silver linings

Silver lining is defined as: “the comfort you feel when consoled in times of disappointment”  or, a sign of hope in an unfortunate or gloomy situation; a bright prospect:  

and I seem to keep finding them in the midst of all this. there is always hope.

a big thank you to my sister, for helping me remember there is always hope. and being there to encourage me when I feel like I shouldn’t continue.

I was going to start today off with something that was revealed to me a few days ago. But the writing prompt seemed more appropriate. If you’ve read any of my last posts (you haven’t, believe me I know) you would know that the last 3 and a half months have been a blur.

It didn’t seem like it when it was all happening but if I look back (I try not to) it is very glazed over, foggy, and even like someone took their finger and smudged their finger print over it. I know the dates of my ER visits and other important details. But when it comes to knowing what day it was when my friends visited me, or what time it was when I woke up to nurses surrounding me, I have trouble remembering. I want to remember but I struggle to clear the visions of memories intermingled in my brain. Its even worse when there is any noise around me. I get anxious because I cannot seem to hear as well and fear I might miss something someone said. I can’t say if that has anything to do with what I’m battling internally but part of me thinks it might be. Im trying so hard every day to be positive and focus on the good things the Lord has done. But its unbelievably hard.

Some days I wake up and my mind is already foggy. I pray and pray and pray it goes away before the urge to pee gets me out of bed. Sometimes it does, but the days it doesn’t I struggle the entire day with it. Feeling defeated because I tried to sleep it off and failed.

Last week I seemed to be getting better, Monday I went back to the chiropractor for the first time since before my first hospital stay. The receptionist, Cara, expressed her concern and asked all the details, I didn’t mind because she seemed to actually care (in contrast to most people I’ve seen lately that are just asking to ask.) I then had to explain everything to the actual chiropractor. It was a tough visit. I was not as sore as I thought I would be but that is probably due to the fact that I had a relaxing massage after being adjusted. But when I was at the counter paying my co-pay, the doctor told me “I want to see you in two days.” Ugh. I knew I was bad but I really didn’t think about how bad it was. (my thoughts never went past, ‘this is going to be bad’) I went back on a liquid diet Tuesday (i should have never gone off of it) and managed to be on it for a whopping 48 hours. It made a world of difference, my pain was at its lowest. (as I type this my pain is back up to what it was the last time I was in the hospital, but at this point there is nothing I can do, nor can anyone do for me.)

Wednesday morning I tried to exercise, that was a mistake. I thought whats the worst that could happen, I would be exhausted the rest of the day. no big deal right. I lasted ten minutes of yoga. YOGA. relaxing, stretching yoga. my heart almost stopped. thats the worst that could happen. my heart could stop. (I joked to myself, good thing I know CPR) I sat myself down when my vision started to fade. these white lights kept flashing and furthermore luring my already foggy vision. my heart was quite literally beating out of my chest. close to 200bpm. and my blood pressure had dropped significantly. I let my body fall completely to the ground catching my head on the yoga mat and just lied there facing the ceiling. trying my hardest to see the eyeball lamp shade that hangs in the center. My heart was beating the fastest I had ever felt, I felt it in my abdomen, in my throat, and of course the most in my left chest. I was scared that I might actually lose consciousness,  If it hadn’t been for the sharp pain I felt while standing I probably would have. It took about 20 minutes to come back down and my vision came back. I got up drank some water and went down stairs to check my blood pressure and heart rate. (it was 90/65. and 102 not too bad.) I was supposed to take my mother to the church but that was out of the question because of my inability to walk a straight line. Her husband ended up taking her and I said I would pick her up. I was getting my clothes together when she called me and requested that I bring her Cricut machine for a project a few of my friends were doing. I showered and was on my way. It was Wednesday which meant my second chiropractor appointment and I was excited that I was feeling better (beside the fact of my little activity in the morning.) The adjustment went well, it was like a routine checkup. Finally some good news. The doctor again said two days. ugh. fine. I’ll see you Friday. That night was Young Adults, it would end up to be the first time I made it through worship without crying. A few people even made note that I was looking better. (the power of makeup, a liquid diet, and chiropractic adjustments) I made a quick getaway when it was over because my oldest sister was home from visiting my other sister and I was the chosen one (by default) to pick her up from the airport.

Thursday was my followup at Ceder-Sinai for the capsule endoscopy. But before that I had to go to my place of employment. (on Tuesday one of my co-workers texted me sending well wishes and wednesday night another emailed me sending prayers) I had to pick up my W-2 and some other paperwork. I was thrilled to be there and even more emotional when I was welcomed with open arms by my fellow employees. (think heart eyed emoji times ten) I saw Katelyn first. She was in yard 1 with the little guys, holding a tiny pup that I recognized but couldn’t remember the name. She came up to the fence and said hi we chatted for a second before I asked the name of the dog. “Reinhart” she explained, “he’s afraid of everything, he’s so little he just hides.”

“did you say Reinhart?”

“yeah, you remember Lupo? the greyhound? its his little brother.”

“Reinhart?”

“yes. why? ”

“hmm, ok, Reinhart..Ive got a story about that name..”

“I’ll see you inside!”

I walked in the front doors and thank God there was no one in the lobby, I walked straight for Lydia that was behind the counter.

“Hiiiiiiiiiiii!” we both screamed.

I hugged her and then Hale came out of the managers office

“HALE!!” I hugged him, and walked behind him into the office “is there anyone else hiding in here? Where’s Krystle?”

“she’s in the office over there, or not the office but the room” He explained.

I walked as fast as I could through the recently delivered maze of boxes to the second overnight room and swung open the door “Krystle!!!!” we hugged and exchanged pleasantries before catching up on how I was and my possible return to work date. Katelyn came bursting through the door and bombarded me with a hug before i knew who it was.  I got my paperwork, said hi to Cheyenne and Max, and a quick hug to Alex as she came into the lobby for an eval. I said my  “I’ll see you laters” and was on my way to Beverly Hills. Surprisingly my mom wanted to drive, she was feeling better too. We got to the office about an hour early and went to find coffee and food before heading in to wait in the room so appropriately named “waiting room.” When we were walked back to the room, the nurse that helped me the week before caught my attention and said hi. that was nice, I thought to myself. We waited only a few minutes before seeing the doctor. “you’re smiling!” he explained as he walked in. “you look better, how are you feeling?” “Im doing alright, I guess.” He went on to say there was no real findings in my capsule study. surprise, surprise. He said the doctor who read it said there was evidence of lymphocytic enteritis. which made sense, it was found in my colon and my stomach. But he still isn’t convinced that is the cause of my pain. So I have yet another test on Tuesday morning at 8am. This one is to test for bacterial overgrowth in my gut. it takes an hour and a half. and if that is negative then I will have another endoscopy the following Tuesday. On the way home from the appointment I wondered what I was going to do that night to stay awake. I vocalized it to my mom and she suggested we go to bible study and Kathy and Joe’s. As we were getting on the freeway there was a pickup truck in front of us that had a bumper sticker on it that read ‘real men love jesus.’ i read it out loud and my mom said ‘Amen!’ we went on talking and I noticed the license plate ‘ephs 416’ and I said it out loud “Ephesians 4:16” We looked at each other puzzled wondering what verse it was. so I looked it up, “From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.” We really didn’t think much of it and we didn’t say any more than a “hmm.” But once we got to bible study a few hours later  we were reading Ephesians 4:17-24, and of course my mom and I thought how strange that we had just seen that license plate. We talked about it with the group after Joe read it out loud and no one else seemed to have any connection to it. I kept going back to it, like the Lord was trying to tell me something. and then it hit me. it was for me. duh. I waited it out while we studied and when it was over I blurted out “wait, I have something to share” and I explained how the Lord revealed to me that my body is trying to heal and how I had never seen all my symptoms in one place until the chiropractor handed me this sheet about the spine and how all the nerves connect to different organs and places on the body. I was blown away. with each adjustment my body was coming back into place and each nerve, and joint and muscle is connected and if its not your body doesn’t work right. it simply can’t.

