Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thankful

Happy Thanksgiving, Everyone! I hope you have a wonderful holiday weekend and that the turkey isn't the only thing that will be stuffed by the end of the day.

In light of the occasion, I thought it appropriate to list a few things that I am grateful for. I know that I am blessed beyond measure, but it never hurts to try to recognize those things in our lives that make us happy day in and day out.

My short list, including the things that I am MOST grateful for:

DH - He has given me my 2 most precious titles; Wife and Mother. Eternity truly isn't long enough to spend with this man. He holds my heart and nurtures it everyday. I love him with every ounce of my existence.

LJ - No one can make me smile like she does. She is brilliant in every way, and makes me proud beyond measure. There are no words to express the love I have for her, and no greater blessing.

My inlaws (brothers, sisters, and parents.) - Even though I sometimes get frustrated, I must give them credit where credit is due. They have taken me in as a part of their family so completely that it is hard to believe that I am "just an inlaw" to them. I know that when it boils down, any one of them would walk through fire for me. Not many people can say that. I am so thankful for the love that they show me. I love each of them so much.

My friends - Both IRL, and here. I have felt so much support in all that has happened. Since my second surgery, I still haven't had to make a meal for my family. My friends and neighbors happily volunteered to bring us dinner for the last week, with plenty of leftovers to tide us over through lunch the next day. We have been served with the most dignity and grace imaginable. We have felt so loved. Although most don't really "get it", they do what they can to lighten our burden. We have been so deeply touched with kindness from all directions. To all of YOU -- thank you for always being here. It helps me more than I can ever tell you to know that you all understand, even if it is on a different level. Everyone has different experiences, and yet we are bound together with a single thread. I feel so blessed to have been welcomed into this community, although we all agree that it sucks to be here in the first place.

I hope you all have such a wonderful day today, and that the celebration happily lasts all weekend. We all have something to be thankful for, no matter how big or how small. I am grateful that I am able to recognize my blessings, and thank God for them everyday. Thank you for being one of my blessings. I am sincerely grateful for each of you, and for the friendship you so readily supply. Please let me know if I can ever help any of you, in any way. I am glad to do it. Whether it be a late night stressfest or just a virtual hug, I'd be happy to be your "person."

Happy Thanksgiving!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Moving on...

I think this might be over. I don't want to jinx anything, but I'm feeling pretty good. I was scared to death for the methotrexate, but so far I haven't really had any major side effects other than mild headaches and nausea.

I didn't really post a lot of details because, well, I don't really know them all. So here's what I do know: (It looks like a lot, but it really isn't. I am full of questions)

*On Tues. morning at about 2 AM, I called nurseline to see if the pain I was having could potentially be caused by me ovulating in my recently operated-on tube. The nurse went through a "check-list" of symptoms if you will, and threatened to send an ambulance if I didn't go to the emergency room ASAP, or call 911. By 2:30, I was at the local ER

*By 3 AM, Dr. Dumbass (sorry, there's really no other way to put it) had ordered a CT with contrast, and insisted I chug what seemed like a gallon sized mug of lemon flavored fingernail polish remover. It was delish!

* 5 AM, still no sign of the Dr. or the nurse to update me on what was going on. I was FREEZING, because I was in the room closest to the exit, and it was quite drafty. Now would be a good time to mention that there was NO CALL LIGHT!

*5:30 AM, I am taken in for my CT. I am done about 10 minutes later and wheeled back to my igloo.

*5:50 AM, Dr. Dumbass comes in with my results. He tells me that there is a "significant amount of blood and free fluid in my abdomen" but that he isn't trained enough to know if it is old blood, or if I have re-ruptured. He recommends that I follow up with MY doctor later that day, or tomorrow at the latest. He then seems to second guess himself and asks for my Dr.'s contact information. I gave him the info for my RE, and he exits to call him.

*6:00 AM, Dr. Dumbass comes back and says that Dr. Peterson would like to see me today for 2 reasons: 1. My beta is continuing to rise, and 2. There shouldn't be this much blood in my abdomen so long after my first surgery. My body should have absorbed anything left over from my first go around. I ask him if I need to go out to the clinic, or if I should meet him in the hospital. Dr. Dumbass explains that I cannot be released on my own accord because I am at significant risk of "bleeding out", so the ambulance will be there to transport me within 30 minutes.

