Monday, July 18, 2016

124 hours in a HOSPITALity Room

You may have noticed that I did not post an update last week.  That is the first time I have skipped a post completely since I started writing this blog.  There is definitely a good reason and you can probably pick up on it a bit from the title.  Be prepared for a long post today as there is a lot to catch you up on.

You may or may not be aware that Mrs. Re-Dan-imation AKA Kristy and I have been trying to have children for 5 of the 6 years we have been married and that the process to this point has not been successful.  That is where the story starts this time.  Recently we have started the process of IVF again from scratch.  We have been through this process before and knew what to expect going in.  So after multiple doctor visits, daily and sometimes multiple daily belly injections, and even more doctor visits we were to the point of egg retrieval.  Let me start there.

On Friday July, 8th we went to our Fertility Doctor's office in Castleton.  Kristy was nervous and excited at the same time.  She was nervous about the anesthesia she would be under during the process but I had been reassuring her all morning that all would be fine.  After the procedure the doctor came in to warn us that Kristy's ovaries were what is called overstimulated.  This means that the ovaries were significantly enlarged and as a result they removed a whopping 46 eggs from her that day.  That may sound like a good thing, but it also means that her abdomen is full from her ovaries instead of anything else.  The doctor prescribed her some pain meds, some shots to shut down her ovaries, and instructed her to drink fluids non stop to prevent dehydration.

Fast forward to Friday evening.  Kirsty is in considerable pain and has taken two doses of her pain meds.  She was able to eat and is doing her best to stay hydrated.  Saturday gets worse for the pain and she is starting to feel nauseous.  Saturday night she spends a lot of time in the bathroom getting sick.  She is having trouble holding down fluids.  Sunday gets worse and we contact the fertility doctor for suggestions.  He tells us to come in Monday morning to get checked out and go from there.  Kristy does her best to make it through the night and control the pain and the nausea.  (By the way: Sunday was our 6th anniversary and we were supposed to leave for Hilton Head Island on Saturday for a family vacation with the rest of her family.  Her parents had already left on Thursday and her brother was waiting to leave with us. )

Monday morning Kristy is so nauseous that she can barely walk, but we manage to get her to the car so we can make it to Castleton to check in with the fertility doctor.  After they do a quick ultrasound check on her ovaries they see that one of her ovaries is 8cm long and the other is 10cm long.  Normal is somewhere less than 3 cm.  They also can tell she is significantly dehydrated so they tell us to head across the street to Community North Hospital.  I wasn't quite expecting this, but I should have been.

Our home for the next 5 days!!
Our next stop was the ER where we registered and waited just a few minutes to get into a room.  After blood was drawn and an IV was hooked up we waited to hear results.  After a couple hours, the doctor came in to explain to us her condition.  Kristy was SEVERELY dehydrated and this dehydration had caused her to go into acute renal failure (kidneys not functioning correctly).  Normal levels for functioning kidneys is 0.5 on the test and hers was at 3.5.  Her electrolyte levels were also way off so they started to work on getting those back in line as well.  By the way, I did weigh in Monday morning and was at 264.3 lbs.  That was pretty good, but probably because I was staying up trying to help her and I wasn't eating a ton because she couldn't hold food down and I felt bad eating when she couldn't.  After 6 hours in the emergency room Kristy was finally moved to a room in the Progressive Care Unit which is a step down from Intensive Care.  Basically, she was considered pretty sick.

I informed family, told my brother in-law to head to Hilton Head without us and asked my mother to bring me some dinner.  Kristy was basically trying to sleep and manage her pain and nausea.  For the next two days the only times she was really awake was when the nurses cam in to check her vitals or give her meds.  All I could do was sit there and explain to the doctors and nurses what we were going though to help them with identifying how to treat her.  Her Critical Care doctor had never dealt with a case of Hyperstimulated Ovarian Syndrome and spent quite a bit of time on the phone with the fertility doctor to understand the condition.  To give you an idea of her pain amount, check out the picture of the medication area of her board.