Friday was my last chiropractor appointment of the week at 10:30am and I had a massage scheduled after. It was pouring all morning and thinking of my mom being in a car accident two weeks before I had a little anxiety about driving in the rain. Of course I was fine, but the roads were flooded in pretty much all of Port Hueneme. I spent the rest of the day i the kitchen cooking and baking with my mom. Until Matt said he got a notification that the creek a few miles away was over flowing and there was a flash flood warning. The three of us jumped in the truck and went hunting for flooded streets. we didn’t find any. but we found the creek flooded and pouring into the agriculture fields on each sides. We made it back home and finished baking cookies, making butternut squash soup, and lentil soup.

I got incredibly sick that night from the soup. I guess it wasn’t liquid enough. I brought Whiskey (the cat) inside because it was nonstop raining and I felt bad making her sleep outside. She woke me up a few times throughout the night crying and wanting to go outside. I let her out and she ended up making a quick u-turn and sat right back at the door waiting for me to let her back in. I was up for most of the night in pain anyway so it really wasn’t bothersome to have to keep getting up to play with the cat. Although, when it was 3:38am and I was sitting on the floor of my room entertaining my cat with a furry black ball attached to a string I questioned what I was doing with my life. Saturday I was in quite a bit of pain and really didn’t want to do anything. So I did the minimum and went back to sleep. When I woke up again I really didn’t feel any better, I was back in the blur. I managed to get half way out of the funk and clean up the piles of clothes I am donating,  not without help of course, thank you mom for recognizing that I was emotionally wasted and had minimal energy to do it alone.

today wasn’t terrible but I’m dealing with the after affects of the soup and just about everything I eat or drink irritates the pain just that much more.

bonne nuit amigos

 

 

via Daily Prompt: Blur

still looking for the light

You know when you’re driving on a rainy day and you can see ahead of you where the storm clouds end?

I went through that yesterday. I drove down Balcolm Canyon with clear skies and a small road block where the trailer of a truck had fallen over into the mountain side. I got to South Mountain Road and a few cars coming the opposite direction had their windshield wipers on and I thought to myself ‘but its not raining..’ Sure enough around the corner by Jimenez Farms it started sprinkling. I looked ahead and saw grey clouds but it just looked cloudy. As I drove into the dark cover it began to rain harder. and harder. and eventually was pouring so hard I slowed down to a crawl because I couldn’t see the road. There were cars coming the other direction also driving slow and I started to think to myself again ‘how is this happening..there were no clouds coming down the mountain.’ It rained and hailed and poured and sprinkled throughout my drive on highway 126. off and on and in no particular order. it had no rhyme or reason.

I feel like thats how life can be when we are going through a metaphorical storm. You know there will be and end, you can see it sometimes, but you don’t know how much more you have to go through.

When I was driving on the 126 I could see ahead of me way in the distance where the dark grey clouds ended and where the white clouds and blue sky began but what wasn’t clear was how much further it was.

And this is just the perfect picture of what has been going on. Obviously I’m going through a storm and last week seemed to be the eye of it. (i hope) Ive gone through the down pour parts a few times now and I’ve had good days and bad days where I can see the sun shining and i know it will end, but the next day comes and its raining again, everything seems dark, the pain is worse, i can’t breathe. darkness surrounds me and its hailing.

but just at the right time I hear that voice that says, keeping going, it will pass, you’ll come out stronger than you ever thought you would be. Thank you Jesus for these times. I do know it will pass but Lord how much longer? How many more symptoms? How many more dark days?

Not too many more. You’ve got this. Keep your focus on the here and now. Take it one day at a time. Do not let emotions take advantage of you. keep fighting.

Last week I was a huge mess. I sobbed through all of worship and had more pain that seemed to be getting worse by the minute and yet I still continued to pretend I was fine. By the time I got home I was terrified to find Whiskey dead. She wasn’t. The next morning the veterinarian called to see how she was, I told her about the miracle that God had done. She wasn’t convinced  and still wanted to do blood work. thats fine. Tuesday morning she called with the results, “I don’t know how..but your cat is fine, all her organs are working fine, I dont get it I was sure should would have passed Saturday night” yeah me too. But look at this! Whiskey is fine. she’s alive and eating again. acting like her normal grumpy self. I couldn’t believe it. neither could the British vet tech. when my sister and I took Whiskey to the vet on tuesday for her shot, he came out and said “her blood work shocked us all, we couldn’t believe it” THANK YOU JESUS!!

Tuesday was also the day I had to start my clear liquid diet. It was staring to rain again. I felt so sick and it hadn’t even been an hour yet. I still had 24 more to go.  I honestly don’t remember all the details of that day until about 8pm. Thats when I went to bed. Because I had to start the second step of prep for my small bowel capsule endoscopy at 5am and I wanted to sleep. I had no energy and I felt awful. I was rude to my sister and mom and I felt like I had no control over my feelings. I just needed to rest. I fell asleep in pain and woke up at 4:58am in pain. I gathered my stuff and went downstairs to start drinking a ridiculous amount of miralax. Its just a powder that dissolves in water. how hard could it be to drink water? ugh. I don’t ever want to drink water again. I started getting ready at about 6:30 and I was starting my second cup of miralax. I was so incredibly nauseated I was sure I was about to hurl. I burped and there it came. good thing I was in the bathroom and I have great aim when it comes to puking. I threw up the first half of the miralax. and all these thoughts went running through my head, are they going to be able to do the procedure? why am i throwing up water? is this seriously happening right now?

