Tag Archives: scary

Things have changed!

Reading my last blog entry makes me realize just how much my life has changed since then. To recap quickly (who am I kidding? I’m never quick!). After my blog I ended up in emergency instead of the Dr’s appointment. I ended up there a lot. I had more tests done. I had two hyperventilating experiences where my body seized up. More ultrasounds, CT scans etc. Everyone admitted I was in pain but no real answers. On my second trip to the hospital via ambulance my mom demanded that they ‘fix me’. She told every nurse, doctor and anyone that would listen (or not listen) that we wern’t leaving until I was better. I got admitted June 17th, 2013. I got sicker, had more tests and bloated up like a balloon. (I got bigger in my tummy than I ever did when pregnant… talk about stretch marks!). At this time my dad came down with phemonia (sp?), he was also bright yellow! He got admitted as well. My mom was able to get us moved onto the same floor/wing so at least it was easier on her for visiting. My dad had a rough go, but got better and went home. The doctors thought they had a diagnosis… They figured I had Crohn’s disease. But they weren’t sure so didn’t want to do a surgery incase it could be fixed other ways. One Doctor figured I was just having abdominal migraines….. I watched the Canada Day fireworks from the 5th floor of the hospital. I was doing ‘better’ on the strong meds and steroids. July 4th I was scheduled for a Colonostopy (sp? I’m on Orlund’s laptop and spell check is off, sorry). I don’t remember July 4th other than texting my mom and best friend, they’d both asked how I was ~ to mom I just wrote ‘hell’, and to Leah I wrote ‘terrible’…

I don’t remember the rest, it’s been told to me. I wasn’t doing good, they thought perhaps I had a blood clot in my lungs as I was having a hard time breathing. They took an X-ray (at my bed) and started to take me down to ICU. One Doctor then grabbed my mom and Orlund (and Leah) to ride in the elevator and informed them that no I wasn’t going to ICU, but into emergency surgery!

My bowl had ‘erupted’, I was septic! (My mom later heard there is only a 20% survival rate). They went in and tried to ‘clean’ me up, they discovered a huge mass in my large intestine, the surgeons thought it might be cancer so followed proceedure and removed it all. They removed approx 1/3 of my Colon, and had to remove some of my stomach as the mass was attached. I might be stating some of this in the wrong order, however at some point they had to do a tracheotomy (thing in your throat to help you breathe – also prevents you from talking). They told my family I would wake up the next day. July 5th, my mom’s birthday. But I didn’t wake up, instead I was put in an induced coma ~ for 2 weeks. There were many issues due to the infection from going septic, my blood pressure, body temperature etc were hard for them to maintain. While my fa.mily was going through the scare of their lives I was having the most horrific hallucinations. The nurses were trying to kill me, so I thought, thank goodness they weren’t actually! My mom had her Ipod playing Christian worship music 24/7 for me. During one hallucination a worship song broke through and I could feel God saying “come on Jenn, it’s time to pick yourself up. I’m here to help. Now go help others”. I was able to get up and fight out of it. I had one more full hallucination, it wasn’t scary like the rest. I still saw odd things after for a few days but no more full hallucinations. Praise God. The Doctors told my family many people hallucinate for weeks or months after the strong drugs I was on.

When I came to it was scary. I couldn’t speak, and I was strapped down with lots of machines attached to me. I couldn’t sleep at night. It was horrible trying to communicate. luckily one nurse finally decided to unstrap my arms, he made me promise not to pull the tube out of my nose (so tempting). I promised. Everytime I went to reach for the tube I’d remember my promise and left it alone. I tried to write notes to everyone so they could know what I wanted etc… I couldn’t write! I just scribbled like my 3 year old. It was frustrating but my family got pretty good at reading my hand/eye gestures. writing came first, what a relief when it did. I could communicate!

I don’t know how long I was in ICU before I got moved to Step-down (a part of ICU but not one-on-one care). In Step-down I got to watch free TV on a giant flat screen TV! (could have in ICU but wasn’t facing the TV). First news I watched? Train crash. Prince George was born. And then I switched to watching HGTV. I noticed my body was different. I was skinny, really skinny (lost over 35lbs). I had a large incision down my abdomen (had a special machine/bandage called a VAC dressing ~ amazing invention). Had a Cathetor (not fun), an illiostomy, PICC lines, Trach…. slowly I got the Trach removed and was able to talk!! HOW WONDERFUL! I also had to start physio it was scary trying to learn to walk again, luckily my physiotherapist was amazing and really worked with me.

