The Light At The End Of The Tunnel

Hi yall!!  I sure have missed blogging over the past couple months!  I have some really good news to share today!  You may have heard through my family, but it not, I am so excited to share that I had a very successful surgery on Friday!  

My sweet friends, Liz and Casey, got me this healing crystal that promotes vitality and removes blockages.  Little did they know the findings that were about to come. 

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The surgery that was scheduled (laparoscopy) was an exploratory surgery to see if they could possibly find what was causing my nausea/vomiting/pain.  There was a chance they could find nothing wrong, a possible blockage, or something worse. 

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I can’t even count the number of xrays, CT scans and specialized tests I have had over the past two months.  They all showed abnormalities, but even the radiologists couldn’t pinpoint the issue. 

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My sweet family was there with me through it all.  I got to take a long nap (anesthesia), while they vigilantly checked the waiting board to see when I was finished with surgery.  It ended up being just over 2 hours in the operating room.  I can’t say enough good things about my family during this entire process.  I have said it before, but I will say it again…. I was never left alone for the entire time I was in the hospital (over 5 weeks).  My mom, dad, mother-in-law, best friend Rachael, best friend Lissa, and my sweet husband all dropped their plans to be with me at a moments notice.  They slept on the most uncomfortable chairs, watched an ungodly amount of HGTV, Food Network and murder shows, and just sat with me while I comfortably slept in bed.  I am one really really really fortunate girl.  

They say through sickness and in health, but man… that was tested this Spring.  This guy has bathed me, brushed my teeth, washed my hair, held my hand, and been my biggest supporter ever.  He had a list of questions a mile long for each and every doctor that came in my room (at least 10 per day).  I will never ever take for granted this man’s love for me.  I got a good one (sorry, ladies ;)), and I plan on keeping him forever.  He said I will repay him when I am taking care of him when we are old and grey. 🙂 

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I woke up to the best news ever!  They did have to make a bigger incision vertically over my belly button, but they were able to clearly see a stricture/narrowing in my small intestine.  It was very inflamed/dilated above that point and normal beyond it.  The stricture was 6 centimeters wide so they cut about two inches of my small bowel (intestines) out and re-attached it.  I got very lucky that it was high enough that no colostomy was needed and the incision is relatively small so the healing process should be just a few days in the hospital and some rest at home.  

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For now I am resting comfortably in the hospital.  I am really excited to have some real food for the first time in a long time.  I have a lot of catching up to do. 😉  I am really excited to gain back some weight at a healthy pace and put some muscle on my fragile little frame.  When they checked my weight this week, it was 102lbs.  I don’t think I have seen that number since middle school and I don’t plan on keeping it that way for long. 🙂 I also plan to get back to regular blogging as soon as I can.  I really have missed it.  I anticipate being at home for about a week to recover and then depending on how I feel, I will head back to work.  I can’t wait!

This entire experience has completely changed my outlook on life.  Health is so important and I will never take it for granted again.  I was in the hospital about 5 weeks and I can’t imagine being here any longer.  I can totally sympathize with those that have chronic illnesses that keep them hospitalized for months and even years.  I do not know how they do it.  Physically this experience was difficult, but mentally and emotionally was the toughest part.  Going from being so independent and free to pretty much bed-bound in the hospital was such a mental struggle.  It really tested my patience.  I am so so so lucky that my journey is coming to a beautiful end.  I made a promise to myself that I will not sweat the small stuff and I will live each day like it is my last.  Health is something I absolutely took for granted and I never will again.  This is just a small hurdle that I thankfully have been able to conquer.  One thing is for sure… I have the most amazing support system that anyone could ask for and I plan on making them each feel appreciated and loved every single day because you never know when things can change in the blink of an eye.  

I love you all so much and can never thank you enough for all the love and support you guys have shown me throughout this journey.  From the bottom of my heart, I am so so so grateful for all of you. xoxoxo

 

Hopeful While Still in the Hospital

Hi there.  I am just stopping by to check in with you all.  This past Tuesday marks 3 straight weeks in the hospital with another week on top of that before a little 3 quick days at home.  So one month in the hospital.  It has been brutal.  Mostly because I am antsy and bored.  

