Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Blood IS thicker than water

Today we measured my INR level again and found that my blood has become a little too thick for my own good. This is not good news given the fact I want to get these tight knee high socks off my feet. I distracted mom this morning and she didn't notice until too late this afternoon that I didn't put them on. Ha! These cheap thrills probably won't last too much longer!

This weekend was nice, although it feels like I have a bit of the could be laziness though...hard to say really. Mom tried to get my mind off my nausea by holding a calligraphy lesson at the kitchen table...too bad we didn't have Grandad here to give us some real lessons because our 1/2 hour attempt ended with a couple squiggly lines and unfortunately nothing to call home about. We also played cribbage and it's a shame, but my flu must cause a bit of memory loss because I can't remember who won? I'm sure it was me though...

I have been very diligent about the exercises and lifting weights everyday, but oh what to do with the other 23 1/2 hours!?

Friday, February 22, 2008

Around the Town...

In an effort to pry out the crutch that had found it's way up my behind, mom and Bernie treated me to dinner out last night. We went to my favorite Italian restaurant where I ate two loaves of bread, caesar salad and half my dinner! :) Probably my biggest meal to date which not only brought the thought of weight loss to a screeching halt, but also could be the cause of some 'flu' like symptoms this morning.

Sitting straight up for that amount of time wasn't the most comfortable, but I know the outing was good for my morale. It even forced me to blow my hair dry for the first time in two weeks instead of throwing it up into some unrecognizable knot on the top of my head.

Tonight Josh is coming in town and I'm sure my parents are thankful for the reprieve...I'm not sure he knows what he's getting himself into...but he definitely always has a way of putting a huge smile on my face so my mood is lighter just thinking about seeing him soon.

On another note, I haven't had pain pills/narcotics in three days (if I make it thru tonight) and I'm feeling pretty good about that. The hip pain has proven to be manageable most of the time and when it's not I take tylenol. I also can't believe the amount of reaction I have from my quad the sitting position I can now lift my right foot into the air almost as high as the left. My arms are also getting quite strong from crutching around and I like to think I am starting to look like Linda Hamilton circa 1980's Terminator...although cruelly, like a fun house mirror, I am still reflecting more of a Roseanne Barr.

My real bone of contention lies with these stupid tight 'anti-blood clotting' socks I have to wear all day. They have holes at the end that are supposed to line up right under your toes on the bottom of your foot...but darn it if they don't manage to twist around and out pokes one or several of my toes. It's the most annoying feeling and mom finds joy in my complaining about something so trivial and only rarely can I convince her to twist the sock around to give my toes a rest. I suppose if I have to be complaining about something post-surgery...I'm glad it's this!

Today I am thankful. Thankful that I have great friends and family and VERY thankful that I chose Dr. Murphy. I realize his lack of personality might be too much for some to take, but I truly encourage those of you looking into this surgery to give him a real once over. He is pioneering a new technology (computer assisted) that allows him to cut less muscle/tendons, etc and prevents the many restrictions post surgery I have heard other individuals endure. I realize it is such a personal choice to determine whose hands you will put your life/health/body into, but at this point I truly believe I made a wise decision.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

A Pint a Day...

I'm not talking blood here either...

Last night I was feeling about as sorry for myself as possible and coaxed mom into handing over a pint of hagen daaz and a glass of wine. By coaxing I mean I of course held her at crutch point and she really had no chance. I may have the reaction time of a three-legged turtle, but take away my guilty pleasures and I'll surprise you.

This morning has found me with an upset stomach, a stale attitude and a desire to rewind two weeks and tell the surgeon I had a momentary lapse of sanity by agreeing to the surgery. Laying on my back for the majority of the day has not been good for me. Trips out of the house are exhausting and usually leave me needing a pain pill...which I actually have almost completely weaned myself off of (meaning mom has placed them on a shelf just barely out of my reach and even my handy grabber won't help me).

The good news is that my family and friends are still being patient with me, although I have a feeling this leniency won't last too much longer. I really am looking forward to this scar healing over so I can start getting in the pool without risk of infection...that and a nice long bubble bath...

Bit of good news though, I just skunked my mom at I've got that going for me...which is nice. ;)

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Now that's a lot of fluid...

