Thursday, April 16, 2009
I appreciate living in Utah because I heart the seasons. During each season I say that the current season is my fave. I love summer because who doesn't love summer, I love fall because there is sooooo much fun stuff to do and I looooooove Halloween, I love winter cause it's so pretty and sparkly and I can't get enough of the holidays, I love Spring the most though. It's always been my true fave. I heart the budding flowers, the blossoming trees, the rain, the smell in the air, the baby animals, my birthday, lilacs, Easter...Easter Dresses, eggs, candy, the Sunday program, the recognition of the Atonement...the general feeling of rebirth and renewal. This spring was particularly hopeful for me with my VNS surgery. I feel like I'm going to have a completely different life, starting right now. This is my spring, after a long, hard winter.
To celebrate Spring, and my surgery, we decided to take my niece, Libby, to Baby Animal Days the day before my surgery. I've been wanting to go to Baby Animal Days ever since I moved up here in 2002. It was even muddy so I got to wear my pink rainboots, which Libby thought were "gorgeous." We had so much fun! We saw piglets, ducklings, chicks, lambs, baby goats, calves, and many more adorable animals.
The surgery went fabulously! It was an absolute miracle. They didn't allow me to eat or drink after midnight the night before, so we were nervous that I'd pass out during pre-op. I'm not hypoglycemic, but I tend to do that if I don't eat. I think it's cause my bod is metabolizing so much medication. Anyway, I was able to check in super early at 6 am, which was fabulous bc that meant less chance of getting nauseous or fainting from lack of food. When we got there we ran into my childhood friend, Jenna, and her parents. Jenna was having surgery too and it was nice to hug each other and say a prayer together. It was nice for our parents to have each other there too! So, after hugging, they took me into a room and got me all undressed, capped and urine-sampled. After that the anesthesiologists came in to talk to me and they were so sweet! They took extra precautions because of my Cerebral Palsy and calmed the Holly waaay down. He even got a vein on the first stick, when I hadn't even eaten or drank anything, which is QUITE the accomplishment. It was super scary when they wheeled me in the opposite direction of my family, after I signed my living will. (I left everything to Belle.) There were some tears from all of us, and as they wheeled me into the OR, I stared up at this view,
thinking, "Hmm...this is the view people always have in movies right before they die. I could die. They just said there is a chance they could cut my carotid artery and I could die. *deep breath* I think I've had a pretty good life. I could die now and be happy. It would suck for my family though. I won't die."
The anesthesiologists were really cute. It was nothing like when I got my wisdom teeth out and the doctor was like, "Count backwards from ten," then all the sudden I was sick, in pain, in a weird position in a weird room, with no idea what in the hell was going on. This time, the doctors held my hand and said, "Okay sweetie, you're just gonna go to sleep for a while ok? We'll take good care of you, we promise. Just go to sleep." Then I woke up, someone was holding my hand and covering me with warm blankets and saying, "You just woke up from surgery, honey. You did great! Don't move your head, ok? I'm gonna get you some ice chips." And I totally remembered everything that happened that morning. The guy next to me in recovery wasn't quite so lucky. He was really confused and scared. I felt really bad for him so I said a few prayers for him. :(
After recovery they moved me into this room with a lazy boy in it and I was really annoyed that they didn't give me a bed, but once the medicine wore off I totally understood. I ended up sleeping most nights in my parents' lazy boy, with Spence on the couch next to me and my little Belle on my lap. She wouldn't leave my side. Anyway, I was able to see my fam and they all cried and said they were proud of me for not dying. (In so many words.) ;)
After a while, a nurse came in and said that our RN, Lori, was on her way over to turn on my device! I was excited because we thought we were going to have to wait a couple of weeks for it to be turned on, but also nervous, because....well...they were gonna turn it on. I made Spencer hold my hand as Lori scanned my chest with a grocery scanner. ;) Then she put a palm pilot on my chest and turned it on. I thought I would be able to feel it a lot more than I did. It feels like someone is pushing on my adam's apple...kinda a gaggy feeling just for a second. It goes off every 4 and a half minutes for 30 seconds. My final charge will be somewhere between a one and two. Right now I'm set at .25, but they want me to get used to it first. If I swipe my magnet, it goes off at a .5 for one minute. I'm getting it turned up in two weeks.
After we turned it on I was so excited and grateful I asked Lori if I could hug her and we all got teary-eyed! I was just so grateful! I know I still have about a year to go, but I feel like we've conquered such a milestone. Lori was bawling because she says I remind her of her daughter, and she wants to help me how the VNS helped her daughter. I want that too. I know I'm an Aggie through and through...but I LOVE UNIVERSITY HEALTH CARE. Especially their neuroscience program. If you ever need surgery, GO TO THE U OF U! They're wonderful! Don't go anywhere else. Which leads me to my next story...
Saturday night was a hard night. It involved me throwing up exorcist-style alllllllll night long. Around 6 am Easter morning, right as I was falling asleep, I had a seizure. Spencer swiped my magnet, but it's at such a low level it didn't do anything. So, an ambulance ride later I was at McKay Dee Hospital ER. They sent me home without the normal procedure, despite my family's insistence, and half an hour later, I had another seizure. So, another ambulance ride later, (my dad beat us to the hospital, btw) back in the ER, I was tortured by idiots who would NOT believe me that they needed to use a butterfly needle, and they wouldn't believe my mom that they needed an ultrasound machine, so they poked me SEVEN times before they got a vein. Yeah, SEVEN. It took my mom yelling at them to get someone experienced in there instead of the rookies. They were going to transport me to the U but they couldn't get me stabilized. I don't remember it but it was not good, apparently. My mother and father-in-law came to see me though, thanks guys! It really meant a lot to me and Spencer to have you there.
So, my birthday AND Easter were both ruined. LAME! But I'm hoping once I start feeling better I can make up for it with some sort of vacay. And, in all honesty, Easter wasn't ruined at all...I spent a lot of time thinking about the Atonement. How Christ made it possible for me to have eternal life, and how in that life my body will be perfected. I thought a lot about the miracle that happened not on the cross, but in the Garden, when he paid for all of my sins AND suffered all of my trials, all of my heartache, all of my physical pain, all of my fear, all of it...so that I could give the burden to him and not have to bear it alone. I felt very non-alone this week. I know my Father in Heaven and my Older Brother were right there beside me, along with some other angels. I'm so grateful for the gospel in my life, not only for my knowledge of it, but for the people it's brought to me, for the principles it teaches.
I had soooooooo many people visit me, call me, text me, bring my family dinner, I'm gonna be writing thank yous forever! Then when I got online I had TONS of sweet comments from everyone. THEN when I got home I had flowers and balloons and dinner from the Relief Society....and not just that, but I really could feel everyone's prayers and good vibes. I still can. I'm doing well. I'm extremely sore, but extremely happy. This is it; I know it! This is going to be a new life for us, and I can't wait to get started. Thank you to EVERYONE for their prayers, calls, texts, e-mails, IMs, cards, messages, flowers, balloons, treats, food, love, and just genuine goodness! We have such amazing friends and we couldn't do it without you. We love you!! It's only gonna get better from here.