I was able to get the NG tube out last week and off all pain medications too so those are steps in the right direction.  I still get very nauseated even when I drink a few sips of something so I am still not eating or barely drinking.  I have now lost 30lbs and really can’t afford to lose any more.  I did start IV nutrition therapy at the end of last week and that has been a game changer in terms of my energy and feeling overall.  I feel like I am sleeping better, have more energy, and don’t feel the pressure to eat in order to get all the nutrients I need since I am getting them intravenously.  This will also help me not to lose anymore weight, which is good.  

They still haven’t figured out what is wrong.  But, they have taken a stand and we are ready to proceed with an exploratory laparoscopy tomorrow.    They still can’t tell where the issue is from my scans so they are going into this blindly and hoping to find something that can be fixed.  There is definitely a chance that they won’t find anything or that it may become a much bigger surgery with a larger incision.  

I am feeling all the emotions.  I’m hopeful, excited, scared, nervous, and most of all, ready.  I am so tired of being in the hospital.  I am so ready to be home with my husband and puppies.  I just can’t wait.  

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Cuddles with this guy make each day better.  

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As exhausting and taxing as this whole process has been on me, it has been equally, if not more, hard for my loved ones.  My mom, dad, husband, best friends, and mother-in-law have been taking shifts to be with me.  I haven’t spent one night or day alone (or even a few minutes) during this entire process.  When I do my daily walks around the hospital, I see people who never have any visitors and realize just how lucky I really am.  

My dad and I took a walk outside yesterday to get some vitamin D.

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I treated myself with a popsicle. 😉 That is at close as I have gotten to real food in weeks.  I am already dreaming of my first meal, but haven’t decided what it will be yet. 

 

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So for now, the plan is for surgery Friday in the hopes they find something fixable.  If not, it is back to the drawing boat and we will probably move me to the Mayo clinic.  But I am hopeful we will get some answers on Friday.  

Thank you so so so much for all the messages, emails, calls, flowers, and most importantly, for thinking of me.  XOXOXOXO

Another Update

Hey guys. I’m pretty exhausted and delirious writing this now, but I’ll try my best to make sense. 😉

I am still in the hospital right now. It has been about a week and a half now. I was finally moved from a clear liquid diet to a somewhat normal diet to see how my body would respond. With a banana, a potato and some puréed foods over 48 hours, that was enough to set me off again resulting in severe abdominal pain. My doctor was hoping to release me Tuesday, but with how bad I was feeling, he wanted to keep me in patient.

I have finished the C diff medication and now they are thinking it is just a small bowel partial blockage. Since things are moving through my system, they do not want to operate. While this is good news, it is also pretty defeating since they can’t figure out what has caused this blockage. The plan is to get stable enough to go home and then complete a new endoscopy and colonoscopy in the next week. So far they haven’t been able to keep my comfortable and out of pain for very long. While I hate being in the hospital, going home scares me more. I am nervous to have another flare up and end up back in the ER for the 4th time. So the doctors are being extra careful this time around. They did put the NG tube back in Tuesday night to help relieve some of the stomach pains. So for now the plan is to hopefully get off the tube tomorrow and back onto a clear liquid diet and stay on that even while I am home because my stomach can’t handle much else. We think liquids are getting through, but the food (even bland soft and puréed foods) is not passing through my system which results in it building up and causing so much pain and nausea.

So basically we are back at square one. We are in the process of getting more opinions from different specialists so we will see how that goes.

Thank you all so so so much for all the thoughts and prayers. I really need them right now.

Me with all the baby food. Lol.

My husband brought my puppies to see me yesterday morning. I’m the last couple weeks, they haven’t seen me much. They both went crazy.

Sweet little Riley climbed out the window and just clung onto me. It was the sweetest reunion ever.

I hope you guys have a great day. I’ll keep you updated when there are more answers. Until then I’m just trying now to go crazy in the hospital. Love you all.

Back in the Hospital

Hi friends! I thought I should update here as I updated my Facebook account last week. During a routine follow up with a GI doctor at Vanderbilt last week, I was re-admitted to the hospital. I was already not feeling well before going in (after being on soft foods since Saturday when I got discharged from the hospital) and my stomach pain just got worse and I began the whole process of dry heaving and screaming bloody murder with the most intense stomach pains ever. They took me down to the ER and honestly the next two days are just a huge blur. I was in so much pain. They put the NG tube back in and kept me off all foods and drinks. Thursday was the worst day. They put this dye in my tube and took X-rays every couple of hours to see how far it went in my system. The whole time my tube wasn’t pumping my stomach so I was in extreme pain. It was horrible. The last test was at 3am so that whole day was really really rough. My mother in law came in town to help, my best friends have been by my side, my dad and little brother have come to entertain me, and my husband and mom have been by my side the entire time. I can honestly say this experience has been the most emotionally taxing experience of my life. It has been extremely physically painful, but being cooped up for two weeks in a hospital room is so very emotionally draining.

