Sunday, August 31, 2008

Bubbles!!

The best thing about being off the Topamax:

BUBBLES!

I haven't been able to drink carbonated drinks in 2 months and I've dearly missed my bubbles!

Friday, August 29, 2008

Diagnosis Explained

I just realized that I never said what was figured out during my 4 night/5day stay in the Ft. Sanders Stroke Center...sorry about that!

Long story short: Topomax.

I was taking it about a month before the pain and other symptoms set in. Actually, Carol, Daddy and I figured it out with the help of Dr Google (he's not always the enemy) and the doctors and lab work were able to confirm it. Time off the medication has proven the diagnosis to be true as with each day the pain is decreasing and my appetite is increasing. The more I eat, the more energy I will have and the better I will feel. My liver numbers are also lower..a sign that the medicine was beginning to cause damage.

Thankfully, I kept that appointment Monday afternoon and I was having a really painful day so my doctor saw the real deal. I tried to be a big girl in his office but I lost it. I was frustrated, in pain and sick; instead of writing me a script and sending me on my way like everyone else, he took the time to listen and find the answer. The Lord does work in mysterious ways....

This leaves me in a bit of a catch 22 about the migraines, though. I am reluctant to jump into another medication given this terrible experience BUT am also scared to see what happens with no preventative at all. I got more than enough of them ON a preventative so I really don't know what to do. We went with Topomax because it was the 'easiest', should have known then it wouldn't work with my body. I think I'll go ahead and make an appointment since I know it will be several weeks before I can get in and that will give me time to ponder.

So, there is the answer. All this time, all this pain, worry and misery because of a little pill.

Friday Afternoon, 215pm

HOME!!!!!

I'm already unpacked and have laundry started. Getting ready for a nice loonnggg shower then waiting to surprise my babies when they get off the school bus. They will be so excited to have me greet them at the door. That will last until I make them get back to real life and their chores!

Thank you SO MUCH for every ones thoughts, prayers, offers of help, sitting with me just passing the time. It made the time go faster having someone in the room with me.

Hopefully, this is the end of this chapter. I'm not stupid enough to say the book is finished cause I know me too well, but this chapter is over.

Love you all-
The Feeling Better Momma Pea

Friday Morning, 9am

Another no-go on the CT.
Dr GI is at a loss
Waiting for Dr ID to come by and see what we do next
So I lay in wait

One year ago today was my hysterectomy; a different hospital but still in a hospital nonetheless. Anniversary's should be marked in a different way, don't you think?

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Still hanging out...

I am still here with no end in sight. Yet another failed CT this morning although at least this time they didn't make me NPO and drink the contrast. They took me down and took a few pictures to see if they would be able proceed then sent me back up to my room.
I asked today if they had ever seen anyone with Barium stuck for this long and they said 'no, because you are normally given pills afterwards and told to drink lots of water to flush your system". Clearly, the morons at MMC aren't aware of this handy bit of information but you can bet they'll be hearing from me! Due to their lack of advice, I have what is being referred to has cement in my colon. Clearing cement is not fun.

And what Anne medical drama would be complete without...wait for it...A MIGRAINE!! Yup, woke up in major pain and puking. I sent Steven a text to bring my migraine pills but they didn't work. The nurse gave me some pain meds but I was still in full migraine force. The nurse told me to wait for Dr. ID to round on me and ask him. Well, I waited about an hour with no Doctor in sight so I called my nurse in, asked her to call Dr. ID for orders and told her exactly what I needed to get rid of my headache. An hour later, I had my way and was flying high.

I had to have my IV moved as the original site was hurting, red and swollen. Add another blown vein to my tally. She tried another site but couldn't get a return so she pulled it before it blew. I ended up with it in the other arm. I look like I've been to war with all my gauze and tape.

They have started putting nutritional drinks on my tray. I am still not eating and the pain isn't any better (except for today with the heavy duty drugs but I can't live the rest of my life hooked up to an IV pole of narcs).

So, we sit and wait. Maybe tomorrow will be better.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Oh yes, I am still here

I had the EMG test earlier which, in my opinion, is a test that you should decline if ever offered. It involved shock waves, needles, shock waves going through the needles and tears. It was much worse than uncomfortable, as Dr Google had prepared me for. The neurologist that did the test (I now have 2 neuro's for those of you counting) was very kind and very apologetic but it didn't make it hurt any less. He did tell me everything was normal. Another normal that leaves us without an answer.

I have a good feeling about the morning CT scan...I think they'll get what they need this time. The GI (have 2 of those, too) is pretty determined to find an answer. I like him even just for trying. I'm not sure of the plan after the CT.

