Sunday, April 28, 2013

More doctors, tests, and no fun...

I should be going to sleep but I have a lot of things going through my mind so I thought I would write some of it down.....the last two weeks have definitely been hard. I have really not felt we'll and been in a lot if pain. I haven't slept and I haven't eaten very well. Pretty sure I lost the 4 pounds that I have gained in the last 6 weeks. Poor Chris has been eating frozen chimichangas for dinner all week. Now, don't take that the wrong way, Chris knows how to cook and can follow a recipe, and he make the best spaghetti around, but he has been really busy with finals. His last one is on Wednesday. Woo Hoo! We have been studying flash cards for the last couple days. :) Now I really got off topic....anyway it started almost 2 weeks ago. Monday was my day off and I woke up feeling terrible. My stomach hurt so I just stayed in bed until I absolutely needed to get up. I had an MRI scheduled and I couldn't eat for 4 hours before hand. (I actually drank a couple Ensures at 6 and 7 in the morning). The MRI was at noon. I had to drink 3 big bottles of contrast, which wasn't bad at first, but the more I drank, the worse it tasted, by the 3rd one I was starting to feel nauseated, in addition to my stomach hurting. I also had to have IV contrast, and they could not get an IV started. They were pulling out all their tricks and almost gave up when they finally got one started. I had to lay on my stomach with my arms above my head for 45 minutes. They brought me out a couple times so I could move my arms a little but. They were cramping up from being in that same uncomfortable position for so long and were sore for like 4 or 5 days after. I came home and went back to bed for 2 hours. They were trying to see what is causing my pain. A few days later I came back and showed nothing except a cyst on my ovary, which if fine and will probably go away on its own. I guess I should say that the week before I had to do a test called a Small Bowel Follow Through. You drink some barium and they take a bunch of X-rays as it moves through your system. Only I didn't drink it, they put a feeding tube down my nose and pushed the barium down the tube. It was much faster and they said doing it that way gave them a much better picture. We were looking for any fistulas but they told me right then that it didn't show anything. Even though it was good news, I was really disappointed. I was even more when the MRI didn't show anything.

Ok so I had a whole post written that somehow got deleted and only left what I wrote above, so I am going to attempt to write it again but I can't guarantee that it will be the same...

The next week on Tuesday I had a horrible night. I literally did not sleep all night. The next day I went to work because I didn't think I could find someone to work for me last minute. It was an awful day because I was so exhausted and still in pain. I went to scouts that night (Wed) and came home after only 35-40 minutes. When I got home I just cried. Chris had to help me get ready for bed. I was in so much pain. I made Chris find me some percocet that I had left over from like a year ago because the other pain medication I had was not working. It helped a ton but my GI doctor here does not want to give me narcotics because he thinks that I will get addicted. I have taken them on and off for years and never gotten addicted, obviously, if I still had some from a year ago. I called the girl I was supposed to work with the next day and she said she would be fine doing everything (Thursdays and Fridays and not nearly as crazy as the other days of the week.) It helped me to stay home and the last few days have been better. I have slept a little better as well. I just cannot function when I am so exhausted so I really love those good nights where I sleep most of the night.

I think I said this before but a fistula is an abnormal connection or tunnel between two organs, or between one loop of the intestines and another, or somewhere outside the body. I used to think you only got them from inflammation, but they can also be a result of surgery, where there is a weak spot. They can be really hard to find, and hard to heal.

I went to one doctor last week who referred me to another doctor this week who is going to refer me to a colorectal surgeon. You have to find the fistula in order to know how to treat it, and since we haven't found it yet, she said it is most likely higher up, and that the surgeons usually take care of that. At one point, my GI doctor had mentioned that if we do find one, we could use Remicade to get it to heal (an IV medication). I'm not really happy about either one. I don't want surgery, but I don't want to take Remicade because it's not good to take if you want to have a baby. And I was told we need to take care of this before I have a baby.

I went to my primary care doctor also this week because my GI wants her to manage pain medicine. She did give me some percocet that I can take when it gets really bad and that I was thankful for.

