Thursday, September 30, 2010

I'm Not Dead...

I'm really not dead... although these past few weeks I've often wondered if It would be easier.

No, I'm NOT suicidal... just still feeling so bad that I've wondered about my quality of life. I parked myself in the Dr's office on Monday and told him that I'm tired of vomiting and having bloody diareah and basically being bed ridden. 

I think He got the message because he changed up my meds and told me to call him on Thursday ( today) to let him know if I was a bit better, otherwise he will be sending me up north to Birmingham to the Univ. Of Alabama for some more specialized treatment. So far they still believe that they are just dealing with a very bad flare up of ulcerative colitis. Just trying to get me into remission.

Meanwhile back at the ranch, Ted is Mr. Mom and Dad and seems to be doing fine except for a few mini outbursts here and there about the laziness and lack of following direction from our little punks.

He can't seem to understand why they don't do things the FIRST time he asks... I say welcome to parenthood. This is why they have to live with us for so long, because they need to be beaten over the head with each and every little lesson until they turn 30 and then they finally "get it". I'm exhausted just thinking about it.

So night before last I took my new meds and went o sleep. In the wee morning hours, my bowels began to "speak" as they usually do. I passed a little toxic gas and ran to the potty. 
Back to bed within a minute I lay down quietly so as not to wake my sleeping husband. next thing I notice him get out of bed and walk to the bathroom and then walk back to bed. He gets into bed and asks me a question...

ted-  Honey did you pass gas?

Me- why yes, yes i did

ted- Argh, maybe you could warn me next time?

Me-  why?whats the point?

ted- so I could protect myself ... in some way

I spent the next five minutes laughing silently in bed picturing myself spooning my husband while he sleeps in a military grade gas mask.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Feeling Better

OK I'm sure you thought I fell off the hospital bed but really I didn't.
 I spent five long lovely miserable days in the hospital, hooked up to IVs with a mega steroid push and a Dilated push as needed for pain. Also had my blood drawn more than a few times, finger pricked about a dozen times to measure my blood glucose levels  and not to mention a colonoscopy and a full abdomen series of xrays. That's a lot.
By Sat at lunchtime I had grown bored of my clear liquid diet and was making myself insane by watching 12 hours a day of the food network.  When the Dr finally upgraded me to a cloudy liquid diet I thought it might be the happiest day of my life, but 5 minutes after that bowl of creamy tomato soup I was beggin for someone to shoot me and put me outta my misery. You see... when your intestines are sick... you need to give them TIME to heal. 
Anywhoo, I plotted my escape in spite of my belly ache and managed to sweet talk a substitute GI doc to let me go home that night. I figured that if I wasn't getting IV steroids any more and wasn't gettin IV pain meds anymore and wasn't gettin anything good to eat out of the deal then I was OUTTA THERE.
Ted and the kids came and got me and took  me home. I took a nice warm shower and brushed my teeth and crawled into bed and went to sleep. It was great. Until the next morning when I had another attack of diareah and proceeded to vomit all over my feet.  Um thank God that my husband loves me enough to clean up my vomit because I did that many times over the next several days. He finally one morning shoved a small trash can in my face and asked if I could please vomit into the can so he wouldn't have to steam mop the bathroom floor several times a day. I was happy to oblige.
Fast forward to today. Mom has been here since Monday Night and I have steadily and slowly gotten stronger with each day and with each home made meal. Her home made chicken soup and chicken salad have been so yummy and felt so good moving through my recovering bowels. It's just what I needed.
More to come soon.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

It's Me


I'm feeling a little better today so I'm blogging a quick update from my hospital bed.

The Doctor says that the Ulcerative colitis was so bad that I'm gonna be here a couple more days just to heal my colon and perhaps be upgraded to a full liquid diet instead of a CLEAR liquid diet. We all know what clear liquids are... broth, jello, tea, juice and that's about it.

A full liquid diet will include all of the above and some milk products like ice cream and yogurt. I've never been so excited about ice cream in my life! Although that's only my mouth, mind and stomach talking. Ask my intestines and they will tell you that the clear liquids are fine thankyouverymuch and who needs anything more.

I seemed to have really done a number on myself this time. I knew I was sick but continued to down play it as just needing more time at home on the oral steroids and rest. Thank Gawd I increased my fluid intake over the weekend otherwise I fear I would have gone by ambulance to the nearest hospital or even worse.

I am not the best at taking care of myself. I am nurse Ratchet to everyone else but not myself. If this had been one of my kids, I would have had them in the ER last week. But not myself. I tried to tough it out. VERY foolish. But I am now in very good hands and right where I'm supposed to be. Heeling up, slowly. And while I sit in a hospital bed, Ted is at home running the house and taking care of the kids and the dogs. The neighbors have been bringing dinner every night and helping out as much as Ted needs. Lucky for me I have the kind of husband that does laundry, goes to the grocery store, even filled in for me today at the elementary school snack shack this morning. He is a rock star. I am so grateful. 

Mom comes on Monday so that Ted can go back to work. She will take over the cooking so the wonderful neighbors can get a break from feeding my family and she will be there to wait on me hand and foot : ).
The kids are so excited that she is coming. I am too. I am so grateful to have such an amazing support system around me. 

This just once again proves my theory, that there are good people everywhere. 
I am so blessed.

Blessed to have the BEST GI doctor in town.

Blessed to have such an amazing group of nurses caring for me.

Blessed to have my family's love and support.

Blessed to have such amazing friends

Blessed to have wonderfully resilient children

and Blessed to have a husband that loves and adores me.

Life is good.

p.s. Don't be fooled by my smiling face. I am really not faking it I swear!! I really am sick. Just feeling good enough to sit up in bed and open up my laptop. And of course snap a picture of myself for personal amusement.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Vacation at the Hospital

Hi Y'all. It's Shelley, guest blogger. Steph can't come to the computer at the moment because she is IN THE HOSPITAL! It seems that she put off those steroids a bit too long, carried the dog a little too far, or just has a body that likes to screw with her. Her colitis is so flared that she was not able to make it to the bathroom the 12 or so times a day without passing out.

I'm trying not to be scared about the fact that colitis is a risk factor for colon cancer and as a colitis sufferer, Steph was SUPPOSED to be having annual colonoscopies (which she didn't). I'm trying not to worry too much about the fact that she passed out when getting her x-ray yesterday only to be caught by the giant x-ray tech who allegedly referred to her as "tiny".

I am pretty sure Steph would have preferred to go with me to Panama for her little impromptu break, basking in the warm waters of the Pacific, eating vegan gourmet, instead of using her bedside remote to request more ice chips and savor her clear-fluids diet from the comfort of her hospital room.

I would like to personally ask for loving support from each and every one of you. Comments galore. Until we know more, Steph will be tubed up with IV fluids and enjoying lots of broth and jello. Please share with her your experience, strength and hope during this time of challenge. I know she appreciates it!

Love, Shelley

Kids taking their blood pressure

Steph's self portrait (nice legs!)

kids helping Steph relax

Dogs sleeping as close to bed at home without actually being on bed.