Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Wow - we made it home for the holiday! Our family here kept worrying about whether we would make it home in time for Thanksgiving - we kept telling the PA's and nurses @ Swedish to set extra places @ the table for us! I still can't believe I'm home! Can't kiss Mark - since my bottom lip is extremely swollen!
The great news is - I think I finally stopped oozing, so I don't have to keep dabbing that area anymore. You cannot imagine what a relief that is - that was getting old, keeping an eye on that to make sure it didn't create another wound! Whew!
Thought you might enjoy some more photos of our confinment @ Swedish! Take Care!
P.S. Justin was absolutely the best nurse I had on the 4th Floor! He is one of those people that love their job and do it well! Celia still has a couple photos that I would like to share - but we'll do that later! Courtney was also a great nurse - she was very easygoing! Then of course once I was moved to the 6th Floor, (Monday) I got to see Saba! She always asks for Mark! I also had another excellent nurse on this floor that I had had before - Dave! He was on my "dream team" my first emboization - sorry didn't get a photo!
Thursday, November 27, 2008
Posted by Dulce at 8:52 AM
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Greetings to everyone!
As some of you know, I was scheduled for an embolization last week @ Swedish Medical Center in CO and that Celia would make the trip with me! I was excited about our trip because I knew we would get to see Shalon and Celia had been wanting to meet her! Shalon also sees Dr. Yakes and Dr. Reed for her facial AVM! We arrive in Denver in the morning, got our car rental and then shopped and had lunch. Normally I see Dr. Reed the day I arrive, but for whatever reason, he was not able to see me.
We finally go check in @ the hotel and found the room was very hot inside! We called the front desk to have someone check it out. Anyway, all night, I felt like my ear "drained" some and I was just not feeling my best! Celia tried to hurry the next morning to get ready so we could get to the hospital as soon as possible! I have a high pain tolerance, but turns out that I had a fever as well and I was just miserable! The ladies in Admissions were shocked to see me crying when I walked in, as I'm always upbeat! Anyway, I get an IV put in once I'm in Ambulatory Care and "wait" to see what is going to happen. I felt so rotten, I didn't even want to hold Saba or anything. Turns out since I had a fever - that my procedure was canceled! That was fine by me - I was very anxious about finding out why my left eye gets puffy! After being admitted, Dr. Yakes ordered me having an ultrasound and a CT Scan of my avm area.
Dr. Reed - Head of Voice & Swallow Inst. (that I didn't get to see @ his office the day before) came by my hospital room the next morning and did an exam. Yeah, that long scope up my nose (twice!), so I told him, "I don't like you anymore Dr. Reed"! So @ this point, we know I won't have a procedure, and the doctors have not agreed on what is causing my puffy left eye! I was put on some IV Antibiotics and was told I would not be let go without first finding out what the problem was. Which is just as well - no one here ever wants to touch me here in town because of the AVM!
Celia was glad to know that @ least I was in the right place to find out what the heck was going on! Our plans changed so completely - but there was nothing for us to do but listen to the doctors! We of course had to give up our return flight for Thursday evening. I kept thinking of more days w/the car rental and hotel too!
Since two days of IV antibiotics were not improving my look, Dr. Yakes group decided to send in the big guns. The doctor for Infectious Disease and Control came in and checked out the situation. He suggested a different and much stronger antibiotic and said we would have to stay another few days! I just burst into tears - I wanted to go home! Celia and I knew I had to be there - but that sure didn't make it easy to hear it! We missed our families! Meanwhile, the lab came by to draw blood on @ least 4 occasions because of the wompa antibiotics I was on - making sure they weren't hurting my liver or something! Do you know the whole trip I had 11 needle sticks? Five of those were IV's! Yikes! Oh! Mark reminded me - that with the groin stick for the angiogram - that would bring the needle sticks to a dozen during this trip!
Finally, we were seeing an improvement in my puffy eye and at least had some answers, but not the one we wanted - when can we go home!
Poor Celia, stuck watching me getting stuck w/needles was no fun for her either! She never once complained - she brought in almost every meal - as the hospital food was terrible! Celia had to get us some essential items @ Wal-mart since we had only packed for an overnight trip and this turned into a complete week in the hospital! She really cheered me up by putting up a poster of "Edward" from the movie TWILIGHT on the wall of my room! We were going to see the movie when it was released, but no one was releasing us from the hospital! We kept getting comments on it - most of the nurses had either read the book or had seen the movie! Celia got us some Rook cards, so I taught her to play Hand and Foot. Once we knew we were stuck for a few days, we made the best of it! See photos! She bought me a pink nightgown and even some cute clothes for my bears!
