Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Patience is a virtue

I have been trying to be more patient lately but I'm not sure how successful I have been. It seems like I'm always waiting for something...waiting 4 MORE MONTHS for Kyler to get home...waiting 31 more days until we FINALLY move to the new hospital...waiting ONE MORE WEEK until I see a Dr. at the University of Utah...waiting to feel better.

My life for the most part is great and I don't want to complain. I have a great family and awesome friends. I have a great job that I love and have great people to work with every day who have become really good friends as well. I have good doctors and good health insurance. Watching General Conferance a couple weeks ago really made my heart full of gratitude for the wonderful blessings in my life. I realized that the Lord has blessed me with so many great things, that I should be willing to be a little more patient for the extra things I want. I enjoyed all the talks in conferance...and I was proud of the fact that I stayed awake through most of them even though I had just had surgery and was hopped up on pain pills. :) Elder Kent F. Richards of the Seventy said in his talk on pain that, "Healing blessings come in many ways, each suited to our individual needs. As known to Him who loves us best, sometimes a healing cures our illness or lifts our burden, but sometimes we are healed by being given strength or understanding or patience to bear the burdens placed upon us." I was given a blessing by my branch president about a month ago one weekend when I was super sick. He basically said a very similar thing...that I would start feeling better eventually. I just need to be patient and endure whatever comes my way. Another talk I enjoyed was by Paul V. Johnson of the Seventy. He talked about trials and quoted Elder Orson F. Whitney saying, "No pain that we suffer, no trial that we experience is wasted. … All that we suffer and all that we endure, especially when we endure it patiently, builds up our characters, purifies our hearts, expands our souls, and makes us more tender and charitable. … It is through sorrow and suffering, toil and tribulation, that we gain the education that we come here to acquire.” I really believe that to be true.

So here I am trying to be patient...I actually have recovered from my surgery really well. I had a couple miserable days (day 3 and 4 were the worst) and I didn't go back to work until Tuesday (not Monday like I had planned), but it was not NEARLY as bad as I expected. I got the splints taken out a day early because I had a night where I was waking up every hour with blood gushing out my nose and I couldn't take it anymore. I called the nurse and she said to come right in. I was so excited (especially since I had called the day before to move my appointment from Thursday to Tuesday like the Dr. told me I could do and the receptionist rudely told me that the spints HAVE to stay in a week, and they didn't have any openings anyway...psh.) Anyway, life was much better after that and I can really tell that I can breath much better. I think it will take some time to really tell if it's made a difference in how I feel, but I can already tell it was worth it. I've seen Dr. Mayes (the ENT who did the surgery) at the hospital a couple times since then and he always says, "Hey Jill! How ya doin'? Breathing good?" It's kind of funny but I love telling him that yes, I'm breathing good. :)

Also on the plus side I got my vitamin D level checked again and it is back in the normal range, so I just have to take one vitamin D pill a day now instead of two. I have an appointment with the Rheumatologist in a couple of weeks to see how the medication is working for that, and I think it's going pretty good. I haven't been having much trouble with my joints.

My stomach has been about the same. Every time I decrease my prednisone dose, I get sick again. Dr. Smith has been great, even though I'm starting to feel like I'm probably the bain of his existance. :) He finally did say that he wants me to see someone at the University of Utah to get another opinion because he can't figure out why I'm still having so much trouble. I have an appointment Thursday the 28th...wish me luck. I increased my prednisone dose again this last Thursday back to 40 mg but actually haven't started to feel much better. Sunday was horrible. I was ok in the morning when I went to church. I came home and took like a 2 hour nap, and when I woke up I did not feel so good and it just kept getting worse and worse...until I was curled up in a ball in my bed bawling because it hurt so bad. I had taken imodium and percocet and neither seemed to do anything for a LONG time. Finally about 8:00 I decided I was going to live and was able to get up for awhile. I went to bed later and the next morning I miraculously made it work. Today I talked to Dr. Smith again who told me to start taking 80 mg of prednisone, which I was not excited about. I can tell that it is making my face poofy. It has also made me a little bit grumpy at times and affects how I sleep. But hopefully it will help and I can start decreasing it again in 3 days. He also gave my an antibiotic. Dr. Smith told me if it doesn't help to call him this weekend because he's on call. He's so nice. I'm just trying to wait patiently for one more week and praying I get some answers. It's weird that it has all of a sudden decided to get really bad the last few months. Before if I got pouchitis, it wasn't very bad and I could take an antibiotic and it would go away. Now it gets really bad and doesn't go away...ahhh! Anyway, I guess there was a little complaining in there, so sorry about that. :) I guess life goes on and I can't just put my life on hold because I have a stomach ache. I just need to be patient...

p.s. Sorry no pictures in such a long post.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

On the mend

Well I had my surgery on Thursday, the 31st. Here's how it all went down:

  • 6:20 am-leave Burley

  • 7:10 am-register at the hospital

  • 7:20 am-wait

  • 7:45 am-Do a lab test to prove I'm not pregnant (even though I told them it's not a possibility)...whatever, I'm not the one paying for it. :)

  • 7:50 am-wait again

  • 8:00 am-go to pre-op

  • 8:05 am-answer lots of questions about what meds I'm currently taking, past medical history, etc...that I already answered at the pre-op appointment a couple days before, btw....yes, I'm allergic to flagyl, yes, I had my WHOLE colon removed, etc, etc, etc. :)

  • 8:15 am-change into this beautiful gown, get IV started (which happened on the first try, I was impressed!)

