Tag Archives: tests

June 17th… in remembrance

Today is June 17th. Today I can’t help but looking back at what has transgressed in one full year.

June 17th my Mom came over to help me and my best friend Ashley came for a visit. Ashley was the one that got me to first go see the Dr, and her visits were wonderful in keeping me going. I remember sitting on the couch nursing Jacob. Ashley was next to me and Mom was in the Kitchen. I needed to be sick. I wanted to finish nursing first. Little did I know that would be my last time nursing my baby boy, my last time nursing any baby. I ran to the washroom and lost the contents of my stomach. Really the contents of my small intestine. Gross. I knew then and there I could no longer do this. I could no longer pick myself off the floor and pretend I was just a little sick. I needed help, my body wasn’t my own. The pain consumed me, the medications only took the edge off. My pain tolerance is very high, but this, this was beyond pain. I called for my mom. I need to get help, call 911. It blurs. I remember anytime I moved I would vomit. The paramedics carried me down the stairs. Even though I knew I needed this, the pain of knowing that my kids were scared washed over me. Here was their mommy being carried out of the house and was too sick to move without vomiting. I found relief in believing I’d be home soon, they would forget all about this, and they were in very safe hands. I remember thinking they should put the sirens on in the ambulance, and knowing that my mom was following behind. We arrived at the hospital. One of the paramedics asked me if I thought I could walk a few steps. If I was able to get off the stretcher and walk the few steps to the chair in the waiting room I could go through streaming, meaning the wait would be much less. I sat up and heaved into the bucket I hugged close. I swung my feet over the edge and again was sick. The nurse noticed at this point and yelled at us all that I was to sick to be in streaming and to stay on the stretcher. Once settled back in I felt a bit better knowing I was going to get help. Orlund had arrived about the time that the ambulance had so I was content having him and my mom with me. Anyone that asked any question my mom would drill into them that they’d better ‘fix’ me, I wasn’t going to go home until I was fixed. We later found out that there is a ‘saying’ in emergency ‘if mom say’s something is wrong, something is wrong’. I was finally admitted.

We all figured this would be a quick fix. Now that I was at the hospital under surveillance, with proper medication and all the tests readily available I would be home soon.
I’m not going to say everything that happened. However I was discharged from the hospital August 24, 2013. I stayed in the hospital for a total of 68 days. That is not including all the time I spent there before being admitted, Chemo day’s, follow up tests or my re-attachment surgery. I still have many tests and visits to the hospital I will be making but hopefully never in this kind of pain. I’m now going to include a transcript that one of my Dr’s wrote close to my admittance ~

This 29-year-old woman, mother of three was seen for assessment of abdominal pain possibly due to a small bowel obstruction.
Jennifer was a somewhat vague historian. Essentially she describes a two month history of abdominal pain which has been exacerbated since late May, 2013. It appears to be primarily central which will radiate into both flanks. It is aggravated by eating, changes in position and just about anything. In the last week it has been associated with nausea and vomiting and she has virtually stopped eating. Her stools have a slight tendency to be loose and she has noted a paucity of bowel movements and flatus in the last five days. Over the last three weeks Jennifer has undergone a number of investigations including
1. A CT scan of the abdomen May 30,2013 – small amount of free fluid nil else.
2. Ultrasound of pelvis, June 4,2013 negative.
3. Ultrasound upper abdomen June 6, 2013. The gallbladder and bile ducts were normal, multiple loops of peristalsing bowel.
4. HIDA scan June 13,2013; gallbladder promptly fills but does not respond to CCK stimulation, 29% ejection.
5. MRCP June 21, 2013; no evidence of biliary pathology, small amount of free fluid and pleural fluid; multiple dilated loops of small bowel, query small bowel obstruction versus ileus.
Jennifer has had no previous abdominal surgery.
Physical examination~
Pale young woman who is lying on her side with a bucket close to her mouth. She stated that she had been vomiting earlier and is quite intolerant to taking anything by mouth. She has been requiring large doses of narcotics to mange the pain. On examination the abdomen is protuberant. There are no scars. Bowel sounds are hyperactive. Soft to percussion and palpation. There is some tenderness which is maximum in the upper abdomen. There is no associated significant guarding or peritoneal irritation. No masses are palpable.
This 29 year old woman presents with a 4 week history of abdominal pain which was exacerbated over the last 5 days. An MRCP performed earlier today was suggestive of a small bowel obstruction versus an ileus. CT scan of the abdomen performed May 30 was entirely negative. As there may be some progression of her illness I do think it would be prudent to repeat the CT scan of the abdomen.

