It's raining, it's pouring...

I suppose I should be thankful that it is warm enough that it's rain and not snow, although that's supposed to come on Sunday.  This has got to be the weirdest weather ever this winter!  

So today is exactly two weeks post my surgery.  Things are going really, really well.  That last incision is finally closing up and looking not as bad.  Although my skin does not really appreciate all the adhesives on it.  Boo.

Here is the whole thing.  All five incisions.
You can see the one by my belly button is still a little open and the redness
from the band aid irritation.

Here is a really awful and blurry close up of this one.
Sorry it's so blurry though.

Here is the irritation offender.  An adorable little
Strawberry Shortcake band aid that says "Berry Cool"

Other than that little grossness, I am feeling really good, I only nap every other day or so and only for about 30 minutes.   I have had NO acid reflux at all and the weight loss is finally starting to even out a little.

My diet is expanding and I have had NO food issues.  I've been able to swallow and digest everything easily so far which is awesome.  No Rolaids, no Protonix, no anything.  Wee!!  I still am careful lifting things (it takes about 21 days for the internal stitches, etc to heal), but I did Wii Fit the other night.  I was all sorts of out of breath, but it still felt really good to do something.

Oh, and I also can't take a multi vitamin (they used to make me sick to my stomach, and now I can't swallow one yet), so I really think those little shakes are saving my energy.

See at the bottom, 250 calories! 
 I swear the chocolate ones taste like chocolate marshmallow ice cream.  
I'm not sure if you can buy these anywhere (mine are from Josh's parents friend), 
but if anyone has seen them for purchase, let me know!!

Here are the nutrition facts if anyone is interested.

So it's been a pretty good two weeks.  Tomorrow we are off to a 1rst Birthday Party which should be super fun and exciting.  We haven't seen these friends in a while so I can't wait.  If I'm not too worn out I'll try to post a little about it tomorrow. 

*hugs and kisses*


I lost a stone!

I was watching some BBC show today they were talking about someones weight in stones.  It's so odd because I thought they measured weight in kg (or something), but apparently stones are still used.  Well 1 stone = 14 pounds, and as of today I am down 14 pounds!  Weeee!

Let me tell you the secret to losing all this weight.

1.  For one week consume only jello, juice and water ( *warning TMI* - because although chicken broth is an option, your diarrhea will eventually smell like it and then when you try to consume the chicken broth your butt will hurt in a reminder of it and then you just can't stomach it at all anymore and it will make you gag).

2. Week two you can add the following to your diet.

A friend of Josh's parents sent along two cases of these yummy little shakes.  Well the Chocolate Swirl ones are yummy.  I don't like the Vanilla ones at all, but Josh does, so that's his case. 
MMM... I love looking in the fridge and seeing these little guys.
I also acquired some baby food.  I love baby food.  Yum.
OATMEAL.  I also have the fruit and cream variety, but the maple and brown sugar is sooo good too!
Take one of the above.  ADD some of the below...
Put in some fruit, carnation mix, or OREO cakester and any combination becomes a yummy little shake.  Josh makes them for me and it's so good.

You can also add some mashed potatoes, soup, and sucking the salt off of the tortilla chips at Chili's (whatever, they looked good and on some I even dipped them in the salsa! I'm sure the bus person thought the napkin full of chips was gross.  Sorry!)

Josh and I actually made a really good Crab and Corn Bisque using some of the gross *gag* chicken broth.  We subbed imitation crab for the real deal (it's more like a soft noodle and I thought it would be easier on me), didn't use the bay leaves, used Old Bay in place of both the cayenne and Cajun seasoning (we ended up using a little extra too - we all LOVE Old Bay), and used one can cream of corn and one can regular corn to replace the fresh corn.  It was super yum and we took it to a friend's house for Sunday night dinner.  Fantastic!!

Oh, and if you are really bad like me you MIGHT eat a cadbury cream egg or two (or 4!!  oops), but I was PMSy and I made sure the chocolate had completely melted in my mouth before swallowing!  Ha.

Other than that I've had some ravioli's (cheese only), some melted cheese (I take some shredded sharp cheddar or mozzarella, mix in just a little garlic or onion salt and either pop in the microwave for a minute or throw in the oven - yum), and tonight I made my family's ronis.

1 1/2 c. elbow macaroni
1 can tomato soup
1/2 can milk (use your tomato soup can)
1/4 block Velveeta cheese (add more or less depending in your cheesy factor)
salt and pepper to taste

Make macaroni as directed on box.  Drain.  Add the soup, milk and cheese (cubed works best to melt it quicker) and stir occasionally until a creamy consistency - it helps to have the burner on simmer.  Salt and pepper to taste and walla!

Okay, all this is making me hungry!  Maybe I still need one more snack before the day is over.  Hmmm...

*hugs and kisses*


Valetine's Day 2009 and a day 12 post op update!

I started Valentine's day in the hospital. I've already discussed all that.

It wasn't until I got home that my "real" Valentine's Day started. There were flowers on our coffee table. Josh had gone out and gotten me orange roses. My mom had asked him to get some gerbera daisies for me too. It is a beautiful little arrangement huh? *smile*
The next picture shows the card Josh got me with my flowers.

The funny thing is the next picture shows the card I got him in the foreground of the picture and Josh's card in the background. Is it weird how 6 years later and we have REALLY started to think alike.
This was the inside of Josh's card. Mine showed a bed. Even what we each wrote was similar. Lol.

So when we got home, I had given Josh his card and a cute Toblerone "rose" I found at Target. Mmmmm... chocolate. I had also gotten my mom a pack of nail files. It's a somewhat funny/sweet gift, but there is a long story behind it, so I'll just say she liked them.

Mom made me the first of many jello's while Josh made the run to Target to pick up my pain medication. By the time he had gotten back I had taken my first shower. It was amazing to get the hospital feel off me. Mom left not too long after that so I could just sleep and recuperate. And sleep I did. I wasn't able to sleep in bed since I still needed to sit up so the couch it was.

That first day home wasn't too bad. I wasn't supposed to be walking stairs, but since the living room is on the middle floor and the bathroom is on the top floor, I had to do some stairs. Those first hours were a lot of peeing and a lot of.... well... diarrhea. The stuff they had me swallow for the upper GI causes a lot of that. So does the fact they irritated my vagus nerve. So double whammy.


So yeah, that's all that happened surgery wise. It was relatively uneventful (not that you would know with how much I typed!).

Now on to the DAY 12 UPDATE

I was thankful to have so much support during all this. It will be two weeks on Friday and I am really seriously feeling almost like myself again. Now if I could just get the one incision to heal up that would be AWESOME.

