Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Thankful for Mom

My surgery would never even have been possible if it weren't for my mom. She really is the best! She took an entire week's vacation from her job to help us out.  She spent the night at our house the night before my surgery and has stayed with us over an entire week. 
Besides cooking, my mom has done everything else around the house for us. I seriously don't know where I would be without her. She's amazing. She woke up early with the girls, gave them breakfast. I slept until 9-9:30 every day. When I woke up, she fixed me breakfast. She kept up with the dishes, she did our laundry, she's got Maria on and off the bus every day, put Naomi down for a nap and had a huge dinner for everyone by the time Gerry got home. Superwoman!

In the evenings, she played with the girls, cleaned up dinner, gave the kids a bath and helped with bedtime. I am so incredibly grateful for all of her help. She has helped my girls to go through the week without any interruptions in their schedule. She has brought stability to their lives and they are just crazy about her. She also made it possible for Gerry to work regular hours last week and do what he has to do at his job without having to worry (too much) about me and what's going on at home. That sense of security is priceless.

But most of all I was just thankful for her company and her emotional support. There are many times in a girl's life when she just really needs her mom...and this was definitely one of them for me. She was always there to give a back rub, or a foot rub, or just a hug. 

She went back home on Friday and I cried when she left.  I know she is just a phone call away but I really did appreciate everything she did for us and I was very sad she was leaving. 

So mom- if you're reading this...thanks and I love you! And boy I sure do miss your fried eggs!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Days 6,7 and 8!

Wednesday and Thursday
These days were kind of blurred together.  No major changes.  The pain changed again, but never really got unmanageable, and for that I am so thankful!

I'm still surviving on chicken noodle soup, ramen noodles, jello, fried eggs and instant mashed potatoes.  My mom made chicken parmasan on Wednesday night and I was so hungry I made a plate for myself.  I thought I would at least be able to eat little bites of chicken and some noodles.  I got to the table and everyone was eating and I tried so hard to join them...but it hurt too bad.  Even the noodles.  It would take me so long to chew up a tiny bite of chicken that it just wasn't worth it.  So I just started crying. 

I can't even explain this overwhelming feeling of not being able to eat normal food.  My stomach is growling, the smells are making my mouth water and watching everyone else around me eat is just plain torture.  In my mind, I think I can handle it, but then I start chewing and it takes so much energy and it is painful to chew because I can 't move my tongue around in my mouth like normal.  It's exhausting to chew because I'm concentrating on it so much and by the time I swallow a tiny mashed up bite...the satisfaction is not there. I mean, what am I thinking.  I just had a tonsillectomy less than a week ago and I think chicken parmasan is a good idea???

 It's so weird.  I've never felt this way about eating before.  I miss everything about it.

Wednesday night, I was already for bed...excited that I could lay my pillow down a little more flat since some of the swelling has subsided.  After I dozed off for a few minutes, I woke up coughing violently!.  It felt as though a tiny piece of yarn was dangling in the back of my throat.  I kept coughing and coughing, almost feeling like I was going to throw up.  This had to be the most painful and scary part of the whole week yet.  After I calmed down and was able to drink some water, I looked in my throat with a flash light.  There it was...a huge piece of yellowish gray scab hanging down. Gross, I know.  At 11:00 at night, the scabs start to fall off. 

Needless to say, neither Gerry or I got much sleep that night.  I coughed a lot the next day, but thankfully the tickly feeling subsided.

Thursday was a big day for me.  I ate a piece of Imo's cheese pizza! It took me about 45 minutes, but by golly! I finished it!

The scabs are continuing to come off, but it's not nearly as painful as I have read about.  I think it helps that I am drinking water constantly throughout the day.  Waking in the middle of the night and first thing in the morning is the worst, but once I have a few sips of water, it starts to feel better.


One week post op and I am feeling pretty decent.  My mom got Naomi off to school this morning with no problems.  When her and Maria got home, they made chocolate chip cookies and more jello for me. 

For lunch, I ate an entire bologna and cheese sandwich. Yay me!!! I smushed it down really good and just took my time.  I followed each bite with a drink of water but it tasted so good!

