Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Tuesday

No major accomplishments today, but I walked more than the day before so I feel like that is progress. The home health nurse came out today and changed my dressing. My incision is not near as big as it looked by the dressing or what it said it would be in the book. And I got a waterproof dressing so I can shower tomorrow! It's the little things:) I am on coumadin to prevent blood clots so she checked my level for that with a finger stick and took my vital signs. Physical Therapy came this afternoon and showed me how to sleep on my side safely-cannot wait for bed tonight! I have been sleeping flat on my back and that gets old sleeping in the same position. He said I am doing better than 90% of the patients when I told him yesterday that I could get in and out of bed by myself. I asked him how long he thought I would be on crutches and he said probably not too much longer. YAY! I am definitely not rushing things and I know when I need to rest/change positions and I am not pushing at all, but I don't want to slack either. To be honest, I was a little depressed on the way home from the hospital because I still couldn't lift my leg on my own and just seemed like a long road to recovery. I know it was only 2 days after surgery, but it is really really hard for me to down. I still have my moments, but I am happy with my progress. PT also showed me other places in the house I can sit besides this standard chair with handles in the living room. I am not ready yet though, mentally. I am so nervous about breaking my precautions. I know I will get there.

I have been looking forward to my first outings-Red Lobster with my momma is on the list:)


I have some new artwork from Brennan:) 


Brennan has been giving me some good laughs. He came home from Tball practice last night and brought this bag of blue corn chips in the bedroom and asked if he could have some. I opened them for him, he took one bite and said "What?? This isn't chocolate!!" He thought they were chocolate-haha!


Here is Casey putting my ted hose socks on. Long white, very fashionable stockings I am supposed to wear for 6 weeks-eek.


Beautiful flowers I received from my coworkers at Children's today-very nice surprise! 


My BFF Kacey brought me puppy chow today-yum yum!!


Brennan got to spend the day playing with his BFF Bella! Thank you Renee for watching Bren!


Renee came over and took care of me today and left us with a yummy chicken dinner-thank you!! My sissy came by to visit before work and dad came to visit after work. Also, Bobby cut our grass-we are so spoiled! We had a pretty eventful day:)


Monday, April 29, 2013

Adjusting at Home

Here is my knight in shining armor who came to take me home yesterday:) My other knight is not pictured:)


 I had to be able to walk up stairs in order to "pass"  physical therapy to go home. I was really worried about getting into the car, but it went pretty well. Being home has been a bit of an adjustment, just learning to get in and out of bed and finding a good combo of lying in bed, sitting in bed and sitting in a chair. They all get tiring after a little while. Yesterday I was getting myself out of bed by myself, which was a big accomplishment. My leg is still swollen, but it doesn't feel so heavy anymore. My bed is actually easier than the hospital bed too because my sheets are slick and I can slide around a little easier. Today I was able to get in and out of bed by myself-I was starting to worry I might never get back in bed by myself. I came home to a clean house, cleaned by my friend Renee. And my BFF's got me 2 house cleanings while I am recovering.

Here is Bren and I shortly after I got to my room after surgery and shortly before I passed out. I was feeling so good, I never would have imagined I would pass out!


Casey brought me the ant farm when I got home so I could see what they have been up to. All of the white sand at the top of the ant farm was brought up by the ants. They have been very busy! 


Gilbert the beta also got to move into his new home-complete with glow in the dark rocks. Spoiled little fish.


Our window bird feeder has had some visitors too:)


Here are the flowers Brennan brought me in the hospital:)


A plant my moms friend Donna brought me with dinner:)


Casey has been so amazing!!! He has been waiting on me hand and foot and has been very patient with me. I am soooo lucky to have him! Also, my mom helped get us settled in and she is spending the day with us today. I hope she can handle Brennan and I-we're pretty needy:)