As you can see in this picture, my top incision looks good. The scab came off last night. The middle one's scab came off two days ago and that one is also looking good. My big one is almost definitely going to leave a scar and a dent, but I'm perfectly okay with that, the one all the way to the right in the picture still has a scab, but it will probably come off soon. The only issue is my Strawberry Shortcake one.

Dr. Prats nurse had to put another strip of steri tape on it after the exam because it was still seeping. I was supposed to take it off after 2-3 days. When I took it off last night, yep, still wide open and seeping, so Josh put a butterfly on it and we covered it all with the bandaid. Hopefully it heals soon because it's the only thing left really hurting.

Another thing that hurts is when I overeat. I've only done it once, but NEVER again. Last night Josh had made me a shake for dinner. Nothing extravagant, but I was super hungry and not thinking. I drank the WHOLE shake in about 15 mins. Not good. I could actually feel it irritating my internals and it HURT. BAD girl! I can consume about 8-10 oz over a 30-45 min period. That is my limit right now.

Two quick things and then I have to do some other stuff.

1. I am going to back update a post with pictures. I finally got around to getting them off the camera and I want to show everyone the cool plate and bowl Amanda and Dave brought over. I also forgot that I got some flowers delivered that day, so I took some pictures and will put them up too!

2. I have an internet friend named Rachel who is going in for a biopsy tomorrow. She needs a lot of good thoughts sent her way. She has been super supportive of me and I want to make sure she gets lots of support back. (edited: she's actually now going in for surgery - so she needs even MORE good thoughts)

Okay, well have a good day everyone!

*hugs and kisses*


Friday, February 13, 2009

Friday morning started out good. I had my minor meltdown the night before, but honestly thought I'd be more freaked out about my first ever surgery. Nope. I was fine. Josh and I got up and I showered. It took me a while to pick out what to wear (I have no idea why though) and during my indecision mom showed up. She brought some Jell-o and a cute little sign for a Valentine's gift (She had gotten us the "Always Kiss Me Goodnight" sign for our first

I finished getting dressed, packed some extra clothes and off we went.
Here I am on the way there. Don't I look great? Lol.
I was told to go through the front door and at the desk someone would have me "check in" and take me up to the second floor.

Ummmm... no one was there, but a nurse who was walking out asked if we needed help and told us where to go. We headed to the Short Procedure Unit on the second floor and I'm not going to lie - it wasn't what I expected. Now I KNOW I bragged before about how great Memorial was, but I hadn't been in this part of the hospital ever. And it was... well, it was old.

I am taken into a room with two other people already in gowns in it. The nurse tells me I have to take EVERYTHING off and put it into a bag, but Josh and mom can stay with me. I disrobe and hop into the bed. The nurse comes back and explains this is a new thing they are doing and Josh and mom will be able to stay with me right until I go back to the operating room. I guess they used to have a holding room where the patient would wait and the family would be elsewhere not knowing when surgery would start. This was much nicer having Josh and mom there to talk to.

So the nurse goes over tons of questions (medications I'm on, when did I stop, any problems with anesthesia, etc). I answer them all and when they get to "are you allergic to any medications" I say yes, tetracyclene. The nurse asks what kind of reaction and I explain that when I was 14 and on this for acne, I had an allergic reaction that created a psuedo tumor cerebri in my brain. The nurse looked confused, and my mom explained that it happens in less than 1% of the population and although rare, is becoming more well known. I'll blog about this whole thing another time.

Next there was a string of people in and out of my little curtained area. In no specific order was the anesthesiologist, Dr. Prats, a med student named Leon, another med student, the two nurses that would take me back to the OR and be with me the whole time and the IV team nurse. The IV team nurse was my least favorite person EVER. She was younger (maybe late 20's early 30's) her hands were shaking and she did NOT know what she was doing. I don't mean to sound like THAT patient, but my mom has started IV's for me and drawn blood as she is a nurse and never had a problem. I sometimes have a little trouble with them finding a vein, but this was ridiculous! She poked, prodded and actually *gag* dug around in my arm. I have NEVER cried during an IV insertion, blood drawing, etc. I was in tears.

She kept apologizing, but honestly I just wanted her to shut up and get the stupid thing in! She ended up putting it in my upper left arm and there will be more about this later (not good).

**Now for a semi-sad story about one of the other patients. The girl next to me was young. Based on her birth year she was 21-22. When her surgeon came in to go over the procedure I almost cried for her. She was having a cyst removed on one ovary. They were going to look at the ovary and determine if it was salvageable. If not - gone. Also, if they felt the cyst was cancerous and had spread, they would remove the other ovary and possibly her uterus. I heard both her and her mom sobbing. It literally broke my heart. When they took her out her and her mother were crying really hard and I just wanted to yell out good luck, but I didn't.

The good news to all this was mom talked to her mother in the room they were waiting in after the young girl's surgeon talked to her. They only needed to remove the cyst and she was able to keep all her organ's intact. Yeah for her!! **

The above story somewhat helped calm me before my surgery. Mine wasn't too invasive, they knew exactly what they were doing and there was no questions of cancer and removing parts of my body that I may still want.

When it was finally time I kissed mom and Josh byes and the two nurses wheeled me back to the OR. On the way I saw the med student Leon. I said hi. The nurses laughed at me for being so friendly pre surgery. Once I got in the room they moved me onto the table. Next thing I know they strap my right arm down at a 90 degree angle to my body, then I look over and they are doing my left. Okay, not going to lie this was FREAKY. When they threw the strap over my body to strap it down (OMG) I was like "hi everyone, I'm Melissa and I'm your patient today. Thank you for doing this surgery."

I think I was hoping they weren't going to kill me if I was nice to them. Ha! They all looked at me strangely, the anesthesiologist put the mask over my face, told me once I felt the burn in my arm to start counting backwards from 15 and breath deep in the mask. Fortunately I never felt the burning and never counted. Lol. I was OUT.

Vaguely I remember the recovery room. I think the nurses were talking about me. I have no clue. Next thing I remember I was heading into my room and Josh and mom were waiting for me. Josh and mom both kissed me and asked how I was doing. I was doing fine, but I immediately started complaining about my arm. It hurt. Bad.

The next few hours were a blur. Josh took this picture of me in the hospital bed.

When Josh and mom left for dinner they left me my cell phone. I went nuts calling everyone. I was bored and hopped up on pain killers feeling lonely (ha) and in no pain.

I also went picture happy with the camera. Here is my AWESOME photo shoot.

Yes, that is in the UPPER part of my left arm.
It is almost a week and a half since surgery and my arm still hurts.

This is my belly. The band aids make the incisions look big.
They aren't.
Here is a photo of me in bed. At least I look happy.
Aren't these hot? Lol.
They are hooked up to some machine that pushes air into them.
If you notice the right one is tight on my leg, that one was "blown up".
They alternated to keep me from developing blood clots.