In sad news, today is my mom's last day.  Once Gerry gets off work, he will be on vacation all next week.  We will miss her for sure and we appreciate everything she has done for us this week.  Couldn't have done it without her!!!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

First 5K!

I'm tired of talking tonsillectomy!

Back in September, my best friend, Erin, and I ran our first 5K race.  We started training for it in June.  Running has been a huge part of the reason I have not been a very good blogger lately.  It takes a lot of planning and coordinating with Gerry and leaves little room for much else.  At the end of the day I needed to or blog? And this summer, running won.

Both of my sisters-in-law, Kelly and Laura, have been a huge inspiration to me.  They have been running for a long time time now and I have been saying for while that I really need to do that.  In June 2011, the rubber finally hit the road and I started.  I used the iPod app "Couch to 5K" to get me started.  I was pretty athletic in my younger years.  I was always playing a sport in high, softball.  But I've never run just to run.  I will admit it was hard to get going but having an awesome running partner helped a lot.

And on September 17th all our hard work paid off.  Erin and I ran the Alzheimer's Association 5K which was in downtown St. Louis.  The starting line (and finish line) was right outside Busch Stadium.

Our final time was something like 40:11, but then later found out that the course was mapped wrong.  Instead of running 3.1 miles, we ran more like 3.9 miles.  So we actually ran a 10.3 minute mile, which was pretty good for our first race. (We actually ran another one in October...will post on that soon!)

The girls and Erin at 5:30 am! Ready to go!

My wonderful, supportive husband and myself before the race!

Snuggled up in the wagon getting ready to watch the race.

Our cheering section! So cute!

Here we are on the home stretch!

Crossing the finish line!

Mission accomplished!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Day 4 & 5

The days are getting harder.  The pain is changing.  One day, the pain feels like a terrible sore throat.  The next, the pain is more in my ears and jaws. Sometimes it's a dull, achy feeling.  Other times it is very sharp and intense.

I rolled out of bed around 9 am again.  This was Gerry's first day back to work so I was a little worried about how things would go.  My mom is still here taking care of the girls.  They were actually pretty good most of the morning.

I tried to eat some scrambled eggs again, but just couldn't do it.  I can't seem to get my mouth open wide enough to chew.  It hurts too much to try.  So my mom made me some watered down oatmeal.  It hit the spot!

I have been taking my pain medicine pretty regularly, every 4 hours.  After I got out of the shower last night, I noticed a rash developing on my chest and shoulders.  It was a little itchy.  Gerry talked to the doctor and she suggested it might be an allergic reaction to the antibiotic I am taking.  So she told me to stop taking that and try a benadryl.  That knocked me out for most of the night.  However I did wake up a few times very sweaty and itchy during the night.

So after an uncomfortable night, I woke this morning to discover the rash had spread to the back of my neck and most of my trunk. I was very itchy and uncomfortable. My mom talked to the doctor again and she said it was probably a reaction to the pain medicine.  Great. Now I can't even take that! So my next dose of the percocet was supposed to be at 10 am, and I took 800 mg of Ibuprofen instead.  I can rotate that every 4 hours with 1000 mg of Tylenol. I can't switch to any other pain pills because everything contains codeine, and that's what I am probably allergic to.

I ate some oatmeal again, and more jello.  I've been using the ice pack on my neck which feels really good.  By the middle of the day, I was actually able to talk a little better.  My jaws didn't hurt as bad and my tongue wasn't as swollen.  Then my mom suggested that maybe the pain medicine was causing my mouth to be more swollen that it would have been normally.  This made sense, since I have had allergic reactions to other medicines in the past and it has affected my tongue and mouth. As the day went on, my head felt more clear.  The rash began to go away and I realized just how crappy the percocet was making me feel.

My throat still hurts from the surgery, like bad tonsillitis, but the rest of my mouth feels better in general, since everything isn't so swollen.  Maybe the rash was a blessing in disguise?

For dinner tonight I was able to eat a fried egg with a piece of soft bread, some small bites of canned fruit and a very small piece of a soft cinnamon roll. Gerry said it felt as though I was "back", he said he kind of missed me.  So I guess I was acting really drugged up!

