Monday, July 29, 2013

Another Hospital Stay....

Well I haven't felt well for the last couple weeks. I have been in this cycle where I will be ok for a few days, and feel crummy for a few days, or a week. I do my best to ignore it, and just go with the flow. I missed sacrament meeting one week, and then all of church the next week. The next week when we were camping I didn't feel great when we got there and and felt better the last couple of days. And then last Monday I felt great and I made homemade raspberry jam, fruit leather, and a raspberry cheesecake all in one day! I LOVE raspberries if you cant tell! It's amazing what you can do with a little energy.

The next few days were bad again. The last couple hours of work on Wednesday my stomach started to hurt more than normal. Luckily I didn't have cub scouts that night so I went home and went to bed. The next day I made it to work and just dealt with it all day but it just kept getting worse. I ate breakfast and didn't have any output from my ileostomy. My stomach felt hard and distended. This happens to me sometimes and then it will get better in a few hours. I laid in bed from about 4 to 8. Finally I was crying and we decided to go the ER. I hate going to the hospital and I knew that the wait would definitely be longer than it was in Twin. We waited for about an hour and a half, during which time I cried. I was nauseated and was dry heaving. Once I got triaged they said that I would be the next person taken back, ahead of everyone else. I cried until I got an IV started with pain and nausea meds that kicked in immediately, for which I was so grateful. We weren't in the ER for very long. They took x-rays and said it didn't really show anything, but I think it was pretty obvious I had some kind of obstruction. Blood work showed I was really dehydrated and my white blood cell count was a little high. They put in an NG tube to suction, and then they admitted me pretty quickly.

It was a rough first night. I had to share a room and I wasn't happy. The other lady had several people that kept coming in to see her (she was just being admitted too), and it was like one in the morning. I asked for a private room right away and the charge nurse said there weren't any available, but when people discharged in the morning, I should be able to get one. In the morning the other patient was taken to surgery snd didnt come back to my room. I wasn't a fan of the nurse that night either. She wouldn't listen to me or Chris and would walk away when I was in mid-sentance. I ended up throwing up (which is really unpleasant with an NG tube down your nose and throat, btw), and about 10 minutes later I asked her what time I could have more zofran (nausea med). She said, "well, are you nauseated?" Uh, hello! I just threw up! She said it would be awhile because I had had it in the ER, but she would check. I never heard from her. A couple hours later I asked the aid to ask her and she came back and said there wasn't an order from the doctor for it, and to get one they would have to call him. I said, "can we call him?!" She said, "well I can see if she will try." I said, "I can't go all night with no zofran!" So finally I was able to get more. The doctor I saw was a GI surgeon. He wasn't really sure what caused the obstruction but said something about scar tissue possibly being a reason. The obstruction started to resolve so he told me when I felt like I was tolerating food that I could go home.

Friday I kept asking about a private room and they kept telling me I would get one, and then finally the nurse said "The problem is everyone wants a private room." She was a really nice nurse, so I know she was doing what she could. But they did eventually block off the other bed in my room so that no one else could be admitted there, which was nice. Chris got a cot to sleep on, instead of the plastic recliner he had the first night. Friday evening they took out the NG tube and I got a full liquid diet. I was nauseated and dry heaved after dinner, and was only to eat a little pudding, and was nauseated after breakfast the next morning. I was also nauseated every time I got out of bed, it was awful. My pain was pretty well controlled, until the middle of the night Friday night (technically Sat morning). When it was time for my next zofran dose the nurse noted that my IV wasn't good anymore. She paged IV Therapy to come put in a new one and they took about half an hour to come. She also took out the old IV so I couldn't even get pain relief during this time. It was getting bad like when I was in the ER. I asked for a warm blanket to put on my tummy in the meantime, and it took forever and calling more than once to get one. I realize nurses are busy, but people kept walking into my room and asking what I needed, and never coming back. Finally when I got a new IV, someone I didn't know came in and said they were going to give me zofran, and then saw my nurse out in the hall so decided to let her do it, and it took even longer. I just wanted to say SOMEBODY give me some zofran. An hour after I was supposed to, I finally got the medicine I needed.

Anyway, Saturday night the doctor upgraded my diet to a post-surgical diet (basically kind of bland food), and when I ordered the kitchen didn't send anything because they didn't know my diet was changed yet. When the nurse called again for me, they didn't have any food left except for the type of food I'd already been eating, like yogurt, juice, jello, ice cream, etc. The whole point of me staying Saturday night was to see if I could handle real food so Chris went to KFC and got me some mashed potatoes and macaroni, which i was able to handle better. That night I slept ALL night! I finally got my sleeping pill, (the dr forgot to order my home meds for me originally),
and didn't wake up one time during the night. The nurse told me when I went to bed that they wouldn't wake me up to take vitals or anything. It was great. I was finally starting to feel better so the doctor switched me to oral pain meds and the next morning came and said I could go home. I was definitely not how I wanted to spend my weekend and we were pretty darn bored, but we got through it, and Chris took good care of me. Today I got another Remicade infusion, and I'm hoping to feel even better. I actually asked if they could give it to me in the hospital, so I wouldn't have to get up early today to go, and get another IV, but the GI surgeon said that he asked the regular GI dr who said I would have to go the doctor's office like normal. Today when I went the nurse told my GI doctor, who said that they probably didn't even call the GI doctor on call, or else he would have come to see me and given me the remicade, which they do for pt's in the hospital all the time. Oh well.  The infusion went well and I didn't get any red spots, because of the steroids they gave me beforehand. made me promise that I would not do anything today, no cooking, no cleaning, or anything. So I am sitting here watching Gilmore Girls (which always cheers me up) like a good girl while I type. I plan to go to work tomorrow, so we will see how that goes. I plan on going to bed early tonight. :) I also finished these shoes today, another Pinterest find. They didn't turn out exactly the same size, but you can't really tell when they are on my feet. :)