For those of you who I have had the opportunity to talk to this weekend...I'm pretty sure I mentioned my displeasure at not only the GINORMOUS size of my operated leg, but the weight I gained in the hospital as well. After really not eating for 7 days I came home weighing 15 lbs more than when I went in. As mom tried to console me that it was just fluid from my leg...all I really heard was FIFTEEN POUNDS!

At the cost of numerous trips to the bathroom in the middle of the night (which also means the cost of mom getting up with me 6 times a night to get me in and out of bed), I was elated to see the number this morning...down 17lbs. My leg is still the size of a tree trunk (I'm thinking Pine...more than Giant Redwood) but I'm told this is a normal reaction to such a serious surgery.

The pain from the surgery has subsided since in the hospital, but I do notice in the mornings, after switching from back, to side to stomach in an attempt to get comfortable, I have a great deal of pain. I truly wish I could be comfortable sleeping on my back, but it just ain't happening.

The exercises that Dr. Murphy gave me are going really well and my quad muscle is finally starting to respond to my attempts at lifting it off the ground. 1/2 inch is something after all. :)

I've been very worried about all the weight that my left leg is taking while I'm on the crutches as I have a pretty severe case of dysplasia in that hip as well. The more I do, the more my muscles seem to be responding and helping to compensate for that pain.

After the scar has healed, which we are assuming is next week, mom and I will be heading to the pool everyday. I'm told that I have to leave my competitive nature behind me, which includes the thought of flip turns and trying to beat the little wimp over in lane one who just lapped me again. Now this might be a big challenge.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Thank You All!!!!

The Hospital Window

Chanda AND Craig and Jos (Same beautiful bouquet)

Bernie and Mom


Bill , Mike, Gram and John


Katie, Luke, Emily and Brent


Liz and Brent


Granny and Grandad

Dad and Yvonne


Bernie (mostly for mom for V-day...but I like to think they were for me too! ;) )

So as you can see I am so lucky to have such amazing friends and family. There were so many other people who sent their love, prayers and thoughts through phone calls, emails and visits to the hospital and I want you to know how much I appreciate that. It takes something like this to really understand how very lucky a person is....I feel like I am the luckiest woman in the world. Thank you again...everyone!
Also, a special thank you to Lauren and Denise who helped my mom especially through this difficult time by ensuring we knew what to expect and were always there to call anytime for support and encouragement. We can't thank the two of you enough. You too Jennifer and Rachel for all the pre-surgery support! :)

Back in the saddle again

Much to the chagrin of the nurses...who I like to think secretly enjoyed my boughts of head to toe itches, nausea and even steeping low enough to call me Sandy....I am finally home sweet home.

What I have been able to do so far:
1. Use my crutches to move around the house (mostly from the bed to the bathroom to the couch and repeat
2. Get in bed by myself by using my arms to drag my body behind it
3. Get out of bed by myself by 'hooking' my leg with my good toes and slowly moving it to the edge of the bed
4. Use my crutches to pick up random things I drop on the ground. I do have a 'grabber' but I tend to leave it in any other room than the one I'm in.
5. Small exercises to start getting my quad back working again.
6. Wheel myself around the neighborhood in a wheelchair to help cheer my parents on when they are running and prepping for the Boston Marathon (mom even gave me a stick to ensure I could chase away any stray dogs...that had us laughing for a good 5 minutes)
7. Alternate standing and sitting in the shower

These may all seem like small feats to some of you...but believe me, I'm just happy to get out of bed each day and not feel that nausea. I've been spending a lot of time on the phone this weekend thanking friends and family for their thoughts, prayers, gifts of flowers and laughter, phone calls and emails. For those of you I haven't had the chance to talk to yet, please know how much you are appreciated and that I hope to talk to you soon. Everyone has also been asking about my time in the hospital, including my hip dysplatic 'sisters', so I thought I would give my day by day recap of the last week.

Day -1: The Last Supper
Mom drove into Atlanta the night before and we spent that morning finishing our last minute packing and trying to figure out how two people could possibly be taking five huge bags for a one week trip...especially since one of us would be wearing a hospital gown the entire time. The flight was a good one to Boston and once we got settled in the hotel (after a slight detour completely due to the lack of street signs in the city and not the orienteer genius in the passenger seat) we drove back to pick up Josh. Mom was right about one thing, I was on complete edge and definitely pushing my luck with the two of them with snide remarks and horrible humor to attempt to disguise my fear. In the end it wasn't hard to convince mom to let me take a sleeping aide to end the attack.

