Hello to all who are w/me on my AVM Journey! Let's see, where to begin ... of course - the separation anxiety I suffered the minute we pulled away from leaving Hanz w/friends the night before we left for CO! I knew he would be well taken care of, but I cried almost all the way home! They say that Brussels suffer from separation anxiety, but I think they were talking about "the parents"!
We had a very early morning flight and left our house about 4:30am to head to the airport! Mom and Vicente drove us, as my car was in the shop! By the time we arrived in Houston, I was ready to take some pain medication and found I had not brought any with me! I thought I may have left the little black bag they were in on the flight from Corpus to Houston, but that wasn't the case! Mom came to our house and finally found the little bag on one of the dining room chairs! Apparently, that black bag fell out of the pink/green polka dotted tote bag that my wound care supplies were in that I had set on the dining room table & would be carrying! Mom said she would overnight them to me to the hotel! Meanwhile we finally arrive in Denver about 10:30 am or so and the weather is beautiful! The sun was out and it was cool, but didn't require a jacket! After getting the car rental, Mark wanted to head out to Teds Montana Grill for a bison burger! We had befriended one of the waitresses that works there - Michelle, (see photo)! She said she would buy our lunch (of course we didn't let her do that!) and we waited to be seated in her section. I barely touched my lunch - I think due to still being upset @ leaving Hanz and also needing pain pills! Went directly to Swedish after lunch, and got Rhonda Sharp, Dr. Yakes P.A. to write me a prescription for a few tablets of 2 different painkillers needed! Got that refilled @ the hospital pharmacy and headed to the hotel to check in! Soon as I took my meds I crashed. We called Dr. Reed to cancel my appt. w/him that afternoon! There was no way I could see him while I was fidgiting and having w/drawls! He usually puts a thin wand camera thing on my tongue while I sing a pitch or two for him so he can check my airways.
Anyway, ended up going out to grab some dinner @ Whole Foods and bringing it back to the room! Just watched TV and called a few people to let them know we arrived safely.
Had to be @ Swedish to register in the morning @ 7am, so we made that on time! Got put in to the area where I get my IV and all that good stuff - saw our favorite nurse Sue, Mary (Boston) was there and Jill! I hear Jill is good @ IV's, so I requested her to do that for me. She did not get it on the first try - didn't even numb the area or put a hot towel around my arm, so ... OUCH! She did get it on her second try, on the back of my right hand. At one point, the anesthesiologist came to talk to me - she was concerned that I can only open my mouth so far and needed to make sure they could get that oxygen tube in! (see photo of me w/anesthesiologist - I'm showing her my photo album of Hanz I had with me!) Meanwhile, Dr. Yakes came by my area to say hello! Got a big, ole bear hug from him! Told him to go easy on me if possible, but ultimately told him he knew best! We had heard a rumor that Julie, Dr. Yakes nurse had accepted a job offer elsewhere, so she did confirm the rumor! Geez! Julie was the first one that gave me hope that Dr. Yakes could help me! Julie LaBadie has been w/Dr. Yakes for 8 years and w/Swedish 16 years! (see photo) Got to see Shalon too! She modeled the hospital gown she made herself! Awesome, huh? She's so sweet and pretty, it was nice seeing her and her husband Josh!
So next thing I know, I'm waking up in Recovery and .... no Rick! Oh no! I constantly had to try and get the nurses attention - could she please change the pad on the bed, could she give me something for pain, could she bring me some ice chips and why hadn't anyone reached Mark yet? I wouldn't have had to tell Rick a thing - he would have automatically changed the pad, brought me something for pain relief immediately and would have spoon fed me those ice chips instead of handing me the cup and walking away like the nurse I had did! Rick has me very spoiled - but hey ... we're not feeling our best @ that time, so we need some pampering! By the way - I don't know WHAT the heck happened while I was "asleep" during the embolization. Like I said, Jill started to try and IV on my left arm, didn't work, so she got it on my right hand. Then lab came by and got me on the inside of my left arm for some blood, so I was aware of all that - but when I woke up, I had two needle sticks on the back of my left hand that left a large bruise! Hmmmm .... interesting. Oh well. I'm just glad I'm feeling pretty decent!