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Surgery and post op

I want to be able to look back and remember everything so i decided to post about my surgery and post op adventures. I  had to be at the hospital for surgery at 5:30am-ew. It was all pretty quick, I got called to my pre op room right away. I got registered and changed into my fancy gown and booties. Nurses and doctors and anesthesia came in to ask me the same questions over and over-what allergies, name, birth date, and the most famous-which hip. Casey and my mom were in the room before I went back. I had a spinal, which i have actually never had before because my platelets are always too low and I have to have general anesthesia. My counts have been good lately and my platelets were 130 when I came in. I was a little worried about the spinal because I really really did not want to hear them sawing off my bone. They said the would give me medicine so I wouldnt remember anything, it must have worked because the last thing I remember is them putting in the urine catheter. I woke up and apparently said the same things over and over.  who knows what I said in the operating room. Maybe its best I don't know.  I got back to my room and visited with family. Brennan came to see me and brought me flowers:) I really wanted to get out of bed after a while. They said they would be getting me up soon anyway and I was ready. I was just tired of laying in the same spot and I couldnt move my leg:( It felt like it weighed about 1000 lbs because of the major muscles they had to cut through. Now it feels like about 50 lbs-much better:) Physical therapy came in and sat me on the side of the bed. She took my blood pressure and it was good. Much higher than before. In PACU it was 80's/40's. So we proceeded to standing and I had the walker. I took 2 steps amd felt nauseated and lightheaded. I took one step back toward the bedand the next thing I knew I was laying in thr bed looking up at the physical therapist. I was so bummed!! All I wanted was to get out of bed and I passed out! Luckily the PT instructor was there and she grabbed my legs and put them up on the bed as I fell. Casey saw the whole thing. I was getting IV tylenol and toradol (like ibuprofen through the IV) so i didnt take any other narcotics that day. It must have been from the meds they gave me in surgery.  I got up again later and  did well and then got up 2 other times through the night. My scheduled tylenol and toradol ended at 9pm so at 3am I started taking vicodin. I took one pill and it didnt do a whole lot so next time I took 2 pills. about two hours after that I was up with occupational therapy to show her I could go to the bathroom on my own (with the walker) and then I had to sit in the chair and she taught me how to dress myself using the go gi gadget arm. I have a feeling I will be getting a lot of use out that thing! I cant bend over 90 degrees for 3 months, i also cant twist my body, turn my right leg in or cross my legs for that amoint of time either. That is what i have been worried about most i think! Anyway,. I stayed in the chair after occupational therapy left and all of a sudden I started feeling nauseated, lightheaded and like I was going to pass out. Luckily my nurse was in the room. She got me nausea medicine and cold wash cloths. I was dripping with sweat from my entire body. My blood pressure was 73/40. She was afraid to get me up because I was basically blacking out sitting up in the chair. Finally another Occupational Therapist was in the room with my room mate and she helped my nurse help me back to bed. I felt so sick and I kept getting these stomachs cramps-it was so miserable, just like the day before. I couldn't wait for Casey to get there. The nurse also gave me extra IV fluids to get my blood pressure up. My doctor had already been in and said I could go home once I passed the physical therapy tests (walking up stairs, getting to the bathroom on my own) My nurse called him and he said I should stay and see how I do . I decided it was the narcotic pain medicine that was making my blood pressure drop lower than i already was in combination with getting up..We discussed different medications and there werent a lot of options that weren't narcotic so extra strength tylenol it was. I am also using an ice pack on my incision which really helps. I got up again yesterday and did well. I also went to the bathroom, washed up and ate dinner sitting up in a chair and did well. My blood loss was 500ml so my hemoglobin went from 12 on admission to 9.6 and today it dropped to 8.2. I am not having symptoms of low hgb and its probably partly my body causing it to drop so i am hoping for no blood transfusion. of course platelets cant be left out, they were 130 on admission which is fabulous for me and dropped to 103 by the end of the day of surgery. Today they are down to 82, 000. This is usually what they go down to when my body is under stress so I am hoping they don't go any lower. My white blood cell count has stayed good-in the 3's which is average for me. I got up today (and through the night) to use the bathroom and walk in the halls and so far so good. Hoping to go home today. Wish me luck!!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

