Saturday, August 9, 2014

Nightmare Turned Tomorrow

Hey, look at that! I made it back on here in under a week!

This entry is a big mess. My fingers are getting tingly though & I want to lay down. So un-edited it may be, but at least I captured a lot of my thoughts before they flew away... like little ovaries.. ;)

Yesterday I came home from the hospital. That ovarian cyst.. yah, totally non-existent. How about we try an appendicitis nightmare instead. Nightmare is pretty accurate, not because it was, "Oh yeaahhh, it was bad!" as my doctor described my situation, but also because this all happened out of nowhere! Suddenly you're on a metal table being scrubbed down quickly by people in matching scrubs. Your life as you know it becomes hard to remember & eventually feels pulled away from your reality completely, stolen. Here's the new plan sister.

Let's see.. the weekend consisted of sleep, pain, vomit, hell.

So we went in for the ultrasound early Monday morning. I had to drink 32 oz. of water by 12:30 and the ultrasound was at 1pm. I was told not to urinate the last hour before the ultrasound. However, I had been very constipated (red flag), and minutes before the ultrasound I seriously had to poop. The woman getting ready to do the ultrasound was very unhappy with my requests to go to the bathroom - finally she allowed me to go, telling me repeatedly that I was going to pee... she just knew it. While I was in there she even remarked to Scott about my behavior.. she didn't care for me at all. I came out & she told me that I had peed, she said she had heard it! I pleaded with her & told her it was just a few drops (which it was). Oh my god, what an awful woman... awful!!! She did the ultrasound, pressing hard on my stomach and telling me that I had peed all of the liquid out. She basically told me I had ruined the whole thing as I laid on her table, in pain & constipated on top of that. Next she tried using the camera, where she was able to see a mass. Once she saw it she asked Scott how long I had been like that but she wouldn't explain what she was talking about.

We went upstairs to the doctor & were told that she would call us with the results. The MA was talking with Scott as I began to get disoriented. Suddenly I thought we were at an appointment for Judah and began asking the MA about him. Scott told me that we were at my appointment. The MA said my labs showed a low electrolyte level. She told Scott that I just needed to eat something.

We went to eat & were called while we were there. They had found a mass & wanted me in for a CT scan right away. We had to be there at 7:30 the next day. And of course, they needed me to fast. I couldn't eat from midnight on, which wasn't too bad except that my stomach hurt so bad (red flag) that the only time I had been able to eat was around 3pm (which was where we were now).

We went in for the CT. They handed me a jug of fruit punch flavored mystery fluid and a cup. She told me to drink a full cup every 30 minutes for an hour and a half. Awesome thing was that I could use the bathroom! This drink was absorbed into your body, not flushed out like water. I used the bathroom repeatedly to pee, still constipated, like literally every 30 minutes if not more often. Scott slept on the bench in the waiting area.

The CT didn't work. I didn't have enough fluid in me apparently. She handed me the jug again, another hour and a half of drinking. The next CT worked fine. The doctor saw the mass & said she had done all she could. And she was happy, it was her half day.. there were absolutely no clouds in her perfect blue skies. Scott was concerned and mentioned that I didn't know where I was the other day. And our very professional, caring doctor says, "Oh yeah!" ha! "Carolyn (the MA) told me about that!!" haha. ?!?!? I guess that was my confirmation that yes, the nightmare had begun.

She sent us to the ER for what she called "total care".

From the ER I was fast-tracked.. which meant we were quickly in our own hospital room. ?? We didn't even take a seat in the waiting area.. we were second in line, through the door & before I knew it a lanky surgeon was telling me carefully how he was going to insert a tube with a camera on the end through my bellybutton (there IS a use for the bellybutton!) and if he found reason he would operate. The OBGYN, Dr. Frank, shook my hand and said he would be at his side in case my ovaries were of any concern. My surgeon, standing to the side of Dr. Frank, started flapping his hands at his shoulders, cocking his head to the side, when ovaries were mentioned. ?!? I was very quickly scrubbed down by 3 people in matching scrubs. I looked up, minutes before being wheeled into the operating room, to see the surgeon talking on his cell phone... his big, pink, teddy bear cell phone. And here we go!

