Our Life: Avanalnche vs. Sharks 3.29.14

I was going to post this under "Small Victory Saturday" because it was definitely a victory, but I was so busy the rest of the day I never got around to it. Anyway, a few weeks ago one of my friends from high school contacted me and said she had two great tickets to this Avalanche game that she was trying to get rid of because she had box tickets she wanted to use. N works on Saturdays and I wasn't sure if he'd be able to get off so I asked her how much she wanted and to my surprise she said I could have them for free! I was stunned!

Unfortunately N wasn't able to get off work because the other full time employee at his shop was on vacation and Saturdays are very busy days for them, and I had no idea what to do. I asked my mom and she said she didn't want to go (thanks!), and with the way my stomach has been lately I had no idea how I'd feel or if I'd panic. The last time N and I went to a game a few weeks ago I was having non-stop panic attacks from nausea. I wanted to use the tickets myself though and it came to me that I should take R! Now this was actually an even more stressful decision because R is kind of crazy. We haven't taken her to an Avs game in 2 years because we like to be able to relax during games (well, as much as the Avs let us!) but I decided she was old enough and that I'd bring the iPad just in case.

She ended up doing pretty well for her age and the fact that 99% of the time she is kind of a pain. The first period was rough because she was hungry and the jersey she wanted to wear was way too big for her and very uncomfortable. During the first intermission we got her a new jersey and some Dip N Dots and all was well! As silly as it sounds (I feel like so much of what I say sounds so ridiclious!) this was a huge accomplishment. A few years ago driving downtown by myself and going to a game by myself (much less with an unruly toddler) would have been completely off the table due to anxiety. But even with my stomach condition I went and I am SO glad we did.

Guess where the seats were? RIGHT behind the home bench next to the player tunnel so we were able to get some hand slaps between periods! :D And we even got on TV again!



Sunday Social


1. What is your ideal way to relax?

Sleeping! If I'm not asleep I'm not relaxed.

2. Where is your favorite place to be?

At home with my family. (Preferably in bed, haha.) But I'll also pick a fancy hotel room in a beautiful location with my family. (As long as the bed is comfy!)

3. Who do you consider your biggest role model?

I'm not really sure. There's no person I "look up to" more than I do the other people I look up to. I value different things in different people.

4. What does your life look like in 3 years?

I really hate acting like anything in the future is certain because I know how well my life likes to blow up in my face, but what I'm wishing for? Health, happiness, and hopefully a new home! Other than that I don't want a thing to change!

5. If you could go back and change one decision what would it be?

I would go back to high school and change my stupid decision not to take the psychiatric medication I was prescribed. I missed out on a lot of life because of that.

6. What is your biggest accomplishment in life thus far?

Marrying my best friend, graduating with my BA and a 4.0 GPA , and of course...



Fancy (Women's) Mystery Box Review

When I saw that Fancy (referral link) was selling mystery boxes for only $10, I knew I had to hop on that right away. I had a Fancy sub for a few months right when they first came out, but I cancelled it over a year ago because as it got more popular, the amount and quality of products in the boxes went down. They send out some really cool stuff from time to time in their various boxes, but the price is just too much to be worth it for me.

But for $17 (of course shipping would almost be as much as the box) I decided to go for the mystery box.



Another Surgery Update

I was hesitant to write about this before today, because I didn't want to jinx anything. When I get really anxious about something my Obsessive Compulsive Disorder flares up (it is an anxiety disorder after all) and my fear of "jinxing" manifests itself in, well, strange ways.

Anyway, for the past couple weeks I've been researching and thinking about the procedures I had scheduled. I was having multiple panic attacks a day, and the more I read and learned, the less I wanted to go through with the surgery. My "gut" wasn't exactly screaming "NO DON'T DO IT", but it was saying "Not yet. Don't do it yet."

There aren't any easy treatments for Gastroparesis. There are few medications, and they all carry serious potential side effects. There are few surgical options, and they all carry significant risk.

Right now my GP is moderate. My motility is significantly impaired, and I have severe nausea along with stomach pain, bloating, burping, etc., but I'm not vomiting and I haven't experienced any weight loss or malnutrition. People with severe GP often have to have their stomachs either partially or completely removed, and they have feeding tubes/ IV nutrition for the rest of their lives. There is no guarantee that that will or will not happen to me. Only time will tell.

