Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Picture of the Kids

Brandon posted a picture of the kids over here.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

24 Hours and Counting

Ok, so here's the scoop...for those of you who are in the dark, or are in the light, but wanting more of it...

Some parts of this post are more detailed than the light stomach reader would prefer,
proceed with care.

I started having some pain in my side on Wednesday morning- enough to make me just want to lay down with a heat pad. It was similar pain to what I had in November just before Thanksgiving, with the exception that this pain was on the left side and the previous pain was on the right. At the last hospital incident, the diagnosis was that the baby was just putting a lot of pressure on the right ureter (tube from kidney to bladder) and causing me discomfort. I think it was a kidney stone personally, but what do I know...anyway, the pain went away suddenly in the night the last night I was at the hospital, and I haven't had it return since.

This new pain lasted the entire day, Wednesday, and found me taking a prescribed narcotic called Oxycodone- "one of the most powerful medications for pain control that can be taken orally" (according to Wikipedia)- which by the way is safe for the baby since it only messes with your brain. The meds managed the pain and that night the pain went away and I had a good night's rest.

On Thursday, I awoke to find myself somewhat exhausted and rested most of the morning, but in the afternoon, the pain came back, I went back on the drugs and went back to bed with my trusty heating pad. All the time I continued to drink copious amounts of water thinking that this was in fact a kidney stone that needed to pass. It was certainly painful enough to be one and the pain was located in the correct area to be caused by such a thing. Again, in the night, the pain went away and I was relieved.

Friday, I had no pain, but was very exhausted and worn out and rested most of the day. I had very little appetite and found I was cold and tired. In the evening, around 7pm, the pain began again and at 8:30, I took another dose of drugs. By midnight, I was in an intolerable amount of pain and could only lay on my left side without feeling nausea or more discomfort. At 12:30 when I tried to take my next dose of pain medications I found myself in quite a state. I couldn't take the meds because I was throwing up everytime I rolled over or went to the bathroom, I couldn't get comfortable, I was in terrible pain, and I was having false labor contractions on top of it all (that silly baby felt the need to excercise for the delivery right then!?!) At this point, I was beyond being rational and I told Brandon I couldn't deal with it anymore. Actually, I was in so much pain that I couldn't walk and when it came time to put me in the car to go to the hospital, I sort of piggy-backed down the stairs on Brandon. I was in tears! I have never felt so awful in my life!

Fortunately, one of the seats was out of the van and Brandon spread a blanket on the floor and I was able to just lay down flat the entire way to the hospital. He called them on the way so they would be expecting us and when we got there, I was almost immediately wheeled into a bed and given an IV. Me- the person who has always had a very BIG issue with needles was ASKING for an IV. They even messed up the first one and had to do a second one and I didn't really care! All I wanted was drugs! Just make the pain go away!!!! So, pretty quickly, I got some relief and spent the day Saturday in the emergency room. Actually I was in the ER until about 3pm in the afternoon.- the weekend is NOT the time to have a problem! I had an ultrasound to see what there was to see in the morning, but I didn't see the doctor about the results until after 10:30 that night! It wasn't all his fault- he's an OB/GYN and had 7 women in labor that day, so he delivered 4 babies and still had 3 to go when he came to see me that evening. I couldn't help but have some sympathy! Besides, by that time my pain was under control, if not gone and I was able to at least rest some.

Sunday, the pain was almost none that morning, but around noon it came back. At the hospital they put me on a different narcotic called Dilaudid, which is a synthetic form of morphine and a anti-nausea medication called Zofran. Between the two of them I was pretty much knocked out when I was drugged. I don't especially like feeling dopey, but it was better than the alternative for sure! Most of the time I couldn't keep my eyes open, though I could stay awake for a while- even if they were shut. Part of it was that the meds made me dizzy and sort of see double of things some, so it made my head hurt to have my eyes open a lot, but I could shut them and talk still. So, Sunday evening, that pain went away and at that point they had me on an oral dilaudid and were shutting down the fluids on the IV and making me drink. I should mention at this point that both Saturday night and Sunday night I had trememndous volcanic activity in my intestines and had to visit the restroom quite a bit- which is NOT a know side effect of the meds and in hind sight might have very well been a virus on top of all of the stone issue.

Monday, I was having no pain, but hesitant to leave for fear that the pain would return, but the hospital seemed ready for me to go and they covered their bases with the appropriate prescriptions and paperwork. Brandon picked me up and we came home in the afternoon. I had some pain that evening at home, but it was minimal and took only a little of the meds.

Tuesday, I stayed in bed and had some pain in the afternoon and evening, used the drugs, but it went away that night. In the night, I noticed that the pain was completely gone and that mostly I just felt worn out.

On Wednesday, I slept in and rested during the day, doing to lap work on the bed and watched commentaries to movies I had already seen. The pain did not return and I had a good nap. So good in fact that when I went to bed Wednesday night at 11pm I couldn't sleep and I spent the next hour and half laying there wide awake, praying for people and wondering if I would ever sleep. So, I got up marked the 24 hours of no pain and now you have this lovely post for your reading pleasure.

Future Plans: So far, this month it has not worked out for me to plan much of anything, but currently, I am anticipating feeling better tomorrow and possibly spending some time around the family- something I haven't done for a week! This weekend promises to bring some interesting scheduling puzzles to work out and I hope that things will continue to improve as the days progress. Afterall, I only have 6 weeks until I end up in bed again recouping from the baby! I'm not positive that the stone has passed, but it does feel different at this point and I am hoping and praying that means it's gone.

