I can’t stand anymore

On Friday morning I woke up at 6am thinking I was feeling better.

Physically maybe.

But emotionally I was about to fall apart. I had a small bag of gluten free pretzel crisps next to my bed on the floor (probabaly from emptying out my work bag and being so lazy or maybe sick that I just left them down there). So I figured I would eat them and feel ok. I was terribly wrong. It was the worst pain I had been in since getting out of the hospital. I had a doctors appointment at 12 noon that I really didn’t want to get ready for. 

I sat under my blankets on my bed for a few hours before falling apart. 

I said to myself “I’m losing hope”

I have not once said that since my dog died 5 years ago. Her name was Hope and I really believed losing her brought me closer to God and I would never lose my hope in life because of it. 

 But in reality this past two weeks I’ve started losing hope. 

I cried a little bit but made sure no one could hear me. I cleaned my face up and pretended I was fine when my sister came over and made sure I was ok enough to get ready for my doctors appointment. 

I got ready, went down stairs and later on the couch until it was time to go. When we got there I reluctantly pulled out my debit card to pay my co pay and sat down trying not to cry.

“I don’t have anymore money” I said out loud to no one in particular.

I couldn’t hold it back anymore and bursted into tears next to my mom. She told me not to worry. But how could I not worry. I have been to the ER four times since being discharged after surgery and the fourth time being admitted for the second time in two months. 

The hospital bills just keep piling up. And not being able to work is not helping (mentally or financially). 

I let her wipe away my tears each time they fell. And went through the appointment with nothing really happening. No answers, again. 

The rest of the days was like any other, what can you eat? How are you feeling? Can you stand by yourself? 

Im fine. 

I wasn’t fine. Im not fine. I’ve been feeling angry and frustrated but I didn’t know why. 

Until now. In church. During worship. Listening to these lyrics talking about how wonderful our God is and how great He is and how He is our healer and all these things I haven’t been experiencing in just the last two weeks. 

Im mad at God. 

How could He let me continue to be in pain? How could He let me fight Him and push Him away? How could He let me be without answers? I’m so confused. 

You’re supposed to be this all knowing, loving, compassionate healer and here I am struggling to live a life that’s worth living. I don’t want to be in pain anymore physically or mentally. I don’t want to be angry anymore. I don’t want to fight anymore. I don’t want to hide my suffering anymore. I don’t want to pretend to be ok. I don’t want to feel alone anymore. How am I supposed to help these people around me that are depressed if I can’t even keep myself standing. 

I feel like I’m sinking, like I’m losing this battle. 

When I got out of the hospital the first time I was full of joy and so greatful for everything God had done. Overwhelmed with joy and gratitude really. During worship I would cry of happiness because of all the small things that were great. 

And now? I’m crying because I’m so confused and angry at how things can turn so suddenly. 

Im sick of faking it. I’m sick of people asking how I am. I’m sick of being the sick one. 

I want to get back to my mediocre life where I wake up at 4:30 in the morning and work from 6:30 to 2:30 and go to hockey twice a week and go to church and be real and go to young adults and have fun and watch condor games and be able to run and eat without pain.

If you’re going through hell…Pt. 1

It’s been quite some time since I’ve been on here. and for good reason.

In the last month I’ve been very sick, physically and mentally. And I’ve just felt the need to share this with anyone who it could possibly help.

I currently live in Ventura county. and I work in LA county.

I love my job even though some days are stressful. I work at Dioji, (pronounced D O G), as a supervisor. Its a very expensive outdoor doggie daycare in Agoura Hills. I love the team I work with, even more now that they’ve been so kind to me with all that I’ve been through. I love the dogs, even if I say I don’t. I can’t say enough great things about the company, but I am biased.

I think my job has been somewhat of an outlet for me with everything, considering that dogs have the ability to feel and share your emotions. It has been very healing to go to work every day and feel comforted.

Hockey has also been a huge outlet, an escape from reality really. I haven’t been able to play but watching the Condors and the Kings has been somewhat healing. I was taking private lessons for awhile before I fractured my ankle. And then a few months later I tripped running and messed up my knee. I never called my coach to tell him it was a new injury that was keeping me from stepping on the ice again. I guess I should have called before telling him I was admitted to the hospital.