My biggest issue was trying to go to the bathroom. We had to unhook each of my leg warmers, and then unplug my IV from the wall (it had battery back up). It was a production and the nurses were not all that helpful honestly.

Eventually Josh went home to get some sleep and my mom offered to stay the night with me. At one point ( I think around 1AM) a nurse came in all hot and bothered because my mom was NOT allowed. They do NOT allow overnight visitors. Ummm... when the nurse called the day before surgery to give me the time, I asked if I could have someone stay the night. I was told YES if I had a private room. When I was having surgery my mom talked to a nurse in the short procedure unit and asked if there were any private rooms available and she had one assigned to me SO SOMEONE COULD STAY OVERNIGHT.

In my groggy state I told the 1AM nurse this. My mom also explained it to her and she went on and on about how that is wrong and this has been the hospital policy enacted by *some big high up person who was female* and *some other high up person that is female* for two years. It is to keep family away so patients can rest.

That's great 1AM nurse, but when I CALLED you guys via my button the first time I had to pee, it took someone 20 minutes to get to my room. I had already had my mom unhook me or I would have peed the bed (There is NO way I could have unhooked myself, I could barely wipe myself after peeing!). It also took 3 hours to get some ice chips because you yelled at my mom for getting them earlier and no one remembered me every time I asked. I get that you are understaffed and have a hard time taking care of everyone. My mom is a nurse that was HELPING me.

She finally relented (after telling my mom to go find a hotel - my mom did not take this well) and then "forgot" to bring my pain meds for 3 hours. I also went those same 3 hours without a vitals check. Ummm...??

Fast forward to 7AM and I start asking when I can get my upper GI so I can go home. EVERY person that comes in says "I'm not sure, let me check" and then disappears forever. I'm afraid my question put a spell on them or something strange that they could never find my room again!

Josh made it back around 8ish, although he had to go through the ER and find where I was since they don't open the front doors until 9AM on weekends.

Around 8:30 Leon came in. I was all happy to see him (he was the med student that sat in on my surgery). When we asked about the upper GI he said he had no idea, things seemed to move a little too slow around there. Ha! Even the med student seemed annoyed. I also told him about how bad my arm hurt. He found a nurse and my IV was finally pulled. At least a little relief! No more fluid leaking into my arm from my blown vein thanks to IV team nurse shaky hands.

Finally around 1oish some guy came with a wheel chair. I hopped in ready to get this over with. Yet ANOTHER issue though. First off wheel chair mover guy was just plain weird and super chatty. When I get to the room (this is where I had my upper GI before), the tech gets me all ready and explains I will not be having the chalky barium this time. Nope, the stuff I have to drink is worse.

Great. Then Dr. camo (he had a camo lead apron on, I don't remember his name) comes in. He starts arguing with the tech. He wants a barium drink for me. Nurse says they don't do that with post op patients in case there is a leak. He starts yelling at her, she yells back, they leave me in the room. It was so weird. When they finally come back in she hands me the original stuff and they start the test.

Okay, barium is chalky, but doesn't taste horrible. This stuff tasted like a mixture of cleaning supplies - not that I've drank cleaning supplies, but if I did, they would taste like this.

Now, I have had nothing but water, ice chips and about 5 spoonfuls of jello in over 24 hours. Then I have to drink this stuff? I couldn't finish the test. I was ready to throw up. The tech understood and told me Dr. camo would just have to deal. He did. Thank god. I was miserable.

Wheel chair boy took me back to my room and I started to lose it. See, the nurses in recovery AGAIN forgot to give me my pain meds (I should have had them at 9... I went for the test at 10... got back close to 11...) OR the zofran (anti nausea medicine) BEFORE the test like they were supposed to.

I was in really horrible pain. My arm hurt, I was ready to throw up (which I CAN'T do, or I could rip stitches out on the inside of my body), and I had so much pressure in discomfort from the surgery I started crying. It took lots of tears, but I finally got my meds. Then they tell me I can't leave until I can walk up to the nurses station and back.

So while on TWO percosets I grab Josh with one arm, mom with the other and march up to the nurses station (did I mention I had the furthest room from there?).

About 40 minutes later and I'm discharged! Yeah!! I'm stiff, uncomfortable, but not in pain and just ready to be done.

I have to confess I was EXTREMELY unhappy with the care I received in the recovery wing of the hospital and with IV team nurse shaky hands. Everything else went great, but these two issues were big. I have written a letter to the hospital outlining a lot of what I wrote here (without emotion though, just the facts) and I am seriously reconsidering having my breast reduction at this hospital. I was not a difficult patient at all. I stayed friendly and nice throughout all their mess ups and mistakes. I did not yell or scream, yet I could have several times. I just feel like their lack of care made my recovery miserable, when honestly I wasn't in severe pain. I'm not sure what I am going to do yet.

I'll post about my first day home maybe later today. That was a lot of typing for one session! Ha.

*hugs and kisses*


Oops I didn't do it again.

Yeah, so no big update about the surgery.  I was busy yesterday and wiped out today.  So nothing exciting.  Josh and I did make a crab and corn bisque last night that was super yummy.  

I'll try to do the surgery update tomorrow I swear!!

*hugs and kisses*


242 *waves*

Hello everyone!  Hi!  So when I logged on to make a post I saw that there have been 242 hits to this blog.  Wow!  You guys do know you can comment on here right?  Lol.  No pressure, maybe all those hits are just people clicking on here and going "ummmm... yeah... weirdo" and clicking elsewhere.  *shrugs*  

So anyways... just a quick update.  Last night I slept in bed for the first time since surgery.  I kept trying earlier than this, but couldn't seem to sit up right enough to be comfortable.  It sounds weird, but I could feel my insides making noises and adjusting and moving and... *bleh*.  So last night I felt I was finally ready.  

It went well.  Sort of.  I am a belly sleeper with my arms tucked under my body.  I have no idea why, but found out from my mom that's how she sleeps.  Maybe it's genetic?  Ha!  

Three times last night I woke up on my belly with my arms tucked under me poking my incisions!  Bad girl!  I even had bolstered myself so that I should not have rolled over, but apparently my body prefers that position.  I at least TRIED not to be bad.  That should count for something right??

Today my big incision is really sore and I can feel it more.  It was completely my fault for laying on my stomach and irritating it.  Hopefully tonight I won't do that again.  Yeah.  Right.

My plan for this blog is probably tomorrow or Monday I will do the big update that has all the details from the surgery.  I've been working on it, but I keep getting distracted.  Go figure right?

