Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Day 305

Here we go again.

On Friday November 16 I noticed a small red bump on my upper left thigh. It looked just like a mosquito bite which didn't surprise me because we have mosquitoes all over out here. I did think it was odd that it didn't itch. 

Fast forward to Monday. The bump had become much bigger and was beginning to hurt. I showed it to Mom and she said it looked just like a bug bite she had a few weeks ago. She let me borrow this cream that got rid of her bite in a couple of days. That Wednesday night, I had had enough. My bump was red, swollen and really painful. I headed to the InstaCare. The doctor took one look, touched it and said "Definitely not a bug bite. It's probably an infected ingrown hair. I'm going to give you an antibiotic but you might have to come back to get it lanced."

I went through the Thanksgiving weekend constantly covering my bump with my hand in fear of something touching it because it hurt so bad. Come Saturday, it was almost unbearable. I thought about going back to InstaCare but I figured I needed to be more patient with the antibiotic and let it do its job. 

On Sunday I finally broke down and called InstaCare. The nurse looked up my chart and said that in the doctor's notes he had written to come back in 3 days if it wasn't better. My anxiety shot through the roof knowing what was to come next. Luckily Eric was home because I don't think I could have gone through this process alone. 

We made the trek to Bountiful and got in pretty quick. The doctor there was named Franziska and was as cute as could be. She told us she was from Switzerland and she just helped me relax a little. That was until she brought in the numbing shot. I laid down on the papery bed and had Eric come hold my hand. The shot pinch wasn't too bad, it was when the fluid started to flow that I lost it. I said "ow" maybe 20 times, tightened my grip on Eric's hand, started to cry, then finally panicked and said to take it out. I don't know if she took it out because I asked or if I had just timed it well. I have never felt pain like that before. 
As the liquid from the shot spread out, it made the redness disappear for a bit creating the picture above. It still hurt to me so every now and then I had Eric touch it to make sure I couldn't feel it because there was no way I was going to let the doctor cut anything if I could still feel it. After awhile though I was feeling good. Eric had made sure to keep telling me to just play Where's My Water on my phone to stay distracted. 

Franziska came back and it was knife time. I laid back down, not wanting to see her make the initial cut. I felt the pressure and then lots of liquid running down my leg. That's when I got curious and looked up. She gave it some squeezes to get all the stuff out. I guess lots came out when she cut it, at least that's what Eric said. I was pretty fascinated, until she got her scissors, stuck them in the hole and opened them to widen the incision. That's when I laid back down and went wide eyed. Even typing it makes me feel queasy.

She flushed it out good with some water, stuffed some long stringy gauze inside it then bandaged it up. She came back with prescriptions for Lortab and a topical ointment to numb it when I clean it. We were then on our way. All the pharmacies around us were closed because it was Sunday night so we just stopped at Harmons to get some extra large bandaids and headed home. 
I did not sleep at all that night. My leg hurt so bad and I could only lay on my back so I had a hard time getting comfortable. With how much pain I was in, I called in sick to work. I still had to go the pharmacy though. Looking back now, I should have called someone to come help me. It probably wasn't the smartest idea to drive, especially since I have a clutch. It was horrible. I got to Harmons, turned in my paper, headed to the waiting area and broke down crying. Luckily Emily answered her phone and told me a funny story to calm me down. The pharmacist recognized me from when I filled my antibiotic prescription so she started asking me what was going on. She's really nice so it was relaxing to have someone sweet helping me. 
When I got home I noticed a blood spot on my bandage. On my paper from InstaCare it said to call them if the bleeding soaks through so I did. I got the nurses desk and left a message. This was at 9:30 am. I didn't hear back from then today, so 24 hours later. Some help they were. I took a Lortab, which I was hesitant about because last time it made me sick to my stomach. But this time time it seemed to help and the pain subsided and I was able to sleep. It was so nice that I decided to take another Lortab a few hours later. That's when trouble started. 
Around 6 I started to get real nauseous. Eric called to see if I wanted something for dinner and I actually thought Cafe Rio sounded good. I was wrong. Eric got home and my nausea was worse and I wasn't able to eat anything. Eric said he was willing to help me change my bandaging so we headed to the bathroom. Pulling the tape off my skin and gauze was awful. It was like pulling off duct tape. I think it took me about 10 minutes. I finally got the tape off only to realize the gauze was stuck to my wound. Yuck. Eric suggested that I stand in the shower and let the water get it soaked so that I could take it off. It worked, just too well. I was washing my arm pits when I felt it peel off.  Not only did the square gauze come off, but it pulled out the stringy gauze with it. So painful. I stood there gasping, wincing, and crying.