I finally got moved to ‘the ward’… I was on the post-surgical ward… basically where all the abdominal patients are ~ who were mostly over 70years old… and smelly…. Oh the stories I could tell, and probably will. just not right now.

Oh I forgot to mention my diagnosis. While in ICU the doctor and a bunch of nurses, social workers etc came in to explain it all to my family and I. It was Colon Cancer. Stage 3. Sounds scarier than it is. They removed ALL of the cancer! They tested 37 lymph nodes, only one (that was against the cancer) showed a little cancer in it. The only reason it’s stage 3 is because it had attached to my stomach. They want me to do Chemo as a precaution. This also increases the risk for my kids to get it, they will have to be tested when older, but I believe they will never have to deal with this.

My infection took a long time to clear. August 24th I finally got to come home. That following week I was at the Dr’s almost every day, or at the Nursing clinic to change bandages. I now have no bandages on me :). Tomorrow I go for yet another CT scan, I had one small sign of infection left, I’m believing it’s gone now so we can get going on Chemo. Then on the 10th of Sept I have day surgery to put a port-a-cath in (it’s like a PICC line but under my skin so I can have showers etc with no issues). Then Sept 11th, Orlund and my 9 year anniversary, I will be starting Chemo. I will have treatments every 2 weeks for 12 rounds (approx 6months). After Chemo is done, in a couple months after (provided everything is clear – which it will be) then I get my intestines re-attached (that’ll be nice).

It is so wonderful to be home. I was honestly scared to come home as I thought it might set me back, but the Doctor was right and it’s made me stronger (and the fact that I can stand our food helps!). My mom has moved in with us to help me out with day to day living. taking care of the kids, house and me. It’s wonderfu to have her here! Orlund has been amazing!!! He’s still working on his courses, and working full time (this week he’s been off), helping with the kids, house and me as well.

Even though I’ve been through a lot these past few months I feel blessed beyond measure! So many people prayed for me, and blessed us with meals, gifts etc. God is SO good!! My cousin gave me a ‘plack’ (for lack of a better word) that inspired me along the way and helped me stay strong it reads “Believe with God all things are possible”.

The results are in….

We drove to Vancouver and spent the night at a friends house.  Once arriving Orlund was upset he hadn’t thought about taking half of Wednesday off so we could spend some actual time visiting! Oh well. We had a wonderful visit and a good sleep. The girls stayed here at the house with Orlund’s mom watching them ~ she unfortunately didn’t get a good sleep! (teething Olivia). I guess right after we pulled out of view, while I was tearing up, Joy turned to Grandma and said “everybody happy! Joy happy, Grandma happy..” she then stretched Olivia’s face into a ‘smile’ “Baby Olivia happy too”. lol.

Thursday morning Orlund and I headed in for our appointment. We stopped for a breakfast at White spot. Yummy. Weird without kids, quiet. Then jumped into the van and headed to the hospital. We arrived an hour early! Yup. Gotta beat that Vancouver traffic! (better early than late, and since we are used to traveling with kids~ if they had of been with us we would have JUST made it.lol). We looked through their gift shop after checking in, there was a REALLY cute baby blanket, unfortunately the price wasn’t so cute. No purchase from us.

Finally we got to go in and have the ultrasound. Orlund got to come in right away, and we got to watch the entire ultrasound on a big screen TV. The technician pointed out what all it was we were looking at (I pretty much new). Got to see the two parts of the brain and all the fun little parts you don’t notice on a regular ultrasound. Then came the question “do you know what you are having?” “Nope””Do you want to know??”…lets just say there was a lot of discussion going on. We found out!! We are having a………………….lol. yes I’m going to make you wait a bit longer! I’ll post a pic later revealing the gender. After she was done getting all the measurements etc she had to go clear it all with a Doctor and make sure she had gotten all the shots she needed. After a wait that seemed to take forever (5minutes) she returned and said we were done. “Baby does have a 2 vessel umbilical cord, but otherwise is completely healthy”. “What about the cyst on the Placenta?” I asked, I hadn’t even seen her look at the placenta. “the placenta? let me see” she looks back through our paper work. Apparently my Dr misinformed me, Baby had some cysts on the spongy thing in the brain (it’s between the two halves and makes spinal/brain fluid). However the cysts were GONE 🙂

Then we had an hour and half wait until our ‘Genetic counseling’. We went to the cafeteria and paid way to much for some, not overly exciting food. But it filled us up. It was close to the time we were to head upstairs (figured we’d just go early). Upstairs we went. Apparently they make you wait an hour so that they have time to get the results. So we figured we would be waiting about 1/2 hour. Well that time came and went. Orlund and I read all the information they had on the walls (about genetics etc). Interesting, but not that interesting. I finally decided I was to tired to just sit there, so I took a snooze. I had just gotten into a good deep sleep when the counselors came in. She asked me if I was okay… lol.. what else is a pregnant woman who for once doesn’t have kids with her supposed to do while waiting an hour and a half? NAP.