*hugs and kisses*


Day 6 follow up appt

Off to the doctor's office today for my follow up.  My appointment was at 11:20.  When we got there the waiting room was FULL and upon check-in I was told Dr. Prats was running about 30 minutes behind.  No biggie.  I brought a book and Josh had his interneting blackberry.  

This cranky lady starts in with the staff that this is ridiculous and that she had been waiting 3 HOURS (not sure if it was really that long or not) and she had places to be.  They told her that they were sorry and would be happy to reschedule her appointment.  She did not like that and sat back down grumbling and generally annoying the other patients around her.  

Her grumbling wasn't completely unfounded as I wasn't taken back until 12:30 (1 hour and ten minutes after my appointment was to start).  She got in before me though and when she left she slammed every door shouting that it was all a waste of her time.  Now I TRY to not be judgemental, but I'm not sure where all she had to be in her stained and nasty sweatpants, her over sized matching pink stained t-shirt with way too small odd graphic t shirt over top of that and a house coat.  Seriously?  Ugh.

When I finally go back the nurse (who looks like she could rip your head off at any second that I was afraid to talk to last time) is all chatty and nice to me.  We go over my issues and I tell her about my chicken broth/diarrhea issue and she promises Dr. Prats will be advancing my diet.

Wait what?  Really?  Yeah, yippee, omg.  I'm SO EXCITED!!

She then takes my vitals and I sort of wince.  I'm not thinking and Josh reminds me that my arm is still all ugly looking.  I show the nurse and she agrees that the person who put the IV in was really bad.  I tell her it was the IV team.  She does not look happy about that.  Apparently she used to work in the hospital and said when SHE was there this never would have happened.  *shrugs*

A few minutes later and Dr. Prats comes in.  He goes over how well the surgery went.  He then discusses my advanced diet that includes creamy soups, soft noodles, milk shakes, etc.  and how in two weeks or so I can start trying out some fish, ground beef, or small pieces of chicken.  Yippee!!  I tell him how well I've been doing, explain that I'm weaning myself off the prescription pain medication, that I'm in almost no pain and I am really happy to have had this done. 

He told me I made his day especially after all the issues and patients waiting.  Yeah!  I made his day! 

He then took off my steri strips that were over my incisions.  Only ONE needed another one put on temporarily, but the rest look really, really good.  We were told to come back in 4 weeks to check everything out, but he was really proud of me and how well I was doing and he was happy to have helped me.  I walked out of that room grinning my big "I did good today" grin.  

I whispered to Josh "as soon as we are out of here, I want a milkshake."  He shook his head at me, we made my follow up to my follow up and off we went.

We were going to stop at McDonald's, but my mom was on the phone with me and strongly advised not to because of all the fillers.  So off to Weis to get some cookies and cream ice cream.

Josh had to hurry back to work, but took the time to make me a milkshake.  It was HEAVEN.  Yes, it took me almost 5 hours to finish one glass (I put it in the fridge several times), but it was worth it.  I can't seem to stomach a lot of food at once, but I have had no problems swallowing (dysphagia) which is excellent.  

I'm actually going to make myself (poor Josh got home and something happened at work, so he's working from home to try to fix it - he did get to watch the end of stage 5 of the Tour of California, so that should make him happy) some... MASHED POTATOES *swoon* right now for dinner.  

*hugs and kisses*


Day 5 post op

Not doing as well as I was.  Boo.  I stopped the percocet yesterday and didn't sleep at all last night really.  I'm not in pain, I'm uncomfortable.  I can't explain it really.  I thought stopping the prescription drugs and just taking Tylenol would be better since I wasn't in pain.  It wasn't.  When I called my mom today she told me that my perception of pain may be different and just take the percocet and stop being silly about it.

Guess who is back to being woozy?  Me!!

Tomorrow I see Dr. Prats for a follow up.  If he doesn't let me expand my diet to something else I swear I'm going to have a meltdown.  I sucked on an M&M today.  I spit it out and didn't swallow.  I'm serious.  I am dying to just chew some real food and  if I was allowed I would promise to spit it out!  

I've lost another 1.5 lbs since yesterday.  Just the smell of chicken broth - oh forget it, just the THOUGHT of chicken broth *gag* makes me want to *gag* throw up.  Seriously.  I'm not sure where all this weight is coming off of.  I don't feel any skinnier, just bloated and puffy from not being able to DO anything.

I'm hoping tomorrow I will be told I can have some milk.  That's all I want.  A tall cold glass of creamy white milk.  My stomach just moaned while I was typing that.

Yes I realize it is less than a week after the surgery and I should be thankful I'm not in pain.  And I am.  But I am going stir crazy and food crazy and I have at least another week or so before I can try to get back to a semi normal routine.  

Oh, and when they said that most people that have any type of surgery in the area I had it have some diarrhea afterwards due to the irritation of the vagus nerve.  THEY WEREN'T KIDDING.  Yes that was TMI, this whole blog may be TMI at one point or another.  I could give more details, but not now as it may make me nauseous.

*hugs and kisses*


Day 4 post op

I'm doing okay for anyone still checking this.  I know I've promised information about the surgery, etc, but I was a little too cocky about how quickly I was healing.  This is my second try off the percocet and it seems to be going better thinking wise, but I'm still pretty worn out and sleepy.

I was expecting pain and that it would help me ignore the food craving.  Not so much.  I'm still having fantasies of just chewing on food and spitting it out before I swallow.  *ugh*  Not good!  

On the plus side we had visitors twice yesterday (well three times, but I was asleep for one).  Hank came over to ride the trainer/rollers with Josh, Barry stopped by (this was my asleep time) and Dave and Amanda stopped by with a little gift.  It was a plate and bowl!  This was very thoughtful and orange, so of course I loved it.
I also got a nice fake flower arrangement from Josh's grandparents on Monday. 

I've lost 7 lbs since I came home on Saturday and 9lbs since Thursday, the night before surgery.  I was warned 10-15lbs within the first two weeks, but I'm almost half way to the max number and it isn't even one week since surgery.  I really hope that on Thursday, when I have my follow up with Dr. Prats,  I can start on a full liquid diet (not just clear like now).  So some milk, carnation breakfasts, etc.  That would be soooo nice.  

Good news:  I'm getting better.
Bad news: It's taking a little longer than I thought.

*hugs and kisses*


Day 2 post op

Again just another quick update.  I feel pretty good and I think I might be stopping the prescribed meds since they just make me feel woozy and I'm not really in much pain.  Hopefully just some Tylenol will help.  

I've been sleeping a LOT and tend to just nod off with not much warning.  I'm hoping tomorrow I'll be able to form sentences better and get my train of thought together enough to post more.  (It's taken me about 15 minutes just to type this - ugh).  Thanks for checking up on me.