I was getting an MRI scheduled for my knee on December 13th And I was finally feeling like I would be ready for hockey again. But the Lord had other plans.

Wow did He have other plans. I mean I’ve heard it again and again “the Lord has plans for you that you can’t even imagine” but I really didn’t see it going this way.

It was Thursday December 8th and I was on my way to a Kings game when I got the call to schedule my MRI. I was feeling pretty good. They were playing Carolina, and my sister and I were excited to see Sebastian Aho play in person. I was feeling about 85% considering the days before.

Monday I had some nausea, nothing out of the ordinary.

Tuesday I had a sore throat and felt even worse, stomach flu-ish. which didn’t make sense because I had these same symptoms about a week before. I went to work at 6:30am and kept telling my supervisor of the day that I felt like puking and I wanted to go home. I didn’t get to leave early, but I made it home in time to change and go to the chiropractor, he seemed less than excited to see that I was ill and limping. He checked out my knee, we did some strength training, he taped it up and I was on my way. I got home to and empty powerless cold house.

and I’m thinking, cool. I’m home alone, getting sick, and can’t cook.

So I texted some friends asking if anyone would bring me food or want to go get soup.

they all said no. I don’t blame them.

I fell asleep about 6pm, thats when the power was supposed to come on. I woke up about an hour later to the power still being out, my throat was burning, and I was shivering. The power finally came back on at 9pm, although it didn’t change the way I felt I was able to watch tv for awhile before I threw up, called my mom and cried. Why do I always get sick when Im home alone? I emailed Jamie, my GM, that I would not be coming in to work on Wednesday. I went to bed and tossed and turned with a burning feeling in my lower right abdomen. I don’t remember if I slept at all that night but I do remember giving up eventually and..

WAIT. I DID SLEEP.

Because I woke up at 5am to my dogs barking, thinking to myself “seriously you guys.” I got up from my bed, went down the pitch black stairs, walked to the sliding glass door and slammed my hand against it as if to say “SHUT UP!” It didn’t work. they-well Mercy kept barking so I started to put on my shoes and then here it comes, I try to choke it back. NOPE. run to the kitchen sink and throw up again. wipe my mouth and continue to put my shoes on. I checked on the dogs and they had pooped in the kennel. SERIOUSLY YOU GUYS. I found a face mask, put it on and somehow managed to clean it up without puking.

I really felt awful so I tried to eat something, probably toast. I don’t remember. and you guessed it, I threw that up too. ( I have a history of throwing up a lot, because of suffering from migraines for the better part of my teen years) so I started crying again. I hate throwing up. vomiting. puking. whatever you call it. it sucks.  I knew my mother wasn’t awake but I called her anyway, she was a few hours away in Solvang with some church friends. So obviously she couldn’t do anything but call my sister who lives about 15 minutes away. I didn’t call her because I thought she would be upset that I was sick again. She ended up coming over to take care of me, I had a low fever so I figured I would be out of work one more day. I emailed Jamie again. sorry team. still dying. won’t make it tomorrow. I was writhing in pain most of the day, still thinking it was the stomach flu with bad body aches.

I ended up sleeping on the couch that night, feeling a little better as each hour passed. I thought I was feeling pretty good so I said I would go with my dad and sister to the kings game Thursday night. I was able to keep food down for the first time in 48 hours. that was a good sign. and I wasn’t in pain anymore. I thought wow it really was just another 24 hour stomach flu. We really wanted the kings to win but they failed us. It was a fun game though. One moment Aho got the puck and was doing some pretty stuff and my sister shouted “GET IT AWAY FROM THAT KID” it was absolutely hilarious. It made the ride home fun.