Day 0: D-Day
Having to be at the hospital by 9 left very little time that morning for anything...even Starbucks (now for anyone who knows my mom they are probably starting to really understand the sacrifices she is making latte in the morning?). After checking in and another set of x-rays I was directed to a room where they told me to get ready. Obviously they meant physically because my mind was a wreck emotionally and that part of 'getting ready' wasn't going to happen until the drugs starting flowing. After a significant amount of time the anesthesiologist came in and we discussed the fact a epidural would be insane (I must add my mom coached me to make eye contact and 'act sweet' so he would take care of me...If that wasn't enough her last words to him were 'don't make any mistakes or you'll have to deal with me'...or something along those lines ;). Dr. Murphy stopped by and autographed my right hip, further explaining it was a game time decision to include the femoral osteotomy. It was the first time mom or Josh had met Dr. Murphy so as he left we of course had another good chuckle that it was a good thing I wasn't looking for a friend or someone to smile at my jokes...which I of course expect from everyone. They wheeled me down to OR shortly after and I left Mom and Josh with tears in my eyes and huge hugs of encouragement. The next thing I really remember was asking the orderly if he would sing me a song while he pushed me to my room. I started up with 'no woman, no cry' but I don't think I ever really got him to open up to me...I'm sure he's pretty used to ridiculousness.

Day 1: If your itchy and you know scream out loud
This day is a bit of blur with exception to watching beautiful flowers being brought into my room...which I only saw in between scratching fits which left my body covered in welts and Josh and Mom's arms tired from my requests to SCRATCH HARDER!!! The icing on the cake this day was the nasty nurse who decided to take liberties with my name and call me Sandy repeatedly. I tried glaring at her but it came out looking more like I was constipated and I ended up with a Sandy it is.

Day 2: Slow learner
The second day was much like the first with Josh and Mom really wishing that their scratching duty was over. Apparently it took me a long time to figure out the more I pushed my pain pump the more itchy I would think my common sense would have kicked in...but I'll blame it on the pain. I do remember getting out of bed to walk three steps in the walker. At this point I was still very conscious of the fact the hospital gown did not close in the back and kept asking my mom to ensure I wasn't flashing the entire hospital. Believe me, this modesty went away VERY quickly.

Day 3 and 4: What goes in...must come out
After switching meds, so did my issues. After boughts of nausea I finally succumbed and wasn't able to keep anything down...not that I was eating much at all anyway. The PT's came in and encouraged me out of bed to make a stroll down the hallway in the walker. Mom had set up a CD Player to blast 'Eye of the Tiger' which was very motivating...and also completely in my head.

Day 5: Trouble comes in three's
So I'm somewhat over the nausea and a new friend has come to stay in the form of a Candida infection in my throat combined with some strep. At this point any hope at me eating anything had gone down the tubes and I was feeling even weaker than ever. I did manage to get out of the room to walk on crutches to the end of the hall. I wanted to enjoy my time out of the room so I decided to stretch the walk out a full 20 minutes...which of course had nothing to do with the fact I am pathetic on crutches and incredibly weak...
The best part of this day was a visit from one of my great friends Ryan, who drove down from New Hampshire. Not many people can make me laugh like Ryan, so it was a great distraction and his care package of my favorite DVD, CD and t-shirt was definitely enough to keep me going for the duration...

Day 6: Ice Cream Run and Pep Talk
Mom finally encouraged me to eat some food and even forces some prune juice down my throat. Screwed up taste buds and an inability to really distinguish food did not stifle the horrible, disgusting, putrid taste of prune juice. Vivid enough? So mom asked me what I really wanted and my answer was simple...a Dairy Queen Blizzard. So off she went, the amazing trooper and support system she had been, and came back with the largest ice cream I had ever seen. I should probably also mention there is only one DQ in Boston and mom paid over $20 for my request because of the fun parking situation in this city. So here I was, sitting in front of a dream of a meal and after one bite...I looked at my mom and with tears in my eyes I had to tell her that I wasn't going to be able to take another throat had got the best of me. Trying not to look upset that her efforts were in vain, mom put it in the freezer for me and we settled for some ice chips. We also had a visit today from the hospital psychiatrist. Apparently one of the lovely nurses had mentioned that I ‘jumped’ everytime they brought a needle in my direction. Forgive me for not enjoying the four IV’s and 14 or so blood draws and injections that I endured during my stay there…I suppose I must be a little crazy for not enjoying that. Anyway, the visit turned out to be really great as he was focused more on how I need to accept the fact I need to lean on people for so long after the surgery…and that it’s not a burden. He also helped me with some yoga breathing tips for pain and dealing with the loss of the fact I will not run again. Not sure breathing will get me to accept that…