I got calmed down, dried off and then Eric got my topical ointment so that we could numb it before cleaning it. I sat on the edge of tub and tried not to watch. When he was done, I knew something was wrong. Luckily I was directly across from the toilet because it came out of nowhere. I was pretty sure everything in my stomach at that point came up. I felt so much better afterwards. Plus, the numbing ointment was kicking in. I had to wait about 30 minutes before cleaning so I went back to the couch. Eric started to get some of his stuff done that he hadn't been able to touch since coming home due to me. I saw him walk back into the bathroom to clean the toilet due to my episode, when it hit me again. I got up, told him to wait, walked into the bathroom but didn't quite make it. 

Poor Eric. Here he was dealing with a hysterical wife who wouldn't stop crying and now he has to clean up after her. I felt so bad. I tried my best to clean up what I could but I mostly sat there like a slug. Again though, I felt much better. Even after all this, Eric was still willing to help me clean my wound. I didn't look at all in fear of throwing up again. To clean it we have to mix 1:1 water and hydrogen peroxide then use q tips in and around the wound. Eric said it was really bubbly. I wish I could have watched because I like watching the fizz from hydrogen peroxide, but this was just too much. 

When he was done, he even helped me put some more gauze on it and bandage it up. He is seriously a saint. My favorite is that he didn't get mad that I didn't reach the toilet the second time. All he said was "Well, if there's a next time, just try to get here faster" in a really soft voice. I love him.

I decided to skip work again today which has been hard. I feel guilty because I know people are having to pick up my slack and I wish I could do more. It feels better today and not as painful. We're thinking that yesterday was so painful because of that stringy gauze that was inside of it.

So here I lay on the couch, wanting to get things done but can't really move. I did turn the dryer on, that was a big moment. And I have plans on pulling the clothes out of the dryer to fold them. I might need to give myself a pep talk for that one. 

To leave on a happy note, here's a picture I stole from Jackie because I love it so much. 
Just me and Abe holding some bunnies

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Day 277

Remember how my last posted ended with "The End"? I was wrong. 

I got to go back to the doctor the week after I wrote that post because I had yet another episode, this time at work. I felt so bad for those who were there because they were trying to help me but there was no way to communicate. Sheesh. 

I'm now on a new regiment. My doctor thinks that my voice box was reacting to various influences causing it to spasm. This spasm was creating the no breathing issue. So we're now combating it from the top and bottom. Every morning I now take a Prilosec for heartburn and every morning and night I have to rinse out my nose with this salt solution, use a nasal spray and use my ventilator. It's been just great having to do all that twice a day. It was especially fun when we went to St. George and I had to pack all my stuff with me. I have turned one of my purses into a mobile pharmacy. It's slightly ridiculous but it is working. I'm feeling so much better these days. I still have minor hiccups every now and then where I'll be talking and my voice will just shut off but it usually comes back after a minute or so.

Now on to happier times. 
We were in St. George a few weeks ago because Eric and his friends decided to run the St. George Marathon. They all did fantastic and it really motivated me to get my butt back into shape. Nothing has come out of that motivation yet, but one day, one day

I had the great privilege of waking up at the crack of dawn to take them to the buses. I was already slightly annoyed because the boys needed to go to bed early and apparently that meant I had to turn the TV off. So at 9 PM I was left stranded. I wasn't tired, I couldn't watch anything, and I had nowhere to go. Lame
The race had a cool feature where if you paid $2 you could receive updates in a text message for 5 runners. It worked out great because then I had an idea of when everyone would be crossing the finish line. I still ended up sitting at the finish line for a few hours but it was worth it. I love people watching so the time went back quickly.

