Monday, June 3, 2013

Another Surgery... and a Painful Wait

If anyone who reads this could pray for me, I am having surgery tomorrow for 3 kidney stones that are coming down but stuck on the right side. About 6 weeks ago I started feeling some pain and thought it might be a kidney stone, but it took awhile for me to confirm that it was a stone and not pain from the Crohn's Disease. After I started getting these certain bladder pains that I always get with the stones, I knew. Well, I tried to just let them pass at home, but that didn't work, so a month later I had an appointment with my urologist and we decided to do ESWL (Shockwave Lithotripsy) to break up the stones, and I was pretty surprised to know that I had not one, not two, but THREE stuck and one of them is a large one that is blocking the flow of urine and causing swelling and lowered kidney function.

To make a long story short, my pain started becoming unbearable and there weren't any meds that I could take at home that could help the pain. I had to go the ER, but they sent me home after "doing what they could" with some IV pain meds because they said they don't admit patients just for pain control. What?!?!?! (Later I found out this is not true; if they would've contacted my urologist, he would've admitted me.) So I'm supposed to just sit at home with 10 out of 10 pain and no one can help me? Yes, that's what happened. Too many miscommunications with the ER not contacting my urologist, and my pain management Dr. not helping because his opinion is that taking extra pain meds won't help anyway and that I just need to get the stones out. Well, the hospital only has this special shockwave machine once every TWO WEEKS so I had to wait! I couldn't believe I had no way of getting help except if I went BACK to the emergency room.... but, by God's grace, I got through the last 5 days just barely, and now surgery is tomorrow morning.

If you could pray specifically that I will not only have a perfect surgery, but also that the stones after being blasted will pass cleanly through without them having to place a stent (a thick wire going up from the bladder to the kidney to help the stone particles pass down) because last time they placed a stent, I had so much pain I ended up in the ICU. Some people don't tolerate the stents and I already had so much inflammation in there from being in the hospital and them trying to "flush the stone out" with IV fluids and it just sat there rattling away in my ureter, yeah, that was NOT fun. The worst pain of my life for about 6 hours. I might've written about it previously but I can't remember. Other things to pray for: perfect pain control when I wake up because of my high tolerance of pain meds since I already have to be on a continuous level for my back problems, no anxiety before the procedure, safety throughout the procedure and for everyone treating me to be empathetic, kind, and fantastic at their job! Also, I am in quite a bit of pain right now at home and am praying that God will just take the pain away and let me rest tonight before the procedure.

Thanks so much for anyone who is able to pray, I know God is with me and I am trusting in Him to take care of me!

Monday, February 18, 2013

It's Been Awhile!

I cannot believe that I haven't posted here in almost a year... and I will make sure to update later about this past year and how it has been for my husband and I. One MAJOR change is that within a month after the last post I wrote, my husband found out from my pain dr. that he could have a procedure done (a Radiofrequency ablation) in his neck to help with his migraines. Well, he had it done in May 2012, and I am not kidding you, has only had one or two migraines since then. Praise God, what a MIRACLE this is!!! Not only did his migraines disappear, but he was let go from his very, very stressful job of working for my brother doing granite kitchens/bathrooms/you name it in houses, but after he was on unemployment and searching for a job, he got a NEW JOB that started right after Thanksgiving of last year! He now works nights at Safeway in the bakery department and truly enjoys it.

As for me, I'm pretty sure I had another shockwave treatment for a kidney stone right after that last blog and it went well. I am still battling all of the same issues, and unfortunately some new ones- I am now the one battling chronic migraines along with the crazy fatigue. I will be getting some tests done within the next couple weeks- MRI, x-rays, sleep study- and another back injection for my back problems. I am also trying to get off of the Prednisone STILL, am down to 2.5 mg's and trying to cut down, but it's very hard because my body is so sensitive that the Crohn's starts flaring right up even if I taper down really slowly. Luckily I have lost about 20 lbs. since last year and am continuing to lose weight just by eating less, since I can't exercise much with my severe fatigue. The fatigue makes me feel like I don't have a life.... but that's a whole other post. God is still good and I am thankful for the roof over our heads, my amazing, loving husband, my awesome, supportive family, and my friends who never stop praying for me.

