pretty much thought I'm living in Washington state.
I forgot completely about my prcedure yesturday. I get a call the day before (its a good thing), and she's reminding me about the day of prep that I need to do. Great, so now instead of getting up and going shopping all day, I get to go to the store pay $45 for nasty liquid stuff to clean out my colon. So, I eat nothing and drink this fluid constantly all day. The pain it caused my intesines was unreal!
Wednesday, the day of, August 12th. We wake up at 5 in the morning since I have to be there at 6:30. I felt like since they were doing a colonoscopy I should shower in the morning and be as clean as I could for my doctor......if you know what I mean! :) Get there, get prepped and ready. Ok, so this is the funny part!! They weel me back into the procedure room, and start getting me ready. My doctor comes in, and tells me he's ready to go. The nurse pumps my IV with the "sleeping" med. A couple minutes later I'm still laying there talking to her. SHe asking me all kinds of ?'s about myself. The doc comes over to me and asks, "how are you doing?". I simply reply, "I'm fine". He smiles, and says, "you shouldn't be talking to us right now". :) :) It was kind of a funny moment. That was until the other (guy) nurse starts pulling up my gown and exposing me! I'm like....hello! Im not asleep yet! :) The doctor had to call an anesthesiologist in and dose me up with something alot heavier. Pretty funny! I was pleased with how I woke up. Last procedure I woke up to so much pain I can just barely remember reaching over the bed and grabbing the nurses near me yelling at them "It hurts! It hurts!" This time was not even half as bad.
The bad news came when the doctor came in after with a very discouraged look on his face. He looked at both of us and shook his head and said, "It doesn't look good in there". He said sometimes symptoms will be worse than what inside actually is, and he was hoping for that for my sake. He told me I believe you are very sick, I know you live in pain.....I just saw it. The next thing he said crushed me. "I think we need to start looking at the possibility of total colon removal". He then proceded to give me the names and numbers of 3 different surgeons who specialize in that field. I will explain now why in such a short 5 years it has come down to this. First of all, UC (ulcerative colitis) in most poeple only inhabits part of their colon. Only a certain part would be affected by this disease. And second of all, UC is known to have "flare-ups". this is a period of time where that certain part starts having problems becoming inflamed and bleeding with ulcers. These "flare-ups tend to last the for the average UC patient 1-3 months. Ok, so my colon for over 5 years now has been in a constant "flare-up", and not only to mention that it covers the whole thing from the rectum to the small intesine. The UC has now begun into the small intestine as well. One more thing the doctor told me. WHen you have UC completely covered throughout the whole colon, the chances of colon cancer more than doubles. Not only that, each year that it stays that way the chances of the cancer spikes. So pretty much My chances of colon cancer are super sky high!
Basically, I came away from yesturday finding out that I am holding a 2-sided coin. On one side, my colon is removed, taken out....forever. And on the other, cancer awaiting me.
Still haven't mentioned the fact that I lose my medical insurane in only 1 1/2 short months. My husband is on the brink of tears everyday . He has started losing hope. He is lacking the one thing that a man needs. The ability to provide for a family.
We need help. "Lord, its enough. We can't handle anymore! Please we beg you....we're on our hands and knees. We need a light on this very dark path!" Our prayers seem not to be answered, and why we ask over and over. Still praying for a bleesing to rain out of heaven. We need it....and soon!
Lastly, but not least. I will never stop the plead and prayer to God for another child of our own. For over 2 1/2 years now that has been our plee, and why the Lord won't give it to us is beyond comprehention.
I read back though this and can tell I am writing this in a depressed mode. I can't seem to shake it for the past few days. I won't change anything though, because this is real. This is my heart!!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

1st blog :)

Ok, so this is my first time here on blogspot. Im just tryin out all these features. Later I want to start writing updates on my health and whats goin on with me.