I composed myself and continued to get ready. It starting raining harder. My dad and his girlfriend were supposed to pick me up at 7am. my appointment was at 9am. My dad texted me about 6:50 that he was running a few minutes late. ok thats fine. it’ll give me time to poop and throw up some more water. i was ready and sitting at the bottom of the stairs with my purse. 7am. they weren’t here. 7:05. they weren’t here. 7:10. not here. I was already frustrated that I couldn’t eat anything, and that I felt so sick. I just wanted that day to be over before it really even started. I snapped and said to my mom, should i just drive myself?! she was surprised he was that late. he texted me at 7:28 “around the corner” I told my mom to sit back down and he was there about a minute later. great now I’m going to be late for my appointment.

There was nothing I could do. “Marisa just calm down” I told myself over and over trying not to be rude when my dad asked for the address of my doctor. “9033 wilshire boulevard” I was silent the entire 2 hour drive there. i just read my book and tried not to freak out. we got there at 9:17. I was pissed but I tried not to show it. I got hooked up to all the wires and had the monitor hanging on my left hip. I felt like I had a bomb strapped to me. it seemed like a simple enough task. wear a monitor and swallow a pill camera. I was so wrong. so so wrong. I had zero energy from not eating the day before and was tired and mad and everything else. It was pouring. this was the down pour of the week. I wasn’t allowed to eat anything until after 5:30 that night and was only allowed clear liquids 4 hours after I swallowed the pill. 1:30 couldn’t come fast enough. we ended up at the grove and farmers market so they could eat lunch. it was hard for me to watch people eat and not be able to even have one fry. It was 1:40 when I finally realized I could have the iced tea my dad bought and snuck into the movie theater. I took a sip and immediately felt sick. I wanted to puke.  I waited another ten minutes before trying to have more. and it just made me feel worse. so I didn’t have anything. for the rest of the day. the movie ended about 3:30 and I still had 2 hours to go. we went into a store and left. we got to the office about 30 minutes early and just sat in the empty waiting room. I started reading and before I knew it, it was 5:27. the nurse came out and motioned to follow her “you ready?” she inquired. “its time! yes I’m ready!” we took off all the leads and wires and the monitor. had a short conversation about how tired I was and how I was afraid to eat for a multitude of reasons. and I was out of there. the sun was starting to be visible. I told my dad I didn’t care how much it was going to hurt, I wanted a chicken run ranch sandwich from Native Foods. Its an amazing vegan cafe that is in limited locations and Westwood is one of them. I ordered a small order of the native wings and the chicken run ranch sandwich. when it came to the table I was in way over my head. lets just say that I only ate half of the sandwich and was done. I took the rest home and slept a few hours before getting up to be sick one last time.  the rain was slowing down.

I don’t remember much of Thursday. which is strange. but I remember waking up at 4am Friday morning and thinking “I might as well get up now.” I was taking my sister to the airport and we were leaving at 5. the drive was fun. just me and my mom and sister. we had a few good laughs that were slightly  sad because my mom can’t laugh without being in pain. When we got home we both went back to sleep. I don’t know what time my mom woke up but I woke up when she called me telling me to get dressed because we had to go see my grandma. it was 1:21pm…..  I quickly got dressed, but didn’t bother doing my hair or really bother to care what I looked like. when we got to her complex it was raining and cold. she was fine. just in pain from the accident. we made her walk up and down the hallways so she would get some deep breathing in. we talked for awhile and then left.

Saturday morning I had a class for CPR. I was nervous at first but once it started I was more relaxed and excited to learn. I felt like I was back in school. there were bagels that I was also nervous about eating, but my most common thought lately is something like “I’ve been in constant pain for a month whats a few more hours” its kinda sad now that I see it in writing. but its the truth. I ate about 3/4ths of a bagel and was in immediate pain and wanted to puke. I ran out of the room, down the hall to the restroom. I was able to keep it down but the thought of sitting through a two hour class was almost unbearable. but thank God it passed and I was able to finish the class. I even felt good enough to drive to Bakersfield for the night just to see the condors play and drive home at 6am for church this morning.

it stopped raining and the clouds began to clear.

today has been tough but the Son definitely made his presence known.

 

 

 

“hows it going?”

The last 48 or so hours have been actual hell on earth.

I’ve been emotionally overwhelmed by everything I’ve been through and yet the Lord is not done.

Late Thursday night I went down to Bakersfield with my sister to visit my dad. I was in quite a bit of pain but I handled it. Friday morning I was feeling ehh so I stayed in bed until the urge to pee made me get up. I don’t know what time it was but I’m guessing somewhere around 11. I went to the kitchen to eat some pan dulce. I eventually made my way to the game room where Lindy and my sister were cleaning. My dad had just gotten home from work for lunch and to meet this bar tender that would be working Super Bowl Sunday. I was feeling extra lazy but knew I needed to read this book to catch up for this class I’m taking at church. So I was about to start reading when my sister asked me with a concerned voice “you didn’t read that text?” to which I replied “no I didn’t hear my phone” as I got up to grab it she says, no ill just read it.

“this is one of those txt msgs.

Your mom and grandma were in an accident on the way back to hospital. Your grandma banged her knee pretty good. The other car hit right behind her. Both are going in ambulance NOT LIFE THREATENING. Just really banged up. Still at accident scene. Temple & vista by our house.”

a text from my stepdad.

I froze.

my sister started quietly crying.

Lindy and my dad were sitting at the bar and my dad looks over and says

“WHAT HAPPENED?!”

my sister briefly explained.

I was still frozen. thinking what the hell is going on, why won’t this nightmare end.

i didn’t know what to do. cry? scream? i had no idea how to feel.

my dad went over and hugged my sister who was sitting on the floor a few feet away from me. then he came over to me and hugged me asking if i was ok

i shook my head no. and a tear rolled down my cheek.

he walked away and went back to eating lunch.

I was unfreezing and still trying to figure out what to do.

get angry? be scared? be sad? be confused? I was all of them.

I slowly stood to my feet from the couch, grabbed my phone, grabbed my book and walked around the pool table into the long dark hallway and starting crying. i kept walking until i got to the end and opened the door to my room, i walked in, shut the door behind me and fell to my knees sobbing.

“Lord what did we do to deserve such pain and suffering? Lord why is this happening? Lord I don’t get it! Lord help me, I am calling out to you for help and where are you? LORD I NEED YOU HERE NOW! HELP ME! I CANT DO THIS ANYMORE!” I cried and cried and cried until I couldn’t breathe.

I texted a couple friends from church, I didn’t know who else to text.

You guys I can’t do this anymore.

I called Margaret. sobbing. I tried to talk but I couldn’t. between my short breaths I told her I was falling apart and I didn’t know what to do. I told her the only thing I knew to do was pray and I can’t even do that. I didn’t know what to pray for or how to pray. She started praying over me, for me, with me. I got some clarity to speak and pray with her. when we finished praying she said she would go see my mom. I started crying again. thank you so much Margaret. I couldn’t ask for a better friend.

I calmed down after surrendering everything to the Lord. take it, i don’t want it anymore. i can’t handle it anymore. just take it. and He did.