But for now I'm just not comfortable with two irreversible procedures. The possible side effects of both surgeries could leave me worse off, and that's something that's incredibly difficult to think about. So I decided to ask my doctor to reconsider the pacemaker. It's a major surgery with serious risks, but it's also reversible (that is, unless I die on the operating table or of an infection, but what are you going to do?) My biggest concern is the cost, but we're at the point we're willing to pay almost anything for some relief.

So what is a gastric pacemaker?

A gastric pacemaker isn't technically a pacemaker- it's a neurostimulator.
Neurostimulators are battery powered device[s] designed to deliver electrical stimulation to the brain, central and peripheral nervous system

Neurostimulators are an integral component of surgically implanted systems such as deep brain stimulation, spinal cord stimulation and vagus nerve stimulation, designed to treat neurological disorders and neuropathic pain..

These devices are implanted within a person's body, usually beneath the clavicle. The neurostimulator can be calibrated by a neurologist, nurse or trained technician to the individual patient's needs.  

Neurostimulators must be replaced periodically upon battery failure, (usually within three to five years) though battery life is dependent on individual usage. Battery life can be reasonably predicted by the use of a telemetry programming device so that the unit can be replaced prior to battery failure. Rechargeable devices are now commonly implanted with a battery life in the range of 15 to 20 years dependent on use.  [Wikipedia.]

A gastric neurostimulator is implanted next to the stomach, with it's leads (insulated wires) attached to the smooth muscles of the lower stomach. This stimulator sends electrical currents to the stomach, and though doctors don't know exactly how it works, it often interrupts the nausea/ vomiting signal of the brain. [Medtronic]

It isn't a cure for GP, it's a band-aid for nausea. I've read stories where people say it's improved their motility, but that is very rare (if not a placebo effect only.) And right now nausea is my most debilitating symptom. Reflux and regurgitation are next, but the doctor doesn't feel safe doing this surgery with a reflux surgery (meaning at the same time.) The risk of the pacemaker getting infected are just too high. My doctor want's to see how I feel after this surgery, and though it's likely I will still need reflux surgery of some kind (because my LES is partially open), we're going to work on this first.

I've read wonderful things about this surgery, and I've read terrible things. I've read stories about it shocking people, perforating organs, and even working it's way out of the skin! Sometimes it's even visible through your skin- though I have so much padding on my stomach you probably won't be able to see mine.

The surgery itself is not unlike a c-section where they will be making a sizable incision in the abdomen (thus cutting through the abdominal muscles), and I believe they will make laproscopic incisions as well. It can take up to a year for the device to be fully effective as the doctor slowly turns up the device at their office. The device can fail, and the batteries can and will fail eventually (likely after just a few years.)

You have to avoid activities that can jostle the device out of place like rollercoasters, running, and vigorous abdominal workouts. You can't (well, shouldn't) go through metal detectors, and you can't (obviously) get MRIs. But absolutely everything will be worth it if it works. And I pray it does.

My surgery is still scheduled for the 21st of April, but we need to get insurance approval. The receptionist today told me it could be weeks, so I'll be hoping it comes sooner than that- soon enough for me to keep the date of April 21st. I also hope that they approve it period. I will fight it if they don't, but lord what a pain.

I'm still scared out of my mind and questioning if I'm making the right decision, but I feel much better than I did before. In the end, this is a much better first step. But ask me how I'm feeling the night before the surgery. ;) Something tells me I'm not done with these panic attacks yet.

And the best news? I'll be able to eat the delicious food at R's party!


Big Girl Room Updates

I have a couple updates to R's bedroom vision that I thought I'd share!

PBK Juliette Nightstand & Bed
First off, that gorgeous iron bed I wanted to get? SOLD OUT. What the heck Pottery Barn Kids?! I'd have appreciated a "hey this is on clearance so buy it right away" warning or something but no, it was there one day and gone the next. So I decided to go with the bed I had been looking at first. I still like the iron bed better, but this one is adorable and in the end it's R's room and she'll like it all the same.