Day 7: The Great Escape
I woke up this morning feeling quite nauseous which stifled my excitement at leaving...but mom quickly reminded me to put a smile on my face or I wasn't getting out anytime soon. Boy was I beaming after that. Nurse Mary stopped by one final time (imagine the old lady from King Pin...) and told me I was good to go. So with about 10-15 prescriptions in hand, my first trip in a wheelchair led me out of the hospital and into the rental car on the way to the airport. Upon checking into delta I realized my phone was still in the rental car. Good thing I was in a wheelchair because the police officer behind the counter flirting with the ticket lady felt sorry for the 'little handicapped girl' enough to call Enterprise personally and ask them to deliver it to the airport. He was either trying pretty hard to play the sympathy card or he was stuck in the 60's because he must have called me handicapped about 4 times and finally convinced them to bring it to me. My mom and I waited until we were through security to have a good chuckle about that. The flight home was quite simple and with me standing a couple times to stretch (and attract hordes of attention due to my tree trunk leg) we made it with little incident. Ramsey and Josh were at the airport to help load me into the SUV but it turns out my arms were a tad stronger than anticipated and I was able to pull myself up into the vehicle. Upon arriving home Bernie had cooked us an amazing dinner and the entire house was full of 13 dozen roses and flowers…it was the most amazing sight and it solidified the fact I was happy to be home sweet home.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

We have touchdown!!!!

After a 3 hour flight and a 4 hour car ride, Sam is back home in Alabama. Ramsey and I saw her today when she came in through Atlanta and we were amazed to see how well she looked. I had thought the flight would have been pretty rough on her but evidently was fairly uneventful; I'll let Sam ellaborate in following posts (just never refer to her as handicapped). To our surprise, with the extensive bed and comforter spread that her mom had prior prepared in the back of the SUV, Sam chose to sit up in the front seat. Im speechless.................. When I left on Sunday, I didnt think she would be released today but once I saw her in the airport today (with my Bo Sox hat by the way............which I miss but wouldnt think of asking for it back since she looks really cute in it), she had turned a 180. Still a little under the weather slightly, but in regards to mobility and overall look, I am quite certain that if I had told anyone out of the blue about what she had just gone through, they wouldnt have believed me. Crutches and all, 'hopped' right on in and off they went.
Sam will have her laptop on Friday night so she'll start taking over the blog by this weekend. Of course, that's after she has the chance to read the other 11 dozen sets of flowers that were awaiting her when she got home....................

Homeward Bound!!!!

Finally, she's coming home! Spoke with Sam last night for about half an hour and she sounded amazingly better. Aside from the increase in hip pain due to some more extensive hip OT/PT, she's doing much better since the nausea, spasms, and sore throat are being kept under control. They started giving her PO Dilaudid as opposed to the IV Dilaudid she was taking during the first days that was evidently causing the itches.
She's so ready to get out of there. Like Denise wrote in one of her comments, a week is behind us. She's up on her crutches and slowly gaining control of her right quad. It's fairly weak (given the fact that it was partially removed) but she's moving it as much as she can.
Her flight leaves today around 12:15 and she should land in Atlanta around 3:11. Im a little concerned about the flight since she hasn't had to sit up in a chair for that long. Im hoping that it'll be a pretty smooth ride which will allow her to get up every 30 minutes or so to get the blood circulating. We all know that those seats aren't the most comfy.
Ramsey and I will meet her at the airport and help her mom get her transfered into the SUV for the following 4 hour trip to Alabama. She's got a complete mattress and bedding setup ready to go so I hope it will be as painless as possible.
I would expect her to start calling and emailing all her friends, family, and supporters once she gets back in. Thanks again for all of your help!!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Day 6......Coming home soon