Did I mention that on some mornings it was 27 degrees and Celia had to scrape ice off the windshield - that is not the norm for us in S. Texas! I never left the room once I got in the hospital, so I didn't share in some of the "fun" she was having! There is a Greek restaurant that she brought in food from - also from Ricos Pizzeria - yum! Whole Foods Mart also became a frequent stop for food - it's not far from the hotel.
Ok, back to the miserable part were were experiencing. I wanted my dressing changed on my face because I had been wearing the same one already a few days. I could just tell that some of the nurses would not know what to do, so I got them to page the wound care therapist @ Swedish that has helped me before. Well, I had a bleed while she was trying to change it out! I was sooo disappointed in how that was done! One of the nurses got scared when she saw all the blood on a towel that the therapist was using to stop the flow of blood. By the following day, I told Celia that between she and I we would change my dressing better on our own. We were eating lunch, when ... you guessed it! Another bleed! The nurse on duty that day was impressed @ how quickly I got it stopped. We got all my supplies and got it redressed! Whew! I had been put on the Cardiac Floor as that is the only room that was available! Last time I had an embo - I stayed in recovery because there was no room! I had asked if a room came open I wanted to be moved to where more of the nurses had experience w/Dr. Yakes patients!
I knew Shalon was in the area - she was arriving the day I was to be discharged. I called her on her cell phone and she said she would stop by w/her sister Taryn before going to see Dr. Reed! Well, right before she stopped by, is when I had that bleed! See photo of Shalon and myself!
I want to say it was that night, that Dr. Yakes P.A., Rhonda came by and said since I was doing so much better as far as the puffy eye and no more fever - to get more "bang for my buck" I should go ahead and have a procedure in the morning! We opted to go for it - because if I hadn't, then I would let the avm get ahead and we're the ones that need to keep ahead of it!
Monday morning, I was moved to a room on the 6th floor, so my tech got to be Saba! See photo of Saba w/namesake! I would be taken to OR right from my room and then brought back there after the embolization. Rhonda said she would suggest to Dr. Yakes that he go easy on me due to my trauma I just had w/the puffy eye. No, he goes there and hits me with 22 cc's of alcohol! I heard I lost 10 cc's of blood during the procedure. I remember being in recovery and Dr. Yakes stopped by my bed and asked how I was, saying I was his sweetheart. Dr. Yakes was telling this to Rick (my favorite Recovery Room Nurse) who also claimed I was his sweetheart. Ok guys, I know what you're doing! One hits w/the ammunition and the other has to soften the blow! I could not have endured this much alcohol after what I'd already been through, if Rick hadn't been right there for me! He is very conscientious of my comfort level, thirst and pain level! Thanks so much Rick - you are awesome!
So ... back to the room and I still couldn't believe how much alcohol Dr. Yakes used! My eye was completely swollen shut (here I had just gotten it open from the trauma I had just got through w/the skin infection)! Did I forget to tell you that Dr. Yakes also did an angiogram - he usually does that every 3rd visit, but I just had it done last time! That means haveing to lay still in bed w/out bending my leg @ all until they tell me I can get up!
So, since I'm usually kept overnight for observation, I knew we could leave in the morning! Celia goes back to the hotel for the night. In the morning, she repacks everything, gets my prescription(s) filled and then comes to pick me up! We head out to return the car rental and catch their shuttle to the airport. We had just gotten off the shuttle when it took off w/my carry on bag! Yikes! Celia was able to get it back - so we went inside and started trying to get through security! We were flagged because our tickets had been purchased so quickly and only one way. We were dying to just get on the plane and get home - not having to have all these special screenings! My face is oozing some alcohol from an injection site, and if I don't keep dabbing it, it will burn a new wound in the area! With all that to worry about, and Celia making sure I'm ok while she carrys 2 totes from Whole Foods, my carry on and her purse, plus my eye shut - I just wanted to stop the insanity! So... finally, finally we have landed in Houston, where by the way we had to switch airlines, so we got them to ride us around in one of those carts - otherwise there was no way to make it w/all our junk! Had to go through security once more! Not too bad this time. Couldn't believe when we actually landed and had arrived in Corpus Christi! As we deplaned, I bumped my chest into the seat in front of me or something, and one of the lenses popped out of my glasses! Never did find it, so now I have to go get some new frames! I just wanted to be home with my husband for some love and comfort after our ordeal! I was happy to see all the Fossums be there for my sister Celia! It was great to see her boys and of course Greg! Mom and Vicente made it to the airport w/my Mark as well!
