Friday, September 16, 2011

counting down...

Today I started my second round of my surgical prep. I was so excited; this was my last bottle of magnesium citrate. There is the exception that I may have to clean out again if the surgery isn't successful but I'll deal with that when I have to. Anyway, it was my LAST bottle of magnesium citrate (YAY!). I paced myself and got through the bottle seemly quicker than usually. I suppose the motivation came from knowing I was "ultimately" finished with the nasty stuff. I got it all down and darn it I gagged and up it came! ARE YOU KIDDING ME!?!?! I am finished with this stuff and now I am going to have to drink the amount that I just threw up. Wonderful... no, not really. Instead, I went for a walk with my grandmother to get what I had consumed down and moving in my GI system. I learned a long time ago that if I walk after I drink, it gets things moving much quicker and efficiently. When I got back home I carefully drank the amount I needed and prayed that I wouldn't throw up more. Who in this world would want to more? It never fails, whenever I need to throw up something, I can't. However when I don't need to, like in this instance, I do. Ultimately, the goal was accomplished. I am finished with magnesium citrate!

With Tuesday approaching and my clean outs taking their toll on me, I am getting weaker. Wednesday clean out left me feeling like I usually do - tired and weak. It kept me up until three Thursday morning. I woke up later that morning and as soon as I got up, I blacked out. It left me wondering how the day would go considering how the morning started but I mostly felt weak. My legs would just tremble as I stood or I would have that constant jello feeling. It was either one or the other but it was a good day.

I started my second clean out today and I was told to rest by my parents. I had to switch from a liquid diet to a clear liquid diet, you know the "clear liquid diet like you're having a colonoscopy diet." This diet will be my undoing before it is over with. I always struggle with this diet. I get so cold, hungry - probably because I know I can't have anything and just weak from this diet. Since Wednesday, I have consumed a box of those Edy's Frozen Fruit Bars (I love them!). Today I had to switch over to plain jane popsicles. There is no comparison between a coconut frozen fruit bar and a banana flavored popsicle... nothing! I'm just stating the facts. I have to live on this diet for who knows how long so I'll get to try all the flavors I'm sure. One of the healthy things I'd like to do after surgery is give up soft drinks with the exceptions of regular Coke when I'm really nauseous. You know how everybody has their drink? Well I'm a Dr. Pepper drinker, day or drink. I could drink Dr. Pepper twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week and never get tired of it but DO NOT get me a two liter, I only like cans or twenty ounce or below size bottles. The drink loses its kick if it's in a two liter bottle.

Sunday I start the finale; Golytely, a gallon of salt water basically. My plan, (ha, ha - the key words being "my plan") is to have everything somewhat ready by Sunday morning so I can just focus on the clean out. I am a very organized person, I'm all about the details. If I can get everything somewhat ready, I will be able to relax and not over do it Sunday or Monday and be able to rest. Knowing how weak feeling I am now and how weak I will be by Monday, I'm not going to be up to my usual speed.

I've been thinking how it has been such a long process; emergency room visits, missed work days, doctor appointments, tests, surgeon appointments, phone calls with doctors, a biopsy and it will all be over with soon. I am so excited and happy. Life can eventually move on. I will still have gastroparesis no doubt and I can move forward. It all makes me happy.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

looking back...

This time next week, I will have had my surgery and be in a room enjoying some nice pain medication I'm sure and on my way to recovery. It is hard to believe that it is less than an week away. I was thinking today, seventeen months with an average of two bottles per week, at the beginning for two months I did one bottle per week and earlier this year I was doing three bottles per week, I have consumed a ballpark average of around 143 bottles of magnesium citrate!!! No wonder I get cold chills when I look at the stuff and have to gag it down. I have consumed WAY too much of that stuff. It wasn't made to drink on a bi-weekly basis.

Today I started my surgical prep. It will take me six days to prep for the surgery; two bottles of magnesium citrate and one gallon of Golytely. I will of course be on a liquid diet from here on out. I will be completely wiped out by the time Tuesday rolls around but I would rather be clean than have any surgical complications from not being clean. The only issue that poses from cleaning out this much is where are they going to find a vein at? I have expressed my concerns and they claim that everything will be fine so we will see. As long as no I.V.s go into my feet or neck, everything will be fine with me.