 Below is a picture of Travis and Kolten making the final dash at the finish line

 Eric crossing the finish line. He had so many people doubt him (including me, yes I'm ashamed to admit it) but he did it. I at least wanted him to try and start it but I wasn't anticipating him actually finishing with an impressive time for a first time marathoner.
 My cute friend Brittanee who was all smiles after the race. I hope that I can be as happy as she was if I ever run a marathon.

It was great being in St. George with friends. I was pretty sympathetic the day of the race, but after awhile I got real tired of Eric and Kolten walking so slow. It was like I was being followed by 2 really old men who were just learning to walk again. 

I also did a race, well, halfway did a race. I had signed up for the Dirty Dash and didn't want to miss out even though I wasn't feeling good. We took Jay and I opted to hang back with him since I knew I was going to be slow too.

Here are some of my favorite pictures from the day

This one is particularly special to my heart because it will forever remind me that Jay and the Dirty Dash might not be a good mix

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Day 242

We moved. Draper to Farmington.
It's been harder than I expected. 
I'm guessing it's been harder because I've been sick. The first symptoms hit me September 6. So I'm on Day 19. It was just a cough. Some other people in my office also had a cough so it was easy to determine where I had gotten it. Slowly as each day passed, the cough worsened. Nothing was helping me. I tried Jamba Juice's Cold Buster, I ate lots of oranges, I took cough syrup, nothing. I finally broke down on September 17 and went to InstaCare on my lunch break. The doctor was really nice, until she started telling me her theories of what it might be. She asked if I was up to date on my tetanus and I said I believed I was (I'm going to get my booster now, just so I can say with 100% assurance that I'm up to date). The nice doctor explained that whooping cough has been going around and that it could be possible I had caught that. My heart literally dropped. She started asking my lots of questions about my symptoms that would pertain to whooping cough and I answered no to all of them. She prescribed me some antibiotics, cough suppressant for the daytime, and cough syrup for the night time. She then checked my ears, nose and throat. "Wait a minute, I think there's something in your left ear." So she takes another look. "Yup, something's in there but I can't tell. Let me see if I can get it." She grabbed some green stick thing and started poking around my ear. Nothing came out. "Well, I guess if it doesn't bother you then no big deal." Yeah, easy for you to say. Now I have to worry about if I may have whooping cough and I have something in my ear!

I walked out of the office sobbing. 
I tried calling my mom at work but she didn't answer so I called my sister in law. She sweetly talked me off the ledge and told me if I had whooping cough then everyone around me would have been coughing by now because it's so contagious. She made me feel so better. I began my pill popping regiment and I started to get better. 

Two days later, I woke up and started to get ready for work. I coughed, like I had done for the past 2 weeks, but all of a sudden I couldn't breathe. Not like a I'm-choking-can't-breathe, but a can't-suck-the-air-in-worse-sound-of-my-life can't breathe. It was absolutely terrifying. 

I grabbed the door frames with both hands and just stood there trying to suck the air in and listening to my throat wheeze from the attempt. I'm guessing it lasted a minute, maybe less, but it felt like 5 minutes. I sat on my bedroom floor and noticed that I was real sweaty and was shaking. I honestly didn't know what to do so I just texted my boss and said I was staying home for the day. So many things ran through my mind. Did I choke on phlegm? No, because nothing came up. Did I choke on air? Is that even possible? Was it my asthma? I didn't think it was asthma because I can't recall ever having an asthma attack. 