I was going to fill out a survey but it is time for me to go to bed. I am a little better with my sleeping patterns than I was a year ago, but I still go to bed late, especially since I don't like to go to bed before Alex does (and since he works nights he usually comes home at around 3 a.m. and goes to bed at around 5 a.m.) but hey, it's nice that we are on the same schedule now!

I will write more later when I have some time and motivation. I hope to check in with some of my "blogger" friends too. For now, I'll leave you with a dorky picture of me and a bottle of Sparkling Cider on Christmas... gotta love it! ;-)

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

I'm Alive

Just wanted to say before I go to bed with my crazy sleep schedule, that I am honestly so thankful for life. Every day to be alive and with the people and know that God has prepared an eternal, amazing place for all of us to be together with no more suffering or pain is amazing and hopeful to think about. And this is what I want to focus on in the good times and the hard times, the times of laughter with my hubby and loved ones, and the times of extreme pain and just trying to get through each hour. No matter how much pain we go through here on earth, it will not always be like this, simply because Jesus loves us so much that he took all of our mistakes upon his shoulders so we could have that perfect "happily ever after" that we all dream of in our hearts. How awesome it is to know that those words are not just a fairy tale!
The suffering and pain that my hubby and I go through, although grueling, tiring, and just out-right FRUSTRATING at times? I would not choose to go back before this all happened and have it disappear. Because our love is deeper, our faith is stronger, our hope is more genuine, and our longing to be with Jesus and home where we belong is more real. Believe me: I don't like pain. In fact, I despise it. I don't like it physically, mentally, emotionally, or spiritually. But there's something about pain that makes us realize what's really important in life. There's something about it that gets into our heart and says "hey, life's not meant to be like this. There must be something better than this!" If we choose to handle life's suffering in a positive way, we will grow deep, deep roots that cannot be uprooted when the storms of life come one after another. We will be able to appreciate the simple things of life like having a whole day without pain, enjoying a movie and laughing hysterically with our spouse or loved one, spending precious time with family, and just spending time worshiping God whether it's through music, being out in His creation, encouraging others, or filling ourselves up with His word and applying it to our daily lives.
I totally admit, I am not perfect at this lifestyle of constantly being thankful. I have times of worrying about our future, about our finances, if I will ever get better, if my husband will ever grow out of his crazy migraines that he's done soooooo many things to try to alleviate, and how we will survive. But I know that my God says "Cast all your cares on Him and He will sustain you; He will never let the righteous fall." (Psalm 55:22).

One book I have been reading for encouragement lately is a book by Joni Eareckson Tada (let me know if you want the title!), who is an amazing Christian woman who was paralyzed by a diving accident at the age of 14. Since then she has led many, many people to the Lord through her testimony and started her own organization for helping the disabled, as well as speaking about her hope and the wisdom she's learned through her disability all around the world. It is so encouraging. The verse she quoted while I was reading a few nights ago was 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, "Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus." And this is the verse I want to follow in my life right now while things are difficult. I don't want to stop praying and asking for God's healing, presence, comfort, love, and peace to be with my husband and me. I want to give him all of my honest thoughts but always knowing that I am rejoicing in His salvation and in the rewards of heaven to come. I don't ever want to get stuck in a rut of negativity. I want to give thanks for the things that I have, because I have so many blessings in my life, even on some of the worst days. God has always provided everything I need, and He will continue to provide, just like His word says! And He will do the same thing for you. Just keep trusting, keep persevering. Don't give up. Don't let your spiritual "fuel tank" go empty so that you get depressed and hopeless about life. And encourage others like me to stay on the path of thanksgiving and hopefulness!
Oh, and Happy Belated Easter! We weren't able to celebrate Easter this year with family because we were both really sick, which was hard, but we certainly celebrated in our hearts. So I'll leave you with a couple pictures of some eggs we dyed... last year! lol.  :-)

Friday, March 9, 2012


Thought I'd say hi since I haven't really been in the blog world lately. I don't have a lot of energy at all, but God is good and I am so thankful to have my loving hubby and family, a roof over our heads, and all of our needs met daily! That being said, we would love any prayer we can get for my husband's chronic, almost daily migraines, and my issues with Crohn's (and all that goes with it), my back problems, and my sleeping/fatigue problems. We're having an especially difficult time finding and treating Alex's migraines. They seem to stem from his neck pains and he always gets them after sleeping, in the early morning. We've literally tried everything we know, but we know that God has all the answers and we're asking Him to give us wisdom and guidance in our health issues, and also in our finances. There is so much to write about, but so little motivation, lol.

