More Protein Please!!!

My doctor contacted me today after my blood work came back today. I am officially not diabetic anymore. And I am in good shape with my kidney functions and my sodium levels are normal. I am still low on Iron but am taking pills for that and my total protein is low. So I need to contact my dietitian on Monday and ask her for recommendations.

Basically I know what to eat for protein but my new eating habits just don’t like what I used to eat for protein and my mindset just isn’t on track yet.

This photo to the left is what I resembled this morning at 6:30AM. My first time wearing eye liner/mascara in 43 days. And I’ve had necklaces hanging up in my bathroom for three years and today was the first time wearing one.

Now that I’m a new human, I feel like changing up my look again and go back to being more girlie. I even went to Old Navy this late afternoon and bought a lot of things of super cheap clearance… including two more T-Shirt dresses. Each one cost $2.88. They were $29.99. I also got a couple of new — smaller size — cardigans and dirt cheap but overly adorable shirts… one of them cost a whopping 58 cents. It was clearance upon clearance upon clearance.

Tomorrow I’ll head over to Sam’s Club and find things that are chock full of protein. Then it’s LEGS up, Netflix on and a lazy hazy Saturday while I continue pee all day long, thanks to my Lasix pill.

Have a fabulous protein-filled weekend!

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Oh The Trauma…

My doctor visit didn’t go well. I’ve gained 30 pounds of fluids. 21 pounds of fluids since Nov. 20. I barely can move my legs and it’s difficult to get into my car.

It’s not just fluid retention but sharp pain in my legs, lower stomach and now my face. I got more blood work done at the visit. My doctor said with the intensity of the trauma my body has gone through this is why it’s retaining so much fluid.

The other option is far worse she said, which is death. I said I will take walking in quicksand for now.

She put me on a high dose of a pee pill. My legs need to be elevated a lot higher now and absolutely no salt. I also had to buy a scale [see photo to the left] I am to call her on Monday with my daily weight totals.

Let the pee games begin!

Tending to Heal

Today the magnitude of what all went down in 2018 — health wise including my year-long exhaustion that I had been feeling has literally caught up with me this afternoon. I still haven’t cried. I haven’t yelled or really have shown any type of emotion other than swearing like a Sailor at times.

For the past 6 days I’ve been dealing with extreme edema in my lower belly, legs & feet. Tomorrow I’m heading over to my doctor’s office for a quick visit to see if I can get any sort of relief. I know my surgeon’s office doesn’t want me to be on any type of meds but something has got to make me feel less like walking in quicksand and back to feeling normal. It’s been 43 days since my surgery and I’ve never experienced this much tightness in my lower body. I also do not like to feel “heavy.”

I have also been Googling foods that help reduce swelling due to edema. Radishes popped up and so did avocados. Both I love. Both are in my fridge. I just NEED to stop using SALT on my food. Better said than it actually happening, but seriously, I am trying.

Doomsday: October 23, 2018

Many hours after my emergency surgery.

 

Full look of my incision.

 

Getting bandaged up by two nurses in my hospital room.

 

The RNs are trying to get my drainage tube adjusted correctly into the side of my stomach.

 

All bandaged up.

 

Exhausted, cold and super thirsty but got ice chips instead.

Remembering on Day 41

Earlier this afternoon, I went on to my Avera Portal and looked up everything I could find about the two ER visits I had on Oct 19th and Oct 23rd. As well as, the visit to Dr. Strand to get my lap band emptied and then the actual emergency life saving surgery also on the 23rd. What I read stunned me. S T U N N E D. Shocked. Mystified. And then I had to go lay down because the magnitude of what I just read and after looking up all the meanings of the 8 different diagnoses almost put me over the edge.

I saw my RN friend was online so I immediately bombarded her with my stunned numbness. And I sent numerous texts to my mom too. While my mom was literally present during the whole nightmare, I either blocked it all out or I just haven’t fully processed it all but I think I’ve mentioned it before but I know what happened on October 18th, October 19th and the night of October 22nd. I recall not wearing my winter coat on a very frigid morning of October 23rd when my mom pulled up her car to the door of my complex to pick me up and take me to the standing ER on 26th and Marion Road.

I remember falling off the gurney in the ER that morning… and I remember being told that an ambulance was on its way to pick me up. I remember my mom saying she was going to walk over to HyVee next door to get some breakfast. I remember calling her on her cell phone telling her I was on my way to Avera McKennan Hospital via ambulance and to come back quickly. Next I remember three EMTs showing up, getting me into the squashed teal and green ambulance. I remember the ride to the hospital as very very uncomfortable and I thought the driver had hit all the potholes on his merry way, when in reality, I know he was driving fast to get across the city. And somewhere along the drive, my mom was tailing right behind in her car. She told me much later that she got there at the same time as the ambulance.