Finally on Wednesday, she was starting to level out on her electrolytes and was able to hold a little longer conversation with the nurses.  I could tell she was getting back to herself.  The pain was still pretty good and her stomach was pretty swollen.  This is because her enlarged ovaries were pushing against blood vessels and not allowing them to hold all the fluids they were pumping her full of.  Today they would do what is called a Paracentesis.  This is a process where they stick a needle into your abdomen and extract the extra fluids to relieve the pressure.  They removed 2 liters (a full size pop bottle if you have trouble picturing it).  and then sent her back to her room to try to eat some dinner so we would have the all clear to leave on Thursday.  Woohoo!

But, wait a minute, when she tried to drink or eat she was in excruciating pain.  They gave her what is literally called "Mary's Magic Potion" thinking that yeast had gotten in her throat when she wasn't using it for basically a week and this would clear it up.  Two doses later and no change.  Doc informed us we would not be leaving on Thursday, but instead Kristy would be having an Endoscopy to check and see why it hurt so bad to eat.  Her endoscopy happened around 3:00 on Thursday and the results were that she had basically had the world's worst case of Acid Reflux.  Apparently she had already been having some reflux prior to the weekend, but she wasn't aware of it. Then the vomiting followed by lying flat with no food in her stomach resulted in the acid just sitting there eating her esophagus.  She was diagnosed with LEVEL D esophagitis (The worst you can have) for the bottom 10 cm on her esophagus.  Basically her esophagus was one giant ulcer.  She was prescribed some medicine to help fix the ulcer and also numb the throat so she could eat.  Back to the room again.

She was still having pain Thursday night so we dealt with that through pain meds again.  She also was yet to eat anything but a popsicle so heading home was not an option.  Friday was spent in the room still dealing with back pain (not walking around and lying in bed all week wasn't helping with this) and trying to get her to eat something from her prescribed fluid diet.  Friday night, her condition was finally downgraded and it was determined that we would be moving rooms at some point so people considerably more sick than her could get a room in the Progressive Care Unit.  She even did a couple SLOW laps of the hallway to try to loosen up her back.  Around 10:30 we were moved down the hall to a different unit.  The room was twice as big and I could actually walk around.  Kristy even did a couple laps.

Saturday morning we ordered Kristy some fluid breakfast AKA Cream of Wheat and she was able to eat that much better.  We were informed that the doctor was going to be discharging her and that we should prepare to head home.  Here is how excited she was to be leaving the Community North!!

After 124 hours in the HOSPITALity room we finally headed out the front door, got Kristy in the car, and headed home.  She still looks like she is 5 months pregnant because she is retaining fluids.  Her ovaries have not completely shut down but that will happen soon.  She just informed me this morning that her back pain is basically gone.  She is still on pretty much a fluid diet cause it hurts to eat anything with rough edges.  But she has improved to the point that she has ZERO nausea and can hold down any fluid or food that she eats.  As her fertility doctor told the hospital doctor...this condition makes the patients feel like they are literally on their death bed.  Kristy would agree.  But, I will tell you that she is the STRONGEST person I have ever met.  Her brother called her a badass and said that she has too much of her father in her to let the pain win.  I have seen this woman be at a level 7 on the pain chart and still ask nurses about their lives, children, job, etc.  She is a hero.  We want to thank the following people for being there to help her through this process.  They may never see this post, but we feel better knowing we have thanked them. Kristy's Doctor at the hospital Dr. Nunez.  The following nurses Hannah C. (PCU), Julia (PCU), Sarah S. (Resource Team) Dana D. (PCU) Stacey (PCU), Chrystyne (PCU) and Kyle (MEDSURG).  And also the following Patient Support Techs Shannon (PCU) and Shawna (PCU).  Without these great people Kristy's experience may have been less enjoyable.  She literally did not have a person come into her room that she did not appreciate or enjoy talking to.  We are forever grateful.

Headed home finally!!

I again stepped on the scale this morning to see 266.8.  Let's just say I didn't eat particularly well in the hospital and the only exercise I got was walking back and forth to her bed to make sure she was ok.  I didn't care one bit what my weight looked like today.  Until next week.  Food. Feet. WATER!!!!! Repeat.  Gotta stay hydrated, right?!  On a side note: Kristy is not currently pregnant, we have not implanted any of those harvested eggs, and we are not sure when it will be happening just so you are all aware.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

My Yearly Adrenaline Rush!!

