Thursday, April 27, 2006

Back in the E-E-ER!

Tuesday night I reluctantly ended up back in the emergency room. That horrible pain in my side was still recurring, with a midgrade one occuring Monday night after I had gotten home from the hospital, and then one on Tuesday afternoon that made me think that all of my innards on my right side was going to explode! Alex called my surgeon's office and the doctor on call said that it couldn't have been a pinched nerve, because of how often the pain was recurring. We went to another hospital that was still in our primary care network and after a 2 hour wait, we were finally seen by none other than the same doctor as my first trip. I guess you could call it lucky, because we didn't have to start over from scratch with all of the medical history. He had me drink a nasty tasting liquid which was equivilent to the size of a big gulp from 7-11 so that I could take a CT scan. It turned out that I have a kidney stone about 2 mm in size, but still packed a powerful pain punch! They said it's like a grain of sand, but it hurts because it's not perfectly round and scraping its way down the urethra. Usually they let patients go because it normally passes on its own, but since I was in so much pain and my back meds weren't working for this pain, they admitted me for pain management. I got a room at about 7:30 on Wednesday morning and was discharged today at almost 3. There were so many complicating factors surrounding my stay in the hospital because of my upcoming back surgery, but to make a long story short, I'm having an outpatient surgery tomorrow to remove the kidney stone. many hospital visits and I haven't even had the disc replacement surgery yet!

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Adventures in the ER

We spent 12 hours in the ER on Sunday night. Got there at midnight and ironically left there at noon on Monday. (What's with the number 12?) I guess my body wanted a hospital practice run before May 4th. Actually, I had a new pain...a different pain from my usual back troubles. This one was still in my back, but off to my right side and wrapped its way around towards the front. I couldn't get comfortable no matter what position I was in, and was literally crying in bed because it was so unbearable. I had no idea what it was. Something with my kidneys? An infection? Appendicitis? Reluctantly, I agreed to go to the emergency room. Talk about a production! We had to walk Buster, pack some things for the kids, wake them up (which is never a small task!), get them and their things into the car, drop them off at my parents house (11:30 at night!) and then finally be on our way downtown.

So many things happened around us that night. There was a code blue down the hall, which was broadcasted over the intercom system, and I could hear the noise of them doing chest compressions. A Korean lady broke her hip, but there was a communication barrier amongst her, the doctor, and nurses. Because she was combative (probably from being in so much pain) they had to restrain her but luckily called a family member over to serve as an interpreter. A man next door seemed to be a regular pain meds receiver there, known quite well by nurses. I couldn't help but overhear their conversation because his room was right next door to mine. Actually, I couldn't help but observe everything that was going on around us because everything is so loud there on the floor so it seemed like nothing could be kept secret. While I waited in my room, I also wondered how the man in his mid 20's accompanied by his 2 friends broke his hand and also about the little girl a few doors down that had trouble breathing and was so sick they had to admit, and hoped that she would be better soon...hoped that they all would be better soon. What a night. What an adventure! After seeing all of that in addition to going through my own ordeal, it felt so good to finally be home and be in my own bed without being around people that are unfortunately sicker than you or ones that only frequent the ER for pain meds paid for by taxpayers!

So my pain ended up to "probably" be a pinched nerve due to my back issues. All of my tests came out normal and they couldn't find out the source of my pain, so they said it was most likely due to my bad disc. The ER doctor and my surgeon's office both said to increase my pain meds and take 1 1/2 to 2 pills every 4 hours, instead of 1 every 8 hours, and lucky for me my surgery's next week so I won't be a walking zombie for long! You know before all of this excitement, I was pretty apprehensive about my back surgery even though I know it's going to pretty much save my life. It's a major thing, and I kept on freaking out about being put under, being in the hospital, being away from my children, the recovery process, etc., but spending the night in the ER helped me overcome some of my fears and in turn, made me realize that this whole ER experience wasn't such a stumbling block after all. That in fact, this was a hidden blessing that was sent to reassure me that everything's going to be ok. :) So with things in a new perspective for me, I'm ready for the surgery with my chin up and eager to take things one with one step at a time!

Friday, April 21, 2006

Surgery Time

We heard back from UCSF on Friday and my surgery date is set! My pre-op appointment is on May 1st, the surgery itself is set for the 4th and I'll be in the hospital for about 4 days after that. Perfect timing for my birthday huh! I guess I should look at it as the best birthday present in the world, but anxiety is starting to set in. As soon as I got the news, I started to feel sick. Three hours later, my asthma was still bothering me and I still felt like I want to throw up. I need to get over it though and realize that this is the beginning of something great! I'll finally have my life and my freedom back again with a growing lengthy list of things to do. Wish me luck!

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Overnight Trippin'

Last Tuesday, Alex and I took an overnight trip down to San Francisco for my doctor's appointment and stayed overnight at the Radisson Miyako in Japantown. It was so nice to get away (although I was in so much pain from the ride) and also nice to see the Bay Area again after so long. I had forgotten how truly beautiful it is there and how much I missed it and missed living there. Just seeing the mountains and hills again reminded me of how flat Sacramento is! Our hotel room was nice. Not extravagant nice or Trump Towers nice, but pleasant and not tacky or stuck in the 70's like a lot of hotel rooms are. It was very spacious for a hotel room and everything was decorated in a contemporary Japanese theme, including the ceiling and the windows. We also had a king sized sleep number bed and I was in LOVE! Here are some pics that I took:

The heavenly sleep number bed...

The view from the hallway (my back was to the room door, closet and the bathroom)...

Also fell in love with the deep whirlpool tub and the bath salts (Ok, they could've updated the glass blocks, but it was still nice. LOL)...

Ok so about the food! We were surrounded by restaurant madness! We decided to walk to the Japan Center, which was right down the street and have dinner there. It was so overwhelming because there were so many places to choose from, and I made myself and Alex walk the entire mall until we settled on somewhere to eat. The restaurant we picked was yummy, with a good balance of sushi, sashimi, and entrees. One of the sushi rolls that we got was a Tonkatsu roll and they breaded the roll in panko, deep fried it, and served it with Tonkatsu sauce and it was absolutely delicious! We also got some hamachi sashimi, an order of inari sushi, a spicy tuna roll, a teriyaki/tempura bento, dinner salad, miso soup, and shared everything. After dinner, our way back to the hotel we passed a little coffee shop that had some butter mochi, lychee mochi, pastries, truffles, ice cream, coffee drinks, lychee slushies and mochi slushy drinks. We were both so full, but Alex needed some coffee and I had to get a lychee slushy and some lychee mochi to go. We went back to the hotel room and I soaked in the whirlpool tub for a bit before we settled in and watched a movie on Adella (my laptop). The next morning, we checked out and headed out to my doctor's appointment at UCSF. It was a really good appointment and everyone there was so nice. The appointment itself surprisingly lasted for 3 hours but it was nice to not have that rushed feeling at a doctor's appointment for a change. So although it was short, it was a nice trip to the city. I wanted to take more pictures, but it rained most of the time that we were there and I didn't want to get the camera wet. I would have loved to stay longer as well, but we weren't there for a vacation and had to get back to our family. Besides, if all goes well we'll be back there soon enough!

Monday, April 03, 2006


I'm so tired. You would think that since I only got about 3 hours of sleep last night, that it would be easy for me to fall back asleep and take a little nap...but, not so much. :(

Somebody pass me some Ambien please.