1.08.2011

I'm home!

Hello Dear Friends! I am home from the hospital and happy as can be. They let me out Thursday night. My gallbladder is off in biohazard wasteland and I will hopefully be health problem free for a long time!!! It has been a rough few weeks and a Christmas/New Years to remember and hopefully to forget. All in all, I am mostly happy to be home to these wonderful people:

I am obsessed with this little girl.
And this little boy is obsessed with this sweatshirt. Its a hand me down from his cousins Logan & Spencer. We can't get him to take it off. It's really not all that cute either. He looks like a ragamuffin. But if it makes him happy, I'll let him wear it.
I also missed Taylor like crazy but I don't have a picture of him to post, and luckily unlike my kiddos, and thanks to some absolutely fantastic friends, he was able to come visit me in the hospital every day. Before I give you the abridged version of my story we must thank the Butenmillers, the Hausers, the Voelkers, the Van Rys, the Majeronis, andthe Nielsons for taking care of our children. We really are blessed to be surrounded by such fantastic people. And we had lots more offer as well. Thank you! It was so nice to have Taylor with me at the hospital during my tests, surgeries, and when I was in so much pain. It was a very long five days that could have been much longer had I been alone. You never realize how great friends are until you are far away from family and desperate for help.

On to the abridged but still somewhat long story. It started 3 1/2 weeks ago with some severe abdominal pain. When I say severe I mean 10 scale want-to-die pain. It happened after dinner one night and I almost passed out. I made an appointment with the doctor the next day. The doctor ordered me a number of tests (GI scope, echo-cardio gram, blood tests, etc) gave me some antacids, added on a tetanus shot for good measure, and sent me on my way. The next day I started itching like crazy all over my body (like 1000 mosquito bites itching) with no rash or redness, and it wouldn't go away. I made another appointment for the doctor after reading online that I probably had liver cancer or pancreatic cancer. She quelled my fears and gave me some steroids and we decided that it must be a reaction to the tetanus shot or new medicine. She promised she'd call if my blood work showed anything strange. The steroids stopped the itching (thank heavens! I thought I would die from the itching alone) and life was getting back to normal. Then I got a phone call on Christmas Eve. It was my doctor. My blood work came back with some concerning results. Something was wrong with my liver. It could be gallstones with one blocking off a bile duct and causing the itching, but she wasn't sure. I was scared to death. But nothing could be done until after Christmas, so she told me to call first thing monday morning for more blood work and to schedule an ultrasound of my abdomen. I got the ultrasound right after Christmas and it showed that my gallbladder was-much to my delight, full of stones-I was just so happy it wasn't something more serious. My doctor (who is not actually a doctor but a nurse practitioner whom I LOVE) made an appointment for me to see a surgeon after New Years. I went to work at the Gap on New Years Day feeling wonderful but within a few hours got very sick. I started vomiting profusely and was in so much pain I couldn't get off the bathroom floor. Might I say, there is very little in this world worse than being that sick in a public place. Especially when you can't get home (I was the only manager there) and I was in no condition to drive. After realizing that I was only getting sicker I managed to get my cell phone and call Taylor to come get me and I called another manager to come close the store. We made it home where I continued to vomit and the pain worsened. We called some friends over to watch the kids and headed off to the ER. A few hours later, my blood test and a cat scan showed Pancreatitis. There was a stone stuck at my pancreas. I gladly accepted some wonderful painkillers, was told by a medical resident that Pancreatitis could potentially kill me, and finally fell asleep around 4am. On Monday I had an MRI to verify the location of the stone and later that day they put me under, sent a scope down my throat, through my stomach and to my pancreas to pull out the stone. They gave my guts a day to recover and my pancreas some time to heal, and then opened me up and took my gall bladder on Wednesday. And here I am today, alive and well. Might I add, that through it all, they made me go days and days without eating. It was awful. I was starving. Turns out that the only way to help an ailing pancreas is to not put anything in your stomach for days. I went from Saturday morning to Tuesday afternoon without food! Every TV commercial about food made me want to cry. But I made it. I lost 8 pounds this week and started my weight loss New Year's resolution off with a bang! Hooray. Life is slowly getting back to normal. I feel pretty good, and my wounds seem to be healing well. I have included pictures below to let you all see what was giving me so much grief. If you get queasy easily, be forewarned!