Thursday morning I woke up and my stomach started bothering me after breakfast; that intensified nausea and acid feeling. I attributed it to breakfast and my more relaxed diet over the past few weeks. My GI doctor had told me at my last appointment to eat which makes since because after surgery, it's going to take a while to get back to some normalcy. My body will have to learn how to function without a colon and that will take time. Who knows what my GP will be like after surgery. I have been enjoying my food but it has caught up with me. I should have known that Thursday morning was the beginning of a flare up. My parents went out of town Friday night and I had went swimming with Jacob. We went out for dinner (bad idea) and I came home and my stomach started distending. It was not pretty. I was so nauseous, miserable and full. Why did I eat?!? I finally gave up round eleven thirty, took my Tylenol PM and went to bed hoping that it would help get me through the night. I called Jacob and told him to keep his phone on in case I needed him. I prayed that my stomach would settle, who wants to go to the emergency room in the middle of the night especially on a Friday night.

I woke up the next morning and I thought I was free and clear of my flare up but no. I of course was out of Zofran and questioned going to the emergency room if my refill wasn't refilled by my doctor at the pharmacy. I was getting desperate. I was trying to drink my magnesium citrate and it was a downhill battle. After an hour of attempts, I finally got my magnesium citrate down and my parents arrived with some Zofran - RELIEF!!

It's Wednesday and I'm still dealing with this flare up. I had to stop eating so I could start my surgical prep but I realized that this would be my last time that I would be able to eat for a while so I just dealt with the nausea and distention. I had hoped that this weekend's clean out would help end my flare up but it seemed to make my stomach and intestines feel more inflamed.

If my flare up last until my surgery that is fine. At this point I really don't care anymore. I got to eat and that was what mattered to me at that point. I have made a list of things to do and slowly everything is getting done. All that matters is getting to Tuesday. I am so close!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

a change in plans...

The past few weeks have been relatively normal. I am no longer working. My employers and I decided that it was best for me to stay at home and gain as much strength as possible before my upcoming surgery. The last few weeks of work had become really difficult for me. Between the blacking out, the dehydration, the headaches, the chest heaviness and feel weak, it was all becoming too much.

I met with my anesthesiologist and surgeon on August 25th for pre-op. We covered everything from the blacking out and high pulse rates to my dehydration and issues with finding veins on the day of surgery. We talked about the whole "cleaning out" process. Before he had mentioned drinking two gallons of Golytely but luckily he changed his mind. We talked about it and I told him that I'd try it but I just didn't think that I could physically fit all of that liquid into my stomach since you drink it in fifteen to twenty minute increments per gallon. When I did a gallon of Golytely for my colonoscopy, I could not do the entire gallon because it literally would not fix into my stomach due to the slow emptying of my stomach. Tests later showed that I had trouble with liquids.

He came to the conclusion that I would do a round of magnesium citrate then switch over to the Golytely. Just knowing that I don't have two gallons to drink makes me feel so much better. I asked about my diet after surgery; when would I be starting liquids and solids? He told me that he was leaving everything up to me (THANK YOU!).

This brought me to my next question; a feeding tube. We have talked about having a J-tube which is a feeding tube that is put in your small intestines put in. He said the only issue with having a J-tube is that I will be sick.... every darn day. If I start my feedings at 10pm, by 2am I will be up sick. I have spent enough time in the bathroom, I'd like to take a break. I told my doctor I didn't want that. He said that it would be a continual thing and that I'd never get any rest. He would contact my GI doctor to discuss other options being either a G-tube or TPN.

We were finishing up the appointment and my doctor said there was one last thing, there was a conflict with the surgical date. He needed to reschedule. WHAT?!?! I automatically started thinking about dates. This is a surgeon's office at a hospital who is very, very busy. I. AM. IN. BIG. TROUBLE!! Luckily he came back in the room with date, September 20th... thirteen days away from the previous surgical date. He apologized, it was out of his control. When we got out of the office I looked at Jacob - SEPTEMBER 20!! I've been cleaning out for fifteen months and waiting on surgery since March. Yes, it's just thirteen more days but I was ready then.

Needless to say, I got over the anger and frustration. There was nothing I could do about it. It gave me thirteen more days of being pain free. Who wants post-op pain right? The time is going by quicker than I thought it would. I can't wait for September 20th to get here, I'm ready to have it behind me. Everything right now revolves around this date. I'm just ready to start the recovery process and begin to feel better even though it will be a struggle at first.