I told Eric about it when he got home, didn't seem to phase him because it hadn't happened again and I was fine. Took my medicine and went to bed. Around 3 am, I woke up coughing and had another "episode". It woke Eric up and he started patting my back as if I were choking. It didn't last as long as the first one, but it was still scary. Eric was horrified and kept asking "What was that?" I told him I had no idea. It would happen one more time during the middle of the night, right around 3 am, two days later. I brushed it aside thinking it was just happening because of my cough and once the cough went away, the episodes would go away too.

Fast forward to Sunday. I woke up feeling awesome. It seriously was the first day since the 6th that I felt normal again. I didn't have an urge to cough and I had slept amazingly throughout the night. I felt better. I attended the Brigham City Temple Dedication with my brother and his wife at their church. As I went to drive home I remembered I had something in my car for my other brother, James, and his wife. They live down the street from the church so I took a quick detour. I was able to play with my nephews and hold the new baby and tell James all about the Dirty Dash. After about 15 minutes I decided to head home to eat lunch and relax. I walked out their front door, crossed their lawn, then when I got to the sidewalk I coughed a little bit. Bam. 

It hit me without me realizing it. I kept trying to suck in but just couldn't. I started to walk back to the front door thinking it would be good for James to hear what was going on but then I thought about my nephews and how it might scare them to see me like this. So, the next rational thing to do was to sit on their grass and just keep trying to suck the air in. I don't even know how long it lasted but it had to have been at least twice as long as the first one. Once I caught my breath, I just sat there. What do I do now? Should I go back to InstaCare? Should I go to the hospital? Should I just go home? Instead, I dialed my parent's house knowing they would be home from the dedication. My sister answered and I struggled to ask if Mom was there and said I needed to talk to her right away. That's about the time I started to sob. I was so scared. Mom told me to go back inside the house and she called Jackie to let her know what was going on. 

Jackie literally rubbed breathing oil on my feet to help calm me down while James called Zach to see if he could come over to give me blessing. I just sat there and cried. I had so many emotions running through me. I was scared, confused, embarrassed, weak and I was wishing Eric was there. My brothers gave me a blessing and I cried harder. I felt so loved at that moment. I sat there a little bit longer before deciding to head home and go to bed. Zach and his wife were going to come get me in a couple hours to head to Draper for a birthday party so I knew I would only be alone for a little bit.

The birthday party was fun and it was so nice being around everyone. I just had the thought in the back of my mind the whole time that I was never going to cough again because I was terrified of another episode. It finally came to a head and I tried to stop it which resulted in my gagging myself and starting another mild attack. I walked directly to my mom, knelt down by her and started to cry again. Oh, so much crying that day. We talked and we decided that I needed to call my allergist in the morning and try to get an appointment. It was nice to have a plan but the fear of coughing was still there. 

Eric and I finally got home around 9:30 and started to get ready for bed. Next thing you know, I cough and have yet another episode. I immediately sat down and tried to process everything that was happening. Eric came and sat by me and I held out my wrist so that he could take my pulse so that we could see if my heart rate went up and how much. It was a much shorter episode and I wasn't as panicked. We decided that I needed to skip work and go straight to the doctor in the morning. Eric was sweet and called my boss for me since I was having a hard time talking. I went to bed feeling very anxious about everything which is probably why I had yet another episode in the middle of the night. So all in all, on Sunday I had 3 1/2 episodes. That was enough for me.

I woke up the next morning wishing that the clinic opened earlier than 9. I had called them the day before during the birthday party to get their hours and they said it was open 9-5. I woke up around 8 and just started feeling anxious again. I got on my knees and prayed for strength and for a calmness to come about me. I felt extremely better and had the sense that I needed to call the clinic. So I did, and guess what? Someone answered. I told her what was going on and she said she could get me in right at 9. This was at 8:20, which meant I had 5 minutes to get out the door. I put on an outfit from Saturday, it was the closest thing to me, ran some mouthwash through my mouth and walked out the door. I know I looked like a hot mess but I didn't care. I was there at 8:57 am.