We also decided to not go with a dresser. R has a big vintage dresser in her closet, and the one next to her crib (that came with the nursery furniture set) just holds her fish tank and some misc. stuff. I'd rather not have her fish tank sitting on a nice dresser (it already water damaged the one it's on) so I ordered this instead:

Wayfair Safavieh Sam Console Table
It's got drawers for the fish food and other misc. stuff so it'll be perfect. I'm going to cover the top with white contact paper before putting the tank on it to hopefully prevent any water damage. I don't like the knobs that it comes with (or the knob on the nightstand we ordered) so I think I'll replace them with something cute. I'm loving these ones from Anthropologie:

Anthropologie Evening Blossom Knobs
 And in more exciting news look what came!

The pillow (from this wonderful Etsy shop) and the throw match almost perfectly! I want a white bedspread so these will be perfect pops of color! I'm also considering this rug:

Cantebury Rainbow Shag Rug
Since all the furniture, and all the walls but one, are going to be white I think this might look nice as well but we'll see. We also need a rug for the office/ playroom and new ones for downstairs (I don't want to talk about it) so I'm not sure if we'll end up doing this or not. I'm going to keep it in mind though.

All we need now is the shelf/ bookcase (still deciding on what I want), the bedding (crossing my fingers family will pick it up as birthday presents), a bed rail, and paint of course. Oh and the knobs and rug if I decide on them. Now it's time to get stitching her rainbow and unicorn wall hangings!

Subscriptions: Citrus Lane March 2014 Review


Party Update!

R's birthday is May 3rd, and I had originally scheduled the party for May 4th. However, because my surgery is currently scheduled for the 21st (and the 20th is Easter) I decided to bump the party up to April 13th. I know a week won't be enough recovery time, and since I'm not really sure what will be enough recovery time I decided I'd rather be safe than sorry and pushed it to before the surgery.

Above are the invites I threw together in Photoshop. I don't know if I love them the way I loved the hockey ticket invites I've made the previous two years, but the creative part of my brain has been hard to reach lately. My heart just wasn't in it. I found a perfect My Little Pony graphic online, made the pastel rainbow background myself in Photoshop, and used a MLP themed font (found here.) I made the file size 8 x 12 so that it'd shrink down to a high quality 4 x 6, and then I had them printed at Walgreens. I had originally wanted matte prints, but those would have had to be shipped to me and after moving the party up I wanted to get these out ASAP. I was all excited that the prints only cost $6, but after envelopes, address labels, and stamps... Well, I don't want to talk about it. ;)

In case you were wondering, the invite does in fact say "no gifts." I know there are people who must think I'm weird or mean to do that, but I just don't want our friends to feel obligated to buy her something just for the sake of buying her something. Especially if they don't have a lot of money to spare. I just think it's needless. R's party is her gift, and she is certainly at wont for nothing. A lot of people usually do end up bringing her something and that is totally ok with me, we just don't open it at the party.

Anywho, because we are moving the party up I'm also scaling back on the things I wanted to order (cookies and cake pops) and I'm going to try to make as much as I can myself. One of my dear friends who happens to be very talented at baking and cupcake decorating has offered to come help me bake the day before and I'm very excited. I'm hoping to make a small cake for R, cupcakes, marshmallow crispy treats, cookies, jello squares, and fruit kabobs. My parents have a big, gorgeous kitchen with double ovens and an electric stand mixer so I'm all over that!

My mom also offered to cover the food food for the party, and she suggested doing a taco bar from Qudoba or Chipolte because it will be just as cost effective and equally as delicious. It doesn't really fit the theme but uh, who cares, haha. I think there is going to be plenty of good eats at the party- hopefully I will get to eat it!

I just ordered a big batch of party supplies from Party City (branded plates, napkins, etc. as well as streamers) and I decided that instead of goody bags (which I despise) I'll have a mini candy bar that people can grab candy from. I have a few other things I need to grab like balloons, but I think we're pretty much set at this point and honestly, I need to stop spending money- especially since I have her room to keep planning!

On the list of things still to make:
- A "happy birthday banner"
- Cupcake toppers
- Food signage
- R's tutu

And I think that might be it for now! Whoo hoo!


Sunday Social

1. Top 3 things you cant go a day without doing:

- Checking Facebook
- Eating (lord help me when I have to be on a liquid diet!)
- Contemplating getting R out of bed to sleep with us as soon as she falls asleep because I miss her

2. 3 things that scare you the most:

- My health
- Throwing up
- Something bad happening to N or R

3. 3 places you want to see before you kick the bucket
- Machu Picchu
- Greece/ Rome
- Germany

4. 3 movies you will always love:

- All the Lord of the Rings
- All the Harry Potters
- Mean Girls

5. 3 favorite current songs:
(I'm going to go with current radio songs I'm loving.)
- Love Don't Die (or Rainbow Dies according to R) - The Fray
- Anna Sun - Walk The Moon
- Chocolate - The 1975

Happy Sunday!