Momma spent the day with me and was able to meet both my ID and my GI. While I was gone to the Chinese Needle Torture test she left to bring me two very special pick-me-ups....Isaiah and Arissa! They needed to see me and I was able to sign planners, review homework, complete forms and feel like their mother. Arissa really wanted to play 'Hot Cross Buns' for us on her violin but something told me that wasn't proper hospital behavior so that will have to wait until I get out of here.

Wednesday News

I slept like a rock and 6am came waaayyyy too early especially considering it was for NOTHING. Yet another failed CT attempt :(
I don't know when the EMG is going to be done, hopefully today.
It doesn't appear the CT will be tried again until tomorrow but I could be wrong.

I've brushed my teeth and hair, 'washed up', and changed my stylish gown that is so dang big I could fit myself and a few of my friends in it.

Momma and Kathy/crew finally landed late last night and Momma is here with me now.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Still Stroking


If you are just tuning in you need to read today's first entry or you'll be all kinds of confused...

Here is the 10pm update:

Met my new GI (really like him-Daddy liked him right away; that alone speaks volumes) who is not in agreement with the (now) former GI on the IBS diagnosis. He said my symptoms, pain, location of pain, length of time, etc doesn't jive with IBS. He called me a 'puzzle'. He does have some theories he is working on and he has ordered an EMG. He has some other ideas but we'll deal with those as they arise.

I am currently working on prep for my CT in the morning. I ran into issues this morning when the Barium from the Crohn's test was still hanging out and was giving unreadable pictures. So...I have to get the barium out, after midnight I'm NPO and we'll try again tomorrow.

Carol and Daddy came to see me today. Carol had to see George about Seven (who is still firmly in place and doesn't seem to be the least bit interested in coming out-in other words: 30% effaced/zero dilation but head is farther down) so she got here a little after 4 then Daddy was here at his usual time..about the same time I'm done with my dinner tray and so he can finish it for me.

Mom and Kathy/Crew got stuck in Atlanta in some computer thing that had the flights delayed and cancelled. They were supposed to have been back in Knoxville at 5pm; last I heard from them they were scheduled to fly out at 10:10 tonight. So, I have to wait till tomorrow to get my momma here. She feels horrible for not being here; I want to cry cause she isn't here but we both know it can't be helped and it's certainly not for lack of want that she isn't here. It is what it is....

Steven should be here soon though he'll only get to stay a short time before he has to leave for work. I've talked to the kids who seem to be okay. Isaiah got upset on the phone with me earlier but sounded better when I talked to them to say goodnight. Mary Ellen is taking care of them for us and Todd went over to help with homework. Thank God for retired mother-in-laws and friends that can help with 4th grade Math!

I'll post again when I know something else...or when something crazy happens that I just have to share!

Stroke Center!

Don't stroke out when you get off the green elevators at Ft. Sanders to visit but yes, I am in the Stroke Center. There are a few reasons for this 1) there aren't beds anywhere else 2) stroke patients aren't very germy 3) I HAD to have a private room.

Feel lost and wondering what is going on?

Well, as I stated in my prior posts about my health issues, I saw my ID yesterday. He was very unhappy with the amount of weight I have lost, the amount of pain I am in, my continued inability to eat, my overwhelming exhaustion, etc. and decided that being passed from doctor to doctor was clearly not getting us anywhere and made the decision to admit me.

So here I am..hanging with my laptop (although not completely happy cause the Ft. Sanders Internet Nazi's have Facebook blocked!) and getting tons of tests ran.
I am thankful Dr. ID saw that I am not well and took the bull by the horns.
I was blessed to have Sara spend the night with me last night, Wayne has came to see me and I've gotten a phone call too (this is, of course, outside of the family being here and calling/emailing/texting). That does not include the revolving door of hospital personnel in and out of my room. That is okay though since last night was a total mess, with my meds getting messed up, orders not being followed, etc. But I think we have that under control now. I have a patient representative and Wayne hooked me up with someone on staff here to act as my advocate to make sure I am getting what I am supposed to be getting, when I am supposed to be getting it.

In Summary as of 2pm today here is where we stand:
Failed attempt at a CT scan; will be NPO again at midnight and will try again tomorrow
Six sticks, one blown IV
6 bottles of blood drawn for cultures
9 vials of blood drawn for misc other tests

So far the tests that have came back are normal with the exception of my thyroid being low and my liver being elevated.

Stay tuned for further information....

Sunday, August 24, 2008

The Week from HELL!

There is no other way to describe it.....
Here is a quick recap:
Monday=extended family tragedy (complete with a whole range of emotions and the inability to sleep)
Tuesday=Morning doctor visit where he was alarmed at my weight (never a good thing), more blood was drawn, additional tests are ordered; followed up by an evening ER trip with Arissa and capped off with a 1am trip to IHOP. On way to ER receive phone call from my dear friend that her son was in CCU on life support for reasons I just won't even address here.
Wednesday=so exhausted from Monday and Tuesday I could barely function
Thursday=crippling pain that had Todd trying to take me to the ER by force (I fought him off and proceeded to drive myself home); Dr James visit with Isaiah; from there had to wheel over to the Cheyenne Center to get his blood drawn for a liver panel then get him back home and Steven picked up in time to attended services for family member mentioned on Monday.
Friday=spent half of the day in bed in pain and the other half at the hospital CCU waiting room
Saturday=slept until 4pm; woke up got ready for game and coached the cheerleaders. Came home, changed clothes, went back to Knoxville with the kids and went to dinner with Abby.
Here are some photos...