New Year's Resolution

I don't really make New Year's resolutions, but every year I vow not to go to the doctor as much. It's not like I can really help it or go when I don't really need to, but it's always for stupid shit. Not that I want to go for anything big, but it seems like every year we (I) rack up so many medical bills for nothing. This year I have already spent about $1,500 in medical bills and prescriptions. Almost every year we have enough to claim medical on our taxes which you have to have at least 7.5% of your income. This year we have $528.04 toward our family out of pocket and $517.27 of that is from me. I guess I should look at my total cost so far is $12,343 and be glad I haven't had to pay that much. Hopefully I will only have to pay about another $1,000 to have met my out of pocket and anything else this year will be covered at 100%. So much for 2013 being a year that I don't go to the doctor. I blew that January 3rd when I started the year off with an eye infection. Then 2 more sinus infections, bronchitis, another sinus infection and now a hip replacement-this is a record. so much for getting better, it's getting worse. Maybe next year I will wish to go to the doctor more-a little reverse psychology??

Also, with my marathon illness I have had 16 prescriptions so far this year. The people at the pharmacy don't even ask my name anymore. I am honestly not one to take medication. I don't have any medications besides vitamins that I take on a daily basis. This year has been slightly different for medications because of all of the antibiotics I had to take, but seriously 16-that's ridiculous. Luckily my prescriptions and doctor visits haven't been costing that much. But when you add a CT scan, two x-rays, and MRI to the mix-things get a little pricey.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Earth Day

Monday was Earth Day and I thought the zoo was having little enrichment activities around the zoo for Earth Day and it was a beautiful day so I decided to go. Turns out the presentation day was the day before:( We still had lots of fun and the weather was perfect.


Meerkat-they are so cute!!


Snake friend



These guys were begging for food. We might have shared a few almonds. They were eating right out of our hands.





Getting ready to feed the Sting Rays


Waiting for one to come by









We stopped to take a break and things got a little silly;)




♥♥♥



Tuesday, April 23, 2013

New friends

Today was Brodys last day here for a while:( We went to the library then picked up some ice cream:) Here they are walking hand in hand in the rain♥


Brennan got an ant farm for Christmas. I ordered the ants a while back, but it has been too cold for them to come. They were set to deliver when weather permitted. We usually don't have anything planned week to week that would make a difference when they come, except when I have surgery. I mean I guess it's not that big of a deal since we have them set up in their habitat (what an adventure that was), but I have books and study sheets for the boys on ants and I really wanted to do all of that with them. We talked a little about them in the short time we had after we got home and I got them out of the mailbox. And they had SO much fun watching them!


These ants are quite feisty. First, I am reading all about what needs to be done to get their habitat ready, get them in there and care for them. Then I read that they can bite or sting. So I get everything ready and they come in this little tube. it said to put them in the fridge for 15 minutes to calm them so it's easier to get them in the habitat. I put them in for 10 minutes, I was kind of afraid they might die. So they were calm when I took them out. I did something else to the habitat and apparently they don't stay calm for long because when I was trying to put them in they started crawling out (I might not have had the tube in all the way), all over the place! Eek! So I'm freaking out a little-not gonna lie-if they were normal ants whatever, but this girl does NOT want to get bit! So I set the tube down only to realize I didn't put the cap on so more ant got out then I put the cap on and it came off while I was frantically trying to figure out how I was going to capture the other ants. Got the cap on-tight this time. Then the ants that did go into the habitat were crawling out of the top because I didn't put the lid on because once again-frantically trying to catch run away stinging, biting ants-gahhh!! They were mean little things-I didn't get bit, but they just looked like they were ready to bite! Meanwhile these two boys are over on the couch huddled together barely peeking over at what is going on. Seriously-I need backup! Finally, I get a glass and start scooping them up into it. They didn't really go too far so that was good, but they were kind of all over the place and hopefully I got them all! Here are about 50 ants that seem to be adapting to their new home-they must be happier than in the tube!


