How is everyone doing? I recently had a friend tell me that she finds it so hard knowing I am going through so much pain and everything involved with my avm. Told her I was sorry to hear her say that, but told her, "you know what would make me feel better"? "It's knowing that you value your health every day and don't take advantage of waking up and feeling good"! Please stop and smell the roses and thank God for your good health if you have it!
This morning I had what I call a case of "the weepies" and just felt overwhelmed over all my avm stuff! One of my co-workers noticed that I wasn't myself and looked sad and asked if there was anything she could do to help. I couldn't even talk about it without my voice giving me away that I was about to cry. Between trying to manage my pain, the recent bleeds, the puffiness under my left eye, thinking I had an infection, knowing I had a wound care appt. (and fear of bleeding during that) and having an appt. w/Dr. Zane to get my ear debried (which would involve more pain)... I was feeling the stress! I tried to get a grip and remind myself that @ least I wasn't having those awful nosebleeds that I used to have where I couldn't "put pressure" on anything to stop the bleed. Oh! I did get a little bit of good news from Rhonda Sharp (PA for Dr. Yakes)! I had told her that I had called Dr. Tschickhart for some extra meds for break thru pain ... and she of course said it was important to get my pain under control. She mentioned that Dr. Yakes had a patient that was on even heavier meds that I was to control her pain, and that finally Dr. Yakes was able to get that patient to a better place where she was finally only needing Tylenol for her pain! So Rhonda said this was a very encouraging success story! That definitely made me feel better!
So I went to wound care today. My mom picked me up @ work to take me and I was very appreciative of her being there with me for support! My favorite RN, Noel was the one cleaning my wound and redressing it. Dr. Larkin was thinking the puffy eye was a result of a topical infection caused by exposed cartilage in my ear. She prescribed Cipro plus for me to continue the Bactrim that Eric had prescribed a few days earlier. My appt. @ wound care went very well, no bleeds or any drama!
This afternoon I had my appt. w/Dr. Zane and mom went w/me to that appt. as well! Dr. Larkin had already told me she thought there wasn't much for Dr. Zane to get debried in my ear and she was right! It wasn't as painful as I thought the visit would be! Plus, Dr. Zane didn't think the puffy eye was not due to an infection - it was more that my avm is blocking fluids to drain "normally" therefore causing the puffy eye! Well, that was kind of good news! So, I'm feeling much better and I look forward to having a better day @ work! I'm very fortunate that my supervisor, Mr. Rios has been very supportive of what I'm going through and doesn't give me a hard time about having to leave work for my appts.!
Well, I had been in bed asleep already, saw that we had left the computer on and I was drawn to it to blog a bit! So, it's off to bed again for me, otherwise I'll be wanting to snooze @ work! Thanks for letting me boo-hoo to you a bit! It's onward and upward now! Y'all take care now, you hear?
Much love to all!
P.S. I need to take some new photos to include with my blog entries!
Thursday, March 26, 2009
Posted by Dulce at 12:29 AM
Monday, March 23, 2009
Greetings to all our family and friends!
How is everyone? We're ok! Been enjoying my in-laws visiting from OH - yesterday Mark and I (along w/Hanz of course) went to pick up Doris & George Schuman in Rockport, where they have been staying w/Marks oldest brother Jim. Brought them back to CC, where we would be having dinner @ my moms house! We spent a wonderful evening visiting over a delicious dinner, followed by ice cream floats for dessert and a game of Mexican Train! After all that, we took Mom and Dad Schuman back to Rockport and headed home shortly afterward since we had lots to do to prepare for work the next day! My dressing was really needing to be changed and when I took it off, I had a bleed! Cannot believe that we're going through this again! Actually, I have to back up a little bit by saying that I've had a puffy left eye again. I had e-mailed Dr. Yakes P.A., (Rhonda Sharp) along w/both of the patient coordinators, appealing to them to possibly get us some of the thick surgicel we like from the wound care therapist @ Swedish! I had mentioned the puffy eye @ that time, but later in the afternoon I decided I shouldn't have to be dealing w/that darned puffy eye and called up to CO and left a message for whichever P.A. was on call. I get a call back from Eric, another of Dr. Yakes P.A.'s. He says the puffy eye is probably due to infection (AGAIN!) and called in an antibiotic for me! I asked if this was common to keep getting these infections, and he said w/what all I'm going through that yes, this was bound to be happening! Geez - that's not what I want to hear!
Just wanted to give you an update on how I'm doing! Today actually, I went to see Dr. Breckenridge for my knee - he said I could wait on that a while. That way maybe I can get my wound on my face more time to heal! I go to wound care on Wednesday - gotta get more supplies. I'm sure Dr. Larkin does not want to hear that I've been having bleeds again - she says I age her w/those!
Then I have an appt. w/Dr. Zane on Thursday to get my ear debried again - OUCH!!!! I had asked if it was possible to be put under to have this done, and was basically told, nope! Dang! That means I have to be a big girl and deal with it! Not really what I want to do, but I think that entitles me to a Blizzard or Mark making me a banana split, don't you think? I just can't wait for this whole avm thing to be over with some day! I want my life back!
Oh! I've almost forgotten to mention that my brother-in-law Jim and his wife Shelley have very generously offered to help w/our hotel expenses for our trips to Colorado! Isn't that awesome? Wow - were it not for our family that has helped us so much financially - there is no way we could afford these trips on our own! I have to say that occasionally a friend slips us a little something to help as well! We are so very blessed to not only have the financial help, but the spiritual help as well! Your prayers are helping us deal with everything that has been placed before us! I have people @ work that pull me aside and tell me how well I seem to cope w/what I'm going through - but as you know, I do have my moments when I have "the weepies" and get overwhelmed!