Abby, Isaiah and Arissa...
Isaiah is about the same age as I
was when 3 year old Abby asked me
to come play with her! Oh how time
flies!!!
CCU friend is doing much better and will hopefully step down to ICU today or tomorrow.
I don't know how soon I will have results from the GI tests ordered but I do see my ID tomorrow afternoon so maybe that will point me in some direction other than circles.
P.S. Seven is holding steady..still forming a '7' and no signs of him making an early debut! Carol is hanging tough and although she is more than ready, she knows he is not...so we wait!
And does the new layout not just scream ANNE?! Too stinkin' cute huh? I'm in love with it..I come to my own blog often just to look at it and smile...

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

This Might Take a Few Minutes....

You might want to grab a beverage and sit back cause I have a lot to catch up on…

ME! - Tomorrow finds me on another leg of my East Coast Medical Tour. While I am not as miserable as I was before, I am still not eating (see previous post) and my GI tract is unhappy. Therefore, I am seeing Dr. GI tomorrow for an appointment that has been scheduled for over a month. There hasn’t been much improvement in the migraine department. I thought I had an appointment with my neuro last Friday but they took me off the schedule so now I don’t go until the 29th….that should be an interesting appointment. I also have an appointment scheduled next week with my ID to see what’s going on with my total lack of energy. Anemia? Mono? Stress? Lack of nutrition? All of the above? Lab work has already been drawn so hopefully he will have some answers. The plantars wart issue was solved with a simple razor blade to the foot (it wasn’t really a plantars wart..it was a horrible callous dressed up like a wart). Totally painless and gone in mere minutes. I did get a very annoying mole sliced off my back and found out today that it was in fact just a mole and nothing more. Miracles never cease!

STEVEN! – Has been on vacation the last 9 nights and had to return to the grind tonight. I would love to tell you he got to do all kinds of fun exciting stuff while he was off but he didn’t. He did play golf several times but he also spent a day at the laundry-mat (when our dryer died..we bought a new one, cause you know we have extra money just laying around), taking the kids to appointments for this and that, going to the grocery store, and other mundane errands. His birthday was Saturday but it was slightly overshadowed by a more pressing event (keep reading for details).

ISAIAH! - Isaiah started 7th grade today! Seems like just yesterday he was drooling and asking me to make him newspaper hats all the time. His teeth are coming along nicely and we are amazed at how fast they are moving!


Him, "Really, Mother, I'm in 7th grade now..."


Me, "I don't care, smile damn it"

ARISSA! - Arissa is still plugging along at school and full of attitude. She is busy with cheerleading practice twice a week with games on Saturdays; dance class starts the first of September (jazz & hip hop); she is taking violin that has to be practiced 20 minutes a night; plus her normal homework and reading 30 minutes a night. She was invited to attend an after school program that we had to decline…girl has too much on her plate! She’s only 9 for Pete’s sake! She is already talking about running track next year in middle school. At least she has goals!


No, yours eyes don't deceive you..her shoe laces are two
different colors...you learn to choose your battles.

SEVEN! - Arissa & I hosted a baby shower Saturday for Carol and baby Seven. I’ve always been on the receiving end of these things so I really wanted to do this all by myself. I had no idea what I was doing, had a few freak-out moments, woke up Saturday morning with the mother of all migraines, snapped at Steven more than once, was beyond mad at my body for not cooperating but with Mom as my driver, lots of medication, and Steven who lets my mouth and attitude roll off his back it all came together. I’ve heard everyone had a great time, Carol and Seven were happy, and I lived to blog about it so something must have gone right!

Here are some pics from the day:


Anne, Carol (Seven) & Arissa


Yummy Food!

More Yummy Food!


The lollies I MADE!! Chocolate froggies!


Back view of the lollies; you can see the custom stickers


One side of the amazing 'Sara Baker' cake


The other side of the amazing 'Sara Baker' cake


BINGO caller Arissa


Oh yeah, we made them work for the prizes!

Three of the 5 winners; they were happy with just the bags--
they were even happier when they found out they got them
embroidered too! Yeah, I gave rockstar shower prizes!!!