I'm still not sure what is causing all my pain but I suppose it could be the fistula. I think it could also be scar tissue because it is right along my incision where I have pain every time. According to the scope and MRI, there is no inflammation.

The night that I was really sick Chris gave me a priesthood blessing and in it he said that the Lord has placed Angels around me to help me. This really comforted me. I listened to the Mormon Message video again that I shared a few posts ago, and I love the part where President Eyering says, "The Savior has promised Angels on our left and on our right, to bear us up, and He always keeps His word." I love this part and know that it is true.

On a happier note: My mama is coming to see me tomorrow!!!!

Monday, April 22, 2013

183rd Semi-Annual General Conference

I just wanted to post about some of my favorite parts of the most recent General Conference:

Elaine S. Dalton
Recently Released General Young Women President
"Of women and mothers, President Gordon B. Hinckley once said:

“We must never lose sight of the strength of the women. … It is mothers who most directly affect the lives of their children. … It is mothers who nurture them and bring them up in the ways of the Lord. Their influence is paramount. …

“… They are the creators of life. They are the nurturers of children. They are the teachers of young women. They are our indispensable companions. They are our co-workers in building the kingdom of God. How great is their role, how marvelous their contribution.”

In an extremely challenging world, that is what I see young women and women of this Church doing. They are an influence for good. They are virtuous and exemplary, intelligent and industrious. They are making a difference because they are different. They are acting well their part."
I loved this talk because it is just what I needed to be more motivated to "Act well my part," and "stand as a witness of God, at all times, in all things, and in all places." I have made goals to be a better example of Christ to those around me, such as not gossiping, not judging others, only watching and listening to uplifting things, and to look for opportunities to serve others and share the gospel. I also am proud to be a DAUGHTER of God. This talk reminds me that Heavenly Father loves His daughters and their divinity and virtue. We have a divine role here in Earth. I cannot wait to be a mother and fulfill this divine role.

Elder Bruce D. Porter of the Seventy
"Brothers and sisters, we need not fear the future, nor falter in hope and good cheer, because God is with us. Among the first recorded words of counsel that Jesus gave to His newly called disciples in Galilee was the two-word admonition, “Fear not” (Luke 5:10). He repeated that counsel many times during His ministry. To His Saints in our day, the Savior has said, “Be of good cheer, and do not fear, for I the Lord am with you, and will stand by you” (D&C 68:6)."

"Trials may come, and we may not understand everything that happens to us or around us. But if we humbly, quietly trust in the Lord, He will give us strength and guidance in every challenge we face. When our only desire is to please Him, we will be blessed with a deep inner peace."

President Thomas S. Monson, the Prophet of our church (I love this man so much!)
"We live at a time in the world’s history when there are many difficult challenges but also great opportunities and reasons for rejoicing. There are, of course, those times when we experience disappointments, heartaches, and even tragedies in our lives. However, if we will put our trust in the Lord, He will help us through our difficulties, whatever they may be."

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland
Quorum of the Twelve Apostle
He is referring the scripture about the man who had an afflicted child, and asked Christ if He could do anything. Jesus replied that "If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth." And the man replied "Lord, I believe."

"I would say to all who wish for more faith, remember this man! In moments of fear or doubt or troubling times, hold the ground you have already won, even if that ground is limited. In the growth we all have to experience in mortality, the spiritual equivalent of this boy’s affliction or this parent’s desperation is going to come to all of us. When those moments come and issues surface, the resolution of which is not immediately forthcoming, hold fast to what you already know and stand strong until additional knowledge comes. It was of this very incident, this specific miracle, that Jesus said, “If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.”6 The size of your faith or the degree of your knowledge is not the issue—it is the integrity you demonstrate toward the faith you do have and the truth you already know."

"Last observation: when doubt or difficulty come, do not be afraid to ask for help. If we want it as humbly and honestly as this father did, we can get it. The scriptures phrase such earnest desire as being of “real intent,” pursued “with full purpose of heart, acting no hypocrisy and no deception before God.”11 I testify that in response to that kind of importuning, God will send help from both sides of the veil to strengthen our belief."

"I know this work is God’s very truth, and I know that only at our peril would we allow doubt or devils to sway us from its path. Hope on. Journey on. Honestly acknowledge your questions and your concerns, but first and forever fan the flame of your faith, because all things are possible to them that believe."