I had peace. if only for a few hours. a few days. thats all i needed.

there was more stress when it was game time but thats not part of my story. I made it to the game with my dad. we talked bout Jesus and my dad for the first time ever told me he was proud of  my strength in the Lord. it was amazing but I give all the glory to God. I couldn’t have done it with out Him. I will continue to lean on Him for everything.

the Divas won a great game that night.

my sister had to work at 8am saturday morning so we left at 5am. when we got home we went right up stairs to see my mom. (both her and my grandma have broken sternums from the accident and my mom has two broken ribs from a previous bike accident back in november.) she was awake and feeling pretty good. she’s ok. but wow that was stressful. my sister quickly reminded me (unintentionally) about one more thing.

“i have to go see whiskey before i leave”

her cat that lives with us. she’s 12 and an outdoor cat. my mom told us about an hour before her accident that whiskey hadn’t eaten in three days.

THREE DAYS MOM?? SHES GOING TO DIE!

I gave her as many tips as I could to get Noodle to eat. (whiskey has more pet names than any other pet I’ve ever had…except maybe Q) She still wouldn’t eat and saturday was day 4. she was surly dying but i didn’t know how close she was until I went to see her about 30 minutes after my sister left for work.

I found Whiskey laying in the dirt in the orchard. she didn’t respond to me calling her at all. but she was laying with her head picked up so I knew she was still alive. I walked over to her and picked her up.

“whats wrong kitten? you don’t feel good?”

I was becoming one of those “whats going on” people.

Whiskey didn’t seem to mind. she just cried a couple times. a very sad cry. a painful cry. I brought her inside and set up a small crate for her to relax in. I called a few vets and eventually made an appointment with the vet where I used to work. I seemed ok. I had to be strong enough for this. but I couldn’t go alone, so I texted my friend Matty. she came to the vet with me and was sitting next to me when the veterinarian said “if it wasn’t a Saturday I would be hospitalizing your cat. This is an emergency, she is very ill.”

I froze again.

you can’t be serious. my sisters cat was about to die right in front of me.

the vet gave me some options and I called my mom crying. “Mom she’s really sick. like she’s not going to make it. Jenny (the vet) wants to do blood work and give her fluids.”

my mom and I have been through way too much in the past 3 months. and I haven’t been working so I have no income. but i have hospital bills. Lots of them. and now so does my mom.

she called my sister and my sister called me. we decided to just buy Whiskey some time so she could die peacefully at home with me and my sister. but Jenny wasn’t happy with it.

“you’re basically telling me to put a bandaid on a dying cat”

I burst into tears. I know Jenny, I know.

“you don’t understand that my family has been going through hell the last two days I can’t call my sister and tell her I had to put her cat to sleep. i just can’t.”

I had to sign an AMA. something I never thought I would do.

they gave Whiskey some fluids and we went home. I walked in the door and my mom was on the phone. she asked what they did and I explained that happened. “she’s not going to make it” I cried. Whiskey cried. I put whiskey outside where she wanted to be for a little bit. I gathered my stuff and went upstairs. I buried my face in my blankets and pillows and cried myself to sleep.

I woke up to my sister touching my leg asking what to do. We brought Whiskey inside and up to my room. We watched her rest on the dog bed for a few hours. We observed her acting very strange and it broke our hearts.

do we just take her now? the ER vet is still open.

we just sat there on the floor staring at our dying cat.

she cried off and on. we ate some cheese puffs. and took Whiskeys paw prints.

My sister needed to go home to shower and get to bed because she worked the next morning. I was strong for her. but as soon as she left I fell apart. Its easy to be strong for other people but once they leave and you don’t have to be strong anymore all bets are off.

I was terrified I would wake up to a dead cat Sunday morning.

I set her up in this cloth crate I got from work, said goodnight and turned off the lights.

My sister called me, I had to compose myself enough so she wouldn’t know I was crying.

she has been having a hard time with her living situation and last night when she got home she was told the gas was turned off. just one more thing. let it be the last of the bad news. everything was still falling apart.

I calmed her down and the conversation ended.

I slept like a baby.

which if you’re smart you know means I woke up every two hours crying wanting to be held.

I am normally a very heavy sleeper but the last few months have been quite the opposite. last night I woke up every time Whiskey moved and I heard her bell.

“ok she’s still alive” I thought to myself every time I heard the jingle.

When it was finally time to get up I said out loud “Lord help me” as I kneeled down to see if she was alive.

She picked up her head and I sighed “Oh thank God”

I put on some clean clothes and put the cat in the crate and went down stairs.

Left for church thinking how in the world am I going to get through this.

I walked in the church on the verge of tears. I purposely avoided eye contact with everyone. but once I got in the sanctuary my bottom lip started quivering, I was about to lose it. I found a seat in the third row between two families with an empty seat or two on either side of me. I set my stuff down and crossed my arms and started swaying to the song. I started crying. I didn’t even last 20 seconds. I sat on the edge of my seat with my face in my hands weeping. I couldn’t stop. I cried through 30 minutes of worship. when it was ending I knew I needed to get myself together or get out. I tried getting up but I felt this weight holding me down as if the Lord was saying “don’t leave, you can get through this, you can do this.” So I did. I sat through service and took notes. and then the service ended and I was shaking with anxiety that someone I knew would see my red puffy eyes and face and ask the dreaded question.

most people knew about my moms accident but no one knew about my dying cat.

I walked in to the nursery and waited for the rest of my team. When Morgan came in she said to me “your face is red like you’ve been crying..” she came up to me and hugged me. i tried to hold myself together but as soon as she let go I saw Margaret on the other side of the counter with Tony. I just shook my head. Thats all it took. she came over to me and I wept again, into her shoulder this time. I don’t know how long but, it seemed like forever. I just can’t do this anymore. she said “you’ll get through this, you’ll be ok”

I was asked by several people if I wanted to go home, I said no. I didn’t want to go home and watch my dying cat. I stayed to serve in the nursery for second and third service.and after it was over  I went to my stepdads parents house for free food. as if I could eat anything. I was in so much pain all over again. In the nursery every time I held a baby on my right hip I would get that debilitating pain throughout my abdomen.

I stayed until my mom and stepdad left because frankly I didn’t want to come home and find a dead cat.

But get this.

I got home right after them and walked inside to see Whiskey walking to the back door. Oh thank God she’s still alive. Not only was she alive, but she seemed better. she was more alert but still walking kind of wobbly. I let her go outside and she drank some water. I thought what the heck. So I went inside to grab her bowl of kibble from this morning. I added some hot water to make it soft and put it in front of her. SHE STARTED EATING. I just about lost it.

I opened the sliding glass door and told my mom. she was baffled. I starting thinking to myself, those fluids must have been from God. She didn’t eat all of the food but it was a start in the right direction.

a few hours ago she was actually hiding under my bed and came running when I called her. she then proceeded to blow my mind with how alive she was. I pulled out the cat toys and she started playing. Chasing them and trying to kill this little ball of black fuzz. Whiskey what the heck! This is all the Lord, I’m telling you there is nothing else! nothing short of a miracle. she is currently sleeping next to me curled up in a kitten ball of fur. purring.