We went into the room with the two counselors (one was in training). Boy do they ever beat around the bush! Sure if there was a major complication it would have been perfect. However as we found out, Baby is good. First we talked about the umbilical cord (as the two things are NOT related at all). Orlund asked the question on both our minds “so what could happen to our baby? what does it mean?” Apparently the only thing that could happen is we could have a small baby….although by the measurements on the ultrasound we have a big baby ~ so they aren’t worried.

Then we came to the cysts. Apparently these cysts are common (same as the cord), and it is common for them to come and go, so we will get another ultrasound around 32weeks to see if they are back. The only reason they are even looking at them again (or looked at them again) is because there were two ‘markers’ even if unrelated. We asked the same question about what the cysts could mean. Apparently they can be an indication of a very serious genetic disease. One that they didn’t tell us exactly what it is. However usually if a baby has this disease then they will have other issues, ie~ missing limbs, brain issues, heart issues etc. And our baby only has the cysts. They also said that we could have an Amnio (forget how to spell the full name) if we wished to know 100%, and we could have it performed RIGHT THEN! I luckily know a bit about Amnio’s. There is a 1 in 200 chance of miscarriage, and we would need to spend another night in Vancouver. I said no. I have Faith that God has taken care of this and so there is nothing to worry about. Orlund wanted me to make the decision as he was worried I’d worry and wonder about it the rest of our pregnancy ~ I wont. I said NO, so he told the ladies “we wouldn’t do anything about it anyway, so unless there is a VERY good reason, such as the doctors need to know for delivery or shortly after, then there is no point putting our baby at risk”. The Lady that was training the other said that was a good way to put it, if you wouldn’t do anything anyway why bother.

So with that we were done. On our way out of town we swung by Ikea and hit up the kids section to see if we could find a ‘treat’ for the girls. Unfortunately that stop brought us right into rush hour traffic. THAT is the reason I wouldn’t want to live in Vancouver! It took us well over an hour to go a very short distance! We stopped by Orlund’s Aunt’s house to pick up two bed frames for the girls. THANK YOU! And then headed home with a very full van.

We arrived late at night, Thanked Orlund’s mom and dad and headed to bed.
So glad to be home, but even more so THANKFUL to Jesus for our healthy baby #3.

Thank you for your prayers and I’ll be sure to upload that picture soon 🙂

Ultrasound update…

I’ve been ‘patiently’ waiting to hear from the Dr’s office if they knew where we would be going for our next Ultrasound (Vancouver or Kelowna). I gave them a week. Today I called, the receptionist said she would look into it and get back to me. By lunch I figured perhaps she knew the answer but hadn’t had a chance to call me. So I called her again. I found out some interesting information I hadn’t thought about… First we are going to go to Vancouver for the ultrasound. She knew that. I guess she called them, and they are usually quick at responding so I should know by the end of the day (thank goodness that’s 4pm!). However the things I learned ~ Apparently this is an ALL day affair! We also don’t get to pick which day it’ll be, Vancouver picks that. The appointment is usually from around 9am to 2pm. First we will meet with some Doctors, then have the detailed ultrasound (hope we get to watch, or at least see some), then we meet with the doctors again (with some counselors) and go over the results right then and there!! Which is nice because we’ll have answers quickly and not have to wait to come home and find out. She will call me sometime today and let me know what day it is that we will need to go. Also they will have a package of information for us to pick up at the office. Makes it sound scary, but I have faith in our God. Heck my little believer Joy prayed for baby to be okay, how can it not be? (I’ll blog about that next).

Here's our baby #3

However…. This means that we will have to leave our girls somewhere over night!! First time EVER! (Joy stayed at our house with my mom when Olivia was born but that’s the ONLY time). Sure we have family in Vancouver, that I’m sure I could ask to watch them for the day, however, Orlund’s Aunt has some beds for the girls that we need to bring home (and in order to fit them into the van we need all the seats out). Orlund had been planning a trip with his mom to go down and get the beds, however now since we will be going we can just pick them up. The receptionist told me that usually people go down the night before due to how early these appointments are (and you wouldn’t want to miss it!). So that is probably what we will be doing. I think this will be hard on me! Leaving my baby girls… I know they will be fine, it’s probably harder on me than anyone else. Guess we just wait for the phone call with the times and then see who is available for babysitting the cutest girls around 😉

See ~ such cuties!