We also acquired a new fishy friend this weekend. Brennan was in our friends wedding and they had a few of these little guys as decorations. Brennan decorated his little bowl with a kitty, how appropriate:) 


Oh and I decorated it with a mustache from the wedding;)


Thursday, April 18, 2013

Wonder

I have always thought about Reese and Scotlyn as babies, occasionally I would think of the age they should be. Lately I have been stuck on this 2 year old thing. I'm not sure if it's the progression of my grief or just a different phase, but I am always thinking of the things they would be doing at this age-more than usual. Every age is fun, but I think about how this age would be when they would really be showing their personalities and talking and just the funny things kids say at this age. I miss Reese and Scotlyn so much! There are times that I look at their pictures and still can't believe they are gone forever. I still try to imagine what they would look like. This might sound strange, but I have even thought of those age progression drawings to see what they would look like. Just so many unanswered thoughts.

I was delighted to see two, yes just two, blooms on their magnolia bush. I have been waiting for blooms on any of my trees and I have really been enjoying these first two blooms. Thank you to my playgroup girls again for this beautiful magnolia bush in memory of my sweet girls♥


Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Visuals-reader discretion advised

I made a little mistake refreshing my memory on exactly what is involved in a hip replacement. Probably not a good idea to watch a video on youtube about exactly what kind of  revisions are going to be done to your body. Might make looking forward to the procedure a little less appealing. The idea of my butt being cut open and my leg detached from my body, a portion of my leg sawed off and a foreign body drilled into my femur (leg bone)-not a good visual. I will spare you the less appealing pictures. You're welcome for the lesson in orthopedics for the day. The femoral head, which is the ball, will be made of ceramic. The stem will be made of titanium and the piece inside the socket of the acetabulum is going to be made of polyethylene plastic. The plastic is what wears down over time and is what will cause me to need a revision down the road-lets hope the long road.


This is a picture featured in my book on the page describing what to expect after you go home. Let's hope I sleep as peaceful as this guy. However, on the very same page, they warn you that you may not sleep well for 3 months. Hmmm, little misleading.


I know that I probably wont drive for 2 weeks. Hopefully I won't be walking with an assistive device for longer than 2 weeks either. I can't bend over 90 degrees for 3 months-sheesh. Like getting dressed unassisted for 3 months. That dressing stick may be my new best friend. I have bought some dresses and nightgowns to make dressing more easy. Although I do still need underwear-or maybe I will decide I don't.


Friday, April 12, 2013

Outlook

I am trying to have a positive outlook on this surgery because it sucks! I am trying not to think of it that way because I have no other choice but to move forward with whatever treatment I need to get better. We have to cancel our family vacation in 3 weeks because of this. The vacation that we swim with the dolphins. The one that I have been promising for the last 2 years to Brennan we would do when he turned 6 because that was the age requirement. I thought about scheduling the surgery after, but what is a vacation when you cant get around normally and I am afraid the pain I had earlier this week will come back. I just want to get this done as soon as possible. We are also missing my cousins wedding in a few weeks. I know we can take a vacation later this year when I am feeling better and I am holding onto that. I hate that we had a field trip planned for today that we can't go to now. And one next week. I was looking forward to taking more pictures this spring and now that is put on hold. I have sick time at work that I have been saving for close to 3 years to use when we had another baby. Well, now its being used for a hip replacement. That surely wasn't in my plan. You would think I would learn by now that I can't plan anything. I keep trying though, because that's what I do. Sometimes I feel like someone is willing away the good things in my life. I cant dwell on it because there is nothing I can do, but it seems that way sometimes.

I try to focus on that things could be worse, because they could be. Before I got my results I had a fleeting thought that it could be a tumor so even though this diagnosis is much worse than I truly thought it was going to be, I am thankful that it isn't cancer. I am lucky to have so many people in my life to offer support through this. I'm lucky that I have sick time and disability to get us through this financially. So while I know this is no picnic, I know that I need to stay positive for the best outcome possible and remember that things could be worse.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Surgery Scheduled

I met with the surgeon today. He reviewed everything with me extensively and basically said with the femoral head collapsed (not just fractured, it couldn't be that easy), there is a lot of damage and all of the options that could have been are basically 50/50 so he recommended a total hip replacement. Yes, in just a little over 2 weeks you can call me bionic woman or woman with a bionic hip. 