Jesus is real. He is alive. And He is still doing miracles every day. I am in awe of His power. and I’m starting to see the  light at the end of this long dark tunnel.

bonne nuit.

 

if you’re going through hell…pt. 2

So I’ll start where I left off, in the days after surgery.

I was so sick of laying in bed, I think it had been about 10 days, I was ready to get out and do something exciting. which meant being in a little bit of pain. I was ok with that.

some people from my church host a live nativity every year. its on the front lawn of someones house on the “candy cane lane” of oxnard. I had my mother drive me since I was still on “the good stuff” aka norco. we borrowed a wheelchair so I didn’t have to walk too far. considering standing was difficult I wasn’t about walk through four blocks of crowded sidewalks. we met up with my good friend Margaret and rolled down the street to the nativity. it was freezing. and shivering was causing my gut to jiggle and I was not happy. except that I was cracking up when Margaret and I went for a stroll and she went full speed across the crosswalk to make it up the ramp and we crashed. I just about fell out of the wheelchair and everyone around us came running to help and we just couldn’t stop laughing.

the next morning was brutal, I was very sore from all the laughing from the previous days of adventure. but it was worth it.

I don’t remember much else until the week after when I woke up Thursday morning with two little red spots on my left hand. I figured it was a bug bite. thought nothing else about it. I washed all my blankets and sheets and pillow cases thinking maybe the bug would die. but that wasn’t even close to solving the problem. by the evening I had little red spots on the top of my left knee and on the tops of both my feet.

My first day back to work was Friday December 23rd and I was a few hours away from being around all my co workers again and feeding about 100 dogs. I was excited. that was until I woke up at 4am with my feet covered in hives and both my knees blotchy red. the itchiness was nothing compared to what I was about to endure. but I’m serious when I say it was miserable.

I ended up back in the ER on Christmas eve morning because my lips were swollen the hives were spreading so fast you could see it and I was starting to have trouble breathing. the ER doctor seemed like he just wanted to get rid of me, but they were mildly concerned about my swollen lips. he gave me something for my nausea and a strong dose of Benadryl and they sent me home. the rest of the day was a blur, but I do remember getting dressed up for Christmas Eve service and making it through service without scratching myself too much. I got home and knocked out on my bed upstairs while my entire family filtered into the house below me. I would wake up every couple of minutes to someone asking my mom “where is marisa?” I would just close my eyes and try to go back to sleep. When my sister got there she came up to see how I was, she tried to convince me to go downstairs but I felt awful. She left me and came back about a half hour later she came back with a plate of deviled eggs, that was probably the highlight of my night. but at that point I had a migraine from not eating anything earlier in the day and I just really wanted the night to end. It didn’t end until I made it downstairs to do my rounds saying high to everyone and sitting at the bottom of the stairs trying not to cry. I was so itchy. miserably itchy. I couldn’t believe it. I was super weak from malnourishment so I couldn’t even walk to the table to make myself a plate of rice and beans. I called my sister over to walk me over there and she helped me, thank God.

I remember having anxiety about eating because I had been vomiting. but I think i was too focused on trying not to scratch myself. I ate a small portion and gave up. every time I used my hands for anything the blood would start rushing to my fingers and they would start itching. So I ended up opening some presents and then crying because I couldn’t handle the itching. my sister brought me some ice packs for my hands and let me cry into her.

I had her help me upstairs and changed into shorts and a t shirt (thinking anything else would be too warm and make my itching worse). I climbed into bed and tried sleeping. I really don’t know how to explain how terribly itchy I was.

It went on for days. and then a week. and then two weeks. I tried sleeping but every time I would fall asleep I would wake myself up by scratching so violently. I woke up about every 20 minutes throughout each night. and about every two hours the itching would become so unbearable I would have to get in the bath tub with freezing cold water to calm the blood flow. I think one of the  worst parts (there were many)  was when I ran out of the oatmeal bath I had been using. It was like the world was ending and I would die  by scratching myself to death.

after the first week of steroids I was a ticking time bomb. I also had a cold, or aspirate pneumonia (or both) it was hard to tell the difference ( I was told by my GI that every time I vomit, because of my hiatal hernia, a little bit would end up in my right lung causing the aspirate pneumonia). I had a bad cough and a runny nose and was covered in hives. At this point I was ready to give up, in fact if you ask my mom she might say that I did give up. If you’ve ever been on steroids you know what I’m talking about. I was a mental mess. And all I wanted was a hug. but being my generous self, I gave my mom the cold I had. you’re welcome mom. So she was in no shape to comfort me, needing some comfort herself. I felt so alone. I knew I had God to lean on, but I needed a psychical hug. I was at the breaking point. On the edge. and then I fell.

I broke down in tears, sobbing into my pillow, screaming so hard a was gagging. I just needed someone to grab me and tell me everything was going to be ok. but quite the opposite happened. And I don’t blame her. My mom came in my room and asked why are you crying. I know my mom doesn’t understand depression or anxiety so I really can’t be mad at her for not understanding. so I’ll blame the steroids for making me shaky and volatile. We argued for a few minutes before coming to an understanding that neither of us understood how the other was feeling. And did what we only know to do at a time like that. We prayed.

a few days later was January first, the pajama party for children ministry at church and we (the ride or die crew) bought matching leopard onesies to wear.

I was still a mess, having thrown up the night before and screaming my head off again. I was back in the ER for new years eve. sitting in the waiting room watching the ball drop. they called my name and I never realized how much I hated the question “whats going on” until that night. I was so pissed. and I was rude to the doctor. “WHATS GOING ON?! WHAT THE HELL DO YOU THINK IS GOING ON I’VE BEEN FREAKING COVERED IN HIVES FOR TWO WEEKS AND YOU DONT HAVE ANY ANSWERS FOR ME THATS ‘WHATS GOING ON'”  I screamed at him in my head. but on the outside I was frozen. glaring at him with these eyes that yelled “help me.” He had no empathy. I did actually throw my blood pressure cuff at the wall and cussed him out when he said “why are you looking at me like that?’ I admit that was not a very christian thing for me to do but maybe that gives you an idea of how frustrating it was not having answers. He then started showing some compassion towards me and my mom. I went into a room and they continued giving me fluids and started me on a stronger dose of steroids along with Benadryl and Pepcid. I would be there for a couple hours for the bag of fluids get in me, and as soon as it was done I was ready to bolt out of there. I hate hospitals. and ERs. at least when I’m the patient. but thats a whole different story. We got out of there around 3am I think. and I was able to sleep for about an hour before waking up to take yet another cold bath.