My mom took me to my doctors appt. this morning w/Dr. Breckenridge and my sister Celia will accompany me to see Dr. Zane on Thursday! This is where my family has really helped us - offering their emotional support! Ok! I've gone on long enough! I want to go see what Hanz is doing and go take a shower and watch something good on TV!
Thank you all so much for checking in! We appreciate all of you being with us on this incredible journey! I really hope all of you are with us when it finally comes to and end for me!
Love and prayers to all!
Mark & Cyndi
P.S. Don't forget to check in w/Shalon when you get a chance!!!
Posted by Dulce at 5:58 PM
Friday, March 20, 2009
Guess What? Yup! Here I was just thinking how I had gone several weeks w/out a bleed and I had one this morning! Ugh! I had removed the dressing and there was an area that was red, so I dabbed it w/a Q-tip. Next thing you know, more red and then a stream of arterial blood shoots out! Yikes! I put some tissue on there and called for Mark! He got some surgicel cut up and got it on there to stop the bleeding. He redressed the wound and I got ready for work! Didn't put any make-up on, as my face was hurting. I've had a hard time controlling the pain, and it wasn't until about 11:00 am that I was finally feeling better!
Mark had taken a couple days off work to spend w/his parents, so he dropped me off @ work to keep my car. This afternoon, Mark picked me up and had Hanz with him! Mark had bathed him earlier and trimmed his hair, so he was looking especially cute! That cheered me up right away - Hanz is such a doll!
Well, my plans for the weekend are to take it easy, stay pain free and enjoy my little angel Hanz!
Y'all take care and thanks for all your love and support!
Posted by Dulce at 11:22 PM
Saturday, March 14, 2009
Keeping warm? It must be cold wherever you are reading this! We are ready for the sun again in South Texas! Thought I would write a few words and post a couple photos on my progress after this last trip to CO!
Marks folks are visiting from Ohio, and this is the first time they get to meet Hanz! Right now the folks are staying out in Rockport w/Jim and Shelley, so we went out there last night for a nice get together!
I'm very happy to report having NO BLEEDS! Hopefully, Dr. Yakes has been able to close off any arteries that are bleeders! Right now my only issue is pain! Gotta make sure and take those pain pills!
Thursday was my first day back to wound care after the embolization. While there, Eric, (the tech that usually takes my vitals) had asked if I was interested in taking in a chihuahua! I told him no right away, due of course to Prince Hanz and 4 cats we already have! I did tell Eric that one of the officers I work with has chihuahuas and I would definitely inquire for him!
So the next day I was @ work administering some assessments to a room full of defendants, when I hear a phone ring. It wasn't the two different ringtones I normally have, so I didn't think it was mine! It was though, because I noticed it said "unknown" on the screen. I flipped it open as I looked @ the defendants and said, "hello"! I hear a male voice go, "Hey Cynthia, this is Eric, I"m just checking on you"! So I go, "Oh! Are you still wanting a home for your dog"? Silence. I go, "hello? Eric, are you still looking for a home for your chihuahua"? He goes, "what"? All of a sudden, I realize I'm talking to Dr. Yakes P.A. in Colorado - THAT Eric! Ha, ha, ha! What are the odds that I would be getting a call from 2 Erics in my medical world! I was very happy to tell Eric in CO that I was doing great!
Well - not much else to report! I'm going to try and keep my pain under control and enjoy the weekend, my husband and our little Hanz!
As always, thank you for your prayers, love and support!
Mark & Cyndi
Posted by Dulce at 7:25 PM
Sunday, March 8, 2009
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!
Posted by Dulce at 8:11 PM
Monday, March 2, 2009
How are you? Well, if you have read my last couple entries, you know that I've been worried about leaving our little Hanz behind as Mark and I go to CO! Last night we went out to Rockport, to Mark's brother Jim's house. Jim and Shelley live out in the country and their friends Linda and Buddy live very close by. Linda said she would be happy to take care of Hanz while we were away and she has been such a Godsend! I think I mentioned that Linda and Buddy have a yorkie named Hockey and also a chocolate lab named Coco! Hanz and Hockey got along right away and ran circles all over the yard! So cute! We didn't introduce Hanz to the dogs Jim and Shelley have, as Shelley thought one of them may be a bit aggressive.
Have to show you photos of our trip to Rockport last night! Hanz charmed everyone w/his personality! Here is a photo of Hanz and Hockey. Then a photo of Hanz w/his Uncle Jim! Jim was calling Hanz wigglebutt! Another w/his Aunt Shelley and of course a photo of Hanz w/Aunt Linda (she has short hair). Linda was whispering all sorts of sweet sentiments to Hanz and he was just loving every minute of it! Shelley thought Hanz was just adorable - it was the first time she had spent time with him.
I am so happy that Hanz will be surrounded by family that will be giving him lots of love and might even spoil him a little! Hanz was hugged and cuddled, just like he gets treated @ home! We hear that Aunt Linda will be giving Hanz a manny/peddy! I'll miss my little angel so much, but now I know that he will be very well taken care of, so that leaves me stress free! Thank you Linda, Buddy, Jim and Shelley! I'll blog when we get back!
Mark & Cyndi
Posted by Dulce at 11:43 PM