I remember the lady EMT was at my feet pushing the gurney and the blonde hair guy EMT was at the front of the gurney. My last memory was mega blurry and I remember barely being able to see and someone helping me into a hospital gown. I remember nothing else until a long long long time later when I weirdly remember suddenly being awake in Room 1-205 on the Med-Surg Wing 1 at McKennan Hospital.  There were two nurses in my room talking quietly. I do not recall seeing my mom right away. I remember being in a foggy state of mind. And I clearly remember the horrific pain in the middle of my stomach.

In and out of sleep, I clearly remember my very first visitor. Mavis (Odens) Amundson. What a wonderful and beautiful surprise. Then several others came to see me…. I remember every visitor but I don’t know how coherent I was with any of them. Or if I was “actually all there.” I do remember each nurse and nurse tech who came in. I tried to get to know each person who helped treat me. I thought it was important to understand how they were treating me. But what my mom and I came to learn was none of them had any idea what kind of surgery I just survived or the seriousness of what I just went through.

So back to today and reading the 8 diagnoses on my Portal Chart through Avera.

  • Gastric Necrosis
  • Acute Blood Loss Anemia
  • Acute Abdomen
  • Hypertriglycerdemia
  • Sepsis
  • Leukocytosis
  • Dysmenorrhea (related to my other issue dealing with peri-menopause)
  • Menorrhagia (related to my other issue dealing with peri-menopause)

I read all of the findings from each doctor or PA-C. I read their notes. I read the diagnoses on the Portal and then I Googled all of them. I contacted my friend who is a RN too just for some clarification… and then I sent them all to my mom via text. Not to upset her but to simply ask if she was told any of these while she was waiting for me to get out of surgery or anytime afterwards. No, she said. While Dr. Person’s did come out and speak to her, none of these crazy words were discussed.

It’s all good. I am alive on Day 41. I’ve been living life so much differently now that I haven’t been sick like I was prior to surgery. I have been vomit-free for 41 days. I have been acting differently. I have been talking differently. I have been feeling differently. I have been thanking my mom daily for saving my life for the second time in six years. And with that, how will I ever repay her?!

How do I tell my own mother thank you for literally saving my life? Yes, Dr. Person and the other team of surgeon’s and the OR staff truly saved my life on the operating table… but had my mom not kept urging me to get dressed and let’s get in the car to the ER …. or had she NOT been at my apartment spending the night… I know I would have never taken myself to the ER by myself. And I would be dead.

My mom was my saving grace. Literally. And I literally healed at my childhood home for 32 days.

And now we have majority of the answers to our long long long year of unanswered questions of what was wrong with me and why I was always in pain.

Happy to be alive on Day 41. Happy to be back at work — part-time status for now, but happy I am still employed. I am happy with the friends who have truly stepped up and showed me their true faithful selves to me and my wonderful mother. I am happy just to be happy that I am healing physically, mentally and emotionally.

As Dr. Strand said to me, “Don’t dwell on the past, let’s just keep moving forward.” 

Here’s to remembering but not dwelling on anything but the future.

 

 

New Food Changes

While I had the lap band, there were so many foods I simply could not eat or digest well. And one of them were oranges. Since that was removed on October 23rd, all of my eating habits have been drastically changed for the better. I am so grateful that while I am restricted on some foods per my surgeon, eventually, I’ll be able to eat them in the future. And now… I can eat and digest oranges. I forgot how much I missed eating them and enjoying the health benefits of them.

Happy Monday!

Hello Day 40

I’ve been alive, with my new life, for 40 days as of today. Despite the snow and ice storm we had yesterday, I am needing to connect with a friend this weekend, so later this afternoon, I will be meeting a college pal at Applebee’s for food and merriment.

My goal for this week is to get 60 grams of protein down my pie hole every single day.

As I’ve already mentioned in previous posts, I did my recovering at my hometown of Springfield (SD) and in the best county I’ve ever lived in, Bon Homme County. That being said, our county has three small town newspapers run by the same publisher. Last week, I submitted a “Card of Thanks” for all three newspapers just thanking the County for being so kind towards my mother and I while I healed. I decided to publish it on my blog today. ***And there were people all over the US, who kept me in their prayers too, but I just wanted to focus on my County, the place where I was born and raised as a child.***

Letter to the Editor

A big shout out to my Prayer Warriors in Bon Homme County. I’m still needing you as I continue to heal. While I already miss the immensely wonderful TLC and all the unconditional love my mom has given me, I know that I am ready to embark on the second chance I received at life. I am thankful for so many kindhearted people as well as the events that have taken place during the month I was recovering at my mom’s in Springfield. I am thankful for the warmth from friends, my mom’s friends, kind strangers alike and from the wisdom I have learned through this entire nightmare I have been through.

With putting things into perspective on my emergency life-saving surgery I had on October 23rd, I was diagnosed with a rare condition called Gastric Necrosis. What I learned afterwards was that my stomach had been perforated and the surgeons at Avera McKennan, removed 85% of my stomach due to decay. My mom and I were told that I had 6 to 8 hours left to live before my stomach was going to rupture.

I am extremely blessed my Higher Power has allowed me to continue on with my new life during these past 35 days with no complications. I will forever be thankful for the overwhelming acts of random kindness and for everyone who has chosen to be a part of my journey.