We discussed recovery time, etc. I will walk with an assistive device for at least 2 weeks, but I get to get out of bed the same day! I don't know how happy I will be about that when the time comes, but I really don't want to be stuck in bed!! Recovery time after that is variable. It really depends on the patient/age/physical condition. Hopefully all of that yoga I did will help out! I do feel like I am in pretty good shape and I have been itching to exercise, but since I was sick and having hip pain it didn't work out well for me. They did give me a book pamphlet that has all of the information about what to expect with the surgery and things to do to prepare. They have exercises I can do before to strengthen up-guess I better get busy:)

I also need a "hip replacement kit", things to help me get dressed. Included in the kit is a plastic sock aide, dressing stick-can't wait to use this, 32" reacher-go go gadget arm, elastic shoelaces-no thanks, long handled sponge, and a long handled shoe horn-I'll stick with slip ons! Last but not least a raised toilet seat, I have actually thought about getting one of these now. Seriously.

He also said I only needed to use the crutches now if I want to. So I threw them in the trash. Just kidding, I can tell already since walking without them since my appt that I will need them, but I don't want to rely on them all the time. I want to be as strong as possible for surgery.

 I will leave you with a pretty picture of flowers my sweet boy brought me when I was stuck in bed.


Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Bad News Blog?

I feel like I either don't post anything or I post bad news...boo. Unfortunately I have more bad news. I have been having hip pains off and on for a few months. I had all of my other health issues going on so I decided to wait to get it checked out. Apparently I was waiting until I could no longer walk and was forced to get it checked out. I work long shifts anyway, but there were 2 days a couple of weeks ago that I worked 16 hours both days and when I woke up the next day after working both shifts I almost fell out of bed because I couldn't put weight on my right leg. I worked through it a little and found what aggravated it and tried to avoid until I could call the doctor on Monday. Monday is when I had the stomach virus, but by evening I felt well enough that I went to get the xray. Waited 2 days for results which merely said I needed a MRI (which I asked for in the first place, but was told that insurance generally requires the x-ray first). Had the MRI the following Saturday, which was this last Saturday-one week after the severe pain started. I got a release of my results because I could barely walk and wanted to know what was going on. Basically confirmed in a more detailed fashion what the x-ray showed. I have avascular necrosis or osteonecrosis of both hips, right hip being more severe with swelling and a fracture in my femoral head. Hmmm, might be the cause of severe pain and inability to walk on right leg. Osteonecrosis is basically lack of blood supply to the bone, bone weakens and collapses. I started walking on crutches as soon as I found out. Monday, my doctor sent my records to an orthopedic surgeon in St Louis so I waited to see when my appt would be, never heard back Monday. Their first appt was way far off, but I obviously need to be seen much sooner so they needed the doctor to review the record to approve and recommend when I needed to be seen. Tuesday, the scheduler told me they were still waiting to hear back from the doctor about when they could see me. By this time I started having severe pains in my leg. I have a pretty high pain tolerance and I am on the verge of tears when this happens. It basically feels like someone is crushing my leg-not fun. It only lasts about 5-10 minutes thankfully, but it is miserable. I called for stronger pain medication yesterday, which helps when I am moving in bed, but I don't think anything can't touch this pain. Anyway, never heard anything about the appointment yesterday-absurd. Finally this morning I was so miserable and felt like something needs to be done right away. I knew going to a St Louis hospital was going to cost more because we have a local hospital insurance because that is where Casey works, but decided to call to see about out benefits. They told me only 60% of my bill would be covered after a $1,000 deductible vs 80%/20% with no deductible. Eek. Of course I have a max out of pocket, but still that would be like $3-4,000. I started thinking maybe I should see about going to a doctor at the local hospital. I just really want this done right and generally the research hospitals in St Louis have the most up to date procedures. I decided with as much pain as I was in, it wouldn't hurt to see someone today and decide from there what I wanted to do. He got me right in, like 30 minutes after I called, they called me back and told me to come right in. Casey was able to meet us there too which was great. So after talking to this doctor, he recommended that I be seen in St Louis anyway. If I were 20 years older the treatment would be a total hip replacement, but it isn't ideal to get a hip replacement now and have nothing to work with in 20 years when I need another one. He said they would have more options for me since I am so young and with my history with my blood counts he thought they could follow me better. It actually worked out good that I saw him because hopefully the insurance company will use his recommendation and cover me with the local benefits since it's not something I can have done locally. So they were going to try to call over and work some magic to get me an appointment. Something worked because I got a call on my way home that I am meeting with the surgeon I originally wanted to meet with in St Louis tomorrow at 11am. So I should have a plan tomorrow.