What a great week!  A lot of fun things to talk about so I hope you have a few minutes to read through this one.

To start off the week on Monday, we were invited to have a pool day with some family friends.  Obviously, we took them up on it.  After heading down to their house we gathered everything and headed to the water.  Being that it was a high of 93 that day, the pool was a bit more crowded than they expected, but we still had a great time.  We headed back to their house afterwards, cooked out, and relaxed.  The ride home was a bit chilly as the great weather had allowed me to take all the doors and part of the top off of the Jeep.  Mrs. Re-Dan-imation was huddled under a couple sweatshirts in the back, but she didn't complain.

Wednesday and Friday were yard work days.  I have been in a constant battle with my backyard since we bought our house a few years ago.  The previous owners had it professionally landscaped and they were able to keep up with it because at least one of them was retired and enjoyed pulling the few weeds that popped up every day.  We; however, are not retired.  So the backyard has become something of a well maintained grassy area mixed in with nature preserves where the landscaped areas existed.  Needless to say, not something I am proud of, but it is what it is.  This year I managed to clear, level, and plant grass seed in one of these areas and it is looking great.  So instead of continuing to fight these areas I have succumbed to the wishes of the Mrs. and we cleared out two more areas and planted additional grass seed.  We also took down a pine tree (fun with the chainsaw) and planted seed where it was as well.  Here's hoping it grows even though it is a warmer part of the season.

This is when the real fun of the week begins.  Wednesday evening we began really getting set up for the Frankfort Indiana Jaycees (follow us on Facebook or Twitter) 4th of July Fireworks.  This fireworks show is the largest hand fired show in the state of Indiana and if you haven't watched it recently it is truly a spectacle.  If you don't know what this means, it means that we are loading 3", 4", 5", and 6" shells (fireworks) into mortars (the tubes they shoot out of) and lighting them with large road flares for the most intense 24 minutes of our year.  On Wednesday, our goal was to sort all of the shells and prep them by removing plastic wrap and rubber bands.  We then place them in large plastic tubs and sort them according to the number of minutes for our show.  A lot of effort goes into making sure this part is done particularly well, as we don't have time to fix shells the night of the shoot.  It also helps keep us safer knowing things are ready to go for us.

Our original goal was to set up the actual firing site on Sunday night to allow us more time with our families on Monday, but the weather dictated otherwise.  So, Monday morning we were out swinging sledgehammers and tightening down wire to hold the mortars tightly in place.  The last thing you want is a rack of mortars to fall over with live shells in it pointing at yourself or the crowd.  Safety remains a priority for us and we take our time to make sure everything is right.  Luckily, Mother Nature decided that the Frankfort Jaycees needed to have their fireworks display and she pushed the rain well south of us.  We began our show at 10:10.  Hard hats, ear protection, safety goggles, long sleeves, and jeans are all required to participate.  It was definitely still humid after all the rain we received and although the temperature had dropped below 80 it was still pretty hot under all those layers.  I managed to sweat through both my sweatshirt and jeans.

After a quick count down from our lead operator we began the show.  The next 24 minutes is always a blur.  It is amazing how quickly it goes when you are actually taking part in it rather than watching it from the crowd.  It seems like about 5 minutes as opposed to almost half an hour.  You are either running back and forth from the tubs to the mortars, brushing embers of other people, or watching shells fly out of the mortars next to you. IT IS INTENSE! I may have already mentioned that though.  After it was all over, we had set off every shell, and considered it a success that not only were we right on time according to the music being played on the radio, but also maintained safety with zero injuries.  Celebration time was in order.

I did still remember to get on the scale Monday morning.  I was happy to see 267.0 lbs.  That puts me at a loss for the week of 0.4 lbs.  With all the manual labor involved during the week, I was expecting a little more, but it's still a loss.  Onward and upward (or maybe downward it should be). Until next week...Food. Feet. Water. Repeat.