Monday, April 30, 2012

4 weeks

So I am officially 4 weeks post op. The bruising is almost completely gone. I am almost back to my normal emotional roller coaster. Granted I still have moments of intense sadness and feelings of failure. Still, over the last 6 weeks since this all started there have been some great things that I have finally been able to see.

Yes my house is still a disaster and I'm trying to get it back under control, but finding the motivation is difficult most days. I have a wonderfully supportive husband who looks at me when I am beyond frazzled and stressed and tells me it will all be ok. Rather than be upset because the floors aren't swept and there are still dishes in the sink,  he looks at me, holds me, tries to make me laugh, and even helps me make it out of the house. He doesn't get upset or disappointed because he knows I'm still struggling. I couldn't ask for a better partner.

Last week J re-enlisted. I couldn't be more proud of him. Don't get me wrong I am upset because that does mean at least one more deployment for us, but I couldn't be more proud of my soldier for what he is doing. I know that no matter what obstacles are thrown our way we will be able to make it through to the other side still standing.

We also found our for sure where our next duty station will be!! Drum Roll please....... and the winner is HAWAII!!!! Yes, you read that right, Hawaii. We are stuck in the hood for a year, but next spring we will be on our way to paradise! I had very mixed feelings at the beginning of our attempt to get there. It is a very long way from home for me, it's not even in the continental U.S! It has definitely grown on me though. After all how many people get to experience living there? I am absolutely nervous about being that far away from my parents, and the amount it will cost for any of us if we need to fly to the other. I am trying to stay positive about it as much as possible, and not think about the possible downfalls.

I also went to my first FRG meeting last week. It was interesting, of course almost all of the current "officers" are leaving due to PCSing and the like. So they were on the hunt for new officers. I am now the new leader of our FRG. That's right I said leader! I still have mixed feelings. I know some will say I am making a horrible decision, but we will see. If I don't like it, I can always resign my position. I am hoping to make it what it is truly meant to be, not a gossip hall. FRGs are supposed to help encourage comradery not divide us. So we shall see if this happen or if I have completely lost my mind. I got to training the next two days.

So wish me luck on these new endeavors and hope that I can keep my sanity!!

Monday, April 16, 2012

What doesn't kill us....

I know, I know, I have been absent for a couple of weeks yet again. I think after reading this, you will forgive me. I have had an internal battle since this started as to whether or not I really wanted to write about. Now that this difficult chapter is nearing the end, I feel more comfortable sharing. Forewarning, this is a little long.

On March 21st, something told me that I needed to take a pregnancy test. Even though I was a week away from my next expected period, my previous one wasn't any where near normal for me. Because of the strong urge I felt to take one, I finally caved and did it. It was positive. While I wanted nothing more than to be excited, my gut told me that something was wrong. When J came home, I told him that I took a test and it was positive. He was beyond ecstatic. It was utterly heartwarming. He wanted to call and tell everyone he was going to be a daddy. I told him that I wanted to wait until we saw a doctor and made sure that everything was ok, and he reluctantly but happily obliged.

The next day we went to the women's center on post and were able to do a walk-in appointment. After an all day event of waiting and testing, we found out that yes we were indeed pregnant, but the ultrasound showed that it was ectopic. After the doctor left to look at all the results and arrange follow up testing to confirm, I had to explain what this meant to my husband. The look on his face of pure disappointment was heart breaking. Since it was almost 5pm, the doctor sent me for a formal ultrasound and then to the ER to await the confirmation results and to explain our options.

The doctor met us in the ER and further explained what the ectopic pregnancy meant. Coming from a medical background, I knew most of the complications, but they were a game changer in my husband's eyes and they way he viewed what this pregnancy meant. The doctor explained that I had two options, medication or surgery. I didn't know medication was an option, but he thought it was our best option and that it had a very good success rate with almost no implication on fertility. He explained that it would be a very painful option as it is a chemotherapy drug and the different side effects that go along with it. I received two injections of the medication, one in each butt cheek. I was sent home with a very low dose prescription pain reliever and a nausea medication.

Over the next 24 hours, my pain was intense but tolerable. I was on bed rest anyway so that was tremendously helpful. I am beyond thankful to J's command for giving him the day off to take care of me. The doctor said that my pain would increase over the next few days as the medication took effect, and that I was to only take the pain meds as directed and nothing else because of the risk of bleeding. The directions on the bottle was 1 pill every 4-6 hours. I started taking them at every 6 and after two doses was having to increase when I took them, to the point that making it to 4 hours was a challenge. That Friday evening, my pain level shot up from a 5 to a 9 in less than 2 minutes with no warning. I had taken my last pain pill 3 and half hours ago. I managed to get a pill down and within 20 minutes I was going into shock from the pain.