Here is my plain old gall bladder:
Here it is cut open with the stones oozing out: ( I asked if I could keep some, the surgeon said no)
Pretty nasty I know. No wonder I was in so much pain. My gallbladder was literally bursting with stones. I'm glad its gone.

21 comments:

Lindsay said...

OH MY GOSH!!! That is INSANE!! I'm so sorry you had to go through it! Is it just a freak thing that happens to people or does it run in the family? I'm scared now!

Kristen said...

WOW that is a lot of stones! I've never seen anything like that before. Glad you are feeling back to normal. You should send a thank you card to the medical resident that calmed your fears so much by saying you could potentially die. How nice of them. You Oswalds really know how to have unforgettable holidays together!

Liz birdzy said...

Laney that's really gross ... Well I'm glad your ok. That's what is really important here oh and also... HENRY AND MILLY ARE SO CUTE give them lots of kisses for meeee!!!
P.s do you like my username? I was trying not to give away my name, it's deffenitly nothing like my real name right? :D

Melanie said...

seriously thats disgusting. the pictures are making me sick! but you lost 8 lbs!! woohoo!!! to bad it was a miserable way to have to lose it! Im glad your better and off the nasty bathroom floor!

Naomi said...

Laney, I just love you so much! ha ha, what a trooper, and i enjoyed seeing the pics of your gal bladder, how does one go about acquiring that many stones anyhow, its crazy!

Page said...

Wow. We thoroughly enjoyed reading your story together. Rick says he would have taken your gallbladder out right away. Glad you are better!

Rachel said...

Ryan is amazed by your gallbladder!!

I am amazed by your fat and delightful daughter. I want to keep her forever. Please let me squeeze her tomorrow at church.

Jason & Shannon said...

Those pictures are awesomely disgusting! I'm glad you are doing better.

HowellAZ said...

Woah. That is quite the experience and during the holidays, to boot. I'm glad you are back home and feeling better. At first I thought maybe that last picture was of the hospital food since it resembles corn, in a revolting way, but then I remembered they wouldn't let you eat. Too bad all those food commercials didn't include pictures of gallbladders full of stones...it may have made you feel better. :)

Zach and Nikky said...

That is so crazy! That's pretty much exactly what happened to me last year. I agree with you, worst pain ever! Those pics of your gall bladder were pretty nasty but I couldn't stop looking. Yuck. I hope you continue to feel better and don't have any side affects from getting your gall bladder out. I've had a few and it hasn't been fun but not nearly as bad as stones!

-Nikky

Markie said...

Totally disgusting - thanks for sharing!

Annie O said...

OMH! That made me throw up in my mouth--I'm never going to be able to get image out of my head. Good thing the cute children pix helped to mitigate the trauma. I think that is the definition of ambivalent--it's horrible but you can't help but look.

Glad you're alive!

XxOo Nannie Annie

Erin said...

Oh goodness Laney! Those pictures (the bottom two) are horrifying!!! I'm glad you're ok and back on the road to recovery. When i read about you vomiting, all I could think about was screeching eels. So sorry.

brentandkashann said...

Horrible! I am so glad you survived. Now I need to go read about how I can prevent this.
PS. we are coming to Buffalo this weekend and want to see you!

Stephanie Evans said...

You are just like my mother!! I'm tempted to send her to your blog. She would also have taken pictures and asked to take a stone home. She really wanted a picture of her dermoid tumor when it was removed, but they said no.

Kent and Leisy said...

such a cute picture of milly. She is getting to be picture worthy!!

Cher said...

I am both intrigued and horrified! So happy that you are okay! Here's to a less traumatic New Year!!

P.S. Did you make those dolls of your family at the top of your blog, because they are adorable and I am coveting them.

Steve and Hailey said...

That greedy surgeon wouldn't let you have one of those stones! For crying out loud. What a hog! I hope you're feeling better. I was worried for you.

Steve and Hailey said...

Where did you get those cute dolls of your family? I want some! Was that your Christmas gift from your secret santa?

yaya said...

`I'm so glad you are home and feeling better. Beautiful pics of your GBag BTW! Hope the healing continues without incident and your kiddos are so cute! Happy New Year!

Amy and Craig said...

Hey Congrats on losing your gallbladder. It's nice that you and Leisy are back to being twinners (oops except I guess Leisy still has her appendics). You're lucky they took the pic of the gallbladder. They wouldn't let me see mine!