I know that if we have faith and do what He asks, Heavenly Father will bless us. We are still trying to figure out why I am having some stomach pain, and sometimes I am tired of having faith and being patient, but then I remember the Love of our Heavenly Father and all the countless times he has helped me in my time of need. I loved General Conference and the opportunity we have to hear the word of God, through the mouths of the prophets. It is so uplifting and comforting.

A Long Time Coming

I finally finished my quilt! I am so excited about how it turned out. This has been a long time coming. I got the material about 3-4 years ago. Cutting everything out was hard for me. I would get tired of it. I didn't feel comfortable doing it without my mom there because I was afraid of cutting something wrong. Finally a little over a year ago, I stayed with my mom for the weekend when Chris went on a snowboarding trip. I told my mom we needed to finish cutting everything out. Well, I still got tired of cutting and my mom ended up doing most of it, haha. But after that I was motivated to start sewing! I started setting everything out and actually had it all over our coffee table last year when I ended up in the hospital. It stayed sitting on the coffee table for the whole time I was gone basically. A couple months after being home I finally decided that I had the energy to work on it again. I pieced together all the squares and sewed them together last summer. I sewed most of the border on before we moved, and the most outer border just a couple weeks ago. I don't know why I didn't do it sooner. Life I guess. I kind of accidentally ran onto a place that was having a major good deal on quilting so I hurried and finished it and sent it off. I got it back on Saturday and I am IN LOVE with it. Mostly I just can't believe that I did that. (Well, with some help). Neither can Chris. Haha. I still need to put binding around the edge, but that's not going to happen for a couple weeks because I need my mom to show me how. (Yes that's right, my mom is coming to visit in less then 2 weeks!) I'm going the use the same material for the binding that I used for the back. But I couldn't wait to share it because I love it so much! I love the design of the quilting. And yes, that is Chris behind the quilt, he was mad that his face couldn't be in the picture. :)

Monday, April 1, 2013

What I Love to Do

Just a few more crafts and cards that I have made lately. I am thinking of starting another blog just for things I make, but now, I will post them here.

This is the card I made for Chris on Valentine's Day this year. The front are special dates for us: We met and went on our first date on February 18, 2011. We kissed for the first time on April 8, 2011. (Please don't judge us for how long it took.) We were engaged on July 9, and married on October 7. 

Here are some other cards I have made. I like to send cards to all 20 of our nieces and nephews for their birthday. Last year I didn't do so well, but I would like to do better this year. March and April are FULL of birthdays for both of our families. So I will still be making lots of cards for awhile.

I made one of these for my sister, and one for Chris' stepmom because they also had birthdays. I think it turned out really cute! 

I am really really close to finishing my quilt that I have been working on for a year. As soon as I get more material in the mail for the back I can send it off to be quilted. So excited!

One year later...

One year and one week ago on March 25 I had major abdominal surgery and was in the ICU. I can't believe it's been a whole year. Crazy. Chris and I talk about those weeks when I was in the hospital sometimes...and it just seems like it was one big blur. One year later I am doing so much better and I am so thankful for that!

I talked in a previous post about some other things that are going right now. I had a scope on March 11 and it went well. I was super nauseated afterwords though, and had to stay a little longer to wait for the IV zofran to help. The doctor said that there was no inflammation. He said that yes, there is some small intestine near my rectum left, and that it bled just when it was touched. He took some biopsies. He didn't seem to think that it was a big deal. That is the part I was so worried about. The surgeon in SL said that I might have to have it removed, so I didn't want the GI doctor here to say that I needed another surgery. I told him about some of the other things going on that I was worried about and he thinks I could have a vaginal fistula. I have an appointment with a gynecologist on April 22. I also have an appointment this Friday with the GI doctor to talk about things some more, and go over biopsy results. Every night when I lay down, my stomach hurts in the same exact spot, in the same exact way. So I think there is something going on, we just have to figure out what. :) So we are doing more waiting. I am really trying to learn patience right now!!
p.s. My hands have been getting better since I have gotten steroid shots in my fingers. I have to get shots in two more fingers today and then I will be done! :)

Happy Easter!

