Warning... This post will contain TMI... To really explain things... Date 4/7/13
Let me begin by adding this little unknown fact about my infancy. When I was 5 days old I fell asleep. And I slept for three days. They did every test there is. Including a Spinal Tap. Nothing woke me up. On the third day, I decided to wake up and all was well from then on out. The doctors were completely baffled by me. Medical Mystery.
Now, fast forward about 29 1/2 years (not 30 yet, and I will remain in my 20s for as long as I can...haha). Last Sunday, Easter, March 31, I had a DELISH Easter dinner with my parents who live in Utah. Well, that night, my body decided that it did not like that meal so much. I was in excruciating pain. The pain radiated all through my diaphragm area. I couldn't sleep, I couldn't move hardly at all. I took tums, Ibuprofen, nothing helped. I felt a little better Monday and Tuesday better still. Though still in pain and extremely tired. So, I called my Dr and made an appointment for Thursday. I went to the Dr and ended up getting my blood drawn to check all my levels (liver/pancreas/blood levels/etc.) and an ultrasound which showed Gallstones and a stone(s) blocking my common bile duct. All my blood levels came back completely normal except my liver levels were extremely high. (Because of the blocked duct) I figured it was something with my gallbladder so this did not surprise me. The gallstone stuck in my Bile Duct blocked my liver and Gallbladder from delivering Bile to the intestines. I had jaundice, which would clear up after the unblocked my duct. My Dr referred me to a specialist (Dr Carroll) and he told me that I needed to have an Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP). This is when you are sedated and the Dr goes in your mouth with a scope, down your esophagus, through your stomach, and down into your ducts by your liver/gallbladder/pancreas area and basically sweeps out your bile duct, thus removing stones. So, we set up a time for Saturday morning. Later on Friday, I felt a little "pop" inside me around that area that felt like I had passed a stone, Yay! That night we had yummy Café Rio! So, yum. My belly did not like this so much though cuz I felt yucky all night. The next morning I went into the hospital and had the ERCP done. So, after the ERCP Dr. Carroll told me that he didn't find any stones in my duct... (Apparently I did pass the stone on my own) But he did find that the bile was having a hard time getting through the duct. So, he placed a stent (sp?). Basically a little device to hold it open so that the bile can pass through easily. A temporary fix. He also found that I have white rings around the inside of my duct. (He spoke to a radiologist and they said it is not cancerous. Apparently I was born with it. More on that later when I meet with Dr Carroll in a few days) So, after the ERCP I woke up and I felt SOO good. There was no pain. It was a really good feeling. So, I went home played with my kids, drank water and juice (they told me I couldn't eat anything, just clear fluids and introduce food slowly that day) and tried to have a semi-normal day, considering I had a minor surgery that morning. Ate a piece of banana bread, half a piece of toast, and a small bowl of cereal, all at different times throughout the day. Saturday night I was really tired. And I noticed that while I was feeding McKinley that my hands were pale. I didn't think much of it because I figured it was just how I was holding her while nursing. So, I went to bed.