On another note, if you haven't seen this already (which I'm sure most of you have), please watch this video. I care deeply about the people affected by this and pray that God's justice will be poured out!

Here's a small survey that looked like fun to fill out. I don't really keep in contact with blog friends anymore but I hope anyone who reads this will say hi; I would love to catch up with you and your blogs when I have some more energy!

1. If you could take your family and friends with you and move anywhere in the United States, where would you move?
I haven’t been many places, but I loved San Diego so much when we went for our honeymoon (over  5 years ago now!) I love the weather and the beach. So I’d have to choose San Diego or possibly somewhere in Oahu, Hawaii.

2. If you could have any talent, what would it be?
Hmmm… a talent that I don’t have that I want… I’d like to wake up and automatically be able to play whatever instrument I want! And play the piano better too!

3. What was your AIM screen name?
SpecialGirl101… hahaha... well, that was my longest-running one.  It was from my favorite song at the time, “Girl” by O-Town; my taste in music has definitely changed!

4. Other than your wedding or the birth of a child, what event in your life would you like to relive if you were given the chance?
That’s too easy, our honeymoon! It was just so much fun and we were healthy and happy and got to do so many awesome things and just be together! J

5. What has been the biggest surprise in your life? (This doesn't have to be deep. Just a fun surprise!)
What comes to mind is the fact that I met my husband in my hometown; I always thought I’d have to go away to college to find “the one”, especially since there are sure SLIM PICKINS where I live! Little did I know he was a friend of a friend and we had probably been in the same place at the same time at least once before we actually met…. Mysterious!

6. How long does it take you to get ready in the morning?
Well, “morning” for me is afternoon, because I have a bunch of fatigue/sleeping issues right now. When I do have energy to get ready, I have to go very slow because of no energy and it usually takes me around an hour-and-a-half.

7. What is the last book you read?
“A Place of Healing: Wrestling with the Mysteries of Suffering, Pain, and God's Sovereignty” by Joni Eareckson Tada

8. What is your favorite room in your house and why?
I would say our living room, because it has our comfy couches and our awesome flat-screen tv and my hubby and I like to watch our favorite tv shows together since we don’t have much energy most of the time.

9. If you could do it again, what is something you would change about your wedding?
Ummm I would’ve had our pastor at the time make our ceremony a little bit more personal like telling the story of how we met and our relationship, etc. and just  little things like making sure I got more pictures with my bridesmaids since a couple of them showed up with their dresses completely wrinkled and it was a disaster! Other than that it was the best day of my life and I wouldn’t change the way I felt on that day for anything in the world!

10. What is your favorite non-reality show?
Modern Family, Up All Night, White Collar, The Office, and Parks & Rec! They all tie! Oh, Grimm and Person of Interest too!

11. What is your favorite vacation spot (a place you've already been before) and why?
I love all of our family trips to Laguna Beach and SoCal at my grandparents’ house, but my favorite has to be our honeymoon in San Diego, I love that city! I also love our summer weekends at Lake Siskiyou, right at the base of Mt. Shasta, so beautiful and all of the camping fun but with a beautiful cabin to stay in at night! J

Saturday, December 31, 2011

"When My Heart Finds Christmas"

I should update my blog a little more than once every 2 months, huh? I've been too tired to do anything lately! But we did have a great Christmas. It sucked all the energy I had left out of me. Nothing new to report really except that I've been wayyyyyyyy fatigued and still not able to sleep until about 7 or 8 a.m... it's so annoying! If you have some time, please pray for me to be able to get better sleep and during more "normal" hours! Also, my husband and I still need major healing from our battles with crohn's (and the medicines that give me bad side effects), kidney stones, back problems, migraines, and our finances to name the major issues. I know God hears all of our prayers and is always answering them. If you have a prayer request, I would love to pray for you too, just write me a message and/or a comment! I wanted to add that although we've gone through a lot this year, we've grown in our faith, our marriage, and God has always provided for our needs, and what a blessing that is. The fact that I have a warm home to live in, great supportive family, food on the table, and of course, a wonderful best friend as my husband, is so much to be thankful for.  On that note, let's all pray that 2012 will bring even more blessings and opportunities to be a blessing to others in our lives!

