Day 4

Highlight:  Scrabble with my Dad       Listening to:  Mack the Knife

am now a resident of Strong Memorial Hospital for hopefully, the rest of the year.  My last stay was for 9 days and they did not want to let me go home because the doctor was certain that my water was going to break any day; due to a Placental Abruption which occurs in less than 1% of pregnancies.  But I begged for release, and at least had 7.5 happy home days before returning to the ER and finding out that my water in fact did break.  This called a Preterm Premature Rupture ofMembranes, or PPROM, and occurs in less than 3% of pregnancies.

The reason I need to be hospitalized is for all the risks that come into play when you have a PPROM.  Most importantly, I could go into labor any day between now and my due date of January 25.  However, if I haven’t gone into labor at 36 weeks they can induce labor if they deem it necessary at that point which I think would be about December 28 if my math is correct (highly unlikely).  The longer I am here, the more the bun gets to cook in the oven, the healthier she will be.  At 36 weeks she will be (4 weeks) premature and have to stay in the NICU for a while.

If I am honest … there are at least 50 reasons why this situation is extremely unfortunate.  Obviously the list would begin with the reality that I will be delivering a premature baby no matter what and the risks associated with that.  Particularly because this will be my one and only chance at doing this motherhood thing (which I am still in a bit of denial about).  Even if I wanted to have more little humans after this one, I also have a ginormous fibroid and will need to have my entire uterus removed post-delivery.

My attitude here has been nothing but optimistic and positive because that is the one thing I can do for this kiddo.  Halloween is my jam and I am totally missing it … my parents and I decorated my house/yard last weekend but I can say that at least I was able to enjoy it for a couple of days.  I miss my hairy child tremendously, when I came home from the hospital the first time he was super snuggly for every moment I spent there … but we FaceTime, and my parents have a plan to bring him here for some cuddle time!  I know things will all work out for the best, as some wise ones once said to me … this is temporary; distressing not dangerous … I gots dis.

 

 

 

Miscellaneous Monday!

  1.  I asked my Mommy to tell me a story today and she goes like this, “Once upon a time, there was a gourd … “
  2. Did you know that in Japan, once a woman has children she is referred to as “Mother” (or Mom) by everyone in the family including the husband?
  3. Prior to the invention of modern day plumbing, leftover corncobs were used as toilet paper by Americans (to wipe their cornholios? :).
  4. In many countries, such as parts of Asia, North Africa, and the Middle East—it’s disrespectful to offer your left hand in a handshake.
  5. Before doing something that requires increased confidence, standing in a high power position (think Wonder Woman) for 2 minutes actually effects how another person perceives you during the something! Just ask Amy Cuddy!

Pics for Passing Time

Facetime’ing with my puppers and iPhone Photography while imprisoned (hospitalization metaphor); I take my walks in Mt. Hope Cemetery~

 

Hope

Okay so, I am 25 weeks pregnant now and had been having some bleeding and considerably severe cramping.  All along I had assumed these side effects were due to the grapefruit sized fibroid that was only 1st discovered in my uterus when I had my 1st pregnancy ultrasound.  Regardless, twenty minutes into a routine appointment on Monday, October 9 (’17), I was in an ambulance and rushed to the OB ER.

It has been six days now and I am still in the (freakin’) hospital. Upon arriving, they did an ultrasound and determined there was an abruption in my uterus along with a shortening of my cervix.  The ER doctor drew me the attached picture, then gave me a bunch of chicken and egg stories. Nonetheless, it was concluded that the fibroid’s hands are clean, otherwise I would have extreme tenderness in my abdomen where it is located.

While the causes may always be unknown, the following actions were immediately taken.

  1. MAGNESIUM SULFATE DRIP   Purpose:  reduce risk of central nervous system [CNS] abnormalities to premature baby (i.e. cerebral palsy) Process: 20 g (20,000 mg) of magnesium was administered through an IV.  For the first 20 minutes, 6 g was released and the nurse had to stay with me while doing multiple reflex checks.  It is a high risk treatment which effects your CNS, verging on a complete shut down. I immediately noticed warmth spreading over my upper body to the point where it felt as if my skin was simply burning.  Then came mobility loss, I could not lift my arms or legs, I could barely speak and overall I felt as if I had suddenly been hit with the worst flu bug imaginable.  Once the 20 minutes matured, the drip amount was reduced to 2 mg and within a few hours, the flu-fun had been lifted.

