Saturday, June 21, 2014

First Day of Summer!

HELLO SUMMER!!  Today is the first official day of summer and we had a full day planned to kick things off!  The other day I realized it's blueberry picking season and I started thinking about how much Sara Kate would love doing that.  She's always asking me to buy blueberries so I thought that's how we should start our day.  We headed out bright and early!
I looked up a couple of local blueberry patches and decided on one that's not too far from where we live, between Elkins and Goshen.  It's called Blue Heaven Blueberry Farm, and it's a cute little place with maybe 5 acres of bushes.  I asked my mother-in-law about going with us and I'm glad she came.  Sara Kate loved having her there with us.
We got there about 8:30 and had a little over an hour to pick before we had to leave to get to Sara Kate's gymnastics class at 10.  We heard a man say the ripest berries were towards the back so we just walked the rows, heading towards the back, and the berries were huge!!  And soooo good!  Sara Kate would put some in her bucket then eat some, ha!  She kept saying 'Ok, ok, this is the last one!'  We learned that the smaller bushes had the biggest berries!
Between the 3 of us, we picked 3 buckets full before Sara Kate and I had to rush to gymnastics.  I think Sara Kate ate berries the whole way back to town.  And after gymnastics, she had to have 'her bag' again.  She loves them!
Chris had a photo shoot in Rogers today so after gymnastics I had planned for us to pick up some lunch and head to a friends house to swim.  It was a perfect pool day!  And what better activity to do on the first day of summer! :-)  Sara Kate told me she wanted a turkey sandwich, chips, and milk for lunch so that's what we had.
 What a goofball!
And after lunch a certain little girl was SUPER excited about swimming!!  I love that smile.
But after all her BIG talk over the winter about putting her face in the water and jumping in the water by herself and swimming like a big girl, she was scared and I had to REALLY coax her away from the steps.  She held onto me so tight and I couldn't get her understand that she could float with her floaties on.  She did practice her kicking, blowing bubbles, and floating on her back while holding onto the side.  So that's small progress.  But it was our first time in a big pool this year so I'm sure after a few more times, it'll be no big deal.
I love that we have sweet friends who let us come over whenever and I love going to the pool with my girl.  Being in/near water is one of my all time favorite things.
We headed home about 2:00 and I had plans to use some of those freshly picked blueberries!!  I found a recipe for a blueberry cake and decided I HAD to make it.  Sara Kate helped me buy the ingredients on the way home and she was so excited to make a cake.
 Here's the's soooo good!!  I followed the recipe exactly, except I didn't make the crumbly oat topping that goes over the glaze.  And here's my finished product...I don't think I've ever made anything so fancy looking before, ha!!
And here's my adorable little helper with our finished product.  Can I just say, baking with a 4 year old gives me MAJOR anxiety!!  She may have stuck her finger in the batter wanting 'a lick'...she may have turned on my mixer when it was in the off position...she may have licked flour off the counter...or maybe I'm just too high strung, HA!!  That's probably it.  But she loves to help and I really try my best to not be high strung and enjoy these experiences with her.  I know she won't always want to be with mama all the time.
After a busy, busy day, it was an early lights out for a certain little girl!  She didn't fight taking a bath, she didn't fight getting out (even told me she was ready to get out), and she went straight to sleep with no fuss.  Here's hoping that an 8 pm bedtime doesn't bite me in the butt in the morning with a 5 am wake up!!  Fingers crossed! :-)

Hope everyone had a great day, and despite what's going on with me medically right now, we're looking forward to a great summer!!