Although I was in the battle of my life I was unaware of just how serious it was. I still want to write a book about my story, I don’t know where to start, and it pulls me down into this dark place. One I don’t like. I take it slow. I’m starting to think it’s time I visit that place just once in a while before I let it slip completely from memory. Thank you Jesus for deciding I needed to stick it out on earth for a bit longer.

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”.

T3’s

Saturday night as we left our cousin’s beautiful wedding we headed to our Bed and Breakfast in Surrey. I wasn’t feeling so good. my stomach was upset, my boob was inflated (12hours without nursing will do that) and most off all my head was pounding. I slept on the way, waking just in time to give Orlund the last directions to the front door. My headache was finally gone. We went for a soak in the hot tub, it was so nice to be able to chat alone. After our soak I was finally feeling better. It was a wonderful evening away.
Sunday we spent a few hours hunting around IKEA and headed home. At this point all I could think about was getting home to nurse my baby boy! ouch! After we picked the kids up from my parents we got home, had dinner and sent the kids to bed. I didn’t feel so good while eating dinner, I suddenly realized I hadn’t felt good for the past week (or two) whenever I ate. And it was progressively getting worse. Sunday night as I tried to sleep I curled in pain and once again brought out my handy tried and true ‘contraction breathing’. No sleep.
I survived Monday with just some pain, mostly after I ate. Night time was horrible again, I took a couple extra strength Tylenol’s.

Wednesday arrived and I wasn’t doing so good. It was now 3 nights without any sleep and everything just kept getting worse. My stomach was ripping with pain. I wanted to vomit, or use the washroom (just as at other times), however nothing was happening. I had planned to spend the day helping my girlfriend Ashley finish the last of her packing and get her house washed down ready for her Saturday moving day. Instead she insisted I go to the Clinic while she watched the monsters children.

3hours later I had no answers other than I wasn’t pregnant. I already knew that. The Dr tried to give me some medication, however once I reminded him I’m breastfeeding he took back the prescription. He did however give me paperwork to get tested for Celiac disease and Lactose Tolerance.
Ashley convinced me to take 1/2 a T3. I did with little effect, although as the day wore on I felt a bit better.

Thursday, I had my 2 daycare kids here. I had to be tough. Okay so it was basically a free play day. I supervised and only moved to change diapers, wipe bums, make food etc. My parents were coming home from Vancouver. I called my mom “I want my mommy” I whined. At 3:30pm they showed up at my door. by 3:45pm my mom was helping me out to the car to head to the hospital.

5hours~ I had blood tests, urine tests, pelvic test, pap test, poke my belly test, and a CT scan. again the only thing they came up with was ~ Not Pregnant. No Kidney issues. Good white blood cells. Oh, and Yeah, you’re in a LOT of pain. When I was talking to the Triage nurse I’d mentioned taking a 1/2 T3 earlier in the day. She pretty much laughed in my face and said that so long as you have pain then the T3 will only take the pain away, it wont make you high etc….. sure lady… I took 2 T3’s once the Dr decided I needed something. By the time we were heading home I was flying high! It was the first time I could walk more than 2steps without having to stop and breath through the pain, although the pain still washed over me.

Friday I stayed on the couch all day. I slept. High on T3’s. Jacob was starting to show effects of the T3’s ~ he looked a bit out of it. I called my mom in the evening as I thought I’d have to go back to the hospital. She spent the night taking care of me. Well, until I went to bed. I was now taking 2 T3’s every 4hours. Jacob and I both slept through the night!! woohoo! needed that. Saturday I told my mom I could put my big girl panties on and let her head home.

