Monday, October 31, 2011

Guest Post at Life Spelled Jen

Hi Lovelies, today I'm guest posting over at Life Spelled Jen and it's all about colored jeans! 
Go check it out! 

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Part III: Fire in the ICU

Hi Lovelies. I promised you a thrilling part III, I hope I can deliver. Here is the third and final part of my special series, A Healthy Dose of the Hospital. If you missed part 1 or part 2 you can check them out here. Now to begin. 

Last I left off I had come out of surgery quite gracefully (insert sarcasm) and was beginning my recovery back in the ICU. Normally, this would be where my story gets boring and trails off to vacant thoughts about the whole experience, but not so. This is actually where the story gets really exciting (and almost unbelievable). 

I was just about to finish my first walk through the hall post-op. My nurse opened the ICU doors to find the nurses scurrying in panic to the room two doors down from mine. My nurse stopped one of the other nurses that was running past, "What's going on?" she asked. The other nurse answered back, "There is a fire." My nurse rushed me back to my room and told me to stay put while they put out the fire. I saw from my window into the ICU one nurse rushing to the other room with a fire extinguisher. Five minutes passed with my family and I held up in my room, watching as more nurses and now, admin staff ran into the other room. 

Turns out, they couldn't actually put the fire out and it had spread to the room next to mine. The area outside of my room was beginning to fill up with smoke. My nurse reappeared with a panicked look on her face, barged into my room, "You're the only patient in the ICU that can walk and it looks like we are going to have to evacuate everyone. So I want you to head on out now." She handed mom, dad, and I all masks to wear as we left the ICU. 

Ok then, I said to myself, with a little shrug, far too drugged up on pain killers to really fully grasp the situation. Off we went, Dad on one side, Mom on the other, masks on. As we left through the ICU doors firemen in full gear came running in. I shuffled to get out of their way. We made it out safe so I plopped down on a chair in the waiting area in the hall. My parents and I watched as more firemen rushed from the stairs into the ICU. Holy cow! Was this seriously happening right now? A fire, really? 

So naturally, with all the commotion I got sick...(a basic theme throughout my hospital stay). Thank god for mom! In the midst of all the chaos, she had thought to grab a pillow and a puke bucket! All a girl could ever ask for! I puked right there in the lobby in front of who knows how many people. 

A nurse came running up to my Dad who had been sitting next to me in the lobby, "Sir, can you help? We need as many hands as we can get." Dad jumped up and off he went into the smoky ICU to save the day and help evacuate patients. 

Dad came back 10 minutes later with quite the story. He had aided in the evacuation of a helpless patient on a ventilator. The patient had just undergone some pretty serious surgery judging from his wounds. Dad said the nurses were pulling cords out of the walls left and right trying to get him unattached from all of the machines. I was just glad to have my Dad back safe and sound. 

Another truckload of firemen arrived and came flooding up the stairs, past me, and into the ICU. Surely, they could get this fire under control. At the same time, a nurse had arrived at my makeshift space in the lobby to wheel me away to some place safer (and preferably with a bed).  Off I went, away from the fire. I settled in to a nice room downstairs in the overflow area of the hospital where I would stay until discharge in the morning...

Quite the day, I thought to myself. Did that seriously happen?

You'll be happy to know that no one was hurt in the fire or evacuation process thanks to my Dad, the tireless nurses, and the firemen. The ICU was closed for two days after the fire for a deep cleaning and rebuilding. One nurse mentioned it was the first fire in the hospital's history. 

Thanks for a thrilling visit, Emanuel! A life changer for sure! 

But in all seriousness, Thank you to the amazing nurses and doctors of the Nuero ICU! 
You are beyond kind and caring!
I will see you all again in January for operation numero dos.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Part II: Surgery

Ok, where did I leave off last time? Oh right, brain cyst, must operate. If you didn't get a chance to check out Part I of my series, A Healthy Dose of the Hospital, click here to catch up. 

After visiting the ER, I was instructed to head to Legacy Emanuel to be admitted as a patient where a neurosurgeon was on call and ready for me. We arrived at the hospital and I walked into the nuero ICU to get settled in to my new digs (complete with awesome bed and my very own bathroom). To everyone's surprise in the ICU, I walked in. (The nurses mentioned that most patients coming to the ICU did not usually fair so well). 

It was ackward at first, putting on a silly hospital gown, and socks lined with stickies to reduce the chance I would fall on my way to and from the bathroom and my bed. I didn't feel like I was sick, like I or my condition was deserved of being in the ICU. From my experience in my last job working at a hospital I knew that the ICU was where they put all CRITICAL patients. Was I critical? I mean, I was in pain, but I surely didn't feel critical. 