  • 8:30 am-wait some more

  • 8:45 am-Dr. comes in and we chat. He said to plan on feeling like I've got the worst cold ever for about a week.

  • 8:55 am-Anesthiologist comes in, they give me my prednisone in the IV since I couldn't take any of my meds that morning, gives me some Versed (consious sedation) and I already start to fall asleep.

  • 9:00 am-go to OR, by this time things are already looking a little fuzzy because of the Versed. I was also put under general anesthia once we got to the OR.

  • ~10:15 am-Wake up in recovery. This was not a pleasant experience. I woke up kind of suddenly and there was a lot of noise around and it was making me really agitated. My throat was really dry and I was freezing cold. I could hear the nurses talking to me and trying to ask me questions. They told me they were doing an EKG on me and putting wires everywhere. I could see/hear the anesthiologist saying that when they put me under, my heart went into v-tach (really fast heart rate) for about a minute and he seemed a little concerned. A few minutes later he came back and said it looked fine. But I did not feel fine. I was breathing really hard and felt like I couldn't catch me breath. My head didn't really hurt, but my stomach did (go figure). I had a good nurse though and when she asked me if I was in pain, and I said yes, she asked if it was my stomach or my head. I said my stomach and she gave me morphine. I had actually started to cry a little bit, and she kept telling me to take deep breaths and not to cry because it would just make it worse. I don't know what my deal was. Usually I just come out of it really slowly and everything's fine. They also had to give me some more Versed and Ativan to calm me down. The nurse was really good at talking to me though. She told me she knows my parents and asked about my brothers and sisters. She didn't believe me when I said I have 13 nieces and nephews. I did give a little smile when she commented on what my nieces and nephews would think if they saw me now-with my wires going everywhere, gauze under my nose, ice pack on my face, hair net still on, oxygen mask on, tubes hooked up to the blankets blowing warm air on me...oh man, haha.

  • ~11:15 am-Go to Same Day Surgery room (and by room I mean a little closet big enough to fit my bed and a chair). I got up and used the bathroom (I was getting IV fluids, so it was time...haha). I ate some pudding. Sipped some water. Took a pain pill. Then I was fine. My mom snapped this lovely picture of me.

  • 12:30 pm-IV unhooked, receive discharge instructions about pain meds, antibiotics, changing gauze, etc, etc, etc.

  • 1:00 pm-Dr. finally calls my mom to tell her everything went well. He didn't get time to go out and talk to her when I was in recovery because he needed to get to his next surgery. He said I should be breathing much better soon!

  • 1:30 pm-Home Sweet Home :) Still pretty groggy/out of it the rest of the day.

  • 1:45 pm-10 pm-Eat some yogurt. Sleep a lot. Take some pain pills. Get really nauseated. Take some nausea medicine. Feel much better. Sleep some more. Watch Tangled on my iPod. Eat some real food. Watch American Idol. Go to bed.

  • So that was pretty much my day. It was not as bad as I thought it would be, pain wise. My mouh and teeth were numb for most of the first day and I didn't have a lot of pain. Yesterday and today the pain has been worse, but bearable. I had a little bit of a first rough night. I would get nauseated from the pain meds, and woke up once throwing up, which made my nose start bleeding a bunch. I learned to eat something if I'm going to take a pain pill. I had stocked up beforehand on things like Ensure, yogurt, pudding, applesauce, and soup, which has helped a lot. Last night was much better and I slept much better. I think the worse thing though has been not being able to breath out of my nose. I only had to wear the gauze until the next morning because it had stopped (actively) bleeding by then, but they put some spints up there to hold everything in place, which are making it so I feel super congested and can't breath. I know there's also still a bunch of dried blood and grossness blocking my way to that wonderful air through my nose too-the Dr. will clean that out too. I have an appointment on Thursday to get the splints removed, but he said I could call him if I get tired of them before then and we could do it Tuesday or Wednesday. I just might take him up on that. Thursday night my awesome friend Jamie stopped by. She randomly took some frosting off her cupcake and wiped it on her face so I would not be the only one with a mustache. I about died. It was hilarious. She. Is. Awesome.
So I am doing well. It went faster and I was home sooner than I expected. Besides the experience of waking up, it was not as bad as I expected. I was really nervous for some reason. I hope it starts to feel a little better tomorrow though so I can go back to work Monday. I don't have much energy and the pain meds make me super sleepy. I have a sore throat from breathing with my mouth open and from blood draining down my throat (I know, gross!), and it hurts to talk too much. All in all, though, I think everything went well and I should feel much better soon!