F#!% It Friday

- Today is my sweet furbaby's first birthday! I can't believe he's already a year old and he's been a part of our family for just short of that. He celebrated by getting into his new bag of (adult!) food and chewing up R's ballet slippers. Bernese Mountain Dogs are slow to mature and that's certainly the case with him. But I wouldn't trade that big, lazy, oaf for any other dog in the world! Happy birthday Hank!

Drag the image to your URL bar to enlarge!
- Did you know it's possible to build up a tolerance to nausea medication? Well I didn't until this week. And that has been SO MUCH FUN, let me tell you! There's a couple other medications in the same family as Zofran (what I currently take and what's not really working anymore) so I hope I can give one a try and have some more success with it. :/

- R's dance studio is having a big recital in June and her "Twinkle Babies" class is going to be in it. They just released special shirts for the recital that have all the dancer's names on the back. I bought one for R today and even though it's a little big it looks so cute on her! One of her teachers got a really cute picture:
Her "cheese" face is so goofy!
- I really need to get R's birthday invites printed and all the stuff ordered. Moving up her party has really thrown me through a loop!

- The Avs have a big game against the Bruins tonight (after a disappointing Canadian road trip the Blackhawks leapfrogged them in the standings again) AND SO HELP ME GOD IF THEY LOSE... ;)

- As much as I wanted to dive into another Classic after War and Peace and had a moment of weakness and downloaded a bunch of YA Lit. I just read a book called Before I Die which was kind of a downer but not terrible and I want to read the Divergent series. I've been putting it off because I've felt so "meh" about it but I think it's time to take the plunge.

'Till next time!


Throwback Thursday: A Year of R's Faces - 2012

R has always been a very expressive child. In fact, for the first year of her life it was almost impossible for me to catch a smile on camera because on the rare occasion she was smiling, she'd make a goofy face as soon as I got the camera out. I have many, many pictures for the senior yearbook and wedding slideshow if you know what I mean. Tonight I was going through some of the pictures we have from 2012 (8 months to 20 months) and I had to pull out some of her best faces to share with you. Enjoy! ;)



So What Wednesdays

Today I'm linking up with Life After I "Dew" and saying so what if...

- ...I'm late to this link-up. I was so good at hoping on this one early but now that R has dance on Wednesdays instead of Tuesdays I keep missing it. ETA: The link-up doesn't seem to have been posted for this week but that's ok. I love the format for organizing my thoughts/ some things I want to share!

- ...Dance Moms totally lied to me last night. Chloe, Maddie, and Mackenize (the latter two are sisters) all did solos and during awards they showed Chloe win 3rd, Mackenize win 2nd, and Maddie win 1st (as usual.) Well those were just the overall awards and Chloe won 1st place in the teen category! She is my favorite and I am way too invested in those children that I never have, and never will, meet. ;)

- ...I cannot stop laughing about this (WARNING: video NSFW for about a half a second.) I feel like all sorts of funny stuff happens on the news in Denver. I just give props to everyone for not totally losing it. I don't think I'd have been able to stop laughing.

- ...The Avs lost to the Canadiens last night (uggh) and now we're tied with Chicago in the standings. No offense to Chicago (they're the team I always root for when the Avs inevitably don't make the playoffs) but I want that number 2 spot. Not because I care about "home ice advantage" but because I want to finish the season higher in the standings than the reigning Stanley Cup champs. How cool would that be for the team who finished second to last, last year? WHY NOT US BABY!

- ...If I'm not a fan of the San Jose Sharks, I think this is awesome!

- (Not really a "so what" but...) Someone just "recommended" (it's the Jezebel version of liking) my post-partum depression story (you can read it on the blog here) and I looked at the views- almost 30,000! I can't believe my story was able to get out to so many people! I've been meaning to write a sort of follow up about parenting and mental health but I was in too difficult of a place for awhile. I may start working on it soon.