It took them 2 1/2 hours to clean out the mess inside of me. When I asked the surgeon later if I would be staying the night he looked at me like I was on good drugs. I asked him how bad it was, thinking it probably wasn't THAT bad. He said, "Oh yeahh.. it was bad.. reeeheeeally bad." He talked as if he had never seen such horrific appendicitis. He said, "You had a mass the size of a baseball." He held up his hands to show me the size. He said it was just hanging out behind my uterus. He talked slowly as if it was so fascinating. "It was ball of infection lined in puss.. and there were liquids, all of these liquids everywhere.. there were perforations, you name it." The adhesions that were there were explained to me by a nurse later. Apparently they were parts of the appendix that had stuck to other organs and had grown to become a small bowel obstruction (my constipation) in my intestines. The doctor said, "Oh yeahhh, it took us hours to get it all cleaned out."

How long had it been there?? He said there was no way of knowing. It was like a spot of horror that had been growing inside me.. that I knew absolutely nothing about.. but it was in me. it was mine. It's gone now, and I'm left with an incision, pain, memories & a hole.. the hole terrifies me. It's about 3 inches below my belly button. And It's "okay" to shower per the doctor.. really???!

This was followed by a 3 night stay in the hospital. Pain, lots of pain across my tummy. I could only lay on my left side or my back. Today was the first day I've been able to lay on my right side. Today was the first day I've been able to bend over and pick things up. I'm still walking at the speed of a very, very old woman and feel like I'm still holding myself together - keeping my stomach from falling off of my body.

The morning the doctor (my surgeon) finally told me I could go home he commented on my fuzzy, pink slippers.. he had to know where I had gotten them. Then he told me the history of Gatorade..

And I woke up from the dream, my life is back. Turns out there was a reason for all of this. The day I came home I sat with each of my kids and spent time with each of them, just being present, focused only on our time together, nothing else. I can't remember what my days used to be so insanely consumed with. I can't remember why I didn't have time to take them outside to play in the morning - at such a beautiful time of day to play. I can't remember why I let Judah play Angry Birds for so long because I had to be doing something else.. I'm sure there were a lot of something else's that needed to be done, but my god.. if ever there was a time for me to stop it was then. And now I get to start over, slowly and with much help. My family has helped through every minute of this. Like I said, my life was pulled away from me when I was gone from here. I couldn't remember it & I didn't have to worry about it - because all of our babies were being taken care of, everyone I loved was okay. That was family doing that, every ounce of worry, they held it for me.. and took care of it all. And I can never repay something like that, but if ever the opportunity comes by, I will not hesitate one breath to give them the same, even more.

Another amazing, amazing change in our lives is happening at this same unique space in time. Scott's mom has come out from Oklahoma to help us. She was here the day after I got home from surgery.. that's how quickly she came. That's somebody incredible. My dad offered the same - an incredible, selfless act of love. Thank you Dad. He won't be here, but his gesture is just as powerful. We have also suddenly been offered help for Judah - 9am-5pm. The agency we recently contacted has people ready to start on Monday! His unique needs & challenges have not faded in importance during any of this. I came home to a different Judah. Judah came home today from Mom & Dave's and found me sitting in bed eating pizza. Scott followed him in. I asked Judah questions, he looked me in the eye as I asked him (no smile) and said, "Nope" to the ones that were a "no" answer and gave words and bits of thought as answers to the others, or silence (I think this is when he is frustrated in not knowing how to get the words out, so he plays and usually runs away). That kills me (the silence). I want to help him so badly. So today he  was serious, and answered in some 2 word phrases. Next week PSU is doing some testing that we are participating in. They are expecting him to say 3 or 4 word phrases in order to get their help - we are going to have to hit the pavement hardcore this week!!!

Willow & Sebastian too were very different when I came home. The kids visited me in the hospital twice while I was there - it was like I was meeting them for the first time when they came, but they knew exactly who I was and what I was all about. Willow is talking, assertive & completely on the go at all times. She slept through the night in her own bed all night last night. I can see clearly now how ready she & Judah both are to be out of diapers. Scott said Judah went into the bathroom the other day & changed his own diaper, put his pants back on and went into the play room to poop! :) Sebastian was the one who had witnessed this. Scott had found the dirty diaper on the floor in the bathroom & had asked Sebastian if he had changed Judah's diaper! ha.

My hair is gone. I got it chopped right before everything happened. Things just aren't how they used to be anymore. I even use an I-phone now, gasp!!

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