*hugs and kisses*


Home from hospital

I'm tired and drugged up, so not a good update, but enough to let everyone know I'm doing well.  Not too much pain.  My arm hurts worse than anything and that is thanks to the nurse presurgery trying to put in an IV line.  She sucked and it looks really bad. 

I took lots of pictures, but don't feel like dealing with that tonight.  Josh is taking very good care of me and my mom left this afternoon.

Thanks for all the well wishes and I'll get a proper update in as soon as I'm feeling up to it.

*hugs and kisses*


8AM and 10AM

So I got the phone call.  I have to report to the hospital at 8AM.  I will be taken to the second floor and prepped.  My surgery is *tentatively* scheduled for 10AM, but since I'm the second one, that time is not set in stone.  

10AM is a little more than 14 hours away.  Wow.  I really thought I'd be nervous by now.  Or scared, or something.  I get nervous about going to SEE the doctor and this one is about to cut into my abdominal cavity, move around my insides, cut, stitch and mend me and I am not even worried.

Well I am worried - I mean how much juice can one person drink?  And do I have enough books to read?  Oh oh, and will I have enough TV and movies to watch?  AND, what do I wear
 tomorrow?  Okay, so nothing really important to be worried about.  Lol.

I'll try to update this when I can and let anyone reading this know how it's going, but that won't be until Saturday since I am not taking my laptop to the hospital.  I will also try to convince Josh to update his facebook from his phone so people know when my surgery starts and when it ends. 

This is where I'll be tomorrow.  Josh took this amazing picture in December when we were working on a Christmas present for his parents.  This is where Josh was born.  Awwww... So anyways, here it is:

Yeah for tomorrow and fixing my broken insides!!

*hugs and kisses*

Twenty-twenty-twenty four hours to go...

I wanna be sedated.  Who doesn't love a Ramones song to start the day?  Seriously, I woke up this morning with that song in my head... and the phone ringing.  Dr. Adams will be my anesthesiologist tomorrow.  He was calling to let me know he had nothing to tell me.  Ha!  Someone from his group will meet with me tomorrow when I get to the hospital.  I STILL don't have a time for my surgery yet.  I am supposed to know sometime this afternoon up until 7PM tonight, so I'll be blogging again later today most likely.

Last night was my "last supper."  How many is this now?  Josh and I had a friend in college that had I think 3, maybe even 4, going away parties.  He was moving to another state.  About a year later he was back.  Lol.  Josh said I was starting to milk it a little like he did.  The picture inset is me in the car waiting to go to dinner.  

After dinner we headed to the grocery store.  I got 5 things of juice, some chicken stock, some bullion cubes and jello.  Josh really enjoyed this shopping trip because he got a bunch of food that we normally don't keep a lot of because I don't eat it.  Yeah for him!  We also met Amanda at the store so we had fun shopping around with her.  

Overnight we had some pretty bad wind that has unfortunately continued into today.  I have already been having trouble sleeping since I stopped my meds, but the wind last night made everything much worse sleeping wise.  *yawn*  Right now there are shingles in our backyard.  I checked and they aren't ours, but it makes me nervous that it is that windy.  I'm not a fan of high winds and am very thankful we don't live where there are tornadoes!

Today I have a to do list of last minute things I want to get done.  I'll be working on my list hoping the hospital calls sooner rather than later so I know what time I'll be getting surgerized.  I'll try to post on here when it is.  If not, sometime tomorrow I'll be getting fixed up and probably won't post an update until late Saturday or Sunday.

*hugs and kisses*


I'm going to starve!

Well maybe not actually starve, but you wouldn't know it to see what I've been eating lately.  Lol.  I keep having all these cravings for different food and instead of being good and not eating it, I keep justifying it by saying "well I won't be able to for a couple weeks, so I deserve this."  Ugh seriously brain?  You know better!!  

Thursday was Romo's - their cream of crab soup is fantastic and their bread is homemade mmmmmmm.
Friday was Fuddrucker's - burger and shake
Saturday was Longhorn - appetizer, drinks, dessert (my favorite kind of meal)
Sunday was Cider Cheese Fondue, Old Bay steamed shrimp, Sirloin seared fondue with Green Goddess dip (Thanks Amanda and Dave for my last "Sunday family dinner" for a couple weeks!!)

Ha!  I usually don't eat like this, but I've been indulging a little.  Just yesterday I bought a Gertrude Hawk caramel and chocolate dipped apple with marshmallows and sprinkles on it. And I wish this was all of it.  I am going to ignore the rest.  

I can't wait for Friday so I stop eating like a madwoman.  Ha!

*hugs and kisses*


Let's talk GERD **part FOUR**

Low and behold Dr. Evans came through!  I got a phone call from his office telling me that he spoke to a Dr. Prats in York.  Yeah! *does little happy dance*  I call Dr. Prats office and set up an appointment for January 26.  Ugh.  It's so far away it seems.  

Time did fly quicker than I expected and the day arrived.  I was a mess waiting though.  I was worried that I would see someone else and be told they too couldn't help me.  Sometimes I think people roll their eyes when I tell them that THIS is my big medical issue.  BUT, the lack of sleeping, the pain in my esophagus, the coughing, the pain running down my arm that feels like I think a heart attack would feel, the shortness of breath, the inability to exercise due to reflux... and the list goes on and on.  And those are just my symptoms.  The end result of this is about a 90-95% chance of Barrett's esophagus which then can be a precursor to cancer.

Cancer is a scary word and hearing that there is a possibility that could be a next step is disconcerting at best.  Especially since I have such a severe case so young, they really don't know how bad the long term effects could be.  I realize this isn't something major.  I am not trying to garner sympathy nor do I have a woe is me attitude, BUT this does have an impact on my health.  

*stepping off soapbox again*

So when my appointment with Dr. Prats rolls around I am nervous to say the least.  I pick Josh up from work and head to the office.  When we get there I have to give them my paperwork and insurance.  Then we wait.  And wait.  And... Melissa?  Oh, she said my name!  I grab my purse and start to get up.  The nurse gives me a puzzled look and I turn around and there is another lady gathering her stuff.  Ummm... I tell her my last name.  She's like "that's not a B is it?"  Ummm... NO, it starts with a "c."  Her response "well I wasn't calling you then."  

Okay, all she said was a first name!  How was I supposed to know another Melissa was waiting?? I'm kind of having a meltdown now because the mean nurse upset me and I was already on edge. When I finally get called I sulk back to the hallway.  Plop on the scale and I am then lead to the room.  The nurse takes my bp, 110/70 - like usual, and tells me the doctor will be in shortly.  So again we wait... and wait... and wait.  

