Saturday, February 27, 2010

Rip My Guts Out: 100% Uterus Free

I'm home in my own clean sheets. I still walk like a 90 year old woman with a piano on my back but Matt says my shuffling is sexy so . . . that's weird. I got home on Saturday after four long uncomfortable nights at the hospital. My house is filled with so much love from all my friends and families. My kitchen table, had so many beautiful flowers on it, it looked like I walked into my uterus' funeral. They are gorgeous and I have scattered them around my house and oh how they bring a bit of spring into every corner. My friends have given me books, and slippers, and sweets, and meals, babysitting, Love and prayers. If I were a cheerleader I would come to each of your houses and do a routine exuding my love for all of you. I would to, except, If I use my severed stomach muscles at all it makes me break out into tears faster than a Hallmark commercial during Christmas time. I hope you all know you have a gift I don't have. I am not good at meeting others needs. I have lots of nice thoughts and great ideas and the most wonderful intentions that never see the other side of my brain. I so admire people who don't just think nice things, they do them. This will be my New Year’s resolutions one of these years. As soon as I lose those last ten pounds.

My brother came to visit me the first two evenings at the hospital. He didn't mind one bit that I could open my eyes because I was so nauseous and tired. We joked, and having him be there made me feel protected in a way only a big brother can. Getting prepped for surgery I wore a soft paper gown and when I laid down the nurse plugged a hose into the gown that blew in warm air! It felt like Hawaii (plus the dread of impending surgery). I told my bother while in recovery that I thought we should market this to the Snuggie Company and have them add the hot air hose feature. I loved the feeling when I was a little girl to stand over a forced air heater and have it blow my nightgown up like a hot air balloon. So I pitched the idea to my brother and he came up with the name for our product . . . the Blowie. You heard it here first.

Surgery . . . thankfully I was fully in the wild blue yonder while it was all happening because my doctors says it was rough. His exact words were "I'd be perfectly happy to never do a surgery that complicated again." He knew after 30 seconds of the laparoscopic surgery that he'd have to open me up. Once in, he said that it looked like someone poured super glue throughout my abdomen. The procedure lasted double the time he expected and I lost a lot of blood that caused me to have a double blood transfusion. And the good doctor in all his wisdom took every last trace of my uterus, ovaries, and cervix. Pretty much all my inner woman was removed but in exchange I got this fancy estrogen sticker on my belly and no more evil periods EVER! It was a good deal. I've lived with that pain since I was ten years old. Ten.

I have a great story of how I cried to my mom the first year that I had started my period. I was in the fifth grade I hated having to take my backpack into the restroom to change. Kids my age were just learning how to use a period at the end a sentence, other than that the word had no second meaning. So my mother, (who was not a seamstress) decided to make me something a little more discrete to take with me to the powder room. She took me to Joann's Fabric Store and let me pick my favorite print. This was 1987 so I choose this neon paint splattered fabric that was like. totally. radical. We bought a yard and my mom laid a giant pad onto the flat fabric (remember this is before they came folded in thirds with the cute pink package.) and traced out a pattern that sorta looked like a big envelope. When it was finished I had myself one big bright neon pad cozy. I am sure it could have been seen from space but somehow it did make me feel a bit more confident.

So now my bed is my only dwelling and my husband has become superman. He lifts me out of bed, dries my legs out of the shower, brings me my every whim, sole caregiver of my children, he's my arm in the middle of the night when I just need a new position, my medicine controller, my slipper put-er on-er. He even supplied my nightstand with all my favorite treats because he was worried I wasn't eating enough. And he is so CUTE I can hardly stand it.

Well I thought I'd give you a tour of my life right now. This is my nightstand.

My reading material.

My candy stash.

Me in the perpetual state of rest.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Guts are out

Hi everyone, this is Matt, Becca's husband. Becca has gurgled to me to update her blog for her. So, I will be typing as she dictates to you all. I have to be honest, she looks a little different now sans uterus..........I'm not sure I know what "sans" means but Becca in her narcotic stupor assures me it's a, here's becca

" uterus is sans........I feel like.......otterpops..............what did the doctor say? What time is it? you my blog ok? the school and tell them tobin forgot his skiing is fun."

ok, that's enough, go back to sleep my princess!

Folks, if you've learned nothing else from this post, DON'T DO DRUGS!

