Sunday, January 6, 2013

The Holiday Hit

Here's my surgery fundraiser site:

My body definitely took a hit over the holidays.  Just the change in routine really knocked me out.  My body's overall decline is evident.  My dependence on traction is gradually increasing.  I'm in my collar all the time (except the shower), but I am needing several hours a day in traction to relieve symptoms...especially ice-pick headaches, nausea, and reduced consciousness.

Swallowing has also become a major problem again.  Choking on water.  Pills going down very slowly or getting stuck.  And worst of all, swallowing way too much air with my liquids, causing major bloating.  Ugh!  I really hope this improves with surgery.

But hardest hit was my digestive system. (Warning: this section is graphic.)  I've been eating the same few foods every day for at least 6 months now.  My usual diet is both gluten-free and dairy-free.  I made several exceptions to my diet for the holidays, and I really paid for it.  First, my digestive tract became completely blocked (thanks to some cookies and cheesecake).  After a few days of being stopped up, I was bloated and stuffed.  Everything I ate started making me sick.  Then, I had a new experience.  I developed intense nausea, since my body didn't want to accept any more food.  But, due to my lack of a gag reflex, I was unable to vomit.  My body tried and tried to vomit, and it felt like I was about to vomit.  You know that feeling, where you get a sudden flush, your mouth salivates, and then your stomach contracts really hard?  It happened over and over again.  I could taste the vomit on my breath.  I needed to vomit, but nothing could make it happen.  I had two of these episodes over the holidays, one of them being the night of my birthday.  And I hope it never happens again.

I finally resolved the problem, thanks to some powerful laxatives, powerful anti-nausea meds, and getting back to my usual diet.

So, what is in the diet that doesn't make me sick?

Breakfast: Joe's O's with Almond Milk

Lunch: A banana, some baby carrots (cooked, if I'm sensitive; raw if I'm regular), and rice cakes with natural peanut butter

Dinner: A chicken breast tender, steamed mixed veggies, and brown rice

Snacks are usually gluten-free cereal.

Luckily, I'm not sensitive to herbs or spices, so I can flavor my food any way I feel like.  Anything outside of this diet is potentially dangerous.  For example, I tried trading my rice out for body rejected it.  Organic graham crackers were disastrous.  A simple salad can spell disaster.  My body is so picky!

Anyway, that's the news.  I'm sitting here in traction, anxiously counting down the days until surgery.  Just over 2 months now.  I'm nervous, but also tentatively hopeful, as always.  I'm also sad to know that when surgery comes, it's the end of a way of life.  I'll be moving out of my first married home, and back in with my mom.  And I won't be moving back to this home after recovery, thanks to my husband moving for work.  So, it will be a huge change.  It's sad to leave behind this happy life, but I'm hoping that I'll have much to look forward to with healing.

Thanks so much for reading my story and actually caring.  I feel very loved.  I also really appreciate every single donation to our fundraiser, as the expected medical expenses are overwhelming for a grad student and a disabled piano teacher.  Thanks!