About 3:30 AM McKinley woke up and wanted to eat. So, I woke up and sat up. I felt extremely light headed and dizzy. Seriously the room was spinning and would not stop. So much that I had to lay back down. I tried several times to get up and each time I had to sit/lay back down. Meanwhile McKinley is waking up more and more and I'm thinking I need to get her before she wakes up everyone. So, finally I drag myself out of bed and get her (out of the bassinet right by my bed). Put her on my bed and woke up Court. He woke up and I told him that I needed to feed McKinley but that I was very light headed and I needed to go to the bathroom. I seriously felt like I was going to have a very messy bowel movement in my pants if I didn't get to the toilet soon... Also, I told him that I wanted him to wake my dad up so they could give me a Priesthood blessing. I still could not get up without feeling like I would fall over so he made me lay down and put my feet up. I kept insisting that I had to go to the bathroom, so finally he let me get up and he helped me there. Now, my toilet is about 15 feet from our bed. Court told me that (I don't remember most of this part.) because I had to stop so many times that it took me about 5 minutes to get to the toilet. At one point, I remember leaning on this little ledge in my bathroom and putting my head on it. The next thing I remembered is sitting on the ground against the wall. I had passed out. Court, luckily, was there and caught me, and leaned me against the wall. (while he was holding our baby.) So, I remember sitting against the wall and Court saying my name but I wasn't conscious enough to answer him. Then I remember him laying me down (apparently unconscious). Then, the next thing I remember is laying on the ground and feeling much better. Court was still calling my name. I answered him and he said I passed out. And I was like, "what?" So, he repeated himself, "You passed out. And you started laughing." So, this of course was very funny to me that I would pass out and start laughing. Who does that?? haha! Anyway, my parents had come to town to help me after my minor surgery. So, while I was passed out, and when he couldn't wake me right away, Court went and got them. He said that he was yelling for them while in the bathroom with me, but they couldn't hear him. So, he goes to their room and opens the door and my dad shoots out of bed and runs out of the room. (He's very dramatic when he gets woken up at night sometimes... haha) At this point, Court comes in and I'm laying there with my eyes open and we have the conversation mentioned above. My mom comes in and tells me that I was pale. And I was like, "I am??" So, still feeling pretty good, I sit up and look in the mirror. I was completely dead looking. My face had absolutely no color. Not fully comprehending what that meant (brain was not fully functioning) I told court I still needed to go to the bathroom. He helped me there, finally, and my body basically let loose and is was super smelly. (i found out later that it was because it was blood/bowel) I had diarrhea bad. And it just kept coming and coming. Meanwhile, mckinley is getting upset because she still hasn't been fed and I tell court to just bring her I me and I'll feed her while I sit there. (Not sure why I thought feeding an infant on the toilet was a good idea, but it worked for me right then.) When she finished eating I had court come get her and burp her. He gave her to my mom and came to help me back to bed. Which, I thought I was silly because i thought I was fully capable of doing on my own. My body thought otherwise. So, he helped me and my body seriously would not move. If Court would not have been holding me up, I would have splatted on the ground. He had my dad come help because I kept trying to wriggle free of him and get there on my own. My dad said something to me, can't remember what it was, and I responded with, "I'm trying to lay back down in bed, but I can't." Then I thought, Court won't let me, but I can't remember if I said that or not. Finally Court just picked me up and put me in bed. In other circumstances that would have been very romantic. ;) But as it was, I was just glad that I was finally able to lay back down. When he laid me down, I reminded him that he still had not given me a blessing, and my blood deprived brain was actually mad that he hadn't yet. Meanwhile, my mom had called my sister-in-law Lauren (who I love) and she told us to get me to the ER right away. So, court called 911 and got an ambulance on the way, which I agreed to only because he had taken my blood pressure and it was 85/50 ish. And because I was so pale and my color was not coming back. As this point I knew that I was bleeding because it was in the toilet after I flushed. (I flushed before court brought Mckinley to me to feed on the commode.) While we waited for the ambulance to arrive, he and my dad gave me a blessing, and I can't remember what was said. The paramedics got there and asked what was happening I told them that I had gone to the bathroom and that I was bleeding. I told them that I thought it was vaginal and that I had had an IUD placed a few weeks before. They kept asking me if I had maybe started my period to which I told them that I hadn't. I knew this for two reason, 1. I am breast feeding and it doesn't happen often when you are nursing full time. 2. This particular IUD makes it so you don't have periods. (One of the reasons why I love it...) They continued to assess the situation, took my blood pressure and advised that I go to the ER. Which I did. They brought a wheel chair in for me to sit on and took me out of my house and put me on the stretcher outside. And into the ambulance. When I got into the ambulance, the EMT put a tourniquet on my arm, and I began feeling around for a good vein for them to place it. (They thought I was a nurse because of that... haha) The strange thing was that I could not feel any veins. "Weird," I thought to myself because I usually have really good veins for that kind of stuff... After searching my lower right arm, they decide to switch arms and see if there is one in the other arm. Still, nothing large and visible enough to poke. So, another EMT decides to take a look and he finds a vein in my elbow that will work. So, after 10 minutes of searching my arm, there's finally an IV placed. We take off, and I decide to go to a hospital about 15-20 minutes away. There was a smaller hospital a little closer but I felt more comfortable going to a larger one. The ride was actually quite enjoyable and two on the EMTs had really cool tattoos to look at. One had a cool tiger in a jungle, and another had a stormy seascape complete with waves, and a lighthouse. (I know there was more to the seascape one, but I can't remember. I o remember that her grandma loved lighthouses so that's why she had a lighthouse.) The other male EMT was a member of the church, I found this out because he saw I had a UT driver's license (I still haven't switched it over to NV... that needs to happen soon...) and he asked where in UT I lived. I told him Eagle Mountain and he told me he had gone to BYU to play rugby. I told him my younger brother played rugby and actually had a spot on the BYU team but went on a mission instead and then decided not to pursue it when he got home. The EMT then told me that he was going to go on a mission but couldn't because on a weekend home from school he had been shot in a drive-by shooting. So, they then talked about different people that they had picked up, druggies, etc. and about how messed up some people were from drugs, alcohol, etc.
