I published my last post even tho it wasn't up to date, just to fill in the first half of the year. So much has happened since then. I'll try to do my best to get you filled in on things since then.
I went to Cleveland at the end of August. We had lots to discuss with my stomach and intestines getting worse as far as the motility. My Dr. felt it was time for me to see an intestinal transplant specialist. He spoke highly of the Dr. he would be referring me to. We discussed the options that I have. My Dr. said he has 2 patients with simular stories to mine and told me how good they are doing since they have had surgery. I asked if he would give my name and number to them so that I could ask a few questions. He shared my info with one of the patients and within an hour after leaving his office I had a phone call from her. She was very sweet and answered all the questions I had for her.
My Dr. feels like this is the next step - choice 1 - to have some of the intestines removed, and choice 2 - to have a multi-visceral transplant. He put in the referral for an appointment with the specialist. With many phone calls and lots and lots of faxing of my records I was able to get an appointment set up. It took a bit to get it all because they set me up for testing and the appointment both while I was out there. I had an appt on Oct 13 to see the specialist and had some difficult testing set up to be done while there. I had been praying that some of it would be cancelled due to the prep for some of it. Not quite sure how I was expected to drink a bottle of mag citrate and a bottle of barium...hummm. Monday started with having some blood testing done. That "some" ended up as 30 vials of blood taken. I am very thankful I have a central line that they were able to use. After that I had to go to another building and have a CT of the abdomen and since there was some down time in between, the kids and Shane ate some lunch. We took the kids with so that we could spend some time together as a family and do some things while there. They had fun while eating their lunch watching the construction in the parking lot. I got to meet my nursing coordinator, Shatina, at the appointment. We talked on the phone many times getting the appt set up and it was nice to be able to meet her in person. She is super sweet! We went over my medical history, then I met with one of the Surgeons in the office to review it. He was really nice and informative on everything. Then I got to meet Dr Kareem. He has a big heart. He went over the the 2 choices and we both felt it would be best to go with option 1 first. He is not for certain how much of the intestine he will remove. He knows the large intestine will go but not sure on how much of the small. He gave me a hug and reassured me that he will do his best on getting me back on track. Both he and my GI Dr. feel like I am strong enough for the surgery and that having the surgery will help with the pain help me feel some better. He also wanted to see the kids, so Shane went and got them from the waiting room and brought them back. He gave the girls a kiss on the forehead and told them he was going to do his best to get their Mama feeling better. He also cancelled out all the tests except for one- an esphogeal manometry test. Before leaving I signed my surgical consent for Nov 4. That ended the big day for Mon. On Tues. I met with the nutritional support team for my TPN and then had an appt with my GI Dr. We basically discussed Monday's appt and what Dr Kareem had had to say and that was my day. On Wed I had the wonderful tube down my nose for the manometry test. Glad that was no more than 20 minutes or so of testing. We started for home Thursday morning but not without stopping for the birthday girl, Kailey. She turned the big 11. We surprised her with tickets to the Blue Gate Theater to see the play- Josiah for President. It was a really good play and we all enjoyed it.
We are getting things packed and ready to go for Cleveland. I will be in the hospital for a week and then in a hotel for 2-3 weeks before I can come home. We decided the kids would be better if they stayed home. They will be able to do their schooling still and be at home and in their own beds. I'm trying not to pack the house as I'm getting ready. Just don't want to forget any of my medical supplies and things I would need while I'm in the hotel.
The kids are doing well. This is Matthew's first year of homeschoooling and he is doing great! He is working hard!:) The girls are doing good in their studies also. Matthew and Kailey have been working extra to get ahead of the planned assignments so they won't be behind when I come home. They all have been a big help to me in getting things together. What a blessing that these 3 kids are to me in so many ways!! I love them lots and will miss them bunches while gone.
I have really enjoyed the fall this year. The weather has been great and not too many days of cold weather. I have enjoyed looking at all the beautiful colors in the trees. Some are so breath taking at how vibrant they are. God is the Greatest Artist no doubt! We have gone to a couple orchards this year and the kids have enjoyed some apple cider donuts. Kelsey had the experience of a goat chewing the pocket on the back of her skirt.;)
The Lord has really blessed Shane's business. He has been able to expand and get more of the building. He did the Homestead parade again this year. Dad and Mom Pennington have moved back home from Texas to help Shane with the business. What a blessing for Shane to be able to leave and be with me and not have to close the shop down each time. God is so good! He is our Provider.
I give God all the glory and praise for the great things He is doing! He is everything we need and more than enough! I can't thank Him enough for everything He has done and every time He has brought me through. He is my peace, joy, comforter, and healer. I'm so thankful my life is in His hands and that He is my great Physican. If it wasn't for Him I would not be here today. He is doing great and wonderful things. I'm so glad that He walks with me each step I take.:)
I want to thank you for all your love, support, and prayers! I feel like this post is all over the place-hope it makes a little bit of sense. You guys have waited patiently as you have texted and emailed wanting to know what we had found out at Cleveland. I'll try to a better job with my updates. Shane will try to keep you posted until I'm up to it.