Monday, June 9, 2014

So I'm in the Hospital...Part 2

My last post was kind of a downer, and I apologize, but that's where we were at the time.  So I think I can start this update with a little bit of good news. The other day the surgeon seemed quite sure about the plan...steroids, another CT scan, another colonoscopy, and surgery.  Quick, fast, boom, done.  We unexpectedly saw him on both Saturday and Sunday, and he seemed more impressed with my progress each day.  He decided to move forward with the CT scan today and make a plan from there.  The GI doctor came in about an hour after the scan and said the inflammation is improving, which is the point of the steroids.  After consulting with the surgeon, the GI doctor said they want to continue the use of the steroids for a little longer because they are doing their job.  The idea is to switch me from IV steroids to an oral steroid taper and possibly send me home tomorrow!  Eeek!!  So I got kind of excited.  Then the surgeon came by this evening and said the same thing...the CT looks better and he wants to continue the steroids to bring down the inflammation as much as possible so he can get the best look during the next colonoscopy.  BUT he said it maybe Wednesday before I go home.  Not definitive, but he's the one in charge.  So that kind of brought me back down, upsetting.  Miss my peeps.
This situation isn't resolved, not even close, but the next colonoscopy, surgery, etc. will not be quite so immediate.  He said once I'm released he will see me as an outpatient within the next 2 weeks for the next colonoscopy and determine how much surgery is necessary.  If the 'proximal colon' (the rest of it, aside from the stricture) is much improved he can maybe just go in and just remove the stricture and not the entire colon (which is what he originally thought).  So that's good news.  

There have been changes on the diet front.  I have been moved from a clear liquid diet to a soft/bland or full liquid diet.  Actually, we're wondering if maybe they messed up the order because yesterday they brought me chicken and mashed potatoes and today they brought me blended vegetable soup (hello baby food consistency...and so gross!!) and pudding for lunch and blended chicken noodle soup (not AS bad...kind of like bland cream of chicken soup) and cream of wheat (no thank you!!) for dinner. I'm experiencing a good bit more pain again today with cramping, and I assume that's because of the diet change.  So that's a fear I have about going home and trying to eat what I'm supposed to to minimize pain.  But I'm sure there will be plenty of discussions about all kinds of stuff before I'm discharged. 
For your viewing pleasure...please don't be jealous, HA!  And for the record, I'm still starving and got upset when I saw blended soup tonight.
When it comes to my sanity at the moment, I am so thankful for the support we've received this week.  Family who have shuttled Sara Kate mom took her to gymnastics, her Meme took her a birthday party, and her daddy took her to a birthday party over the weekend.  All things I usually do, which I missed doing.  Also, my dad came up for just 24 hours. 
Before one party...
 After another party, showing me her balloon...
Pictures daddy took during a party so I could see...

And speaking of being thankful, I am beyond thankful for my sweet friends who have come by. I'm so thankful for friends who have just stopped by to chat.  I'm so thankful for friends that have brought me entertainment, like puzzle books, magazines, things to read, and I have some beautiful flowers to look at.  I'm so thankful for friends who have not only thought about me, but have thought about Sara Kate, and have been bringing things for her.  That melts my heart more than anything, that these sweet friends would think of HER also.
I was dreading sitting in the hospital all weekend and the visits, calls, texts, and messages really helped passed the time and made it not so bad.  So THANK YOU!!  

I'll end with one last picture.  Chris brought Sara Kate up this afternoon and she brought her magic wand in with her.  She said 'Bippity boppity boo mommy!  I brought my magic want to make you better!'  Melt my heart sweet girl and cue the tears!
So that's the latest update.  You're prayers are still very much appreciated.  Hopefully my next update will be about my ability to bust out of this joint!  HA!! :-)

Friday, June 6, 2014

So I'm in the Hospital...Part 1

Here's a little history.  Anyone who knows me from high school may remember that when I was a junior I had severe food poisoning and ended up severely sick for 3 weeks, with 1 week spent in the hospital.  Not people know but after that I ended up with an unofficial diagnosis of Crohn's Disease.  It was never made official because of my age but throughout college I managed it with medicine and when I moved to Fayetteville I quit having problems.  Then when Chris and I got married I quit taking the medicine.  For the almost 9 years we've been married I haven't had any problems.  So it's been 11 or so years.  But things changed over the weekend.  