Subscriptions: Citrus Lane February 2014 Review

We received our box on time last month but I totally forgot about all the pictures on my camera until today. So pretend to be impressed with my punctuality. ;)


Subscriptions: Beauty Box 5 Review


Subscriptions: Ipsy March 2014 Review


Subscriptions: Bonjour Jolie March 2014 Review


My 200th Post!

I was going to publish a downer piece I wrote this weekend about how I've been feeling, but this special blog milestone calls for something happy! So here are some pictures I took of R and Hank at the dog park last week. Leaving the house lately has been so panic-inducing, but I savor ever moment of fun with my kid(s).


Sunday Social


1. How much time do you spend on Social Media a day?

Far, far too many. If I'm on the computer blogging, researching, reading gossip, etc., I'll always have Facebook open. I love Instagram too.

2. How long were you reading blogs before you started a blog?

I want to say it was only a year or so between me first starting to read other blogs (or "personal websites" as they used to be called) before I tried starting my own. This was a long, long time ago.

3. What is your favorite kind of cupcake?

Red velvet hands down!

4. Do you eat fast food? If so whats your favorite?

More than I should but not for long. My very guilty pleasure is Taco Bell. Cheesy Gordita Crunches FOR LIFE. >3

5. What is the most random thing someone would find in your purse?

My lip stud whenever I accidentally chew it off in public and can't put it back on, haha!

6. What is the weirdest TV show you watch?

I'm a pretty weird person (obviously) so I don't think all the weird TV I watch is "weird" for me.

Conquering the Classics: War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy

 War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy

Well y'all I did it! I finally did it! I FINALLY finished War and Peace! And you know what? It was actually kind of great. Tolstoy has two different dialogues in this book. The first is a story and has to do with the characters he has invented (and the real characters he's invented for) and these sections of the book are wonderful. He writes the characters wonderfully and you really are on the edge of your seat wondering what is going to happen next with this diverse group of people who all come together in the end. The other dialogue running through this book is a reflection on war, and how historians handle it. These parts sort of felt like I was getting beat over the head with a political science textbook.

Tolstoy is very emphatic that events go the way they do not because of the wills of certain individuals (like Napolean and Alexander I) but because of the force of the movement of many people. I'll be honest, my eyes would tend to glaze during these sections. Especially because Tolstoy is a tangent lover. There was an entire chapter describing Moscow to a decimiated bee hive and I was like, OH MY GOD I GET IT. But it really was one of the greatest books I've ever read- I can see why it has such a prestigious place in literary history. Especially as an American, it's interesting to hear about the other war of 1812, and what went on in Russia.

My rating:

Doubts and Questions

When I started writing in this blog regularly I never thought it'd become a chronicle of one of the toughest and most unexpected health issues I've ever dealt with. I had hoped it'd be a way for me to actually do something with my free time, to share our renovations, to help keep myself accountable for progress. I thought it'd help me grow in a more functional person. I never thought it'd see me through this.

Every since I left my doctor's office on Monday I have been having constant panic attacks. The more I read about the surgeries the more afraid I become. Last night was bad. I had started out the day feeling at peace with my decision to have surgery, and then at night I started doing a little more research into personal stories. So much of what I found was horrifying. I had just settled myself down to sleep when I got a phone notification and this popped up on a Facebook thread I had started:

Lauren tread very carefully and make sure it's [definitely] what you want to do. I had my [Nissen Fundoplication] last year. I didn't know at that point I had [Gastroparesis] but I became very ill in hospital and the surgery cause me lots off problems and now I am at end options for GP. I am now on iv nutrition and also have a feeding tube. I have found out my small bowel and colon are now involved as well as my esophagus is abnormal. Please please make sure it's the right thing to do.

After that I had one of the most severe panic attacks I've ever had. It rivaled the one I had right before going into labor with R, which is REALLY saying something. Is this the right thing to do?

Last night I calmed myself down by saying that I wasn't going to go through with the surgeries. I would ask the doctor again about the pacemaker because if nothing else it's reversible. Today I'm on the fence again. I feel completely and utterly lost.

Gastroparesis is a very variable disease. There are people who have very low motility and have no symptoms. There are people like me who have constant nausea and pain, but are still able to eat (certain things) and do not lose weight/ become malnourished. There are also people who can do nothing but vomit up everything they try and eat and lose a great deal of weight/ become malnourished. I'm not at that point and sure as hell never want to be at that point- especially if it happens after a surgery that was intended to help me in the first place!