That morning was Sunday January first, I put on my leopard pajamas and went to church with my mom. We met up with the rest of our team in the nursery where we serve with the infants-two year olds. It was pretty uneventful as I remember. And I felt awful. I probably should have stayed home. but I couldn’t get prayer at home and I knew church is where I needed to be, surrounded by people that cared for me, and more importantly the Lord. I was in no shape to pray for myself but I desperately needed prayer. after we served with the babies, we went to service and I broke down in tears yet again. I vaguely remember what was taught that day because I was trying my best not to vomit all over the first row in front of me.

When service ended I was crying and feeling worse than the night before. I think I had gone a full two weeks without good sleep. I just needed rest. I was crying so hard I caused a scene and my mother pulled this wonderful couple over to pray for me. I can’t thank them enough for starting what was one of the most powerful prayers I have ever experienced, I was literally surrounded on all sides by people that love me and wanted to pray for me. with their hands stretched over me, I actually didn’t feel alone in this battle at that moment.

I made it to the car and eventually home just in time to throw up in the drive way. It seemed to never end. (it still hasn’t ended)  I made it upstairs to rest, I ‘slept’ for a few hours and woke up to my sister asking me how I felt. I don’t remember anything after that.

that Thursday was my first appointment with the GI since being released from the hospital on the 15th of December. I was still like a zombie because of the steroids. I hated everything. I didn’t want to eat. and my blood pressure was so low I couldn’t stand by myself. when the doctor saw me he seemed worried that I  wasn’t any better and had actually gotten worse. so he ordered more blood tests and and mri of my abdomen because I was having pain again. along with all the other symptoms.

I went to my dads that weekend for the condors outdoor classic. I was so sick. I should have stayed home. but I had already missed so many hockey games and I wasn’t about to let nausea and hives stand in my way.  Friday was the alumni/celebrity game and I wasn’t that excited, until we got there. When we parked I saw this nice jeep park in the row across from us and pointed out the license plate to my sister (its a thing we do if we see one thats not California) it was Michigan if I remember correctly. I was talking to my sister about another out of state plate I saw the day before as we were walking past the jeep when something caught my eye. It was Taylor Beck. I did a double take just to make sure my eyes weren’t deceiving me, and as I looked back Michael Latta got out of the back seat. Im not gonna lie, I lost it. I flipped around so fast to tell my sister and I blurted out “oh my God, thats Michael Latta” if you can imagine all those words slurred into one. I freaking love this guy, as a player of course. when he played with the Capitals with Tom Wilson, that was magic. They were the best together. I was so giddy. haha. I turned back around to see if they were close or if I was in the clear to express my excitement to my sister without sounding like an idiot in front of one of my favorite hockey players. nope. not clear. abort mission. red alert. they were right behind us. so I made a fool  of myself

“Hey guys”

I turned and walked away.

oh my gosh. what the hell did I just do. probably missed my one and only chance to meet Latta and I blew it. NOOOOOOOOO thinking ill never see him again in my life. oh well. on to the game. then the next day came around and we waited around the house playing with the dogs. game time. we left the house bundled up ready to sit through the rain and watch some outdoor hockey. as we walked up toward the stairs we passed the Reign locker room and I glanced in, there was Latta, so of course I did what I do best and made a fool of myself once more. “LATTA” I screamed and kept walking. my sister couldn’t believe I did that, and yet I in fact had just done that. We enjoyed the game, watching the Bakersfield Divas complete the comeback in OT, thank you Griffin Reinhart.

After the game I joked and asked my sister to wait with me outside the Reign locker room in hopes of seeing Latta again and actually being a regular fan and asking for a photo. she obliged. wasn’t happy to wait in the cold but she did, thanks sis. I was looking down at my phone to check the time, I told her earlier that we would only wait ten minutes and if he didn’t come out we would leave, I had 2 minutes before we would be leaving and I looked up.

“Latta! can I get a photo!?”

He was right there and said yeah just a minute ill be right back.

I didn’t think anything of it, but my sisters friend made a comment about him not coming back and being a jerk. I guess thats a possibility. no. no way he’s not rude.

He did come back. I got to meet him and ask him how much he missed Tom. and I got my photo. THANK YOU JESUS

We came home that night (i mean the two hour drive home) I slept a few hours before waking up to hives again. but thank God that was the last night I would wake up because of itching. I was moderately healthy for a few weeks, going to work here and there a few short shifts and a few long ones. and I seemed to be on the road to recovery.

That was until I tried to eat solid food for all three meals everyday. That was probably a bad idea. But I did it and I didn’t get sick. so I thought I was fine. It hurt every time I ate. like a burning sensation directly beneath my sternum. I just though it was heart burn or something like that. but when the pain started to spread down each side under my ribcage I got worried. I went two weeks and two days without an ER visit. But Tuesday January 17th I was at work and the pain stopped my dead in my tracks. I couldn’t  breathe all of a sudden there was stabbing searing pain throughout my abdomen. I was the supervisor though and I couldn’t leave my team. I would be fine. Nope. there it was again. Couldn’t move. It hurt to breathe. I got out of what I was doing to go find the GM and tell her I needed to leave. She figured it out (thank you Alex) and I was able to leave a few hours early. I drove myself home, how? i don’t really know, probably by the grace of God. I called my mother and she was on her way to pick me up and take me back to the ER. it was the busiest I have seen in my few trips. I waited in the lobby for probably 45 minutes before getting brought back to a bed in the hallway. The ER doctor was the same one I saw when I was having the gallbladder pain so she called my GI and told him I was there. They didn’t give me anything for pain because I told them it was coming and going. and there was no way to tell what it was coming from. the only test they did that night was another hida scan to make sure there was no leak from surgery. When the GI got there he told me the blood test I had done a few weeks before came back positive for Crohn’s disease and that could be the cause of the pain. there wasn’t a leak and I was sent home.

I went to work on Wednesday for a meeting and told the managers what happened in the ER. sat through the meeting and went back home to rest. I think I worked Thursday it was only a 4 hour shift. I spent the rest of the day running to the bathroom every ten minutes because my bowels were freaking out over who knows what. Friday I was off from work and I spent the day trying to figure out what to eat that wouldn’t make me sick. I did laundry too and fell sleep on my bed for a ‘nap’ only to wake up five hours later to my sister talking  to my mom about what I had been going through the last two days. My mom was worried about the diarrhea so she called my GI and he ordered a test that she had to go pick up and told her to put me on a BRAT diet. and I was supposed to poop in this thing and ew. ill spare you the details. I didn’t end up pooping again until three days later and it was not relevant anymore.

heres why:

I was scheduled to work Saturday  January 21st from 1:15 to 9:15 and I was sure I would be ok. I slept in thinking more sleep would help me be up late at work. I got up to eat breakfast and felt sick. I ate applause and started to get worse. the pain in my abdomen was getting worse in each wave. my hands were getting clammy. I was about to puke. I slowly walked up the stairs, into the bathroom and kneeled on the floor in front of the toilet and let it come out. a few minutes later, I was crying again and trying so hard to be ok, my mom came in and asked what I wanted to do. I wanted to go to work. but obviously that wasn’t happening, so I told her to call my work and tell them I wouldn’t be coming in and why. She then asked how my pain was and it was creeping up to a 10. She called my GI and he said to take me back to the ER.