 Here are a few pictures from Christmas (I will not be in them as I have gained weight from one of my medications and have banned any picture-taking of me until further notice. I know, I know... it doesn't matter... but I'm just more comfortable NOT being in front of the camera at this time.) Some of the pictures are kinda blurry because they were taken with my phone, but better a blurry picture than no picture right? ;-)

 Our Christmas Tree :-)

Leila the Grinch and Daddy!

Christmas Tree Ornament

Our tree before we put the ornaments/candy canes on it!

Alex and his "Starfighter" Legos

My Niece Hannah with her new bear

Niece Samara with a present
Leila under the tree

Louie chillen' on my lap watching tv

Happy New Year!!!


iPod/MP3 Survey:
1. Put your MP3 Player on shuffle.

2. For each question, press the next button to get your answer.


4. Tag 10 friends who might enjoy doing this as well as the person you got this from.

5. You don't have to put the artist.

*Okay, so I used my hubby's iPod, 1. Because I don't have one of my own and 2. We listen to most of the same music anyway (well, our tastes are a little different but more similar than not).

"The Setting Sun"- Switchfoot, hmmm...

"Otherside"- Third Day

"Ron Leaves" - Harry Potter Soundtrack, haha!

"He Is All"-  KJ-52

"Six Beauties on the Rooftop"- Jazziz 2004 burned from a friend of ours, lol!

"Armistice"- Mutemath << I didn't know that word so I looked it up: a temporary suspension of hostilities by agreement of the warring parties.

"That Part That Hurts The Most (Is Me)"- TFK

8. WHAT IS 2+2?
"The Great Depression"- Blindside

"Far and Gone"- Day of Fire , that's not true!

"Great Is The Lord"- Starfield , true, true, He blessed me with my hubby!

"It Can't Rain Everyday"- P.O.D.

"Lord, I Need You"- Chris Tomlin, Passion cd

"We've Been At This"- The Fold

"Control"- Mutemath, huh? lol

"Aunt Marge's Waltz"- Harry Potter soundtrack, haha!

"It's Time"- Michael Buble, I guess it was time! K Lord I don't want to die anytime soon though... or have anyone play this song... lol

"Silent Night"- Johnny Mathis, well, I am up all night!

"Manifesto"- The City Harmonic

"Under the Blue Skies"- One Minute Halo

"Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow"- Herb Alpert, well, I like to look at snow but it's too cold for me so I never go out in it!

"I Give You My Heart"- Hillsong, well if you take it literally then I guess that works!

"Crack the Code"- 311

"Bravery"- Ivoryline

"Saviour King"- Hillsong United... ok this one doesn't make any sense!

"Next Thing You Know"- Matthew West

"The Scene and Herd"- Relient K ....???

"Whole World in His Hands"- Passion: How Great is Our God

"Hiding Place"- Starfield

"When My Heart Finds Christmas"- Harry Connick, Jr.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Happy Fall

Did you all have a good Halloween? Any good/funny stories to share? Alex and I carved pumpkins this year, and it was fun! His parents dropped off an orange and a white pumpkin with all of the carving tools & templates after we had been talking about possibly doing it this year, so we had no excuse, lol. My white pumpkin happened to be very round and hard to tape the pattern onto, and hard to photograph, and my hubby's turned out A-MAZING because he's such a perfectionist and definitely took his time on it! So mine looks like a child carved it. Oh well, it was still fun! Here are some pictures:

Taking all the gunk out... my wrist hurt after!

Hubby's kitty template

Poking the pattern into the pumpkin

 Carving my owl (I added the stars & moon myself :-)

 All finished and glowing!

My little owl

 I know, I know... hubster did an amazing job!

 Never carved a white pumpkin before!

One last picture of our carved pumpkins.

