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Archive for the ‘Family’ Category

Note: I wrote this blog nearly a month ago and am just now getting around to posting it because a good friend has been asking for it for ages and I thought she could use a small pick-me-up. This one’s for you, Liz…

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Little darling, it’s been a long cold lonely winter
Little darling, it feels like years since it’s been here

This winter has been one full of challenges, stresses, adaptation, loss, learning, sickness, and love. Yes, love. Without it, I’m not sure I would’ve come out as relatively unscathed on this end.

This winter, New England received more snow than it had in years. It was blizzard after blizzard. It was cold and unrelenting. Even worse, my body appeared to be taking lessons.

One thing that I’ve always prided myself on is being able to rise from just about anything and everything stronger and smiling. After December, I was petering on the edge, still smiling, but straining and struggling not to lose myself. But after the second month of medical hell, I wasn’t sure that I wasn’t going to rise.

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Everybody’s got plans… until they get hit.
Mike Tyson

Before the recent one-two punch from infection after infection, and before the internet snafu and ensuing struggles with Comcast, and before the exciting week with visitors, and before I was finally able to get back to work this week, I had great plans. Well, I guess not great plans – they were nothing compared to those of my childhood, or those of a naive high schooler, or even those prior to the latest major health struggles back in December and January – but they were plans.

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As you may have noticed, I’ve been mostly absent from the internet for over two weeks now. Following an internet snafu at our apartment that took far too long to remedy (thank you, Comcast…), I’m baaaack! And we are now the proud owners of a land-line with a Massachusetts phone number! Yahoo!

I must say that it was somewhat nice not having internet. I didn’t stress over e-mail or Facebook or even the weather. Whatever happened, happened. It’d still be there when I got the internet back. I was able to check for important e-mails and monitor bank accounts and the like by borrowing internet from friends every few days, but it was for minutes at a time and just for the essentials. It was almost as if I were back in the 1990s! And I loved it!

But now that I’m back, I’ll give you a brief update on the last 18 days, you know, in the few hours I wasn’t catching up on sleep! 😛

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In the last month and a half, I have spent 40 days and 40 nights in the confines of Mass General. While I’m not yet home from this ordeal, I can confidently say that a plan is in way if they decide not to discharge me today. (The paperwork has already been started, but you never quite know…) I will be honest with all of you and say that my spirit (which I once though to be unbreakable) was starting to crack. But my dear sister Stefani would not let that happen. She and Beast devised a plan to break me out of this brig if my medical team was still holding me hostage.

Note: The captions are Stefani’s original captions.

My sidekick - waiting to rescue his princess (True)

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On Wednesday, after 25 days in patient at MGH, I broke out! But I did not leave empty-handed. They sent me home with a nifty new pump and GJ tube to help me get nutrition, 5-6 new medications, and gram-positive staph (as well as another bug I can’t recall) UTI.

The different fluids, formulas, and supplements that were able to get me home: Peptamen 1.5, TPN, Potassium, Magnesium, and Saline

I was so happy to get out of there that I didn’t even care they were sending me home with a REALLY nasty UTI. And – as luck would have it – we got a call from Dr. Sims’ office literally one hour after we left. My biopsy was back. Brilliant. Unfortunately, they wouldn’t tell us anything over the phone, but they were able to squeeze me in for an appointment in two weeks. (Usually it takes months to get in with her, so we’re pretty happy we don’t have to wait too long.)

Now that I’m home, I want to reiterate how much we appreciated everyone who called, sent cards, and visited. I don’t think I could have kept my spirits so high without you all. Especially our amazing visitors: Stef, Karen, Sarah G., Liz, Nana, Beepa, Ralph, Will, Sasha, Katie, Elena, Corynne, Missi, Erin, Crystal, Tapas, Sophie, Jonah, Rebecca, John, Sarah F., Aly, Rachael, Tali, and Kevin. Sorry if we missed anyone! And a huge thanks to everyone who sent cards. They helped keep the room festive during the holidays.

My Card Corner - Thanks for all the love! 🙂

Now I’m just readjusting to my freedom. I’m experiencing a bit of culture shock, coupled with how much more complicated my life has become with new medical devices and medications. But we’re hoping that with the better nutrition, we can better keep the mito from progressing. While I was inpatient, Dr. Sims added a few new supplements to my mito cocktail and we’re hoping that those will decrease the episodes of dystonia, seizures, cyclic vomiting, etc. and increase my quality of life. It has certainly been a tough year for us (and for so many of our dear friends), but we’ll keep fighting and looking to a better future. Thank you, once again, to everyone who has stood by us on this crazy journey. It wouldn’t be possible without you!

The beautiful view from our hospital room - Floor 22 of MGH

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Today marks Day #21 in patient at MGH. It also marks our first real blizzard since moving to New England.

I apologize for the delay in posts. The second go at the GJ procedure was a success, but I’ve been in a significant amount of pain and discomfort since then. And not too much has changed – despite yet another tube running into my body. Nonetheless, this will likely be a long post to get everyone updated on the latest news.

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It looks like Christmas came to my room and spewed red and green vomit everywhere. And I love it!

I’ll admit it: I was starting to lose my spirit a little after I’d been in two weeks, without an end in sight, and the projection of spending Christmas at MGH. I’d been poked and prodded every which way. Despite what my medical team was doing, my blood work was abnormal. And my first glimpse at freedom (the first attempt at the GJ tube procedure) failed. Fortunately, I’ve surrounded myself with people who make it nearly impossible to lose one’s spirit!

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