At my clinic, each time you go you get to do a breathing test. It's a tube hooked up to the computer to show your lung strength. When I was little, the picture on the screen to blow down was a picture of the three little pig's houses. It was always fun trying to blow down all the houses like the big bad wolf. Now, it's just a picture of candles. I blew as hard as I could each time but noticed my scores were in the 60-70% when they are usually in the 80-90%. They took note of that and after talking with my doctor and explaining what was going on, he decided to have me do a breathing treatment then take the test again to see if my scores improved. 30 minutes later I took the test again and my scores were lower. Perfect. 

My nice doctor made me feel so relaxed and confident that he knew what was going on and that our new action plan was going to work. He assured me that come tomorrow I would be feeling lots better. He did ask me to go get a chest x-ray just to make sure nothing else was going on in my lungs. (X-ray came back normal, nothing to worry about). He then gave me 5 prescriptions. Predinisone (the evil miracle as he put it), an antibiotic, a daily use inhaler, an air chamber to use with my daily use inhaler, and a new rescue inhaler. Lucky me. I left the clinic and drove straight to the hospital for my x-ray. I was in and out in 15 minutes, it was great. My cute Mom met me at the hospital and took me to Costco to get my prescriptions filled. I was so nervous about the inhalers because those puppies are expensive. I got lucky though and my insurance covered everything but the air chamber. I still spent over $100 but it wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be. 

I got to spend the afternoon lounging on my parent's couch and sleeping. They took such good care of me. They even drove me home to Farmington where I randomly started to cry because I felt like I wasn't going home. To me, home was our old apartment in Draper. (My doctor warned me that the Prednisone might make me overreact to certain things. So far it's all been emotional). 

Today was rough. I'm still not 100% back but I do feel better. I had a few moments this morning at work where I thought I was alone and I got really scared but after talking to myself and telling myself I was fine I seemed to calm down. (Again, I'm blaming that on the Prednisone). I even got up the courage to cough. I had to sit in someone's office while they were there, just in case, but I did it. I coughed, and no episode. It was slightly amazing. 

Eric just walked in and asked what was I doing. I told him I was writing everything down that has happened so I wouldn't forget. He asked, "How could you ever forget something like this?" He's right, but I'm hoping one day in the near future all of this won't be running through my head and I can look back and say, "Oh yeah... remember that one time I was sick? I had forgotten about that."

It's like I'm bearing my testimony at church but I have to say thank you again to my family. I'm lucky to have such compassionate people be around me who care about me. I'm also grateful for Eric. I know I've worried him the past couple of weeks and while I know I wasn't doing it on purpose, I still feel extremely guilty. Hopefully tonight we can both, for once since this all started, get a full night sleep without having to wake up. 

The End. 

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Day 172 Part 3

Granite Flats 2012

One Saturday morning I decided I had nothing to do so I went and got my hair did
Once a brunette, now a blonde/red head
I love it. I didn't at first, but now I do

 Hike to Timp
This one was a lot harder for me than the ones in the past. I was out of shape and it nearly killed me.

This is the same picture as the one above it but this was taken in 2011. I wanted to compare the snow
 Mama moose and Baby moose

 This is where I said good bye to my group. I decided to not go to the summit and instead meet them at Emerald Lake after they slid down the glacier. It was a hard/easy decision to make. I would have loved to go the summit with them, but I knew that I was too tired. I got to walk the lonely road of loneliness for awhile. But, there were beautiful flowers everywhere that cheered me up

 This little shelter was my saving grace for the thunderstorm that rolled in.....
 Looking at the shack on the summit
 The beginning of the storm, it was around this time that I began to hear thunder. Then I heard it more, and then it was closer.
 After taking this picture a HUGE bolt of lightning stroke. It was amazing/terrifying. I sat wondering how the group was doing now that they were on the summit

Turns out, none of them were electrocuted. James and Emily did feel the electricity and I was told the shack on top was buzzing and popping like a mad scientist's laboratory. I was very glad I hadn't gone to the summit.

They all made it down just fine and had a good ol' time riding the glacier. 
Click here to see "Timpaslidin" made by the fantastic Cam Goold.