It's been 6 days since Sam's surgery and all signs are pointing to the hospital releasing her on Thursday as planned. However, much to Sam's dismay, she has had to battle her way through a series of unforeseen difficulties since she came out of surgery. Things she didn't expect nor anticipate have made the last 6 days that much more challenging. A combination of intense pain, body itch spells, nausea, and spasms have been her unwelcome companion during the last week. To add insult to injury, she has had a sore throat over the last couple of days which her mom believes to be tonsillitis/strep throat. After I spoke with Sam last night, the throat culture had not come back yet but it doesn't take a doctor to know that all the signs are pointing in that direction. To make things worse, she has had zero appetite which doesn't help fight off the infection nor help build up her strength for her daily physical therapy sessions. Her mom has informed me that she's doing great in her physical therapy sessions (she's up on crutches now) but after completion is completely exhausted since she's not getting the energy she needs due to loss of appetite. The nausea comes back from time to time, as you would imagine by taking some pretty stiff pain meds on an empty stomach.
For those that know Sam well, you know she is fighting to stay positive and get back on her feet. She's giving it everything she has. Every time I speak with her I tell her about the comments on her blog and how everyone is sending their best wishes and thoughts. Please continue to show your support for her. We all know this will get better as the days go by, but for Sam, each day is another challenge.
I'll post again when I know if she will be released for sure on Thursday.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Another day behind, another day forward

It's Monday now and Sam is still fighting with her old pal 'Nausea'. I can only imagine the type of pain she's feeling right now. She's been trying to fight the nauseousness for the last two days but after speaking with her mother this morning, it sounds like her buddy got the best of her last night. She's been trying to get it over with since it started, but she's been struggling between dealing with either the pain of not vomiting or the pain she would incur if it finally ever happened (lot of stress on the hips when that happens, evidently).
I had to leave yesterday to come back to ATL but found out this morning that Sam had a pretty rough night. All the pain medication is having its toll on her. Good news, however, I also found out once I got back, that she was able to get out of bed a second time yesterday afternoon. Just as twice in one day isn't amazing enough, with the help of her walker, she was able to make it down the hallway and back. I'm so proud of her. To know the extent of what her surgery entailed, seeing her get out of bed this soon after surgery, speaks highly of her drive to get back on her feet. I hope that she's seeing the progress she's making and that it keeps her in a positive mindset as she's fighting with the nausea and occasional spells of head to toe body itch.

We are still hoping that she'll be ready for release by Thursday so she can make the trip back to Alabama with her mom. I'll keep posting throughout the week as I get more info.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

"I feel like crap".........

I'm sitting here watching sam and her mom catching some brief zzz's. Her mom needed it just as mush as sam. Once again, typing on the BB since her room doesn't pickup wifi.

One complete day behind us. Last night was not as easy as we hoped. Evidently, the pill cocktail didn't do much to help quell the horrible itches that sam gets about 5-10 minutes after every dose. Comparable to bee stings all over, it has been the leading cause of discomfort since the surgery and we are hoping the new pill meds will keep the pain down while the dilaudid clears her system. Dil (as her mom calls it) has been a two sided friend; helps great with the hip pain, butis what we feel is causing the stinging. She's now on a combo of percocet, oxy ir, clartin, benedryl, and a one time dose of prince "V". I've never seen sam on valium before and I will forever be able to know if she takes it again. Talk about a complete knockout. She fought to stay awake in order to eat a full bowl of soup, crackers, and jello, but she would fall asleep in mid drink. She fought hard to stay awake but it wasn't easy.

Now we have this new companion called 'nausea'. Sam has come close to losing the soup about 3-4 times in the last few hours but has managed to keep it down.I feel that its the combo of meds on an empty stomach, later food, and repeated doses of more drugs that have brought her to this point. If it just wasn't for the nausea and the stinging, she would be doing amazing. She was running a fever earlier but it has come down to normal. The PT has come by a couple of times today but was unable to get sam up since she's been so nauseous. She's been soild sleepimg now for about 45 minutes (as her mom too) and I hope the nurses don't come by anytime soon. They've been pretty good but she just can't get any solid sleep due to the constant vitals checks and rounds. I hope this sleep she's getting will wear off her nausea and itchiness. As I sit here in my chair in the corner, lights off, door closed, BB in hand, and watching sam sleep, my eyes are constantly drawn to all of the flowers and gifts that she has received. All of her friends and family have been amazing and I want everyone to know how much it means to truly makes her smile when the "flower guy" comes by. I mean, honestly, her whole window is covered. Count on seeing pictures once she's aware enough to get on her computer. Thank you everyone. This has been unbelievably painfull and challenging for her but your love, thoughts, and prayers have made it easier to bear.

