Thursday, March 4, 2010

march hates me...

I don't know what it is about the month of March but I'm fairly certain it hates me! WARNING This is the longest post in history and is also a pity me post so if you don't want to know about our March misfortunes then just stop reading here and save yourself the boredom...

At the very beginning of last March I'd had enough of the tooth pain I'd been feeling for the past several weeks so I decided to go to the dentist. Not so glad that I did because I left the office being told I had 14 cavities (and yes, I do brush my teeth, I blame it on having been pregnant with Halle). I went back and had them filled but was told that several of them were really deep and that I might need a few root canals - a new experience for me. I wasn't too excited about the prospects though because everyone always compares everything bad to still being better than a root canal, so I put it off.

That didn't last long because in the weeks that followed I had the worst tooth pain I'd ever experienced in my life. I loaded up every single day on 800mg Ibuprofen as often as it said I could take it, sometimes more often. When that would no longer touch the pain I would take the left over Oxycontin from my c-section. NOTHING helped so I finally caved and called the dentist. I got two root canals and finally felt better - for a while.

One morning I woke up around 4:00 am to go to the bathroom and when I looked in the mirror I noticed that I had a cheek the size of a cantaloupe - no exaggeration. It wasn't painful really just this HUGE infection in my face. That is to say it wasn't painful until it started swelling more (as if that was possible) and then it really started to hurt. I waited as long as I could and then called my dentists emergency number around 6:30 am. He told me the office opened at 9:00 but he could see me at 8:30 (gee thanks) or I could go to an emergency dentist.

When I got to the dentists office he got this knife and made an incision in my cheek to try and drain the infection out of it, which didn't work. He tried a few other things, none of which worked and then he told me he would call the endodontist and try to get me an appointment the same day. I got an appointment with the endodontist at 2:00 and went home to wait it out. When I FINALLY got to the endodontist he told me that I needed yet another root canal to relieve the pressure and infection in my cheek and that he would put me on an antibiotic to help clear up the infection.

All of that sort of worked and the swelling went down but even with the antibiotic, the infection never really went away. Every 20 minutes or so I'd have to run into the bathroom and spit out the puss that would drain from my cheek into my mouth - totally gross I know. If you think reading about it is gross, you should try tasting it every 20 minutes for 4 or 5 days. I called my dentist back and said that I didn't think the antibiotic was working, no kidding. He put me on a stronger antibiotic to help clear up the remaining infection. Oh nice side note, the new antibiotic had a warning label that said "causes severe diarrhea" - awesome.

At last I had all of my medical problems solved - or so I thought. About a week after my teeth problems, I started to get really sick and have the same symptoms of my esophagus problems that I had last year. Being seasoned at faulty esophaguses I didn't want to over react to anything (and ride in an ambulance again) so I just kept taking my anti-inflammatory esophagus pills and went about my merry business. One day just after I woke up I suddenly got violently ill. My cure for feeling ill is to get in the shower, it seems to take the pain away, if even momentarily. This shower didn't help. While I was in there I couldn't stop vomiting - something I avoid doing at all costs! I was doubled over in pain and couldn't even stand up straight. I got out, called my mom and asked her to come get the kids so I could rest off whatever stomach bug it was that I had. She came and got the kids and I got into bed hoping to sleep off whatever this was.

Laying in bed wasn't helping, nothing was. I called Preston and told him what happened and asked what I should do. He was little or no help (sorry Preston but you weren't) and worse, he couldn't even leave work to come wait on my hand and foot. I waited a few more hours and when I could take it no more I called Preston back and told him he had to come home and drive me to the hospital. I didn't care if I was over reacting, I knew the hospital had medication that could make me feel better, even if it was going to be expensive - I didn't care. He said he still wasn't able to leave work but that he called his dad and he would come and take me. Great, just what every girl in traumatic pain wants - their father-in-law driving them to the hospital. I didn't care, at least I was going to be headed in the general direction of the hospital. It was all I could do to sit upright on the way there.

Once I got admitted, they gave me an IV so I could interveinous pain medication (praise heaven) and my life was grand again, I didn't care what happened after that - or so I thought. They ran some blood tests, did an ultrasound and found out that I had gall stones that had fallen into my pancreas. My gallbladder was kapoot. Not only that but the doctor said he couldn't believe I was actually conscious let alone that I walked into the ER under my own power. He told me that my pancreatic lipase levels were high. What the heck are pancreatic lipase levels? Come to find out that its an enzyme that essentially measures the health of your pancreas. Normal levels are between 0-50 and 160 is considered high. Mine were 82,000. My liver and kidney levels were also high. Normal is around 50 for both and mine were 5,000 and 8,000 respectively. My entire body was infected and I needed to have my gallbladder removed.

They couldn't get a surgeon to do it that same night so they scheduled it for the next morning. They took my gallbladder out and sent me to the recovery room. I ended up having to stay an extra night because my lipase levels weren't dropping enough and they wanted to monitor me until they were sure my levels were going to return to "normal". Turns out that having your gallbladder out is worse than having a c-section, and harder to recover from.

Fast forward to this March...

Halle got sick. Nothing special, all kids get sick. I took her into the insta-care and found out she had an ear infection and some sort of virus that is making her barf. A day or so later Annie got sick, barfing and all. Luckily, it didn't last long for Annie. But I swear, even the 24 hour bug feels like forever because it feels like you're doing laundry for the next 10 days. Both kids were feeling a little better so I decided to keep my bi-monthly hair appointment and drop my kids off at my mother-in-laws house.

Once I was at the salon I got this hair brained idea (no pun intended) that I wanted to go back to my natural color for a while to give my badly broken hair a break from all the bleaching. My natural color is a really dark, ashy blonde. I told the stylist my plans and she thought it was a brilliant idea. I told her that I didn't want anything with any red in it or anything too dark. I left the salon with dark brown hair with a red undertone which looked NOTHING like my natural color. I did NOT like it but I was determined to wait a few days and give it a chance. When I went to pick up the kids, my mother-in-laws face when she saw me said it all - she was horrified.

Later that night I started to feel sick. I was in the bathroom every 20 or 30 minutes from about 11:00 p.m. on and while I was running in and out of the bathroom the only thing I could think was "I hate my hair".

The next morning, after not sleeping all night long, I called my mom to come and get my kids because I was just so sick! Meanwhile, back at the ranch, Halle is still sick and throwing up so I called the doctor and asked my mom to take her in. Come to find out she has a condition called gastroenteritis, which causes kids to stay sick and keep barfing and having diarrhea unless the get enough fluid to flush it out. Only problem is, they can't have any dairy, juice, fruit or plain water - so all that's left is gatorade or pedialyte. Halle hates both so she's not staying hydrated enough and she is supposed to be drinking between 16-32 ounces a day. She's probably averaged 8 ounces a day if we're lucky. The poor thing has lost so much weight and is SO SKINNY! I called the doctor again and he didn't seem overly concerned but the poor thing is still constantly sick! And to top all that off, my washing machine broke and I can't wash ANY of the barfed on, pooped on or virused clothes!

It cost me $150 to get hair I hate and then have it redone, $75 in copays for all the numerous doctors visits we've made, $50 for all the medications we've needed and my washing machine is bound to cost $150 to have repaired - and it's only March 4th!

*March 5th* - Instead of costing us around $100 to get the washing machine fixed, it is costing us $511.00 + tax! The computer board went out which the repair guy said almost never happens (he's only ever seen one other) and he also said it is about the worst and most expensive repair you can do. Awesome.