* I stop noticing what time it is, and call DH. He is at home with the Munchkin, and doesn't think anything too serious is going on. He was pretty upset when I told him I was waiting for an ambulance to transport me out to the U, I think he realized a lot sooner that I did the seriousness of the situation. By the time he got there, the ambulance was waiting. They let LJ ride out to the hospital with me because we knew that once I arrived there, she would not be allowed to stay. No one is allowed in the hospital that is under the age of 14. (we SO broke that rule...)

*Once we arrived at the U, I was brought to my room and prepped for surgery. Blood was drawn, my IV was replaced (more on that later...) My RE came in and went over the plan with us. He said that he was 90% sure that he would have to take my tube. I had a mild breakdown and begged him to leave it in. He wouldn't budge, but told me that he would call DH after they opened me up and could get a better look at the damage. He said that they would wait and let DH make the decision once they were in there. This is about the time that I lost my freaking mind.

*Things get pretty blurry, but I remember my brother in law being there, and he and my husband giving me a religious blessing. I then threw a fit and insisted that they let LJ rid on my gurney with me down to surgery, where I would say goodbye and let my brother in law take her home with him. Once we got down to surgery, they had to change my IV (AGAIN; this was my 3rd) and the anesthesiologist explained what they would be doing. I vaguely remember kissing a tearful DH and them wheeling me away. I don't think I even remember getting to the OR.

*We're going to skip the waking up part, because it was probably one of the worst memories that I have the privilege to carry with me for the rest of my life.

* I was taken back to my room where I was told that I almost bled to death... again. My body had gotten wise to this fact at some point in the previous 2 1/2 weeks and had taken measures to prevent it from happening. The omentum (I still don't know how to spell that) had moved forward and surrounded my fallopian tube tourniquet style and had slowed the bleeding. Once my Dr. and his minion of medical students had seen the damage in my abdomen, and the omentum around my tube, they called for extra blood and another IV was started in my NECK!! They were sure that I was going to bleed out, so they started the extra line to be able to get fluids and a blood transfusion in me quickly if they had to. Luckily, the bleeding was controlled and they were able to use suction to clean up my insides. They cut my tube length-wise and flushed it in both directions with saline. The Dr. had kept his word, and called DH and told him what they had found. At that point, he was positive that he would have to take the tube. DH told him that we trusted his judgement, and to do whatever he thought was best. We were stunned when he informed us later that he had saved the tube. He said "for good or for bad, we saved the tube." (At first I was really relieved, but now I'm not so sure how I feel about it. I'm nervous that it will scar up, and I'll have this issue again.)

*Later that night, an oncology nurse came in and gave me my methotrexate shots. I had one in each hip. They made sure to give me some Zofran for nausea before the shots, and I think that did the trick. It wasn't horrible at all. I am still not experiencing anything horrible. Just minor headaches and a bit of nausea from time to time, although I've read online that it can take a few days for the full affects of the drug to kick in.

*On Wednesday, my Dr. came in to release me at 8:30 in the morning. We didn't actually get to leave the hospital until close to 6 pm. The resident and my Dr. were arguing over which medications I could have when I came home. The final outcome was that I could come home with ibuprofen, zofran, and iron. No narcotics. (I'm still kind of pissed about this. I have 5 holes in my abdomen, and they expect me to be just fine with ibuprofen. Sadists!) My Dr.'s reasoning was that I am still at risk to have this happen again (at least until my betas drop to zero) so he doesn't want any medication to "mask" the pain that could be caused by another rupture. I understand his point, but man it would be nice to be able to move without cringing!

*My blood counts are still low, so I will be on iron for the next 30 days, minimum. I have to go back in every Tuesday for repeat betas to make sure my levels drop. I am not to take any vitamins or folic acid for a month, and because methotrexate (MTX) is a chemo drug, I have to avoid large groups of people, or places that I may be more likely to be exposed to illnesses. Apparently MTX is an immunosuppresant.