Seriously, becca is great, surgery went well, a little loner and more invasive that the doctor had hoped for, as result, here recovery will be a bit longer. She'll be at the hospital until about Saturday. Thank you for all your thoughts, prayers and offers for help. Peace out for now


Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Rip My Guts Out: Other Than That, I'm Fine

Don't you hate it when you read someone's blog and they leave you hanging breathlessly waiting for the next post to give you a bit of closure. Like, "Hey Guys, my test results showed that my baby is sprouting wings and has antennas. I'll post tomorrow with the results and a picture." Fast forward and a month has gone by she hasn't bothered to take the time to update and you don't even care about that woman and her dumb magic double horned/pegasus baby anymore. All that being said, sorry I left you all hanging. My excuse is this, I feel like an old lady with all my new aliments and I'm just a tad depressed.

I had those awful tests done last week. Remember it's the one were they have your bowels run a marathon, all while drinking a gallon of this salty/lemon devil drink. When I picked it up from the pharmacist she handed me two samples of petroleum jelly and then winked. I took them pretending like I totally knew this inside joke. It all made sense later. Those tests confirmed lots of damage that years of undiagnosed celiac disease has done on my intestines. How long has my body not been able to absorb nutrients? Most likely I've had celiac sprue since childhood. They found a pre-cancerous polyp (that everyone assures me is not a big deal), and they found that I am b-12 deficient. (I had a bone scan yesterday to see if I have osteoporosis. Results pending.) And anemia. See, . . . old woman.

I have been on my gluten free diet for three weeks now. For the most part I haven't had many problems with it. (Before I only ate bread so I could eat butter with less mess and judgement.) We even have a great local grocery store in town that has yellow price tags for all g-free products. Makes it so easy. What I am having the hardest part with is having to become a fussy person. I, of course, have been doing a lot of research about my new diet and it is very clear that when you are not in charge of preparing your own food you are in danger of eating gluten because of cross contamination. All the experts out there talk about how just a dusting of flour or a crumb of bread is the same as eating a loaf. Weird, I know. So it's important to not just have wheat, barley, or rye listed in the ingredients but not even in the factory they process your food in.

I used to love the treat of eating out, but now I dread it. When the waiter asks me what I would like to eat, I still fumble and mumble my way through this weird, almost apologetic request of whiny needs. It sounds something like this, "Hi Kind Sir, I've just been diagnosed with celiac disease, (looks at me like I just told him I dye my armpit hair purple), and because of that I am intolerant to gluten. Gluten is wheat, barley, rye and all derivatives. If it's not too much trouble, would you please let the chef know that I'll need him to throughly clean the grill before cooking my plain chicken. He may use some olive oil and salt and pepper to season but no sauces or mixed seasons please. Also if you could, please, make me a fresh salad using clean utensils making sure that nothing touches anything I might have a reaction to, I would be indebted to you. If you could be so kind, good sir, to not add any dressing. See, I've brought my own in my purse. It's gluten free and tastes like horse urine. So I'm good. I really appreciate this and for my thankfulness I'd like to give you my firstborn. " See what I mean? Fussy. I'd rather stay home. That is unless we can go to PF Chang's. Mr. Chang really knows how to make this celiac girl feel special. I've eaten there three times in three weeks and each time I am thrown a flippin' party when I tell them my diagnoses. I am truly surprised when they don't gather the troops to sing me a "happy celiac" song just for me. They have a g-free menu and even bring my meal on a special plate so you know my message got to the chef. And at the end of my meal they bring out the traditional fortune cookies and say to me, "now these do have gluten in them but I thought you might like to read your fortune" And then I kiss them because of their kindness and then I play the read-your-fortune-and-insert-the-phrase, "in bed" after-reading. Good times for all.

I've had all the kids tested. Took them all (by myself) to have their blood drawn. It didn't even dawn on me that this could possibly the stupidest thing I've ever done. We practiced at home and I am happy to say that all of them did amazing. Jabe volunteered to go first and they had to dig in that boy to get the blood to flow. With Phoebe and Tobin watching on I was so grateful he didn't let on how painful it was. Phoebe raised her hand to go next and had the tiniest jerk to her arm with the poke but nothing after that. Tobin told me he didn't need to sit on my lap like the twins and he was so "manly" about the whole thing I was filled with pride. All tests came back negative. I'm still skeptical about Jabe. I've also campaigned for my family to get tested. I've even enticed them that if they get diagnosed we could start our own club and have t-shirts made that says, "Sprue You" funny eh?

What was the other thing I was going to say. . . ? Oh yeah. Hysterectomy surgery on Tuesday (the 23rd). I trust my doctor so much. He is going to be making lots of decisions once he's inside, so I can't give you any details yet about what kind of surgery I am going to have or how long my recovery will be. One thing is for sure, I'll have lots of time to blog and I'll be on pain meds, so should be fun reads.