So I'm still waiting for the pain to become unbearable...when the scabs fall off.  Especially now that I'm not taking anything heavy duty for the pain.  I'm praying that I will be able to handle the worst without going crazy.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Day 3: Sunday

This was by far, my worst day so far. I slept terribly and woke up feeling stiff all over.  I can't find a comfortable position to sleep and these pain pills are giving me some weird dreams.

I got out of bed around 9 and I was so hungry! My mom made me some scrambled eggs and I asked her to make 2.  I couldn't wait to get them in my tummy.  However, it was a big disappointment.  My tongue is very swollen and I could barely taste them.  It took so much work to chew the tiny little pieces in to tinier pieces and the jaw pain I am starting to have didn't make that easier.  By the time I was finished, I maybe ate half of one egg.  I wanted to eat more but just couldn't get the strength to chew.  I did have some more jello, though.  Not sick of that yet.

Gerry took the girls to church and then down to see his parents.  My mom went home for a few hours and I was able to find a comfy spot on the couch and rest for a while.  Later on, Erin came by to visit.  I warned her that I was so crabby, but she brought a funny movie that made me laugh a little.

After the movie, while everyone was eating dinner (pizza, lasagna and veggies) I was feeling terrible.  If it didn't hurt so much to cry, I would have been crying.  My ears are starting to hurt again, my jaws hurt....just everything.  It's so frustrating not to be able to talk or eat too.  That makes me extra crabby.

I did manage to eat some ramen noodles, some very thin instant mashed potatoes and drink some Ensures today so I consider that a very small victory.

Here's to a light at the end of this tunnel!!!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Tonsillectomy: Day 2, Saturday

I slept on and off most of the night, waking to take my pain meds and re position myself.  I know I woke Gerry a few times, but I was able to get up and get more water and ice packs for myself.

I woke up around 9:00 am and decided I wanted some coffee.  I let it cool to room temperature and it tasted so good.  The rest of my breakfast consisted of apricot and berry blue jello...yum!

My mom decided to take the girls to the park and have a picnic, so the house was nice and quiet after 11.  I watched a movie while Gerry took a nap.  They all got back home around 1:30.  I felt good enough to take a shower, then I was worn out so I took more pain pills and went back to bed around 3.  I woke up to the wonderful aroma of a pork roast, mashed potatoes and veggies, which made my stomach growl.  I was very woozy still so my mom brought me a cup of chicken noodle soup and some tea.  I was so excited to be able to swallow the noodles.  It made me feel so much better just to have something solid in my tummy.

The pain was probably the worst is has been when I woke from that afternoon nap.  I am beginning to dread going to sleep, although I am so tired.  It takes so long to get comfortable, then I wake myself up from snoring, choking or coughing.  I keep sipping on water every chance I get so my throat doesn't dry out.  I put off going to sleep until 11 so I could take my pain pill and crash.

Before the girls went to bed, I was treated to an arm/hand massage by Maria and my mom.  It felt so nice.  Maria is being so cute.  She continues to hug me and tell me how much she loves me.  I try to mouth the words back to her or give her the sign in sign language because I really can't talk at this point.  When I do, it sounds and feels like I have a throat full of cotton.

If the pain stays like this, it is manageable. But I have a feeling it's going to get worse.  I am trying to just take one day at a time and I will hopefully come out of this with some great benefits.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Tonsillectomy: Surgery Day/ Day 1

I know it's been a while since I have posted, but I wanted to document my journey into this thing called "Adult Tonsillectomy."

I first saw my Ear, Nose and Throat doctor 5 years ago and getting my tonsils out was recommended. At the time, I really wanted to have a family and was actively trying to get pregnant so there just wasn't any way I could have the surgery.

Fast forward 5 years, my throat issues never went away and I began getting tonsillitis more and more.  So I decided to take the plunge.

My doctor explained that adult tonsillectomy is a routine surgery but the recovery can be brutal.  She told me to expect to be out of commission for at least 2 weeks.  She knew I had two young daughters and recommended I get help taking care of them because I wouldn't be able to do regular household stuff, no picking them up, no yelling, no chasing them around, etc.