I might as well wrap this up since I don't want to wake her with more clicking of keys.thanks to all again and count on hearing from her personally once she has gotten past the first week or so.


Friday, February 08, 2008

Spasm = Nobody's Friend

Sam has spent the last few hours dealing with spasm's and incredible itches across her body. She's doing well; still making us smile with her typical little jokes. All the flowers she's been receiving has been keeping her in high spirits. Another day has passed, one more behind us.

I hope she rests well. I think her mom will....

Do the Hippy Hippy Shake

This day has been much like As the World Turns.
If you are into soaps read on. Sam & Dilaudid were intoduced to each other late yesterday evening, just prior to leaving the recovery room. Sam immediately took a shining to Dilaudid (Dil- as she likes to refer to him). Dil on the other hand was a reluctant companion- after all they had only met a few hours earlier.
The night was a tad on the rough side for Sam. She could not convince Dil that he should open up to her. Apparently Dil did not wish to share too much of himself with Sam on their first evening together. Sam on the other hand was willing to enter into a very intimate relationship with Dil. She really felt she needed him. Perhaps she was a little too needy for Dil.
As it turned out Dil may have known best as Sam suffered through a rather unpleasant evening feeling as though her skin was crawling all over and she could not make it stop- lets just call this experience ICC (Incredibly Creepy Crawly). Amazingly it happened everytime Dil got too close. Ben (Benadryl: antihistamine/anti-itch) and Ti (Tigan: anti-emetic/anti lose your entire stomach contents) were around to help the relationship.
A rocky romance for sure, leaving Sam with barely a wink of sleep.
Stay tuned for more on that relationship later!!
Phenergan better known as Phen (again- anti lose stomach contents) entered into the equation early in the day. He however would only agree to grace us with his presence every 6 hours (hard to believe, but apparently hospital policy in relationships like this!!). Anyways, between Dil, Ti, Ben & now Phen, Sam felt as though she was on a true roller coaster ride. The day progressed somewhat like this: Sam is alone, "Pain" (in the butt- or at least the hip; Did I forget to mention him?) rears ugly head, Dil shows up-briefly and ofcourse again not committing very much to the relationship. (Read here: MEN!!)
Anyways: Pain followed by Dil; followed by ICC; Sam feels incredibly creepy and yes quite nauseous (too many men in the room maybe?) so of course Ben, then Ti come along. Sam- feels no better. They bring in Phen, again not much help. Finally Sam's nurse decides "This is too much", she has a good talk with Dil and convinces him to show up more often and to stick around for longer too!!
He does and Sam finds herself a little unsure now; she feels a little unlike herself- floating, sometimes far, far away- often with her mouth open in disbelief.
Suddenly to everyone's surprise (including Mark & Emily- Sam's physical therapists) Sam leaps (well ok- inches) out of bed and springs up (drags herself up with walker) and does the HIPPY, HIPPY SHAKE (this part is true- if the hippy hippy shake is 3 steps forward and 4 steps back performed gingerly with only 25% of body weight on right flat foot!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)
Anyways at the end of the show- I mean the day, Sam finds herself deciding she would be better of without Dil. There's a new guy in town.
Stay tuned tomorrow for ......................

Some moms handle stress by creating great literary works, I write soaps.
PS: From the bottom of my heart thank you all for the calls, gifts, e-mails and mostly for your prayers- you have made such an incredible difference.

Meet my best friend....."DILAUDID''

One night behind us. Sams mom stayed the night with her. Our plan is to take shifts being with her so at least one of us is constantly by her side. I plan to stay the night unless sam's mom says otherwise; and of course, her word is the order.
The night was tough. She's in pain but maintaining that sense of humor. As you would imagine, the dose of morphine that's only a push button away, keeps her in and out of sleep; awake-pain, dilaudid-sleep. The dilaudid, however, is making her extremely itchy. She's sleeping right now; I hope she stays that way so the pain stays at bay.
Its not easy to see her in this type of pain but I get internal salvation knowing that as each hour passes, she's one step closer to having less pain.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

coming out of recovery.....more to come

Sam should be out of recovery in about 15 mins so ill keep this short, plus I'm typing on the BB and sausage fingers don't work to well.
Address is:
New england baptist hospital
125 parker hill ave. Room 543
Boston, ma 02120

No phone yet

Four and a half hours later....GREAT SUCCESS!!!!