ALL RIGHT MELISSA WILLIAMS THIS ONE'S FOR YOU:

LOOK FAMILIAR? YOU GAVE ME THIS VASE AT MY BRIDAL SHOWER..THIS IS THE FIRST TIME IT'S HAD FLOWERS IN IT. AREN'T YOU PROUD?? IT ONLY TOOK 4 1/2 YEARS!!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

reality check

I knew I had lost weight, weight that I really didn't need to lose. I knew that I was on the thin side...HOWEVER:




Photographic evidence makes it clear that I am officially TOO THIN. I was told yesterday that I am disappearing. I don't like it...I look as sick as I feel which makes it hard to 'fake it till you can make it'.
Not done looking for answers--
Anne

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Game On!

Today was the first official game of the season. We were excited but nervous. Due to the aforementioned coaching mess, I wasn't real sure what to expect out of today. All and all..I was happy. We have lots to work on but all things considered I was very pleased! The weather forecast was high of 85 with low humidity...clearly that was everywhere BUT the field. It felt like 185 degrees. There is no shade out there, the first game ran over by half an hour which means our 12pm start time was more like 1pm. Needless to say, we were melted before the game even started! My girls hung tough with very little complaining and we kept them supplied with cold water. Arissa was 'captain for the day' as elected by her squad and she did an awesome job. Of course, I came home with a migraine...why the crap I get a headache in the sun in beyond me...I drank lots of water, I don't squint, what am I missing here?? I took a pill, a cold shower and a nap...woke up much better.


Since no one was able to make a personal appearance there are lots of pics from today's game...sit tight and enjoy---


Isaiah was our photographer for the day and I think he did a pretty good job:

New everything..so fresh, so clean and ready to CHEER!

Hey, at least I get a cute shirt out of this coaching deal!


Yup, we're dorks, we know it, we really don't care!


Love you, Mom....Love you more, 'Riss





The picture of CLASS..picking her wedge & caught on camera!






WOOT!! We won! Time to smack some hands and get the
heck outta here!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Let Me Clear My Throat...

Cause I'm sick...AGAIN.
You know, this crap is getting really, really old.
Although at least now I know why I've been so very very tired the last several days.
If you have a magic wand to wave to brew me a real immune system...get to waving cause I'm over it!

EDITED TO ADD (FOR DADDY'S SAKE): I have a sinus infection...something that I already had operated on.

I got lots of feedback on my previous post-all supportive (I think..not real sure about Mom's 'huh'?). I'll be sure to keep you informed where the Freeman Church Tour 2008 leads us. We might end up selling t-shirts to offset the cost of my ever increasing medical bills!

I was lucky enough to view Seven for the first time yesterday. Seven is Carol's unborn baby. I saw him via ultrasound. I've named him Seven because of the way he is laying, he makes a Seven. Seven Anne Jones...the perfect name for a little boy. I am sure there won't be another one in his entire school career with the same name.

Arissa's cheerleading squad had a coaching come-apart and in a moment of complete brain inactivity, my ignorant self volunteered to take over. Luckily, I have an awesome assistant (who should really be the head coach) and we are determined to make something out of nothing....or at least have fun doing it.

Isaiah has completely recovered from his little stint at ETCH though he is still wearing his hospital bracelet like it's an accessory. He will be in 7th grade...man how time flies!

Well, I think I'll wheel on down to the pharmacy to pick up yet another prescription (with side effects) that will require a copay (then another copay to combat the side effects in 5-7 days). Could be worse...I could have NO health insurance and NO money. I know, I know...shut up Anne, quit your bitching and count your blessings.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Church Engine

I have the most fantastic idea EVER!
There should be a 'church engine'.
A search engine much like hotels.com where you pick what you want/don't want/miles you'll travel/type of worship/youth programs/etc.
Click SEARCH....
Watch the hourglass...
and VOILA!!
A comprehensive listing of churches matching your criteria!
Of course, it's not fool-proof and once you get there, much like the choice you made at hotels.com, you figure out it's not really where you need to be but at least it would be a starting point right?

So far, the only definitive worship marked off our list are the peeps that praise God in the nude. Nakey and Jesus isn't even on my worship radar regardless that He knows what I look like without my clothes on...that doesn't mean I want to know what my pew neighbor looks like without his clothes on (by the way, we made this decision from the comfort of our couch and with the expert help of the National Geographic channel. No real live nakey's were viewed in the making of this decision). We were also able to mark off a Chinese religion that had something to do with the Spirit Man running the streets naked (what is it with these people and there issues with clothing?) being chased by tons of men wearing thongs that appeared to be made out of toilet paper, trying to touch him for good luck and damn near killing him in the process. Steven took issue with the toilet paper thong so that religion isn't on the list either.

So, the search continues. At the end of our journey we may very well end up right back where we started (not the church of the holy couch but the church where we are formal members) but we feel the need to explore what else is out there and what is right for our family. Church should be more than a routine and more than just something you do because it's what you've always done...it should be a relationship. I've never had that and I think it's time it changed.