On the down side, I have my Mommy’s veins so a lot of trial/error/poking takes place in my arm and since I bruise easily the IV has to be moved every few days.

  1. BETAMETHASONE STEROID INJECTIONS  Purpose:  advance age of babies lungs and brain by approximately 2 weeks  Process:  2 injections, 24 hours apart (1 to each butt cheek muscle as it is the only sizable option for the required fluid amount).
  2. INDOMETHACIN  Purpose:  stop uterus from contracting  Process:  first dosage as rectal suppository followed by oral capsule every 4 hours
  3. PROGESTERONE  Purpose:  delay labor  Process:  suppository capsule inserted vaginally nightly until delivery.

The bleeding and cramping ceased and the plan was to send me home this morning, but that changed after another ultrasound was performed.

  1. The hope was that my cervix would lengthen again … it went the other direction and is even shorter, 1.5 cm
  2. New news – my placenta is abnormally thick and not getting a good blood supply
  3. Couple #1 and #2 with a giant fibroid and uterine abruption, I am still a patient for a few more days

The Doctor said that based on all of the above, there is basically no way I will carry to term.  Knowing that no matter what I do I will have a premature baby and I can go into labor any day between now and January 26, is a tough pill to swallow.  But things could be worse, they can always be worse, optimism is still the key!

HOSPITAL FOOD:  My current residence is like a city, you need a GPS to get around this place!  They have poured so many Gs into it that I am shocked by the quality of their food – 3 out of 5 at best.  The major suck of it is that you call to order and can sit on hold for up to 15 minutes, then they quote you 45 minutes and show up 100 minutes later with lukewarm day old tasting food.

PET THERAPY:  On Wednesday’s they offer pet therapy and these gorgeous shelties came to hang out with me for about half an hour.  My Mom and I have decided we want to enlist in that program with our puppers, how super fun is that going to be??!!!

WALKS:  The positive part of this hospital experience is that I am allowed to leave my room whenever (basically) I want, I just have to sign out at the front desk.  There is a library here, a huge playroom, an amazing cafe, several coffee bars and the main event – Mt. Hope cemetery is across the street!

FRESH AIR:  My hospital bed is on the door side of the room.  I have no window, no control over the temperature, no private access to a bathroom, it is a bit depressing.  But what I DO have is the great outdoors to escape to … a soft grassy hill and friendly round picnic tables at my disposal. Sitting in my happy place is just what the doctor should have ordered! To be continued …


Good Days

When you have MDD it is crazy important to acknowledge the good days; not only for the “obvious” but also for memory retrieval on the not-so-hot days. Today, was a PHENOMENAL day.  Although it resulted in a migraine and some seriously radiating pain, my smile is genuine and worthy of being recorded.  My Mom and I went to the Hilton Apple Festival where I purchased an uh-mazing birdhouse, tie-dye onesie for Evie and some super fantastic rings to add to my collection.  I met the MOST talented lady who is a magical ring-maker (so jealous of her!!) and I believe we are going to be long time friends.  PLEASE check her out via Instagram or Facebook!

P.S.  Potato Pancakes with sour cream served by incredibly well mannered boy scouts, major, m a j o r, highlight.

 

Unaccredited Cash and Mental Illness

I have 137 college credits, but no degree. I basically ADHD’ed my way into debt by taking multiple semesters of things like Astronomy when the majority of the credits had nowhere to go.  I have decided to go back to school to take the last 4 classes I need towards my B.A. in Psychology and then onto a Masters Program. Again, thanks so very much to my BFF Therapist, I have been steered in the right direction for both. I have no idea how I am going to afford it but I try not to worry about money anymore, when there is a sincere will there IS a way!