We get to the hospital and I get into a room almost immediately. By this time it's about 5 AM. Ish. The male nurse came in immediately, and asks all the same questions as the paramedics, to which I answer all the same answers, of course. They draw my blood and take it away for labs. The Dr comes in and asks all the same questions. Then they order an ultrasound and I have to wait until the Ultrasound tech gets there which is about 6:30. Court and I were entertained in the meantime by a crazy drunk lady in the room over that keeps yelling about needing to see the Dr and how she can't feel her legs. While we hear the nurses talk about how she is there, drunk, all the time and should change her address to the hospital address and that as soon as the sun comes up they can let her go. My Dr even goes in there one time and tells her to quit yelling because she was so noisy. At the time I thought that was very humorous. Now, I just think that it's sad. Poor lady. So, we wait around until the ultrasound. This is the most waiting that we had to do all morning. I thought this was weird too because usually it takes forever to get anything done in the ER. They even told us that they were having a busy morning. In the meantime they had me being filled with IV fluids. I had 1 bag of fluid while in the ambulance and another while I was waiting in the ER. So, this made me have to pee pretty bad! I went to the bathroom while waiting, and there was no blood. (Oh good, I thought to myself) The ultrasound tech came nad got me as soon as he got there. But he didn't find anything unusual. My IUD was placed perfectly, and everything else looked fine. The tech told me that my blood work had come back and that my pancreas levels were high. So, he looked at my pancreas and said that there was some irregularities. That instead of being nice and smooth, there were ridges. But he said it was inconclusive and he suggested a CT scan. They took me back to me room and the ER people came and drew my blood again to check all my levels again. Shortly later the Dr came back and told me that my blood levels were dropping. My hemoglobin was at 8.2. On Thursday when I had my levels checked it was at 14.2. He told me I would need a blood transfusion. (My first thought was, "I am so glad I'm not a Jehovah's Witness!" I had lost almost half of my blood in less than three days. I told the Dr that maybe my bleeding was rectal because I had gone pee again and there was still no blood. He checked and sure enough there was blood there. It was then that the realization of what had happened when I went to the bathroom after passing out that morning began to in. I had lost half of my blood in one trip to the bathroom that morning. The Dr told me that they were going to admit me to the hospital and that I would be having an Esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD) done. Dr Carroll would be performing it. I was grateful for that because I trust him and I knew that he would be able to find the problem.
While we were waiting to go to the ICU court received a text from my dad.... This is the story behind the text. In the words of my dad...
A word about Brady. Sunday morning after Sharee was taken to the
hospital, I was in bed and heard the kids' door open and Brady walked out
and looked around. He went into his parents' bedroom looking for them,
walked into their bathroom, then out to his own room. I heard him saying
something to Maddie so I got up and stood outside his door listening. He
came out with Maddie and she leaned against her bedroom door jamb crying. I
asked Brady what was wrong and he said that Maddie was sad because Mommy was at the doctor again. I took Maddie into my arms and comforted her. Later I
asked Brady how he knew that Mommy was in the hospital because neither Sandi
nor I had told him. He said that he just knew it. A while later I asked him who had told him and he struggled for words for a minute and finally said it was Heavenly Father. I asked him if Heavenly Father had told him anything else and he said yes, that Mommy would be OK. Later I asked him if he had heard it in his ear or in his heart, and he said it was in his ear. But then he looked up and around for a minute, again struggling with his
thoughts and appearing puzzled. Then his countenance cleared and he said,
"No, I heard it in my heart."
