Lake Fun!

Saturday, August 24, 2013

What's Going On With My Mom???

I have been sharing on my blog lately that my mom has had some recent medical issues and that we have had several visits to the doctor, but due to the private nature of her issues, I haven't gone into detail about what exactly was going on with her health.

Friday morning, while sitting in Pre-Op for surgery, I asked my mom if she would be okay with me sharing her story, in hopes of educating others that might have a similar issue, or those that might have a family member dealing with a similar issue.

She said...."Go for it!"

So I started snapping pictures and looking up more info!!

I took this picture first while the nurse put her IV in.

I decided to step into the hall. I'm not really a fan of viewing the putting in of the IV. Occasionally, those veins just don't choose to cooperate and it gives me the Weebie Jeebies!!!

My mom has had some problems with bowel and bladder control for some time, but it has gotten quite a bit worse over the last two years. It has become extremely difficult for her to feel comfortable leaving the house for fear of an "accident", which has dramatically altered her life style.

It had become clear that it was time to go to the doctor and begin discussing the possibility of a colostomy bag, which she was NOT excited about, but she was also not excited about spending the rest of her life stuck in her apartment. So off to visit a new doctor, Dr. Bruce Graham.

Dr. Graham (read more about him HERE) is a Colon and Rectal surgeon, and from what I can tell, aside from his reputation for being notoriously LATE all the time, he also has a reputation for being a highly respected surgeon in his field. He thinks my mom is an excellent candidate for InterStim. This is a device installed in the patients lower back that sends a signal to the brain, that then sends a signal to the nerves and muscles to help control the bowel and bladder. First, a temporary wire is placed in the lower back area that comes out of the lower back and is attached to a battery pack that is worn on the belt or waistband, much like a cell phone!

This is Mom's battery pack. It's kinda big. She's kinda little.
(She was TOTALLY ready to be rid of it!!)

The patient wears the temporary battery pack for approximately two weeks, (Mom had to wear hers for three weeks) to see if it helps reduce accidents, or prevent them completely. At the end of the two week trial, it is determined by the patient and the doctor if it has helped enough to implant the permanent InterStim. It looks like this.....

It's actually quite a bit larger than I anticipated, and my mom is really small, so I am curious if it will actually be visible under her skin??? Kinda weird, huh? But it could drastically change her day to day life, and that is what we are hoping for after surgery!

So, obviously, her trial period went well, and here we are, permanently implanting the device, which she will be able to control with a remote control!! I know, right??? It is available to her in case the signal becomes too strong, and is uncomfortable, she can turn the signal down, or if the signal is too weak, and the device begins to not work, she will be able to turn it up. Approximately every five years, she will need to go in for an outpatient procedure to change the battery in the device.

I'm finding myself completely fascinated!!

You can read more about InterStim HERE!!

So that's whats going on with my mom. Hopefully soon, she will be able to get back to work and go out to lunch and go to the movies and go out to dinner and take road trips and all of the regular stuff she should be doing to enjoy life!!

Prayers are appreciated!

Next in the "News of Julie", yeah, I know you're all dying to know..... (AMAZING and TALENTED and GENEROUS and.....well.....just think of a whole bunch of great adjectives........), son Jake, came over Thursday night and spent three hours teaching me all about setting up my website, and he got my new Blog/Website up and running!!!! I am soooo excited! I was experiencing a ridiculous amount of anxiety dealing with the fact that it wasn't going to happen by the end of August like I had hoped, but IT IS!!!!!! All thanks to Jake!!

I have just a few things I want to tweak, but I should have my first post on my new website before September 1st!! WHOOP WHOOP!!!!!

Here is a sneak peak. I didn't want it to look too different, so I hope that it's a gradual change. It might look a little dull at first, but once I learn more and play with it, I can change things around a bit. I'm excited to start adding recipes!!!

Next "News".......

I went to my Weight Watchers meeting to weigh in Friday morning before taking my mom to the hospital.


I'm ready to move forward, but still gloating about weighing less than 160 for four weeks now!!

Three weeks ago, when I thought my life was falling apart (Can you say Drama Queen? I know you can.), I wasn't prepared for the unexpected long days at the hospital and the unexpected errands. I decided to do better at being prepared for the unexpected. One morning, I grilled up eight marinated chicken breast, then packaged them individually and put them in the freezer. They have come in very handy and I am patting myself on the back for taking the extra time to plan and prepare.

Before leaving for the hospital, I filled a ziploc bag with 2 T. of PB2 powder to add to the oatmeal I would be purchasing at Quik Trip or Starbucks, whichever one happened to be more convenient on the way to my moms house. Then I took one of those chicken breast out of the freezer, thawed it in the microwave, sliced it up, and made myself a salad. I then packed a cooler with my salad, an apple and some almonds and headed out for the long day in the waiting room. Three weeks ago, when I spent two full days in the waiting room, I wasn't prepared and ended up eating things that I wish that I hadn't. They weren't terrible choices, but today's salad was a much better option. Oh, and cheaper too!!

I used my handy little Weight Watcher's Salad container for the first time!!

This is for nuts, croutons, raisins, cheese.....whatever toppings you aren't ready to mix in until its time to eat!!
(I totally forgot to put my almonds in this!)

Then, check out the dressing container with a screw on lid so nothing spills!!

Well, that's all of the fascinating news for today!
Here are the days eats!!






Refresh...I can eat 26 points a day.
I can earn Activity Points by doing exercise, and eat them if I choose.
I have an allowance of 49 points that I can dip into if I chose.
I should drink a minimum of 6 (8 oz) glasses of water each day.

The food I ate and it's PPV

Breakfast = Oatmeal (without the additional QuikTrip toppings),
PB2 Powder (5)
Snack = grapes (0)
Lunch = Salad, Grilled Chicken, Veggies, Tzatziki Sauce (9)
Snack = Apple (0)
Dinner = Turkey, Cottage Cheese, Strawberries (5)

Total = 19

I've decided that a day spent in a hospital waiting room, is really a day of either OVER eating from anxiousness or UNDER eating from not bringing enough healthy options. I thought I planned so well, but didn't end up getting home until 9:00 pm and then I really wasn't hungry, just tired. I made myself eat the turkey and cottage cheese, and realized that having to take a picture of whatever I chose, and then send it to my coach before I ate it, made a huge difference in my choice. It would have been so easy to just grab some cheese and crackers and a diet soda, then go to bed!!

Oh.....I completely forgot to eat my almonds that I packed!!!

Today's Exercise = day off

How many glasses of water I drank today = 6
Activity Points Earned Today = 0
Activity Points Earned This Week = 0
Remaining points from my 49 Points Allowance = 49
ALCOHOL consumption = none

"love the life you live, live the life you love"

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