Today we had a wonderful Easter Sunday. We went to church with Chris' Aunt and Uncle and two of his cousins and their families. It was nice to be able to be with some family on a holiday. It makes being far from home a lot easier. I got to meet one of Chris' cousins and his wife and kids that I hadn't met yet. We had a yummy dinner and an Easter Egg Hunt with the kids. The weather was so nice! Chris was surprised when I left my coat in the car when we went into the church.

We bought eggs to color on Saturday but by the time we got home we were to tired to color them....I'm still going to boil some though because I love boiled eggs. :) I did make these cute eggs with Chris' mom when she was here. Try as I might, I can't find the link where I got them from. I think they turned out cute though. 
Mostly I am so grateful for my Savior. It is always a comfort to me that He not only paid for our sins, but he felt every feeling, pain-emotional or physical, frustration, and went through any trial we have ever had. He knows exactly how I feel when my stomach or my hands hurt. He knows exactly how hard it is to not know what is wrong, to wait and wait for doctor appointments, and the worry that goes along with it. We can repent and live with Him and our Father again in Heaven. He lived and died for each of us. I love this message from our First Presidency:

"At this Easter season we give our sure witness that Jesus is the Christ, the Redeemer of all mankind. Because of His atoning sacrifice, He stands as our Advocate and Savior. Though He was crucified, He rose triumphant from the tomb to our everlasting blessing and benefit."
Thomas S. Monson
Henry B. Eyring
Dieter F. Uchtdorf

Family Time

On February 28-March 4 I got to fly home for a quick trip to visit my family. I was so excited. I was sad that my husband couldn't come with me, but I really needed to see my mama! It was so good to just hang out with her for a few days. We stayed the night at my brother Chad's house in Boise after my mom picked my up from the airport. It was so good to see him and his fun wife and adorable boys. The next day we did some shopping in Boise. On our way home we stopped in Twin for a few minutes so I could see my sister and her kids. The next day we went to the Minico Craft Fair....side note about Minico's Craft Fair. It is HUGE. There is one every Fall and every Spring. I remember going almost every year with my mom from the time I was pretty young. It was something that just her and I did together. We always bought fudge, looked at all the fun things, and usually saw lots of friends. So anyway, I was pretty dang excited that it was the weekend I happened to be home. We went out to lunch, went and saw my brother Kelby and his family, and just hung out the rest of the time. The next day we went to church and afterwards I went and saw my dad for awhile. I had a nice visit with him and his wife. Later my sister and my brother Kelby came with their families for dinner. On Monday we got up and went back to Boise so I could fly home. I am glad that it is such a quick flight (only one hour and pretty cheap tickets in case anyone wants to come see us)! I was missing my family so I was glad I got to go home. I didn't take a lot of pictures, but I did get some of these 3 cuties:

Last weekend Chris mom flew to Spokane to spend a few days with us. It was so fun having her here. The first day we went shopping, visited Chris' Aunt and Uncle, went out to eat at The Old Spaghetti Factory (very good btw), and then watched a movie. The next day we went to Church, had a nice dinner, and did a puzzle.  I think we all know that I love to do puzzles, and so does she. :) We also introduced Chris' mom to Psych and she was hooked! (yes!) The next day had to work, so her and I went shopping again. We came home and hung out and made this cute Easter decoration. We had a nice dinner, and then Chris' mom wanted to watch more Psych, which was totally fine with us!
 Somewhere in there we stopped at this lookout over the city. It was a pretty view. Just to the right of this picture is the hospital where Chris works at, and right after that is the hospital where I work at.

It was so nice having Carol here, we didn't want her to leave! 


I feel really spoiled during this time of year-first we have Christmas, then Valentine's Day, one week later is my birthday, two weeks after that is Chris' birthday, and two weeks after that Easter! But we have had lots of fun lately with all these reasons to celebrate! I had a great Birthday. I was spoiled by my husband, friends, and family. We went to dinner and a movie on my birthday. I was pretty excited! Because of Chris' hearing, we hadn't been to a movie together since our first date (besides the drive in)! And I really like going to the movies. :) 

It's kind of a dark picture, but that's ok. A sweet old man saw us trying (and failing) to take a picture of ourselves, and offered to take one for us.