I don't want my doctor to feel like I'm second guessing his medical opinion. But I'm very scared right now. I left a message to make another appointment to hopefully discuss my concerns with him. I guess we'll see where this goes.


Health Update - Surgery Is Scheduled

Yesterday was my surgery consultation, and after talking with my doctor about my symptoms he's decided against the gastric pacemaker, and is recommending both a pylorplasty and a Nissen fundoplication. Although this makes the most sense for my case, I was- and am- pretty shocked. I've been gearing myself up to accept the (very expensive) pacemaker surgery, and I hadn't even thought about a pylorplasty, let alone a fundoplication.

When I first started seeing this surgeon I thought that GERD was my only problem, and because PPIs and reflux meds have never worked for me, I thought a fundoplication was my only option for relief. I knew and know it's a controversial surgery, but I couldn't take the symptoms anymore- especially the regurgitation. I got mixed results during my reflux testing, and during this period of time (I've been seeing this doctor for about 7 months now) the nausea that I've been suffering from for as long as I can remember started getting worse and worse. As did my bloating and burping, in which I'm able to taste the food I've previously eaten for hours and hours. I had lived with those symptoms for so many years I thought they were normal.

After discussing these symptoms with my doctor he told me that he suspected that I had Gastroparesis (GP) as opposed to GERD. And GP can cause regurgitation and reflux. I've had a prescription for Reglan, a stomach emptying medication, since my pregnancy and it's always helped me. But there are very serious side effects associated with it's long term use including tardive dyskinesia (incurable facial ticks) and it has a blackbox warning. My doctor put me on a "safer" medication called Domperidone which I had to get from a special pharmacy because it's not FDA approved and it just didn't do much of anything except make me lactate profusely, and since I've weaned that was a major problem. For the record Reglan makes me lactated too but not as much. I've resigned myself to the fact that I'll never stop lactating.

To get a definitive answer about the GP I did the SmartPill test where I swallowed a (massive) computer pill that transmitted my gastric emptying time. Somehow it came back normal. I was devastated that the diagnosis I thought answered everything might not be correct. I had no idea what else could be causing my symptoms. After I weaned R I was able to do a Gastric Emptying Study where I ate radioactive eggs and had x-rays to see how well I was digesting that. When I went into the doctor's office to finally get the results (I had to put it off after getting a stomach bug- so fun) I was totally prepared for him to tell me that it was normal, that all my symptoms were in my head, and that I should probably go to a mental hospital. Thankfully I was wrong. Stomach emptying times can vary significantly in GP patients, being normal one day (or one time of day!) and being abnormal the next. But my GES made it very clear, I had GP.

With the Domperidone not working and my reluctance to keep popping Zofran (a prescription nausea medication) and Reglan 4 times a day we decided to look into surgery. That's when I thought the gastric pacemaker would be the best fit for my situation because the nausea was just out of control (still is.) But the pacemaker doesn't help your stomach empty, so the only symptom it could eliminate was nausea. The bloating and burping would still be around, and I'd likely still need a stomach emptying medication- the medication I was trying to avoid the most.

That's when my doctor recommended a combination of a pylorplasty and a fundoplication. He said that when he did my endoscopy he didn't see a hiatal hernia (which is interesting because my last GI doctor said he saw a prominent one) but he did see that the valve at the top of my stomach was loose and not functioning properly. Although the GP causes regurgitation and reflux because when the stomach contents can't go down they try to go up, the faulty valve wasn't helping. But these surgeries are a big deal. And I have found very, very little information about them being used together to treat GP. Here is a very simple explanation of them:

In a pylorplasty the doctor cuts the pyloric sphincter muscle at the bottom of the stomach, and this helps food pass out of the stomach more easily.

Possible complications: "Dumping syndrome", diarrhea for the rest of your life, bile reflux

In a Nissen fundoplication the doctor wraps the upper portion of the stomach either partially or completely (my doctor is recommending a complete wrap for me) around the esophagus to prevent regurgitation. 