The doctor warned us that if my pain became excruciating we needed to go back to the ER because the pregnancy could have ruptured. After 30 minutes of no pain relief and me crying and shaking we went to the ER. After being made to feel like an idiot by the triage nurses we were finally put into a room, I was comforted by the doctors and nurses telling me I did the right thing by coming in. After over 8 hours in the ER, we were finally told that it had not ruptured. The on-call OBGYN better explained what was going on, and what I could do at home to better relieve the pain, she was also so kind as to change my pain meds. Things were getting better after that.

I got my blood drawn when I was supposed to and went to my 1 week follow up where I was told everything looked good and for the next couple weeks just to get my blood drawn until my hormone levels were considered negative.

Fast forward to Sunday April 1st, and no this is not an April Fool's joke. That night J and I decided to go see The Hunger Games. Before the movie started, I began to have some abdominal pain that felt like gas. A little more than halfway through the movie the pain was really intense so I decided I would get up and walk to the restroom, thinking that would move things around and I could relieve the pressure. While I was walking down the stairs to leave the theater I became very dizzy. As soon as I walked out the door I knew I was about to faint. I eased myself to the floor and by the time I was on my hand and knees I fainted. I lost about 10-20 seconds of time. Needless to say we didn't finish the movie. An employee got my hubby for me and the manager was kind enough to give us guest passes since we didn't finish the movie. I refused to go to the ER because I was sure that I only passed out because of how quickly I was moving and there was no cause for concern.

I tried everything I could think of when we got home to relieve the pressure. It had been a very long time since I had gas pain that severe, but I was familiar with the procedure. After a few hours of trying to relieve the pressure with no success and worsening pain, J finally convinced me we needed to go to the ER. When we would try to get me up, I would get very nauseous and feel like I was going to pass out again. I ended up throwing up at one point and we thought for sure that would help ease my pain, it didn't. I barely made it out of the house before I felt like I would pass out and started vomiting again. J decided to call an ambulance for me since I couldn't even make it to the truck, even though the hospital is less than 5 miles away.

By the time I made it to the hospital my pain was increasing, my blood pressure rising, my heart was racing, and it hurt to take a deep breath. I was beginning to think that I was suffering from appendicitis or the worse gas pain imaginable. J was of course hoping for the latter. After many horrible hours of excruciating pain and probing tests we finally had an answer. The pain meds only worked for about 20 minutes at a time and I could barely move I was in so much pain. At about 630am it was discovered that I had blood pooling behind my uterus and the most likely cause was that the ectopic pregnancy was ruptured.  Within an hour and a half I was in the OR.

I was one of the few very unlucky women that after more than 72hours of the medication being administered suffered from a ruptured ectopic pregnancy. The doctors were able to clean everything up and perform the surgery laproscopically, but they had to take the fallopian tube associated with the pregnancy. I was released from the hospital later that afternoon, but before that I managed to incur one more injury. Because my muscles were so fatigued from the pain, when I got up to use the restroom, even with assistance, I managed to rupture a surface blood vessel near one of the incisions. Yeh, I'm special. The doctors assured me it was self containing and explained what to watch out for to determine if it needed to be examined.

My mom was wonderful and flew in the next day to help take care of me for a week, and J's command was also fantastic and gave him the week off to be with me.

It has been a long and slow recovery process, but today is two weeks since the surgery. Physically I still look like someone tried to run me over, but I am getting stronger every day and am slowly returning to normal. Emotionally I am still on a horrible roller coaster. I have good days and bad, but the good are starting to be a little more frequent. J has been absolutely amazing, I couldn't ask for a better partner. Heck, I've been living in his pajama pants and basketball shorts for two weeks since almost nothing of mine fits because of the swelling.

If you read all of this, I'm impressed. I told you it was long, but it helps me to write about it. It is helping me to heal by facing what happened. Don't be afraid to ask questions if you have them, I will answer them. Here's a few of the oh so awesome progress pictures....

This was the night of the surgery, three incisions.

These were Thursday morning after my surgery.

The Saturday after my surgery, told you I looked like got run over by a truck, lol

11 days after surgery

Today, 2 weeks post surgery.