This year Chris turned 30 (I know, he's so old)!! Just kidding. Anyway, I wanted to do something fun for him, so I asked our close family (siblings, parents, nieces and nephews) and a couple of Chris' close friends to write something nice about Chris. A memory, why they like Chris, etc. I had 30 messages that I attached to 30 balloons. People said some pretty amazing stuff about him, which was just another testament to me that I married such a great guy!
I wanted to share a few of them:
I copied and pasted so that's why things look a little weird. Maybe someday I will fix it, but for now it's ok.

Chris' sister Katie: "When we were kids and living in Spokane, I was scared to sleep alone so I always wanted Chris to sleep with me. He usually would because he is just that kind of brother. One night, he was complaining and griping about it and he told me I was old enough to sleep alone. So I went to bed very sad and about 10 minutes later, Chris comes in with his pillow and told me he was sorry. He always took care of me! Love you Chris! Happy Birthday!"

Chris' sister Courtney: "When I was in elementary school and he was in high school, my mom was busy enough in the morning getting everyone ready so he used to wake me up every morning and carry me into the living room, get me breakfast and turn on Arthur for me. Another memory is when he baptized me! He is an awesome brother! Happy birthday Chris! I love you!"

Chris' nephew Tyson: "He played fall in the hole with me. That was so funny!" -Side note: "Fall in the hole" is a game my brothers used to play with me when I was little. I taught it to Chris, who did it with his nephews. They thought it was hilarious.

Chris' dad:  "Growing up, Chris took on the role of "peacemaker". When there was dissension, he would go to the parties involved and do what he could to bring about a peaceful resolution. From an early age, he has looked for opportunities to be helpful, and has grown up to be a responsible, capable young man. He is wise beyond his years.... How proud I am that he is my son....."

    Chris' Mom: "When Chris was 12 he decided he didn't like living in such a big family. He moved into a tent in the backyard for the summer. He was still responsible for doing his chores and he had to eat dinner with the family and go to church, but otherwise he was free to stay in the tent. The tent stayed up all summer, but he really didn't use it that much. Solitary life was a little much for him after all, but the tent was there just in case he wanted it."

My niece Halli: "oh oh I have to make him a present card and I love to talk to him on Jill's phone with a picture!" (When I was home visiting my mom a week before his birthday, we Face-timed. Chris told me before I left that he wanted to talk to Halli. This was Halli's first experience video chatting, and apparently it made a big impression on her!"

Chris' stepmom Linda: "HAPPY HAPPY BIrthday!!!! Chris...the first time I met you was the day you got off your mission. I am so glad dad and I were able to come to Holland. Your dad use to tell me how you were such a special spirit before I met you...I so agree. Thank you for living with us and all that you did for us. I am proud of you and the decisions you have made in your life. I am thankful for the great example that you are for your brothers and sisters. I love and miss you. HAPPY 30TH!!!"

My mom: "I remember when you ran out in the snow in your bare feet to take out the garbage! Pretty cool! Thanks Chris for taking such good care of my daughter! Thank you for loving her and treating her like queen. I also appreciate how good he is with the kids. He will be a good father!"
My sister Tysi:  "I remember when Chris got into the freezing cold water at Redfish just to show Kade how to kneeboard! I also remember getting a good laugh at his story about the automatic bathroom on his mission that got him all wet! Chris is always so fun with the kids! He is also fun to tease. He takes it well! I love how sweet he is to Jill and how he spoils her!"

My sister-in-law Amy: "Chris reminds me of Shawn Spencer! I guess that makes Jill Gus!" (Psych fans will appreciate that one)!

There are many more that I could post, but you get the picture. :) Here he is reading some of the messages...Chris said it was one of the best presents he's ever gotten, so I think it was a success!

I made him this amazing chocolate cake that is his favorite!

We ended the night by going to a Spokane Chiefs hockey game with some friends from our ward. I won 4 tickets for the game back at Christmas time. It was really fun and we even got to see a fight!

I sure do love him!