I didn’t get home until about 12:30 and was still feeling fine. but that would soon change. about 4 hours of sleep and I woke up in excruciating pain again and throwing up again. but this time my mom was home. We ended up at urgent care at 9am and they didn’t do much except tell my mom I was miserable and that I should probably go to the ER. they did a blood test and said my white cell count was high which, as most people know, means you’re fighting an infection. We headed to ER and got in pretty quick. they kept asking me if I still had my appendix and my gall bladder

yes I have both, now give me something for this freakin pain. they were concerned after asking me more questions that my gall bladder was the problem. It runs in my family on my dads side. Though they couldn’t be sure because “you’re way too young for this to happen” (I’m going to shoot the next person that says that to me, last time I checked diseases don’t discriminate). They did an ultra sound on my right abdomen and found pretty much nothing, a little gravel/ sludge in my gall bladder but no stones.

I’m very thankful to God for the concern the doctors showed that night because they really wanted to figure out what it was. which is not always the case in the ER. I remember hearing one doctor say to the other “she is very sick, but what is it! I don’t think its her gall bladder because with that you don’t look sick, you just have pain. but she looks very ill” I kind of wish I never heard that but a few minutes later they both came in and said something to the effect of

“we’re going to admit you to the hospital for a few days so we can figure this out, ok. don’t worry, you’ll be fine.”

what.

I’ve only ever been admitted to the hospital one other time, and I was close to death that time.

what.

I held back tears of fear and anxiety to make sure they knew I was strong and I could handle this. but inside I was melting into a puddle of tears that was like unrelenting waves of the enemy telling me lies I’ve heard over and over again.

“you’re not strong enough for this, just give up”

“God isn’t here for you, if he was why are you in so much pain”

and other things I would rather not remember.

I remember the pain medication wearing off and I was getting nauseous again, and the nurse came to check on me, “hows the pain?” he inquired, “its ok” i smiled. and then he said something that made my eyes well up, “we don’t care if you’re strong here, are you in pain?” “yes” “Ok I’ll be right back”

the Lord was trying to remind me I didn’t have to be strong, because He is. and He was there with me the whole way.

after some time they took me for a test that was new to me, called a hida-scan. It checks the function or your liver and gall bladder. checks the size of each and if anything is leaking around them. It takes about an hour to complete and after being in so much pain I eventually fell asleep. The nurse woke me up and moved me back to the bed I was on from the ER, and I was transferred to my room.

In the ER the doctors joked that I got the penthouse suite. or so I thought. When I got up there I was pleased to see I didn’t have to share a room with anyone, and that my room had two windows and plenty of room for activities.

that was a joke. I wouldn’t be doing any activities except watching the kings lose to the Ottawa Senators Saturday night. what a terrible game for them.

Since it was the weekend all the doctors wanted to wait to see if I would improve over a couple days. I didn’t. I actually ended up having a CT of my chest at about 11:30 Saturday night because I was having severe pain on my right side that was going up into my shoulder. It was clear. but they determined that I had pleurisy and aspirate pneumonia.

Sunday morning the surgeon came to see me and asked how my pain was, it wasn’t too bad considering I was on pain meds. They had me NPO for awhile before deciding to to an endoscopy Monday morning, in which they found a hiatal hernia and took biopsies of my stomach because it looked like I had celiac disease.

cool.

Monday was full of adventures. When I woke up from the EGD I was petting my blanket and asked the nurse for a puppy. She kindly responded with “There’s no puppies around here!” as soon as I was back in my room there was another tech there to take me to my chest x ray. and immediately after that, I would be having a second hida-scan with an injection that would test if my gall bladder was functioning. I didn’t question it, I just thought oh they want to see if anything has changed. but in reality they did the test wrong on Friday night. and needed to re-do it with this injection.

So another hour and some change of laying perfectly still while these pictures are being taken. and the first hour was uneventful. but within 3 minutes of the injection I was beginning to feel some pain again, I thought oh its just the meds wearing off. but it got worse and worse to the point that I said something to the nurses about this burning searing sharp pain. and I was done. between the time I left that testing room and made it back to my room I was holding back screaming and crying so as not to scare the poor guy pushing my bed, but as soon as I saw my sister and mom waiting in my room I let it all out. It was the worst pain I’ve ever had in my abdomen. the guy that brought me back to me room helped me into my bed and let me squeeze the crap out of his hand before handing me over to my mom and telling us he would tell the charge nurse to bring me something for the pain. and not a minute later did the phone ring and the surgeon said “yep its her gall bladder, its not functioning, she’ll have surgery tomorrow.”