here were go again. we were really at a loss at what to do. I had given up. again. I just wanted answers. I still want answers. I had never realized how many different kinds of pain existed until that day. Im sure I have experienced it all now. They got me in pretty quick and had trouble getting the iv in because my veins were so scarred from all the other times I got poked. once the nurse got the iv in she drew some blood for tests and gave me a dose of dilaudid. that had worked before for the pain from my gallbladder. this was different. I whispered through my tears to my mom “i think its making it worse”

it was. I’m going to to my best to describe the pain, searing cramping burning stinging twisting. i don’t even know what was happening. I felt like a demon was trying to come out of my abdomen. think, bella swan in twilight when she was bitten by that vampire. i was writhing in pain. my mom said “let them hear you” she knew i was holding back screaming and crying. i was just moaning and groaning in this excruciating pain. I started yelling “WHAT IS THIS” as if anyone knew what I feeling. over and over I screamed until my mom got so fed up that she walked out of the doorway and said “can we get some help in here?!” three nurses and the ER doctor came running in and tried to figure out what the hell was going on. the doctor said “lets give her some dilaudid” my mother protested “thats what made it worse!” the doctor snapped back and said “well i can leave her like this” my mom agreed to try it and with in a few seconds the pain got even worse. the nurses left and the doctor was talking to someone on the other side of the curtain in the room, she said “valium?” the doctor agreed.

when they came to give me the valium my mom asked what it was for (she’s a retired parole officer, she knew what it was for) and the nurse said, “it’ll make her go to sleep”

it didn’t. I did calm down and the pain got better but it never completely went away. they took me for a CT of my abdomen and pelvis. I couldn’t lay still enough at first and the technicians did their best to calm me down and help me breathe. they got what they needed and took me back to my ER room.

a few minutes later the doctor came back and said “we’re going to admit her for observation and pain control. Her CT came back clear except for a cyst that just ruptured on her right ovary. but her pain is too high for it to be the cause.”

wow another hospital stay. great. I was in the hospital from Saturday to Tuesday. They did an MRI on Monday and it came back clear. still no answers for the pain. I started to think it was all in my head. haha what a joke. I was on a clear liquid diet for the first two days and then was advanced to a full liquid diet. that was a mistake. eating tomato soup was so painful. but it tasted so good. they did test on Tuesday morning to see how fast or slow my stomach empties after I eat. so you guessed it, I had to eat. real food. well kinda, I had scrambled eggs (the powder kind) and a bite of an apple and some small bites of an artificially flavored blueberry muffin. the apple was the worst part. the test took an hour and a half. and came back normal. they sent me home.

but I was back the next morning at 6am for a colonoscopy. that was fun. no. there is nothing fun about that. but we got a small answer, I have a twist in my colon. that causes pain sometimes. but according to doctors, it doesn’t cause this much pain.

its been two weeks since then and I now have gone to get a second opinion at Cedar-Sinai in beverly hills. Ive seen that doctor twice. and my final test is this Wednesday. its called a small bowel capsule endoscopy and it takes 9 hours.

So far theses are the things I’ve been diagnosed with or things they have found:

biliary disease, a hiatal hernia, celiac disease, crohns disease, tortuous hepatic twist, and the latest lymphocytic gastritis which is a very rare disease that no one knows about.

in my eyes they are all wrong, and Im 99% sure I have Sphincter  of Oddi Dysfunction.

Im exhausted and I still need to write about the last 48 hours.

So if you’re going through hell, keep on going.

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!

home

Bonjour!!

These past few days have been rough. But very interesting.

Friday at work was rather easy considering I had to bathe three huge dogs. And picking up Talia at 2:30 then running around to the grocery store then the dry  cleaners then to pick up Dave. Then take them home. then do chores then pick up Justin at 4:45 and take him home, then take Talia to her friends house for a barbecue. then done. 5:50.

HOME for the weekend.

On Friday night I asked my mother if she would take my sister and I on a mother-daughter date to see the movie Inside Out. SHE SAID YES.

So Friday night we all went out to the movie and came back to have a spur the moment yard sale satruday morning.

I made 12 dollars.

Saturday afternoon however was quite the adventure. My sister and I went to seaside park in Ventura expecting it to be a sunny afternoon. However, it was very cloudy and windy. We stayed anyway because she likes to look for shells and the tide was very low. I sat on our blanket for the first hour until this lady made me angry enough to get up to go tell my sister what she had done. (she had thrown her cigarette on the shore and smashed it, then proceeded to pick up a medium sized rock and pretend to throw it at my sister when she wasn’t looking.) she didn’t know I was with her.

when I got up to tell my sister we noticed this tiny cloud covering certain parts of the beach  and realized the wind had picked up quite a bit.  So much that it was blowing the dry sand down the beach over the wet sand. it was pretty until the wind got to 30mph and the sand was hitting us so violently that it was like a free facial.

i left our stuff to record the wind/sand storm thing only to come back to this.
i left our stuff to record the wind/sand storm thing only to come back to this.

picking up our blanket was a workout, considering the sand had gotten so moist from the ocean air that it was covered in about 40 pounds of sand.

Since it had started raining on our way home we went to Lure fish house to get clam chowder, and it was my first time having it from Lure. I love clam chowder so I’ve definitely had it before from other places but Natalie assured me this one was the best.

It was good. the bread was better. and then we tasted something she had never experienced in this chowder before.

now let me back up a minute. my sister and I don’t eat cow, chicken, pig, turkey. We can’t necessarily be called vegetarian because everyone has their own version of it. We eat fish sometimes and shellfish even less.

so back to the chowder, she thought this texture was over cooked clam but I was a little worried.

she looked up the menu and found that it said there was bacon in it.  she swore there was never bacon in it before. oh well.

I got sick mentally and almost threw it up. My sister was fine, a little sick, but helped me through the worst of it. its over so I’m good. we’re good.

we had so much energy after eating, we scared her 15 year old dog. multiple times.

poor Boxer had the heart of a warrior. he put him through so much crap,

he provided an hour of entertainment for us that evening.

Saturday was one of the best days I’ve had in a long time. definitely going into my core memories.

mostly downs

today had its ups and downs, mostly downs.

you might say I had a good day with a lot of things that went wrong.

the morning started off well, waking up an hour early, took Dave to daycare, dropped off Talia at tennis camp, came home for a quick second, then off to work again.

I walked in hearing Tasha in the office talking to who I assumed was a new customer going through an evaluation.

” …yeah thats Wiley, its his first day, he’s only 3 months old so he’s a little nervous.”

to which the woman replied, “Oh how sweet! He’s so cute!”