Dr. Prats finally comes in and I'm pleasantly surprised.  He's super nice and starts going over my file.  Then he hits me with a great surprise, he actually had a conversation with Dr. Evans (my previous surgeon) about my case.  I know this seems like an odd thing to get excited about, but I've noticed that people have a tendency to promise to do something and not follow through.  I'm not talking just about doctors, but about people in general.  So thank you to both doctors for restoring a little of my faith in humanity.

So we go over my test results, yes bad, yes he does the toupet fundoplication, this is how it would work *draws some pictures*, but did I hear about the NEWEST procedure?  He doesn't do it... and at this point I wilt.  Seriously once again I start to break down.  I realize this whole thing makes me seem like an emotional mess, but this whole thing has been a roller coaster of ups and downs and can get overwhelming and emotionally taxing. 

He explains to me this new procedure and I tentatively ask if I could just go forward with the procedure we talked about.  He smiles and says he feels as though I am very well informed and he agrees that because of my age, it probably would be best to not try something they have no long term studies on.  Yeah! Yeah! Yeah!

At this point he does discuss some possible issues down the road and the potential for another surgery down the road if my gastritis becomes worse.  This is called a vagotomy and involves cutting the nerve to the stomach so that it no longer produces acid, but it also does not perform peristalsis.  Yikes!  He doesn't think this would happen, but he said since I seemed so well informed he wanted me to know everything that could happen.  Then he says he would like to get this scheduled as soon as possible.  I assume we're talking end of February, beginning of March.

Nope.  Friday February 13th.  Friday the 13th.  Friday as in 17 days.  Wow.  It's really happening!  We talk about the fact I will be staying in the hospital overnight with an upper GI the morning after to check to see if I can swallow okay.  I thank him profusely and he sends me off to his scheduling nurse Nancy.  She tells me I have to stop taking all my medications one week prior, no food or drink 24 hours before, I needed to get my blood count checked, etc. 

I walk out of there near tears (again with the emotions! - and no I was NOT PMSing thank you very much).  This is fantastic.  I'm excited, elated, relieved and focused.  This is finally happening and I couldn't be happier.  Yes it will be my first surgery ever, but all except one or two tiny cells in my body are not nervous at all.  I'm ready to be fixed.  To lead a normal life and to be better.

Right now it is Tuesday evening.  I only have to pick up the house tomorrow and get the guest room ready for my mom.  Then just get all my post op entertainment together, pick out my comfy outfit for my hospital visit and relax (maybe blog a little).  Thursday I will be waiting for the phone call to tell me the exact time of my surgery and Friday is the big day.

I have goosebumps right now.  I'm so ready.  YEAH!!!

*hugs and kisses*

Let's talk GERD **part THREE**

So I forgot to hit post yesterday to part two which I had written.  Oops.  So now you'll get two posts in one day!  

I realize my little soap box at the end of the last post is somewhat of a hypocritical philosophy.  Here I am telling other people to do something I didn't at first.  But, let's face it, life can sometimes be a "do as I say, not as I do" series of events.  So basically what I am saying is I've *sorta* learned my lesson and now you should all be smarter and wiser and learn from my mistakes.  (This does make me sound all philosophical and self-reflecting right?? lol.)

My two previous posts have brought us current to early August 2008.  I notice my reflux is getting worse, but I just assume it is stress related.  Josh and I were buying our first house,  there was a lot going on at work, my grandmother was not doing well health wise, etc.  By early September we were getting settled into our new house (note, if you click on this link it is far from complete.  I start these fun projects like webpages and just fall off the bandwagon.  With my upcoming couch time post-op I will TRY to get that thing up to speed.), I was let go from my job (which I somewhat was relieved about), and Meme was doing better.  So less stress and I should be feeling better right?  Wrong.

Off to see my favorite doctor again!  I meet with SK the end of October and she sends me for blood work, a six hour glucose fast and another EGD.  I get my blood work done first and get a phone call from a nurse at my doctor's office to call her back immediately. I worry this has something to do with my glucose fast.  When I do call we have the following conversation:

me: hi, this is mj returning your phone call about my blood work.
her: oh yes, I have a prescription here from Dr. L for Lipitor that you need to begin taking immediately.
me: okay, ummm, actually SK and I spoke about this prior when Dr. L tried to put me on this before and we decided this was not appropriate for me because I am still of child-bearing age and I am not comfortable taking this.
her: *sigh*  fine.
me: I see SK next week and will discuss this with her then.
her: *sigh* fine. 
me: What were my glucose results?
her: *sigh*  You can discuss them with SK next week. **click**

Awesome and helpful.  Normally this nurse is much nicer, so I just chalked it up to a bad day and awaited my appointment.  I also go in for my EGD which I've already covered in this post.

When I meet with SK again we discuss my blood work.  My glucose if fine (whew), all my other numbers look good but... ummm... she wants me to know how special I am.  Well *blush* thank you, I know.  She then tells me my cholesterol is the highest she's EVER seen on anyone.  She highlights the number, puts a star next to it and makes me a copy for my fridge.  *sigh* Stupid genetics!  She puts me on some much safer cholesterol lowering medication.  

Now this new medication, Welchol, is take as 6 large pills every day.  It is not harmful for young women though and is in a much safer class than most of the cholesterol lowering medications on the market.  This is important to me.  I appreciate that SK is willing to listen to my concerns and research other products to meet me needs.  I really really *pph* her.

We move on to my EGD results and she tells me basically what the doctor did, but tells me she really thinks I should consider surgery to correct this problem as I am highly medicated and it isn't working.  She agrees with the recommended surgeon the doctor suggested and I decide I will meet with him in two days time.  She wishes me luck and tells me to call her if I need anything.

Friday November 21 I meet with Dr. Evans.  Josh comes with me as I'm kind of nervous to be taking this next step.  He is very nice and we go over my EGD results and he discusses with me the procedure he does to correct acid reflux.  This was called a nissan fundoplication.  He draws some pictures, discusses the procedure, and explains he would like for me to have 3 more tests done before scheduling the surgery.  If you've been following this blog you will know this is not what I am having done.

Monday November 24 he has me scheduled for an upper GI.  This was nothing!  I had to take some fizzy drink (he scheduled it for an air contrast) that made my belly bloat up and then I had to swallow this thick chalky stuff and do all this crazy moving around to get all the pictures.  At one point the tech helping with the upper GI laughed at me because my boob kept falling out of the gown and I said I felt like I was on a photo shoot with all the posing and ill fitting clothes.  You have to keep the mood light when slightly uncomfortable and partially naked!

I took a testing break to take a little trip home for Thanksgiving, but was back the Monday after for another doctor appointment for an unrelated issue (this issue would be my breast reduction *squeee* but I'll talk about that another time!).  The day after that, Tuesday, December 2, I had to head to Harrisburg to get the worst test in the history of the world done.  