The doctors are stumped. They are working hard to figure this out, but truly can’t figure out what is wrong…. which is kinda scary. I am still being treated for the C diff, but like I previously mentioned, they don’t think this is the only issue. I get very nauseated after just eating jello, which is annoying because I am hungry!!! I have been living off of veggie broth and jello since Friday when they gave me the okay to have food and drinks. I am still only allowed to have those few things. It is hard when you are hungry, but get very sick after eating. I still have the NG tube in which gives me a lot of relief on top of nausea meds and pain medication.

I still am amazed by the outpouring of love I have received. From the cards to the flowers to the visits to the texts to the prayers, from the bottom of my heart, I am so sincerely grateful. My work has been so amazing and understanding through this whole process, which is a huge relief because I love (and miss) my job. I know I will beat this and it will get figured out soon. I am staying tough and fighting hard. Thank you guys so much for yours thoughts and prayers. I love you guys! I will be back soon. Xoxoxo

Happy Birthday To My Person

Good morning!!!  I am still so overwhelmed by everyone who has reached out and keeping me in their thoughts and prayers.  I can’t thank you all enough.  I am so blessed.

Before all the craziness began, we got to celebrate my sweet husband’s 31st birthday with close friends! We have been wanting to go to City Winery for a while now so we decided this was a great occasion!  

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We met some of our friends there for an early dinner.  We had a blast chatting away and sipping drinks (none for me while I am sick).  We got a bunch of appetizers and everyone really loved their food.  

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I made little treat bags for everyone too so some goodies were consumed as well.  Homemade cookies and chocolate covered pretzels!  (Clearly, I need to have a child as I am making goodie bags for my 31 year old husband’s birthday. ;)).  

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Then we sang to this sweet boy!!  He is a special one!  

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The whole gang!!  We sure did get lucky in the friend department!!!  

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My love. 🙂

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We got photobombed!!  

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My girls!!! 

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Three sweet boys at the bar. 🙂 

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I’m still doing well and getting lots of snuggles from these two. 🙂 

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I hope you all have a fantastic day!!!  

How was your weekend??

Tuesday Talks and The Biggest Thank You Ever

Hi friends!  I hadn’t planned on posting today, but I just couldn’t help myself after the response to yesterday’s post.  To put it simply, I am completely blown away.  I know I have a great support system around me, but wow.  I cannot say thank you enough for all the sweet messages, thoughts, and prayers from all of you.  I am beyond grateful.

I am still at home resting this week and have been feeling mostly good with a few stomach pains and some nausea at night.  I have another doctor appointment today with a GI specialist so I am hoping for more answers.  

In the mean time, I’ve been staring at all these beautiful flowers.  Fresh flowers just make me smile.  

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My sweet sister left this morning and I’m already missing her.  She is such a good caretaker and was by my side all weekend.  I was so happy she was able to go to the Preds game with my dad on Sunday so she could enjoy her visit a bit.  And the bonus is that they won in double overtime!  Can’t wait to watch the next game tonight! Go Preds!!

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I happily watched from my bed. 🙂 

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You know the honey I mentioned in my last post?  Well my momma brought me a jar!!  It is the best honey I have ever tasted.  

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Monday morning I woke up feeling pretty good so my mom, sister, and I walked to grab a coffee.  It is one of the few things I can drink/eat right now.  It tasted heavenly. 

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When my mom comes over, there is ALWAYS pingpong involved.  Who will be her next competitor? 😉 

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It has been very difficult for me to rest at home.  I can always think of things that need to be done.  Monday I mopped, vacuumed, dusted, cleaned mirrors, etc.  Today I am relaxing per my doctor’s orders.  On Monday afternoon my sister and I went to my dad’s to relax in the hot tub for a bit before heading to my little brother’s hockey game.  He was really excited to see my sister and see me out of the hospital.  He told me he was SO glad I was laying down in the hospital anymore. 😉  Sweetest boy ever. 

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Now it is time to go rest up before my doctor appointment today.  I will keep you all updated.  And once again, I am just so thankful for all my friends (internet blogging friends too!) and family.  Have a great day, friends!!