I'm back and lucky to be alive!
Jul 16, 2013
Hello, everyone! I am so glad to be back. I have been gone for a very long time dealing with many health issues and just getting through the days, hours at a time. My headaches are less, but Stanford didn't seem to help anymore. I have been on more medication than I ever had been in my life. My night stand looks worse than my grandmother's ever did and I just turned 36!
Because of all my pains and being referred to so many specialists and given prescription after prescription. I couldn't even fit food or my vitamins in after the amount of daily meds I was on. I changed my PCP and she is excellent! I have been taking waaay less than I have in the past 2-3 years. With the New year I had various complications and could not figure out what exactly hurt anymore. In April I had already been dealing with being 'sick' to my stomach literally whenever I did eat. I was nauseous, stomach pains in my side and became just very uncomfortable with EVERYTHING I ate and dank. At this point I stopped caring about myself. So many people told me it was all in my head and didn't take me seriously. I was also pegged as a drug seeker or "frequent flyer" when I'd go to the ER with abdominal pain. Ultra sounds came back normal, blood work...normal, but the pain would just get worse and I would vomit with anything that went into my body. Finally a CT scan was done at this time in April in the ER and they found a mass in my abdomen and my Gastric Bypass surgeon Dr. Patrick Coates was contacted. He had me admitted and wanted to have me in surgery that morning. If anything, at least to explore my intestines and pouch.
Upon looking at my scan he and Dr. Antonio Coirin (his partner), saw what appeared to be my intestines telescoping! Or also know as an intasusception. The goal was to go in, do some exploring and fix the problem. When they went in a good 2 feet of my intestines were affected, but they were not dead or dying..YET. Dr. Coirin then proceeded to undo the mess and saw that there was no damage and just 'tacked down the curve where the point of entry happened to keep from happening again. But nothing is 100%.
Well, to make an even longer story short. My pain got a bit better after surgery, but never really resolved. A few more trips back to the ER, one willingly and another after I passed out in the Walgreens pharmacy. Yeah, not pretty, but no one found ANYTHING wrong with me. I was told they called my surgeon and that they were sending me home after getting my B/P stable and a rush of sugar water and gave me percocet! That made me trip out a bit. My doc wouldn't prescribe that and not want to keep overnight at least after my history, but I went home. I had a few follow up appointments the following week with hardly anything to eat and no sleep all week. I finally got to see my original surgeon and he admitted me right away. That night we did all the blood tests, another CT and plenty of pain medication. I had my surgery the next day and had part of my intestines removed and then reconnected. I do feel a huge difference! Recovery is slow going, but I have been feeling so much better than I have in months! I am now working on recovering and getting healthy again. Part of me gave up and I changed for the worse during this hell of pain. I have not been a happy person. A biotch to be exact and I am just so grateful to be here and able to start over. There is a small chance that it could happen again, but I think we have finally turned a corner.
I was asked if I would still do the RNY again knowing what I have gone through and honestly...I would. I was almost 300 lbs and would've died in my sleep because of not breather or aspirating on my own vomit. Graphic, I know, but either way my life, health wise has been crap! But there is some kind of reason for it. I am looking at my life a little more closely and makes me think more about what I want to do as far as a career. I am leaning more towards being a personal trainer that specializes in Gastric bypass patients. Who better to sympathize and understand her clients than me!? I think it would be a great job. It motivates me to want to get well and to get out there and meet more people and learn about their journey and in some ways be there from the beginning. That would be awesome!
To make a long story short.....(update)
Dec 31, 2011
I have had a follow up apppointment from my 2nd surgery, but I am going to catch you up on what has been going on. I was referred to a Standford Pain Management Specialist named Dr. Einar Ottestad. He is so awesome! I had a consultation with him on Oct. 31st and him and his team were great! WE all got together in one room to discuss a "game plan" and what to do as far as medication. The first thing was to get off all "opiods" (Vicodin, Oxycodone,Etc.) So then he put me on a nerve medication that had a dosing schedule. I have to take 3-4 pills 3 times a day! It helps, but OMG! I've been so full on medication that it has been hard to eat or even fit my vitamins the way I used to. So that part has been very hard. He then tells me about the procedure that he wanted to do. Now get ready for this..it called a 'Right Sphenoid Palatine Blockade'. Now this is an injection that needs to be placed through the side my head and inject steroids and a numbing agent to the nerve as it comes out of my skull. Now here's the kicker...I am awake through thr whole thing with mild sedation! I see why, but geez! I have to tell them what it is I am feeling and where so they can get the proper spot for the injection. Well, this procedure was successful and I was told that it was a diagnostic surgery and that I would need to come back for a more permanent dose. We went in and crossed out fingers for at least a 24 hours of relief. I was very lucky and happy to have a glorious 10 days with no pain. I was completely happy.This was November 9th.