On Saturday night our Home Teacher came and gave me a nice blessing. It was comforting and helped me feel better. I know when these things happen my Heavenly Father gives me these trials because He knows I can handle it. I really do think there will come a day where I will start to really feel better and won't have to deal with this as much. I know it is something that will always be there, but I also know that I will have periods where I can go on and have a normal life and have children, etc. My patriarchal blessing states that I will be able to bring spirits into this world, so for now I just continue to try to have faith and patience and wait for that time to come. I'm trying to take care of myself and drink fluids and eat. I am feeling ok today, mostly just tired, but it will pass. I am thankful this wasn't anything worse, and that I didn't require surgery or anything. I am thankful for all the wonderful love and prayers that were sent on my behalf, and especially grateful for that great husband of mine who was by my side almost every minute. Well that's all for now, hopefully the next post will be happier and healthier!

Here are some pics from the hospital stay:
 This was in the ER. Don't laugh because I brought my own blanket. I'm like a little kid!
 My room was really hot the whole time, even with the temperature turned down all the way, so I was trying to cool myself off with my water and ice next to my face.

The bruise the first IV made.

The second IV.

Lake Cleveland

A couple weeks ago Chris and I flew to Boise (yes we flew because we hate taking that long drive)! Chris' mom picked us up and took us to Twin and then we drove my brother-in-law Ron's car to Burley. My brother Kyler and his wife were there and we had fun staying up talking and laughing. The next day we got up and packed up the car and after Kyler and Chris ended up replacing the battery in my mom's van we finally we were off. We went up to a place called Twin Lakes, near Lake Cleveland. I don't know why it's called Twin Lakes, because the only lake I know of is Lake Cleveland, but anyway, when we first got there and got out of the car it was COLD and WINDY! Basically I spent the whole day in my sister's trailer.

Around late afternoon/evening the raining stopped and the wind died down and we ventured outside. We had a yummy dutch oven dinner. The kids were in heaven running around throwing throwing rocks in the water and the cold did not seem to bother them.

 My brother Chad brought a piece of garden hose that was put inside a brass pipe and it made the fire change colors. It was pretty cool. 

 The next morning it was bright and sunny and the weather was finally cooperating. 
 Kyler was up to his old tricks, and according to Landon, it was "amazing."

 We climbed a couple big rocks next to our campsite. 

 I rode my bike for awhile with a couple of my brothers and their kids and my mom. I didn't make it up the hill, so I had to turn around and go back, but I'm blaming it on my bike and the gears not working right (not that I'm not in shape) :)
 Chris and I had to drive to the top of Mount Harrison to get service to make a phone call and of course had to take a picture of this view.

 Kelsi and Jenna were so proud of themselves for getting two people on one bike.
 This girl cracks me up!
 After taking this picture, I realized my twelve year old nephew is taller than me! I can't believe he's twelve!
 Later that afternoon we went to the lake and canoed and rafted. The weather was a little colder then, but it was still fun.

 Chris and I hiked up the side of the hill that was right on the lake. We didn't make it quite to the top because it was too steep, but I was impressed we made it so far. And it was a really pretty view as well. I love Lake Cleveland.

The next morning we got up and packed everything up and went back to my mom's. That afternoon Chris and I went and had dinner with my Dan and Shana and Brock and Kristina went as well. That night I talked everyone into playing a couple games of Bunco which was fun. Chris and I left the next morning back to Twin and went to church in Hansen and saw his friends, cousins, and sister. Then we went to his Grandma's who was having a birthday dinner for his uncle so a lot more of his family came and we were able to see his mom, brother Ryan, and more cousins. Sad we couldn't stay too long but we had to get back to Boise to catch our flight. Chris' dad and stepmom drove us back and we had a nice visit with them. It was so fun being with all my siblings and their families for a few days. In a couple weeks we are driving to the Tetons and camping with Chris' mom and his siblings. We are really excited!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Remicade Update

Well I just wanted to give an update on my Remicade infusions. So far I've had two infusions. I have not experienced any bad side effects or anything like that, but unfortunately I have not felt any better either.  I'm not giving up yet. My doctor came and talked to me during the last infusion and said that it could still take time so not to worry yet. I have read about people who felt like a new person the day after their first infusion, and others who said it took a few weeks or months to tell it was really working.