My dad sent an abbreviated version of this to court through text and court showed me. Now, before that I had felt scared, and uncertain. I didn't know what was going to happen to me. Was I going to die?? In my messed up brain function, I just wanted to sleep forever and not get up. Not die, because I didn't want to leave my husband and children. But sleep for a really long time, yes. After reading the text from my dad, I was immediately comforted. I knew that Heavenly Father would not comfort my son that way and tell him those things if I was going to die. I had no doubt about that. It was something to hold on to.
They brought me to the ICU shortly after that and I was there for only about 10 minutes before they sent me down for emergency EGD surgery. This is when they go in your mouth, and check out your stomach, esophagus, etc, down to the first part of your small intestine. Dr Carroll wanted to make sure that the stent he placed was doing fine and not causing the bleeding. While waiting in the OR waiting/recovery room I was able to watch some of conference. In particular President Monson's talk. I don't remember anything that he said, but I remember feeling at peace. He did the procedure and found nothing. Everything looked perfect. But I was still bleeding. So, he ordered the CT scan and I had to prep for that. I had to drink some yucky stuff mixed in with cranberry juice/apple juice. And then as soon as I drank it all, I had to wait for two hours for the mixture to go through me. In the meantime, I was receiving my blood transfusion, all the while still losing blood. When I was ready I went to the scan and then back to my room to wait for results. When we got the results, there was nothing conclusive again... So, Dr. Carroll decided that we were going to try another EGD and a colonoscopy. He decided this about 5:15. The nurses came in and told me that since I was having a colonoscopy, I had another drink to drink, a laxative, and two liters of water. By 5:30.... (He wanted to do the procedures at 7.) I was like, you want me do drink how much?!? Sheesh... So, since I was having no problem passing anything, in fact, everything was really loose, all day long, I decided to drink it all while sitting on the toilet. Good thing too. At 6:30, I had a thought that I wanted a priesthood blessing. I wanted Court, my dad, and his dad to stand in my blessing. (To read more about the Priesthood and how it blesses our lives click HERE.) Court gave me the blessing, which by the way, I am so grateful for him and the man that he is. So grateful that he lives his life worthy to be able to use the Priesthood that he holds. At any time, we are able to ask him for blessings. So grateful for him. :) Anyway, I don't remember what he said during the blessing. I do remember feeling peace. Ten minutes later, I went to the bathroom, still bleeding. Dr. Carroll came and just stared at me. I remember him pacing the room. Completely confused about what was happening, but determined to figure it out. He told Court, "I don't know what is going on, but I am going to figure it out." Court asked if he could stay in the room during the procedures, he like that kind of stuff, plus he was curious about what was happening with me. Dr. Carroll said that would be fine. Then we got started, put me to sleep. Next thing I know is I'm waking up and they are telling me that they didn't find anything. Not even a trace of blood. Absolutely nothing. Dr. Carroll was mystified. My first thought is, thank goodness for the Priesthood and modern day miracles. From that time forward, I have not bled. At all. Another Medical Mystery.
All day long, I had people praying for me. People I didn't even know. Lots of people I do know. People were posting on Facebook to pray for me. I won't name names for fear of forgetting someone. But thank you. I was amazed and overwhelmed by all the love I felt that day. I felt everyone's prayers, thoughts, and love for me. I know it is because of everyone's faith that I came through. One prayer I felt in particular came from my dad. My mom posted it on Facebook. My family had been fasting for me all Sunday long and my dad had fasted to know what to pray for. This was his prayer for me that afternoon... From one Father to another... "Thank you for my obedient and faithful daughter. I know you love her too. We still need her... her work is not done here... if it be thy will please intercede on her behalf. But know we will accept thy plan." Love my daddy. SO grateful for his faith and example to me.
Here is a small list of things that I felt grateful for over the next couple of days.
- to see the red in the creases of my hands.
- to taste the crumbly cheese in the salad my friend Becky brought me.
- I can actually see and feel my veins.
- my nail beds are pink.
- I can play with my baby all day without her being taken away after I feed her each time.
- I can see and play with my older children.