WOW! YAY! ANSWERS!

that night was rough, I had to call the nurse a few times because I was feeling so sick. and it continued to the morning. I remember my mom coming in and saying that I looked sick again. But we were reassured I wasn’t in any danger and surgery would be that day. Tuesday December 13th 2016. The day my surgery got delayed. HA. that was only the beginning of multiple frustrations. The surgeon came in to tell us it wouldn’t be until 9pm because there were so many emergencies. ok fine. I’m still going to have it out today. nope. We decided against surgery that late because of tired nurses, surgeons, anesthesiologists and others. I didn’t want any complications and I wasn’t about to take any chances. So it was scheduled for Wednesday morning at 7am…or 11am…or 3pm…or 5pm. I think it was about 5ish when I finally went in for surgery.

I remember waking up screaming “IT HURTS IT HURTS IT HURTS” and reaching for my abdomen and writhing in pain. I’ve been told I’m dramatic but to me this is hilarious. When I finally was awake enough to go back to my room the surgeon came to tell me how violent I was upon waking. hah. sorry.

I was in so much pain, I just wanted to sleep. I had visitors though. that was nice.

OH MAN. I forgot about my visitors on Monday. So remember how I asked for a puppy after the EGD? well the Lord heard me. I had just gotten zofran for my nausea and I heard this guy knock on my neighbors door and say “hello would you like a visitor?!” and I can’t even tell you how fast I sat up in my bed to see if it was a dog.

IT WAS.

I waited patiently with my hands folded across my lap for them to come knock on my door and…who are we kidding no I didn’t. I grabbed my phone and opened snapchat to record this epic moment to all my friends. I squealed with excitement when I saw this beautiful golden walk in behind the volunteer. I had him take a photo of me with Harley. it was a magical moment. AND THEN I GOT ANOTHER KNOCK.

yup. another dog. I was ecstatic. and this dog was another golden. and I had a short conversation with this lady:

“thank you so much for coming in!”

“sure no problem, the other gentleman said you would like a visitor, he said you work with dogs.”

“yes! I work at a daycare, called Dioji!”

“Oh wow my son takes his dogs there! Mi..(she hesitates).”

“MILES AND BENSON?!?!? THE BOXERS?!”

“yup thats them!”

I had a “buddy the elf” moment in my head like “I know them! I know them!”

“thats so awesome! they are some of the most well behaved boxers I have ever met!” (which is not an exaggeration, they are the sweetest)

thats basically all that matters.

Now, going back to after surgery on Wednesday, my friends came back to see me and created the Ride or Die Crew. They sat and hung-out with (I would say with me but that would be wrong) each other while I moaned and groaned in pain and was in and out of sleep.

the next morning I remember waking up around 5am and talking to the nurse about the blood on my gown, and that I wanted more ice packs. He helped me go to the bathroom and change my gown and helped me back into bed and gave me ice packs and I fell back to sleep.

Thanks Vic.

When I woke up again and it actually seemed like a new day, It was Thursday December 15th, and I finally didn’t feel “sick” I talked to all four of my doctors that day (the admitting, the surgeon, the gastroenterologist, and the pulmonologist) and they all cleared me to go home. wow. that was fast.

and it was only the beginning of what I thought was the end of my misery.

the days after surgery at home were painful, to say the least. but I was able to eat again with little to no pain. they said it would go away in a few days. but my body had some adjusting to do. life without a gall bladder takes a few weeks to a month to adjust to. your body has all this gas to get rid of and has to figure out how to digest food with out bile to break down fat. I was supposed to walk everyday to keep my legs moving and get the gas moving around in my body instead of letting it get stuck and causing more pain.

I was relieved to be feeling almost normal again.

I have to pee, so I’m going to take this as an opportunity to say goodnight and ill write again soon to tell you how the story ends. if it ever does.

bonne nuit!