I settled in for the night, still bewildered by all that was about to take place. Brain surgery in the morning, no biggie. 

I laid down to sleep. Tonight, I thought to myself, I might actually get to sleep well...(minus the hourly check-ups). The thought of a good night's rest excited me. The past month I dreaded falling asleep every night because I knew that in a few hours, when my sleep cycle was at it's deepest, a migraine would sneak up on me and keep me awake and in pain for hours. Wistfully, sleep did not come so easily.   

Although the doctor had prescribed some heavy drugs to reduce the pain, my head still throbbed. The night went by slower than any night had ever gone by. I found myself constantly looking up at the clock only to discover that three minutes had passed. 

Around midnight the night got a bit more exciting. I projectile vomited ALL over the room- the curtains, the computer, the bed, my phone, my legs, my face....everywhere. I felt so bad for the nurses as they cleaned up my mess. EEEWWW. After I had re-situated myself in a new, freshly clean bed, I once again attempted to drift off into Dreamland. No luck. My face had begun to go numb. I called the nurse to let him know. I shifted my sleeping position, hoping that might help the numbness. The numbness persisted. At one point my whole right side of my face was numb up to my eyeballs. It was quite an odd feeling. Half of my tongue, teeth and lips were totally numb, but the other half normal. I finally found a position that relieved the numbness and shut my eyes. 

The rest of the night was thankfully, drama free. In the morning (5am) I was wheeled out of the ICU to get a MRI. Man, those things are horrible with a capital H. That noise! Really? Is that necessary? I had to stay perfectly still for an entire HOUR while this machine made the worst noises I've ever heard.  I'm so glad I shut my eyes before it began because, from what people have told me, it can get scary. 

Around 7am that morning I was informed that my surgery had been moved up due to my deteriorating health. (Apparently projectile vomiting and numbness are not good signs). Surgery took place later that morning around 10am. 

Surgery went well and of course I puked all over myself coming out of anesthesia (I must say, not my finest moment). I had two new wounds where the doctors had inserted a shunt and a brand new haircut. 
Stay tuned for part III of my series: A Healthy Dose of the Hospital, to find out what very unexpected events take place during recovery....seriously, you'll never guess. 

Monday, October 17, 2011

Part 1: An unexpected trip to the ER

Hi Lovelies. As you may have noticed, I've been away from the blogosphere for a bit. But, trust me, I have a very GOOD excuse.    Here is part 1 of my 3 part series, A Healthy Dose of the Hospital

Let's start from the beginning:
For the last month I've had daily migraines that were quite disabling. They usually happened at night so, let's just say I was REALLY tired all the time and taking A LOT of Excedrin. On top of that, I had a strange whooshing noise in my ear that had begun to actually effect my hearing as it was getting louder and louder. So all this was good and dandy until last Saturday when I woke up with blurry vision too. 

Fast forward to last Tuesday- I was balled up on the floor with a hairdryer in one hand and the other wiping my tears. This was the worst headache EVER! I couldn't take it anymore! So I called my dad and he decided it was time to go to the ER. I was hesitant to go since I had gotten the ol' brush off from doctors before. 
But we headed there anyway, and, as usual, I got the run around from the doctor. "You look perfectly healthy.""You're young." To the doctor's credit, he wisely decided to do a CT scan just in case....

A few minutes after the CT scan the doctor comes into the room, "Well, I was expecting to see a healthy  scan, but...(I hold my breath) it came back abnormal." DUN DUN DUNN (insert ominous music here) "I've talked to the neurosurgeon at Emanuel and he's preparing for your arrival there."  

Turns out I had developed a cyst in my brain that was putting pressure on my brain stem....yikes 

Tune in for part II of the adventure! Coming soon!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Here kitty, kitty

So I've been looking for a killer Halloween costume for this year and I think I've found one that should work. Last year's costume was quite a disappointment (I waited too long to get organized and ended up going as the lamest tennis player you've ever seen). This year I want something cute, that shows off my figure, but covers everything because (let's be serious here) it's really cold toward the end of October and I don't want to freeze my little butt off. It's cute, cheap, and it's doubtful I'll show up to a party and find my kitty twin. 
What do you think? Any suggestions? 

Monday, October 3, 2011

Obsessing over...

Maxi Skirts
The perfect addition to keep warm, but stay stylish in the cooler weather! 
You can pair this skirt with just about anything! So versatile! <3
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