Okay, I think I have you all caught up. I have a follow up appointment with my RE on Dec. 1st. He has promised to give me pictures of the laparoscopy. I have them from the first surgery, so it's only fitting that I have pics to complete the series. I have debated on whether or not to post them on here, but I think some people might be a little queasy about it. You'll have to tell me your opinion. Is that something that you would be curious to see, or am I better just leaving it to your imagination? I still have a ton of questions about this whole thing. It all happened so fast that I don't think it all sunk in. It's hard for be to believe that my life was THAT jeopardized when I didn't feel that bad. I think I just need a play by play. I will be glad when I get the operative reports and pathology findings. My RE did mention that between both surgeries, he estimates that I lost about 2.5 pints of blood into my abdomen. I'm not sure how bad that really is... guess I'll have to go ask Dr. Google.

I'm pretty sure I'll post again about my experience at the hospital. They nurses (other than the first demon-woman that I had kicked out of my room) were amazing. They gave me a bereavement package that included a little crocheted blanket, booties, and hat, as well as a baby-sized brass ring. They were very kind, and I will never be able to thank them enough for their compassion. I am so glad that I was transferred to their hospital. I think they helped me begin to move on. They recognized my baby, and made me feel like it was okay to do so, regardless of how far along I was. I truly am grateful to them.

Please let me know if you have any questions, or can think of anything that would be good to ask my Dr. about. It all still feels very surreal. If I wasn't bruised from hell to breakfast, I might doubt it ever happened! (maybe I'll post THOSE pics! You've never seen bruises like these before! I look like a junkie!)

Again, thanks for all of your comments. IRL, I feel very alone in all of this. It is so nice to feel your support day after day. You are all very amazing to me.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Back in the hospital

So, here I sit, an inpatient at the University of Utah Hospital.

I ended up in the emergency room last night because I started bleeding again, and had some pretty decent pain going on. They did a CT scan with contrast. That's all it took

The next thing I knew, I was in an ambulance being transported to the U, and into the care of my RE (who btw is the Head of Obstetrics and Gynecology here.) I was hemorrhaging again, and my hematocrit was falling.

Again, they were able to save the tube, but this time not without cutting. I don't have the details of most of what they did, other than that the omentum (sp?) had saved my life. It is a fatty layer, that sits in your abdominal cavity. It had moved to wrap around my fallopian tube to "save my life", according to my RE. I haven't seen the pictures yet, but DH said they were really awful. My insides looked like they blew up.

Right now I am feeling pretty good other than some excess CO2 that is molesting my shoulders and chest... but the pain is managable. I am waiting for a methotrexate shot, and then I will be going to sleep. I haven't been asleep (other than surger, which TOTALLY doesn't count) since 7 am on the 16th. I am TIRED!

I will update again later. I'm sure the methotrexate will have a story all it's own. OH, FUN!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Monday, November 9, 2009

Recovery

I went today to the OB that did my surgery to have my stitches removed. Life is a bit more grand today. I had no idea how much those blasted threads hurt until they were GONE!

I also had follow-up labs to see if my hCG levels are dropping appropriately. It is still at 38. I'm kind of pissed, because I thought for sure it would be below 5 this week. Isn't that what a D&C does? Remove all the "pregnancy tissue?" I completely expected this to go faster. On the 30th, the day of the surgery, my beta was 790-ish. The following Monday, it was already down to 55.

For those of you who have gone through this before, how long did it take for your betas to be back to "normal?" My RE won't even discuss TTC again until they are under 5. I need this to happen so that I can officially "move on" and get on with this baby-making game.

Tomorrow I have an appointment with a recurrent loss specialist at the University of Utah. Hopefully we'll get some good news with this new round of tests. I'm ready for the negativity to be over.

Granted, my mood changes every 2.4 seconds, so maybe I'll post again in a few minutes and tell you that the sky is falling, because honestly.... it might be.

Oh yeah, and I have to tell you THANK YOU SOOOOOO MUCH for all the comments and support you have all given me. IRL, I feel like no one "gets it" and I'm stuck in a horrible horrible nightmare that nobody could possibly survive. You are the ones who are getting me through this. Thank you for giving me permission to be unstable. LOL LOL It's nice to know that it's okay to be crazy for a while, and that you'll love me while I lose my mind, then help me find it when I'm ready. I can't tell you how wonderful you are. I wish I could find the words.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Randomitity

* I have the strange urge to move half way across the country. I spent most of the day looking up real estate in Tennessee.

*The thought of food makes me feel incredibly guilty, like, that's NOT what is supposed to be in my tummy right now.