Brandon has done an awesome job of managing the house, the children, and his work. And we have WONDERFUL friends who have also helped make him successful in his efforts. Many people have watched the children, cooked meals, folded clothes, cleaned up, washed dishes, and prayed. I have had many phone calls and felt a tremendous amount of love and support this week. Never could I ever pay everyone back for their kindness to our family. I only hope that in time I'll be able to pass some of the kindness along to someone else who needs it.

And now, for your amusement, some interesting facts from Wikipedia about kidneys stones:

-In 271 BC, the Greek Philosopher Epicurus died from a kidney stone blockage lasting 2 weeks.
-British statesman Samuel Pepys also suffered from kidney stones and was operated on, pre-anesthesia, to remove a large stone which he carried with him and used to try to persuade fellow sufferers to endure the painful surgery.
-Dutch blacksmith Jan de Doot is remembered for having his portrait painted with the large stone that he removed from himself in 1651.

-Astronauts often get kidney stones because of an increase in the amount of calcium in their blood due to a loss of bone density in zero gravity.
-In his book "A Year at the Movies, Mystery Science Theater 3000",writer/performer Kevin Murphy describes his ordeal with a kidney stone: "Being gut-stabbed with a dirty spoon in a prison cafeteria is less painful."

-Lyndon B. Johnson suffered from kidney stones at various times in his life.
-On October 19, 2005, actor William Shatner was taken to the emergency room for lower back pain. He eventually passed a kidney stone, but recovered and soon returned to work. Shatner sold his kidney stone in 2006 for $75,000 to The money will go to a housing charity.
-John Hart, signer of the Declaration of Independence, died of kidney stones.
-Peter Baulman (Australia) had a kidney stone removed from his right kidney in December 2003 at The Gold Coast Hospital, Southport, Queensland, Australia, weighing 12.5 oz and measuring at its widest point, 4.66 in. It holds the Guinness world record for largest and heaviest kidney stone removed from a human being.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Family Update Revisited

Ok, so I did get sick afterall, though thankfully I avoided the vomitting part of the sickness. Brandon got it too, just after I recovered and thus we finished out the week last week with everyone just barely well.

Monday was an awesome day. We had school with the children, things got done, we stayed on routine and I was excited about the potential of getting back on schedule. Tuesday was off to a good start, but I had a doctor's appointment in the morning and then went to Manchester for some errands that afternoon, so as far as the schedule goes, the day was shot. Brandon took care of the children for the afternoon and evening and then has basically had them the rest of the week as well. Wednesday, I came down with a case of trouble with kidney stones. This is what put me in the hospital back before Thanksgiving, but since I had been around this block and had proper medication for it, I decided to brave it at home. Wednesday evening, I felt much better and thought that perhaps I had passed the stone, but Thursday afternoon the pain returned and I have been drugged ever since. Even now I'm in sort of a daze with a slight feeling of the room spinning, a good headache, and a bit of nausea, but the pain in my side is minimal, so I suppose the meds are doing their work- even if I hate the side effects. I will put all your minds at ease and say that both the doctor and my midwife told me that the drugs I am taking will not hurt the baby, so don't worry, but if you think of us you can pray that this will all go away. Pray for Brandon too, he's very busy this month and being sick and having to play househusband is not helping his work load.

Actually, my list of things to do in the near future is kind of overwhelming as well, so keep us in your prayers. I'll try to post if things change around here. Right now the good things are: great friends to help us out, the kids are happy, and I have been able to rest. Praise the Lord for His goodness to us- even when it looks bad.

Well, I think that's all my head can take of looking at words. We'll keep in touch...

Monday, January 01, 2007

Family Update

Here's the lastest report on our activities and status:

Brandon is currently en route to NH and should arrive sometime Tuesday morning. Perhaps he will be all perky and ready to take over the sick ward....maybe??? ok....maybe not.

I came home with the kids from Maine on Sunday morning- a day early, when Rachel threw up and J1 and J3 were sounding VERY congested. We have managed to survive, thanks to some planning, coming home to a clean house, and some reinforcements today for dinner prep.

Rachel seems to be feeling better today. She only spewed twice yesterday and has been scarfing down the food ever since. Jeff was sick this evening with a grand total of 5 rounds. Unfortunately, he hit the bed- everything on it, so that had to be washed, and he also disliked the activity so much that he would hide from me when he was about to vomit. So, I had to fight with him to get him to hit the bucket. We succeeded mostly and thus minimized the mess. Jonathon's stomach was feeling icky tonight, so he did not have dinner. He said he wanted it, but then just pushed it around on his plate for 20 minutes, so I took it away and said that perhaps the good soldiers in his body needed to concentrate on fighting off the bad guys and if he put food in there, the soldiers wouldn't be able to do their job as well. (Did anyone else think they had little men in their bodies when they were little besides me?) Anyway, all three of the boys went to bed with buckets by their sides, but so far, no one has had to use them. I'm glad. I hope it stays that way all night. The only reason James went with a bucket was because I just thought that anyone who ate about three hotdogs for dinner was bound to loose it if their stomach got the least bit queasy.

SO, I'm thankful that the house is pretty clean, I"m not sick, and Brandon is on his way home. The house is pretty peaceful and as I recal, we were sick when ringing in the New Year last year as well, so maybe it's just tradition...but I don't think we need to keep up with this one.