Okay, well maybe not the WORST, but the worst one I've ever done.  This is actually two tests and are done back to back. This website, although from a parent's standpoint of having it done to their child, is very good at explaining what I may not be able to do, but I'll still give it a try.  The first part is a motility test.  This was awful. I don't even know if I can describe it other than first a large amount of cold, burning goo was pushed into my nose to help numb it.  Then a tube that is about the diameter of a pencil is pushed through the nose and into the esophagus.  This does not feel good.  You are told not to swallow (which of course you can't help doing) and then you must take sips of water as the thing is pushed and pulled up and down and... *cringe* it hurts just thinking about this.

  I had tears streaming down my face the whole time and I kept apologizing for swallowing.  When she was done she prepped a much smaller tube that is attached to a recording device.  This was placed up my nose and down my throat, and put in place.  My face was then taped up to help the tube at the bottom of my esophagus stay put to monitor my PH.  The lady doing all this told me I was actually a very good patient, but I still felt awful for the loads of tears and not being able to do exactly what she said.  

Here are some pictures of me with the PH monitoring.  I had to wear it for 24 hours.  Swallowing food was a nightmare because it pulled on the tubing causing pain in my nose and me throat.  BUT, I had to eat to make the test work.

If you look closely, the white wire at the back of my mouth/throat is the monitoring tubing.  Ugh.  I did crop the picture though so you didn't have to be too familiar with my nose hair.  See?  I am being nice.

Here I am with the tubing running across my face.  It tucked behind my ear and ran down to a little recorder thingy.  Sleeping that night was also a nightmare because I move around a lot and it kept pulling the tubing.  *gag*  When I went back the next morning it took all of two seconds to pull out the tubing and send me on my way.  It was absolute HEAVEN having that thing pulled out.  

December 12th (a little over a week after my testing), my mom came down and went with me to have my follow up with Dr. Evans.  We get in there and when Dr. Evans comes in I'm excited and ready to hear when we can schedule this surgery.  My good mood is absolutely crushed.  He explains that I have several complications that became apparent during the testing and he is not comfortable performing the surgery.  Honestly, I got really teary eyed and started to have a melt down.  Thank goodness my mom was there and kept me in check.  

Basically my esophagus does not perform peristalsis like it should which means if I had the procedure Dr. Evans knew how to do, I would not be able to push food, liquid, etc. from my esophagus to my stomach.  That's bad.  To further complicate issues I have esophageal muscle weakness.  So in other words not only does it not do what it is supposed to, it doesn't have enough muscle to do it correctly even if it was doing what it should.  He goes on to explain to me the type of procedure I need, but that he isn't sure if anyone in York does it.  He left the room to make some phone calls to local surgeons.  When he came back, no one was available for him to talk to, but he told me he would continue to call around until he found someone willing to do the procedure.  He said he might have to send me to Hershey or Hopkins.  *whimper*  WHY can't this just be easy.

I thank him for everything and leave completely dejected.  On the plus side all of this confirms that neither diet, medication, etc. could have kept this from happening.  This is all genetic and completely out of my control.  My mom tries to make me feel better about it, and that there is a solution, but I am just not listening.  This is frustrating.  Very frustrating.

Christmas was coming, and I still did not have an answer.  Let's just say that my Christmas spirit was somewhat dashed this past year and I was feeling very hopeless.  

I've added a fun link to the side from the dummies.com website.  It talks about evaluating your esophagus and gives a great explanation to some of the tests I went through.  Enjoy that and I'll go on the next leg of my adventure later.  

*hugs and kisses*


Let's talk GERD **part TWO**

If you read previous post, you know where I am in the treatment process so I'll just start from there.

Almost a year after my first EGD I went back to SK and asked for a referral to a gastroenterologist.  I get a name and phone number (they offered, to call, but I like to set up my own appointments so I can ask questions) and head home to make an appointment.

When I call the place they tell me it will be a four month wait if I want to speak to a doctor, or I can see a PA next week.  Well obviously I'd like to get in as soon as possible and PA's are usually just as knowledgeable and will consult with a doctor if needed, so I set up the appointment.  I'll admit I was nervous/excited about this because I was anticipating a nice PA who would go over my medical history (that is still in a word document, just expanded and includes my lab work and EGD results since SK's office copies them for me for free!) and we would figure out the best solution together.

The night before my appointment I print off my medical history, print off a copy of my food diary (yeah, I know it was a year old, but the same foods still bother me!), and put everything in a nice neat folder.  I realize how anal retentive this all sounds, but I THOUGHT doing this would speed up the process.  Do you see where this is going?  *sigh*

I get to my appointment and wait.  And wait.  And wait.  I understand each patient should be given as much time as they need at each appointment and a doctor can not anticipate that.  BUT, when your drug rep comes strolling out 45 minutes after my appointment SHOULD started shaking hands and cracking jokes I will get suspiciously agitated.  Then when I go back to your office and you have half your sandwich from lunch on your desk and your newest swag from the rep I am slightly put off.  Yes it is important to learn about the latest drugs available.  No it is not necessary to take an extended lunch break to do so when you have a patient waiting.  If it was another patient I could understand, but you blatantly blew me off!  

Actually, I never mind waiting for a doctor, dentist, etc.  I get agitated just because I don't wait well, but if a proper apology is issued, or I see that it was just a case of running late no big deal.  This did not fall into those forgivable categories though.

So I sit down in the PA's office and she starts asking the basic questions.  Why are you here, what are your symptoms, how long have you been having them.  I hand her my file after answering all her questions and explain that I came very prepared and if she would like to look at my latest test results, etc they were right here.  She does take the file from me... and then tosses it aside with her drug rep swag.  Seriously??  She couldn't just GLANCE at it??  Okay, so I'm irritated from waiting, she's obviously not listening and she just completely disregarded my file.  Fine.  

She THEN proceeds to tell me that she'd like me to try Nexium (as she's writing out the prescription), keep a food diary for a month and reschedule for another appointment.  As she starts to get up I grab my file off of her desk (the one I brought) open it and show her that a.) Nexium doesn't work, b.) here is my food diary... for a 3 month time period, and c.) I've already had an EGD that showed ulcers that I'd like to have discussed.  

 She looks at me like she had no idea who I was and why I was there.  Then she was like, "well why don't you go see Dr. T who is a surgeon.  Let's set up an appointment for you."  And she disappeared from the room (I think she may have been running). When she came back, she told me I was supposed to go to Dr. T's office immediately after (it was across the hall) and fill out paperwork.  

What was this paperwork for I finally asked.  Oh, she wants me to have an EGD done to see if there is any damage.  Seriously?  Seriously?!?  I leave because I am upset and frustrated.  I walk across the hall and fill out the paperwork (why?  I have no idea really.  Sometimes when I am that upset I just do what I'm told while my brain shuts down and goes on a quick vacation.)  