 Follow the Goat

 Shared a bed with Emily in the polygamist tent - woke up to find her like this

The last night we were there the weather decided it had had enough and wanted to rain. Lucky for us, the little boys got to wear rain ponchos and look super cute for pictures

"They call me, Mr. Glass"

In other news, we have been dealing with the most fantastic piece of drama. Oh, believe me, I would go on and on about it because it's been a doozy. I have to remind myself that some people are just crazy and it's up to us to get over it. Doesn't mean we have to like them, but we can accept them. I feel that we have a long, hard journey ahead of us but I'm confident that we can get through it. Feels good to get that little piece of frustration off my chest.

Also, we're going to Texas for a little siesta. Yes, the main reason Eric is going is to see Glenn Beck. My main reasons for going are as follows:
1. It gets me out of work
2. We're going to a Rangers baseball game which I'm excited about even if we have the worst seats in the house
3. We're going to Six Flags (I've never been)
4. We're going with some of our best friends so I know I'm going to be laughing a lot
5. I'll be with Eric, which is always a plus

Big downside though - the flight to Dallas. Yuck. I had a hard time flying to California so how am I supposed to stomach going to Dallas? Guess I'll be taking the laptop and watching Chipmunk Adventure or some other Disney movie to keep me happy.

Day 172 Part 2

Side story before this post:
I have this tooth that wasn't doing too well. Actually, it was just fine, until the Dentist saw him and decided that the filling was deteriorating and was in danger. So the logical thing to do was to put a crown on it. I was horrified. After talking to others though I soon found out that this was a good thing because he caught it early instead of too late which might have meant a root canal. Yuck. 
So, getting a crown is done in two steps.
Step 1: get an impression, file down the tooth and put a temporary on
Step 2: wait for permanent tooth to be made (2-3 weeks), go back to the Dentist and have it put on

Sounds painless right? It's supposed to be. Unless you're like me and you get an infection after getting the temporary on. After 5 days of pain I decided to go back and the nice Dentist prescribed me some antibiotics and Lortab. Now on to the pictures.

The night after going to the Dentist, Eric, Kolten and Cory decided to go on a bike ride. Since I hadn't taken a Lortab yet, I went along to be the driver. I won't lie, it was pretty great driving Kolten's truck around town. I even got to drive around the mountain to take pictures of the Quail Fire in Alpine.

See the flame? They were incredibly big

The next day was the 4th of July. I woke up feeling pretty good so I decided to tag along with Eric and his family to go boating at East Canyon. Big mistake.

I took more of my antibiotics and decided to take a Lortab so I wouldn't be in pain all day. Again, big mistake. We got to the marina and as we were floating around waiting for Eric's dad to park the truck, my stomach became so queasy. I instantly told Eric I needed to get off the boat so we planned on me sitting off for awhile and then coming back out when my stomach settled.

While hanging out at the picnic tables in the shade I made a cute, new friend. If only I would have had my crackers with me
 After about 30 minutes, I was ready to get on the boat. I was feeling much better and even took some pictures.

After 20 minutes of being on the boat my stomach was done. I had the family drop me off one last time. Unfortunately my picnic table had been taken by a family doing a BBQ so I resorted to laying in Cory's car the rest of the afternoon. It was the absolute worst. I felt horrible. It was extremely hot. And to top it off, I was trapped. I couldn't call anyone to come get me, I had no other way of getting home, so all I could do was sit and wait. I decided then and there that the Lortab was not worth it and I haven't taken another one. What a holiday.

Happy to say that I now have my permanent tooth in my mouth. It's pretty dang sore but that's because I have a canker sore. Want to know what it's from? They had to numb me real good because my tooth was very sensitive. I ended up being numb for about 5 hours. When the numbness began to wear off, something started to hurt. I figured it was just part the procedure and didn't think twice about it. That's when I felt it. There was still a cotton rod under my tongue. This whole time I hadn't been able to feel it because I was numb! So now I have a nice canker sore to remind me of it. Thanks a lot cotton rod.