Update #2.

Just spoke with Dr. Murphy. It's 4:45 Pm EST and she's done. Everything went perfect from what I understand. After I tried to listen and look like I understood all the medical lingidy, he said she should be just fine. Luckily, he didnt have to conduct the femoral osteotomy (the removal and rotation of the femoral head)!!!! No more blood loss than expected. I want to speak to him again just to hear him say it all over again so I can relax. Sam, when you read this, you have no idea how hard this is to sit here and wait...........................We literally chunked our laptops when we saw Dr. M. Your mom didnt want me to get her a coke since she didnt want to miss him coming in to give her the results. Baby, IM SO GLAD YOU ARE DONE WITH THIS. The hardest part is behind you. Now you can look to the future as the days go by and as you regain the strength and mobility of your leg, knowing that everyday you will see improvement.

I cant wait to get in there and see her. Unfortunately, we wont be able to see her for at least an hour or two. Therefore, I'll continue to bite my nails, or whats left, as the anesthesia slowly wears off while the nurses keep a sharp eye on her.

Again, a testament to her tenacity and strength. I knew she would do great. I wish I could fastforward the next few months.

Well, more updates to follow. Once we get her room and phone number, I'll post for everyone. Acting on behalf of Sam, feel free to send flowers.............lot's of flowers ;)


We are a go for launch!!!


Sam officially went in for surgery at 12:20 PM EST. Although she was taken in an hour late, she entered into the most challenging event of her life with courage and bravery. As we told her every minute that passed, we know she will do amazing. Sam asked me to update her blog once she went in, and after a somber lunch of New England Baptist Hospital's finest grilled chicken sandwhich and Lentil soup, we found a nice quiet place to keep every one updated. By 'we', I mean THM (see prior post for explanation) and Josh (otherwise known as 'Sam's Special Friend').

It wasnt easy seeing Sam battle back the tears as we anxiously awaited the trip to the OR, much less mine. And now its here......the day, the event, the challenge, the impending fix. I cannot express how proud I am of here. This has been something that she has dealt with for years and now the day has come. We have tried to keep her positive and motivated throughout the months (and as well since I have known and fallen in love with her) by telling her that she will be back on her feet in no time. I only hope it has helped. Throughout the last 3 months, she has opened up to me about all her fears and uncertainty of the surgery and now that its here, I feel that she was fully prepared; emotionally and physically.

A bit of good news: Once Dr. Murphy came in to discuss the surgery with Sam before taking her in, he informed her that he might not need to conduct the femoral osteotomy. Not to get into the specifics or that I could if I really wanted to, the femoral osteotomy would add about 2 hours to the surgery and more extensive rehab. In a nutshell, they were possibly going to remove the head of the femur, rotate a few degrees, and reattach with some extensive hardware in order to marry up the knuckle with the socket. But alas, we are keeping our fingers crossed that his opinion makes it through the next few hours. We'll keep you posted.

We've spent the last hour or so opening up her thank you gifts. To my surprise (although I know I shouldnt be since it speaks of her character), she bought gifts for me and her mom and gave us explicit instructions to not open until she "goes in". So here we the waiting room, and I open up a big red bag and discover the following: The classic childhood game of 'Operation'-----how fitting right?, 1 pound of Cherry Twizzlers (my fave), a box of calming tea, some Ferrero Rocher's, a battery powered shaking plush doll that screams out that it's MADLY IN LOVE WITH ME (you should have seen the audience in the room with us), and one pack of Breath Savers (since we have recently started to dog on each other that we can both have bad breath from time to time) See attached pictures. I like how she wore my hat :) ................... I love this woman.

Please keep her in your prayers and thoughts over the next few hours and days. I'll have her phone with me during her surgery if anyone wants an up to date status. Feel free to call. Wish her the best!!!