Needless to say I never ended up seeing Dr. T for that EGD.  I admitted defeat and figured I would just deal with the problem like I had for the past couple years.  *sulking*  Why was the only person that would listen to me my primary care physician, SK, who couldn't do anything other than refer me to doctors who wouldn't listen to me and prescribe me the medication that at least kept the reflux somewhat at bay??  

I'll end this with a plea to anyone suffering from a medical condition (no matter how big or small) - not all doctors will listen to you.  Sometimes it takes several before you find a good one, but do NOT give up.  Little things can turn into bigger things if left untreated.  As you can see at this point in my story, I am on primary care physician 2 and specialist 1.  Not to spoil the story per say but my surgery on Friday is with specialist number 3.  Some doctors will not listen and some will not have the knowledge to help you.  You need BOTH to come up with a successful treatment plan.

*hugs and kisses*


Let's talk GERD **part ONE**

GERD stands for gastroesophageal reflux disease.  You can read more about the details from clicking the link.  I am going to take you through my journey of this issue and what I know about it.  I'll make these multi-part just because I tend to be a little wordy and don't want to make it too overwhelming.  So this is just part one.  :-)

When I was in high school I started having problems sometimes after dinner.  It would be this horrible burning pain in my stomach and throat.  My mom would give me some Rolaids and they usually cleared up the symptoms.  Rarely I would wake up in the middle of the night from this, but when I did I had a feeling like I had vomit in my mouth.  It was not fun.  

Then around when I was 20 I started having issues more often.  There was burning, feeling the bile rising in my throat, having trouble laying down, etc.  These got progressively worse until I was taking Rolaids about 2-3 times a day every single day just so I wasn't feeling sick.  I started trying other things.  Tums, Maalox, Mylanta, Alka-Seltzer, Prilosec, Nexium, Aciphex, Zantac.  Those are just the ones I remember.  Either they would create nausea, the reflux would be back way too quickly, or they never took care of the symptom in the first place.  I read up on acid reducing diets and went on one.  Basically I ate super bland food, drank only water and kept a diary of when I would get reflux.

I still got reflux almost EVERY day.  Then came the chest pain.  Josh and I were sitting in our old barn apartment one night after dinner.  We had been eating baked chicken (with no spices or rubs on mine), rice (no butter) and green beans (again no topping).  I had eaten most of my chicken and there was just a little rice left - all my green beans were gone because I love those.  One second I'm talking, fine, feeling good.  Next second I have this excruciating pain running down my neck and almost completely paralyzing my right arm.  I couldn't move it at all.  

Josh was really concerned and said the words I had been dreading.  "You need to call the doctor."

I need to take a quick side note here.  I do not like doctors.  I get an extreme case of white coat syndrome.  My mom was a Diabetes Educator and I was around the hospital and doctors a lot.  And I still have complete meltdowns and forgot what I am saying or doing.  Sometimes I completely forgot to tell them what I am concerned with.  It's bad.

So I find a doctor that is in my insurance network and make an appointment.  Now I've already covered my story with this doctor in this post.  So there is no need to go through all that again.  And let's just say he was definitely not the doctor for me.  Mmmmkay?

This is when I was referred to a new doctor who is still my doctor and by far my favorite person that has ever taken care of me like this!  SK is the best thing that happened to me thus far in my medical debacles and I appreciate her very much.  Amanda told me that she went to see her and really liked her and I figured after the previous guy, it wouldn't hurt to try someone else.
Amanda also told me that it is another doctor's office, but he was an older gentleman and although fine, it was SK (who is his PA) is who I wanted to see.

I still remember my first visit to this office.  I walk in and as I am walking over to the desk to sign in, a DOG walks out into the waiting room from what I can only assume is the exam rooms.  It's a fluffy white thing and it kinda of sniffs in my general direction and walks back through it's doggy door into the unknown.  I was a little weirded out at first and glanced around the waiting room at the other patients waiting to see the doctor just to gauge their reactions.  No one snorked, sniffled or coughed, or even looked up when the dog made it's super fast assessment of the situation, so I figured this was just the norm for the office (It is by the way.  The dog is always there.  It isn't very friendly though and won't let you pet it ever.  That is the only thing I still find weird about the situation.  *shrugs*)

Okay so once again I am drifting far from topic, so I'll try to stick to the issue at hand.  I met SK for the first time.  I loved her immediately and could tell she was really interested in my issues (which I had outlined in a 3 page word document with personal health history, treatments, family history and a little about who I am and what I do - whatever, I wanted to be thorough!).  She immediately set me up to get some blood work drawn and to get my first EGD.

Blood work is typical for me (I have genetically high cholesterol.  And no, not like "oh just eat a healthier diet and exercise more" high.  I'm talking off the charts scary high.  We'll discuss that another time.).  What wasn't typical was being scheduled for this EGD thing.  I had no idea what to expect or how to handle anything.  

The procedure wasn't bad.  It was a little weird because there I was chatting away with the doctor in a closet (okay, so they said it was the procedure room but it was SMALL and Lucy told me after my latest EGD that since they were renovating, it actually WAS an old storage closet!), and the next thing I know I wake up and make the nurse scream.  Apparently I woke up super quick and she wasn't expecting me to be awake.  Her back was turned to me and when I gurgled "water" she had a little meltdown.  They brought Josh back (poor guy was sitting in the ER waiting room with all the sick people - yuck) and the doctor gave me the results.  

Now I know why they insist you bring someone with you.  Do you think I remember these results at all?  Seriously?  I fell asleep for a few seconds while he was going over the findings since I was still groggy from anesthesia!  Basically I had two ulcers, a hiatal hernia, and some esophagitis.  He suggested I continue my Protonix and add Reglan to my medicinal mix.  He also suggested I get my hiatal hernia fixed through surgery. Hmmmm....

The Protonix was working for the most part, but I ended up stopping the Reglan due to some side effects. I accidentally saw the doctor after all this (they scheduled me with him and not SK) and the doctor wasn't too keen about me having surgery (I was "too young") and suggested I just take the meds and continue on a low acid diet.  I saw SK not long after that (yes I scheduled an appointment with her even though I saw the other doctor.  I liked her better and wanted her opinion!)  She said I could see a surgeon if I wanted and she would give me some recommendations.  I might have decided I didn't want to deal with anyone else for a while and threw away those recommendations.  Maybe.

So I was at this standstill of Protonix and the occasional Rolaids for about a year when I decided that although the Protonix worked, it didn't work well enough and I needed to think about the next step in making me healthier.  The next post will get into what all my next step (but certainly not my final) entailed!

*hugs and kisses*


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