So, things have been going so-so with my and my hubby's health. My jaw pain ended up subsiding after a few days and I will be looking for an oral surgeon who would be able to take payment plans since we don't have oral surgeon coverage on our dental plan apparently. :-/. Other than that, our finances are just insane right now with Alex only being able to work a day or two a week, but God has been able to provide for us so far through our parents. We are hoping that Alex will get relief with our family friend who is a great massage therapist, and he will also be going to a greatly recommended chiropractor as soon as we find the funds for him. I would love to go too but we'll have to really pray about our finances! We have cut back on almost everything possible; We eat out pretty rarely, I make most meals at home, and if we do eat out, it is something that is just as cheap as eating at home, such as taco wagon burritos but taking them home and having our own drinks & chips with it, etc. I've been making some yummy meals that I've found online, and on Pinterest! (Add me on Pinterest if you haven't yet, I love it!)

Oh, today I finally got my spinal injections done again, and I'm hoping that it will bring lots of relief again so I can start exercising without severe pain! This horrible prednisone medication has given me INSANE stretch marks all over my body, and made me gain so much weight... I can't fit into 99% of my clothes. Part of what Prednisone does is make you store almost every calorie you eat, and it stores it mainly in your face and in your belly area. Some people also get what they call a "camel hump" which is fat stored on the back of the neck; luckily I haven't had that yet... knock on wood! I have never had a weight issue before so this is brand new to me, and I am having a hard time with it.  It's quite embarrassing when people who haven't seen me in a few months say "Wow, you look different!" (with an interesting look on their face) or "I almost didn't recognize you"... oh well, hopefully I can get further down on my prednisone dosage, although these last 5 mg's I'm on have been VERY tough; every time I go down by a little tiny splinter of the pill, I have major intestinal problems by nighttime.  And it huuuuurts. If you haven't heard of prednisone or are interested in what it does to the body, you should look it up on google! Prednisone helps a lot of people who have different inflammatory conditions like asthma, crohn's disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and other autoimmune diseases, but the longer you're on it, the more bad, bad, bad side effects you get. So it's really a catch-22. Unfortunately all the other meds I'm on for crohn's disease aren't putting this active disease under control, and it's very frustrating. Please pray that I can get off of this stuff ASAP!

Well, I wanted to fill out this "Autumn Survey" I saw on another blog since I kind of enjoy filling out surveys, but I'll post it in a separate entry. Hope all of you are having a good fall so far, and don't forget to turn your clocks back on Sunday! (I didn't even know it was this Sunday until I saw it online yesterday, lol :-)

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

I'm back!

My surgery went excellent! Thank you all so much for your prayers. God did amazing things and took such good care of me, and so did the dr.'s, nurses, and my hubby! I am recovering well at home and the stone was easily shockwaved into dust- my dr. told my husband that it literally broke up in the first few minutes so they didn't have to keep "shockwaving" me, which meant less pain! The anesthesiologist was great and really listened to my issues and what I needed as an individual, so that was also a big help.

The only thing now is that I'm having crazy pain in my tooth/jaw area that stared a couple days ago. I thought I narrowed it down to being an issue with one tooth, but I went to the dentist and got x-rays and an examination, and I have no cavities or issues that would be causing the pain in that area. So my dentist said it could be my bottom wisdom tooth that's pushing against the other teeth now and causing pain in different places.... or that I'm clenching my jaw at night. I'm beginning to think it's the first thing. Different parts of the right side of my upper & lower jaw will start hurting terribly, and my pain meds of course do not help enough. I just took advil (even though I'm not supposed to because it can cause intestinal bleeding, and I already have crohn's disease) to see if it will help because I am desperate! Like I keep telling people, if it's not one thing, it's another! I hate it. But I will trust God to help this resolve somehow!

Again, I am soooo thankful how everything went yesterday. I just really wish I wasn't wasting my pain meds on trying to get this stupid mouth pain better. When people like my nurses always say "wow, you are way too young to have so many health problems going on!" I always say that I'm hoping to be like Benjamin Button but with my health, only getting better with age! That would be cool, haha. I can picture my husband and I on some vacation on a tropical island when we're like 80 enjoying the time of our lives and looking back on all the illnesses we had and how much better we're doing even though we're old geezers. Hey, I can hope, can't I?! ;-)