Possible complications: Not being able to burp or vomit (possibly forever), bloating (from not being able to burp),  trouble swallowing, the wrap coming undone

As you can see the possible complications from these surgeries are very serious. The doctor said that most patients improve significantly, some patients improve completely, some patients don't improve at all, and a very small number of patients develop the complications I listed above. I could either wind up almost completely better, or I could wind up even worse than before. Although the numbers are skewed towards feeling better, I have to take the threat of the complications very seriously.

I know that the fundoplication especially is a very controversial procedure, and the majority of people lose the ability to burp or vomit. But that doesn't mean your body doesn't try to- you either get totally bloated with gas because of the former or dry heave because of the latter. But the fundoplication is important because one of the more common side effects of the pylorplasty is bile reflux, which is HORRIBLE. I've refluxed bile a few times in my life and it is AWFUL.

Today after a gallbladder ultrasound (they wanted to make sure it was ok, and it is) I scheduled the surgery for April 21st- a little more than a week before the party we're planning for R's birthday. I'm going to try and push the party back another week but it's likely I will still be in bad shape at that time. I'm pretty heartbroken. Recovery is going to be long and difficult and because it can vary so much from person to person I have little idea of what to expect.

I am incredibly nervous. This surgery will change my life and possibly not for the better. It's a decision I've been agonizing over ever since my appointment- as my body agonizes over eating any kind of food. Although the surgery has been scheduled I have a lot to think about, and I'm not taking this lightly. Positive thoughts are most appreciated- I'm trying to think them myself! :)


50 Questions About Me


Stealing this from the gorgeous Jamie at The Growing Up Diaries!

1. How many pets do you own? Well we have Hank our dog, The Duchess our Chilean rose tarantula, and a bunch of GloFish® that are about to die. I hate fish!

2. What’s your least favorite season? Winter for sure. Especially January-April in Colorado. Fall would be up there because it's the end of my favorite season and the beginning of my least favorite season but Halloween and pumpkin spice everything make it a little better.

3. Do you prefer to text or call? No question text! I wish I could text all my doctors. That'd make my life a lot easier. ;)

4. Morning or night? Night! I have been a night person since the day I was born. If I let my sleeping habits regulate themselves I will sleep from 3am to 3pm. That's just what my body naturally reverts to. I definitely wish it wasn't that way, but nothing I've ever tried has changed it.

5. Do you like tacos? I love tacos! :)
6. Are you an introvert or an extrovert? A little of both to be honest. I'm so introverted that it's come full circle and I am usually very loud and obnoxious in social settings. I guess you could say that's my defense mechanism for social anxiety.

8. Do you enjoy walks? I would if I had more strength and energy. But one of my favorite things to do is walk with Hank around our local dog park that is 70 acres. It's a very beautiful place.

9. Are you a frequent user of Facebook? I am completely and shamelessly addicted. Every time I see someone I know in real life they always tell me how they know everything that's going on in my life because of Facebook. Like I said, I'm shameless.

10. Do you watch animated shows still? We still watch new episodes of South Park whenever it comes on. I used to watch more adult cartoons when we had a TV in our bedroom and would watch Adult Swim on Cartoon Network. I'm especially partial to King of the Hill, Futurama, and American Dad. I also may or may not have watched My Little Pony by myself before... On multiple occasions... And maybe yesterday...

11. Can you roll your tongue? I can!

12. What’s your “lucky” number? I don't really have one. My favorite number has always been 21 because my favorite multiplication problem when I was younger was 7 x 3 but god knows what that was all about.

13. Are you scared of anything? Lots of things! Driving in the snow, getting in a car crash, snakes, N or R getting hurt or sick, death, moths, the list could go on. What I'm most afraid of is throwing up (even more so than death) but that's a diagnosed phobia.

14. Big mac or big whopper? In my late teenagers years I had a Big Mac every now and then but now the thought of either completely turns my stomach.

15. Do you like to play board games? Not really. The last game I played and enjoyed was a card game- Cards Against Humanity- and that was just plain amazing.

16. Are you fond of romantic novels? I'm not sure I've ever read a true "romance novel" but I enjoy romances in books. Can we talk about Natasha and Prince Andrei in War and Peace?! UGGH. :(

17. Fruitloops or cocopuffs? Fruitloops! I have never liked chocolate in my cereal.

18. Would you eat a live spider for one million dollars? Oh god like what kind of spider? A little one sure, but a tarantula hell no. Not live at least. And it'd have to be cooked. And... uggh...

