Two Years Gallbladder Free!

It’s been two years today since I had my gallbladder surgically removed! Two years free from crippling gallbladder ‘attacks’ that knocked me to the floor. It’s a nice thing to reflect on, because with that one surgery, I was CURED of what the pathologists deemed chronic cholecystitis. I wish all my illnesses and health woes had such easy fixes!

Feeding Tube Change # ?

Getting a new J tube today at Duke Raleigh! This time, they are going to sedate me– hallelujah. I have second-degree burns around my stoma (from bile), granulation tissue and ulceration around/inside of the tract. Plus PTSD from previous changes…yikes. Here’s to hoping the sedation…well…sedates me!

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BE BRAVE

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Feeding Tube Change #3

I am scheduled to take my Medical Terminology final exam today, so doing the procedure without any sedation!  Definitely not excited for the procedure (last time was really painful), but l am certainly looking forward to leaving here with a brand new, clean, fully-functioning tube!  Trying to study prefixes and suffixes for the exam and not let my nerves get the best of me.  Hoping all goes smoothly!

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Waiting for a feeding tube change at Duke Raleigh Interventional Radiology

 

More Like Falling In Love

From August 25, 2015.

Had moved into apartment all by myself, while really ill, and the place was trashed.

It was trashed BEFORE I even moved in, because my mother asked them not to clean or paint (because I have Multiple Chemical Sensitivities). There was literally blood smeared around the bathroom and nasty stains on the carpet and goodness knows what all over the walls and desk.

Worked really hard to get it together- again, BY MYSELF! – despite my health and my body’s objections. Took me hours (though the time-lapse makes it look like seconds!)…but I did it. I needed my room to be a place where I could think…study…breathe…function. And I had a lot of people to prove wrong.

As of now (9/7/15), the room looks COMPLETELY different. It is beautiful and matches and the carpet is even scrubbed and new-looking. It’s even organized 🙂

The point of the beginning of this video?

I overcame everything and did what I needed to do…turned the pain into power…and was successful. Was the room perfect? Not even close! But did I make a lot of progress? YES.

Difficult does not equate impossible.

Small victories are still victories. 🙂

Souvenir, Anyone?

Ever wondered what a J-tube looks like?  Well, wonder no longer!  This baby gives me all my nutrition and medications.  It bypasses my paralyzed stomach and goes straight into my jejunum.  But…do you see the problem with this picture?Screenshot 2015-09-25 at 4.03.56 PM
I’ll give you a hint:  in order to get the nutrition, the tube must reside INSIDE your intestine.  This little tubie got ripped out when I passed out and fell down the stairs (#DropItLikeItsPots).  It’s just been that kind of week.  Oh yeah, and by the time anyone decided to do anything about it, the stoma was completely closed and the balloon left inside was infected so turned into a full-out surgery that REALLY knocked my down about ten steps. Ugh…

REX Hospital (Mis)Adventures

IMG_3409So, here’s a little story about when I went to REX hospital to get a new feeding tube placed after losing mine earlier this week.

First, a little backstory: When it fell out (more like when it was RIPPED out as I fell down the stairs), I covered the stoma in a sterile dressing and headed straight to WakeMed North where I met Hillary. I straight up asked the nurses there if this was something they were equip to handle, and they suggested we head to REX instead where my surgery was done. I thought that sounded like a great idea, and so off we went.

We waited in the REX ER for hours before they brought me back. It was another two hours of lying in the bed until they informed us they had no idea what to do and that I should just call my surgeon in the morning. I asked if they would contact the on-call surgeon or at least give me something to stick in my stoma so my newly-established tract would not close, but they offered no help and said it should be fine. New to the feeding tube world, I did not really question their judgement. I mean, these were doctors…at the hospital in which I had my surgery…they knew what they were doing, right? So off we went back to College Inn. In the morning, I called my surgeon’s office, and was scheduled to go to Interventional Radiology today (July 30th) so they could slide a new tube in.

Upon arriving at the hospital, they got me registered, started an IV, hooked me up to all the monitors, and rolled me in to the ‘operating’ room. I was transported on to the table and strapped down. It wasn’t until that point that someone decided to remove the bandage to see what they would be working with (aka my stoma/intestinal tract). The doctor carefully peeled back the bandage…and then I heard him curse. He began yelling at the nurses and other physicians & technicians in the room, demanding to know why no one had checked this before.

The stoma and tract was so new, it had completely closed up!

Guess what that means for me? Yet another major laparoscopic j-tube surgery, as if the first one never happened at all. I have to go through it all over again, just because the ER wouldn’t help and thought it would be “okay” despite my objections and pleading for a second opinion.

The above picture is our “wtf, really?” faces from when we got back in the car after this whole ordeal. I tried to laugh and joke about it at first, but now that I’m back at the apartment and alone, I cannot help but cry. The fun just never ends…