My focus is going to be Mental Illness [MI] and I also wish to lead a family outreach program. I never want anyone to go through what I have if I can help it, the family’s understanding of MI is equally as important as the patient’s. My parents have done an AMAZING job of standing by my side over the past 13 months because they were willing to take the time to learn what was happening in my misfiring brain. Without therapy and family/friend support there is absolutely zero question, I would not be alive today.

Suicide is not a rationally controllable decision. Our minds have 3 states: Rational, Emotional and Wise.

The decision to take your life is completely emotional minded.  You cannot expect someone with suicidal ideations to simply buck up and get over it.  You cannot expect them to consider all the consequences that matter to YOU. To you it is selfish, scary, inconsiderate, irresponsible, cheating, giving up, a waste, an easy way out, and I am sure I could go on and on but the truth is – for you to assume the suicidal person has the ability to contemplate your laundry list of lucid reasoning, well that is just ridiculous. If you outcast them due to your own ignorance and selfishness, they may eventually return to a healthy state and never forgive you for it.

Upon a suicide attempt, I would love to immediately visit the patient’s family/friends/roommates to educate them, even if on a volunteer basis.

On average, there are 121 suicides per day.  

Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States.

Mental Illness is a medical condition, take it seriously. Show compassion, be caring, kind and considerate and more importantly – never turn your back on someone due to their MI but rather, support and assist them in getting proper treatment. You never know … someday, it could be YOU.  How would you want your loved ones to respond?

 

 

 

 

 

If we were friends, Part 1

As I am posting this, I realize I do not know what qualifies a group of items to be considered a “collection”.    Please hold.

According to dictionary.com, a collection is:

Hmph. I assumed there had to be a quantity qualifier to constitute a collection. Maybe if you have more than 3 of something you are considered a serial collector? Wow, that is an unfortunate joke. Feel free not to repeat it.

I digress.

My therapist and I are super tight, in fact, we are definitely Life Twinsies.  We seem to feel the same, think the same, swear the same, complain the same; there are days when her mind reading truly creeps me the fuck out, I LOVE it and I love her, literally.  She saved my life after my own sister just tossed me aside to die. Love is WAY thicker than blood.  
However (full smile) … I said aloud (to twinsie) one day, “I wish we could be BFFs outside of here!” followed by, “never mind, I am completely crazy in real life!” (with hobbies and collections and business ideas) knowing full-well how annoying my distracted mind can be without the therapist-driven focus.

Now, after spending most of the summer rearranging the rooms in my house and moving storage bins to my gorgeous new shed (Veronica), I think crazy may be an understatement.  If we were friends; imagine GNRs “Welcome to the Jungle” playing as my front door squeaks open; but for now, I invite you to meet my (main) collections (each on a serial x 10 scale)

Vicarious Living

In therapy, we are constantly reminded of how important it is to find acceptance.  This (word, concept, fact) has been my grandest struggle.

September 2017 – it has been 4 whole years since I left behind the glorious life I once lived and still there is not a day (of the 1,460) gone by when I have not thought about, missed, or grieved for that life.

I have become painfully aware of how often I judge or get down on myself for the things I can no longer do, the fulfillment I no longer have and the loss I cannot seem to stop harping on.  I am SO very ready to change this pattern and believe one of the ways I can do so is simply by living vicariously.

I no longer have an office with my name on the door; a space to fill with items that I enjoy, but what I DO have are people I care about who do possess those hard earned plaques and personalized spaces.  Instead of whining over loss, I celebrate gain, by helping (the people I admire) to enhance their environment.

I will never be able to hit another golf ball; to use the lovely lady clubs I was crazy excited to buy, but by donating those clubs to Good Will I can use my imagination to believe my experience will be felt by another who is maybe not able to afford brand new clubs.  I also have a friend who is an avid golfer and rather than sitting quietly with envy when he glows with satisfaction, I now make certain I see him and purposely inquire about all of his recent outings on the course, hole by hole.

Baby steps.

I am still so frustratingly uncertain of what my purpose is in this life.  I cannot wait until the day when I no longer carry such guilt over being saved from the 300 self-pity pills I popped.  But today, today is a good day, and for that I am grateful.

What are you grateful for today?