Saturday I don’t think I left the couch either. every 4 hours I popped another 2 T3’s. Orlund took all 3 kids out to McDonald’s to give me an extra break. I was feeling good, so long as I didn’t miss my dosage and didn’t move. Moving, eating, drinking is what hurt. I was upset that I couldn’t help Ashley on moving day, we’d planned it months ago. I really hate not being able to make my commitments. Sunday Orlund took all 3 kids to Church by himself as well. I was finally feeling better. I didn’t take a T3 until around 3pm.

Today, Monday. I had made an appointment for those allergy tests. (apparently you have to book for these ones). My appointment was for 8:30am. I got there at 8am, so I sat in the car until 8:10am. Then headed in. Finally I got into a room, waited another chapter in my book and by the time they started my test it was 9:40am! The lactose test is a breath test, so you breath into a tube thingy. Then drink a horrible drink. Then after an hour breath again, then again after an hour breath again. I had figured I would be out of there by 10:30am. I got out of there JUST before Noon. Grabbed some groceries, got the kids from Orlund’s parents and came home. I took a T3, I was in pain, over did it. I then passed out (Jacob too). at 3:30 his mom called *Bless her* to say they would pick Orlund up and bring him home. I was just going to call her and see if she could as I couldn’t open my eyes so figured I wasn’t fit to drive. I was up by the time he got home and had dinner started.

Tomorrow I have another test, an Ultrasound to check out all the stuff the CT scan couldn’t see. (I think the Dr is leaning towards a cyst in my ovaries). So yippee more time in waiting rooms and with Dr’s. At least I’m enjoying the kid free time and am now able to at least read a book!

I hate that I’m not 100% for my kids or husband. I know I shouldn’t feel guilty, but I think as mom’s it’s natural (right?). The house is keeping up pretty good surprisingly. The laundry will keep me busy for weeks though! I just feel bad that I’m more snappy at the kids, and because it’s my ‘core’ that’s hurting I can’t just scoop them up for snuggles or tickles. They come and gently lay next to me for snuggle time, which is fine so long as they don’t touch my stomach (which is so bloated I look 4months pregnant), or let Jacob see (he doesn’t like to share me much).

So I am getting better, slowly but surely. I’m praying that I get some answers, and soon. I also am praying it’s nothing major. I guess my Dr will call me if there is anything. I tried to book an appointment with him, the soonest I can get in to see him is Wednesday NEXT week (I booked last week, thank goodness). By then he should have all the results, and hopefully I’m 100% better!

Well that’s what’s been going on around here lately, hope you and yours are all doing better!
My God is greater!!

Sickies

This past week has been….an interesting one…
Saturday night Olivia was up all night with a fever. Actually she was up then down then up, just all over. We spent most the night snuggling her and worried about another seizure.
Sunday morning she woke with a horrible cough and a lot of flem in her chest. But she seemed to do better through the day.
Monday Solomon got dropped off, he had the exact same cough as Olivia, he also napped almost the entire day. Olivia was more snuggly than usual and we went through a lot of Kleenex between the two of them. Monday night, I didn’t feel so great.
Tuesday Solomon got dropped off again. I also now had the same cough as the two little ones. Not fun, whenever you cough the pain spreads throughout your chest and back and, well, it’s painful! Tuesday night Olivia was doing a bit better, I was a bit sicker, and Orlund spent over an hour in the washroom.
Wednesday morning Orlund had another bout in the washroom just as we were getting up (he’d figured he’d stay home to recover as he wasn’t feeling well). This time however there was a lot of blood. So I got the girls dressed and we took him to emergency. After we dropped him off we went grocery shopping and then went to take him a few things before coming home. After 4hours of not hearing from him I was worried and tried to call him numerous times (he’d turned his phone off). Finally I couldn’t take it and wanted to know what was going on so called Leah over to watch the girls so I could zip over and find out for myself what was up (Thanks Leah!). I talked to a volunteer to see if I could get in to see him and she found out he was on his way down. Okay I’ll wait. Turns out his mom was with him all day (Thanks Hazel), although apparently because she was with him he just forgot to call and update me? dunno. Not important. So we came home to some girls that were happy Daddy was home. (he had to have a CT scan and they have more tests to run as they don’t know what it could be). Joy also seems to have picked up Olivia and my wonderful cough.
Thursday (Dec 1st), Today. Orlund stayed home as he’s still not well. He slept the entire morning. I of course had taken the other days as not cleaning days… well there is only so long you can go before you need to do some cleaning. So I picked my worn out, painful, exhausted self up and got a little cleaning done. *yeah me!*. Both the girls are exhausted and….well….sick. I took a nap when Olivia did, I don’t know if it helped or not. I feel even more ready for bed. Oh well, no rest for a mommy! Our little bean I’m cooking seems to be just fine, he’s rather set in his waking/sleeping routine and doesn’t much move off of it (unless I wake him with my excessive, painful coughing).