When I had my first infusion the nurse noted that my face and chest were kind of red. During the last infusion my face, chest, neck, back, stomach and arms were red. The nurse was worried that I was having an allergic reaction. She got the doctor and he agreed. I'm not entirely sure that it was because I felt completely fine. I wasn't having trouble breathing, I wasn't itchy, or anything like that. It could have just been from all the warm blankets I had on me. But they want to be on the safe so that next time it's not worse, so for 3 days before the next infusion I have to take 20 mg of prednisone (steroid) and then they will give solumedrol (IV form of prednisone), wait 30 minutes, and then do the Remicaid infusion. So it will take 2 1/2 hours instead of 2, but that's ok. So much for never taking prednisone again, but taking it for 3 days shouldn't give me any bad side effects. Actually I will probably feel great during those 3 days. :) Here I am, wrapped up in all those blankets!

Also when I had the first infusion, I made a special effort to drink lots the day of and the day before the infusion. It still took the nurse 4 tries to start the IV. The next time she tried first in the same spot and got it on the first try. It is also the same spot they used when I had my exam under anesthesia. It's uncomfortable spot on my wrist, but I guess I've worn out all the other places!
 My doctor wanted me to call him and let him know how I am doing. I called and left a message today, so I am waiting to hear back. I don't know if he will tell me to do anything different, or just wait for the next Remicade infusion. We flew home this weekend and went camping with my mom and all my siblings. We had tons of fun, but last night when we got back, I unpacked, and laid on the bed for awhile. I thought I was just resting, but I fell asleep and was too tired to do anything else. I did get up after awhile and get ready for bed, and went back to sleep before Chris was in bed. There were a couple days when we were gone that I didn't feel great, and I think camping and traveling just wore me out. Today was my day off and I haven't really done anything productive. I need more energy! Haha, don't we all. :) I guess it's ok to have a day to relax and rest every now and then Anyway, I want to document if this medication is helping me or not, so that's why I am writing this. I will keep updating, and I will post about our vacation soon!

Monday, July 1, 2013

Golfing, Climbing, and Hiking...Oh my!

This last Thursday we both got off work early so we decided the go mini golfing. We were pretty surprised at the end when our scores were tied!

Chris also watched me climb the rock wall. I took a rock climbing class in college and I miss it a lot! I made it to the top on two different sides.

Friday I found out that I only had 3 patients to see on Saturday, so Chris and I thought it would be a good day to go the waterpark at Silverwood (an amusement park in Coer d' Alane which reminds me a lot of Lagoon). We have been planning to go there sometime this summer. I got up early and was ready by 7, only to look out the window and realize it was raining outside! We thought the weather was going to be nice. I still went to work since I was ready and we decided to wait and see if it got better. It was still raining off and on. We had to go to Coer d' Alane anyway to pick up my ring that was being sized down (which ended up still being too big)! So since we were there we decided to find something to do. It was warm enough to be outside, but not quite warm enough to swim because of the wind and scattered rain. We found this hill that has a bunch of trails on it to hike. We saw a couple deer, which was cool. We made it to the top and ate our lunch we had packed (for the water park). I was proud of myself for making it. I was tired and had to stop and rest a few times but other than that I was fine. I look really gross in this pic, but here are, at the top of Tubb's Hill.

Leiser Reunion

Well a couple of weeks ago we were able to go home for a really quick trip. We were able to ride with Chris' aunt and uncle who live in Coeur d' Alane. We left Thursday after work, stayed the night in Butte, Montana, and got there Friday afternoon. We left early Sunday morning. We had a really good time and I think it made us both miss home a lot. Friday afternoon we stopped and visited with my mom for about an hour, and then with my dad for about an hour. My mom drove us back to Twin. Two of Chris' cousins were there, his aunt and uncle, and all of his siblings. Friday night we ate dinner and then mostly visited. Saturday we got up and we all went down to Centennial Park and rented canoes and kayaks and then floated the Snake River from Centennial Park to a place called Pillar Falls, and then back. I think everyone had fun. I love the Snake River Canyon, it was so pretty! 

 The two rocks behind us are the "pillars."

When we got done canoeing we stopped at this waterfall that Chris and I have visited a few times. It's just off the side of the road on the way to the park. You can walk down and walk right under the waterfall. 

After we were done we went home and ate lunch and played on the big blow up slip n' slide that Chris' stepmom ordered. Chris and I also went and said hi to my sister and her family for just a few minutes, and went and visited with his mom. We had a BBQ that night and then watched the guys play basketball. 

Calvry couldn't make it to the end, so he's walking the rest of the way. Which is what I had to do too, haha.

Our nephew Calvry took this pic of us at the end of the day. Love my husband and his family!

In a couple weeks we are flying home for a reunion with my mom and all my siblings. Then in August we are going to go camping at the Tetons with Chris' mom and stepdad. Going home 3 times! It's already a busy summer. :)