I wish I had good news about the 2nd procedure. I was scheduled for a Radio frequency version of the diagnostic procedure (where they heat up the nerve to help it heal). This was scheduled with a differnt doctor I had never seen before. His intern was very sweet but hit the bone after the 1st part of the procedure, which gave me so much pain and pretty much traumatized me.I had to get 2 doses of dilautted and 1 percocet before I went home. All pain meds we were trying to stay away from. I then went to the ER at home because the pain in my jaw was so bad I could barely talk. I went in and had a CT scan and they found that a glad was infected and doped me up on pain meds and antibiotics. So 10 hours later I was home and resting. I am still recovering. I just finished my 10 days of antibiotics and have to wait to have the next surgery. I have doen my blood work and done a follow up with the original doctor and made sure they knew how unahppy I was with the other doctor and refuse to be seen by anyone other than him. If he hand picks his interns I know I am in good hands and that he will be there as well.
So my last vist we found out that after the 2nd procedure that part of my right arm has some weakness and tingling. I have to get a CT of my arm and schedule some more procedures. So now I have to do another RF procedure after I heal from the lst one and need to be free from infection. And now I have to get botox shots in the back of my head to help with a seperate nerve. I have another nerve medication and it's helping, but it makes me so sleepy.
I just want to be pain free and only have Ottesstad take care of me. I have changed as a person and I don't like it. I haven't been able to cope with the pain and has been a raging Biotch! I have come close to losing my husband because I have been so hateful or just not present. I wanna sleep so much and get irritated if people ask me questions. It's been really bad. I just wanted to remove myself from everything. I was giving up! I hated my life and just wanted it all to end.I am getting better, but have to stay positive...this will be ok and I will get control over my life.
I'm still here...and I'm ok
Dec 26, 2011
There is so much I have to update you all on. I have been having a difficult time since the last time I was on. My facial nerve is still a pain in my face and other body parts, but I'm doing ok. I have so much to tell you, but this will take some time. I have had plenty of emails wondering if I am ok annd I thank you all for your concern. I did go to Stanford and had great success with the Specialist there. I have had 2 surgeries to get rid of this pain nad I am still healing from the last one because of a bad infection. This school semester was a total bust, but I had such bad health issues that it couldn't be helped. My professors were awesome and very understanding, but i fell short and have one more chance to make it right with a grade change attempt in January. This is the short version of everything, but I will go into detail later. I just wanted to let you guys know that I recieved your emails and comments and thank you so much for checking up on me.
I'm still here...no balance, but still alive!
Sep 22, 2011
I have been going through alot. The mystery of my massive headaches has been solved...yet again, but this time it's sticking. I did have a problem with abscess teeth and sinusitis. That did contribute to the problem we did find. It turns out it was a facial nerve. The nerve runs right where all my other problems were. So the infections just got the nerve very angry. So the ENT gave me a few treatments with sprays and numbing agents. He had to go way up my nose to hit the right spot. So once we figured out how high to go he gave me a cortisone shot. Boy, did that hurt! But it did the trick. My face and nose was very sore for about 4 days, but no headaches for about 3 weeks! yay! But slowly it is coming back. The next move is to go to a nerve specialist at Stanford. The doc told me that he has specialized in eradicating the pain from this nerve with a different kind of injection. I may need to still have surgery for the deviated septum. The curve in my nose is very narrow and also pressing up against this nerve when it it irritated causing it to be more irritated. A few weeks before all of this I had passed out in my walk-in closet because the pain was so bad. My husband found me in there before he got ready for work. I was OK...just a little sore from landing on my shoulder. So every test so far has been a STAT order. For now I am OK. Very tired and a bit depressed. I don't think that my body is absorbing the anxiety/depression medication like it used to before WLS. I'm still having problems with my Vitamin D, but it's not as bad. I hope this continues to get better and that I can be normal again.
I have gone back to college and it's been struggle being mom, wife and student. My anxiety takes over a bit, but I have been through so much. I tend to be extremely hard on myself and hold myself to such a high standard. I don't know what else to do at times. I do feel alone and easily irritated. I wish I could find some kind of balance. Oh, yeah, and on top of it all I'm trying to withdraw from all the pain medication that the docs have put me on for the past couple of years...soooo not easy! Does re-hab have a spa!? lol! I know this is serious, but I need a HUGE break here. I just want to be alone for a few days. No noise, no questions, no phones....just nothing, but "would you like another massage?" or "Here is your meal." Oh well..I just have to tough through it and suck it up.
John Travolta acknowledge my weight loss!
Jul 08, 2011
Yes, he sure did...but I wish it was in person. I wrote to John Travolta and told him about my weight loss and what I have been going thrugh and sent him my before and after pictures. I requested a personalized autographed picture and he sent me one!!!!! I'm super excited I can't keep from smiling!!!! So here it is..I wanted to share it with all of you.
'To Tina Great Work! Positive thougts sent your way. John Travolta.'