*I think I have broken my husband. He's having a hard time with all of this. He only "visited" me twice in the hospital, and both were for very short periods of time. It's like it makes him sick to see me. He's trying, but it's difficult. I wish I could make it better.

*I haven't cried in days, although I'm confident the tears are just "hiding."

*I dropped out of school this week.

*I think I'd rather burn down my house than dust.

*I feel like my face is falling off, and I'm not even on any drugs anymore. (Ibuprofen doesn't count)

*I am pissed at my doctors. If I had listened to them and stopped the progesterone, I'd be dead right now. I would have assumed the pain I felt was just another miscarriage and I would have never gone to the ER. I would have continued to bleed internally, and most likely would not be typing this right now.

*I want to go outside, but I'm afraid there will be people out there. **shudder**

*I think I'm trapped in a nightmare. All the statistics I've read say that this couldn't have happened. I fit ZERO of the scenarios that cause ectopics. My beta was "too low", the placement was very rare, and the chances of rupture are unheard of.

Someone PLEASE wake me up.

*I have a whole crop of bruises sprouting on my abdomen, nowhere near my incisions. It's kind of scary. Like the demons are trying to get out.

*I have a song stuck in my head today. (This is not the original version that was stuck in my head, but for whatever reason, this one "fits" a bit better. The original is by Dr. Demento)



This one is by Neuroticfish. Hmmm, fitting.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Selfishness

I feel like a piece of crap.

As I'm sure I've mentioned before, I have 3 sister-in-laws that are all expecting in April or May. (My due date was June 21st) Last week, this was exciting to me. We were all going to have babies at the same time, and they would grow up being as close as close can be. Sleep overs, birthday parties... they'd be inseperable. And then Friday happened.

Now I feel like a low-life scumbag.

Because I lost so much blood with my ectopic, I stayed with my inlaws until I felt strong enough to come home. Most of the week was fine. Then, today I had a sister-in-law come visit. She talked about buying cute maternity clothes for an upcoming trip - I tried to shrug it off. Then later, another pg SIL came to visit. They both sat and talked to my mother in law about pregnancy symptoms. One can't stand the thought of pizza, while the other wonders if headaches are just part of the territory. Then they joked about the afghans that my MIL has been crocheting for the past few weeks. "Isn't it funny that we're all due (!) just before summer and Mom's making us blankets... hahahahaha!" Then one decided to tease the other about how she gets to pick her afghan first because her due date is a week before the other SIL's. The whole time I sat there feeling sorry for myself. Just a few days ago, I'd be in on this conversation, chiming in that they'd "better leave me that blanket" because it was my favorite, and I had to pick last because I was due last.

I sat there fighting back tears as long as I could, feeling like I didn't matter at all. MY baby doesn't count anymore. I am no longer part of this club. I got kicked out, remember? Finally, I stood up, excused myself to the bathroom... cried like an idiot, then gathered the rest of our things and came home.

About an hour later, my other sister in law (the one that wasn't visiting, for those of you who are lost) called to tell us that she is having a boy.

I feel so horrible. Why can't I just be unselfish and celebrate with them? They deserve this. They shouldn't have to stifle their feelings and experiences because of what has happened to us. I feel so guilty because I can't be happy for them right now, even though deep down I really am. And at the same time, I am angry at them. Of all people, I look to my family for a little bit of sensitivity. How would they want me to behave had the situation been reversed?

I feel so selfish. I want so badly to fast forward to July. No baby showers, no birth announcements, no due date to mourn. It's all just too much, and I feel like a terrible person for feeling this way.

**ETA: Yes, they all new about the pregnancy and the ectopic. They were aware of why I was staying at my inlaws, and both of them even came to visit while I was in the hospital. (which I was truly grateful for. I thought it was very kind of them. They brought up my niece and nephew so that I wouldn't miss seeing them in their Halloween costumes. It was very sweet.)

Later that day, my MIL called my husband to tell them that they were aware that they had upset me, but (and in all fairness, I have no idea HOW she said it, or with what inflections, because it was to DH) "Life goes on..." and "they just want to be excited." (for their own babies)

I'm thinking of boycotting Thanksgiving. I'm pretty sure I'll be "sick" that day. I have gone from feeling selfish to being just plain pissed. I think they could have at least let me have my stitches removed before "life moved on."

The emotional roller coaster continues...