Hi Everyone! How are you? Well, Celia and I got in from Colorado on Friday night - back from a successful embolization. We're tired. She especially is, since Celia has been fighting a cold, just having gotten back from Italy and never got rid of it! Mom was hoping that maybe Celia's airline ticket could be changed to Marks name if Celia wasn't feeling well enough to travel. I really wanted Celia to go w/me as our little girl Bella is too small to be anywhere but home with Daddy and Hanz! Bless her heart, my sister is a real trouper and stepped up to go with me to Colorado! Yay!
We arrived to cold weather, but nothing a windbreaker or hat/scarf couldn't take care of! After getting our car rental, we headed to Mimi's Cafe for lunch and then headed to my 1:00 p.m. appt. w/Dr. Hepworths Associate, Dr. Cote (I believe it's pronounced Koe-tay). Dr. Cote checked my airways and was happy that all was clear and that my trache looked good! Dr. Hepworth was in surgery all day and not able to see me himself! Hopefully when I return in March we can get our dates together!
Headed over to Park Meadows Mall right nearby as Celia wanted to go to her favorite shoe store! She had bought some shoes in that store that she wore in Rome that were very comfortable, so went back for more, only to find them discontinued! I think she was able to get one last pair, whew!
Celia got some calendars for her sons and I always like to peek in on the puppies @ the petstore!
Meantime, the sky is looking like it would snow any minute and sure enough, here it comes! We left the mall and headed to Whole Foods to pick up something for dinner to take back to the hotel! We spotted some kind of "lemon" in the produce department @ Whole Foods that we had never seen, so we took a picture and Celia took it home to Mark, her son, since he liked the photo she sent him on his phone! Mark wants to plant it in their garden!
Checked in to the hotel and I was just not feeling my best. Celia and I ate our dinner and watched a little TV and I was already nodding off, so I headed for bed. Celia asked if I wanted an alarm to wake me up for my 3:00 a.m. pain med., but I assured her that I would be awake! I woke up @ 2:30 a.m., 3:30 a.m., 4:30 a.m., and finally just got up @ 5:30 a.m.! We needed to be @ Swedish by 7:30 a.m. - so since the temperature had been dropping the night before - Celia thought it was a good idea to call a cab to take us to the hospital in the morning! She did not want to be scraping snow off the windshield while it was 17 degrees outside and probably snowing, so she made arrangements w/the hotel to get us a cab. Come to find, we are allowed a "voucher" for a free cab ride to the hospital! I think it falls under our "Swedish Rate" that we get for staying w/them - this place is the last one in the area that gives the hospital discount!
Anyway, got to the hospital ok, got all checked in - of course had problems getting hooked up to the IV - ouch! I told the nurses people are going to think Mark beats me w/all the bruises I'll have! That reminds me, since I had some bleeds recently, it was decided that I have a blood transfusion, that way in case (heaven forbid!) I had any more bleeds, I wouldn't experience weakness or fainting.
I mainly dealt with Mandi, Dr. Yakes P.A., as his other P.A., Kelly was about to go into labor any time! While I was getting some forms signed, one of my favorite nurses stopped by - Rick Smith! I think it was his day off, but he came in to see me, because we had not seen each other in a while! Rick is an incredibly caring nurse that was so good to me when I got out of a procedure. Making sure I got a clean, fresh gown that wasn't covered in blood, getting me pain meds right away, and putting some Blistex on my very dry lips and ready w/the ice chips! It was great seeing him! I'll put in a photo! Everyone @ Swedish is so hospitable and make their patients feel special! I was just ready to get in for the surgery to be put under! Last thing I remember was scooting over to the surgical bed from the one I was wheeled in on and then woke up in recovery!
Even though it was hell getting the trache I have had to get put on, recovery has been easier when I wake up in post op! Seems next thing I knew I could hear the nurses ask if I wanted something for pain, etc. Somewhere along the line a nurse told me my room was ready and Celia was already there waiting for me! Got settled in to the room and used to be I couldn't wait to jump off the bed on my own to use the bathroom or whatever, but not this time! I was really out of it and kept drifting off to sleep! My left eye was swollen so much, and it felt like I had a grain of sand or something in there that was painful and bothersome! We got the nurse to try and flush my eye out with some saline, but it didn't help much. Told Celia to just order a dinner tray and have her dinner, since I knew I wouldn't be up for eating much! My poor sister was probably bored to death there with me, but she never complained! She spoon fed me applesauce, pudding and apple juice that tasted sooo good! Celia stayed until 9pm or so with me and I told her to go get some rest. It wasn't until 2:30 a.m. that I finally felt better, because by now I had more steroids in my system! In fact, a bit before Celia left, she was suggesting to the nurse to check my chart to see if I was allowed more steroids to bring the swelling down! All the nurses are incredibly helpful and compassionate - Traci was one, and there was another one or two that had taken care of me before! Saba was with me on this trip, but for some reason, Celia and I were not in the mood to take many photos! I was actually a little nauseous the morning of the embolization and I was hoping I wasn't getting the cold everyone here seems to be passing around!
I had one of the techs come in to say hello and asked if my sister was with me on this trip. I told him she was, but that she had already gone back to the hotel! He came by in the morning looking for Celia again, but told him she probably would be by in an hour or so! Someone has an admirer!
I decided to take a shower to get the blood out of my hair and get a little more presentable and to feel better. Shortly after that, Celia showed up and we finished repacking our things and started to head out when an Advocate for Swedish came by to speak to us! Turns out this very nice lady had a lot of things to tell us that Swedish offers that we were not even aware of. I think she mentioned that there are even free food vouchers for when family comes, they can eat in the hospital cafeteria free! Anyway, we left the hospital, got my prescriptions and headed to the car rental place and on to the airport!
On our way back, the plane landed in Austin first, then in Houston - where we deplaned and had dinner. There was a souvenier shop nearby where Celia spotted the cutest purses that look like the Croc shoes I like to wear, so she bought me a pink one as an early Valentine gift and I chose a big red heart shaped Jibbitz (is that what you call those thingies?) that had a lot of little hearts all over it! Cute!
I was just anxious to get home to Mark, Hanz and Bella! Soon as we arrived, Mark drove up and I peeked out and could see Hanz in the front seat! Yay! I ran out there to get in the car and both my kiddos had come to get Mommy @ the airport! We were all excited to see each other - Celia stopped by the car and pulled Bella out of the open window as she squirmed the whole time! We are so glad to be home - it was a rough recovery this time right after the embolization, but we did it with all your love and prayer! Thank you so much for your support, couldn't do it without you! My dear friend Felice called me the morning I got out of the hospital just to check in, so that was really nice!
Well, glad to be home and now it's time to get back to work and look forward to another embolization in March! Take care everyone and thank you for joining us on this very complicated journey!