It's getting better! :)
May 23, 2011
It has definately been a rough road, but BOOOYYYYY! I've come so far! My one year surgeversary is coming up next month. I'm now 11 months post-op and I can't believe it. The infections that I have (tooth and sinus) seem to be getting better and I can feel such a huge difference. I have been given a second round of anribiotics and the pain pills that I take have been helping alot and now I don't need to take as much as I did in the beginning. Thank God! My head seems to be getting more clear and I'm not feeling so crappy. I still have my moments, but atleast I don't feel like I'm going crazy. I do have a tendency to push through things and over-do alot...I have had to take it slow. One thing at a time...one day at a time. If I don't feel well I have to make myself do NOTHING. That is very hard for me to do. Right now, my kitchen is a mess and the laundry is half done. But I'm taking the time to blog, take my vitamins and drink my water. The past week I have not been on top of any of those and I NEED to make them a priority before anything or anyone else in this house. My husband's work schedule has changed and it has made things alot easier for me. He's now working the morning shift instead of graveyard. So now I take care of the house without having to keep things quiet while he sleeps. I enjoy being alone during the day. I still have the little ones to watch, but I do feel less stress and can take the time to think and get organized. By the time my husband gets home I have alot done, dinner going and missing my husband. I'm more relaxed and clear minded. Don't get me wrong. I love my husband so much but when the house is full and I'm being asked questions left and right I tend to lose my mind.
I've been so into music again. I love listening to my Zune while I clean. I see that I get so much more done when I'm in the 'groove'. I then find cleaning a stress reliever. I love it even more when I can find things in my house after. Since I'm not able to take summer classes I will have a full load of classes this fall, I'll be able to get my house in order to cut down on the stress. I was very lucky to get them all online. I want to graduate from college so bad! I am extremely excited to get my life going and fulfill my dreams. I can't be afraid of everything and just wonder 'what if' anymore. It's time to make things happen...come hell or high water. I've felt restricted for so long....my weight, my illnesses and hospital stays. Now mommy needs to be happy. It's not that I haven't, I just need to enjoy my life more and get out there and live. My dreams don't have to stay dreams anymore. I CAN do anything I want to make a better and fulfilling life for me and my family. There is truth in the saying, "If mama's not happy, ain't nobody happy." lol!
I think this is the beginning of feeling "NORMAL". It's been a long time, but it feels great. So much so that I feel like crying. It's been a long time coming.
Still not feeling better...will it ever end?
May 13, 2011
I went back to the dentist to have the 3 fillings done to finish up the right side of my mouth. I went in feeling better, because now I feel so much better after being treated for the absess on that lower tooth that had a root canal that did not take. But what bothered me the day before was that I was battling another 2 day headache...My first in a couple of weeks. So my thought is..."Uh-oh!" Well, I went in and talked to my dentist and he pretty much said that the numbing he did last time hit the nerve that was bothering me by accident. It was a good thing, but not his intension. So he would talk to my primary and explain what had happened and that it was too soon to see if the infection was completely gone. The infetion was so bad that it started to infect the bone! OMG! Well, he begins work on the 3 top teeth and sees that the old fillings just broke apart. So he finished the work and said that one tooth was pretty bad, but he was able to fix and clean it up. I then leave and get home to rest. I take a vicodin to help with the pain and NOTHING! I then take a 2nd pill and NOTHING!!! OMG! I need to call the dentist back. My head, face and now my ear hurts AND I can barely open my mouth. I go in and he takes more xrays at a higher angle and we find the problem. The back tooth that had a root canal at the same time the lower one was done, was also screwed up! They never filled the whole thing! So here we go...another absess AND that's not even the worse part! He takes the highest view of the xray and can't even see what's going on with the other teeth because a HUGE raging sinus infection is overlapping the roots of my teeth! I felt so helpless sitting in that chair! I wanted to just curl up and cry so hard! The dentist calmed me down and told me he could give me a few shots of an anesthetic to help with the pain for about 5-6 hours. I TOOK IT!!!! He then perscribed a stronger antibiotic and told me to see my primary so that way I can get the same meds for my sinus infection....in his opinion the infection is so bad that it looks like I would need antibiotics for atleast 30 days to get rid of it. The xrays were not pretty!
The antibiotic is pretty strong and I feel so icky....I had to get another script for pain medicine and I just get so worried! What if I become addicted after all of this? Will I need rehab?...Am I just heading into more CRAP!? But I can't eat without having pain medicine. I can barely talk and I have to make sf pudding to get my protien in. I ate a whole box yesterday....I was so hungry! So the problems keep mounting...If I can't eat then my blood sugar drops and then I have a hypoglycemic fit....if I don't eat I don't get in my protien and then there we go....I'm trying to get all my water in, but even room temperature water hurts the area! I feel like I got drunk last night and ended up in a bar fight! My face hurts, my jaw hurts and my head and I had no fun before that!!!! lol! Geez! I can't exercise because I fall on my face. There is just no way I can at this point and it pisses me off. I'm totally skin and bone and haven't been able to build up any muscle...I hate it! This is one time I wish I was in the hospital...I want someone to take care of me and let me rest. Give me some good pain medication and just baby me! lol! I'm just so exhausted and fed up. I know, I know...I should just be glad that now we know what the problem is...and I am, but this road has been so rough and I just can't imagine how much longer it will take to start feeling better.