Sunday afternoon I laid down to nap when Sara Kate did and couldn't really sleep.  I started cramping and was just able to lightly doze off.  I was able to eat dinner Sunday night, do laundry, bathe Sara Kate, get her to bed, normal Sunday stuff, but during the night I couldn't sleep because the pain had gotten so intense.  At 4 am I started throwing up.  Cramping, throwing up, cramping, throwing up (dry heaving, actually).  That was my cycle.  My mother in law brought me some Ginger Ale Monday morning and I couldn't keep anything down, not even a little sip.  Chris wanted me to call the doctor so I got an appointment for Monday afternoon.  Basically the doctor just said I had severe constipation, and gave me some medicine for that, along with pain relievers for the cramping, along with some anti-nausea pills.  I went back home and still couldn't keep anything down, no pain pills or anti-nausea pills, no drink, no crackers.  I stayed in bed with intense pain all night and Monday night was awful.  The cramping/throwing up cycle continued all night.  Chris had me call the doctor's office again Tuesday morning and I talked to the nurse then waited for a call back from the doctor.  He ended up calling the nurse an hour later and she said go to the ER.  So we came to the hospital and once I got back to a room they started an IV with fluids, administered pain relievers (THANK GOD!!!!), and anti-nausea medicine.  
 The doctor also ordered a CT scan.  The results of the scan came back and showed my entire colon is inflamed, which indicates...Crohn's Disease.  I was shocked.  My mom was shocked.  They admitted me and had me prep for a colonoscopy.  By the way, if you've never had a colonoscopy the prep drink to clean you out is HORRIBLE. Beyond horrible.  Like hold my nose, try to chug, chase it with a sip of juice, and I had to drink a gallon of it.  That was a rough night/morning.  

I was taken down for the colonoscopy Tuesday afternoon and unfortunately the results weren't good.  The doctor was in the waiting room talking to Chris and my mom, who came up during the day, within 15 minutes.  The doctor couldn't get far because of a stricture, which is basically a scar tissue blockage.  So the course of action going further is to administer steroids to try to reduce the inflammation so they can complete the colonoscopy.  The GI doctor passed my case onto the colo-rectal surgeon and he came in Wednesday evening.  Again, not the best news.  He basically said we're not talking about IF with surgery, but WHEN, and the other unknown is how much colon will be removed.  He wants to give the steroids 5 days to decrease the inflammation so he can hopefully complete the colonoscopy and see what the rest looks like.  He drew a lovely picture on the dry erase board to demonstrate what he thinks whats going on.  It doesn't make alot of sense unless you heard his explanation but it's amusing.  
He's planned another CT scan Monday, the next colonoscopy on Tuesday, and then he'll make a decision on when for the surgery.  And after all this the Crohn's will be treated with medicine, regardless of what happens next week.  So I'm just playing the waiting game, sitting in the hospital, getting IV steroids and fluids (but they disconnected the fluids this evening as long as I continue to drink).  As I sit in the hospital for what seems like hours on end (because it is), I can't eat.  I'm on a liquid some lovely broth (which I don't like), jello (which I only like red jello and I only tolerate it, not like), sprite or coke (which I don't really like either of those either), and juice (which I'm not a big juice person).  Yes I'm a picky eater!  And at this point this is the hardest part because I am STARVING...I haven't eaten since Sunday.   
Another negative is the steroids keep me wired so I can't sleep.  And they cause awful night sweats when I can sleep.  

But I'm going to back track a minute...I said the hardest part is the diet but really the worst part is being away from my baby.  I miss her.  She's come to visit everyday and I'm so glad.  Wednesday afternoon she was stand-offish, didn't know what to think, didn't want to come talk to me, but she also didn't know my mom was going to be here and she was excited to see her.  It made me sad but I understood her apprehension.  She did manage to have a little fun with a balloon glove Meme made her.
Thursday afternoon Chris went to the Dollar Tree and picked up a coloring book, some crayons, and a puzzle before he picked her up and brought her by with her goodies.  She was much more normal.  She climbed into my bed next to me and we colored together.  She ate her dinner in my bed (which was torture watching her eat Chick-Fil-A but it was totally worth her being here).  She wanted me to keep her papers from school and hang them in my room.  She told me she missed me.  She gave me hugs and kisses.  And it made me so happy.  
Today her Meme picked her up and brought her by and she immediately got her crayons and coloring book (we made her a drawer with her stuff!) and she climbed up to color with me.  And she shared my Sonic slush with me while she ate an apple.  I loved her sitting there with me.  
So that's what's going on.  As for me, I'm holding up ok.  I'm in shock by all this.  It has all happened so fast, even though the doctors said according to the CT scan this has been building for a couple of months.  My emotions are doing ok staying in check.  I got emotional this morning just thinking about the upcoming week, this will sound bizarre but I got a little emotional about being so hungry and watching Chris eat dinner (I insisted he eat in here with me, he wasn't being rude), and I teared up watching Sara Kate leave this evening.  But we play with the cards we're dealt, deal with it, and move on!  You're prayers are much appreciated and I'll update when I know more!  Or if I get bored...haha. :-)