Everything was going fine. I was feeling so good and everything was returning to normal. Yay! Then came the pain. Ugh. Worst night of my life. Seriously might have been worse that child birth. Maybe not worse, but it was up there. I took a Lortab to take the edge off. Didn't even touch it the pain. I decided to go to the ER that night around 8:30. I knew I still had gallbladder issues and that I would have to get it taken out but I didn't expect to have such severe pain again so soon after just experiencing it on Easter. I had Court give me a blessing with our friend, and family Dr, anointing. So, I went to the ER. On the way, I puked all down the side of the truck. At least it was outside the truck though. We got there and waited around for what seemed like FOREVER. It was a busy night for them. I finally saw a NP and she ordered an ultrasound to see what was going on. Waited around longer for that. All the while, still in severe pain. The triage nurse could not get my IV in. Apparently I have valves in my veins that make it hard to get an IV in. Plus I was dehydrated. I had to give a urine sample, did that, puked in the bathroom. The ultrasound tech finally came and got me and off we went. I did not have stones in my duct, but the ultrasound tech said I had sludge in my gallbladder, which apparently is the stuff that creates the stones. On the way back, I had to stop again in the bathroom to hurl, I didn't have hardly anything left in me to puke though. Finally they got me into a room. The ER nurse was the best IV starter. Ever. He got it in the first try and I didn't even feel it. Sigh of relief. Now, I can get pain meds. They gave me a med that starts with a D, delodid? Or something. That only worked for about 2 hours. I started getting a fever. Had to puke again but there wasn't anything left in my tummy. I threw up bile from my liver. That was gross... All green and nasty. Yuck. I waited in the ER until they got me a room in the hospital. I got into a room around midnight, ish. They started giving me morphine when I got upstairs. (When the right amount of time had passed after the other pain med, of course.) All I had to do now was wait the night out for the surgeon to come and schedule surgery for my gallbladder to come out.
In the morning, Dr Rayls, the surgeon, came by and said he would get it scheduled for late morning, or early afternoon. So, I waited and slept more until my surgery. I got another blessing that morning sometime. I remember Court saying that the Dr's hands would be guided during the surgery and that I would be able to have a full recovery. Around 11, the nurses took me down to prep for surgery. They told me I could watch TV while I waited but I had no interest. At all. And I couldn't pay much attention anyway because of the pain I was in, still. So, I napped until the surgeon got there. He said it would be about a 30-60 minute surgery and would be a relatively easy recovery. Next thing I know, I am coming out of the anesthesia, and the nurses tell me that my surgery took 2.5 hours!! Apparently, my gallbladder or bile duct, or something tore/burst and I had gone septic. (Hence the fever) I had been full of puss and all sorts of nasty. So, it took the surgeon that long to clean it all out and get the gallbladder, and then he had to place a drain so that the rest of the puss and stuff could drain and get out. (Isn't modern medicine A.Maz.Ing????) I also had a hard time coming out of the anesthesia, just took me longer to do than normal. So, I get back to my room around 5, ish. And Court is there waiting for me. He tells me the same thing that the nurses tell me. This was on Thursday. The next few days were spent in the hospital trying to get better. The hospital Dr wouldn't let me go home until I was fever free for 24 hours. Just to make sure the infection was gone and I didn't have an abscess (sp?) in there. I remember Saturday morning the surgeon said they could take out my drain. So, my sweet nurse did just that. Holy guacamole. That hurt like the dickens. Yowzers! My drain site, which was right in front of where my gallbladder, looked like a little tube just stitched in so that all the yucky can get out. When she took it out, the flesh colored tube turned into a solid white, long and thin and wide, tube. And it was loooong. Holy Moly. I hope I never have to have one of those again. Ever. So, then the next couple days were spent relaxing and finishing with getting over my fever. My Dr was super cautious since I had just been there the weekend before. He did not want me coming back. I can't say I blame him, hospital stay is not my idea of a vacation! Highlight of the weekend there was receiving the sacrament. A couple priests from my church came and blessed and passed me the sacrament. The spirit that filled the room during that time was wonderful. It was so calming. A tender mercy from my heavenly Father. Finally, my fever came down Sunday evening and I was able to go home Monday. Home Sweet Home.
I am so grateful for the miracles that I have seen in my life over the passed month. I believe in modern day miracles. And I know that Heavenly Father saw fit to allow me to have a couple of those in my life. I know that God is real. And I know that He watches over us. I am a living witness of that. I know that priesthood is real and I am grateful everyday for the influence it has had in my life.
Thanks again to everyone for the thoughts and prayers and love that you have sent my way in the past month. It has not gone unnoticed. xoxo
1 month ago