Saturday, December 4, 2010
Thanks for Your Prayers!
Well, yesterday was a crazy and wonderful day:) Do you want the long story or the short? I'll give you the long and you can skim it if you want:)
I woke up around 7 and showered and got all ready, just in case I was going to have surgery that day. Then, when they opened at exactly 8 AM I called my insurance & gave them the surgery codes to see if they required preauthorization. They said they did not so I headed to the hospital, just in case there was a chance they could get me in. On the way there, Aunt Callie (who was already at the hospital with my other Aunt Marcia who was getting her venogram yesterday as well) asked the nurses station at the hospital, and they said that they had 10 surgeries already scheduled for the day and that the way things were, they would already be there into the night. Meanwhile, I called the scheduling department at UVRMC and the (snob) lady on the phone told me that there was absolutely no way that they could get me in at all and that I probably wouldn't be able to get in next week either. I told her that I had already spoken to the docter's office, and that they said that they wanted me to get in today and that I was leaving for Germany, etc., etc., and she said, "Are you telling me that you got special permission from the dr. to let you into surgery today, on an already packed day?" I said, "Umm, ya, I guess that's what I'm telling you." haha She was totally skeptical and said, "Well, I'm going to go talk to the Dr. in surgery and see what he says about it." For the next 2 minutes, I prayed with all my heart and soul that the Dr. would tell them to let me in. She came back and in a very annoyed tone said, "Have you had anything to eat or drink since midnight?" I happily answered, "nope!" And she said, "Can you be here at 10:?0?" I said, "I'm on my way!" Amazing.
So, I didn't end up getting into surgery until about 2:00, but I was willing to wait all night if I had to. I was just grateful to get in at all.
They began the venogram and first looked at my jugular veins. Both jugular veins were 50% narrowed, which they didn't see (or hadn't occured) in Costa Rica. So they ballooned those. Then they checked my azygous, and it looked like it was still opened from the first surgery. Then they went into my iliac (where the May Thurners is) in my left leg and found that, not only was it closed, but it was a "complete mess," as the dr. put it. When he saw all of the scar tissue surrounding it and all of the mess of smaller veins that had formed out of it, he decided it would be better not to stent it. I layed there on the operating table and BEGGED him for what seemed like forever to put the stent in. He told me over and over that there was too much scar tissue and that he thought all of the other veins that had formed were compensating well, and that he would just balloon it, and that might give me a good 5 to 10 years of it being opened. I told him that when it closed back up (which would probably be sooner rather than later, considering the first only lasted 5 months), they'd have to balloon it again, and that would just create more scar tissue, and then it'd happen again, and so on and so forth, and that I felt it was worth the risk to just put the dang stent in. After telling him how strongly I felt about it and getting pretty emotional, he finally took a deep breath and said okay. He tried and tried to get in on the right side and couldn't so he eventually decided to make a new incision on the left side and go in that way. The stent, which is 6 centimeters long, glided in way better than he expected and he was really relieved and suprised and happy that it went so well. And so was I:). After the surgery he came out and explained to Jake, Corey and Bridgette (my bro and sis in law) what a mess the iliac was and that "Toby FORCED me to put that stent in, but it turned out great." Haha Oh well, I know I'm pushy when I feel strongly about something but ya gotta do what you gotta do right?!?! ;)
Anyway, I know it wasn't smart, but I decided to drive home since Jake and I had two cars at the hospital. I totally puked while driving in heavy traffic. That is an experience I will never, ever forget. Disgusting. By the time I got home, I was in terrible pain, had vomit on me, and one of my incisions had started bleeding and was dripping down my leg. I held some pressure on it and the bleeding stopped, but the pain did not. It was horrible. Intense pain that started in the right side of my abdomen and shot down my leg and into my back. I didn't really have any pain with the last surgery so it worried me a bit. I called the dr. and he said that they probably hit some nerves when they were trying over and over to reach the iliac through the right side and hopefully it would feel better in the morning. So I took some pain meds (and a generous dose of cough syrup haha) and was able to sleep through most of the night. I woke up in quite a bit of pain this morning but once I got up and moving it got better and better. It's still a little painful now, but it continues to get better and I'm confident that I'll be back to 100% in a couple of days.
As far as my MS symptoms go, the pain that I was experiencing before in my legs is completely gone, my dizziness is gone, my eyes aren't wigging out anymore, my neck no longer hurts, and my left leg is no longer weak. Incredible. Thanks to each of you for your love, support, kind comments, and most especially, your prayers.
All my love to each of you,