So, with the help of my mom, Gerry and I picked a date for surgery.  My mom decided to take off the first week post surgery and Gerry would take off the second.

Surgery Day: November 4th, 2011

The morning of surgery, I had to be at the hospital at 6:00 am, surgery was at 8:00am.  We got there bright and early and were excited to see that Gerry's Aunt Terri was my pre-op and post-op nurse.  She did every thing she could to take extra special care of us.  I was very nervous, especially about getting an IV, since I hadn't had anything injected into my veins since July '10 when I got a blood clot.  But the nurses were very understanding of my fears and with a little numbing medication, I had the most painless IV ever.

After the doctor came in to say hi and tell us everyone was ready, I started crying.  I was so scared of the initial pain I would feel upon waking up.  Just knowing that my throat was going to be shredded (I watched a lot of youtube videos, believe me) I knew it was going to be miserable. Luckily they gave me a nice little something in my IV to relive some anxiety.  The anesthesiologist had warned me that a lot of people wake up with extreme nausea and even vomit sometimes. Wow.  If there's ever a bad time to vomit, it's got to be right after your tonsils come out, right? So I was worried about that as well.

Gerry was awesome.  He prayed with me which was very reassuring and helped calm my fears.  He even teared up a little when I did.  His face was the last thing I saw as they wheeled me off to surgery.

I remember going into the OR, moving over to the operating table, and even talking to my doctor a little bit about the first time I came to see her.  The next thing I knew they were waking me up slowly, telling me the surgery was over.  I was kind of mad that they woke me because I was having a very nice dream about Maria and I playing on the grass.  It was very realistic.  I was sitting and she was running around me laughing.  I would see her sweet little smile and her little eyes looking through her glasses.  She was wearing a yellow shirt.

Then I tried to open my eyes, but couldn't.  I didn't realize where I was, then the recovery nurse asked if I wanted pain medicine.  I couldn't feel any pain, but I nodded my head yes.  After some time, my ears and jaws started hurting.  More like pressure when landing on an airplane.  SO I pointed to them, and she gave me some more pain meds.  Eventually, I ate a few ice chips and was able to keep my eyes open. But there was never any nausea, which I was so thankful! After laying there for about an hour, they wheeled me back to my post-op room where Gerry was there smiling, waiting for me.

The pain so far has been manageable.  Everything that I've read and everyone I've talked to says the worst is yet to come, but we'll see.  I'm taking my pain meds every 4 hours, using ice packs on my neck, drinking lots of water, eating jell-o.  I had chicken broth for dinner which tasted so good.

Right now, it hurts to talk, yawn, open my mouth wide, or when I take too big of a drink of water.  When I swallow, it feels like a medium-bad sore throat.

The scabs are already forming on the back of my throat.  They say it gets bad around days 3-5 when they start to fall off.

I was able to sleep for about 2 hours at a time the first night.  I had to lay propped up on my side.  If I tried to lay on my back, the swelling was too much and I couldn't breath out of my mouth.

My family has been incredible so far.  My mom and Gerry are taking care of me and my kids so all I really have to do is rest.

Here's to a speedy recovery!!!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Maria's 4th Birthday Party

The Party Crew

We had Maria's birthday party at the Little Gym this year. The workers do everything for your partry... stamping and mailing out the invites, decorating, goody bags and planned activities. All we had to do was provide the cake. Since Maria wanted to invite all her school friends, I thought this was the perfect place to have her first "friends" birthday party.

Many of the kids from her class came, along with her cousins, Olivia, Dominic and Hailey. Several other family friends came including baby Hannah, Kayla and Samuel. The party was a huge success and Maria had a blast. The Little Gym teachers kept the kids busy playing pirate games, jumping on the air-track, sliding, dancing and hide and seek. The kids were worn out!

We could not have been happier with the way it turned out.  I think she truly loved having her friends and family there to celebrate with her while also getting to run around and be crazy! We will definitely consider doing  it again in the years to come! (As a side was great not having all that mess in my house! Ha!)

I took a lot of pictures that day and so did my brother so enjoy!

Air Track fun!

Baby Hannah loved the slide!