Prayers please…

Yeah, I’m bad at not finishing my blogging about our trip. however something has come up, and while I’m not willing to share it on such a public place as Facebook I am willing to share it with my readers. Most of you, I believe are Christians and pray, please pray.
Friday we went in and had our 19week Ultrasound. Baby was dancing the entire 45minutes it took for the technician to get all the measurements she needed (both the girls did this as well). Afterwards baby had fallen asleep so we only got to view him/her for 8minutes as we saw all we were going to see. It was exciting and we video taped it as a nice keep sake.
This weekend was Thanksgiving ~ Happy Thanksgiving everyone~ Talk about heart burn! I’ve been ‘sleeping’ on the couch in agony for the past 3 nights.
Tuesday (today)~ I was exhausted and the kids decided to be feisty and Joy ended up with a swollen lip. Olivia doesn’t seem to be feeling well as she’s crying and throwing fits all morning. Olivia has also learned how to say “NO”. Yup she’s at that stage… fun.. Anyway, to the point of my blog. This morning I got a call from our Doctors office, they wanted to call and book an appointment with me to go over the Ultrasound. *gasp*. With both the girls we didn’t have to go over anything! So of course like any pregnant woman I broke down crying and sobbing (and of course praying) there must be something wrong. I got the idea to call the office again and ask if this was going to be an appointment that my husband would need to come to or not.. The receptionist had to ask the Doctor. She told me that they saw something on the Ultrasound that will require more tests to be done (or more lab work?). So this is an informative appointment (no hubby needed). We will be discussing what they saw (or thought they saw), what tests we will need to do etc etc. SO please PRAY for my baby, uterus, placenta all that baby stuff. That everything is normal and natural. I don’t mind doing more tests, and I’m praying and believing that those tests will prove my baby is completely healthy and another miracle of God.
Thank you for your prayers. I’ll keep you updated.

Our Olivia.