But you know what? we’ll make it through. I might have even more grey hair after, but we’ll make it! Well I’d better go get dinner cooking. Hope you and yours are feeling better than we are! God bless!

 

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.

getting ‘er done!

As I sit here typing I am taking my second listen to a beautiful song that is on my friends blog…I don’t know how to do that fancy tagging but her blog is ~ dankasworld.wordpress.com Check it out 🙂

So Today I dropped Olivia off with Grandma Norstrom. It was her first time being left alone without at least one of us (as in Joy, Daddy or myself). She did great. I dropped her off as I had to take Joy to her hearing test. Babies have their hearing tested when they are first born before leaving the hospital. Joy’s test came back fine, however my Dad is deaf in one ear, so they like to retest later on. (9months and 3years ~ although that’s since changed and now it’s just at 3years old). I was so surprised at how grown up my ‘little’ girl is!! She did awesome during the check up. she knew what all the pictures were (they said the name she just pointed them out ~ didn’t know she knew what some of those things were!). Her hearing is awesome and she doesn’t need to go for another check up (Yippee!). Although I am going to take her in to meet with a speech therapist just to make sure she’s on track.

Then we went out for ice cream… which at 9:30am is harder than it sounds! DQ was closed. McDonald’s was cleaning their machines…. Joy wasn’t very happy at that, luckily Shell had some. We even had time to hit up the dollar store. Then Joy had a regular doctors apt (just to check on a funny toe nail she has). Then we went up to Grandma’s house. I still wanted to get some shopping done, so Grandma watched both the girls so I could run out and do the grocery shopping. Thanks Grandma!

Orlund is in Vancouver tonight. hence why I’m still up at 11pm! *Gasp* I find I have a hard time going to bed when he’s not home. I decided to tackle our office/craft room while he’s away (hope he doesn’t read this before coming home, although he rarely reads my blog). I put up a painting I got from my mom’s mom (she was the most talented woman I’ve ever met!). And a crafting shelf thingy (on the wall). I’m pretty proud of myself for doing that. Over the past few weeks I’ve slowly (very slowly) gone through my book shelf and boxed up the books I just really don’t need out. Tonight I took everything that doesn’t belong in that room out and organized in piles (garbage, to go into crawl space etc). I have about an hour of work left before the craft room will be done (on my side, I’m not touching Orlund’s stuff). I think Orlund will be happy to see the progress I’ve made. And of course I want the house all clean for when he gets home… but my time is going to be cut short tomorrow ~ hockey night! And I plan to go to my Dad’s house and watch the game with him and my brother.

I have also taken on a new task. I’m excited about it. Orlund thinks I’m crazy as it’s just something else to add to my to-do list. However it is only once in a while job. At our Church whenever someone has a new baby the mom’s get together and bring them meals for an entire week. It’s a HUGE blessing when you are on the receiving end. The two ladies that have been doing it aren’t wanting to anymore and they have been looking for someone to take it over for a while. I didn’t want to, however then I decided that it’s not that hard of a job, and I like the organizing possibilities. I now have a binder with papers all ready to be filled out~ Who’s baby, allergies, time for meal drop off, etc etc. I love lists and this just falls beautifully into my ‘addiction’ to having to write things out. (I find that if in the evening I don’t write anything down on paper, I feel like I’m missing something. I think it soothes me… weird I know). There are 4 babies I already know of coming to our Church in this year (okay one is at the start of January). I’m excited to give this a go!

Well my kitchen is messy, my laundry is still hanging in the living room, I’m surrounded by all my ‘organizational’ stuff, and I’m headed to bed! lol.Good night!