I waited for Tashas que of “well He’s doing great (talking about the lady’s dog) let me show you the rest of the facility.”

She walked my way and unlocked the door. After clocking in I walked into the groom room where I spend most of my day,

to see Suzi, my boss, brushing Moh, the dog, on the ground.

I forgot.

I forgot today was a Moh day. He has a lot of hair and is naughty for his nail trim.

Then I look over into the small dog area and see two new puppies. a Beagle and a shepherd looking mix (who I found out later is Wiley). The beagle seems familiar but I gave it no second thought. Suzi interrupted my good mornings to the pack and says

“Marisa! Of course Haley didn’t call back..and she showed up today….” she looks at me with these eyes that say “I hope thats ok because I told her mom yes.”

“yeah thats fine!”

It really was fine that Haley was there, it meant more hours for me.  I only hesitated a second because I told Talia that I would be there to pick her up between 2 and 230…

three dogs meant probably 5 hours and it was already 10:30.

Ive had to help Suzi with lifting and maneuvering dogs this week because she had a procedure done two weeks ago and her doctor said no lifting anything over 10 pounds. Moh weighs about 65, Haley about 40 and the new dog, Brody about 75. which meant I would be doing all the lifting today.

I set up my tubs and waited for Suzi’s next word on what to do, she had me lift Moh to the table and then take Haley outside to go potty. When she was done cleaning Moh’s ears we would attempt his nail trim. I am the one now who lays on the dog while she does the nail trim. Today would be my first time helping her with Moh. She told me yesterday that he is very vocal and doesn’t wiggle much. We use a muzzle just to be safe since my face would be so close to his.

So as I’m laying on him, my whole body on his with my arms crossed over his neck, she does the first cut. Moh doesn’t like it and lets out a growl. Showing his large teeth through the netting of the muzzle. I flinched pulling my face away. the next cut wasn’t so bad, and he seemed to relax a little. until she got to the next foot, and he flung his head up into my face and tried to bite my nose. I wasn’t ready for it.  I was fine. moving on to the next feet weren’t so bad because I was ready for it.

We got through it and gave him some cookies just to reassure him we didn’t hate him.

It was Haleys turn.

She’s a different story, this dog is a basset hound lab mix. a very awkward size to try to lay on. So Suzi informs me I will be sitting in the corner of the room with the dogs back to my chest and her legs sticking out. She says Haley isn’t bad she just wiggles and shows her teeth. So again we use the muzzle for safety. Turns out Haley likes me so she didn’t growl or wiggle one bit. She did however scratch the hell out of one of my legs trying to get up. oh well. part of being a groomer I guess. Their baths are nice and calm no biting or growling of any sort. and the rest of work went fine. I lifted Brody and bathed him. a nice solid black lab mix.

I offered to help Suzi finish the dogs all the way through since they were just basic bath and dry dogs but she reminded me of the time. It was 2pm. I was going to be late picking up Talia. I cleaned up my space, took the dogs out for potty walks and was on my way. but not before grabbing a vegan chocolate cookie suzis mom had sent her as a get well gift.

I ran home (drove really) made a sunflower butter and jelly sandwich, grabbed a small piece of cheese, a nectarine and left.

I picked up Talia at 230 sharp. I wasnt late. but now we had to go to petropolis and get Dave (her ridgeback mix) more dog food and then pick him up from daycare.

or at least that was my plan.

I missed the turn to petropolis.

“Are we picking up Dave first or going to get the food?”

dangit she noticed. “Yeah we’re gonna get Dave first I thought he might want to go to the pet store with us…”

“Oh ok!” whew she believed me.

We got Dave. We made it to the store but she wanted to leave him in the car, after all we would only be there for 5 minutes.

We left him in the car and went to get the food. But of course they didn’t have it! They only had the 15 pound bag and not the 25. ugh ok Talia suggested getting the 15 pound bag since Dave was completely out of food.

We got it and got to the car. I looked in and Dave was still laying in the back seat, licking something though.

I put the bag of food in the trunk and hear Talia “DAVE NO! WHAT IS THAT!”

He had my cheese. He ate my cheese.  Oh my gosh where is the chocolate cookie.

I panicked.

Talia saw it before me, it was still in the cup holder, though not wrapped in the paper towel I assumed to be dog proof. no. Dave had the paper towel.

“at least he left the cookie!” Talia laughs.

yeah..at least he left the cookie. We left.

“Oh dangit! I’m in the wrong lane. oh well we’ll take the long way home”

“Can’t you change lanes?”

“No theres a car there now, but its ok we can go this way”

sorry Talia. something is against me today.

We made it home and she took Dave inside. I cleaned up what was left of my smashed chocolate cookie and took it in.

I was so flustered I forgot I left the garage door open so I could go get the mail. I got stuck reading Cathy’s list and started doing other things. when I remembered the garage was still open I took the trash out pretending I knew what I was doing. I got the mail and shut the garage.

empty the dishwasher

wash the fruit

unscrew these things that won’t unscrew

move the dog food

get the mail

i already got the mail

fold the laundry

oh my gosh I want to go home.

oh my gosh what the hell did I just step on.

some of my smashed cookie that I dropped 30 minutes ago walking in the door, of course.

I’m ready to go just leave Cathy a note and go

I get in my car to find the mess Dave so nicely left.

cookie crumbs and sugar crystals everywhere and the cheese wrapper shredded in the back seat

I couldn’t leave it. no. of course I had to clean it up.

I grabbed a starbucks napkin from my glove box and wet it. I started scrubbing my cup holders trying to pick up every last crumb. I wiped the emergency brake. oh crap.. I dropped the napkin down there. In the black hole of the brake. crap. its ok I can reach it.

nope.

pushed it further. what do i need to do to catch a break. i used my brain for once today and grabbed the measuring tape in the center console. i hooked it. i got it. I’m leaving. I’m home. thank god. I’m not dead. i need a minute to myself.

no. I’m going to write it down as the most frustrating day in 2015.

thats a lie. the kings didn’t make the playoffs. that was frustrating. the capitals lost to the rangers in game 7 OT. that was frustrating.

ok i think i need to sleep or exercise.

i think i forgot something. that beagle puppy at work. his name is Boone. i know him from the dog park. also the lady that Tasha was talking to this morning. her dog. the golden puppy. Ghram. from the dog park as well.  ok Au voir

this is Moh.
this is Moh.

bonjour amigos!!

My sister and I are trying something new. It started last week with learning new languages and re-learning Spanish. We are learning French and Swedish as of these past two weeks. So I apologize in advance for posts with mixed languages.

We’re we want to log our adventures and fights and poops and all that fun stuff. I hope this is the place to do it.

I have a feeling it will be mostly me doing this but who knows.

“J’aime boire” means “I like to drink” in French, and I do, but mostly water.

Its late and I have work in the morning so,

bonne nuit!