Well My darling 9month old gave us a bit of a scare This past Sunday, well two Sunday’s ago now. Jan 30th.
The day started off basic enough. Went to Church, out for lunch. Orlund got called into work so the girls and I headed out to Logan Lake (45minute drive) to visit with my Mom, Dad and Brother. My Brother was just in for the weekend and my folks are headed back to Thailand at the end of this week. The drive out was BEAUTIFUL. The girls slept most the way, and I enjoyed the sunshine and the chance to spend some time with the Lord. It was an awesome drive out. We hung out for a bit at my Parents place, then when the sun started to go down we realized we hadn’t taken the family photo’s we’d wanted to (would photo shop Orlund in later). We got in position and started shooting away. After a few different poses we stopped to look at the pictures on the computer. While my dad uploaded them my mom worked on dinner. She gave Olivia a string bean to keep her happy until dinner. We all agreed the photos weren’t very good so got back into position, bribed Joy, and started snapping away again.
During the flashing light counting down to what turned out to be our last photo I noticed Olivia was shivering. But we were preoccupied trying to keep Joy happy and looking at the camera. After the picture was taken I realized Olivia was still shaking. I looked down to realize her little arms were purple! I quickly spun her around to realize her face and lips were purple also. “She’s purple” I yelled, my mom grabbed the bean and I looking in Olivia’s mouth. Surely she was choking. Nope. her mouth and airways were clear, she was breathing and making winy noises. I didn’t know what to do so I prayed over her. My mom came and took her from me to take a look. Olivia passed out on my mom. I kept telling them that this wasn’t normal for her, something was wrong with my baby. So my Dad called 911. It took 10 minutes for the ambulance to arrive, which we spent most that time praying. By the time they got there she was back to her normal colour and in a deep sleep. We had tried to wake her in the 10mintues it took for them to arrive but she would just flutter her eyes at us and keep sleeping.
The paramedics informed us it was more than likely a seizure, as most people have a time that they are ‘passed’ out like Olivia did. They woke her up and checked her out. She had a slight fever but nothing over the top, and that was about it. Everything else was normal. I now had to make the decision, go in to town in the ambulance, or stay over night at my folks and go in in the morning with someone else. Olivia started falling asleep again, this isn’t normal, she’s usually more difficult to get to sleep (have to nurse her to sleep). So I decided to head in, Joy would stay with my parents and come in to town in a few hours.
Bumpy! Yup Ambulances are bumpy. I’ve always wondered what it would be like to ride in one. Now I know. 1hour ride, with a sleeping baby on my chest. We were strapped into the stretcher. She was on my bladder. bumpy. On the ride in the paramedic (Eric) kept checking on her, her fever was rising a bit.
Got to the hospital. Orlund arrived (just in time for me to go to the restroom). They took us in right away, the paramedics waiting with us until the nurses arrived. The doctor arrived after we’d told about 5 nurses our story (I might be exaggerating but it seemed like that many). The doctor said they needed to take blood and urine samples. That means Catheter. OUCH! they tried a bunch of times, then stopped and waited a bit. Came back and tried a bunch more, which they finally succeeded. Poor girl. The doctor ran through all the different reasons she could have seizures and fevers etc etc. Scaring me stiff! The results came back and she had a Urinary Tract Infection (UTI). “Very common” he said. Gave us a prescription for antibiotics, 2x daily for 7days, and sent us on our way.
We gave Olivia her first dose before putting her to bed. It was a late night. We headed to bed around 10pm. Aprox 10:20pm I awoke to Olivia’s cry. I went in to nurse her. She didn’t latch. That’s not like her. She was shivering. That scared me, but I tried to stay calm, so just tried to comfort her. She’s turning purple. The words ran like a banner across my mind. I ran into our bedroom and turned the touch lamp on. She didn’t look like she was purple but she was still shivering. Orlund woke up, he tried to stay calm. “She’s just shivering” he said “probably from the fever”. We took her temperature it seemed normal. I decided she just wasn’t right and Orlund agreed. He suggested I drive her in to the hospital while he calls/waits for his mom to arrive at our house to stay with Joy and he’d bring her car up.
I threw on a bra and a shirt (kept the pj pants on) grabbed my lip balm and wallet. (don’t know why I grabbed the lip balm but I’m thankful I did hospitals are SO dry!).
Thank you Jesus for keeping us safe on the drive! I only drove like 10km over, but every single light was green and I only saw 2 other cars on the road. The whole way I kept saying to Olivia “you’re okay, I’m okay, we’re okay” over and over again. My heart was screaming out to God but I couldn’t form any other words, I felt He was telling me it was okay.
Again, Thank you Lord. When I arrived at the hospital I ran into the Triage nurses station and our friend Brianne saw me. She was the head nurse this night, and she’d visited us earlier. She came and asked “What’s wrong babe?” “She’s purple and shivering” I answered, I realized I was crying “I’m sorry, My nerves can’t take this”. I hadn’t even looked to see if Olivia was purple or not, however I knew by her wining in the car something was wrong. Brianne took Olivia from me, this is when I noticed she was in fact PURPLE! A deep deep purple. Then I was really scared! Brianne took us straight in and the nurses and a new doctor descended on my little baby. I held a little oxygen mask over her face, they got an IV line in, drew blood etc etc. Olivia’s colour was back to normal by the time Orlund arrived. The new doctor was good. And explained a lot. He scared me at one point when he said “she just bought herself 48hours”…WHAT? I thought, she only has 48hours? just slow down Jenn, let him finish….”in the hospital” he finished. PHEW! He had taken an extra long pause in there, NOT cool! A Pediatrician came and talked with us, and it was all a blur. Basically we would have to wait 48hours to get the cultures back to see what exactly she had, it was all due to the UTI but what kind exactly they wanted to know.
We were settled into our room around 3:30am. Orlund went home and I stayed with Olivia. 6am she got up for the day. As I lay on the bed with her, I realized we only had her blanket to entertain her. Then the nurse came in. She brought in a bag of toys and told us that they are now Olivia’s that she can take home with us after. Starlight Children’s foundation ~ THANK YOU! I teared up a bit at receiving this blessing. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to say no to those ‘give a dollar’ donations at the til again.
After the 48hours we found out she had Ecoli, which is the most common kind of UTI in girls. So she needed to be on IV antibiotics for 5days and then oral antibiotics at home for another 5 days. She had an Ultrasound to see if there was anything wrong with her kidneys, and Praise God they were fine. We were given a lot of information, and we were VERY well taken care of. Thank you RIH nurses and doctors!
The week went by rather quickly, we really got into a routine and now we have just one day left of antibiotics here at home then she’s done.
The week would have been a lot more difficult if it hadn’t all been in God’s timing. I was off work. My mom is still here, and Orlund’s mom was around as well. Thank you to our families for all they did! A special thanks to our Mom’s, My mom did our laundry and cleaned our house, brought me food and kept me company (as well as watched Joy here and there), and Orlund’s mom who mostly watched Joy (kept her napping on time and eating good). You both are huge blessings in our lives ~ THANK YOU! We love you! And Thank you to the ladies who are bringing us dinners, so Thoughtful of you, what a blessing.