I remember laughing w/a co-worker a while back, about those items @ the store, about items that said, "My sister, my friend" - and wondered whether I would one day be @ that place, feeling that way about Celia. Well, I can honestly that day finally arrived after so many years. I told Greg never to underestimate his wife - she was a real trouper for me when I was so miserable and kept everything together! That was one tough procedure we didn't anticipate, but we made it! The longest week of our lives it seemed - but we did it! Thanks to all of you with your prayer, love and support and of course the Grace of God - we made it!
Happy Thanksgiving to everyone! I have a lot to be grateful for so .... goodnight!
Posted by Dulce at 3:43 PM
Sunday, November 16, 2008
Hi Family and Friends!
How is everyone? I'm almost ready to leave again for Colorado! This time, Celia will accompany me! In fact, we will try to hook up with Shalon and her sister Taryn! Shalon arrives the day we leave - but we'll have time to see each other for a bit! We'll definitely take pictures and share them with all of you!
Celia and I leave early on Tuesday morning and arrive in CO mid morning. I can't wait to get there - I have been in a lot of pain lately and the area under my left eye is back to being puffy again! My favorite part of the trip is being wheeled in to surgery and being put "under" - that way I feel no pain and just get some good rest! Next thing I know I'm waking up in recovery and hoping I see my nurse buddy Rick! If he's there - I've got it made in the shade! He will go above and beyond to make sure I am comfy, cozy and pain free!
I usually see Dr. Reed (the head/neck doctor)the day we arrive, but for whatever reason, my appt. w/him was canceled! My procedure will be the following day - Wednesday, @ Swedish Medical Center of course. I get booted out of the hospital the following morning - Thursday! About the time I'm being ousted from the hospital, is when Shalon will be arriving - so we're hoping to meet for lunch somewhere - before we have to return the car rental and head for the airport! Our flight leaves @ 5pm, but we need to be there @ least 2 hours before our flight leaves! I'm already missing Mark and I haven't even left yet! Sniff, sniff, boo hoo! I'll be talking both the kids with me, Saba and Rulon! Between Celia, the kids and a good book, I should survive missing Mark so much! Never mind the needles, alcohol and whatever Dr. Yakes has in store for me, huh? I love the whole group up there in CO - so I know I'm in good hands! Thank you everyone, for all your prayers and support! Love and hugs to Lupe from choir! I just spoke w/her this evening, she is a dear friend that keeps us in her daily prayer, as do so many of you! All of you should be proud to say you are a big part of a very special journey! Just think how wonderful it will be when it's all over and we can all say we did it together! Much love to all!
P.S. I'm putting in a photo of my little Saba - she is such a doll and I get so many compliments on her!
Posted by Dulce at 8:29 PM
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Hi Folks! I can tell you now that this won't be a humorous blog, just a boring, factual one! Late Saturday night I had a bleed. Nothing major, because the surgicel stopped it. Enough though to get blood on my neck and around the neckline of my night shirt! Had a long day @ work on Monday - came home, got comfortable and in bed to get some rest! As usual, if I sit still too long, I'll fall asleep (due to so many meds that make me drowsy), so I woke up @ 745pm to the phone ringing. It was Mark and he was @ the grocery store wanting to know if I needed anything. He got home and I ended up watching TV in the living room, trying to catch up w/some shows on the dvr, and fell asleep! By this time, Mark was in the bedroom, and I woke up and felt that my neck was damp. I could feel the back of my hair was a little sticky, so I knew what that meant! I went to look in the bathroom mirror and sure enough - I could see on my wound dressing that I was having a bleed! UGH! I went to get Mark, we got the wound care bag and got the dressing taken off. Yup - a stream of blood was coming out! I was trying to put pressure on the area, but not before I got blood all over the front of my nightgown! Mark put some surgicel on the area that was bleeding and got it stopped! Got myself cleaned up and my nightgown soaking and Mark redressed the wound. Each day the area below my left eye is getting puffier too. If I can just get through the week, it's almost time for another procedure next week! I'm really hoping I won't have a bleed @ work or on the plane en route to Denver, like what happened during our last trip! This trip I will be accompanied by Celia! As always, all your prayers and well wishes are appreciated!
Posted by Dulce at 7:12 PM