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Eve of Re-struction

This is Alexis, Sam's Mom.
I have promised her that I will contribute to her blog around her surgical time.
It is Wednesday night and we are checked into a Boston hotel.
The trip here was pretty uneventful with the exception of Sam learning some pretty interesting methods of how to quiet a mild to moderately turbulent flight.
We get lost on our way to the hotel, but manage to see Fenway Park and Harvard University in the process. Sam navigates us through the city in the dark and we arrive unscathed, despite seeing a record number of ambulances and police cars along the way.
In the event that we would have been lost in a Boston "neighborhood"-
Josh (Sam's special friend) is here to protect Sam- so all is well.
The road to Boston has been a long and painful one for Sam. She has suffered from hip pain for at least 5 years, had 2 femoral stress fractures and through-out that time ran several 1/2 marathons and adventure races. The pain persisted and eventually she was diagnosed with Developmental Hip Dysplasia and referred to a surgeon for PAO. On Monday her surgeon informed her that he may do a a femoral osteotomy as well. Sam never does anything half way. Dr. Murphy told her that he will make the decision regarding the femoral osteotomy following the PAO. It will add several hours to the procedure and at least 236 gray hairs to my head.
Faith- an essential part of the equation.
Sam has just completed her night-before-surgery hibiclens scrub and is moaning about how tacky (terribly sticky- not tawdry) it is. She has had a rollercoaster day- emotionally. I, who know her well have managed to stay out of the thick of it. Josh, who is fairly new to the equation has been caught in the cross-fire more than few times. He takes it well, and Sam- who is more than aware of her ricocheting psychological well-being lets us know how much she appreciates us both being here.
We will report for duty at 9:00am and her surgery will begin at 11:30am.
After all this tme I can't believe that "we're on the eve of "re"struction.
Sadly Sam & Josh have no idea what I am talking about with that line- I only hope that some of you might!
Thanks to all of you who have called and sent her well wishes. We will keep you all posted.
THM (Tragically Hip's Mom)

Monday, February 04, 2008

This is ground control to Major Tom...

I am having a hard time keeping my feet on the ground...

...I officially have 71 hours left until I am on the operating table. I have to say that I think I am handling it beautifully. Now you ask my friends and family and they might tell you that I am full of it and am a complete basketcase...but what do they know! ;)

Starting today I am focusing on packing everything I will need for my time in the hospital. For those of you who have your surgeries in the coming days and months, I hope this proves to be as helpful as the lists I have stumbled upon while preparing for this day.

1. Baggy pants - comfy pj's from the Tinevez family and some yoga pants from Lu Lu Lemon

2. A t-shirt to sleep in that smells of a certain individuals cologne. An additional shirt to wear during the day that reminds the nurses that yeah...I'm kind of a big deal. ;)

3. I-pod with all the music in the world...thanks to Sara for the additions last night. I also have two playlists with a bit of 'feel sorry for myself' music and another with 'suck it up and get better...worse things could happen' music

4. Non slip socks - and some bright new white ones care of Ray and Marion this Christmas! :

5. Toiletries: Incuding Bath and body works sweet pea lotion, Wet wipes and no-wash shampoo

6. Feather Pillow given to me from Yvonne and Dad about 15 years ago...still my favorite! I'm also bringing the shopping in Macao book to plan for my trip to visit you both in China this year...get your walking/shopping shoes on! :)

7. Beautiful quilt made for me by my granny and given to me this Christmas

8. Candy for the nurses...anything to get that private room and additional morphine... ;)
9. Comfy shoes. More specifically a pair of crocs from Auntie Fran!

10. Sodoku puzzle books, magazines and GMAT preps care of Richard's "thank God you are finally leaving us in peace" present and The Secret (Positive thinking book recommended by Bernie)

11. Netflix movies to watch on my latop thanks to the Accenture crew in Raleigh

12. Beautiful scarf and leather gloves from Terra, Rob, Craig and Jos to keep warm on the way to the airport after the surgery

13. Painting to remind me to always live, laugh and love...You are a bright shining star Jill!

14. My support crew: Mom and Josh

It is quite obvious, I hope, when reading this blog that I have amazing support from my friends and family. I can't thank all of you enough for your patience, advice, comfort and light hearted humor that has prepared me for this day. I'd also like to thank Lauren, Denise and Jennifer...individuals who had never met me prior to this operation but have provided unlimited amounts of support and encouragement...thank you SO much!