19. Are you a heavy drinker? I don't drink at all actually. I've never liked the taste and now it's just too painful to do with my GI issues.

20. Would you forgive someone for cheating? Nope!

21. Are you superstitious? Not really. I have a bunch of OCD rituals but that's a different story and something I'm working on diminishing.

22. Have you seen A Clockwork Orange? I feel like I've tried to watch this movie a few times and something always happened and I didn't. I really need to though.

23. Do you like to read? I love it! I was having a really hard time holding books while reading because of hand pain but now that I have my Kindle it's so easy- and environmentally friendly! ;) I love being able to want to read a book and then have it in seconds. I will never be without a Kindle ever again!

24. Are you easily distressed? Hahahahaha me? Noooo. (Blatant sarcasm.)
25. Do you believe in aliens? Definitely. I mean, the universe is bigger than human comprehension. Statically there are a countless number of aliens out there. But do I believe any have ever visited Earth? Most likely not.
26. If you were the last person alive besides one other person you get to chose, who would it be? 
Oh god this becomes a horrible Sophie's choice when you have a spouse and a kid. If I couldn't be alive with both of them I wouldn't want to be alive at all.

27. Dogs or cats? Both! We always had cats growing up and I thought I was a cat person until I got the itch for a fluffy little dog and N bought me my first dog Steve. Ever since Steve I've loved and wanted both. We don't have cats right now but I wish we did!

Miss these two! :(
  28. Are you a grumpy person? Yeah, pretty much always.

29. What’s something you hate? The Red Wings. ;)

30. Are you a worry wart? Absolutely.

31. Do you like having your picture taken? Noooooooooo. I've hated it ever since I was a child. I went through a vain stage in high school and took a deplorable number of Myspace selfies, but now I rarely take pictures of myself or allow pictures to be taken of me.

32. Do you like cotton candy? I do! And the choice between pink and blue is always agonizing despite the fact that they taste exactly alike. I usually pick blue though.

33. Would you ever use a dating site? Probably if I was single. I love the internet. I used Myspace as a dating website for years in high school. ;)

34. Do you believe in ghosts? I do and don't. The logical part of me says "hell no" and the non-logical side of me wants to die and become a ghost that haunts naughty children.

35. Rap or pop? Pop for sure. I love radio music!

36. What’s the weirdest flavor of ice cream you’ve tried? Huh I can't think of anything weird right now. Green tea?

37. Do you like math? HELL NO. Fun fact: Math was the only class I *almost* didn't get an A in, in college. Despite going to a tutor, studying my ass off, and making the greatest notecard in the world for my final, I FAILED it. Failed with an F! Thankfully my professor gave me an A in the class for working my ass off but it was a close one! Graduating college with a 4.0 was a BIG deal to me!

38. Are you the type of person to laugh at others misfortune? Absolutely. I'm a terrible person.

39. Love or lust? Love, duh.

40. Do you remember lyrics easily? For some reason yes.

41. What was/is your favorite school subject? I really liked writing courses and history classes. I really enjoyed all the classes for my Political Science major.

42 Do you like tattoos? LOVE! I have 4 (and 1 removed) and I want MANY more!

The newest addition.
43. Are you the type of person to lie? If I said no that would be a lie.

44. Do you eat porridge for breakfast? I make oatmeal for R's breakfast almost constantly but I HATE it. Oh god the texture is the worst thing ever. Especially when it goes from hot to warm/ cold. *hork*

45. What music are you listening to right now? Capital Cities- Safe and Sound. I have an iTunes list of all the popular songs from the radio and this is on it.

46. Are you allergic to anything? Certain fruits make the roof of my mouth itch like CRAZY but that's really it.

47. Do you like Lady Gaga? No. I thought some of the songs on her first album were catchy but she just tries way too hard. And working with R. Kelly and Teri Richardson? Yeah no.

48. What about Nick Minaj? No.

49. Do you like rainy days? I like sunny days followed by a major thunderstorm. Can't wait for the rain to come back!

50. Last question, do you like pie? HELL YEAH I LOVE PIE! Funny story, I texted N to bring pie home after hockey last week (from McDonalds) and then I was reading R a MLP story that had a pie in it. Well she demands to call N and leaves him a message saying "I WANT PIE! I WANT PIE!" Completely of her own accord! I think we may be related after all. ;)