Ok, lets continue the story ... then, we hear there isn't a room available and I would have to spend the night in ACU! Ooooh, by that time Mark had found his way to where I was and was not accepting that for an answer! We were told Swedish is a trauma unit and the rooms go first come first serve! I understand that, but since they know I've shown up @ 7am and they know I stay overnight - what is the harm in reserving a room for a few hours to make sure I get it! Finally there was a chance of a room - but it was semi-private. We thought about just going back to the hotel, but w/the heavy pain meds I was getting, they wanted me to have the oxygen as I slept that night! I think there might have been 2 Nursing supervisors that came by to talk to us about why there was no room available - and I took the opportunity to tell them all the nurses could use some lessons from Rick!! Anyway - got to my semi-private room @ 7:30pm and I normally like taking a shower in the evening, to get the blood out of my hair and into one of my own nightgowns! Dr. Yakes told Mark he used 14 ccs of alcohol on me - that is a good amount - when he uses 22 or more, it's too much! Dr. Yakes also told Mark I had bled during the embolization and took a half hour for it to stop. I was told I lost 3 tbsp. worth of blood. Well, my roomate was an older lady that may have broken her hip and all night she farted (according to Mark), but I didn't know, because I had that pure oxygen going in my nostrils! Poor Mark, told him to go ahead and get back to the room, so I did not take a shower, so couldn't use my own pillow or nightgown. Darn! These are the things that make the entire process a little more bearable for me! I could not get comfortable and sat up in bed @ 3am to read a bit. My poor roomate would call out during the night, ..."help ... help?" I would press the nurse help button because the lady could never find her own. Made for a long night though.
Finally, daylight came and soon as I got showered after breakfast - we headed back to the hotel to repack! Filled a couple more prescriptions, then had lunch @ Applebees before heading to return the car rental and on to the airport! Mom and Vicente picked us up @ the airport @ 10:10pm and we were so happy to just be home!
The next morning, we got in Marks van and headed to the Ford dealership to pick up my car! Once we did that and left the van @ home, we headed to Rockport to pick up our little angel Hanz! He had been very well taken care of, but his mom and dad needed him home! Thanks so much for all you've done for us Linda, Buddy, Jim and Shelley!! I think they all enjoyed having Hanz over - he is such a special puppy, they may have gotten a little attached too! As we were leaving, Buddy says, "Bye, take good care of our dog"! I know he was kidding - we were just thrilled to find such a wonderful place to leave Hanz and know that he was loved and cared for!
I checked my e-mail and Michelle (Ted's Montana Grill) had offered us a place to stay if we ever needed - her home was open to us! Isn't that generous of her? We probably would not impose on her - but what a wonderful gesture on her part! Thank you Michelle! She's always asking if we need a ride to the airport!
Well, I best get a few things done 'round here! Still need to iron something to wear for work tomorrow!
Thank you for all your love, friendship and support! Keep in touch!
Mark & Cyndi Schuman
P.S. That last "glamorous" photo of me is after the embolization and before I was put in a room! Now, my eye is no longer swollen like it was, and I'm feeling pretty good considering all we've been through! I put that photo in to let you in on a fact - all these embolizations are NOT fun! I'm getting pretty darned tired of it all, but we can't just stop having these treatments. Your prayers do help tremendously! Thanks again!
Ok! I just had to add that extra photo of Shalon - she is striking such a cute pose in the hospital gown she made! Please do check in on her web site and blog - she does an awesome job keeping everyone informed and feeling welcome! You can get to her sites from mine! Thanks Shalon!
Sunday, March 8, 2009
Posted by Dulce at 8:11 PM