The Grandmas

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Summer Recap- Part 2

The next day of Gerry's vacation, Hailey couldn't be with us so the girls were a little disappointed about that. However, we tried to make the best of it by taking them to the Butterfly House in Faust Park, along with having a picnic in the park and riding the carousel. It turned out to be a beautiful day, which was a good thing because the Butterfly House tends to be very humid and we didn't need any extra humidity.

The girls seemed excited to go, but once we got in the actual house of butterflies, Maria freaked out a little.  There are literally butterflies flying around everywhere.  Some land on your back, in your hair and anywhere else they can land,  They are all different shapes and sizes.  I guess Maria didn't anticipate so many would be flying around her head and feet.  Gerry carried her part of the way and she was kicking at the ones by her feet.  This is not recommended due to the fact that the butterflies are so delicate. The workers even instruct you not to touch them at all so you don't damage their wings. So kicking them...probably not so great either! It was hard trying to explain that to Maria because she was scared.  Naomi, on the other hand, didn't mind at all...she wanted to hold them and kiss them all.  It's amazing how two sisters can be so different.

 She's trying so hard not to touch that one!

The next day, we had Hailey back with us and we headed out to the St. Louis Science Center.  Although the Science Center itself tends to be for kids a little older than ours, we were excited to see the movie showing at the Omnimax theater - Sea Rex- The Largest Underwater Dinosaur - or something like that.

The movie was okay.  Again, a little mature for my kids but they liked the theater and the experience of it.  For lunch we headed to a different part of town to visit St. Louis' famous Crown Candy Kitchen, one of the nations oldest surviving soda fountains.  This place gets so much hype we just had to try it out.  It's not in the best neighborhood and the line was out the door when we arrived at 1:00 on a random Wednesday afternoon so we figured it had to be worth the wait. And we waited, and we waited...with two small tired kids in a very tiny cramped line.  Needless to say, we were thrilled when it was our turn to sit down.  The sandwiches were okay, but the ice cream/malts everyone raves about didn't disappoint! We couldn't leave without getting some gummy worms at the candy shop, either! It was quite the experience, but I'm not in any hurry to go back.  Maybe without my kids???

 Standing in a T-Rex footprint

Thursday was our biggest day of the week...the one Gerry and I were most excited about: Raging Rivers Water Park!  It was a long drive up to Grafton, Illinois and we couldn't wait until the girls saw the slides and fun that awaited them.

However, once again, our kids were a little freaked out.  It was a  long process from the car to the ticket line, paying for a locker, dragging our gear around, changing in to swim suits, getting sunscreen on everyone.  We were there for 45 minutes before we were even ready to get in the water.  The park is huge and has many different attractions: lazy river, pool and slides for little kids, wave pool and many different varieties of slides for bigger kids and adults.  So we parked our wagon in the Itty Bitty Surf City and edged our girls near the water.  They both started crying.  Okay...I'm dripping with sweat and we just payed a ton of money to get everyone in here...and you guys are crying?  I was getting so frustrated. But I think everything was just so overwhelming for them.  Huge buckets of water were dumping over eveyr few minutes, a thousand kids were screaming and splashing and the water was cold.  Really cold.

Eventually we found a spot that was not as chaotic and the girls got more comfortable with everything...including the water. They had fun slides that landed in about 2 inches of water.  I felt bad for Hailey because I knew she wanted to do some of the bigger slides and the wave pool but it was hard for Gerry or I to be alone with both girls because they kept running off in different directions.  Eventually Gerry went down a few slides with Hailey and we did the wave pool several times.  At the very end, Hailey and I went down a long winding flume-like slide, and we saw parents going down with their small children. The lifeguard said it was allowed so we went back and got Gerry and the girls.  The way down and back up was very long and the ground was hot on our feet, but I think going down that big slide was everyone's favorite part.  Maria sat on Gerry's lap and Naomi rode with me.  All I remember was Naomi just giggling the whole way down.  Of course they had their water floaty things on, but it was hard to keep their heads above water when we landed in the pool at the bottom.  I wish we knew they were allowed to ride it and we may have gone several more times.  Oh well...there's always next year!

 This pic is one of my favorites!
Maria figured out if she leaned back, she would go a lot faster!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...