On our way home today, Brennan and I both decided we needed some mexican for lunch-yum yum!


This poor guy has been stuck at home with me the last couple of days and I can't do much on crutches. Plus my pain seemed to be when I was up so yesterday I stayed in bed all day except to use the bathroom and get him something to eat. He has been entertaining himself, seeing me in pain when I have those episodes and finally witnessed my breakdown this morning when I felt like I was going to rot away in bed, in pain forever because I couldn't get an appointment.


 I actually have felt much better this afternoon, spirits and pain. We enjoyed our lunch together and I caught this super sweet video of my boy♥

video

In case you can't hear it, he says "I love mexican so much. It's really yummy. I could almost eat it every day. I love chips and cheese." I asked what else he loves and he said "I love rice with cheese on it. And especially, I love...you." Aww, love that baby bear!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

bunny

We got these bunnies for Reese and Scotlyn for Easter 2 years ago. They have their heart beat recorded inside. Well, you can probably imagine my devastation when I realized Scotlyns stopped working:( 


I stopped by Build A Bear one day to see If they could fix it. They said to bring it in and they mail them off to the get them fixed and get them back in about 12 weeks. What a relief. When i dropped it off the lady didnt sound so positive it would be fixed. She said they do what they can and its usually only if the battery needs to be replaced. Lets hope its the battery.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Better days

This week started off miserable...I had a stomach bug so I was sick in bed Monday. Here is Brennan being a total trooper playing games/watching videos on the laptop in bed with me:) 


He had gotten close to his next goal of 50 books so usually when it gets really close we set a goal for each day to get to the day when we can go get his prize. Well it worked out to be Monday-the day I was feeling horrible! I slept off and on trying to feel better so I could take Brennan. At one point I told him I didn't think we were going to be able to go. He was so upset. I felt SO bad because he works so hard and really looks forward to his prizes, especially when we have it pinned down to the day we are going to go. I said "Brennan, what if mommy has to throw up in the car?" His response "We can take a napkin." Umm, okay that might not be quite enough. I finally got enough energy early afternoon to take a shower and I am not sure how, but we got out the door. Once I started driving and got out into the sunny day, I did start feeling a little better. We made through the store rather quickly (and only one bathroom trip for me;) and he got his prize!


Tuesday I decided not to have Brody over because I wasn't sure how I would feel and I didn't want them to be doing nonsense all day. I ended up feeling a smidge better than Monday, but still was not feeling well at all. Brody came over Thursday and we celebrated 100 days! We are actually past 100 days, but I just hadn't really prepared yet to celebrate. We are still behind regular school schedule, but I plan to school Brennan through the summer since we don't do school every day since I work and because I want him to continue reading/writing/reviewing math skills so he is prepared for next year.


So in their own goofy way, here they are counting out 10 groups of 10 pennies:)


Writing/drawing what they would do with $100-Brody would buy a dog and Brennan would buy a snake. Sounds somewhat reasonable although I can't say I'm quite ready for a snake in our house so lets hope $100 does not come into Brennans hands anytime soon.



Snack time with ten of 10 different snacks.




YUM!



Today we finally had a nice sunny day that I wasn't working-yay! We spent a lot of the day at the park. Brennan had a lot of fun-not really sure what this is-park spa? I ran into an old friend from high school who was there with his daughter so we chatted while the kids played-very nice day:)