Sunday, June 28, 2009

Checking in

Progress continues, although I think it is a very slow process to heal. I continue taking the medicines and hoping that this is all that it is.

The reflux pain that would wake me up at night has not come back and I am so thankful for that. Sleep I feel is a big key to healing and getting better. I have a strong stomach pain that comes and goes, but the magic healer for that at the moment is Vicodine and a 20 minute bath.

I am eating, although small amounts, but that feels like a feat in itself. It seems I have gone back to infancy with eating...I bet a 1 year old could out-do me! But I am thankful for any baby steps I can make in this area, I want to see weight go on and not off anymore.

I love being at home. It is nice to be so doted on and the temperature is excellent. My only job is to heal, and that is pretty stress free.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Back to the house

So I get to go home today. I am happy to report I had a great day yesterday which included eating without pain and vomiting, a restful night's sleep (no waking up in pain like previous 3 weeks!!!), and I feel stronger and healthier. The doctor has just been in again and said he has never seen a case like mine, but so far, any tests that could be potentially scary (lymphoma, etc) have all been negative. For now he is calling it a severe acute h. pylor infection, probably brought on by the amoebas I had a few months back. I'm taking antibiotics, stomach protectors, acid reducers, and pain meds if they're needed, for 10 more days at home to hopefully irradicate the bacteria and continue getting well.

The continued good news is that he saw no more signs of ulcers and that is excellent because it means no more strict diet. He said at this point he wants me to eat, and eat as often as I can. So these are all great things that I am rejoicing about. I continue to hope and pray this progress continues and that after the 10 days, no other things are found in my guts. Thank you again for all the support you have given me, it has been the biggest encouragement receiving your notes, emails, and Facebook posts. So home we go pretty soon for more rest and recovery.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Another round of hospital

Well, I went to my appt yesterday morning and the dr. sent me to be direct admitted to the hospital. They repeated the endoscopy and found extreme inflammation and a very angry looking stomach. I have been started on all kinds of meds as they continue to look into this. Abdominal ultrasound came back fairly normal, with my gallbladder full of "sludge". Still doing more tests, checking for bacteria, parasites...anything that could be causing this. I've lost 12 lbs now and look forward to pain-free, throwup-free days. Ariel is worried like crazy and calling every 15 minutes. It's hard being so far away. That's it for now...

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Finally arrived

I am officially in Oregon!!! Because of having to circle in the air yesterday I missed my connection in Atlanta which meant staying the night. It was a long night, but I am safe and sound in my parents house now. It is good to be here. Doctor appointment in the morning.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Off to Oregon

Just a little update is that I'm not feeling much better after a week out of the hospital and after lots of thought and prayer, we've decided it's best for me to seek treatment/recovery in Oregon. So tomorrow (Monday) I'm heading back to Oregon to see if we can't beat this. I've lost too much weight and am having trouble eating, so hopefully foods that I'm more used to can help with that. My strength and energy are so far gone that I've even requested a wheelchair to get around between planes and customs and bags. I know, it's that serious! I've got all my test results and meds ready to take to a GI doctor on Tuesday who can hopefully help with some answers.

The worst part of this all (yes, even worse than being sick) is that I have to leave Ariel here because he doesn't have a visa yet. Please keep him, and our 4 month marriage, in your thoughts and prayers as this has been the hardest decision to make. I feel selfish but he is so supportive and encouraging and knows I need to do this. I'll update as things move along. Thanks for all you've been emailing/Facebooking/calling.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

To the hospital...

So I had to go to the hospital. I was having horrendous stomach pain and nausea, throwing up (sometimes blood!), fever, and I couldn't eat (in the end it was a whole week I didn't eat). So we decided it was time to go to the hospital. I went for 2 days, came home for 2, then went back for 5! It is, needless to say, so nice to be home now and feeling better and knowing how to manage what I've got. The hospital was great, it it the newest one in Santiago and was very much like being in America. The rooms were nice and big and as soon as I walked in I felt calm and that I was in the right place. So what have I got??
Well, I had every test done known to man, or else it feels like it. Including endoscopy, colonoscopy, tomography, heart tests, poo tests, urinalysis, and ENDLESS blood tests! What they found was a bacteria called h.pylori which causes ulcers...of which I have 3 large and 2 small. My stomach is inflamed, along with my intestines, and my liver function tests are a bit out of line, probably from not eating for so long. The photo above is my doctor, Dr. Rodriguez who has been amazing. She checked on me so often and would call just to see how I was feeling. This picture was after the endoscopy and to be honest, I actually don't remember it thanks to all the meds I got.

The nurses were so nice, apart from the middle of the night visits when all the lights got turned on for their checks (I didn't like that part so much). They have to wear white uniforms and hats, which I'm thankful I never had to do! The patients aren't given robes or anything to wear, you're on your own for I spent my first night in khakis until Ariel rescued me!

I hate needles. I can start IV's all the live-long day, but HATE being stuck. Well, I got paid back for every needle I've ever given in one visit! I apparently have bad veins, which meant lots of sticks to find a vein and then after a day changing the IV site. The bottom left photo is when my arm actually filled with all the IV fluid instead of the vein, which promted yet another IV site (you can really noticie on my left arm at the top for comparison). I was, and still am, black and blue from all the sticks! Finally I got taped to a little kid IV board, which was the best thing and allowed a 2-day IV site, thankfully.

I had lots of company! Ariel's family came by and Robin stayed with me a few days for English influence and to watch movies and talk celebrity gossip. Ariel was a trooper, he was so worried and running around getting me this and that. The only thing I wanted to eat (no, not Dominican food) after I was allowed to eat again was KFC mashed potatoes, which he ran out and got me...3 times! He put up with all my crying and the waiting and driving back and forth between Santiago and Puerto Plata (1 hour at least) to go to work in the daytime. We celebrated our 4th month of marriage during this "trip" and we've already seen the vow "in sickness and in health" put to the test, which he passed with flying colors.

So I'm home now and so grateful for that. I'm on lots of meds and lots of appointments ahead to make sure everything is going okay. Thanks for all the prayers and emails and love you've been sending. It was a hard and frustrating time, but I'm thankful to have been through it and be on the other side now.

Monday, June 01, 2009

Summer days

Sorry for the lack of posting, it's just that I'm extremely boring (not bored) right now. We're on break from school so my days have been filled with watching movies and reading and napping and cleaning and baking. It's lovely, but boring to write about. Soon, very soon, we'll be back at school!